Motorola Cell Phones

Michael Kwan
Motorola Cell Phones

In terms of sheer volume, Motorola was the second largest cell phone maker in the world, trailing only behind Nokia of Finland. However, following the success of the RAZR line, the company faced some difficult financial times. It was only after the rise of Google Android that Motorola started to re-gain lost market share. Motorola Mobility was spun off of the main parent company in 2011 with Sanjay Jha taking on the role of Chairman and CEO.

Motorola RAZR Slices Competition

No list of Motorola cell phones would be complete without mentioning the ultra thin flip phone that gave the company a huge regenerative boost. While other slim phones may have beaten the RAZR to the market, it clearly was Motorola's offering that popularized the form factor. There were currently no fewer than five different versions of the RAZR available at one point or another.

  • V3: The one that started it all, the Motorola RAZR V3 didn't offer an incredible feature set, especially when compared to its successors. It only had a VGA camera and 5.5MB of internal memory. There was no expansion slot, but Bluetooth connectivity was included.
  • V3i: The Motorola V3i took everything that the V3 had to offer and bumped it up a notch. The camera was a 1.23 megapixel unit that was also capable of capturing video. On-board memory was bumped to 10MB, and the V3i also featured a microSD/TransFlash expansion slot for additional storage. Perhaps most appealing of all, this version of the RAZR was compatible with iTunes.
  • V3x: Previously known as the V1150, the V3x sported some subtle differences aesthetically, but some rather substantial changes as far as functionality. Most notably, this was a 3G handset, compatible with UMTS standards for transfer speeds up to 384kbps. The resolution of the primary display was improved to 240 x 320 pixels (compared to 176 x 220), the primary camera was 2.0 megapixels, and the internal memory was a then-substantial 64MB. A secondary VGA camera for video calls was also added, along with a MP3/MPEG4/AAC player and microSD expansion slot.
  • V3c: It took a while, but Motorola finally got around to releasing a CDMA version of the slim RAZR clamshell, and it was dubbed the V3c (the "c", obviously, standing for CDMA). While it sported EV-DO for high speed data, the screen was reduced to 65k color (instead of the 256k found on the GSM versions). There were 30 megabytes of on-board memory, but no expansion slot. The camera was 1.3 megapixels, and the Bluetooth-capable phone also had an integrated MP3 music and MPEG-4 movie player. In this way, the V3c fit somewhere between the V3 and V3i.
  • V3m: To address the needs of CDMA subscribers for mobile music, Motorola released the V3m. Virtually all of the features found on the V3c were duplicated, but they added a microSD expansion slot. The Verizon version of this phone worked with V-CAST, but the phone was also compatible with PlaysForSure. The 1.3 megapixel camera could be used to shoot videos, as well as stills.

Other Motorola Cell Phones

Building on the success of the RAZR, Motorola released a candybar version that they dubbed the SLVR. Three versions of the phone were sold. The SLVR L2 was the most basic version, lacking a camera and multimedia playback. It was designed to be cheap for the entry-level market. Moving up, the SLVR L6 added a camera and the SLVR L7 moved to better materials and more features, including more memory and a music player. Other notable Motorola cell phones include the following:

  • Motorola DROID: Available through Verizon Wireless, the original DROID was largely marketed as a viable alternative to the Apple iPhone. It ran on the Google Android smartphone operating system, had a large touchscreen display, and featured a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Access to Android Market meant that its functionality was easily be extended through a variety of mobile apps. The DROID was sold in some other markets as the Motorola Milestone.
  • Motorola BACKFLIP: This smartphone also ran on Google Android, but it featured the unique MOTOBLUR user interface. This overlay focused on social networking aspects, giving users quick and easy access to social media services like Facebook and Twitter. The flipping form factor also set this phone apart from the competition. Telus Mobility sold the BACKFLIP in Canada.
  • Motorola DROID BIONIC: Announced at CES 2011, this smartphone evolved the DROID line in many ways. It was among the first phones by Motorola, for instance, to utilize the high-speed LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G network of Verizon Wireless. Other core specs included the 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, WiFi-N, 8MP camera, and a fast 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra2 dual core processor.
  • Motorola ATRIX 4G: Representing a real game changer for the industry, the Motorola Atrix 4G came with two optional docking stations. The first granted users access to a netbook-like "Webtop" experience, complete with a larger screen, customized user interface, and a computer-style keyboard. The second dock connected the Atrix to an HDMI connected display, as well as various accessories like a separate computer keyboard.
Motorola Cell Phones