TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Razr vs. Blade: Cloning Is Only Skin Deep

Razr vs. Blade: Cloning Is Only Skin Deep

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 28 Jan 2006 23:03:10 -0500

The New York Times
January 26, 2006

THEY say that looks aren't everything, but don't tell Motorola. Its
breathtakingly beautiful Razr is the world's best-selling cellphone.

In just one year, this ultrathin metal slab has attained almost
iPod-like popularity; 12 million people are now slipping Razr phones
in and out of their pockets. You can buy the Razr in black, silver,
pink or blue (for about $150), and there's more to come.

"The year of 2005 was the Razr," says Edward J. Zander, Motorola's
chief executive, "and the year of 2006 is more Razrs."

All right, we get the idea. Thin is in.

Other cellphone companies get the idea, too. In fact, Samsung has
already come up with a Razr clone, nicknamed the Blade. (Its official
name is the A900. It's offered only by Sprint, for $200, although a
Verizon edition is reported to be in the works.)

Whereas the Razr is a flat, rectangular, high-fashion flip phone, the
Blade is a flat, rectangular, high-fashion flip phone. The dimensions
are identical, too: 3.9 by 2 inches, and about a half-inch thick when
closed. Both feel satisfying and James Bondian in your palm, and both
snap shut with the cushioned click of a Lexus car door.

Each has a camera, a speakerphone, Bluetooth wireless capability, a
totally flat keypad, crystal-clear and extremely loud ringers, a big
color screen inside and a postage-stamp-size screen on the outside.

The phones are similar in their limitations, too. Neither has a
Silence All keystroke for use in boardrooms, theaters or churches; you
have to work the Volume Down key all the way to zero through the
volume settings. The vibrate mode is so feeble, one layer of pocket
fabric blocks it from your nerve endings.

FINALLY, skinny little phones have skinny little batteries. The Blade
dies after three hours of talking, or less. The Razr's life is longer,
but still not nearly what its Web site says ("seven hours"). Truth
is, you'll probably have to charge either phone at least once a day.

But there are differences between the Razr and the Blade. Man, are
there differences.

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