Great performance for the money
Telstra's 4G network is fast
Display makes colours gorgeous
Slim, compact design
Lovely and functional interface
Waiting for Jelly Bean update
Low resolution screen sullies HD video
Miserly data plans
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If the M in the Motorola Razr M stands for anything, it must be mobile. It's the lightest, thinnest phone in the refreshed lineup of Razrs exclusive to Telstra. It's sleek and compact, but hasn't sacrificed anything in performance. It sports the same 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM found in its bigger sibling the Razr HD. Instead, the phone is sized down in the screen, battery and storage departments to make for a compact and affordable little handset.
Really though, it's not that little. It's telling that this "light" model of the new Razr lineup packs a 4.3-inch screen. Surely the time of the sub 4-inch screen has passed, especially now that the iPhone 5 has hit 4 inches? The Razr M has been designed to strike a balance. It's a phone with a screen big enough for gaming and enjoying videos, but thanks to a compact design, it won't feel like a brick in your pocket.
Weighing in at 126 grams and going for $0 up front on a $60 24 month contract, the Razr M is easy on the pocket and the pocketbook. Just like the Razr HD, it runs Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich. Some might wonder why Google-owned Motorola couldn't get Android 4.1: Jelly Bean, the latest Android OS, to ship on its phone. While an update to Jelly Bean has been promised within the year, ICS is still very sweet, especially on this snappy little handset. In white, the two-tone look is reminiscent of the titular dessert.
When it was first unveiled, not everyone was in love with the Razr M's two-tone design, sloped bezel and kevlar backing. In either black or white, it couldn't please everyone.
At first we weren't sure what to make of the phone's unique aesthetic, but we grew to appreciate its striking look and sleek build. The slim bezel makes for minimal bordering around the 4.3-inch screen.
Since the Razr M uses only virtual Android buttons, the screen gets to take up the maximum amount of real estate possible on the phone's face.
The Razr M's back has Motorola's signature kevlar backing pattern. The rear bezel slopes inward, providing a thinning, diagonal design that gives the impression of looking at an optical illusion.
It's a weird phone to behold, but not unpleasant to the eye, at least in our opinion. However, we doubt anyone would argue that it doesn't feel great to hold.
At only only 126 grams, the Razr M might have found the perfect weight. It's light enough that you may forget it's in your pocket, but has just enough heft to achieve a premium feel. While the most desirable weight for a smartphone may be shrinking since the iPhone 5 is only 112 g, we know some consumers prefer a phone with a little more weight to it.
Not unlike an iPhone, the Razr M is constructed with aluminum that feels smooth and strong in the hand. Luckily, it doesn't seem as prone to scratches and scuffs as Apple's new phone. We kept the phone in our pocket among keys and coins while walking around town and haven't found any marks on the handset.
The phone's display is Gorilla Glass and thanks to that thin bezel, the screen is nearly edge to edge. Adding to the sleek design is the fact that the Razr M only has physical buttons on its side. On the right side of the handset there's a volume rocker and power button. On the left there's a hidden panel that pops open, allowing you easy access to the SIM card and microSD slot.
This pop-up panel is a nice touch, though it felt flimsy, like it could be ripped off if we weren't careful. Also, we wish the phone's battery was this accessible. The Razr M features a non-removable battery, sadly.
With a 122.5mm body and a 4.3 inch screen, the Razr M is a great size for one-handed use. It's bigger brother the Razr HD broke the 5-inch mark, giving it a nice screen size for media consumption, but the potential to be awkward in the hand. The Razr M avoids this, keeping a body size that remains highly functional but not bad for movies and games.