Motorola RAZR i handset runs Android with an Intel processor (hands-on video)


Today in London, Motorola is announcing the first fruit of its multi-year, multi-device partnership with Intel — a revamped Droid RAZR M called the RAZR i. While the two phones look almost identical externally, inside the new device houses a new Intel Atom processor. The chipmaker says this is its first with a maximum clock speed of 2GHz, but that number is far from a cut-and-dry measure of the chip's performance, and the claim should be taken with a grain of salt. The new chip isn't dual-core, but being a Medfield processor it does support hyper-threading, and Intel claims it stacks up well against the competition. The phone is one of the first Android devices to feature Intel's new chipset, and only the second we'll actually be able to buy, following the Orange San Diego.

On the surface it's exactly the same as the RAZR M

Externally, both phones are more or less exactly the same, both featuring 540x960 Super AMOLED Advanced display, same 8.3mm thickness, same minimal bezels, and same big 2,000mAh battery. They also both have the same Kevlar back panel, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how much you're into the paramilitary aesthetic. Interestingly, Motorola says that the RAZR i will have 4.5GB of user-accessible memory — an extra 500MB advantage over the RAZR M.

A big focus of the presentation was the device's camera, which the companies claim can start up in under a second and record 8-megapixel images at up to 10 fps, as well as handle 1080p video recording. Unlike its North American cousin, the RAZR i also includes a hardware shutter button to better take advantage of the device's photographic capabilities.

Launching with Ice Cream Sandwich, but Android 4.1 is on the way

Like the RAZR M, though, Motorola and Intel's brainchild will be launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean coming sometime down the road. As we mentioned in our review of Orange's Medfield-based San Diego, app compatibility on Intel's x86 architecture isn't a cause for major concern, but there are still a few wrinkles that potential buyers should be aware of.

Motorola says that the phone will be available in October in the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. It will be partnering with Orange, T-Mobile, Phones4U, Virgin Media, and Tesco in the UK, and with E+, O2, Sparhandy, and Phone House in Germany. So far no pricing has been announced, but given what we've seen from both the RAZR M and the Orange San Diego, we're expecting Motorola and Intel's first handset to be easy on the wallet.

Update: We're seeing the first UK prices roll in, and it looks like the RAZR i will be going for around £340 SIM-free in the UK, including VAT.

Update 2: We managed to run GLBenchmark Egypt standard on the RAZR i and got a score of 42 fps. We also ran Quadrant which gave us a total score of 4019.

Tom Warren contributed to this report

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