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Motorola Razr ‚ now that is thin

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Motorola has released its new smartphone ‚ the Razr – in South Africa. The phone is one of the thinnest in the world, uses a 1.2GHz processor and comes with 1GB of RAM. But that only addresses part of the phone maker’s challenge.

Yesterday, Motorola announced its New RAZR – claimed to be the thinnest smartphone in the world. Boasting a glass face, diamond-cut aluminium edges and a vibrant 4.3-inch display for vivid images, Motorola RAZR also sports Kevlar fibre and Corning Gorilla Glass to help the screen stand up to scratches and scrapes. In fact, every part of Motorola RAZR is protected by a splash-guard coating – even the electrical boards inside.

Inside the phone is 1GB of RAM with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. It runs Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, but will eventually be upgradeable to the new version of Android, called Icecream Cake. The RAZR comes preloaded with the Motorola MotoCast app, allowing for the streaming or downloading of content from a home or work computer straight to the device. The screen sports a wider range of colours than most LCD HDTVs, which makes for high-quality viewing. The cinematic-quality front-facing 720p HD video camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video capture also allows users to create their own movies – enhanced with image-stabilisation technology.

‚With the new Motorola RAZR we have re-imagined an icon,‚ says Megan Nicholas, mobile devices lead, Motorola Mobility South Africa. ‚We partnered with Vodacom to launch the Motorola RAZR, and are confident it will be a hit with South African customers.‚

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck believes the phone can revive Motorola’s fortunes, but there is a big “If.””

‚The new RAZR is the next step in the reinvention of Motorola. They showed with the Attrix that they were still in the game, and the RAZR is evidence that they can score goals as well. But the question is, can they become champions again?‚

At the moment, he says, “”Motorola are the Liverpool of cellphones: on paper they have the best specs, but on the field of play they don’t quite gel. While people suspect that when they click as a team, they may well be unbeatable, there are numerous factors behind success that have little to do with what looks good on paper.””

Goldstuck describes Motorola’s problem as the flip side of the BlackBerry dilemma. “”Although BlackBerry has been the leader in business phones for some years now, their technology is ageing, and they have to convince the market they can seen the future, and then still design phones for that future. Motorola, as with Nokia, have seen the future and are designing phones for it, but have to convince the market that they can be leaders again, as they were at the dawn of the industry. Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple happily pull away from the market, not only inventing the future as they go along, but also embracing it enthusiastically. Motorola share that enthusiasm, but the question is whether they can transfer it to their potential customers. “”It is clear that the battle for the customer will now be won on the branding and positioning front. Motorola need to become cool again in the minds of the customer, so while they have met the technology challenge, they still face a marketing challenge.”” To help address that challenge, Motorola have announced a range of accessories, which are sold separately to compliment the RAZR. They includes a HD Multimedia Station that connects the phone to a HDTV, a mouse and keyboard that pairs up via Bluetooth, and a Smart Controller to remotely control the RAZR ‚ perfect for remote controlling the phone when it is docked.

Motorola also announced its Lapdock 500 Pro, which comes to life when the Razr is docked into it. Once docked, it has the power of a small laptop complete with a 14‚ screen and full keyboard. Motorola has also brought out the Lapdock 100, a similar device, but sporting a 10‚ screen. Also built into the phone is government-grade encryption that protects e-mail, contacts and calendar so you are business ready. Even the strictest of IT managers will be impressed.

Smart Actions, a preloaded app, automates everyday tasks and enables better battery life. It can turn down the ringer when the user arrives at work, change the Bluetooth and GPS settings on arrival at home to save battery life, or send a text to someone if their call is missed. It is clear Motorola have realised that simply launching a new phone is just not enough these days. Consumers don’t merely want a slim and sexy phone, they want a phone that changes how they work and play – and for that the phone needs to be part of a broader ecosystem. The RAZR has taken Motorola deeper into that ecosystem than ever before.

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