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Zander sharpens up RAZR’s successor

How does Motorola follow up the success of the RAZR? That has been the question hanging in the air all Tuesday as chief executive, Ed Zander, prepared to unleash the next batch of Moto devices on an unsuspecting public.

The answer, as it turns out, is with the RAZR 2.

The successor to the iconic RAZR has more in common than just the name. Thin is still in over at Moto and the RAZR 2 is a full 2mm slimmer than the original skinny model. The vendor has beefed up the dual screens of the clamshell unit, making them bigger, brighter and doubling the resolution of the original.

The external display incorporates Motorola’s “haptics” technology, which provides users with vibrating feedback in response to their finger taps.

The device will be available in three flavours, the V9 (3G HSDPA), V9m (cdma2000 1x EVDO) and V8 (GSM) with some of the variants running Linux/Java.

Under the hood, the UI has been completely redesigned and the new focus is on multimedia. Some variants are available with up to 2GB of memory and the ability to download music over the air. Google search tools also come pre-installed.

The RAZR 2 is expected to launch in July in several markets.

As promised, Zander also announced the “media monster,” the MOTO Z8, featuring video playback at 30 frames per second and up to 32GB of expandable memory.

However, the fact that the Z8 was already pre-announced at 3GSM World Congress in February rather took the wind out of its sails.

The Z8 is expected to hit shelves in Europe and Asia in June and will come with a 512MB memory card pre-loaded with full-length feature film – “The Bourne Identity” – from Universal Pictures.

The device features 3.6Mbps HSDPA and one-click picture or video sharing or uploading to social networking sites, such as Flickr, MySpace, YouTube.

With memory expandable up to 32GB through high density microSD memory cards Moto claims a 4GB microSD card can store approximately 12 full length motion pictures.

Z8 users will also be able to access mobile content services from BSkyB directly from their handset, such as Sky’s on-demand library of news, entertainment and sports. Sky’s ‘Anytime’ application provides access to a range of live mobile TV services that include over 30 TV channels and allows customers to use their mobile phone to program their Sky+ set-top boxes remotely.

The MOTO Z8 will be available for purchase in Europe and Asia beginning in June.

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