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Motorola RAZR i XT890 Camera Phone Review

Des Nutting reviews the mid-range Motorola RAZR i XT890 to see how this stylish Android smartphone performs.

|  Motorola RAZR i XT890 in Camera Phones
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Motorola Razr I Xt890 (1)

The Motorola RAZR i XT890 runs on the Android operating system (tested with Ice Cream Sandwich, v4.0.4) and features an 8 megapixel camera and a VGA front facing camera, powered by a 2Ghz Intel Atom processor. It can be purchased contract free for around £270.

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Features

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (6)

On the rear, the RAZR has an 8 megapixel HD camera and LED flash, with autofocus and auto exposure capability. With an instant on functionality, access to the camera application is easily achieved by pressing the shutter button, even from the locked screen. This feature makes the capture of those one time only scenes easy for even the most techno phobic of users.

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (3)

Key Features

  • 4.3inch Super AMOLED Advanced qHD (540 x 960) touch screen
  • Effects: Normal, Black and White, Negative, Sepia
  • Scenes: Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait
  • Modes: Single Shot, Multi shot, Timer, HDR
  • Adjustable Exposure
  • VGA Front facing camera
  • Andriod Operation System
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Internal 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM
  • 5.0GB user available internal memory, expandable with optional microSD card

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Handling

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (7)

The RAZR is very aesthetically pleasing, with a 4.3 edge-to-edge touch screen. The downside of which, it’s not HD. That being said, the display is clear and bright. The power button is on the right hand side, so there is no need to shift grip to press it. A simple press of the power button locks the phone, and a longer press gives the option to shut down, sleep, or flight mode as well as silent and vibrate modes.

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (4)

As the phone is loaded with the well tested Android Operating System, general navigation around the phone and its functions will be easy for users that have experienced Android on other platforms.

The camera can be accessed from the lock screen or from the shutter button on the bottom right of the handset, and with the auto light sensor, makes taking the standard snap a breeze – more functions are available from within the settings menu, light brightness control etc – but I found that these are rarely used.

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (5)

The phone has been coated with a nano film making it splash proof – so phone and camera use in the rain is possible but don’t go swimming with it!

Battery life on the RAZR i is impressive. In standby, the battery goes on and on and on. Heavy use of the phone and apps, like all smart phones, will drain the battery quicker. That said, I find that the RAZR i battery life exceeds that of its competitors, and a full charge will see you through a day comfortably.

Motorola Razr I Xt890 (8)

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Sample Photos

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Lens test images

Motorola RAZR i XT890 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The default camera app doesn't feature ISO settings, so we have had to change the lighting to force the camera to change the ISO setting. The results are a little disappointing with noise visible even in the ISO100 shots, with the same results outdoors in good light, although if you are sharing on the web then the resized images should look better.

Motorola RAZR i XT890 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performance is reasonable, which is handy, as there are no manual options for setting the white balance in the camera app.

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a small number of effects in the built in photo app, however there is no panoramic mode, so an additional app will be needed if you want to shoot panoramic photos.

The RAZR i image production is, in general, very good for the amateur photographer that wants to capture that party shot. The auto light sensor handles the capture well and most users will not venture into the settings to play around its photo functions. Motorola have missed a trick in not having functions like panoramic in the camera function, which would have pushed it up toward the Samsung Galaxy S3 range of phones.

The colour reproduction of the photos is good and well represented. Portraits in the correct light and surroundings are good, although too much reliance on the built-in LED flash could give subjects a green colour cast. The VGA front facing camera, is less flattering, but isn’t intended for capturing images in the same sense. Continuous shooting can shoot at 14fps at full resolution, for up to 8 shots.

Video - Video is recorded in full 1080p HD, and the results are impressive. The same effects that are found in the camera function are found in video too, so if you wanted to record video in negative, the RAZR i is ideal. Accessing functions whilst in video is easy, especially the exposure slider, which I found myself using a lot because the picture seemed a little dull in auto settings. Once the video was downloaded and viewed on a HD platform, the quality of the output can be appreciated, but because the RAZR i does not come with a HD screen, the benefits of HD recording cannot be appreciated.

Value For Money

The Motorola RAZR i is available for around £270, as the phone has been out for a while, the price is very competitive, and alternatives to look at include the Nokia Lumia 920, for around £295, HTC One X, for around £420, and the Samsung Galaxy S3, for around £290.

You'll also want to buy a MicroSD memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera phone safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Verdict

The Motorola RAZR i is generally a good mid-range smart phone. The camera and video functions, whilst basic, give good quality images aimed at the opportunistic holiday snappers, and the built-in photo editor gives the user a good set of editing tools and allows them to share via Twitter and facebook. Its ease of handling and user friendly functions makes navigation of the phone simple. The ‘rubberised’ feel to the phone stops it slipping easily off surfaces thus being less prone to breakage.

Overall, the RAZR i is a very good attempt in the smart phone range, and given its selling price, is a well placed smart phone that will be difficult to beat by other phones in the same range.


Motorola RAZR i XT890 Pros

Compact phone with good screen size
Splash proof nano coating
Good value for money
MicroSD slot
Rubberised rear texture for grip
High speed shooting (14fps)

Motorola RAZR i XT890 Cons

Lacks ISO / WB settings
Small internal memory (around 5GB)
LED flash
Noise visible in shots


Motorola RAZR i XT890 Specifications

Front Camera
PixelsNo Data
Max ApertureNo Data
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
    Additional CamerasNo Data
    Max Aperturef/2.6
    35mm equivalentNo Data
    Optical ZoomNo Data
    Image Sensor
    Pixels8Mp (Megapixels)
    Pixels (W)3264
    Pixels (H)2448
    Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
    Sensor SizeNo Data
    Sensor Size (width)No Data
    Sensor Size (height)No Data
    Aspect Ratio
    • 16:9
    • 4:3
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor4.3in
    Screen resolution540 x 960
    Touch ScreenYes
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Face Detection
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data
    ISO sensitivityNo Data
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPS30
    Stereo SoundNo Data
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationNo
    USBUSB 2
    Internal Memory5000MB
    Power Source
    Battery Type2000 mAh Lithium Ion
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo Data

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