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Motorola RAZR Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Motorola RAZR Review
Introduction:

Probably the best phone to come out of Motorola in this new smartphone era that started 2007, is the Motorola RAZR. The thinnest Android phone out there was a title previously reserved for a Japanese handset by NEC.

The company obviously banks on the iconic RAZR brand from times past, which received cult status with its game changing sharp looks and razor-thin profile. The Motorola RAZR of today carries the design tradition with its 7.1 mm waistline, and the exotic materials used for the chassis, like Kevlar.

Are these enough for the Motorola RAZR to lure the spoiled smartphone shoppers, which have an excellent smartphone crop this holiday season? Read on to find out…

This is the GSM version of Verizon’s DROID RAZR and is called simply the Motorola RAZR. It is identical, except for the baseband radio, which allows it to work on AT&T and T-Mobile (2G only) in the US.

If you've read our DROID RAZR review, you wouldn't really need to read this one. Especially if you are in the States.


Design:

The Motorola RAZR flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory. Aesthetically, it reminds other high-end smartphones in Motorola's stable, but is able to separate itself from them thanks to its remarkable razor thin construction and the slant corners.

Right off the bat, we're mesmerized by its 0.28" (7.1mm) thickness – making it the thinnest smartphone on the market. However, it's not uniform because of the hump towards the top where the camera sensors are placed. And to complement its svelte appearance, it's by far one of the lightest smartphones in its size category.

For something so thin, some would probably envision it to be frail, but there's nothing to be worried about because it's constructed out of the finest materials out there. Specifically, it's internally strengthened by its stainless steel chassis, which is further supplemented by its Kevlar fiber back cover for reinforcement, and water repellent nanocoating to absorb some levels of liquid splashes - though, it's not completely waterproof. Tell you the truth, this is easily the most solidly built device we've seen put out of Motorola's camp.

The Motorola RAZR flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory - Motorola RAZR Review
The Motorola RAZR flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory - Motorola RAZR Review
The Motorola RAZR flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory - Motorola RAZR Review

The Motorola RAZR flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory


Motorola RAZR Review

You can compare the Motorola RAZR with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

It's not the first time we're seeing a 4.3" qHD (540 x 960) display with Gorilla Glass on a Motorola smartphone, but what's new is the fact that it features a Super AMOLED Advanced panel instead of a traditional LCD one. The cold colors typical for Super AMOLED are present in the RAZR screen, too.

Motorola RAZR Review

Granted that it utilizes the PenTile matrix arrangement, but it's more than capable of producing distinctive details with pixel density of 256 ppi, which, however, is behind those of the upcoming GALAXY Nexus or the Apple iPhone 4S, which clock at 316 and 326 ppi, respectively.

Not surprisingly, we're captivated by the saturated colors it's able to produce, although they appear a tad gaudy for some tastes. Throw in its high contrast ratio, deep black color, and wide viewing angles, and it's well equipped in providing plenty of visual treats to our eyes. Still, we wish it had higher brightness, especially outside.

Typically for an Android 2.3.x phone, we find the same set of capacitive Android buttons sitting beneath its display – with the microphone situated very close to the home button. Meanwhile, the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and narrow earpiece are all located directly above the display. The square opening of the front cam is not the most elegant of sights, but the small sensor records 720p HD video of your pretty face while doing video chat. To profoundly exhibit its premium taste, the Motorola name is etched into the diamond-cut aluminum accent.

Android buttons - Motorola RAZR Review
Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera - Motorola RAZR Review

Android buttons

Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera


On the left side of the phone sits a plastic flap that hides away the handset’s microSIM card slot and microSD card slot to complement the 8GB of internal memory.

Rather than finding the dedicated power button on the top side of the phone, like most other recent devices, this time around it's positioned on the right edge along with the volume rocker, which we prefer. Between the two, the power button is slightly more raised versus the flat feel of the volume rocker, which is on top of that too short for comfortable operation, and not as tactile as the lock key.

The top edge of the phone claims home to the handset's 3.5 mm headset jack, microUSB port, and microHDMI port. To think that they're all there is indeed impressive for device that's razor thin!

Volume rocker and power key (right) - The sides of the Motorola RAZR - Motorola RAZR Review
3.5mm jack, microUSB port, and microHDMI port (top) - The sides of the Motorola RAZR - Motorola RAZR Review
microSIM card slot and microSD card slot (left) - The sides of the Motorola RAZR - Motorola RAZR Review

Volume rocker and power key (right)

3.5mm jack, microUSB port, and microHDMI port (top)

microSIM card slot and microSD card slot (left)

The sides of the Motorola RAZR


Finally, the 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash and the speakerphone grill are all stuffed into the handset's hump, which forms the slight bulge. In order to retain its slim appearance, Motorola has opted to keep its battery shut out from the world – essentially requiring you to send it away to get it replaced.

The rear camera with LED flash and the speakerphone grill are stuffed into the handset's hump - Motorola RAZR Review
The rear camera with LED flash and the speakerphone grill are stuffed into the handset's hump - Motorola RAZR Review

The rear camera with LED flash and the speakerphone grill are stuffed into the handset's hump


Overall, the RAZR manages to escape from the “black rectangular plastic” paradigm of many Androids, via its cut corners, slim waistline, and Kevlar on the back. Still, if you don’t know it’s Kevlar, you’d prefer the cozy feeling of soft-touch plastic, and those touted “metal accents” are mostly just a tiny plate with the brand at the front. The RAZR is slim, but is rather wide for the 4.3” screen it packs,  and some will find it uncomfortable in the hand. 

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Motorola RAZR Review

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19 Comments
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posted on 15 Nov 2011, 09:51 7

1. android_hitman (Posts: 591; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


9! i can\'t believe this! nice review PA

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 11:45

18. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


It's a ready made garbage
It doesn't have anything
Not even the google play
Unjustified rating PA
It must get 6 or something

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 09:55 3

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


Is this not EXACTLY the same as the one you reviewed a fey days ago?

But yes, this is probably the nest unlocked GSM smartphone you can buy until the Galaxy Nexus will arrive.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 09:57 4

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


Lol, phrase you shall never hear:

"The camera on an HTC device beat it"

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 11:46

19. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


I hate htc sense

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 10:04 3

4. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3880; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yeah that was what I was thinking, I thought the Motorola Razr was a Verizon exclusive? I guess the Motorola "Droid" Razr is the one that's exclusive to Verizon. So it's good to know other carriers will have the Razr just like other carriers will have the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 10:23 5

6. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


"If you've read our DROID RAZR review, you wouldn't really need to read this one. Especially if you are in the States."

"The GSM version of Verizon’s DROID RAZR is called simply the Motorola RAZR, and is identical, except for the baseband radio, which allows it to work on AT&T and T-Mobile (2G only) in the US."

I hope those quotes from the article clear things up.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 12:11 2

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


what he said

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 10:07 1

5. Mr.Mr.Upgrade (Posts: 425; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)


Nexus, is the best, but Verizon wins triple double

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 10:37

7. JayRaj (Posts: 54; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


The second point in the list of cons is true for Android as a whole, even in dual core league (save few handsets)!! XD

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 12:12 1

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


im actually surprised it didnt get hit harder for the sub par camera.. as much as people use their phones as camera replacements, thats getting to be a pretty big issue. oh well, still looks like a darn solid device over all. :)

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 13:38 1

10. iankellogg (Posts: 155; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I don't know why but I can never find a smartphone review that looks OBJECTIVELY at the battery life. I really wish someone would come up with a range of battery tests. Do something like minimum battery life (brightness 50% using only 3G/4G streaming video) and then a real world test where its something like web browsing for 10 minutes at a time then 50 minutes idle until dead.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 15:09

11. eswdroid (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)


I bought the RAZR yesterday and coming from a DROID X... I loved my X but wanted a new phone, Thw RAZR feels way to wide and the text and stuff on the screen seems smaller and harder to read. Does anyone know if this is the same with the BIONIC??? Or a good phone they recommend?

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 18:31 1

14. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Stuff is smaller cuz of the higher resolution.

If you have a PC, increase the resolution on your monitor and watch stuff shrink on screen.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 16:41

12. AhmadAlsayegh (Posts: 253; Member since: 18 Jul 2011)


okay, just a question, how did you guys find the performance comparing to the Verizon droid Razr? any difference?

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 16:57 3

13. razblack (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)


meh, looks boring.. OS is terribad. no thanks.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 18:57 1

16. tboy72 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


How can you say it looks boring. It's the thinnest model out there. We are finally given a phone that doesn't look like all the other phones and it's boring?? The OS is terribad?? The OS is solid and very quick. I know, I have one.

Do you even have one, or are you just spewing whatever comes to your mind?

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 18:54

15. tboy72 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I've had Blackberrys, iphone 3gs, iphone 4, Droid X2, and now the Motorola Razr. By far, the Razr out performs all of them. The Razr is fast, smooth, and very good looking.

I finally found the phone I am content with. Nice job Motorola.

posted on 07 Jun 2012, 14:39

17. hugoRP (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


Motorola RAZR or Sony Xperia S .... which one?¡ ...

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Motorola RAZR

Motorola RAZR

OS: Android 4.0.4 2.3.5
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED
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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