Motorola RAZR2 V9 review: Motorola RAZR2 V9

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The Good Gorgeous, expansive external screen. Very fast interface. Even thinner than the original.

The Bad Menu organisation is illogical. Might be too wide for some. Low specs on the camera.

The Bottom Line The RAZR2 is a pleasing sequel to the V3, and should invigorate interest in what is now a hallmark franchise for Motorola.

8.2 Overall

Motorola's RAZR, or V3, appeared in late 2004, and has since has found its way into the trembling hands of over 100 million owners -- including everyone's favourite hedonistic jailbird, Paris Hilton.

In the years since the RAZR's launch, Motorola has released a string of V3 variations, including the V3i (and its garish golden Dolce & Gabbana cousin), the V3x and the HSDPA V3xx. While each sported a slightly enhanced specs list, the sameness of the form factor and lack of interface updates made us wonder if Motorola was resting on its design laurels.

Enter the RAZR2. Far from being another update, the sequel is a whole different kind of RAZR, with rounder edges, shiny surfaces and -- somehow -- a thinner silhouette.

There are three models in the RAZR line-up: the GSM V8, the HSDPA V9 and the CDMA V9m. Though the Shanghai launch event put the V8 centre stage, Australia will be focusing on the V9. The handset is initially available in grey on Telstra's Next G network.

Just when we were getting mighty sick of the V3 design -- which looks dated and blocky in the wake of super-sleek models from other phone makers -- Moto has ponied up the goods with the V9. The overall look is more streamlined and sassy -- gone is the big bump at the base of the keypad, and two millimetres have been skimmed from the depth. The hinge has also been smoothed down, shined up and fashioned into an oval, making it fit better against the keypad and main display.

The 320 x 240-pixel outer display is much bigger at two inches -- that's just 0.2 of an inch smaller than the main screen -- and incorporates three touch-sensitive music keys at the bottom. We've seen these song-focused touch keys on phones like the Samsung A701 and Motorola's own MAXX V6. However, the RAZR2 sports a nifty upgrade -- haptics technology has been employed to give a vibration response whenever a key is pressed. This itty bitty buzz will please those who have been frustrated by the intangibility of touch interfaces.

The V9 sports a shiny chrome coat, and though it does attract fingerprints, the surfaces are not quite the smudge farm found on phones like the LG Shine.

While the V9 was a good fit in our palm, people with petite hands may struggle to wrap their digits around the phone. At 53 millimetres across, it's the same width as the first RAZR.

Things have also gotten better on the inside; the ageing interface has been given an overhaul, with a Linux/Java-based operating system allowing for add-on apps.

The 2-megapixel, flash-free camera is a bit of a let-down given the litany of 3-megapixel-plus phones out there.

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