At a launch event in Central London, attended by our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Motorola and Intel teamed up to launch the first high-tier smartphone to run an Intel processor. The launch of the RAZR i marks an important juncture for both companies. Moto has not seen anything like the demand for its smartphones in Western Europe as it has in the Americas, and the location of this launch is most likely intended to address that. Meanwhile Intel’s Ultraphones have yet to set the industry alight, and the chip giant will be hoping to raise the profile of its handset offering with this launch.
Our first impressions of the RAZR i are that it’s a solid, well-designed device with some noteworthy features. One of the main differentiators for us is the ‘instant-launch’ camera, which allows you to go from sleep mode to taking a photo in around a second - no need to unlock, just one click to activate, and another to shoot. The Intel ‘Medfield’ chip is now clocked to 2GHz, but there is still a claimed 20 hours of ‘mixed-usage’ battery life, which seems to address any concerns about Intel’s ability to produce power-efficient mobile handset chips.
Whether all these features translate to significant sales, however, remains to be seen. Smartphone consumers are spoilt for choice by strong offerings from a large number of OEMs across several platforms, and it’s not yet clear whether Intel’s strong PC brand translates to the mobile handset sector. The Motorola RAZR i will launch in the U.K., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico in October, with other countries to be announced shortly, and with the right pricing could give the dominant OEMs and mobile chip-makers in those countries cause for thought.