Can Razr i give Motorola the cutting edge?
This week Motorola unveiled its first smartphone powered by an Intel chip, a move it is hoping will help it stand out from an increasingly crowded market and re-establish its status as inventor of the mobile phone, writes CIARA O'BRIEN
THIS WEEK marked a milestone for mobile firm Motorola Mobility. The Google-owned company unveiled its first smartphone powered by an Intel chip, a phone it is hoping will help it stand out from an increasingly crowded market.
It might be a fact that gets lost among the hype of phone launches, but it was Motorola that invented the mobile phone. But much has changed since then.
Apple and Samsung are fighting it out for the top spot in the global smartphone market. Google and Apple are going head to head with each other in a war of the platforms. And Nokia has opted to do a deal with Microsoft, ditching the Symbian system that originally made it so popular.
The Razr i is not only Motorola’s first Intel powered phone, it’s the first handset that contains a 2Ghz Intel processor.
The Razr i is the result of a multi-year, multi-device agreement between Motorola Mobility and Intel, a collaboration that was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The end result is a 2Ghz Atom chip inside Motorola’s new handset, allowing the handset to work speedily at everyday tasks such as switching between apps or operating the camera.
It’s made of aircraft grade aluminium, with a DuPont Kevlar back, with a Gorilla Glass screen. Durable yet lightweight, and according to Motorola, the materials don’t interfere with reception.
Motorola said its research had already delivered positive response for the Razr i, so it is quietly confident that the phone will strike a chord with consumers.
“We believe this is going to be a real success for us,” Motorola’s vice president Andrew Morley said. “We are very literally pushing design to the edge.”
Morley was referring to the phone’s 4.3-inch edge to edge screen, which means Motorola can cram in more screen space while keeping the handset more compact than its rivals.
It’s not all about the screen size however; Motorola has also improved the device’s battery, which will get about 20 hours of mixed usage from a full charge, and it’s been coated with a compound that makes the phone splash-proof.
Tuesday’s event was marked with inevitable iPhone comparisons – the new handset has 15 per cent more screen space than the newly announced iPhone 5, which goes on sale in Ireland on September 28th, and 40 per cent more power than the iPhone 4S. But Morley was keen to get away from comparisons with the iconic Apple phone.
“For us it’s more about the consumer. If we can get something the consumer prefers over and above all the competition, we’ll be successful,” he said. “This is something that we want the consumer to love. So if they love it, we don’t care what Samsung or Apple do.”
But there is one area where Motorola has to pay close attention to Apple. The mobile maker has had some well documented tussles with Apple in the courts in the past few months, with the most recent one ending in a win for Apple in Germany.