For such a groundbreaking phone, the Motorola Razr V3 had a rather quiet debut in the summer of 2004. Rather than launching it a dedicated press event, then-CEO Ed Zander displayed the handset during an investor's conference.
Though I looked forward to reviewing the Razr V3, I didn't anticipate
just how popular it would be. When it went on sale, I was surprised it attracted the crowds that it did.
Not since Moto introduced the StarTac in 1996 did the company, or any manufacturer for that matter, sweep the world with such a hot and trend-setting mobile phone. The never-seen-before design drew long lines and sparked the thin phone revolution that changed the industry. A thousand imitators followed, and even today in the age of the smartphone, a passion for trim handsets persists.
Motorola would go on to ride the Razr wave longer than it should have -- it painted versions in almost every color and introduced subsequent upgrades that added features and tweaked the profile. The company even carried the thin theme over to candy-bar (the Slvr) and slider (the Rizr) handsets while dropping vowels in the process.
Even today, the Razr V3 remains a striking example of industrial design and one of the most defining phones ever. Join me for a tour through the Razr V3 and its history.
Editor's note: This gallery was originally published on July 1, 2014 and has been updated.
The V3 had just about every feature you needed at the time, but it was far from one of the year's powerhouse handsets. You got a VGA camera (without video recording, disappointingly), Bluetooth, MP3 file support, voice dialing and a speakerphone.
By 2005, the Razr V3 arrived at more US carriers and in other countries. The V3c was for CDMA operators like Verizon and Sprint and the V3i upped the camera resolution to 1.23-megapixels and added a microSD card slot.
You knew the Razr trend was getting ridiculous when this bright gold Dolce & Gabbana version appeared. It came in a bright gold box and included several accessories like a D&G logo phone dangle and a signature leather pouch. And on the campy side, it said "Dolce & Gabbana" when your turned it on. You could also get a gold version without Dolce's stamp.
Announced in 2005, the 3G-capable V3x had a slightly thicker design with a new keypad, a better display, two cameras (including one with a 2-megapixel resolution), a camera flash and a faster processor.
The V3xx, which followed the next year, looked just like the original V3, but had stereo Bluetooth, an Opera web browser and improved call quality.
The Razr2 arrived in 2008, just as the smartphone era was beginning. It had an ever sleeker design, GPS, a refined external display, and more memory capacity. After this model, the original Razr line more or less ended.
In the next few years, Motorola would resurrect the Razr name and attached it to a series of Android phones that weren't all that thin. They were models like the Droid Razr M, the Droid Razr Maxx HD and the Droid Razr HD.