Motorola Mobility is in an interesting spot. Now officially owned by Google, you might think that they would get preferential treatment from their new bosses, but with this latest trio of smartphones showcased to me at a low-key briefing in Toronto a couple of days ago, it’s clear they’re competing at the same level. Each of the three phones targets specific types of consumers, so read on and see what might be a fit for you.
I’ll start things off with the RAZR V because it’s confirmed that Future Shop will be offering this phone in stores once it launches. No official date or pricing have been revealed yet, but it’s not a stretch to assume that it will be out before school starts, and probably be in the $49.99-to-$99.99 range on a three-year contract. The phone will initially be a Bell-exclusive, but it will also eventually go to Virgin Mobile, Videotron and there will be a version that works with Wind Mobile as well. Whether or not Rogers and Telus will get this at some point is still unknown.
The RAZR V follows in the footsteps of the previous model that reinvented the brand last year, but it’s not an outright replacement. It’s lined with Kevlar in the back, like its predecessor, and measures just 8.4mm thin. The screen is the same size at 4.3-inches, only this time with 720p resolution, and is made of Gorilla Glass with an added nano-coating for water resistance. An added bonus is that it runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, unlike the previous RAZR, which still hasn’t received the promised update. I asked when we might be able to expect that, and the reps on hand said it should be “very soon”.
One of the best features that RAZR brought to the table was Smart Actions, Motorola’s proprietary app that let you customize the phone’s configurations based on a set of criteria. For example, if battery life was low, you could tap one option under Smart Actions and it would configure the phone to your preference to keep the battery alive as long as possible.
Motorola is expanding that by adding new default settings like, for instance, the car, meetings and workout regimens. You can create as many as you need to, and they can be as specific as you need them to be. Need one for sleeping? At work? On the plane? You can customize them however you like. The new Motorola Atrix HD LTE will also have Smart Actions, too.
They haven’t said why, but the company got rid of MotoCast on the entire new lineup. MotoCast was a personal cloud app that let you stream media content directly from your PC or Mac, including a photo backup option akin to that of Apple’s iCloud Photo Stream. The company reps wouldn’t say why the decision was made, or even if this is the end of the feature entirely.
The Atrix HD LTE will be the company’s flagship phone (another Bell exclusive) once it comes out. This will be the one they expect to take on the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S III and HTC’s One X. At 8.4mm thin and with a Kevlar back, it looks like it’s part of the RAZR family more than bearing any serious resemblance to the original Atrix that launched almost 18 months ago.
It runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, has a 4.5-inch ColourBoost 720p display with one of the highest pixel densities on the market and the latest version of Android ICS. And unlike the HTC One X, the Atrix HD LTE will have a microSD card slot for expandable memory up to 32GB. Both the Atrix HD LTE and RAZR V each have the same 8-megapixel camera, and both can capture video footage in 1080p.
The last of the three is the DEFY PRO, an Android phone that looks like a BlackBerry. This one is for the more frugal consumer, or the person who wants to buy a phone without a contract at a low price. It can also take a beating. It’s not officially waterproof but it’s close enough. It can be dropped, stepped on, kicked and fall into the pool and still work. It also has a big battery that gives you 12 hours of talk time or 13 days on standby.
It’s a cool little phone, but it’s definitely not in the same league with the other two. Rogers will be getting that one exclusively, and I’m pretty sure that it will be out before calendar turns to September.
Don’t be surprised if the RAZR V also comes out in August. Expect to find it at Future Shop when the official launch date is revealed. I’ll be updating this post once I get the details.
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