Motorola RAZR V3

Having worked for Motorola for over 9 years, I have owned only 3 Motorola phones.
When I first saw the RAZR V3 and its list of features. I ordered one.
(This was despite being made redundant by them the week before I ordered it).

I had a problem with getting the phone to take a charge from the mains charger.
There would be periods when the phone would appear to be ‘dead’ and pressing the power button would cause the panel to briefly light and then go out completely.
Even with the charger plugged in, it would not power up.

I was told by the company I bought it from that sometimes removing the battery and leaving it out overnight would help. Well twice it did, but other times it wouldn’t. (I since found out why that worked and I’ll explain it below).

I did some digging around on the net and couldn’t find a definitive answer, so I called a few colleagues at Motorola. Despite working for them for 9 years, I only worked on the Base station aspect of Mobile phones (plus a year working on Tetra equipment). I never worked with the Mobile phone division directly. A few people had told me about charging circuit problems, but no one had a clue as to what the failures were about.

I think I have found the problem with my phone, whether or not it works for you, I don’t know. Basically, when the battery is dead flat, the mains charger is totally useless. The internal charging circuitry will not switch on to allow it to take a charge from the mains charger. How to get round this? Use the car charger for 10secs. 10secs on the car charger is enough to give the battery a small level that will allow it then to take a charge from the mains charger. RAZR V3

One of the features I specifically wanted the phone for, was bluetooth. This allows me to sync up between my various PC’s without the need for cables etc. It also allows me to use my laptop via dial-up on the phone without cables. The bluetooth feature though is one of the reasons why the battery has a life of less than a day most often or not. If I place the phone close to the other bluetooth device, it lasts longer, but if I place my phone in the kitchen away from the PC’s, it seems the bluetooth device in the phone places a large drain on the battery.

If the battery is already low and it is nowhere near the charger, then a single call will drain the battery completely and leave it unable to take a charge from the mains charger.

I now make sure it is hooked up to the charger whenever I am near a mains outlet, or plugged in to the car charger on trips. As soon as the battery level drops to a single bar, I have to switch off the phone until I am able to find a charging point.

I believe they have fixed this in the later models of the phone, but even with my contacts, it is hard to get Motorola to admit there is a problem, and to get them to replace my phone with a later model. Both my wife and son have a Nokia which they charge once a week if they are lucky. If my V3 goes without a charge for more than a day, it will die until I can get it near my car charger.

So if your RAZR V3 dies and it appears the battery is dead as a dodo, then I would go plug it into your car charger (assuming you have one) for a minute or so, just to give the battery a boost.

Now in fairness to the phone, it might be that the voltage output from my mains charger is slightly low and unable to trigger the internal charging circuit. Car charges tend to output a slightly higher voltage (and rely upon the phones internal charging circuit to get the voltage to the right level).
It might also be a fault with the phone itself and I am leaning towards this, since the later V3 models have a modified charging circuit and the charger remained the same. It could have been down to component tolerances rather than bad design in itself. But seeing as Motorola won’t respond to any of my support requests, I’ll just have to guess.

As for the battery drain itself, well that might have to be accepted. The more features you place in a phone, the more features you want from a phone, then the bigger the drain on battery life. Motorola never really got battery life sorted out as well as the competitors, but then that’s because certain other companies ‘cheat’ when it comes to battery life. (By cheat, I mean for example, the standards say a mobile phone must ‘talk’ to the network every few time intervals. If you cut the number of times that the phone talks to the network, then you save on power used. Motorola was always big on ethics and tended to stick to the letter of the standard, no matter if the competition cheated slightly). Motorola are also quite advanced in fuel-cell technology and it won’t be long before we begin pumping ‘butane’ into our phones.

But in the mean time, I need to learn to switch off my bluetooth (which sort of nullifies the use of my headset), make sure its hooked to the mains charger 24/7, or by a hat with an inbuilt solar panel. (Or go by a Nokia… but I just can’t bring myself to do that, despite the layoffs, just hearing the Nokia ring tone still makes me cringe).