posted by Eugenia Loli on Fri 17th Aug 2007 06:10 UTC
IconPureMobile sent us in the brand new Motorola handset, second generation RAZR: the Linux-based V8. One of the most sleek and most-wanted phones in the market, and we take it for a serious spin.

The RAZR2 V8 is a quad-band GSM and EDGE phone, it features two 240x320 TFT screens (one internal 2.2" and one external touchscreen 2.0"), 512 MBs internal storage out of which 420 MBs are accessible, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, a microUSB charging/data/audio port, and a 2 MP camera without flash. The V8 came with a headset, a British-style charger (PureMobile added to the package both a converter and a mini-USB Motorola-branded charger), a microUSB 2.0 data cable, CDs and manuals, and a 770 mAh Li-Ion battery.

The V8 is one of the most beautiful phones ever released. It is RAZR on steroids in terms of industrial design. It is extremely thin (11.9 mm), weighs 117 gr and feels "right" on the user's palm with its stainless steel frame. It features volume up and volume down buttons on the left (also couple as user-profile selectors), a lock/unlock/confirm button below that, and a voice recognition/camera-shutter button on the right. Each time you click these buttons there is a vibration effect that provides tactile feedback. The external QVGA screen is a touchscreen one, but it only works as such when you are using the music player or when reading SMS. All other functions/screens shown in the external display don't have any touchscreen support. Speaking about the screens, the internal one is very bright, and while the external one is of the same quality as the internal one, it is not so bright because it does not have its own TFT light but it piggybacks on the internal's one. This is a good trick to save battery life, while by using the same resolution for both screens the graphics and menus don't have to be redesigned, so it saved Motorola engineering time.
As for the internal keypad, it feels better and more rigid than previous RAZR phones. While this is a very thin phone, it has a very strong infrastructure. I can definitely "trust" the hardware to not fall apart in pieces or break. The only problematic thing I found about the hardware is that it's getting really hot when playing music or talking for more than 10 minutes on the phone. Reception was amazing, one of the best phones we ever tested. Voice quality was good too, although the placement of the microphone was an unfortunate one: instead of placing the mic in the middle of the keypad, it's placed on the right side of the keypad, so if you are using the phone with your left hand, there is a good chance that your fingers will cover the mic. Battery life was not too bad either, although it seems to be reducing fast if you also play music or use the EDGE network. Overall, we managed 4 hours of talk, while standby was not bad either.
The phone uses a microUSB connector, which unfortunately is not as standard as the miniUSB. If you need a new headset, or a new charger or a new data cable, well, good luck with that. It will take some time before the market is caught up to yet another kind of jack. I am unhappy about the microUSB connector mostly because the needed thickness to implement a miniUSB port in the phone does exist on the top & bottom parts.
Our version of the V8, which comes from Hong Kong, comes with a 512 MB internal flash storage, out of which 420 MB are available for usage. The American version that will be sold by T-Mobile, will have 2 GBs in it. The other three major US carriers will not be using the V8, but the V9, which is *not* Linux-based but instead it's using Motorola's old operating system (and it's actually a somewhat bigger/heavier phone). Very unfortunately, there is no microSD slot on the V8 (there is on the V9), so all you get is 420 MBs of storage, and no FM radio (in case you run out of music space).
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  1. "RAZR2 V8: Page 1/2"
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