Remembering the Motorola RAZR V3: the phone that redefined beauty & design


When we look at today’s smartphones, it’s pretty impressive how manufacturers are able to cram so much into such a svelte body. Just thinking about all the components that make up a smartphone is mind-boggling on its own, so to fathom how they’re able to somehow stuff all of that into a confined space is almost unimaginable. There was a time, however, when smartphones were considered bricks – with many easily eclipsing a thickness of 1 inch. Prior to smartphones even, we had the so-called feature phones that were designed for utility first and foremost, with the design and style taking a back seat. It took one single phone to change all of that. And that phone was none other than the original Motorola RAZR!

If you can remember back to the mid-2000s, then it’s almost guaranteed that you’re well acquainted with the Motorola RAZR. It seriously redefined things for the better, as phones soon emphasized attractive designs more so than they did in the past. Before its arrival, the vast majority of flip and candy bar styled phones were humongous. You probably wouldn’t think that any of them would be considered large, but the RAZR pretty much changed our perception overnight. Similar to the trends we’re seeing presently, there was a time when standard phones were designed with bulky bodies, but they eventually would be slimmed down significantly.

The Motorola RAZR lived up to its name by sporting the skinniest profile in a phone during its time.

The Motorola RAZR lived up to its name by sporting the skinniest profile in a phone during its time.


What made the Motorola RAZR V3 innovative and groundbreaking was its stunning design. The designers and engineers meticulously combed over every aspect, ensuring that it was going to be a head turner. When the original RAZR was teased back in 2003, and subsequently released in 2004, it turned the phone world upside down with its incredible design – one that had a striking magnesium and aluminum body, complemented by its thin profile. In fact, it had the thinnest profile for a phone at the time, which lived up to its RAZR moniker. Nothing else looked as good! It helped, too, that it featured a few other stunning characteristics.

Another one of them was its electroluminescent keypad, which was a totally different implementation from the backlit dial pads phones were known to incorporate at the time. Quite simply, it was hypnotic in the way that it made the phone appear even more futuristic. On top of that, it featured a beautiful looking color screen, a standard mini USB port, VGA camera, and an external display. During its initial release, the RAZR V3 was highly regarded as a luxury item – sporting an outright price of $650, while fetching for $500 with a 2-year contract. That alone made it a prize of sorts, something that people were striving to get at one point when they had enough money. Back then, $650 for a flip phone was a huge deal, but the premium nature of the RAZR justified that.

Futuristic even now, the Motorola RAZR's electoluminescent keypad was certainly different from the traditional back-lit dial pads most phones were employing during the mid-2000s.

Futuristic even now, the Motorola RAZR's electoluminescent keypad was certainly different from the traditional back-lit dial pads most phones were employing during the mid-2000s.


Over time, we eventually saw a number of variants, but the same recipe still exuded in all of them. Motorola’s pride and joy became even more popular when its price subsequently was lowered, which helped it to become the best-selling flip phone of all time. Nowadays, it may be an after-thought for some, or even a nostalgic trip down memory lane thinking back to simpler times with phones, but the Motorola RAZR quite simply made us realize that designs are crucial to a phone’s identity. Seriously, it was a phone that was ahead of its time – and that’s quite poignant when you compare its designs to some of its contemporaries.

Did you own a RAZR? If so, what were some of your favorite memories about it?

Related phones

RAZR V3
  • Display 2.2" 176 x 220 pixels
  • Camera 0.3 MP VGA
  • Storage 0.0055 GB
  • Battery 680 mAh(6.50h talk time)

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24 Comments

1. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Ahh, the good o’ days when the USB charging port didn’t suck.

2. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

One of my uncle and cousin used to had this phone. Was my dream flip phone back then. Miss the good old flip and slider phones.

3. fyah_king unregistered

Didn’t know it cost that much cause I never had one.lol

4. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

I miss having Motorola phones I miss my V6Maxx and K1.

24. tuminatr

Posts: 1114; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I had the v9m also a nice phone

5. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Mine was stolen. Black version

6. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Still have this phone. Just for the heck of it, I plugged it in and greeted me - "Unauthorized Charger".

7. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1525; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

One of few phones popular enough to actually recognize on site back in the day. Remember when mini USB was the latest thing?

8. Luigy04

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

I still have mine... and it still works and have the text messages and ringtones... it's been like 8 years since the last time I use it.

9. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I got mine thru Cingular the black one . Then I lost it after a while so I ended up getting another one but it was the time Cingular became At&t so I got an At&t one it had the At&t branding in the back instead of the Cingular one .

20. LiveFaith

Posts: 383; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Reminds me of that year that I signed a 99 year contract w Cingular for I think a 1/2 acre of land for their tower and rights. Iirc it was like $500/mos payment. Not sure. Signed the deal and ATT deal announced about a month later. They backed out and walked away due to restructuring I guess.

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3106; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The question should be who didn't have one back then?

13. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 919; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Me. I didnt buy one cause it had no memory to store any photos. It was terrible.

15. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Me. Didn't get my first mobile phone until August of 2005, and certainly didn't have the money to get a Moto RAZR. I remember the Moto RAZR commercials on TV, though... I am sure I thought about it at some point, but I didn't care about things like phone specs back then, so I was probably oblivious to just how basic a phone the RAZR was in terms of things like memory and the like. My former sister-in-law got a RAZR for a while, though, back then. The RAZR was all looks, and people paid through the nose for its good looks. Truly an age-defining phone pre-iPhone.

22. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

My recently-new sister-in-law, back in the day long before she met my brother, had a Sanyo Katana instead of a Moto RAZR: somewhat similar phone, much less expensive and not as ground-breaking, and yet certainly styled somewhat in the same vein; but only ever offered on Sprint as far as I can remember. She still has the phone, with its accessories and in its original box, last I checked. Back long ago in like 2006 and 2007, I worked for Sprint-Nextel, and sold quite a few Sanyo Katana's to business customers. They were definitely popular for non-smartphones back then.

11. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I've 3 still in drawer amongst other old phones. These were the best, a huge step up from Motorola micro tacs. Which again were a leap above their Motorola 555 cdma flip. The Razer was just great, miss it somedays.

12. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 919; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

This phone was s**t. Only had 5.5mb of memory.

17. AronWunarso

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Back then, 5.5 MB is considered big since photo, music, and videos only use small amount of storage

21. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

5.5 MB is smaller, I think, than the size of the average MP3 music file. I can imagine that was enough space to have some MP3 or MIDI ringtones (which were far smaller than a complete song in MP3 format), and some photos (VGA camera meant very small jpg files... more like 0.1 MB or less) if you bothered to take any back then. If you were on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, then the phone ran proprietary Java-based UI, and you could download a couple of Java apps from the curated lists of each of those carriers for a (probably) small fee. If you were on Verizon, then it was BREW-based, and you could probably download a couple apps from the curated list at Verizon for a fee. Otherwise, there was little else to get on the phone, and few outlets from which you could get stuff anyway. I would not be surprised if no one could sideload things onto a RAZR. No way to get photos off of your RAZR unless you emailed the photos to yourself and got on your computer to get your email... I don't think the phone could use a data-only cable to be seen by a PC as a storage device. I don't remember if they had MMS back then, either... 2003 was a long time ago.

14. romeoc1984

Posts: 25; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

How do you "redfin" beauty and design?

18. doublestandardz

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 06, 2018

Wtf is redfined?

19. LiveFaith

Posts: 383; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

One of the absolute classics of mobile tech history IMO. Maybe the best. My wife had a pink one at one point, and that design just made you want to sit and stare at it. It was truly remarkable from a functional and artistic standpoont in it's day.

23. JoeHumphrey

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

I really miss those days when Motorola used to make good looking phones...

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