Camera - Still

I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise at this point that the RAZR, you guessed it, uses the same OmniVision OV8820 8 MP CMOS sensor as the Bionic. That means 1.4µm square backside illuminated pixels. However, as we’ve discussed in the past there really are four parts to the whole smartphone imaging chain: the sensor (CMOS), optical system, Image Signal Processing (ISP), and finally software on the OS talking to the ISP. What’s different on the RAZR versus the Bionic is optical system and software.

The Bionic included F/2.8 optics with a 4.6mm focal length. The RAZR keeps that 4.6mm focal length and includes F/2.4 optics according to EXIF. It’s entirely likely that the focal length field hasn’t changed, but given that from what I can find commercially available OV8820 F/2.4 packages have a focal length around 4.95mm. However, it’s reasonably close. Both of these designs are likely 4P (4 plastic elements) as well.

We’ve done the usual thing and taken photos with the phone under test in our smartphone test locations (which are a bit difficult to control and might have slightly different than usual lighting due to seasons changing) and in our controlled indoor tests.

As a reminder, in the smartphone bench samples only locations 3-7 remain available for testing.

The RAZR does decently well in our controlled testing. Distortion is minimal, the lightbox with light on sample is sharp and looks accurate, and colors look similar to the Bionic. Despite being a half stop wider on the ISO12233 chart we see no more spatial frequencies in the horizontal or vertical (meaning performance is clearly not diffraction limited, which isn’t a surprise). In the lights off test, the RAZR still doesn’t illuminate the scene in the dark, and instead defaults to focusing to infinity which produces a blurry image in our box.

I guess while we’re on the subject of focus, this is a continual problem in the bench test. Focus is soft or missed focus entirely in locations 3 and 4, and in our sample bench video as we’ll show later. I’m not sure what the problem is here, but I’m confident I allowed the AF routine to run properly before capturing - this is just the position the software decided was best focus.

I mentioned software because the RAZR’s camera software subjectively seems less stable than the Bionic’s. I experienced a crash or two in the course of taking bench samples and normal test photos, and like other Motorola camera apps had UI elements disappear sometimes. Obviously not having a physical shutter button makes having a working UI even more important, and the RAZR just needs a bugfix update to address the camera app stability.

Camera - Video

I also shot video at the test location, and here if you look at 1:1 zoom you can see that the RAZR does appear to miss focus despite running its continuous auto focus routine a few times. I shot this video a number of times after a reboot expecting different results but never got a completely sharp video.

The positive part of video recording on the RAZR is that it still uses the same bitrate and H.264 features as the Bionic - 15 Mbps high profile for 1080p30, and 10 Mbps high profile for 720p30. Audio is two-channel stereo AAC at 128 Kbps. You can again pull all of these out of build.prop just as shown below.

ro.media.camcorder.1080p=mp4,h264,30,15000000,aac,128000,44100,2 ro.media.camcorder.720p=mp4,h264,30,10000000,aac,128000,44100,2 ro.media.camcorder.d1NTSC=mp4,h264,30,6000000,aac,128000,44100,2

So that’s a good thing, and again thanks in part to OMAP4’s excellent video encoder, though we see most of the high end smartphones shooting 1080p based on OMAP4 and Exynos using high profile.

Rear Facing 1080p30 Video Sample

Front Facing 720p30 Video Sample

In addition we’ve uploaded the raw rear facing camera video sample without YouTube’s transcoding which you can grab from us in a big zip here. Again the encode quality of the videos is above average, but sharpness would be much better were it not for these focus issues.

Cellular Connectivity - MDM6600 + Wrigley LTE Performance - 1.2 GHz OMAP4430
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  • mfenn - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Dunno how many times I have to say this, but etc. is short for "et cetera". Putting more than one period in it is just plain wrong. Reply
  • jordanclock - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Actually, when finishing a sentence with etc. it is correct to put a second period afterward, as the first one is to indicate an abbreviation and the second is to indicate the end of the sentence. It is acceptable to use just one period, but it is not incorrect to use two. Reply
  • BabelHuber - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    A question to the Anandtech guys:

    Why don't you ever lose a word about rSAp (remote SIM Access Profile)?

    I regularily use my phones in my car, where I want to use the built-in antenna when connecting my phone via bluetooth.

    Connecting via Handsfree is really a PITA: The speech quality is bad and the phone's battery is stressed.

    Hence for three years now I use rSAP, first in my Audi A5 and now in my BMW 5er (via the Snap-in adapter SAP from BMW).

    I still have my good old Nokia X6, this one does rSAp very well. Android, OTOH, does not support rSAP (neither does iOS), but AFAIK e.g. Samsung added rSAP-capabilities to the Galaxy line.

    I know that testing rSAP is not easy because of the different systems the various Auto makers use, but it would even be interresting if you could test it at least a little bit (e.g. checking if the Adress Book synchronization works or if one has to use the SIM card itself).

    A phone without rSAP is useless for me, but perhaps I am part of a small minority, who knows.

    Have you had any thoughts on rSAP?
    Reply
  • Conficio - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    Where are you located? I have not heard about that tech.

    But sounds very interesting. Especially as there is a big debate going on in the US about driving and using the phone.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Friday, December 16, 2011 - link

    I'm located in Germany, but I would think that rSAP is a global tech.

    It supported by VW/ Audi, Mercedes and BMW. For BMW, you need the 'Snap-in-adapter SAP', though.

    With rSAP, the phone is put to standby-mode, since the phone itself is in the car. The car gets the SIM-card-information via bluetooth and also reads the address book, then you use its built-in phone.

    It's a cool technology, the speech quality is very good, since the antenna of the car is used. Also there is almost no drag on the phone's battery, since it doesn't do anything at all.

    The downside is that you cannot stream music from your phone to the car's stereo, you also can't use E-Mail with rSAP.
    For me this is OK, though, I don't want to receive mails while driving and the car's stereo is fed by a USB-harddisk attached to it.
    Reply
  • introiboad - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    There is no technical reason for you not to be able to stream music even when using RSAP. They are 2 different profiles, RSAP and A2DP, and should be able to run in parallel. It's a limitation imposed by the car manufacturer, not by the spec. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Its not really a debate. Using a cell while driving should be illegal. When you're operating a vehicle that can take someone's life in a 30mph crash then your eyes, hands, and mind should be focused on the task of driving. I learned that in driver's ed and I believe its still part of the test to get a driver's license. Driving is a privilege and so many of the younger generations today have such a sense of entitlement.. Reply
  • cheetahfox - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    As someone who was nearly killed because the person that hit my car was changing the radio station; there will always be distractions in a car. If you feel that Cell phones should be illegal then you should also ban all radio's, gps, cd-players and ipods. Further you should also make all cars have a single seat. We can't let someone talking to you distract you. You should also have some way to measure if a car is being driven by someone that is sleepy. It's been shown over and over again the lack of sleep is worse that drunk driving. I propose a mandatory system of cameras that monitor the driver of a car and if they detect that the person in question is sleepy and not attentive enough that they slowly cut power to the car and force them to pull over for a 30 min nap.

    I am taking it to an extreme but if we should ban cell phones, we should really ban many other things. Things that we would never ban, like more than one person in a car. The problem isn't the device, it's the person using it. If the person driving is a distracted driver(for whatever reason) and they cause an accident it should be handled with existing laws.
    Reply
  • introiboad - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    Remote SIM access profile is part of the Bluetooth Specification, it's just one of the profiles defined by the Bluetooth SIG. Unfortunately, RSAP never took off in the same way that HFP (Handsfree Profile) which is the profile that nearly every other phone available uses when connecting to a car.
    One of the reasons may be that RSAP requires the car to come bundled with a GSM baseband/radio since it only obtains the SIM info from the phone and then uses it to place calls using its own. On the other hand HFP simply instructs the phone to place the call using the phone's own GSM radio and then transfers the sound to the car. So it's clearly cheaper to include in a car since the car manufacturer doesn't need to include a Bluetooth _and_ a GSM radio.
    Reply
  • introiboad - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    As far as I know, only Symbian and Bada phones implement RSAP. Reply

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