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Moto's Razr 2 and the media monster

Motorola unveils a second-generation Razr and shows off the Rokr E6 and the Z8.

Motorola Razr2
Motorola Razr2
Sarah Tew/CNET Networks

Motorola CEO Ed Zander today took a page from the Steve Jobs school of product announcements when he showed off three new cell phones and two new smart phones at an event in New York City. After the "media monster" cell phone tuned out to be a handset that we covered already (the Moto Z8) we were thinking the whole thing might be bust. But then Zander saved the biggest news for last with the unveiling of the Motorola Razr 2.

As we told you yesterday, we've been hoping for a while now that Moto would give us something completely new, beyond just another recycled thin design. But we have to admit that the Razr 2 looks pretty cool. Also called the V9 (for the GSM model) and the V9m (the CDMA version) the Razr 2 makes other improvements on the Razr. Besides being slightly thinner (0.07 inch), it features a smaller hinge and it shrinks the large section at the bottom of the phone that holds the internal antenna (Zander called it the Razr's "double chin"). The Razr 2 also has larger, higher-resolution displays and it's crafted from metal and hardened glass. The external display will feature onscreen touch controls for the music player that will give tactile feedback.

Inside both the V9 and V9m, you'll find a 2-megapixel camera, full Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, 3G support, video conferencing, a full HTML browser, Windows Media Player 11 with PC syncing, a 500Mhz processor, USB 2.0, and "CrystalTalk" voice technology that will adjust the volume automatically based on ambient noise.

The Razr 2 also comes in a GSM/EDGE version called the V8. It also offers a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a music player but adds in a couple extra goodies not available on the V9 or V9m. Thanks to a Linux/Java platform, it sports a much-needed refresh of the Moto's stodgy menu interface. Also, you can use the external display to send template text messages. There was no official word on U.S. availability for any of the Razr V2s, but the GSM V9 will be out first (in July) with the V9m and V8 following later in the year. Speaking of that, Zander said the number of Razrs sold is about to pass the 100 million mark.

Rokr Z6
Moto Rokr Z6 Motorola

Also at the event, a Moto exec showed off the Rokr Z6 and the aforementioned Z8. We first saw the Z6 earlier this year at CTIA, while the Z8 made its debut at 3GSM. The Z6 has a built-in music player with "drag-and-drop" music syncing, a 2-megapixel camera, USB 2.0, a slider form factor, a Linux/Java platform, and stereo Bluetooth. The company also showed off its Motorola S9 stereo Bluetooth headset as a perfect accessory for the phone.

Moto Z8
Moto Z8 Motorola

The Z8 is the "media monster" cell phone that Moto teased us with last week. As a refresher, it features a "kick slide" design that cradles the head much as a flip phone does. Features are all about multimedia with a 2-megapixel camera, HSDPA support, a video player, videoconferencing, world phone support, a 16 million-color display with a vertical and horizontal orientation, and 90MB of internal memory. As we said before, the Z8 will be able to play full-length movies from SD cards and show video at 30 frames per second (the same as on a standard TV). Admittedly, that sounds pretty cool, but we're not so thrilled with the prospect of watching an entire movie on a tiny cell phone display.