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Motorola DROID RAZR Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Motorola DROID RAZR Review
Just like the DROID BIONIC before it, the DROID RAZR has one fantastic calling quality. So if you happen to be a chatterbox, you'll definitely find the handset more than ideal for your yapping needs. Not only are voice distinctive and robust on both ends of the line, but there is no evidence of any background noise or static heard through the earpiece. Additionally, the earpiece's volume output is strong enough to make conversations very audible to the ear. Switching over to the speakerphone, we experience an exact performance as it's able to whip up the same clear tones and strong volume.

Stricken with the same case of lost connectivity with 4G LTE, we're not all that surprised seeing that it's prevalent on previous 4G LTE devices that we've checked out from Verizon. However, it's only pronounced when we're indoors, and it doesn't seem to be affected when we're outside. In terms of overall signal strength, it's decent as it's able to put up an average amount of bars in high coverage areas. We didn't experience any dropped calls during our testing in the greater Philadelphia region.

We can ponder over how Motorola is even able to pack a 1,780 mAh battery into its shell, but they somehow managed to do just that. Even though it's rated for 12.5 hours of talk time, we're still left desiring for more battery life seeing that it reaches the same mark as the DROID BIONIC before it. Specifically, it's able to pump out approximately 10 hours of battery life on normally usage, which isn't anything spectacular, but still better than the mark reached by other 4G LTE smartphones. Obviously, light users can get almost close to a day's worth of battery life on a single charge, but it's likely to require nightly charging.


Conclusion:

Bringing us back to memory lane, there's no arguing that the original Motorola RAZR was an iconic device that's seemingly forever ingrained into our minds, but on top of that, it showed us the kind of ingenuity behind Motorola. As the story goes, the RAZR eventually exhausted its ride, but Motorola managed to reignite that fire with the original Motorola DROID from a couple years ago. Now that the stage is set for a complete makeover, the Motorola DROID RAZR is by far the most compelling handset to step into the competitive landscape in recent memory.

In a time when high-end smartphones seem to be a dime a dozen, the Motorola DROID RAZR is able to captivate our attention above all others thanks to the brilliant engineering marvel that it beholds. For something so thin and light, it's almost impossible to even fathom that it's remarkably strengthened to offer superior durability over other contemporary smartphones. Meanwhile, it doesn't compromise on other things, which really amazes us even more knowing that it's choked full of cutting edge hardware to make it literally future proof in every way possible.

Indeed, it's not 100% in all categories, like in the video recording and battery life department, but it's able to show it's added worth on the software side – such as Webtop, MOTOCAST, and Smart Actions. As much as some of us are polarized with Ice Cream Sandwich on board with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus, there should be no cause for alarm because it's announced to be coming to the DROID RAZR in the future either way. Naturally, some people will still find its price to be on the expensive side, but it's more than justified by its performance, premium construction, and bountiful hardware. Going forward, every handset released will need to live up to the mark established by the DROID RAZR, because it's absolutely, undeniably, and remarkably a piece of technology that smashes the perception of what we consider to be a top-notch smartphone.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android version:  2.3.4
Build number: 5.5.1_84_DBN-55
Kernel version: 2.6.35.7-g790a33c

Motorola DROID RAZR Video Review:



Pros

  • Stand-out design, materials and build quality
  • Clear calling quality
  • 4G LTE connectivity with great speeds
  • Motorola Webtop functionality and microHDMI

Cons

  • Not running Android 4.0 ICS out of the box
  • Screen is great, but with so-so pixel density
  • Camera and camcorder are not top-notch
PhoneArena rating:
9
User rating:
9.3 23 Reviews
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144 Comments
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posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:06 14

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:09 9

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.

posted on 24 Nov 2011, 13:28

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:07 1

2. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Is the thickest point is 9 mm?

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:12 5

5. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


doesnt matter.. this thing is thin as hell!

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 13:07 4

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?

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 22:23 4

84. Sinaps (Posts: 60; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)


Don't be a smart ass, you know what he meant.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 00:16 1

87. Nathan (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)


The thickest point is 10.6mm while the thinnest is at 7.1mm.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:10 4

4. biophone (Posts: 1884; 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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 13:39 2

56. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5479; 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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 22:13

83. biophone (Posts: 1884; 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.

posted on 13 Nov 2011, 11:17

149. Synack (Posts: 640; 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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 17:55

74. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; 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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 03:32

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:16 4

6. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


I really can't decide between ths and the Rezound.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:41 6

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 13:42 5

57. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5479; 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.

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 09:50 2

143. leftheodo (Posts: 62; 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!

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:17 5

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:19 7

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:26 4

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:31 7

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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:06 1

93. gtrxman (Posts: 103; 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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 15:27 2

112. harold1 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


gtrxman,
Do you ever read text on the web? higher resolution is always nicer..
and the whole package on this is pretty good

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:31 4

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:33 2

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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:07

94. gtrxman (Posts: 103; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)


What makes the Rezound sexy? Not criticizing, just asking as I find it quite boring.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:54 3

27. ngo2dd (Posts: 773; 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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 09:25 4

31. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


WTF
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?

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 09:32 2

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 09:48

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?

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 09:56

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 10:18 2

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 10:37

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 17:39

71. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Probably will be useless. Or dual mode (you can use or not if you want)

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 12:30 1

50. phantomash (Posts: 20; Member since: 27 Aug 2011)


Razr's screen is Pentile too :)

posted on 23 Dec 2011, 15:34

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 18:03

75. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; 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....

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:28 1

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!

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:28 4

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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:31

17. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Exactly

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:41

22. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 16:37

138. Fred1234567 (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)


Major improvement over SGS Line. it is Super OMALED aaaand qHD.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:30 3

14. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Great, now not having Android ICS even though Moto promised it is now a con.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:35 1

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

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:39 1

21. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)


*he is

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:39 17

20. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Alright,
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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:43 11

24. willardcw4 (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Oct 2011)


Agreed... it's too bad the RAZR doesn't come pre-loaded with Windows 9.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:45

25. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:11

95. gtrxman (Posts: 103; 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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:56 1

29. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


I love your lack of courtesy in spelling the ''iPhone 4S''

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:50

26. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Has it been benchmarked yet?

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 13:44

58. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5479; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


with an extra 200MHz on the 4430 i would say the max would now be around 2900 on Quadrant.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 16:44

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?

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 19:32

115. idgaf (Posts: 31; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


It gets around 2600.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 19:47

116. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5479; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


my Droid 3 can get over 2600 man.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 08:54

28. tmcr7 (Posts: 141; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


Great review!

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 09:19 2

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.

Cons
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.

posted on 07 Nov 2011, 18:07 2

77. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; 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.

posted on 08 Nov 2011, 06:17 1

96. gtrxman (Posts: 103; 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.

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Motorola DROID RAZR

Motorola DROID RAZR

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0 2.3.6 2.3.5
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED Advanced
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
TI OMAP4430, Dual core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size5.15 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches
(130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm)
4.48 oz  (127 g)
Battery1780 mAh, 12.5 hours talk time

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