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Tuesday July 25, 2006 3:45 pm

Motorola RAZR V3c: Six Months Later

RAZR Follow UpAbout 6 months ago, with great anticipation, we picked up the Motorola RAZR V3c for Verizon.  Boy, were we ever excited!  Unfortunately, our high expectations led us to great disappointments.

Our biggest complaint half-a-year ago was the phones battery life.  That annoyance has grown into a huge problem.  Six months ago, twelve hours of marginal use cost us half of our battery life.  These days it is more like ten hours of minimal use sends the phone into the annoying Motorola “can’t turn off the stupid low-battery alert even though the phone is on silent and helps run down the remaining battery life even faster” chime.

Which brings us to a related topic, the phone’s reception.  The reception on the phone has always been good, but since it is always going back and forth between EV-DO and 1x the battery life is surely taking a huge hit.  Besides that, call clarity has remained consistently good.

The Verizon UI, like almost every cell phones UI we’ve ever used, took a little getting used to.  Once you’re used to it though, it starts to feel completely natural.  Unfortunately for the V3c the more and more contacts, pictures, videos, etc we added to the phone, the more and more the phone slowed down.  Slowed down to the point where unlocking the keyguard would often take between a clocked three to ten seconds.  This is one the most frustrating things about using this phone on a daily basis.

As for the Bluetooth, it still hasn’t let us down.  At least this revision hasn’t.  Unfortunately, shortly after shipping the initial release of the V3c, Verizon realized its mistake in leaving OBEX enabled, and promptly disabled it.  We understand that Verizon recently released a firmware flash for the phone that will at least let you do file transfer to and from the phone via a mini-USB to USB cable, but it still won’t allow for Bluetooth OBEX transfers.  Verizon, you tease.

As for the design, the phone is still very well designed and is visually appealing, but it is beginning to look a little dated.  Perhaps that is because these phones are everywhere that they seem almost generic.

Overall, the RAZR V3c has not pleased us at all.   The phone has now been replaced a total of three times for defects.  Perhaps we had bad luck, or perhaps it was just Early Adopter Syndrome rearing its ugly head.  Whatever the reason, we cannot recommend this phone except to the most casual cell phone user.  We all know someone’s mother who only uses their cell phone to make a quick call and has it turned off 99% the rest of the time.  For them, the RAZR V3c just might be perfect.

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