Motorola DROID 4 hands-on

Motorola DROID 4 hands-on
Ending 2011 with a boom thanks to its impressive Motorola DROID RAZR, it seems as the veteran handset maker isn’t slowing down for a mere moment in building up its lineup for the 2012 year – and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here at CES. As we all know, the original Motorola DROID came storming onto the scene bringing Android to the mainstream. After seeing three iterations, we’re quickly gearing up for a fourth installment in the aptly named Motorola DROID 4.

To tell you the truth, the Motorola DROID 4 looks exactly like the DROID RAZR – but with a landscape sliding QWERTY keyboard. In closed form, we notice the same angular corners that made the DROID RAZR and PHOTON 4G stand out, but rather than finding some premium choice materials, it’s simply constructed out of plastic, a tough one at that. Opening it up to expose its keyboard, which still seems to be a manual mechanism, we're greeted with its spacious 5-row QWERTY keyboard. Yes, the buttons are rather flat, but their nice size and spot-on tactile response make it a wonder to type out messages.

Going with a 4” qHD (540 x 960) display, it naturally provides for some sharp looking details to make even fine text very distinguishable to the eye. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature an AMOLED panel like the DROID RAZR, but rather, it seems to be none other than a typical LCD display though. It’s nice, but doesn’t quite come off as compelling as an iridescent AMOLED display.

Of course, dual-core processors aren’t necessarily new since the DROID 3 featured one, but this time around, it’s a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor running the show. Not surprisingly, it seems operate relatively quick with the customized MOTOBLUR interface running on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Frankly, we’re seriously praying that it’ll be blessed with an update to Ice Cream Sandwich relatively quickly, but then again, some of us won’t mind that much. One of the biggest complaints about the DROID 3 was its lack of 4G LTE, but of course, this one comes to the table bringing the speedy connection right from the get-go.

If there’s one thing we like about the DROID 4 over the DROID RAZR, it has to be that it’s easier to handle because it’s not as massive in size – though, it adds some thickness to its body. Still, it’s obviously warranted considering it’s tucking away that always useful physical keyboard. Unfortunately, Verizon has yet to announce its pricing and availability, so we simply have to play the waiting game at this point.

Related phones

  • Display 4.0" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 16GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1785 mAh(12.50h talk time)



1. e.wvu unregistered

I like the keyboard, but not the overall design...

18. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

I agree. I guess I might not get a keyboard phone this time. BTW, I was surprised to not see much said about it's hefty thickness. An unrelated note, and perhaps uncalled for, with exception to MH's (and another who wrote a pretty good in-depth article recently) articles and some insightful comments (not mine), I find a lot of PA to be very consumerist. I feel there's not much point to keep coming to the site as regularly as I used to. Glad that the site has expanded tho, and perhaps these changes are just to be expected.

2. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

Looks like a nice addition to the Droid family.

3. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i dig it. (: shame about the plastic though. i guess Moto was thinking they were getting too heavy which i didn't mind one bit but i know there's whiners out there so what can you do. i'm sure it still feels Motorola though. it would be a tough decision between this and the MAXX. once i trade my Bionic for a Razr i'll probably try to shoot for the 4.

6. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Yeah, I am with you on the plastic body. Having a Samsung right now, I put a case on it and I liked the weight and feel a lot better as soon as I did. I know plastic doesn't really mean cheap, but it just isn't as nice to hold as a metal phone. Love Motorola's build. The phones that come from their camp just ooze quality these days, and while I know lighter and thinner is the way to go it kinda bums me out to see the best keyboard line going right now go plastic. I am really kinda curious what phone you end up with. Keeping an eye on you, buddy.....

9. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeah, the substantial, industrial feel of Motorola's Droids win me over every time. i just hope it doesn't feel too much different from the Droid 3. cool, i'm keeping tabs on you too gator. (:

4. Boezhe

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

Nice, but I'm sure it has 4G connectivity issues like everything Motorola right now.

5. bolaG

Posts: 468; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

no amoled :( no kevlar and steel :( no high res screen...this is a very very incremental upgrade from the D3 Still love moto

7. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeaaah but i guess it was due. i'd almost say that what the Droid 3 turned out to be was a mistake but it was such a good phone in it's time, it still is albeit lacking 4G LTE and it's done so well not to mention it'll still hold up for Global users.

8. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

It's the Razr with a keyboard...

17. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1253; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Minus all the good parts...

10. gemmabba

Posts: 51; Member since: May 09, 2011

im the display still pentile? because i see jagged battery icon. im expecting more from Motorola but it seems they still choose pentile over higher display tech

12. Jimstar

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

pentile isn't a "tech" it's just a catch-all term for the arrangement of the subpixels


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Ugh no Super Amoled display?

16. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i can live without it for the sake of keeping the keyboard and besides SAA has it's down sides as well so if you become influenced by a good enough trade-off they will be much more noticeable to you.

13. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I wonder when the droid 5 is coming out... I bet June or July. Might as well wait for that. Or the Droid 6 in December. LOL.

14. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Basically, if you wanted a DROID RAZR with a physical keyboard, this is the phone for you.

15. pimpclark

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

A little bothered by the lack of GSM/Global capability, hmm, not sure when they will get an LTE device with global capability. Disappointing, one step forward and one step backward.

19. knights4life03

Posts: 131; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

i would love to see 4.5 screen with a physical keyboard

20. SuckerBait

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

I've been following the Droid 4 news but maybe not closely enough... I dont see an SD Card slot in any of those photos but I thought the back was not removable so how/where am I supposed to insert mine?

21. Robyaheard

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

Well since I recently got the DROID Charge and seeing this is making me want the phone..Well I want to know if Verizon is planning on a release day, and staring price.

22. gfresh404

Posts: 12; Member since: Jan 21, 2012

y u no include AMOLED or IPS screen!?

23. Nostromo79

Posts: 171; Member since: Jun 22, 2016

I found a 'new, old stock' Droid 4 on eBay two days ago. It's arriving today, August 21st 2017. Yes, I am excited to be getting a five and one-half year-old Motorola Droid 4. Somehow, having owned all of the Droids since November of 2009, I missed this Droid 4; this includes my owning the Droid RAZR MAXX AND MAXX HD. When Motorola dropped the micro SD slot in 2013 I did go with the Samsung Galaxy S4 which was a placeholder until getting a Note 3 for my girlfriend and one for myself in the autumn of 2013; we were hooked on that era's Note Series. Looking forward to using, my being on a nostalgia kick at-present, my 'new' Droid 4. Over the past week I have been using the Droid Bionic on my second line and (other than having to get reacquainted to living with a smaller screen) for the past week and it's met my expectations as to camera function, syncing with Google Photos/Maps and call quality; amazing too in itself being over five years on. So, roll-on nostalgia!

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