Motorola RAZR2 V9m Verizon Review


The Motorola Razr2 V9m is the newest addition to the popular Razr line for Verizon, which is also being sold by Sprint, Alltel, and US Cellular. Other variations include the HSDPA V9 for AT&T and GSM V8 for T-Mobile. The Razr2 is a completely new design, with aspects taken from the original Razr V3, Krzr, and Maxx Ve. The V9m is designed to give an emotional response from the consumer, with its large external display, fashionable high-luster stainless steal construction, and super thin body. Despite the phone being quite stylish, we felt that Motorola spent too much time on the “look” of the phone and not enough time on the “features”. Because of this, we believe the V9m to be only a slight upgrade from the Maxx Ve.

The Retail Package includes the Razr2 V9m Phone, 770 mAh Battery, Wall Charger, 2.5mm-to-MicroUSB Adapter, and User Manual.

PhoneArena's Motorola RAZR2 V9m for Verizon Video Review:

Motorola RAZR2 V9m for Verizon 360 Degrees View:

The Razr2 series comes in several different color options, with the Verizon V9m being a shiny dark pearl gray with a brown inlay accent around the external display. This makes for the phone’s good looks, but it comes at a cost of the myriad of fingerprints that will envelope the exterior. The V9m remains a flip-phone, just like the previous Razr models, but is the thinnest one to date, measuring only 0.46” thick. This translates into a device that is almost unnoticeable while in your pants pocket, yet when holding the phone, you feel its solid metal construction since the weight is up to 4.13 oz.

ModelDimension (Inches)Dimension (mm)Weight (oz)Weight (Gramms)
Motorola RAZR2 V9m4.06" x 2.09" x 0.46"103 x 53 x 11.94.13117
Motorola Maxx Ve3.99" x 2.08" x 0.59"101.4 x 53 x 153.88110
Motorola KRZR K1m4.05" x 1.73" x 0.66"103 x 44 x 173.60102
Motorola RAZR V3m3.90" x 2.10" x 0.60"98 x 53 x 14.53.4999

Located at the top of the flip is a basic 2MP Camera, which is lacking an AutoFocus and a Flash that the Maxx Ve had. On either side of it are hidden LED indicator lights for Charging and Bluetooth. The left side of the phone is where the Volume Up/Down rocker and Smart Button is located, with the right side featuring the Voice Command button. We found them to be more recessed than we would have liked, making volume adjustments by touch-alone nearly impossible. The Data/Charger port now uses a smaller MicroUSB connector, which is a first for a Verizon phone. The packaging does not come with a PC Data Cable, so you will have to buy a new MicroUSB cable, or a Mini-to-MicroUSB adapter to use with your current USB cables.

The 2” 65K Color QVGA External Display is the largest currently used on any flip phone that Verizon sells. You can assign a wallpaper to be shown, separate from the internal display’s wallpaper, unlike the Sprint V9m. Images on the external screen are crisp with good color and detail, yet the external display is not as bright as the internal display with the brightness to level 6. Both screens show the same status icons for Signal Strength, Battery, Bluetooth, Messaging Alerts, as well as Date and Time. Pressing the Smart Button with the flip closed will activate the three Touch Sensitive controls on the bottom of the front screen, with each one providing a different function (Camera, Music, and Voice Commands). Pressing your finger to them will cause the phone to slightly vibrate when activating the designated feature. While we like the idea of the touch-sensitive buttons, we are perplexed as to why Verizon removed the ability of viewing Text Messages on the external display, as Motorola intended, and replaced it with a Voice Command touch button. Especially since there is already a designated Voice Command button on the right side of the phone. Because of this, there are now two Voice Command buttons to choose from, which is a waist, and no ability of external text message viewing.

The Internal Display is the same QVGA resolution, but is slightly larger at 2.2” in diameter. Due to brightness being greater on it, images and text are easier to see whilst viewing outside in direct sunlight. Overall, we are pleased with the quality of both displays, and hope that other manufactures will follow Motorola’s lead with having a larger external display.

The keypad on the V9m is laid out identical to the one used on the Krzr and Maxx Ve. There is nothing new here, with a standard 5-way navigational D-pad, left and right soft keys, designated camera key, and numeric dialing pad. It is constructed out of metal and has a shiny black finish, which matches well with the overall style of the phone, yet the white backlighting is not as bright as the blue backlight used on the Maxx Ve. We also noticed that the raised lettering on the V9m does not provide as much tactile feel as the keypad lettering on the Maxx Ve. Because of this, trying to dial a phone number or TXTing by touch alone is almost impossible. Pressing the buttons on the keypad do provide a good “click” that one would expect. The keypad is an overall good design, but we found it not to be as user-friendly as the one incorporated into the Maxx Ve.

When the flip is closed, we noticed that there is some wiggle-room and can be moved slightly from side to side. The stainless steel and glass make for a solid, though heavy feel. The back of the device is coated in the soft-touch paint found on several models, including the Maxx Ve and the Q9m. The battery door does not have a mechanical latch, but instead slides on and off for a more seamless look. Unfortunately the MicroSD slot is found under the battery door, and inserting and removing the card means the battery has to be pulled and the phone turned off.


The User Interface on the Verizon V9m is probably the most spartan out of all the Razr2 models. This is because Verizon has removed the original Motorola UI and replaced it with their own proprietary non-graphical UI. It is also unbelievable that a phone of this class and price only has one Theme installed and cannot be changed or personalized in any way by the consumer. The theme does look better than the one used on the Maxx Ve, with no red bars, but pales in comparison to the themes used on the LG VX8550 Chocolate, VX8700, and upcoming Samsung SCH-U900. For a phone with this price tag, it is inexcusable that there are no additional themes included. Despite this, however, we found that the software is fast and responsive, and is lacking in bugs and sluggishness that we encountered while using the Sprint V9m. The Main Menu is accessed by pressing the center circular button on the keypad, and is categorized into five sections: Get it Now, Messaging, Contacts, Recent Calls, and Settings & Tools. These are the same sub-menus that are present on all Verizon phones and offer the same features.

Phone Book:

The Phonebook on the V9m is exactly the same as the one used on the Maxx Ve. Up to 1000 Contacts can be stored, each with the First and Last Name, Mobile 1 #, Home #, Work #, E-Mail 1, Group, Picture, Ringtone, Mobile 2 #, Fax #, and E-Mail 2. The Picture setting allows you to designate a specific picture to be displayed on the external display when a saved contacts calls, while the Ringtone setting allows you to select a specific ringtone to be played. Both of these features allow easy identification of the person calling, but we whish the external PictureID were larger and utilized more of the screen. Any time you want to access the saved contacts list, you simply press the Right Soft Key located on the top of the keypad. This will show all of the saved contacts in alphabetical order. You can either scroll through the list, choose the “Go To” field and type in the person’s name. This will search through the list and display any matching results. There are a total of 99 Speed Dial locations, which any of the contacts may be assigned to. Once a contact is assigned to a speed dial location, you press and hold the location number for it to dial.


The Calendar is nothing new, and once again is identical to other Verizon phones. The current date is highlighted, and you can select any date, month, or year by using the control pad. Once a date is selected you can add multiple events, with each one allowing you to enter in the Appointment Name, Start Date/Time, End Date/Time, Time Zone, Recurrence, Alert Tone, Vibrate, and Reminder. After an alert is saved, and the date & time is reached, the phone will play the alert tone and show the event information in the display. This is an easy and convenient way of keeping track of meetings, appointments, and important tasks.

Another option would be to utilize the three independent Alarm Clocks. This is a faster way to set an individual alarm, without have to go to the calendar.

Other tools include a basic Calculator (for simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), Notepad, and World Clock that shows cities and times across the globe. We are unsure as to why the Tip Calculator was not included.

Motorola again utilizes VoiceSignal’s software for their excellent speech recognition program. As with most phones with VoiceSignal, you can use it to not only voice dial numbers and contacts, but also to check the status of items such as signal and battery, and to initiate text and picture messages. It does not have dictation software however, so the user must type out the message using the keypad. Accessing the Voice Commands are done by pressing the designated button on the right side of the phone, or by pressing the right touch-sensitive button on the external display, and when used with a Bluetooth earpiece you can use the Voice Commands to call any person or number without having to pick up the phone.

The V9m only comes with 54MB of Internal Memory, and 7MB are already used out of the box. For additional storage and file transferring ease, you can use a MicroSD card up to 2GB in size, which provides the best way of accessing MP3 music, pictures, and videos.


Just like the Maxx Ve before it, the V9m is capable of sending and receiving Text, Picture, and Video Messages. Pressing the Left Soft Key will access the main Messaging menu. The available options are New Message, Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Voicemail, E-Mail, Mobile IM, and Chat. Selecting the New Message option will allow you to either send a Text, Picture, or Video Message. For Text Messages, the V9m uses the iTap predictive entry, which is similar to T9, where the software tries to predict which words you are typing. Sending a Picture and Video Message operates in similar fashion, except that you can attach a picture or video file to be sent to another phone or E-Mail address. When a Text Message is received, you must open up the flip to read it, since the ability to view messages on the External display was removed. We had no problems using the messaging options and they work quite well, despite the external viewing feature being removed.

E-Mail access is limited by using the WAP browser to connect to MSN Hotmail, AOL Mail, and Yahoo Mail. We would have liked to have seen GMail access, as well as POP and IMAP support, but since this is not a SmartPhone, you’ll have to deal with the limited E-Mail capabilities.

Mobile IM
will connect to AOL, MSN, and Yahoo instant messaging services.


The V9m is an All-Digital Dual-Band CDMA phone that operates on the 800Mhz and 1900Mhz frequencies on the Verizon Network. Data Connections can use EVDO Rev 0 or slower 1X when not in an EVDO area.

Bluetooth 1.2 is supported and allows up to 20 Parings with the following profiles: Headset, Handsfree, Serial Port, Dial Up Networking, Bluetooth Stereo A2DP and AVRC, Object Push, and File Transfer for device generated images, videos and vCard. We were able to pair with our Jabra 250v Headset and achieve up to 30 feet of static free calling. For music playback, we were able to use both the HT820 and S9 devices and get up to 30 feet of Stereo Bluetooth static free performance. The V9m can pair to other phones, and you can easily send pictures and videos between them, but it will not allow the sending of ringtones or MP3 music.


Unfortunately, the Verizon V9m does not come with a HTML Browser, like on the AT&T V9 model, so you are limited to using a standard WAP 2.0 Browser. Pressing the Up button on the navigational pad will start the browser and activate Verizon’s Mobile Web service. The main page will load in 5 seconds while in an EVDO coverage area. From here, you can choose News, Weather, E-Mail, Sports, Entertainment, VZW Services, and Shopping. There is also an option to enter in a specific WAP or HTML address. Since this is a WAP browser, it will display WAP sites without problem, but going to a normal HTML site can pose some difficulty. First, the site will take longer to load (up to 30 seconds) and images and text may not be displayed and formatted properly. Also, embedded items, such as Java and Flash, will not work. Because of these limitations, it is recommended to only visit WAP or HTML site that do not have a lot of graphic content. If you need the ability to use a mobile device for viewing standard HTML sites, then a SmartPhone will suite your needs better.


Even thought the 2MP Camera on the V9m is an upgrade from the Razr V3 and Krzr, we consider it to be a downgrade when compared to the Maxx Ve, since it has the removal of the Flash and AutoFocus system. Pictures may be taken in either Landscape or Portrait mode, with the landscape mode making the phone being held side-ways, which is somewhat uncomfortable to do. We found that images taken outside with the V9m to have good color representation and full saturation, but edges were fuzzy and lacking in fine detail. Indoor pictures were a bit more problematic due to the amount of available light, and the Auto White Balance didn’t always work, requiring you to manually set it. Also, since there is no AutoFocus, close-up pictures can be more out-of-focus than when taken several feet back, not to mention that it is pointless to attempt to take a Macro picture. Night images are near to impossible to take, since there is no Flash, and using the Darkness setting in the White Balance can only help so much. Overall we feel that the camera on the Maxx Ve to be more user friendly and produces better imaging results, thanks to having AutoFocus, and night images are at least feasible since there is a Flash. Between the two phones, the Maxx Ve is the clear winner for picture taking, yet the V9m does produce overall better images than ones taken by the LG VX8700 2MP Camera.

The Camera can be accessed by pressing the dedicated button on the main keypad, or by pressing the left touch-sensitive button on the external display, which will in turn use the external display as the viewfinder and center button for the shutter. The Camera takes 2 seconds to load, and there is only ½ second delay from the time you press the button to take the picture until the image is captured. Saving the image takes an additional 3 seconds. The total time to take one picture, save it, and then take another picture is 6 seconds.

Available Camera Options include:

  • Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, Picture ID
  • Landscape and Portrait Mode
  • Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
  • Brightness: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
  • White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Darkness
  • Shutter Sound: Shutter, Silent, Quack, Boing
  • Color Effects: Normal, Antique, B&W, Negative
  • Fun Frames: 9 Fun Frame choices
  • Switch Storage Device: MicroSD card, Phone

Video Recording is limited to a maximum resolution of 320x240, but you can record up to the available memory on a MicroSD card. Image quality is lacking, with poor color representation, blotchy images, and low frame rate. No one is going to be recording their vacation videos with this anytime soon. Also, the front display cannot be used as a viewfinder for recording self videos.


Accessing the VCast Music Player to playback your MP3 files can be done through the Main Menu and selecting My Music, or my pressing the middle touch-sensitive button the external display. We prefer going through the main menu, since you can choose music by Genre, Album, and Artist, whereas using the external touch button will load and playback all the music in alphabetical order. Once a song begins playing, the internal display will show the song information. Closing the flip will show the same information along with the Album Cover Art on the External Display. Located at the bottom of the screen are three touch-sensitive buttons for Rewind/Skip-Back, Play/Pause, and FastForward/Skip-Ahead. Volume can be adjusted by using the volume rocker, and pressing the Smart button will lock the touch buttons so they are not accidentally pressed. The overall sound quality of MP3 playback was clear and loud. Even at the highest volume, there was no distortion coming from the speaker. It is unfortunate that the speaker is still located on the back on the phone, which will muffle some of the higher frequencies during playback. We recommend turning the phone over so the speaker is on top, or to use a Stereo Bluetooth A2DP compatible headset.

Video streaming is done through the VCast Video Player, which has been updated from the Maxx Ve. There are now 10 categories to choose from: Music, Showcase, Comedy, News, Sports, Net’s Best, TV & Film, Latino, Kids, and Lifestyles. Unlike the Sprint service, all of these videos are pre-recorded and there are no Live TV channels to choose from, and they cannot be played on the external display. Streaming video quality is mediocre at best, since the video is compressed to playback over the EVDO Rev 0 network speed limitations. If you are looking for a better video service from a mobile device, we would suggest using the U620, VX9400, or the upcoming Z6tv to access the Verizon MobileTV MediaFLO service, which provides live TV channels with higher image and sound quality.


The V9m, like all other Verizon phones, uses Qualcomm’s BREW format for all downloadable applications. There are only two games preloaded on the phone, Pac-Man and Tetris, but both are demo application and will expire after a few uses. There are dozens of additional games and applications that can be downloaded from Verizon with either a subscription (monthly) or unlimited use price. Out of all the applications that are available for downloading, the most useful is the VZ Navigator GPS navigational service at $10/month. It allows you to enter in your destination, and it will plan driving directions based upon your current GPS location. There are also pre-selected Airports that you can choose as well. While in use, the internal display shows a current map and turn-by-turn driving directions, while a voice will speak the directions to you. For added flexibility, the flip and can be closed which will show the map and directions on the external display. We have used this service on several instances and the directions are very accurate. Even if you happen to miss a turn, the program will recalculate the route and display a new map.


Even though we felt visually cheated by the non-graphical UI that is used on the Verizon V9m, we rate its software performance greater than that of the Sprint model, since it is free from all the software issues that plague the Sprint V9m. The software is fast and responsive, with no lag time while going through the menu system, unlike the original Razr V3m.

The V9m comes with a slim 770 mAh battery, which is rated to give 3.5Hr of Talk Time or 12 Days of Standby Time. In our tests, after a few battery cycles, we were able to achieve up to 4Hr of Talk Time on a full charge, but Standby time (with no phone use) was only 3 Days. We are unsure how Motorola rated this phone with 12 Days of Standby time, since that is not realistic.

The reception on the V9m was excellent, and we were able to place and receive calls in areas where some other phones could not, such as the LG Chocolate and enV. During our testing we had no dropped calls and would rate the reception equal to that of the Maxx Ve. Call Quality through the earpiece speaker was also excellent. In Fact, the quality was slightly better than that of the Maxx Ve and A990. Voices were clear and lacked any type of static or background noise. The only thing that we noticed is that the volume on the earpiece doesn’t get as loud as that of other phones. This is not a problem most of the time, but is almost unusable in a car traveling at highway speeds with the window down. The Speakerphone quality is also on par with that of the Maxx Ve, with the volume being able to be turned up to High without any noticeable distortion. This also holds true with Ringtones being able to be played quite loudly without distortion.


We came away from the Verizon V9m with mixed feelings. First and foremost, the styling of the phone is exquisite, with the high-luster dark pearl gray color, sleek lines, and slim design. But the fingerprints take away from this, since the phone is impossible to keep clean. The only part of the phone that is not fingerprint prone is that back, since it is coated with soft touch rubber. The External Display is the largest we’ve ever seen in a flip phone, and the QVGA quality is quite excellent, yet the functionality is limited since you cannot read incoming text messages on it. The 2MP Camera does take descent pictures, but does not compare to other camera phones with an AutoFocus and Flash, such as the Maxx Ve, enV, and A990. Music Playback sounded good and was easy to use with the large front display and touch-sensitive buttons. Out of all the features, the only two where this phone really shines is the Reception and Call Quality. Both were excellent and were the best out of any current phone being sold by Verizon, yet the earpiece speaker was not as loud as we would have liked.

As you can see, for each feature there is a drawback. That is why we have mixed feelings about this phone, more than any other we have recently tested. If you are coming from a low-end or entry-level phone, the V9m is a major upgrade, but if you are currently using a mid-level or higher device, such as the Maxx Ve, A990, enV, or Chocolate, the V9m is not a major upgrade in features, only in style and design. In the end, the V9m doesn’t really “do” anything that most other phones are not capable of, except it packages it in a stylish and slim body.

The ratings below are for the Verizon Wireless version of the Motorola V9m. They may differ from the Sprint version as the ratings are based on the way the phone performs, compared to the whole product line of its carrier.


  • Beautiful styling, ultra slim, and constructed out of stainless steal
  • Large 2” QVGA External Display
  • Reception and Call Quality
  • Battery provides up to 4Hr of Talk Time
  • Fast and Responsive software, yet it is not at “pretty” as the rest of the phone


  • Fingerprint Magnet
  • Battery must be removed to access MicroSD slot
  • Data Port now uses MicroUSB connector, so compatible cables are harder to find

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