The RAZR-i is the odd man out in a sea of Android devices. It doesn’t subscribe to the quad-core trend. Instead it runs a single-core processor at a whopping 2Ghz, and guess what? That processor is an Intel Atom.
Before we get down to the good, let’s look at the design (face it, if it’s ugly, no one’s going to buy it). The RAZR-i is good. In terms of looks, it’s got the Motorola’s sharp, industrial style written all over it. The back plate, just below the 8MP snapper, is Kevlar (that’s what they use to make bulletproof vests). It probably won’t stop any bullets coming your way, but the body and the glass screen results in a decidedly premium feel similar to that of the iPhone 5. That’s a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen running a very likeable Android skin. No more MotoBlur. The horrible UI of Motorola’s previous Android devices has been (thankfully) buried, and the new one’s actually a pleasure to use. Motorola’s offering is decidedly more user-friendly than the alternatives – but this being Android, you can chuck it out and replace it with something wonkier instead. All in all – a very useable, memorable design and competitive hardware. After all, there’s only so much you can do with touchscreens.
The meat of the phone, which is what makes it stand out in headlines, is the 2 Ghz Intel chip. Intel is NOT a major player in the smartphone market. Their x86 archictecture has historically been swamped by the more power-efficient ARM processors churned out by the likes of TI, Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia. The Atom processor was pretty much a netbook-only failure – remember the first flood of netbooks in Singer and Abans showrooms? Half the price of a low-end laptop, a third of the performance, and battery life still sucked. Tabs made better use of Intel.
Stuff changed for Intel in April 2012, when Lava released an Intel-powered phone that competed very well in performance and battery life. Since then, Intel has been slowly expanding into the smartphone market. Their partnership with Google is helping. The chip in the RAZR-i, a Atom Z2460 (with HyperThreading), has already been used to good effect in a few other phones. Now that Motorola and Intel have grabbed headlines, we’re sure to see more Intel phones in the future.