Fareed's Motorola RAZR-V3i review

Fareed Mahdi
Cell Phone Editor
| Published: June 20, 2006

The Motorola V3i has all the necessary features that were not included in the original V3 RAZR and is evidently a major upgrade. Although it is somewhat similar in appearance, it shows exceptional improvements demanded by the contemporary wireless world, an overall better camera, potential for expandable memory, and support for iTunes, just to name a few.

The faceplate also communicates improvement, as it is aluminum finished to give the phone a sleek design and new colors such as gold and purple are also introduced through this handset. Details of specific new features and design follow in assisting you as to the need for these extra features and if the transition from v3 to v3i would be beneficial for you and your wireless networks.

When talking about design in reference to looks, the V3i has a more metallic look than the original V3.  Physical characteristics changed in the design of the new V3i as well.  The support of the Trans flash (Micro SD) card is not like some other phones where you insert it from the outside. The V3i memory is placed under the back cover which is both good and bad depending on the user. If you remove your memory card a lot to place it in a card reader or for other reasons, it is a hassle removing the back plate every time. 

Even though it can be a pain for some, at least you can remove the memory card without taking out the battery.  With color choices becoming a major factor in new design, the V3i can be found in silver, maroon, deep violet, and designers Dolce & Gabbana gold.    

colors of the RAZR V3i


The V3i has all the basic features you need in a phone. The V3i has a phonebook with picture calling, Mp3 ring tones, SMS, EMS, MMS, Email and instant messaging. The V3i also has T9 predictive text messaging, currency converter, speakerphone, calculator and all the PIM functions you need including alarm clock functionality.    

The V3i has many advanced features. The camera in the V3i is a major upgrade from the V3 RAZR's camera.  The original V3 RAZR only had a VGA camera, the V3i has a 1.23 megapixel camera with video.V3i 1+ megapixel camera

The V3i RAZR also has built in Bluetooth version 1.2. Another advanced feature the V3i has is voice dialing, although it is no where close to voice command from Microsoft, it does the job. The most advanced feature on the V3i is the support for iTunes.  

Not all versions of the V3i's will have this iTunes support, but the one Dolce & Gabbana
model that I am reviewing does.  The phone works excellent when connected
to your computer, you can add playlists or songs as if the phone is an ipod.  

Display & Audio

The displays in both the V3 and V3i are almost identical. The outer display has 96x80 pixels and displays 65k colors. The inside display is 176x220 and displays 256K colors. The original RAZR had same resolution for both inside display and outer display, but the outer display only supported 4096 colors. 

Even with a much better camera on the V3i, because the resolution of the display was not also upgraded, when taking pictures it looks the same.  But when you transfer the pictures to a computer from the new V3i, you can see a big difference in both quality and size. 

The V3i supports .mp3 songs. You can use this phone as an mp3 player which is becoming very common in new phones.  It is unpractical to have a phone in one pocket and an mp3 player in the other.  Now that the newer Motorola phones have iTunes support built in, it is very easy to use your phone as an mp3 player while on the go. If you receive a call while listening to music, the music will automatically pause and will resume when the call is ended. 

You can also attend calls using the headphones that come with the phone. Some headphones do not have a mic built in, so you would have to unplug the headphones to make or recieve calls. The Motorola headphones that come with the V3i have a built in mic.  Also since the V3i supports expandable memory, you can actually use this phone as an mp3 player, unlike the old V3 RAZR

Entertainment, Internet, Storage, & Connectivity

Motorola E6The Motorola V3i has built in Mp3/ MPEG4 player. Unlike the V3 RAZR which only supported .3gp, the V3i also supports MPEG4 videos. Also the built in iTunes is excellent for entertainment. The iTunes support is like having an Ipod built in your phone!! The iTunes support is excellent when syncing because it makes it a lot easier to transfer songs as opposed to using Motorola phone tools. Also the V3i has built in Java, so you can play all the java mobile games and use small Java apps too.

The V3i's internet is the same as the V3. It supports WAP 2.0 and Xhtml. The V3i does not have built in WIFI or EDGE. In my opinion, if Motorola was making all these upgrades, they should have added faster internet capabilities.  If internet connection plays a large part in your decision making process, this over sight my Motorola could end up being a major turnoff. 

The V3i has built in 10 Mb of shared memory.  It would not be ideal for this phone to have support for iTunes and have only 10mb of memory, so Motorola added a Micro SD (AKA Trans-flash) card slot to it as well. Although you get a Micro SD card included with this phone, the size of the card varies depending on where you buy it from. The version I have reviewed only comes with a 64mb card, but the V3i can support up to 512 Mb of external memory. 

The Motorola V3i does have built in Bluetooth version 1.2 which like most Motorola phones is excellent for syncing, doing file transfers, and connecting to Bluetooth headsets or other phones.  Although the V3i has Bluetooth it still does not have infrared, which would be a great upgrade to add to the V3i.

Construction & Conclusion

The V3i is elegantly designed and in my opinion is very durable. Although I never dropped the V3i to test the durability, it feels exactly like the V3 RAZR. The quality is exceptional, and the phone was constructed magnificently. Although it looks and feels a lot like the V3 RAZR, the quality of the V3i feels better.     

Although the V3i has many improvements to the V3 RAZR, it might not be ideal for everyone. Some people are totally fine with the features the original V3 offers because it is still doing very well in the market. Some people who like the RAZR design and demand more features like: iTunes and expandable memory will have to spend more money to upgrade.

Motorola RAZR V3i D&GAlthough the price difference between the two phones is not that much anymore, you have to ask yourself if its worth spending the extra money for a couple of key features. In conclusion if you love the V3 design but demand expandable memory, and a full functional Mp3 player, the V3i is the right choice for you. 

A new version of the V3i has just been released. It is branded by world famous Dolce & Gabbana. The phone is almost the same as the normal V3i but is branded by D&G. It is sold only in retail Dolce & Gabbana outlets across the world. Although the prices vary, it can cost anywhere from 800 to 5000 dollars. The reason the price range varies so much is because there were two versions that were released. The limited edition version is more expensive and comes in a black box, and even though the phone is gold, the inside is black. 

There were only 1,000 of the limited edition version made world wide, and 100 of those were reserved for executives only.  The second one that was released is exactly the same but has no number on the back, and comes in a gold box. This version is relevantly cheaper but is still double the price of the original V3i. When you talk on the phone, the normal V3i has a Motorola logo on the outer display and the Dolce & Gabbana version says D&G on it.  Lets face it, if you want name brand you have to PAY for name brand!!   

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