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First Look: The compact yet capable Motorola Electrify M
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First Look: The compact yet capable Motorola Electrify M

2:03 /

Motorola's Electrify M for U.S. Cellular is pocket-friendly but packs a hefty Android punch.

Hi. This is Brian Bennett for CNET.com and right now we're taking a First Look at the MOTOROLA ELECTRIFY M. Priced at a reasonable $99.99, the ELECTRIFY M is essentially the U.S. Cellular branded version of the MOTOROLA DROID RAZR on Verizon. Like the DROID RAZR M, the ELECTRIFY M is very compact. Features a similar edge-to-edge screen design, runs Android and connects to 4G LTE data signals if a compatible network is available. In other words, within U.S. Cellular's covered zone. The ELECTRIFY M isn't exactly a new handset. It first came to the carrier in November of 2012. Back then the phone ran Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Now however MOTOROLA has upgraded the device's software to a more modern 4.1.2 Android Jelly Bean. MOTOROLA added its own custom tweaks here as well. So there's a quick setting screen to the left of the main home screen. The company's Circles widget something I wished I could use on other handsets provide fast ways to check weather, time, and battery level. Other attributes include a 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED screen, VGA front-facing camera, and 8-megapixel main camera around back with LED flash. The phone's chassis is sealed so you can't get at the embedded battery. There is a flap on the left edge which conceals micro SD and SIM card slots. Next to that is the micro USB port for charging and transferring files to and from PCs. On the right are volume controls and a power key. Up top sits a 3.5- millimeter headphone jack. The camera app is typical MOTOROLA fare. While offering nowhere near the same amount of features as Samsung or HTC devices, you do get various scene and shooting modes such as multi-shot, panorama, and HDR. I'm Brian Bennett for CNET.com and this has been a First Look at the MOTOROLA ELECTRIFY M. Be sure to check back soon for a full review.

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