Motorola announced today that its second-generation Razr phone will be arriving at most major U.S. carriers by the end of the summer. The GSM Razr2 V9 will come to AT&T while the CDMA Razr2 V9m will come to Alltel, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile is out of the game at the moment, mostly due to the carrier's lack of a 3G network. That said, it theoretically could adopt the GSM Razr2 V8, which tops out at 2.5G EDGE speeds, but that's just speculation for now.
Announced in May, the Razr2 line adopts the now iconic Razr form factor but offers a fresh approach. Besides being marginally thinner and more streamlined, the phones offer steel and hardened glass casings; large, higher-resolution displays; and onscreen touch controls with tactile feedback. Carriers were given a lot of freedom as to the design of their phones. They could change the appearance of the external displays and alter which touch controls they wanted to show on the screen. Colors also vary among the carriers. Sprint and Alltel come in dark pearl grey, AT&T's phone is mahogany, and Verizon chose the espresso model.
Features are the same on all versions. 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.
Sprint's version will go on sale August 22 for $249 with service. The other carriers will get their phones at about the same time and for a similar price.
We'll have full reviews of the phones in the next couple of days. In the meantime, check out some photos from our initial hands-on session. Though we're as sick of the Razr as the next person, we admit that the Razr2 line is undeniably eye-catching. We've been saying for a long time that Motorola needs something completely new--and we still feel that way--but this will do for the time being. If this Razr's performance is as good as it looks, then Moto may just be able to revive its flagging cell phone division.