You must never press the original Razr’s forbidden internet button

The primary cellphone I ever owned was a Motorola Razr. The Razr’s buttons are a few of the most interesting ever to grace a cellular system. The keypad is laser-etched out of a sheet of shimmering aluminum, and when pressed, ignites in a lambent blue glow that appeared like the sci-fi future.

However there was one button that I used to be terrified to press. In all my years of proudly owning a Razr, I can’t say I tapped it greater than a few times, and never on goal: the internet button.

Situated on the higher left facet of the keypad, the internet button was emblazoned with a blue globe and would open the Razr’s built-in internet browser. The issue, after all, was that in the heady days of 2007, once I first obtained a cellphone, I didn’t pay for knowledge. Which meant that urgent the button was a recipe for getting hit with dreaded overage charges.


Now, would AT&T even have charged me (and by extension, my household’s shared cellphone plan) a whole lot of {dollars} for the crime of using valuable kilobytes of knowledge to by chance load Google’s rudimentary cellular website? I actually don’t know. However with issues like textual content messages and name minutes already closely regulated by the provider — resulting in steep costs for overages — I wasn’t taking any probabilities.

I wasn’t taking any probabilities

Sadly, the primary design of the Razr meant that these intentions have been typically moot. The internet button was too conveniently situated, positioned proper subsequent to the inexperienced “reply name button” and straight adjoining to the directional pad. It was far too straightforward to press just by accident, launching over to the bare-bones internet browser and its looming charges. My recollections of the internet button are ones of unintended brushes, adopted by frantic mashing of the hold up or menu buttons in a determined try and exit out earlier than I used up any knowledge.

The Razr’s internet button was aspirational. It’s laborious to recollect it now, when the Razr is seen as the final expression of the function cellphone. It was the remaining, hovering excessive of the period earlier than smartphones would take over, with the iPhone and Android telephones debuting just some years later. At the time it was released in 2004, it value $500 with a two-year contract; the similar value that the “entry-level” mannequin of the original iPhone would cost when it debuted in 2007.

The Razr was a luxurious cellphone ripped proper out of the future, so it needed to provide options like e-mail and internet, even when the mobile and technological infrastructure we had then wasn’t prepared for the Razr’s ambitions.

Wanting again from the lofty vantage of 2021, the place internet-connected units are desk stakes and having mobile knowledge on a smartphone is a given, the place even units that purpose to keep away from “smartphone” standing provide some form of cellular knowledge, it appears virtually humorous. However in Razr’s heyday of the early 2000s, the torpid 2G internet that the flip cellphone provided was cutting-edge expertise — and it demanded a hefty toll on the knowledge plans of whomever dared to press it.

The Razr’s internet button was aspirational

Motorola appeared to ultimately notice that internet and e-mail — regardless of its greatest intentions — weren’t actually the most important attracts of the Razr, both. And later variations of the system (like the V3m) would ditch these buttons completely in favor of a devoted digicam shortcut and a transparent button, neither of which value any cash to make use of.

And Motorola might have had the final giggle in any case: when the firm resurrected the Razr model in 2020, it added an Easter egg that allowed customers to emulate the original neon-hued interface of the 2004 flip cellphone. And on it was an internet button, which, when tapped, would open Google Chrome — with all the advantages of LTE and Wi-Fi that now we have at this time.

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