Monday, February 20, 2006

All RAZRs Pink, Black, Silver and Grey

The hottest cell phones right now are the Motorola RAZR designs. Hottest of the hot is fittingly the Pink RAZR. So what's behind this love affair with the Motorola RAZRs?

The V3 RAZR, nicknamed the "Razor", was introduced as a unique advance in technology. The most startling breakthrough comes from the anodized cast aluminum shell. Most cell phones have cases, or shells, made of high impact plastic. They are also about an inch thick. By using aircraft grade aluminum, the shell can be made much thinner and still retain its rigidity and resistance to breakage.

Another component of cell phones that adds to the thickness of the case is the keyboard. You need the keys to be as minimal as possible but still be easy to push reliably. The Motorola RAZR takes a new approach to the design of the keyboard. You can tell just by looking at it that these keys aren't the usual little pushbuttons. In fact, the entire keyboard is a chemically etched film that is ultra thin compared to individual buttons. Combine this thin switch matrix with the aluminum chassis and you have a cell phone that is only 0.5 inches thick.

The original Motorola V3 RAZR is in a silver colored anodized aluminum case and runs on the Cingular Wireless network. In addition to its slim profile, the razor is equipped with a VGA quality digital camera that includes 4x digital zoom, a large 2.2 inch color main display to show those photos, ability to view MPEG4 streaming video, speakerphone, voice driven menus and long range Bluetooth communications. Mobile Web browsing, text messaging, multimedia messaging and instant messaging capability are all built-in.

The Motorola V3 RAZR cell phone has quad band GSM network capability. GSM is the cellular network most available outside of the United States, giving the RAZR worldwide operational capability.

When the Razor was redesigned to work on the Verizon Wireless network, it was also upgraded to the V3c. Verizon uses a cellular network with a different protocol called CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access. Basically this is an all-digital system that allows cell phones to share channels by using different digital codes to distinguish them. Verizon also assigns some channels to support broadband data using a technology called EV-DO or Evolution Data Only. This odd sounding acronym supports a powerful wireless data network that serves broadband Internet at burst speeds up to 2.4 Mbps and typical downloads at 700 Kbps or so. That's equal to or better than many wireline DSL and Cable Internet services.

Verizon's big interest in deploying its EV-DO network is to enable video on demand for your cell phone. Their VCAST service lets you download news, weather, sports and music video shows to your Motorola RAZR V3c. It's a little like having TV shows available on a cell phone. This is the "3G" future of mobile devices that will also be Internet, video, music and voice communications phones.

Another upgrade to the Motorola RAZR V3 when it became the V3c is an improved digital camera. VGA quality cameras, like the one in the original RAZR and RAZR Black, are great for taking snapshots and short video clips that will be viewed primarily on the camera or sent to friends to view on their cameras or computers. The V3c has a 1.3 Megapixel camera that improves picture resolution to the point where you can get decent prints from your camera phone photos. So who needs a separate digital camera anymore?

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