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Motorola Droid RAZR Review

Motorola Droid RAZR in photos
Motorola Droid RAZR in photos
Louis Abate

Motorola Droid RAZR

Rating:
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The RAZR is Motorola’s latest handset designed to take advantage of Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It packs all the latest technology, including a dual-core processor, super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel camera and 1080p HD video recording. Its 4.3-inch display puts it in the Droid X size class, but the newly designed case and KEVLAR back plate give it some style. The dual core processor handles Android’s Gingerbread operation system with ease and the LTE network brings forth 10-15Mbps download speeds. However, all this speed comes at a cost: battery life. Does the super fast dual core processor and insane download speed outweigh the limited run time? Read on to find out.

Motorola Droid RAZR
Louis Abate

Main Features and specifications:

  • 4G LTE network; 3G capable
  • Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display (540 x 960)
  • Dual-core processor
  • 16GB internal memory; 16GB microSD card
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video capture; 1.3MP front-facing camera with 720p HD video capture
  • 4G mobile Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Adobe® Flash® Player

What We Liked

4G LTE: Within the 4G areas (we tested in the Boston area) the speeds are simply incredible. On average, the RAZR was able to achieve download speeds between 10Mbps and 15Mbps. Adding to that, the ping was consistently less than 100 milliseconds - very impressive.

Design: If you recall, the original RAZR was Motorola’s famed flip phone that found its way into the hands of millions of consumers. Its thin clamshell design was striking and it’s obvious Motorola carried over some of that design prowess into the latest handset. While not quite as breathtaking as the original RAZR, the 4.3-inch, touchscreen laden monster is quite attractive. The first thing that echoes in one’s head after picking up the new RAZR is “Wow, this thing is thin.” And it is. Similar in design to Motorola’s other monstrous phone, the Droid X, the RAZR shaves a few millimeters off and adds a KEVLAR® back plate. The large size is great for web surfing and video playback, but it makes on-handed typing a difficult task. Aside from the large size the design does indeed live up to the RAZR name.

Call quality:Verizon-backed handsets rarely fail in the call quality/signal strength departments. The latest RAZR is no exception. During testing we experienced no dropped calls and overall fidelity was outstanding.

Display:The massive touchscreen makes surfing the web, watching video and flipping through photos a very enjoyable experience. The brightness level is impressive, black levels fantastic, and viewing angle more than adequate. Touch responsiveness is also excellent. The only issue we ran into was the saturation level. It’s apparent Motorola amped up the saturation level to make colors pop off the screen. However, they may have taken it a bit too far, as photographs appear unnaturally red and video doesn’t look true to life. The good news, when looking solely at the phone and not comparing it side by side to another handset, is that it’s not as noticeable.

Charger: Motorola included a compact USB charger with not one, but two USB ports. In the days of carrying multiple USB “chargeable” devices in one’s pack, this is a nice touch. For those that frequently travel with a tablet or Bluetooth headset, this is the only charger you’ll need.

What We Didn’t Like

Battery life: The combination of the large display and 4G radio utterly destroyed the 1780 mAh lithium battery. During a day of normal use, the RAZR was easily dead in 10 or so hours. At this point, it is a fair tradeoff: blisteringly fast download speeds and brilliant display – or marathon battery life. While we would normally settle for the former, the RAZR is not going to work well for heavy users who find themselves away from an available USB port or AC outlet.

Our Verdict: The Droid RAZR is the best Android handset we’ve tested to date. Its blazing fast processor coupled with Verizon’s insanely fast 4G LTE network make this Android handset the one to beat. Gingerbread OS runs extremely well on the powerful hardware, rendering even the most complex web pages with confidence, and the “old school TV tube power down animation” is a nice touch. The new RAZR is not a small phone, with a 4.3-inch display this is EVO/Thunderbolt size territory, but if this size form factor is what you’re after there is little reason not to give the RAZR a try.

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