Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Verizon Razr V3M

My wife's old Motorola V400 (cingular) cellphone's charging circuit died over Thanksgiving. It wasn't the charger...the phone itself just wouldn't recognize that a charger was attached. Well, it was over 3 years old, I suppose.

Seizing the opportunity to dump Cingular (and it's obnoxious GSM audio interference) we picked up a pair of Razrs through Verizon's website for $50 on Black Friday. The phones arrived a few days later, I thought I'd share some early impressions...
  1. Yay! No more dit-dit-dit, dit-dit-dit, dit-dit-dit interference!
  2. Yay! Good reception at work, both me and the wife!
  3. Boo! Verizon really cripples the OS of the phone to drive you to buy Get it Now crap. Emailing and web surfing is very hard to do.
  4. Boo! The UI is nowhere near as good as the V400's. Not sure if that's a Verizon thing or whether Motorola screwed up, but it's bloody hell annoying. Texting is much harder.
  5. Boo! Web surfing is very limited; chews up minutes unless you're on nights & weekends
  6. Yay! Call quality is definitely better...more signal and generally fewer lost calls so far.
  7. Yay! WE HAVE SIDETONE!!! YAY! YAY! YAY! My wife & I aren't shouting into the phone because we can't hear ourselves anymore!
  8. Yay! Phone is definitely slimmer and more comfortable in the pocket. This is a big deal for me, since now I can leave my phone set to "vibrate" instead of "ring" all the time. A V400 on vibrate is useless when you have to carry it in a belt pouch (I couldn't find a holster that lasted more than a few months; fragile POS's).
  9. Meh! Voice dialling. I liked the V400's method of letting you record a phrase and assigning it to a number. The Razr literally just reads your voice, but that means you have to know how to pronounce (or how the Razr pronounces) every name in your phone book...first and last.
  10. Meh! Camera. It's definitely better than the V400, but at 1 megapixel it's not really "great" either. I don't really use the phone for camera things, though.
  11. Not tried. MP3 player. This appears to be really crippled by Verizon as well, but supposedly the Razr makes a decent MP3 player if you add a 1GB (max) Micro SD card. It's no iPod though.
  12. Not tried. Bluetooth wireless high speed modem for your laptop. Looking forward to trying this out over Christmas with the inlaws in Dallas.
  13. Yay! Bluetooth headset. The teeny little Jabra headset Verizon tossed in for free actually works surprisingly well. It's fairly comfortable, has decent talk time, is reasonably loud, has a good mic, and yet is really tiny. It was a little hard to set up but not too bad...once I got it working it works fine. I don't think I'll ever use it all that much but for free it's a great deal. :-)
  14. Boo! Games. Not impressive so far, but my wife uses them a lot more than me. We'll see what she thinks in a few weeks.

I'm planning on trying some SEEM hacks pretty soon with this bugger, seeing if I can get around the Verizon crippling. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Final judgement? As of now it seems like the Razr is a superior phone but as an all-around platform (which most cellphones are these days) it's kinda lacking. Since I really need it for a phone more than anything else, I guess that gets the job done!

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