The 1.2-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions (1,224x768, 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120), but other options are limited to an 8X zoom, six color effects, five exposure settings, and a self-timer. We were hoping for a bit more from a megapixel camera, especially since you get five shutter sound choices besides a silent mode. The camcorder shoots MPEG-4 clips in two resolutions (176x144 and 128x96) with sound and a 4X zoom. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at a few seconds; otherwise you can shoot as long as the available memory permits. Photo quality was about what we expected for a megapixel shooter. Colors and objects were distinct, but brighter hues were a little washed out.
You can personalize the Razr V3i with a variety of wallpapers, screensavers, and color themes, along with the option to download more via the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. You can get more ring tones, too, as the V3i has a separate, generic Motorola-designed MP3 player that supports MP3 files. You can use stored tracks as ring tones, but since this second player isn't connected to the iTunes player in any way, you can't transfer files back and forth. You can store tracks on the Micro SD card or on the phone itself. As for games, demo versions of BlockBreaker Deluxe, Asphalt Urban GT, and Tetris are included, and but you'll have to buy the full versions. And as always, other Java (J2ME) titles are available for purchase.
We tested the quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900; GPRS) Razr V3i world phone in San Francisco using Cingular's service. Call quality was acceptable but we noticed voices sounded a little fuzzy at times. Also, though we had no interference from other electronic devices, some static crept in on a few occasions. And as with previous Razrs, the volume was a bit low. On their end, callers said we sounded fine and they didn't report significant problems. What's more, they said they could hear us clearly, and we had no problems being understood by a voice response system when calling on a busy street. Speakerphone calls were a bit muffled but nothing too bothersome. We were able to connect to the Plantronics Explorer 320 Bluetooth headset, and though volume was a bit low, voices were clear. And though GPRS support is great, a phone like this really deserves EDGE compatibility.
As a music player, the Razr V3i is imperfect, though its use of iTunes at least makes the experience user-friendly. When we connected the phone to our computer, iTunes immediately recognized it and displayed a screen that lets you adjust the settings and add content; an Autofill button gives you the option of letting iTunes randomly fill up the phone. We added about 400MB of music, and it took at least 20 minutes to transfer it all; that's very slow for USB 2.0. Once we had tracks on the V3i, navigating around the onboard iTunes interface was also slow going, and songs sometimes took several seconds to start up when we manually skipped or selected tracks. Also, although you can adjust the volume and pause music while the phone is closed, there's no way to skip tracks unless it's open. On the plus side, tunes sounded rich and clear through the included headphones (and Motorola even supplies an adapter for standard headphones), and the built-in speaker offers a simple way to share music on the go. All in all, the V3i's music-playing capability is a nice extra, but it's no substitute for a stand-alone MP3 player.
The Motorola Razr V3i has a rated talk time of six hours and a promised standby time of 12 days. The Razr V3i went beyond 8 hours of talk time in our tests, for a surprising result of 8 hours and 20 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests the V3i has a digital SAR rating of watts per kilogram.
CNET associate editor Jasmine France contributed to the performance analysis.
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