In the third quarter of 2004 Motorola made history by releasing the most popular flip phone which took the world by storm. Thin, with sharp lines, this clamshell device would become a fashion icon and sell more than 130 million units in it’s four year lifespan. That devices was the Motorola RAZR. Several variations of the RAZR would follow but none of them would match the original in sales. Soon after the RAZR dynasty would be laid to rest while the iPhone and BlackBerry gained momentum with their smartphones. Fast forward to October 2011. After regaining much of it’s lost glory, Motorola returns with a vengeance and begins selling high end Android Devices with cutting edge hardware. Motorola would call these devices “Droid”. Motorola regained past glory with string of very successful devices packing them with specs second to none while Android, an open source platform, quickly evolved and matured releasing major updates to the OS in rapid succession. Impressed with Motorola Mobility’s success, they would be bought by Google. A perfect alliance may not be the best description but what would is for sure is that Motorola shows no signs of falling asleep at the wheel like they did after the original RAZR. In October of 2011 Motorola Mobility, a Google company would call upon the name of it’s former glory once more and create a device second to none, Motorola would release the Droid RAZR for Verizon. The legend continues.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
The packaging, which is not standard for Android phones, is very well done. Inside you will find of course, one Motorola DROID RAZR, Sync Cable, assortment of reading material, and last but not least, and interesting little AC Plug. Unlike the typical AC Plug that we have seen so many times in the past, the one supplied with the Motorola DROID RAZR has two USB ports making it able to charge say, two DROID RAZRS should you have them.
SPECIFICATIONS & DESIGN
The Motorola Droid RAZR is superbly built and feels very solid for how thin it is. How thin is it you ask? The RAZR is amazingly thin measuring just .28 inches thick! It widens out quite a bit towards the top of the device where the camera hardware is located. The DROID RAZR is 5.15 inches long and 2.71 inches wide. Weight is 4.48 oz. and even though this device is very solidly built, it feels very lightweight in your hand.
So it is safe to say that how incredibly thin this device is that it is the first thing that draws your attention. If that is the case, then the second thing is KEVLAR back cover for the device. If you are looking at the pictures below, you can immediately see how amazing it looks. To hold the RAZR is just as cool. The KEVLAR does show fingerprints and has a very grip able feel to it making holding on to this device very easy.
Starting with the bottom of the RAZR, there are no ports along the bottom that is sometimes seen in Android devices. There are the 4 standard Android buttons across the bottom of the screen, menu, home, back, and search. There is also an opening for voice microphone just below the menu and home buttons. The left hand side of the device is where the bay is located for the SIM card as well as the microSD storage card. I am not a huge fan of these kinds of covers on devices, but this one is very well done and would not stay open on it’s own. On the top side of the DROID RAZR is located the micro USB and HDMI ports for your syncing and media viewing pleasure using the mirror mode with the micro HDMI port. Also located on the top is the 3.5mm audio jack which is really the only place it should be located. The right hand side of the RAZR has the power button towards the top and volume up and down rocker colored in black to match the bezel. The back side of the DROID RAZR has again the very cool KEVLAR coating as well as a thicker area where the camera is located. Across the top from left to right is the 8 megapixel camera and the LED Flash. on the right hand side is located the speaker for the DROID RAZR. Towards the bottom there is another microphone for recoding while using video capture.
Behind the 4.3 inch Gorilla Glass protected screen is a 960 x 540 qHD Super AMOLED Advanced panel that is a PenTile Matrix display. A lot of people have complained about the PenTile Matrix displays which even included me on several other Android Device reviews, but here on the DROID RAZR, I really liked what I saw. The display is sharp and when comparing it to the iPhone retina screen does a very good job. Colors seem to be a little saturated and dark, but are at the same time very rich. The RAZR screen is sharp and while watching my favorite Netflix streamed movie, the Lord of the Rings, I enjoyed the color and sharpness and the whole experience for a smartphone.
The Motorola DROID RAZR sports a 1.2 GHz dual core processor that is amazingly fast on this device. As a matter of fact, I have been very impressed with the speed of the Motorola devices used in daily routines. Unlike other high end Android devices that are sometimes prone to lags, the Motorola DROID RAZR does not lock up or lag at any time that I used it for this review. I ran some test as you can see below and looking across the internet at some other peoples scores on the RAZR, mine did come up short. Only scoring a 2404 Quadrant rating, that was an average of 300-500 points less than what I found others getting. However, I still contend that this is the fastest and best daily use Android device I have ever run.
The DROID RAZR comes with a 1 GB of LP DDR2 RAM, 16GB internal memory + 16GB microSD card preinstalled in the device making for 32GB of total storage for all your photos, videos and music.
The cameras on the Motorola DROID RAZR do a decent job but are not in the same league as other 8 megapixel cameras like the iPhone 4S and HTC Titan (Windows Phone). I found that the Bionic rear camera had some blurry issues at times and also had a hard time with certain red colors. But all in all the camera is pretty good and you can rest assured when using it that do a pretty decent job. The front facing camera on the Motorola DROID RAZR is a 1.3 megapixel webcam that has 720HD video recording capability. This made my Skype calls very nice on the other end for users I regularly conference with for work related usage. The video camera on the RAZR also has the same blurry problems as the camera and I thought the mic did a good job with sound. It records in 1080p HD Video which is pretty cool when using the HDMI out function (1080p HMDI Mirror Mode) to share your videos. The bottom line is that DROID RAZR has some high end hardware specs but falls short compared to some other devices on the market.
Below are some photos I snapped with the RAZR in great outdoors while deer hunting. As you cans see, the pictures are pretty decent until you have to zoom, then they get very grainy. Compared to the iPhone 4S, the RAZR has some more work to do.
The WIFI and Bluetooth (v2.1+ EDR) radios on the RAZR perform as expected and I had no trouble connecting either to my Jawbone headset or wireless. It is the speed of Verizon’s 4G LTE network that was the biggest surprise! I knew the capabilities of the 4G LTE service but since I live in a very rural area (it is actually closer to the middle of nowhere) I do not get any type of 4G service. Speeds on the Verizon network reached 25 mbps download and 13 mbps upload. It is amazing to see a smartphone stream that fast. The DROID RAZR on the Verizon 4G LTE service has some serious horsepower and the download speed is sick. Watching steaming services like Netflix and Pandora are amazing. Facebook, YouTube, and just plain surfing the net is an absolute joy! I have been critical of Verizon’s $100.00 premium that put on new 4G LTE devices which are $299.99 with two year purchase, but if you live in, or frequent a 4G LTE area I am would seriously consider the the extra money and almost justify it! I do think that Verizon will have only a short time left to enjoy the extra $100.00 premium for their 4G LTE devices because AT&T has started selling their 4G LTE devices and have maintained the $199.99 price point for them with of course the two year contract. To sum up the DROID RAZR running on the 4G LTE network is easy, it is simply blazing fast and where the 4G LTE markets are available.
Motorola has finally listened to the people and flushed MOTOBLUR. It was hard for me to use and had some serious side affects to the devices that had it on it. The DROID RAZR is running Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 and is loaded with Verizon apps otherwise know as bloat ware. I am not a huge fan of these apps and generally remove them from the today screen in favor of other widgets or apps I download myself. The Verizon app list is:
- Mobile Hotspot with support for up to 8 Devices
- Backup Assistant +, Visual Voice Mail, Verizon Video, VCAST Tones, VZ Navigator, My Verizon Mobile
- Full Suite of Google Apps incl.: Google Maps with Street View, Places and Latitude; Google Talk with Video Chat; Gmail; Google Books; YouTube™; Google Calendar
- 1000’s of apps &100’s of widgets avail. on Android Market
- Photo Sharing: Facebook, Flickr, Picasa , Photobucket®
The five panels on the today screen scroll incredibly smooth as do any of the screens I navigated to and from. Gingerbread is a much more complete OS than any of the former versions and is a lot more stable and less consuming on the battery. Out of all the Android devices I have used it is Motorola’s user interface I know like the best. It is a lot easier to scroll through and is simpler to view . Another add to the DROID RAZR is Smart Actions. Smart Actions is what Moto calls it’s artificial intelligence that learns from your usage patterns and can make recommendations to save you time and battery life. It will start up programs that you use at certain times like the morning news and weather, and can even switch to silent mode during working hours so that you won’t get busted for forgetting from that nagging boss. It is very easy to use and I thought was perfect companion to the DROID RAZR to help you maximize your experience.
I think I am going to leave this as one of the shortest conclusions I have ever written. The Motorola DROID RAZR is a must have device if you are wanting blazing fast Verizon 4G LTE speed and all access to the Android world. The RAZR is fast and I really liked the look and feel to it. I personally put an OtterBox on everything I own, but with the RAZR, it seems covering it up would be a crime. It fits great into your front pocket. I wish the camera would have been a little better, and maybe a few other little picky items, but the device as a whole is stellar. Motorola has committed to putting the newest of operating systems on the RAZR as soon as possible in 2012. It will be among the first devices to receive it. So if you like the form facture, you should not worry about getting left behind with the old operating system and wait for the new version 4.0 Android devices other than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus which is currently available with Ice Cream Sandwich. The DROID RAZR when originally launched was $299.99 with a two year contract but I have seen pricing drop to a more palatable $199.99. Look for the recently announced purple version if the color suits you, and a DROID RAZR MAXX with longer battery life to hit the Verizon store shelves early 2012.
Check out Verizon’s Droid page here for more information.