The RAZR M, Motorola’s Clever Answer To The $99 iPhone 4S

Motorola unveiled the new RAZR family at a big media gala in early September. The company proudly rolled out the supercharged RAZR HD and RAZR HD MAXX. The $99 RAZR M stole the show. The 4.3-inch RAZR M LTE packs a lot of the same goods as its larger counterparts. For just $99. And the M is available now as the others will be released later this fall. Here’s the thing: this is Motorola’s best answer to the iPhone yet.

Apple will introduce the new iPhone next week. It will likely sell for the bargain price of $199, pushing the current model, the iPhone 4S, down to just $99. The 4S still has one of the best cameras, and consumers love Apple’s iOS ecosystem. At just $99, the iPhone 4S will dominate most budget Android handsets. That’s why the RAZR M is available now and why it stands a chance. This is a great phone at a great price.

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I’ve used the M for the last few days. As Jordan shows in the video below, it’s a very capable phone. There’s a touch of lag on the Android 4.0.4 install and the haptic feedback seems off by a few milliseconds. The screen is very bright and sharp. The build quality is fantastic; it feels great in the hand. This is a fine alternative to the iPhone 4S. It’s certainly the best Android phone at this price point.

Walk into most wireless shops and you’ll instantly see a huge variety of large Android phones. And the iPhone 4S. By going big, Android handset makers have left the iPhone to be virtually the sole option with a small form factor. The RAZR M suddenly offers the iPhone 4S some direct competition with a form factor that’s very similar, but with a larger screen and the Android operating system.

The RAZR M uses a large screen in a novel way. Motorola claims the M has very thinnest bezel of any phone. It’s certainly tiny, a few millimeters thinner than the iPhone 4S’s. In fact the M matches up very closely to the proportions of the iPhone 4S. It’s a touch longer, but the two phones have virtually the same thickness and the M is just bit wider. Motorola managed to cram a lot larger screen onto the phone. And that counts for a lot.

Android makers are seemingly throwing everything they have behind a single flagship. These handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S III and RAZR HD, have massive screens and as many hardware features as possible. They’re superphones. And judging by the Samsung GSIII’s sales numbers, consumers have shown that they like superphones. The smaller iPhone also says that there are a good chunk of people interested in a phone of more modest proportions.

More and more consumers are latching onto smartphones. The market is changing rapidly, and with that, consumers need options at every price point. Not everyone wants the large Moto RAZR HD or Samsung Galaxy S III. Some prefer Android over iOS. Some do not want to spend $200 on a phone. And with the RAZR M, Motorola is providing a fresh handset instead of simply dropping the price on older hardware.