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Windows Phone: How the first Razr made Motorola cool all over again – CNET

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The conventional Razr V3: A sleek skinny raze that modified mobile phone raze and Motorola.

Angela Lang/CNET

In Can also 2006, an on a standard basis CNET colleague and I interviewed Ed Zander, Motorola’s CEO at the time. The normal Razr V3 became as soon as two years frail, and Moto became as soon as tranquil riding a wave of pleasure from the radically skinny phone. It had expanded to other carriers previous Cingular and the firm had presented a 2d-gen model, the Razr V3x.

In between questions about Apple’s then-rumored smartphone (the iPhone would finally debut the following January) and the firm’s plans for the soon-be-launched Motorola Q, I requested Zander what the V3’s success had intended to the firm that pioneered the mobile phone. Though I anticipated him to boast about the Razr’s stratospheric sales, he had a more considerate acknowledge as a replace. The Razr, he stated, had a mammoth originate on Motorola internally. As Zander build aside it, the phone made Moto workers realize the firm “might possibly well doubtless very successfully be cool all over again.”

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Motorola Razr is futuristic and familiar


His acknowledge might possibly well doubtless sound like hyperbole, but it in actual fact in actuality wasn’t. In the 2 years previous to the Razr V3, Moto became as soon as producing a sequence of solid, true telephones, but it in actual fact became as soon as running within the again of rivals such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson in designing hits. Its final “it” phone, the swiveling V70, had gone on sale in 2002. The Razr gave the firm a mighty-wanted charge.

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Motorola, now owned by Chinese user electronics big Lenovo, will get one other likelihood to be cool all over again. Very corresponding to it did within the early 2000s, Motorola finds itself largely skipped over due to its portfolio of funds-friendly, but low-profile, telephones. However the sleek Razr, which marries that chic clamshell raze with a foldable point out — CNET reviewer Jessica Dolcourt describes it as “nostalgic, with a interesting futuristic edge” — is a courageous pass from a firm that hasn’t attempted many courageous strikes in most fresh years. (Roger Cheng has the fat story on the sleek Razr’s introduction.)

“The ambiance at Motorola now is invigorating,” stated Mike Jahnke, world industrial designer at Motorola, who became as soon as absorbing with both the sleek and sleek Razrs. 

Windows Phone: Don’t underestimate the Razr

The sleek Razr launches at a time when skeptics are questioning whether or no longer we even need foldable telephones. It didn’t reduction that the Samsung Galaxy Fold suffered from early defects and Huawei delayed the initiating of its Mate X phone. No topic being shown off in February, the Mate X became as soon as most intriguing merely launched final month. 

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The sleek Razr: Mute skinny, but foldable

James Martin/CNET

But it’ll be too early to write down off foldables — and the sleek Razr.

As I’ve written before, I at the commence failed to take merely how in trend the sleek Razr might possibly well doubtless be. It became as soon as most intriguing when I held it in my hands that I realized how modern it became as soon as — an unbelievably skinny raze that we might possibly well doubtless by no technique viewed before. Motorola showed how small a flip phone might possibly well doubtless very successfully be with the Startac eight years earlier, but the Razr made it even smaller. When it seemed in retail outlets, folk queued to take it — a sure signal that Motorola became as soon as cool all over again.

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There had been a form of variations and colours of the sleek Razr.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Opponents swiftly noticed the skinny phone pattern and presented Razr lookalikes.  Sanyo (be acutely conscious that title?) had in actual fact one of many closest Razr copies with 2006’s Katana. On hand in numerous colours, it moreover became as soon as half of an crawl thick and had a slippery flat keypad with a “chin” merely below. But it became as soon as Samsung that went all in on skinny, and in more than one forms. Its slim telephones ranged from the MM-A900 flip phone to the D900 and U650 sliders to the X820 and T519 candybar designs. Samsung even competed with itself to attain the “world’s thinnest phone.” After a while all of them blurred into each other and the announcement of 1 other “thinner than ever phone” sparked little buzz.

Windows Phone: Reduction in a rut

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The Slvr L9 gave the influence of a Razr that had been hammered flat.


The effort with a wave of success, though, is that potentialities are you’ll well doubtless most intriguing breeze it for see you later. And that’s the reason merely what Motorola did. For a while it perceived to work. The Razr V3 exploded into a fat rainbow of colours (a colossal debate again then became as soon as which crimson Razr became as soon as the actual crimson Razr), and Moto tailored the skinny profile into other designs, each with a vowel-losing title. There became as soon as the Krzr flip phone, candybar Slvr, slider Rizr and loads of other Razr updates like the V3xx and the Razr Maxx Ve (no relation to the Droid Razr Maxx). 

Then came Apple.

Upright because it did with with so many other things, the first iPhone modified the dialog — with out warning, the phone industry had something else to communicate about. Being skinny wasn’t ample anymore. Building the ideal iPhone competitor became as soon as now the thing to originate.

Motorola, which had spent years engaged on the Windows Cell-powered (and skinny) Q, became as soon as left devastated by the iPhone. While it launched the Droid and a series of other flagship Android telephones thru a sturdy partnership with carriers such as Verizon Wi-fi and AT&T, it by no technique reached the heights of the Razr all over again. 

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The Droid Razr M became as soon as in actual fact one of Motorola’s Android telephones that carried the Razr title.

Sarah Tew/CNET

But whilst as soon as-overjoyed residence owners modified their Razrs with smartphones, the Razr left an enduring legacy. It wasn’t merely that Moto utilized the Razr title to a sequence of Android telephones at the side of the Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx. More subtly, skinny designs persevered, whilst telephones grew bigger. Protect in mind that 2007’s iPhone became as soon as a hair’s breadth thinner than the Razr. But that spec became yet again of a footnote than a highlighted feature (the big Samsung Galaxy Display masks 10 is even slimmer). 

So next time you are sliding your slim phone into your pocket, be acutely conscious how Motorola first flattened the avenue 15 years within the past.

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