Friday, 26 May 2017

Motorola RAZR2 (2007)

Motorola RAZR2 V9
Launched May 2007

We've mentioned many times before that 2007 was a landmark year in the mobile phone industry. A little product from an outfit in Cupertino changed the direction of the industry forever. It would eventually become apparent to most companies in the sector that they had to follow suit.. or if they didn't, they would head into oblivion.

So, apparently boarding a bus on the highway to hell, Motorola decided to tackle the smartphone phenomenon by launching.. errr.. a new version of the RAZR feature phone.

Back in 2004, Motorola had scored a massive hit with the original Motorola RAZR. That phone combined stunning design with clever marketing, and it created one of the most influential mobile phones ever. The RAZR turned around Motorola's fortunes, and every other company had to go off and have a good think about industrial design.

The original RAZR promised great things, but failed to deliver. It was an awful handset to use, and the feature set really was actually pretty old-fashioned for the time. Variations followed - the RAZR V3i added some crucially missing features, the KRZR was even more stunning to look at, the RAZR V3x added 3G - but customers really didn't take to them.

Despite the law of diminishing returns, Motorola came out with the RAZR2 in 2007, coming in a 3G variant (the V9) and a GSM-only one (the V8). Surely enough, everything was better.. but compared to the iPhone it was still a heap of shit.

The sales figures should really have shown Motorola that the strategy wasn't working, but eventually they pushed out two dozen handsets based on the RAZR concept, with the last model being the GLEAM+ in 2012. By and large.. nobody cared that much about any of them.

At the time, we said that Motorola's obsession with the RAZR was killing the company. Motorola's PR people responded furiously, but it was plainly obvious that the company had their strategy completely wrong. In the end, Motorola's survival plan was to ditch their mobile phone business completely.. and now it is owned by Lenovo.

Despite everything, the RAZR2 is a decent flip phone and there seems to be a lively trade in them online, with good ones being about €60 or so. Yes, probably any mobile phone collector should  have some sort of RAZR in their collection.. but probably not this one.

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