Remember the mountain of accessories that were available alongside the Motorola Atrix? You can look forward to the same situation with the RAZR. Alongside the launch of the phone, Motorola were very keen to point out the whole line of accessories that will be available, and we were treated to a demonstration of a select few yesterday.
First up was the HD Dock: simply slot your phone into place and you’ll see mirrored 1080p output over HDMI to your TV. The output quality we observed was excellent, and all the typical OS animations remained fluid and responsive. The intended purpose is clearly for listening to music or watching video, but the mirrored output will allow you to use all your typical apps on the big screen if your heart so desires.
So how are you going to control the phone while it’s in the dock? A Bluetooth keyboard and mouse will be available just in case you’ve been complaining about how you want more clutter in your living room, but there’s a second (and much cooler) option.
Enter the Smart Controller. At first you might be fooled into thinking it’s yet another Bluetooth mouse, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. First, there’s a multi-touch gesture area on the top of the device – so if you were using the browser on your TV, you could pinch to zoom or scroll with the controller as if the phone were still in your hand. Otherwise the panel works much in the same way it would on a laptop. Once connected, you get a mouse pointer and can zip around the screen with a single finger. Below the gesture area are the standard Android buttons (Back, Home, et al).
That’s all well and good, but what if you get a phone call while your phone is docked half way across the room? The Smart Controller features an earpiece and microphone, so you can simply take the call using that instead of having to move. We saw a quick call placed to the docked phone during the demonstration and the Controller picked up the call – it simply worked as advertised.
It’s encouraging to see Motorola thinking of the all around user experience beyond hardware specs, but we can’t help but wonder if people are really going to buy the accessories separately after investing a large lump sum in the phone (or committing to a lengthy contract). Orange have included or subsidized some Atrix accessories in the past, so it might be the smart option to wait and see what the carriers come up with before rushing to part with your money.
No word on pricing just yet, but the various accessories will land around the same time as the RAZR itself.