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Thread: My Motorola RAZR2 V9 Review

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    My Motorola RAZR2 V9 Review

    I've been using the Motorola RAZR2 V9 Now for 3 weeks during the holidays and wanted to throw up my thoughs on this phone.

    This unit I'm reviewing is a Rogers retail packaged with the appropriate Vision / Rogers software loads.

    Quick Specs
    Off the bat the V9 brings to the table:

    3G WCDMA/HSPA 3.6mbps
    850/1900 3G
    850/900/1800/1900 GSM with EDGE class 12
    Video calling
    Rogers Vision services
    2.2" internal LCD
    2.0" external LCD
    2.0mpix camera with 8x digital zoom
    Connectivity featuring Micro USB, USB 2.0 Full Speed, USB mass storage and version 2.0 Bluetooth wireless technology with Enhanced Data Rate2
    Stereo Bluetooth wireless technology supporting A2DP and AVRCP profiles2
    Independent Voice Recognition


    Reception:
    Some may not like moto's UI
    Some may not like Moto's design
    Some may not even like Moto for the sake that they're moto

    but in all the complaints i've come across rare are the complaints about sound and reception.
    The V9 fares like other moto's before it.

    The V9 was excellent for RF and performance in general as a phone in both 3G and GSM bands.

    I ran the V9 back to back with the K850 that i'm using.
    I noticed that in certain places, like a buddies house in North RIchmond hill, the K850 drops out of 3G and goes to GSM where the V9 will stay on 3G. It's not that the K850 can't see the 3G network because if I manual scan it shows up and i can select it, but usually a few minutes later the K850 will be in GSM again. It's just that the V9 will stay in 3G where available without being a detriment to the call quality.

    The standard assortment of voice tests was done by me on the V9 and it laughed at all of them. Cantina test, Drive test* and general usage the V9 worked flawlessly.

    The phone also never dropped out of 3G like i mentioned earlier in any of my tests or places that I frequent.

    *The drive by test is:
    Yonge and 16th, east on 16th to woodbine. North on woodbine to 19th. West on 19th to Yonge. North on Yonge to Bloomington. East on bloomington to Bayview. South on bayview to Stouffville sideroad. East on Stoufville sideroad to Leslie and Leslie back to the Hill.


    Sound Quality
    The V9 has very good sound quality, it's also a phone that's supporting a new technology from motorola called crystal talk which i will cover on the outgoing segment of this review.

    Incoming
    The call quality and volume of the V9 on the incoming side was fantastic. Nice and loud, and natural sounding. I had the phone set at 4/7 volume and found that sufficient which is by far a rarity these days. usually i have to have them cranked @ max. When I needed that burst of volume 7/7 was almost painfully loud, but good to have when needed.

    Outgoing
    The outgoing call quality was fantastic. a few of my callers even commented on how good i sounded and had asked if I was at home or in a quiet room cause they could really only hear me.

    speakerphone
    The V9 has a speakerphone as most hones these days. It's half decent and you're able to have a conversation on it in a quiet enviroment but anything else it becomes a seldom used feature. You'll probably want to use it in regular mode anyway for crystal talk on your outgoing calls.

    Crystal Talk
    The V9 employs a new technology from motorola which actually works. Usually these terms and names are fantastic creations of marketing teams but are flash in the pan tactics. The reality of the situation is that Crystal Talk delivers and isn't just a gimmick. The technology works so much so, Moto may even want to consider a different marketing push or direction to make sure that this feature is talked about more. The simple fact is that the crystal talk technology on the V9 works well. I had several conversations with several friends/clients in loud enviroments and not once did any of them say "what?" So intrigued by this I went so far as to test it out while driving 100+ KM/H in my car with both windows down (yes, it's winter, yes it's cold!) and still, nobody complained.

    I even turned up the music to a level where if someone was sitting in my car, i'd be yelling over the music. They could hear the music, but more importantly they could hear me.

    This Crystal Talk is simply amazing and on this fact alone if you're looking for a phone, not a camera, music player, dishwasher, Jiffy lube or other such gadgets, the V9 will deliver. On top of that it actually has a music player and camera to, if you wanted it

    Misc
    The Moto Missed call beep, Loved and hated equally has under gone a revision.
    You can disable it. Out of the box the V9 comes with the V9 call beep disabled, but you can enable it, or Vibe, if you liked the feature.

    I'd like to thank bfksc for pointing this out to me.

    Camera / Vision

    Camera
    The V9 features a 2.0Mpix camera. It's a fixed focus camera which can be used in several resolutions.

    Noting really groundbreaking here to be honest. You can snap pics, and transfer them off to your pc via Bluetooth or a the MicroUSB connection via virtual drive or Moto phone tools.

    The can takes a half decent pic in bright ideal conditions, and a so so picture in worse conditions. the benefit here of the camera is the fact that if you're into MMS, it'll take an ok shot, and send lightning quick via HSPA.

    Also, because of HSPA's connectivity you can actually take a pic on the V9, and send it via MMS while on the phone since you can browse and talk at the same time. The called person can also receive the pic as long as they're on an appropriate 3G handset with MMS settings in place, of course.


    at anyrate, here's a few pics i took with the cam for your viewing pleaure. One during the day, and one at night.







    Vision
    The V9 is also a lead phone for this quarter for Vision services.
    the price of the phone is $199.99 once you factor in the $100.00 bill credit for the appropriate vision package add on, like the $5.00 (10-5 credit) ul video calling and 10 meg data package.

    Being that the V9 has such a huge internal screen that is QVGA it really is a great Vision device. MobileTV on the unit worked flawlessly, and image quality was good. Volume of the TV programming on the external speaker was also decent and actually useable.

    Video calling
    Being a Vision phone the V9 also features video calling.
    First off is the obvious lack of an internal camera. Personally I have no issue with this, some have had issues with this. To be honest, I prefer the V9's implementation for Video calling. It's logical. You close the phone and the camera points are your smiley face. You open the phone and the camera automatically inverts the image and points at what you're looking at. It's a simple, physical implementation that i like. You're not fussing around in menu's to enable which camera you want to use at any moment.

    for those of you who haven't gotten into a Rogers to see a Video call display think Webcame gone mobile. The benefit of video calling is that, at the time of writing this review, it will not deduct minutes from your bucket. So you can have a 2 hour video call at 11:00am during the day and the only limitations you'd have to worry about would be 3G coverage and battery life.

    might as well grab it. Even if you don't want the Vidion calling you still get 10 megs of data to use at your discretion. Even if you cancel you'll pay the $100.00 DECF cancellation fee, which is the discount you'll receive on the hardware anyway.

    Connectivity
    The V9 has your usual assortment of connectivity options as most phones these days.

    MicroUSB
    fresh out the gate the V9 drops the miniUSB connector for the MicroUSB flavour. This is basically one of the first phones coming down the pipe from all mobile manufacturers to ratify connectors and chargers. the Industry is moving towards single connectors and MicroUSB will be it.

    In the V9 box Motorola includes a MicroUSB cable as well as the MicroUSB home charger. FOr those of you with miniUSB car chargers, there is an adaptor included as well to convert a miniUSB to MicroUSB connector so your investment in car lighter adaptors is saved, for now.

    Sync
    the V9 will sync with microsoft outlook. contacts, notes, calendars, contacts. The fly in the ointment though is that Motorla / Rogers do not include the required Motorla phone tools needed to do the sync so you'll have to purchase it, at an additional cost to you.

    External Memory
    The V9 supports microSD cards.
    The V9 is also on the current Rogers memory promo and with a 3 year activation or upgrade will net you a free 2 gig card.
    with the memory card in place you can see the phone as an external drive on a PC and load / unload your media with USB 2.0 ease.






    Aesthetics

    The Original RAZR set the world on fire with it's sleek look and no nonsense style. The V9 sucessfully follows the original V3 and makes it so much better. Huge 2.0" external LCD is the first thing that grabs your attention. It's HUGE, and it's fantastic. The look of the phone is business classic and definately imparts a feeling of quality. The Hinge is retooled and is very strong. So much so, Motorola reps have a habit of placing the phone keys down, while open, and hammering the phone with their fist to show the durability of the hinge and it's design. You'll probably shatter the screens long before the hinge were to fail.













    Internal Screen
    The internal screen is georgeous. It's definately a looker. Huge 2.2" with 262k colour saturation and QVGA resolution of 320x240. it's very easy to see and read.



    External Screen
    The external screen is 2.0' QVGA unit and is the screen you'll be using for Video calls or for the music player. When you're playing music the external screen becomes touch sensitive on the bottom portion to allow you to play / pause your music as well as skip tracks. Being that it's 2.0" picture callid is also quite large and usefull and will display your wallpaper that you have internally, correctly. Since the screens are the same size.

    Keypad
    Bit of a mixed bag here.
    The keys themselves press nicely, however there is a belief that is running around that the keypad of the V8 razr is the same as the V9 razr. What i'm trying to say here is that the V8 RAZR's keys are straight across, where the V9's keys have a curve to them. The theory is that because of this curvature in the keys you're not actually hitting the contact correctly. I myself never had this issue, but wanted to touch base on the issue regardless as some of you may, or may not have the same issue. You'd really have to try it for yourself and make your own decision.

    for my own personal use the keys were decent, and i had no issues texting. I missed the odd keypress here and there but i wasn't dropping key presses like some of the other phones i've used in my years as a phone guy.






    The Keys themselves lit up nicely, and are very easily seen in low light situations



    The Side keys on the V9 also feature a tactile feedback in that when press them the vibe motor fires quickly giving you an indication that the key has been pressed sucessfully. This same feedback is also provided when you turn the phone on and off.

    OS
    The OS on the V9 is Moto's synergy OS, and is not the Linux OS that's on the V8. Rumours are that Linux and HSPA didn't get along so they decided to go with Synergy on the V9.

    The reality of the situation is that the V9 has a 500mhz processor so it pulls synergy along with no issues at all. While I'd like to see the Linux OS on the phone, the horsepower increase in the V9 improves synergy greatly.

    Battery
    The Battery life on the V9 is like most 3G phones.. Not that great.
    I got a half day with the screen set to 3/6 brightness. A bit more if you set it to 0/6 but nothing major. It's pretty straightforward.. 2 huge screens, 1 battery, 3G.... disaster!

    with heavy useage the V9 was playing the low battery warning by 4pm requiring a top up at the store before heading out for the evening.

    the Phone performed better on GSM, understandably.
    However it's worth mentioning that out of the Box the V9 does not have the ability to select GSM. The phone had to be seem edited to enable GSM/3G selection. I'd like to thank Keiri in the Motrola forum primarily, for assisting me with this. Once the seem was done you'll have GSM 850/1900 900/1800 and WCDMA 850/1900 for manual selection as well as Auto which is default and all you'll get with the V9 un-seemed.

    SMS
    The V9 is running iTap. however, itap has come a long way and is much improved. Like SE T9, the V9 has the space key on * and not 0. As a result of this you can save alpha numeric strings into your dictionary like V9, K850, T4H, etc etc etc. I prefer this anyday to phones that use 0 for the space key. * or # works fine and the alphanumeric ability is something i use a lot.

    with the new 500Mhz processor the V9 doesn't lag at all in the SMS department. Gone are the days of me waiting for the phone to catch up to what I was writing. Now it's right there, waiting and flashing it's cursor happily back at me.


    PRO's
    *2 Huge fantastic screens
    *Crystal talk tech that more then works
    *Excellent fit and finish
    *Corporate no nonsense look
    *Video calling easy to use
    *Vision services work amazingly well
    *Nice tactile vibe when side buttons pressed / powered on - off
    *2 gig mem card free on memory promo
    *MicroUSB adaptor included
    *Nice big keys
    *Excellent lit keys for nighttime usage
    *Earpiece Volume
    *Touch sensitive outer LCD for Music
    *ability to turn off moto beep for missed calls

    CON's
    *weak battery life on 3G
    *So So Camera
    *Inability to select band out of the box
    *Price a bit high
    *No Motorola phone tools in the box
    Last edited by Treatz; 01-02-2008 at 03:09 PM.

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    Wirelessly posted (Mad Seeg HSDPA: MOT-MOTORAZRV9/9C.14.1CR6 BER2.2 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; 14003262) Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 Opera 8.00 [en] UP.Link/6.2.3.15.0)

    thats a pro review. right on the money.
    I put the "HO" back in "HOFO"

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    Very good review. I found most of the same things on my v9 - but mine is a CDMA..

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    If anyone looking for Crystal Talk technology and doesn't want to spend too much money on the V8 or V9.. SLVR L9 also has the Crystal Talk technology (upgraded version of SLVR L7)
    Samsung Focus
    OS Version: 7.10.8773.98


    My Nokia 5140b Review

    My HoFo Feedbacks

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    What about 2 and 3-digit speed dialing capability?

    Thanks! Great review.............I want one!!

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    The review makes me want one too.....until I think about the 3 times i've actually checked them out in store and saw how gigantic they are when opened.

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    How does it compare to the RAZR V3xx ?
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    Great professional review thank you!

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    So what's the battery life like when seem edited and forced to GSM only (non 3G) mode? I'm on the fence about the V9....it seems like a compelling upgrade but the crap battery life on 3G pretty much sinks it for me.

    A phone that can barely last a day on a charge just doesn't cut it no matter how great the rest of its features are...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treatz



    great camera or amazing model?

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck
    How does it compare to the RAZR V3xx ?
    I had a v3xx and the v9 is the direct successor to the v3xx. It is very much a vast improvement over the v3xx save for battery life. I do like the v3xx, but the v9 is definitely better. Unless you are with Cingular/AT&T, that's pretty much the only firmware you can get for the v3xx, which means you could lose out on certain features that take advantage of the 3G access. (And yes, there is an international version of the v3xx, but using that firmware will disable the 850/1900 3G bands, so what's the point of the v3xx without 3G?)

    Anyway, I recommend the v9.

  12. #12
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    Excellent review. Thanks.

    FIDO $40/4GB BYOD
    PUBLIC $38/4GB BYOD
    WIND $15 AITF unlimited data (10GB full speed)


    All my posts are my own opinion only and not necessarily that of any of my employers, past or present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by faibs
    Quote Originally Posted by Treatz



    great camera or amazing model?
    Headquarters located!

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    Cool - I had a V3xx for a while, and it was an excellent phone.
    The only thing I'd like, besides a lower price, is the FTS screen (FEM mode).

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    I like the design and voice quality, but I think I would go for the V8 instead.

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