"Best Phone Ever!"5.0 starson by Carpenter-TG
Pros: + Battery 3-hour phone calls for work and other high-demand applications with no problems
+ Customizable 5 home screens
+ Photos taken outside are incredible. Indoor photos not so much
+ Unit feels solid and robust
Cons: - The screen burn-in and camera quality are my only complaints
Summary: I've had this phone for about 4 months now (upgraded from a Blackberry Tour), and I must say, the functionality is incredible. Let's start off with some of the basic concerns:Edit:
Battery: Never had an issue with battery life. I'm a rather "light" to "medium" user, but I've participated in 3-hour phone calls for work and other high-demand applications with no problems. Standby life is extraordinary - unplugged it from the charger at 9 a.m. one Saturday but didn't use it at all. Went to bed at midnight, and the battery was at 87%. Has a built-in Task Manager app so you can see which applications are draining your battery. Also includes "Smart Actions" that monitors battery life and makes adjustments accordingly (e.g., by dimming the display screen).
Connectivity & call quality: I live in a rural area (3G coverage only), but have never been without service and never dropped a call (on my Blackberry and other devices, it would drop calls along roads that ventured into "dead zones" within the county). I haven't had that issue since upgrading. When I go to town, it automatically connects to 4G service, and when it detects a wifi signal (either from my own home network or public wifi), it also connects. Call volume and clarity, both ear and speaker, are excellent; I've never had issues with others not being able to understand me, even while outside on windy days.
GUI: Love the customizable 5 home screens - the apps I use most frequently are only a couple swipes away (no hunting through menus to find your music player or an email). You can have a home screen dedicated to music, one for social networking, one for pics & videos, and one for (of course) the telephone and contacts.
Touch screen: Upgrading from the QWERTY keyboard on the Blackberry, I was skeptical about the touch screen (big, beefy "guy" fingers). I honestly have had no issue with it. It is very responsive, and I have no issues selecting icons. Besides, for every app that requires text entry (email, web search, text, etc.), it has a voice command feature. Additionally, the screen is very bright and vivid, even at the lowest brightness setting. A word of warning -- DO NOT use a privacy screen with this phone!!! Privacy screens make the display very dim, especially while outside (and forget it if you're wearing sunglasses). The dim display will compell you to turn your display brightness to maximum to see through the privacy screen. This can cause screen burn-in, and you'll notice ghostly images of your home screen icons forever.
Operating system: I've read a few reviews about crashes & freezing, but this hasn't been a problem for me. I try to remember to shut the phone down weekly (you have to treat the phone like a computer & can't leave it on ALL the time!)... I've had a couple instances of the system locking up, but after a force reboot (hold power button & down volume button for 5 seconds), the system restarts just fine. Both internal data and SD data can be accessed easily via the My Files app on the phone or via Windows Explorer. I use the phone as an external hard drive for work... except the phone connects to my desktop quicker than my external hard drive... There is also a Motocast app so I can access any file (music, pic, video, Microsoft Office, etc.)that is on my PC via the phone (as long as the PC is on & has an internet connection). I can also print a document or email from the phone to my home printer (or work printer once set up).
Camera: Photos taken outside are incredible. Indoor photos not so much. My primary complaint with the camera is there is no way (that I've discovered) to change image resolution. That photo you took to put on FaceBook winds up being 2 megabytes. Indoor photos can be grainy and out of focus. I have not experimented with the front-facing camera yet...
Apps: Countless free apps available out there for the things not already on the phone. It's just a matter of finding the app that works best for you. For example, there are two music player apps preloaded on the phone, but I prefer the functionality of a third party music app. Several GPS apps (Goodbye, Garmin!), Social Localization, You Tube, Kindle & Google Books preinstalled, etc. etc. etc. And for every app that's already on the phone, there are two or three alternatives available from the Play store (you're not stuck using Verizon Navigator, Verizon Videos, Vcast ringtones, etc.).
Strength: Unit feels solid and robust; I've dropped it a couple of times, but there's not even a scratch on it. The battery compartment is sealed, so you don't have to worry about the phone flying one way and the battery going the other if you drop it. The display glass feels very firm and does not deflect - pushing on some touch screens, the screen tends to yield under finger pressure and you can see pixel discoloration where your finger is. The screen on the Razr does not do this and seems to say, "Your finger ain't got nothing on my screen." After 4 months, aside from my fingerprints, the phone still looks brand new.
In summary, this is a very powerful phone that exceeded my expectations and meets most of my needs (it can start my car, but it won't wash it for me...) I'm discovering more functionality and features every day, even after 4 months. The screen burn-in and camera quality are my only complaints, but they don't come close to eclipsing the other qualities of the device.
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Thank for reading, and I hope this review is helpful.
Updated on Dec 29, 2013
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