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Mot’s Linux-based RAZR2 V8 previewed

Aug 17, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Motorola's Linux-based Razr2 V8 is “one of the most beautiful phones ever released,” enthuses OSNews editor Eugenia Loli-Queru in an in-depth, hands-on preview. However, the phone's user interface still can't compete with Nokia's S60 and touchscreen-based phone UIs, she suggests.

Loli-Queru purchased her review phone for $491 from PureMobile. The phone appears to be a Hong Kong version likely to have a different interface than models expected to ship (“this summer,” according to Motorola) from major U.S. carriers. Loli-Queru seems to think T-Mobile will be first to offer the Razr2 V8.

Calling the Razr2's industrial design “Razr on steroids,” Loli-Queru raves about the phone's size, shape, heft, and sturdiness. She also praises reception, voice quality, battery life, Bluetooth throughput, the bundled headset, the camera's low-light capabilities, and the music player's external controls and screen.

She's less happy with the phone's asymmetrical microphone placement, microUSB rather than more widely available miniUSB port, lack of user-expandable storage, and poor video recording and playback capabilities. The phone also gets pretty hot after about 10 minutes, she observes.

The Razr2 is based on Motorola's new MotoMAGX platform, heavily promoted at the LinuxWorld Expo tradeshow earlier this month. Based on a 2.6.10 kernel, the stack is expected to support native Linux applications through a MotoDev tools upgrade due early next year. However, Loli-Queru fears that MotoMAGX's “native” Linux apps will have a limited API (application programming interface) that could hamstring developers.

Despite changes to the kernel and libraries, the user interface is little different than earlier Motorola Linux-based phones, she notes, with only the camera application seeing major changes. Although much better than the “old” Moto Razr interface, the user experience offered by the Razr2 model falls short of Nokia's S60 and touchscreen phones, she concludes.

Her full review, which includes lots of photos, can be found here.

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