Monday, May 14, 2007

MOTORAZR maxx Ve Takes RAZR to the Max

Motorola's RAZR phone line unquestionably set a new standard for business and personal cell phones. Now a new design looks to take the crown and become THE standard for high technology and advanced styling. It is the MOTORAZR maxx Ve for Verizon Wireless. It might also be called "razor phone, the next generation."

What really set the RAZR design apart when it debuted was the slim profile vs the chunky feel of other flip-phones. Also its light weight and technical features. It was a groundbreaking product in its day, but getting a little long in the tooth. That slim profile is now being matched by other phones and even PDA style mobile devices. The high-tech VGA camera is now about as exciting as a VGA computer monitor. The RAZR is still extremely popular and a great bargain. To be an early adopter once set you back several hundred dollars. Now most RAZR models are offered free with new cellular service plans. The RAZR may no longer be pushing the limits of affordability, but it's also no longer pushing the limits on mobile technology.

What the new generation razor phone offers is a similar size package and upgraded features, but without the extreme sticker shock of the RAZR V3 introduction. Let's look at what's changed and what hasn't. One spec that jumps out immediately is the performance of the digital camera. The original 640x480 resolution VGA digital camera has been replaced by a 2.0 Megapixel camera offering 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution maximum. That's easily good enough to print and may well obsolete much of the need to tote a separate digital camera just for snapshots. This camera has autofocus, a 4x digital zoom, and flash. It will also work in camcorder mode with a video capture time limited only by available memory. A 60 MB memory is built-in. Expandable memory is by MicroSD/Transflash format plug-in memory card.

Bluetooth wireless capability has been expanded. Of course you can still use a clip-on Bluetooth headset to make and receive phone calls. But the MOTORAZR maxx Ve also supports A2DP which allows you to stream stereo music to and from compatible devices. The multimedia capabilities are further enhanced by support for streaming multimedia, such as on-demand TV and music, with Verizon's VCAST services. You can download and save songs from the VCAST music store as well. I should note that this incarnation of the MOTORAZR maxx is labeled Ve, which stands for Verizon. The phone is designed for Verizon's Wireless service and add-on plans. In additional to multimedia, you can get GPS turn-by-turn directions with VZ Navigator as an additional Verizon service.

The RAZR replacement sports larger color displays both inside and out, a larger phone book, parental controls, advanced voice activated dialing, and other upgrades. But breathe easy. The cool black clamshell is only marginally larger than the RAZR models it replaces. Even the slim side profile has grown from 0.54 to just 0.59 inches. Weight is up a fraction of an ounce from 3.35 to 3.88 ounces. You can upgrade to the new technology without having to give up the size and weight advantages that attracted you to the RAZR in the first place.

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