Inside the device there are no modifications. The internal display has the same 262,000-color display resolution, so it's just as easy on the eyes. The main menu remains mostly easy to use, though we maintain that Moto needs to tweak the way it organizes options in the Settings menu (why are "Personalize" and "Initial setup" two different options?). The navigation controls have the same shortcuts for the Web browser and Cellular Video. That's not a bad thing, but we wish Moto had added a dedicated speakerphone key this time around. The keypad buttons are unchanged--though they're flush, they're also spacious with large numbers and a bright backlighting.
The Razr2 V9x has everything that you'd find on the Razr2 V9, while adding new offerings. For the purpose of this review we'll concentrate on what is different. The most notable addition is the AT&T Navigator GPS service. Powered by Telenav, AT&T Navigator offers voice-guided directions, a points-of-interest database (searchable through voice commands or the keypad), and maps and traffic. As mentioned previously, you can display maps, guidance, and information on the external display, though you must open the phone and activate the application first.
Other changes include a YellowPages.com Mobile app and the Talking Phone feature that we first saw on the Motorola Rokr E8. Talking Phone reads out contacts, menu choices, dialed numbers, e-mails, and text messages. As we said on our Rokr E8 review, the feature is quite effective, but make sure you really want to use it since it can get annoying after a while. The MicroSD slot on the Razr2 V9x now can accommodate cards up to 8GB (as opposed to a maximum of 2GB on the Razr2 V9, but you still must remove the battery cover to access the card slot.
We tested the Motorola Razr2 V9x in San Francisco using AT&T service. Fortunately, call quality was almost unchanged from the Razr2 V9. Voices sounded natural, the signal was clear, and the volume was loud. At times there was a very slight background hum--because of the "GSM buzz," no doubt--but we didn't notice the echo that we heard on the Razr2 V9.
Multimedia quality was satisfactory as well. As you might expect, video quality was slightly diminished on the external display. It wasn't a big deal, though, and we like that the video is displayed in a landscape orientation. The only annoying thing is that once you start a video, there's no way to stop it midstream and go back to the main Cellular Video menu. Instead, you must wait for the clip to end.
The Razr2 V9x offers an improved battery life over its predecessor. Rated 3G talk time is 3.25 hours and promised GSM talk time is now 5.42 hours. In our tests we got a little more than three hours of 3G talk time. Rated standby time is now 13.3 days, instead of 12 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Razr2 V9x has a digital SAR of 0.61 watt per kilogram. That's slightly higher than the V9's SAR of 0.52 watt per kilogram.