RAZR2 and The Four Carriers



I'm pretty excited about the new RAZR 2, and why shouldn't I be? It just launched today. One of the positive aspects that Ed Zander stressed during the unveiling is that the RAZR 2 will be out in two versions (EDGE and HSDPA) for GSM carriers and a third version (EVDO) for CDMA carriers. My guess, however, is that what we're really talking about are three (or four) utterly different RAZR 2 experiences, depending on what carrier you have. Follow the jump for a breakdown and a handy "clip n' save" chart.

RAZR2 and The Four CarriersEssentially, Motorola has gone far beyond simply anticipating the network needs of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and (maybe) Sprint. I've posted a chart from the press materials that you can click to enlarge. But there's more to it than that. Here's my (educated) guess as to which carriers will pick up which RAZR 2 versions:

•RAZR 2 V8 (July 2007) - Totally T-Mobile - It a slender model with 512MB or 2GB of internal memory, its instantly compatible with Windows Media Player 10 or 11 for access to all-you-can-eat "sideload" music. T-Mo isn't in the business of selling music over the air, so it's the most codec friendly (MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+) and it's got highspeed USB 2.0. In addition it supports Motorola Linux-Java for super flexible software development. It may be the "slowest" in terms of network, but it very well may be the sweetest palmtop.

•RAZR 2 V9 (August 2007) - Up AT&T's Alley - With its WCDMA 850/1900 or 2100 and HSDPA 3.6, it's clearly developed to be a part of AT&T's aggressive 2007 lineup (not just higher bandwidth than the iPhone but also higher than Sony Ericsson's US HSDPA phone). Optional memory up to 2GB, but nothing to write home about in terms of built-in memory (you gotta watch out for the "upsell"). It will have video telephone and video streaming, including the "See What I See" technology for live in-call video streams. It will not support Motorola Linux-Java, however, favoring what Moto calls "Synergy" (meaning "carrier friendly") software. This will support Windows Media files, but will not come ready to sync with Windows Media Player 10 and 11. (There is a slim chance that AT&T will also sell a RAZR 2 V8, but I'm willing to bet that only happens if there's a serious V9 delay or a huge price step-up.)

• RAZR 2 V9m (July 2007) - Qualcomm Was Here - The good news is, there will be a CDMA version of the RAZR out early. Last time, it took a while for Verizon Wireless to get one, and even longer for Sprint to introduce it. That means highspeed EVDO plus sGPS location technology. The downside is that CDMA carriers will have their way with this handset, and fewer of the options Zander bragged about will be guaranteed. Video streaming is "network dependent" and the software is Motorola Synergy or "carrier proprietary." Music options? "Proprietary customer music players," says another Moto data sheet.

Dear Sprint and Verizon Wireless: when you do get this, please check out some of the software advantages Motorola is introducing. I swear your customers will thank you for it.

Motorola RAZR 2 Launch Coverage [Gizmodo]