The Motorola Razr V3 vs the LX550 "Fusic"

I'll start with some pictures. Please note that these aren't scaled, so you can't compare thickness. Also note that these images were pulled from other websites. Each has been converted into a clickable link to give credit.

If you really have a problem with this though just let me know and I'll remove it.

Razr V3:

LX550 "Fusic":

Bottom line: The LG Fusic (LX550) is a better phone than the Razr V3.

I've seen a lot of people using the Razr V3, and even my mother and brother have one. My brother originally wanted the Razr because he needed a new phone, and a lot of his friends had Razrs. (peer pressure?) I think my mother wanted one because it was "slim" and would fit in her purse better. Neither of them were at the Sprint store when we bought them, so we followed their requests and bought two Razrs.

I had spent a few hours reading about various phones on Sprint's website, and I chose the LX550 "Fusic" instead, because it had good battery life and seemed like Sprint's best phone-based mp3 player. I needed something to replace my aging CD MP3 player, and I was seriously considering an iPod. While this is not as good, the screen is still easier to read than my old player, and flash media is much easier to update than CD-RW media.

My father originally wanted a different phone, but choose to buy an LX550 after seeing that the battery life was even better than the one he had selected. After using the phones for a few months, both my mother and brother wish they had also purchased an LX550 instead of the Razr. Here's why:

* The LX550 is only slightly thicker, and it is not as wide. Although the Razr is slimmer, I think the Razr's width makes it seem slimmer than it really is.
* Their main screens have the same resolution. The LX550's screen isn't as wide, but neither does it use as much power.
* The screen on the LX550's cover has higher resolution than the one on the Razr.
* The LX550 has much longer battery life (more talk time)
* They both feature music players, except the LX550 has a headset port that also supports any stereo headphone. The Razr forces you to use bluetooth for everything**, so good luck hooking it up to traditional speakers like an iPod. But don't worry, the LX550 also supports bluetooth. **Apparently there is an adapter that allows the use of normal headphones, but it isn't obvious, and it doesn't come with the phone.
* The LX550 has an FM transmitter. Play it over your car's radio.
* In what I can only describe as an amazing design flaw that leaves me saying, "What were the designers thinking?!?" (Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning), the Razr V3 forces you to remove the battery if you want to take out the MicroSD card. This involves removing the Razr's battery cover, removing the battery, and prying out the MicroSD card. Imagine having to disassemble your computer every time you want to insert/remove a flash drive! The LX550 lets you remove the memory while you're using the phone, so you can pop it into a digital camera, PDA, or computer's card reader on the fly.
* The LX550 lets me email pictures from my real digital camera using picture mail (I just need to put the MicroSD card in my camera using the SD adapter). Experiments using the Razr showed that it did not recognize pictures from my camera. This is important because sometimes the phone's camera optics just aren't good enough. There are many things digital cameras can do that phone camera's can't, and sometimes quality really is important. It's nice being able to swap files from the camera to the phone, and I still haven't been able to do that with the Razr.
* Although I still don't recommend phone cameras, the LX550 includes a light, and the Razr does not. This "flash" is only an LED light, but it can also be used during video recording.
* The LX550 lets you send "picture mail" without pictures, and the Razr does not. This is important if your service plan provides free picture mail but charges for text messaging. (note: I am in the process of verifying that this is still considered "picture mail")
* The LX550 lets you customize an entire menu in addition to the four direction keys. The Razr V3 only lets you customize the four direction keys.

Of course the LX550 isn't without its own problems. If you don't have firmware LX550V12, then you need to bring it to a Sprint store to obtain an update. LX550V08 had a bug that made vibrate mode useless, and it was reported to crash when receiving some picture mail. LX550V12 also allows the phone to use 2 GB MicroSD memory instead of 1 GB with previous firmware. This is a free update, but some stores incorrectly charge $15. You can credit your bill by calling customer service.

I've noticed that the LX550 still crashes when opening a lot of picture mail. To be fair, I'm redirecting most of my normal email to it, and it wasn't really designed for that.

Some people don't like how the LX550's antenna isn't fully concealed, however the reception is still good. In my opinion, this really isn't a reason to buy a different phone.

Since a lot of people use their phones as flashlights, there should have been a way to use the LX550's LED light on its own and not just during video recording.

This comparison does not consider phone prices, as they're time sensitive and subject to provider/contract discounts.

There might be better versions of the Razr, and this review does not apply to them.

This is not a complete feature list for either phone. I have only pointed out differences which I think are significant. Although I mentioned some software differences, this is mainly a hardware review. I honestly can't think of anything that the Razr V3 does which the LX550 doesn't, so I conclude by saying, "mine can do anything theirs can do better".

There is another flaw with the Razr. I took a picture of a squirrel on my camera, transfered it to my phone, and picture mailed it to my brother's Razr. His phone wouldn't let him forward it to anyone because it was "licensed". I suspect that if he picture mailed one of his own images, and I mailed it back to him, he could actually loose access to his own image because of its crappy digital restrictions management (DRM). Don't get the Razr.

This was posted on 11/20/2007, though I'm setting the date back to reflect the time it was originally shared on a private website.