Motorola RAZR M reviewed: the “M” is for “Mini”

Packing in a 4.3 inch screen and 4G speeds, the RAZR M is a smaller Android smartphone for people who don’t want a big screen device, but still desire the quality and features found in those bigger premium devices. So if you have smaller hands, or hate the feel of a big device in your pocket, you’ll be at home here.


The second of Motorola’s 4G phones to hit Australia, the M continues the RAZR name by bringing the same design, high quality materials, and close to stock Google operating system, while partnering it with a smaller screen.

Dropping down from its bigger 4.7 inch brother, the RAZR M takes a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen and partners it with a 960×540 qHD display, covered in the second generation of Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. The screen runs from edge-to-edge on the side of the handset, which makes the screen appear as if it dominates the phone altogether.

Motorola has even kept some of the high end materials as its HD brother, retaining the Kevlar fibre on the back, and a degree of splash-protection on the handset.

Inside the phone, you’ll find a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB RAM. In fact, it’s the same set of specs Motorola has used in the RAZR HD, with the exception of the storage amount, which sits at 8GB internal here, plus the microSD slot, of course.

Connectivity is pretty much identical to the RAZR HD, too, with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi operating on dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, Near-Field Communication support, GPS, and of course, that nifty 4G LTE support for Telstra’s own high-speed network.

Multimedia is also near identical, with an 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, while the front-facing camera has been cut down from a 1.3 megapixel model to VGA, so less impressive self-portrait stills are capable here.

While Motorola is owned by Google, it’s not the latest version of Android that you’ll find here, with Ice Cream Sandwich, also known as Android 4.0, used here. The good news is Jelly Bean (4.1) is coming, though Motorola hasn’t said when.

On paper, it sounds like the M in the RAZR M name stands for “mini,” with very similar internals, but it does have a key difference outside of the reduced screen size, and that’s mainly from the battery.

With a smaller screen size, we’re not surprised the battery has been cut down in size, but there’s a change in 500mAh here, with this phone holding a 2000mAh compared to the 2500mAh in the HD.

Not too many buttons occupy the phone, as per normal with smartphones these days, and on the RAZR M, you’ll find a power button and volume rocker on the right side, while all soft buttons – back, home, task manager – are part of the operating system, as per Google’s design of the latest Android OS.

Over in the ports department, there are only two here, with a lone 3.5mm headset jack sitting at the top of the handset, while a microUSB is on the left side. A flap for the microSIM and microSD is also on the left, making it easier to open the slots than with the SIM ejector port tool that was necessary on the HD.