Motorola Releases Slightly Thicker Droid Razr-like Phone for China

Motorola is bringing the concept for its Droid Razr smartphone to China's largest mobile carrier in a new handset, but has done so with a thicker casing in order to contain a more powerful camera and higher resolution screen.

On Friday, Motorola announced details to its MT917 smartphone, a device meant to operate on the network of China Mobile, which has more than 600 million customers.

The MT917 is based on the design of Motorola's Droid Razr, which the company has marketed as "impossibly thin" at 7.1 millimeters thick. The MT917 is 8.5 millimeters thick.

But while the phone is slightly thicker, its 1280 by 720-pixel screen is larger, at 4.5 inches, than the Droid Razr's 4.3-inch screen. The MT917 has a 13-Megapixel camera, while the Droid Razr has an 8-Megapixel camera.

Motorola built the phone as a localized version to work on China Mobile's 3G network, which uses a standard called TD-SCDMA (Time-Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access).

The standard is not widely used outside China, making it harder for the carrier to offer the most popular smartphones given that many of them, including Apple's iPhone, are not built for the network.

Instead, manufacturers including Motorola and Samsung have had to redesign existing phones or build new ones to use the TD-SCDMA 3G standard. In the case of Apple, China Mobile has held talks with the company, but the carrier has yet to reach an agreement to officially sell the iconic phone. (See also "China Overtakes U.S. in Smartphone Shipments.")

Pricing for the MT917 has yet to be announced, but the phone is set to go on sale in mid-December in China.

Motorola also plans to release its current Droid Razr phone on China Unicom's network. The country's third carrier, China Telecom, will also be offering a Droid Razr-like variant, with slight alterations, said Motorola spokesman William Moss.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • The thin and elegant Motorola Droid Razr is smoking when it comes to data speeds and performance, but the short battery life is a disappointment. Read the full review

    Pros

    • Verizon LTE is ridiculously speedy
    • Dual-core processor keeps phone running smoothly
    • Thin, sturdy design

    Cons

    • Pricey
    • Dismal battery life
Related:
Shop Tech Products at Amazon