Reviewer’s Corner

CELL PHONE   –  Droid RAZR review written by guest contributor SC

The bleeding edge…..

                                     of technology…..

                                                                     has a few ragged spots.

Some guys buy sports cars to announce their manhood, some guys buy THIS phone.

This is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the sissified iphone, it lets you keep your manhood and your self respect intact.

Droid RAZR progress:

I have beaten the new RAZR into submission, it took a couple weeks of poking around. At first, it is disorienting because I was used to the Blackberry OS. I figured out setup, settings, apps, and browser navigation.  Smart Actions rules app is cool.  Task manager, battery tracking, nerd heaven!  

I installed a Star Trek Comm Badge and Tricorder and Phaser just to start things off, along with a couple racing games.  Works great as a phone too!   Audible caller ID!  If you don’t like someone, you can write his name in a funny way in your contacts.

For example, if a contact is named Mr Wrinkly Balls,  when that person calls you the RAZR will loudly announce: “Call from Wrinkly Balls!”  “Call from Wrinkly Balls!” “Call from Wrinkly Balls!”  LOL  hours of fun.

The google maps software and Google Navigation is just stunning to watch as you stop at a red light.  The screen shows a photographic quality image of the intersection from above.  No GPS lag while moving. 

I installed Jeannie, a voice recognition app that mimics the Siri app for iphone, but is not nearly as witty. I can have her call or text people and ask obscure questions for fun and games.

This weekend I decided to run with the BIG DOGS!  I called VZW and fired up an additional $30 tethering data plan on top of my $30 phone data plan.  The performance of the phone itself is so breathtaking that it makes my you know what throb.

Seriously, does anyone need a 33Mbit per second download connection in a smartphone?  I doubt it.  But it sure is cool to brag about.  Wireless.  Awesome!   I figured that for just one month, it would be fun to see what the best of the best is like.

Remember that I have never, ever, had internet service in my home.  I guess that saved me $2500 every 5 years.  Sometimes, it is fun to open the wallet and live a little!  Not a lot of money to pay for the fastest phone and fastest data plan in the country.  This means that my Dec bill will carry $60 plus tax and fees for just data alone, with no data cap limits.

Unlimited data at that speed will cost a lot of money no matter where you buy it.  I know a few people with Verizon FIOS and they get about 30Mbps, my corporate ethernet delivers about the same.  Everything in the world of DSL and cable modems is slower.

In practice, during daytime hours I get from 5 to 20 Mbps with typical speeds around 10 Mbps or better in most places.  Try going to on any computer, home or work and let me know what you get.  Just for fun!

Now for some really sci-fi stuff:

The reason I paid for the second data plan is to activate the VZW Wi Fi Hotspot option.  This turns the phone into a router, just like you get from your ISP.  Then anything around you can link to it.

Think about how magical the ripoff is – A customer pays $30 per month for unlimited LTE 4G data to support a new phone.  However, if the customer wants to hand off that network connection to a notebook computer, VZW blocks that function unless the customer pays another $30 per month.  Nice!  That is why people root their phones!

After a weekend of hacking and calls to tech support, I finally learn that the hotspot feature is non functional at this time.  Good think I can turn it off and only pay a prorated fee for only the days I used.

If you want to use your phone to supply network connectivity to any other computer or device, be aware that the Hotspot function will require a Motorola firmware update at some point in the future, that is not specified at this time.

I was advised to switch to USB cable tethering instead of Wi Fi.  That took some hacking as well, but after a few reboots of the PC and the RAZR they eventually sniffed butts and made friends enough to deliver 10 Mbps over USB.   Nice. Still buggy to set up each time, but once working it works well and handles all websites and Outlook traffic.

Get yourself a new phone, and watch out for those sneaky marketing tricks!


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