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Motorola broadens use of its Razr brand with new phones

NEW YORK--Motorola is broadening the use of its Razr brand to a family of smartphones in its first major product launch under new owner Google.

Verizon Wireless started taking pre-orders Wednesday for the first of the new phones, the Droid Razr M. It's a cheaper, smaller phone than the Razr that Motorola Mobility launched last year. The Razr is the name of the wildly popular clamshell phone launched in 2004. Motorola hasn't had a hit since then.

The US$99 Razr M will be in U.S. stores next week.

Motorola is following up with the launch of two high-end models, the Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD, later this year. It's emphasizing long battery life — up to 21 hours of talk time for the Maxx HD, or 10 hours of video streaming.

The new phones will run on Google's Android operating system.

Google Inc. bought Motorola for US$12.4 billion in May. Though it's a pioneer in the cellphone industry, Motorola has been struggling in recent years. In buying Motorola, Google was mostly seeking a patent portfolio that might help Android phone makers fend off lawsuits from Apple. Samsung lost one such lawsuit in Silicon Valley last month.

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Motorola's three new Droid Razr smartphones, the Droid Razr M, the Droid Razr HD and the Droid Razr Maxx HD, are unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The phones are the first from Motorola under new owner Google. (AP)

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