Motorola Razr: A potted history of the world's thinnest phone

Motorola-razr-historyThe Motorola Razr is back, and now it's thinner than ever. With super-skinny dimensions, the new Razr is definitely striking, but it now also features serious fire-power to go with the suave design. The Razr range has been with us for nearly a decade, and it has become synonymous with style. Read on to find out the potted history of the Motorola Razr.



The beginning
Think of the Motorola Razr, and the chances are you'll think of the company's first clamshell variant – the V3 – an incredibly slimline and futuristic-looking handset that proved to be a smash hit. When the original Motorola Razr V3 was launched back in 2004, it was by far the thinnest clamshell phone on the market. Back then, consumers weren't obsessed with mobile phone processor speeds, storage and megapixels, so the Razr could sell on looks alone. With futuristic styling including a metal electroluminescent keypad, sell it most definitely did.

Between 2004 and 2006, Motorola sold a staggering 50 million Razr handsets, and it went on to become the biggest selling clamshell phone ever. Even though it continued to sell, the Razr had to evolve, which led to a host of new Razr devices.

Razr developments
Motorola started making the Razr V3 in different colours, including a matt black model, and it was followed by the V3 Magenta – a bright pink version. By the end of its life, the Razr V3 was available in a variety of different hues, including gunmetal grey, dark blue, maroon, black, red and even gold. Not wanting to tamper with the Razr V3's styling, Motorola started adding new features to its best-selling handset, with EDGE connectivity added to the V3re model.

The V3 continued to improve in terms of features, with different variants offering either iTunes or Motorola's own Digital Audio Player for listening to your music on the go. Although the iTunes version had a lot of potential, the service was capped at 50 songs and couldn’t compete with the ipod.

The Razr V3x was the first big change to the Razr lineup. It was bulkier than the original model, and had lost some of the razor-sharp lines. As part of the compromise, it did get much faster 3G connectivity and video calling capabilities, along with a 2-megapixel
camera and completely different internals.

Fans of the suave lines of the original handset didn't have long to wait, however, as 3G technology became steadily smaller. The Motorola Razr 2 V8 was even thinner than the original Razr, measuring just 11.9mm in depth. The V8 featured a 2-inch display on the outside of the clamshell, dwarfing most rivals, and offering touchscreen usability.Unfortunately for Motorola, things had moved on, and although still stylish, the clamshell design and the Razr's clunky operating system were beginning to look like relics in comparison to the Apple iPhone.

The new Razr
Motorola had to up its game, which has led to the brand new Motorola Razr. A completely fresh design from the ground up. Things have changed with the latest iteration – the clamshell has gone, replaced by a huge 4.3-inch touchscreen – and the Razr now has the power, features and operating system to match the very best handsets in the world. It's also incredibly thin, at an amazing 7.1mm, so it's more than worthy of the Razr name.

So what do you get for your money?
The latest Motorola Razr really is a world away from early models in terms of specs. The gorgeous 540 x 960 pixel display uses Gorilla Glass, a unique composition that allows for a deep layer of high compressive stress (created through an ion-exchange process). This compression acts as a sort of “armor,” making the glass exceptionally tough and damage resistant to help avoid scuffs and scratches. On top of this the back of the handset is made out of Kevlar, which essentially means this phone is almost unbreakable. Specs-wise, there's a 1.2GHz processor, with dual cores to make it easier to multi-task and run the Android operating system.

With other smartphones like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S and the Samsung Galaxy S II also offering super-slim designs, it's unlikely that the Razr will enjoy the same success as its ancestors, but it's nice to see the name back at the top of the smartphone market.

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