Motorola enjoyed renewed success in the phone market during 2011, capitalising on its once famous RAZR brand that embodied ultra slim, attractive devices and managed to re-establish Motorola as a force to be reckoned with in the last decade. Despite troubled times more recently, Motorola is on the right track with its new range of Android phone deals which are helping to revitalise its fortunes. With the expected buyout by Google in 2012, Motorola’s substantial patent armoury will help shield Android from the onslaught of litigation, and the combined company has the potential to be the perfect union.
In its continued assault on the smartphone market, Motorola announced two snazzy new smartphones at the January CES show, both of which are destined to land in the UK in February – namely the Motoluxe and Defy Mini+. The new models should appeal to fashion-conscious buyers and brim with the latest features. But how do they measure up to Motorola’s impossibly thin RAZR, which was a major hit in the UK and held its own despite competition from top-end models such as the Galaxy SII…?
The two latest Motorola smartphones are aimed squarely at different audiences. The Motoluxe is a mid-range model with decent specs including a 4-inch touchscreen and a snappy 800 MHz processor – certainly no slouch but not the fastest either by today’s standards. The front-facing VGA camera disappoints, but thankfully the rear sports a vastly superior 8 megapixel camera, however the paltry 512 MB of memory in the Motoluxe seems decidedly small against the RAZR’s generous 1 GB.
In contrast, the mighty RAZR boasts superior specs all round (a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, a super AMOLED 4.3-inch touchscreen, and exquisite looks), but the Motoluxe is a reasonable alternative for the more budget-conscious. Unfortunately, the inclusion of the outdated Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) won’t impress fickle buyers, but an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich is expected later in the year.
Motorola DEFY+ Mini
The DEFY+ Mini is the latest incarnation of the diminutive DEFY Mini, but it’s been given a more ruggedised appearance to make it dust-proof and water resistant. The basic specs are almost identical to the original DEFY+ which, unlike most smartphones is tiny with a mere 3.2-inch touchscreen. Because it’s a budget model, the DEFY+ Mini is rather under-endowed in the specs department – a single-core 600 MHz processor, 512 MB of main memory, and a 3 megapixel rear camera. Despite these shortcomings, it should more than satisfy the needs of most people and is more than capable of running the latest apps.
Motorola Aims to Differentiate in a Crowded Market
The outlook for Motorola is brighter than ever and, according to CEO Sanjay Jha, the company’s new strategy of releasing fewer models during 2012 will differentiate their products from competitor offerings and reduce fragmentation. Motorola’s inclination to add incremental improvements from one generation of smartphones to the next has done little to broaden their appeal, so let’s hope the new strategy includes bringing Android 4 — Ice Cream Sandwich — to all of their new smartphones.