Motorola’s DROID RAZR takes two of Motorola’s most successful phones series and merges them together. In particular, the DROID RAZR brings the prowess of the DROID series and combines it with the super skinny yet strong form factor that has traditionally been associated with the RAZR series. Is the DROID RAZR 4G LTE for Verizon Wireless the ultimate Android Smartphone? Read on for our full review.
Measuring 5.14″ long by 2.71″ wide by 0.28″ thin, the DROID RAZR also claims to be the world’s thinnest smartphone. And the DROID RAZR does manage to to be super svelte. As a matter of fact, the first thing you’ll notice when you hold it in your hand is how incredibly thin it is and how light it feels, weighing in at 4.5 oz. Yet, despite being super thin, the device feels super strong and sturdy thanks to its aluminum body and complimenting Kevlar back finish. The Kevlar back finish helps ensure that the DROID RAZR stands out against the plethora of Android smartphones coming out everyday. It also creates an impressive finish, the kind of which we have come to associate with the RAZR series. If you liked the Galaxy S II for its ultra thin and lightweight body, than you’ll likely lust for the DROID RAZR too, as the build quality manages to one-up the Galaxy S II. Motorola has also thrown on “a force field of water-repellent nano-particles that shield the phone against water attacks” so that even the phone’s precious electrical boards are protected.
Really, the Kevlar finish is a bit gimmicky since it’s not like the whole phone is made out of Kevlar, nor does its Kevlar materials mean that the DROID is bullet proof, but it is a nice design touch in a world of smartphones that all look more or less the same. We’ve also noticed that the DROID RAZR is more of a guy magnet. The women we have shown it to weren’t all that taken with it, while the guys have generally been very impressed with its skinny form factor and Kevlar finish.
The Motorola DROID RAZR packs in a 4.3″ super AMOLED advanced qHD display, with a 540 x 960 resolution. The display is made out of Corning Gorilla Glass which should help defend against scrapes and scratches. The display gets plenty bright, and produces vivid colors. Unfortunately, like so many of Motorola’s smartphones, the display is also PenTile based, which means it has a mesh-like finish which we find pretty irritating. This same kind of PenTile display can be found on the likes of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Samsung Focus Flash. The reality is that most users won’t notice it, but if you are very sensitive to your device’s display quality, than this display isn’t for you.
Under the hood, the Motorola DROID RAZR is packing in a 1.2Ghz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor with 1GB of ram. The device earned a benchmark score of 2572 in Quadrant. This score shows that the phone ranks amongst higher end Gingerbread devices as far as performance is concerned. In general, performance on the device feels very peppy, responsive and smooth, but it’s not the fastest smartphone out there.
The DROID RAZR comes running Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. Some of the non-standard apps on the Motorola DROID RAZR include GoToMeeting. Let’s Golf 2, Madden NFL 12, Mobile Hotspot, MOTOACTV, MOTOPRINT, My Verizon, Netflix, NFL Mobile, Quickoffice, Slacker, Task manager, V CAST Tones, Verizon Video, VideoSurf, VZ Navigator, etc.
And despite its industrial chic exterior, Motorola has also worked hard to make sure that the DROID RAZR has plenty to offer the businessman or woman. To that effect, it comes preloaded with GoToMeeting, and Quickoffice. Plus it has support for government-grade FIPS 140-2 encryption for e-mail, calendar, and contacts, the ability to remotely enable or disable the camera, along with remote wipe, PIN lock, SD card and device encryption. And of course the DROID RAZR has full support for Microsoft Exchange.
Remember the Lapdock running the Webtop operating system, that Motorola first introduced with the Atrix? Well Motorola hasn’t given up on the concept of transforming your smartphone into a pseudo laptop / netbook. The latest generation of the Motorola Webtop experience has been improved since we first tried it out with the Atrix. Dock the DROID RAZR into the Webtop and the Lapdock piggy backs off of the DROID RAZR’s processors and internet connection so that you can experience the DROID RAZR with a full-sized screen and keyboard.
The Lapdock itself is pretty solid with a comfortable keyboard, but a bit on the cramped side, the way so many netbook keyboards are. The actual visual’s on the display are a bit blurry, and definitely a bit subpar. The Lapdock is also a bit on the thick side, especially by today’s ultra book standards.
Also, because the HDMI and MicroUSB ports are located at the bottom of the DROID RAZR, the DROID RAZR can’t dock into the back of the Lapdock by properly lying inside of it. This is a bit of a bummer since it defeats the whole purpose of the design of the Lapdock, which is to slide in and dock your Motorola smartphone into the backside of the Lapdock.
Overall, while the Webtop experience has been improved since we first tried it with the Motorola Atrix, we still think it’s a bit pointless. Especially considering that netbooks and tablets are dropping so much in price, that if you’re longing for a bigger screen experience on the road, you don’t have to settle for the limiting Webtop O.S.
The Motorola DROID RAZR sports a 1.3 MP front-facing camera with 720P HD video recording and an 8MP rear-facing camera with 1080P. The rear-facing camera has a tendency to produce blurry and very grainy shots, even with a steady hand and auto focus. On the bright side, the camera is quick to load up and snap pictures. Also, the color reproduction tends to be pretty accurate but not very vivid. Overall, the camera is ok, but nothing to write home about .
Battery life on the device isn’t very good, and we found that with moderate use, within 10 hours or so, the battery will drain out. Motorola does offer an external battery accessory for the DROID RAZR and you’ll probably want to get it since the battery in the RAZR is not removable. Fortunately, call quality on the DROID RAZR is good. We could hear callers loud and clear and they said the same of us.
The DROID RAZR is one of Verizon’s first handsets to pack in support for 4G LTE, the next generation of high speed data. Testing in New York City where there is currently 4G LTE coverage for Verizon, web sites did load up quite speedily on the DROID RAZR. According to the SpeedTest.net app, the DROID RAZR was able to achieve downloads as fast as 6097 kbps down down and 132 kbps up.
Does the Motorola DROID RAZR 4G LTE live up to all of the hype? It’s definitely a quality smartphone with a lot of going for it – including svelte and very unique looks, speed and plenty of business chops. It’s also got a plethora of innovative accessories available for it like Webtop, an HD dock, MOTOACTV and a battery extender, which further make it help stand out against the Gingerbread competition. That said, the DROID RAZR is a bit of a let down by its PenTile display and mediocre camera and battery life. Regardless, if you’re ready to jump on getting the DROID RAZR, you couldn’t have picked a better time, since it’s on sale for $0.01 at Amazon because of Black Friday.
The Good: Very unique aluminum design with Kevlar back; 4G LTE and dual-core powered, large 4.3″ AMOLED display; plenty of business chops and available accessories; does a good job of handling both social media and important business features.
The Bad: Subpar battery life; mediocre camera; PenTile display; body is a bit of a grease magnet; battery is not removable.