Motorola DROID RAZR ReviewMotorola DROID RAZR 9
Since it’s running the same customized MOTOBLUR experience found on the DROID 3 and DROID BIONIC, the layout of the camera interface isn’t particularly new . Dominating most of the interface, we get a good view on what we’re shooting with the viewfinder, but we find the usual suspect of icons littered on its side – like the on-screen shutter key, digital zoom controls, and video mode toggle. Furthermore, there’s an accessible sliding bar that holds additional icons that allow us to change shooting modes, choose different effects, and get into its settings. Compared to others, it’s lacking on some manual controls that are near and dear to photo enthusiast out there.
outdoor sunny conditions, details are rather faint in appearance, and at the same time, it generally casts a cooler color reproduction – making the overall shot appear bluish in tone. Even indoors under artificial lighting, we still notice the same bluish tinge to the shots. Meanwhile, in extreme low lighting situations, image quality is diminished due to its grainy appearance – with a bit of digital noise evident as well. Fortunately, its LED flash is able to illuminate the shot properly with an even amount of lighting. However, it still has some difficulty in properly focusing when attempting to take shots in complete darkness. In the end, photos are good, but not great! If you plan to print out 4" x 6" photos, it's not going to be that much of a problem, but if you intend on blowing them up, just expect them to be underwhelming.
high-definition video recording? Well, it simply fails to impress us. On paper, its 1080p high-definition video recording sounds great, but after previewing them on a computer, we're left scratching our heads. As it captures video at the rate of 29 frames per second and records clear audio, the biggest distraction that we find is its below average detail quality – it simply looks flat and indistinct. Also, it lacks continuous auto-focus, but rather, it features touch focus instead.
Motorola DROID RAZR Sample Video:
Motorola DROID RAZR Indoor Sample Video:
Utilizing the same music player interface featured on other recent Motorola smartphones, it has a conventional approach with its presentation as songs are being played – displaying such things as the album cover and on-screen controls. However, we do like the nifty looking 3D carousel gallery available when we’re browsing through songs in landscape. Rounding things out, we definitely appreciate the usefulness of lyrics being displayed as a song is being played, which transforms the phone into a mini karaoke machine of some sort. With its single speaker, it's able to produce some audible tones, but it tends to sound rather sharp when it's placed at the loudest volume setting. However, in order to fine tune things out, we're presented with a broad range of equalizer settings to better adapt to specific genre of music.
Before proceeding to load our tests video, we're already thinking in the back of our minds that it's going to be a phenomenal experience, partly because of its fast processor and brilliant looking Super AMOLED display. And right on cue, the handset is able to deliver just that as it's able to play our video that's encoded in MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 resolution. Easily, it’s able to play it effortlessly, while reeling us in thanks to its smooth playback, rich details, and iridescent appearance. Therefore, if you happen to love long trips on the road, the Motorola DROID RAZR will be the perfect companion for you.
As we previously mentioned already, we're ecstatic to know that DROID RAZR packs a microHDMI port. Much like other smartphones that offer the functionality, we're given the ability to do things like outputting high-definition video, sharing other multimedia content, and a mirrored experience. Furthermore, with the aid of some optional Motorola Webtop enabled accessories, such as the lapdock and HD station, we're given the full web browsing experience thanks to Mozilla Firefox – plus, we're still able to interact with the phone's various functionality. Naturally, it's not the first time we're seeing it, but it's nevertheless something that we truly appreciate.
Internally, it's packed with 8GB of storage, which is indeed paltry for a device of this caliber, but it's thankfully supplemented by the preloaded 16GB microSD card in its available slot. And if that's certainly not enough for you, then you can always replace it with cards up to 32GB in size.
Internet and Connectivity:
Running at full speed ahead, the DROID RAZR isn't shy to show off its web browsing performance – even more when it's packing lightning fast 4G LTE speeds. In fact, we managed to get download and upload speeds of up to 10Mbit/s and 11.5Mbit/s respectively in our testing, but of course, you can achieve even better results depending on your location, the current congestion of the network and so on. Besides the wicked speeds, the overall web browsing experience is arguably rock solid thanks to its responsive nature. So whether it's pinch zooming or kinetic scrolling, its movement is very gracious to deliver an engaging experience. Throw in the fact that it doesn't stutter even in the face of Flash content, it's remarkably equipped in providing us with that near desktop-like experience.
Needless to say, we're impressed to find that Motorola has managed to package all of its radios into a confined space. Yet, it would've been even more monumental if they happened to somehow make it a global device, but instead, it's merely a CDMA/EVDO device. Nonetheless, we're utterly blown away that it also packs a 4G LTE radio after taking into account its overall size. Additionally, it features other connectivity items such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.
At this point, we've been thoroughly amazed by the handset's hardware, but underneath it all in the software side, Motorola has managed to plant some of its presence in the included applications. For starters, it includes MotoCast, which empowers the handset to stream files from an internet-connected computer. Essentially, it's a cloud-based system that provides almost an unlimited amount of data storage for the smartphone – seeing that we can stream and gain access to shared files and folders on a computer.
If you happen to be particular about having complete control in everything surrounding the DROID RAZR, the Smart Actions functionality will be especially appealing to you. Honestly, it turns the handset into your very own personal digital assistant – but the beauty in it is that it's actually smart! Basically, Smart Actions is a reminder system on steroids, seeing that it provides a wide array of actions based on specific triggers. For example, if you happen to activate the ‘work’ Smart Action, it'll know when you arrive at work due to your GPS coordinates, while at the same time, it can even automatically send a text to someone informing them that you've arrived safely. Another example is found with the ‘car’ Smart Action, which senses that you're in your car when the handset is connected to some sort of Bluetooth system; say like a Bluetooth speaker of some sort. Once the phone registers that the trigger has been executed, it can automatically set it so that you can't send text messages or accept phone calls. All in all, it's definitely a neat feature that gives you a lot of control in what you do on the device.
Unsurprisingly, Verizon's presence is very well established on the handset thanks to applications such as My Verizon, V CAST Tones, Verizon Video, and VZ Navigator. Also, Motorola packs along a couple other branded apps like MOTOACTV and MOTOPRINT. For the enterprise or business user, apps like GoToMeeting and QuickOffice are particularly useful for their needs. Meanwhile, we find other third-party apps included such as Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, IM, Let's Golf 2, Madden NFL 2012, Netflix, NFL Mobile, Slacker, and VideoSurf. And of course, all of the typical Google branded applications are all on board to give us that tried and true Android experience.
1. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Sexy! Finally a Motorola phone made correctly. I'd say a fitting score. I think qHD on 4.3'' is fine and the ICS update will be on the way.
3. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
By made correctly, I don't mean build quality cuz Moto is top notch in that area.
152. Mark_Washington (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)
I like this phone! Very solid build. The metal edges have a good feel and are easy to grip, the camera bulge is not too protrusive, it feels very thin and light in the pocket, and it's pleasantly fast in CPU and downloads. Call quality seems quite good, natural sounding voices, much better in this respect than my previous Droid X.
Camera is actually pretty good. Didn't have great expectations after seeing poor low-light performance in Photon, but this doesn't seem to display the speckle that predominated the Photon. Multi-shot (six shot) is a nice feature. Reasonably fast shutter. Overall pleased.
Things I'd change:
- The pixelation on the screen is very annoying. Text is much harder to read than on iPhone. Fringing is visible on all straight lines. A white background has diagonal, crisscrossed lines. In the case of black lines on a white background, some borders have red edges, some blue. This is presumably due to the alternating RGBG/BGRG pixel pattern. As a result, small text is often illegible. The screen changes colors off axis, especially past about 45 degrees it shifts everything towards green. Not nearly as good as Samsung sAMOLED screens in that respect. So, the display is the biggest letdown on this device.
-Battery life is short, expect to recharge every chance you get. Take it off the charger and read a few news articles and it's down to 70%. Presumably worse if doing games or video or nav. Rough estimate is it will last about 3 hours with normal use, and that's with 1780 mAhr.
-Power button is placed awkwardly, and is nearly flush with the phone, but the saving grace is that it has a distinctive ridged feel that can be used to find it by running a finger along the edge.
Even with these drawbacks, still like it better than other current Android phones, e.g., rate it over the GSII for 540 vs 480 pixel screen resolution and higher quality materials and overall better design.
But please, put a decent 720 pixel screen in the next Razr.
I suggest check for best deal before you will buy the RAZR at:http://Amzoffer.com/DroidRAZR
52. sudhar131998 (Posts: 63; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)
hell is thin? or was it just a figure of speech cause i don't know but i got a question for you , have you visited hell?
84. Sinaps (Posts: 60; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)
Don't be a smart ass, you know what he meant.
87. Nathan (Posts: 85; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)
The thickest point is 10.6mm while the thinnest is at 7.1mm.
4. biophone (Posts: 1926; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Dang this phone has disappointed me because of the camera hump and the bad battery life. The rezound won't have good battery life either I can tell already but hopefully the nexus can step up in that department.
56. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
how will the Nexus step up? it has a similar sized battery and it has an HDSA display w/ everything the Razr has here.
83. biophone (Posts: 1926; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Yeah i am saying hopefully but its looks as if it will be a while till we get a lte phone with good battery life. What i would have rather moto done is make the phone thicker get rid of the hump and stick a bigger battery in ther say 2000 mah. The rezound has has no chance at decent battery with a 1.5 ghz proccesor 720p screen and small battery.
149. Synack (Posts: 677; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
They're already saying the Nexus has incredible battery life for a 4G LTE phone. Probably a combination of hardware optimization and several other small factors. I believe I read on here or somewhere else that it is capable of 12 hours on full brightness and constant usage and running of apps. That's pretty amazing. Grab a 4G to 3G widget/app and you should be seeing this baby last 2+ days on normal use.
74. jroc74 (Posts: 6002; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
You say bad battery life...and even tho it didnt reach 12.5 hours talk time in this review.....just comparing it to the Bionic and saying its similar is nothing to sneeze at.
The Bionic currently has the best overall battery life of all the LTE phones on Verizon. And the talk time is the biggest difference.
88. NotoNeo (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)
The pictures make the hump look bigger than it actually is. In person, it's no bigger than an iPhone 4. At least that's how it looks. Trust me, see it in person and you will be taken aback by how thin the device really is.
6. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
I really can't decide between ths and the Rezound.
23. willardcw4 (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Oct 2011)
I'd say the Rezound over the RAZR... the screen being 720p on the Rezound is a big deal and is a lot more 'future proof'. With that much of a difference in ppi between these two phones you should be able to notice the difference in the store when you're handling them.
57. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
how the hell is it more future proof than the Razr? because of the HD LCD Display? the Rezound is weaker than the Razr which means it's not as future proof.
143. leftheodo (Posts: 91; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
How is the rezound weaker than the Razr? The screen of the razr with its pentile technology is not that good! Take a look at the review and see the backround of the video being watched on the phone!
7. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
Come on how can you give this phone an 9. Ofcourse the design is awesome but the screen is really outdated with its low pixel density, and the camera isnt that good either. If This gets an 9 what would the HTC Rezound get than, a 10? because the screen is one of the most important things on a phone almost everything you do with your phone goes trough your screen
8. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Clearly you have not read thre review. Two words: SUPER AMOLED. 256 ppi is quite alright. this thing is also amazingly thin so it deserves what it got.
11. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
is quite allright worth a 9? a screen is so essential for a phone. and with this "retina quality" coming with the rezound and nexus on android devices im just asking myself what grades these phones would get knowing that the one also already has ICS and the other one 1.5 processor
15. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Would you rather have them review the Galaxy S II again and give it a 8/10 because the pixel density in that phone is much lower.
93. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Exactly. On a 4" screen, you have to put your eye right up to the screen to see any difference. Everyone is so caught up in specs, they miss the fact that it's the whole package that matters. It's unlikely that you will be watching anything on this phone that will require such density. It's not a flat screen TV people, it's a phone.
112. harold1 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)
Do you ever read text on the web? higher resolution is always nicer..
and the whole package on this is pretty good
16. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Would you rather have 340ppi S-LCD or 260 ppi Super AMOLED? The OMAP chip, even though its not the 4460, is more powerful than the S3 in the Rezound.
18. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
I would go with the Rezound, mainly because of HTC's sexy design, amazing pixel density, and HTC Sense. Also, the Super LCD on every new HTC phone is much sharper than the one's you'd find on the Sensation.
94. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
What makes the Rezound sexy? Not criticizing, just asking as I find it quite boring.
27. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
I will take the S-LCD 340 ppi any day. It is a lot sharper and it is not pentile, even in the video you can see the pixel.
31. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Screen is outdated??? Low pixel density???
Nexus has 720p but it is pentile so for me it is quite a rubbish.
Do you really think that you would be able to see a difference between RAZR screen and Rezound which additional has weaker S3 compared to OMAP?
35. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
Yes you can definitely see the difference till 300 PPI. And since i use my phone alot for reading (books, Internet and emails) the screen is a dealbreaker for me.
38. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
This is not so huge difference to be a deal breaker.
This is not a pentile so it has truly huge ppx.
I can use N8 which has even lower pixel density and it is ok.
Tell me honestly, Tom.
Before retina era was it uncomfortable to use your phone, whatever you had, to do it?
41. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
No but i didnt read books on my previous phones but im now looking for a phone that can replace/or come close to replace my ereader.. when i read articles of my laptop all day it really messes up my eyes and i dont want that to happen when i read from my phone as well. so im looking for the most sharp screen there is but also with a reasonable size.. i think given this only the nexus and rezound re good enough
42. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Ok. Im looking for a great camera phone, you are looking for a great screen. Let it be.
Still, I think that RAZR screen is good enough to use it in a way you would like to.
I will jump to the nearest store when it will be available in my neighborhood and give it a try.
44. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
Yes it remains an amazing phone that in my opinion is aesthetic unmatched. Not sure if it comes to the netherlands.. im curious btw what will happen with the soft keys when the razr gets ICS
71. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Probably will be useless. Or dual mode (you can use or not if you want)
156. mobileuser (Posts: 66; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
How the screen display actucally look is just a matter of personnal preference. I have been using the phone for over a month and I have had no problems to read texts even with its pentile display. I really dont think it is a big deal because you won't see much different to other type of display for most of the time if you know how to adjust the screen brightness. Although, it is not running at the same display resolution as the Nexus, it is in fact running at the highest possible resolution it run under the 4.3 limited screen size.
75. jroc74 (Posts: 6002; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Well hell....the iPhone 4S battery got destroyed with no help from LTE...lol Thank god it didnt have LTE....
12. Packer29 (Posts: 56; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
This phone gets released only a month or so after the Bionic and i cant stand the way it looks and im guessing the battery will drain just has quickly has most lte phones im not impressed!
13. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Pixel density is fine normal, shouldn't be a con. Plus, Super AMOLED makes up for that fact if anyone finds the pixel density low.
22. roldefol (Posts: 4171; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Not sure I agree. Super AMOLED is great for screen vibrance, but this isn't much of an improvement over the SGS line.
138. Fred1234567 (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
Major improvement over SGS Line. it is Super OMALED aaaand qHD.
14. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Great, now not having Android ICS even though Moto promised it is now a con.
19. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)
Good thing it's John V. who reviewed this handset. I think is the best reviewer in PA
20. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
The review was fine, but putting "not having ICS out of the box" as a con is flat out rediculous.. ITS NOT OUT YET. Did you ding the iphone4s for not having iOS6 in it?? I mean seriously.
Other than that, welcome back to the big time, Moto.
24. willardcw4 (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Oct 2011)
Agreed... it's too bad the RAZR doesn't come pre-loaded with Windows 9.
25. roldefol (Posts: 4171; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I think it's the fact that it's SO CLOSE to release, and given that Google is buying Moto, it could have come out of the box had they just waited a month or so. If the Droid 4 still runs Gingerbread, I can see it being a legit complaint.
95. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Just a point of fact here folks. Google launched ICS on the Nexus. They want that phone to be the flagship for ICS when it launches. The fact that Google is buying Motorola is irrelevant here. The shareholders won't aprove the transaction until Nov. 17. Moto has already promised a 6 week time frame for ICS, so no doubt they have advance copies of the software and the upgrade is already in the works.
29. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
I love your lack of courtesy in spelling the ''iPhone 4S''
58. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
with an extra 200MHz on the 4430 i would say the max would now be around 2900 on Quadrant.
70. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)
You may be correct....but why do we have to guess? What reviewer would fail to include benchmarks?
30. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
"However, we still notice every now and then just a slight pause or delay with some of its movement – though, it's nothing detrimental and almost negligible.
How can it be possible
Android is not fully optimized or is it Motos fault. Lagging dual core. Funny
Seriously guys...that is the only andro phone which i would possibly like to have instead of N9 for example.
Design is AMAZING!
But this review...well, it is not a first time when i do not fully understand your opinion.
Screen is great, but with so-so pixel density
WTF is THAT!!!!!!!
Every phone must have 720p from now on!! If not, PA will consider it as a CONS!!
Cmon guys, that is stupid.
77. jroc74 (Posts: 6002; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Why do ppl keep thinking dual core is supposed to make the phone more smoother, fluid?
Look at HTC Android phone's from last year with Sense UI, look at the iPhone's before the 4S, look at WP7...look at the Galaxy S 2.
I think its safe to say we all should know dual core is not what makes a phone's UI smoother, more fluid.
96. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Dual core is one of many factors that lead to smooth and fluid behavior. Processing two information streams at the same time allows the processor to complete tasks faster, without lag, thus making the action smoother. RAM (and speed thereof) is equally important. Irrespective of the processor speed, the number of cores or amount of RAM, there is no doubt that overlaying heavy software on top of the OS will slow it down.
|Display||4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED Advanced|
TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
|Size||5.15 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches|
(130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm)
4.48 oz (127 g)
|Battery||1780 mAh, 12.5 hours talk time|