2011
10.19

I can’t remember what year it is was when I got my Motorola RAZR flip-phone, but I remember feeling quite smug about it. Look how thin it is, I told anyone who would listen. And the clamshell style meant no more pocket dialing. For a few months that seem fleeting in retrospect, my phone was the hippest.

Now Motorola Mobility is reviving the RAZR brand with a new super-thin smartphone. In fact, the company calls the DROID RAZR “the world’s thinnest 4G LTE smartphone.” I have to admit, I feel some nostalgia for my old friend the RAZR. I did like how thin it was, and how I could slip it into a tiny clutch-purse for an evening out. My iPhone 4 won’t always fit.

The thinness of the new RAZR appeals to me, but I know it won’t be as small as the old RAZR, nor would I want it to be. I’m used to the larger smartphone screens of today, and it would be hard to go back to a tiny screen. The new DROID RAZR is 7.1 mm thick, and it also features KEVLAR fibers for strength and Corning’s Gorilla Glass for scratch resistance. It may be slender, but it sounds tough.

I think Motorola Mobility is right to try out a new phone under the RAZR name. RAZR equates to “thin” in many people’s minds, and I think the familiarity with the brand name will pay off, even if the phone is vastly different from the old clamshell variety. Look what Ford managed to do with the new Taurus.

Some people in the industry are speculating on whether the new RAZR helped Motorola Mobility secure interest from Google in buying the company, though Google has maintained it is much more interested in Motorola’s patents than in making hardware. It will be interesting to see how the planned acquisition plays out, and whether Google ever does move toward a closer collaboration with hardware providers.

But for now, I like the idea that the RAZR isn’t dead, even if I can’t put the new one in my clutch.

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