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Motorola DROID 4 Review

Motorola DROID 4

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface:

Some of you might have forgotten, but that typical MOTOBLUR-whatever interface found on recent devices like the DROID BIONIC and RAZR, was in fact first established by the DROID 3. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new whatsoever with the experience on the DROID 4, as it retains the same one as its predecessor, but even more revolting, is that it’s running on top of Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. Yeah, we know that’s a downer considering we’re expecting nothing less than Ice Cream Sandwich at this point, but nevertheless, Motorola assures us that it’ll be upgraded sometime in Q2 2012. Besides that, we still like the glitzy looking interface thanks to its heavy usage of 3D visuals and transition effects, which come together to exude a polished feel. And of course, it boasts all the breadth of personalization that we all know and love about Android. Still, the DROID 4 would’ve been the perfect device to showcase Motorola’s take on Ice Cream Sandwich, but sadly, the dubious honor will go to something else.

The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread - Motorola DROID 4 Review

The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread



Functionality:

Reiterating that it’s a rehashed experience on the DROID 4, most of its organizer apps remain unchanged with their presentation and functionality. So whether it’s the Alarm & Timer, Calculator, Contacts, or Tasks apps you’re using, the experience is the same exact thing as before.

Alarm - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Timer - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Calculator - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Contacts - Motorola DROID 4 Review

Alarm

Timer

Calculator

Contacts


No doubt that the physical keyboard is the best option for typing up messages, but for those who prefer an all-touch method, its on-screen keyboard options prove to be equally usable. Well, people with larger fingers might find the Multi-touch and Swype keyboards to be cramped, but at least they maintain a speedy response as we type away quickly with good accuracy.

On-screen keyboards - Motorola DROID 4 Review
On-screen keyboards - Motorola DROID 4 Review
On-screen keyboards - Motorola DROID 4 Review
On-screen keyboards - Motorola DROID 4 Review

On-screen keyboards


By now, we’ve grown accustomed to finding an exceptional email experience with most Android smartphones, and rightfully so, we continue to say the same with the DROID 4. You know the drill by now, but the Gmail app offers all the functionality of the desktop experience in the palm of our hands. Meanwhile, setup is a painless process as it requires our email address and password for it to automatically set up.

The Motorola DROID 4 offers an exceptional email experience - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 offers an exceptional email experience - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 offers an exceptional email experience - Motorola DROID 4 Review
The Motorola DROID 4 offers an exceptional email experience - Motorola DROID 4 Review

The Motorola DROID 4 offers an exceptional email experience



Processor and Memory:

Even now, we’re still dreaming for the day to see a quad-core packing smartphone, which would’ve been something awesome to find on a handset bearing the DROID name. Instead, the handset is powered by a moderately faster 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor. That’s great and all, but the bigger surprise lies in the 1GB of RAM it’s packing, which is actually double the memory over the DROID 3. As expected, it delivers a very responsive operation with most basics tasks and doesn’t stutter much even when it’s tested by live wallpapers. Needless to say, we dig the instantaneous movement of the handset, but we’re still irked to find trivial things like choppy pinch gestures in the gallery that soften its processing power. In the end, it’s not the absolute fastest thing on the block right now, but we’re more that content by it.

Advertised as offering 16GB of memory, the DROID 4 instead boasts 8GB out of the box for media purposes, with another 2.36GB reserved strictly for apps – meaning, you’ll probably want to invest in adding a microSD card of some size to supplement its capacity.


Internet and Connectivity:

Not messing around one bit this time, the DROID 4 is blessed with that ubiquitous 4G LTE connectivity, finally – and boy was it a long time coming! Delivering some lightning data speeds, it didn’t take long at all to load complex pages like ours in a jiffy. Meanwhile, its performance is further complemented by the smooth responsiveness seen with pinch zooming and kinetic scrolling. Furthermore, it barely shows any signs of sluggishness, as the DROID 4 also excels in maintaining its top-notch performance with site loaded with heavy Flash content. In the greater scheme of thing, we might not be all that amazed nowadays seeing 4G LTE smartphones are in abundance, but in either case, it’s ever so nice finding the original DROID line getting in with it.

Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 Review
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 Review

Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4


No surprises here people, since the Motorola DROID 4 acts in similar fashion to other 4G LTE smartphones on Big Red’s lineup. With this dual-band CDMA-based device (800/1900 MHz), it’ll revert to good old EV-DO Rev. A connection in the event that 4G LTE isn’t present. Delivering speeds up to 15Mbits/s down and 8Mbit/s up during our usage, we’re extremely content with the results found in high-coverage areas. As usual, its other connectivity features include aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.

56 Comments
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posted on 10 Feb 2012, 08:37 8

1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Such a small battery for non removable and the screen display is horrible. Wait until the Droid 5 :(

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 01:27 1

26. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I think the 2 greatest failures of the D4 are the limited battery capacity and the junk (LCD - come on, WTF) display. Camera could be better too.

Maybe the D5 fixes these fails.

posted on 04 Mar 2012, 07:42

53. ZombiesAlso (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)


the greatest failure is denying customers custom kernel capabilities

posted on 12 Mar 2012, 14:03 1

57. Mark_Washington (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)


Pros: Awesome keyboard - If you're a keyboard fan, this can't be beat.

Size - For me, it's the perfect size. I like that it's not as big as other Verizon phones, yet still has a very impressive display.

Battery life - I don't live in a 4G environment, but I have everything else constantly running - GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. Today was a fairly normal usage day for me (a little web-surfing, some texts and phone calls, streaming radio to and from work, even downloaded a couple of apps). Right now I'm sitting at 40% charge after 15h 38m 53s (per the phone) on battery power. I can't think of many reasons why I would need more.

Smart Actions App - Great app! Makes it very easy to seamlessly move from my home (wifi network) to my car (bluetooth on, Pandora opens automatically, wifi off) to the office (silent phone) without ever having to touch the phone.

Cons: Plastic construction already has some scratches from putting it into and out of my zippered pocket. They're very small (I only noticed them because I was looking very closely for "cons") and only on the plastic around the screen. The screen itself is Gorilla Glass and is not scratching at all. Not a big deal to me, but some people really want their phones to remain in pristine condition.

Bottom line, this is a great 4G LTE phone by any standard. The fact that it has that great keyboard literally puts it in a class by itself.

*Note: for best deal of the Droid 4 if you're will buy it, I suggest you have to check before you decide at -> http://androidphonesdeals.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/motorola-droid-4/

Hope this review helpful

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 08:38 4

2. Firedrops (Posts: 249; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


Seems they really messed up on the screen, huh? D:

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 08:45 1

3. c.hack (Posts: 614; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Moto's best screens were the OG Droid and DX. Its interesting that Motorola hit a peak with their original Razr and stopped innovating. Now their Razr/Maxx/D4 marks another halt in innovation.

Bigger and heavier does not make a better phone.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 08:53 8

4. Bigbluetundra (Posts: 45; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


D.R.O.I.D.- Dwindling Relaunch Of Innsignificant Device

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 10:18 7

6. Allday28 (Posts: 283; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)


You realise that android wouldnt be what it is today without the Droid line right? So before you say something stupid like you just did know what you're talking about first idiot!!

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 11:18 3

8. Bigbluetundra (Posts: 45; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


I love you

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 14:36 2

13. cthunder (Posts: 125; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Insignificant devices? Like the above poster stated, the OG Droid startered it all. Sure the display may or may not be bad. But it's an above average device with a QWERTY KYBD and LTE. Something a lot of physical kybd users (myself included) had been waiting for.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 15:40

18. Bigbluetundra (Posts: 45; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


This incarnation of the device is hardly improved. I'm just having a little fun on a Friday with my first post, didn't realize it'd be taken so personally. Sure, the original was great. So was the first flip phone, carphone, bagphone, telegraph... Now it's just milking the franchise every few quarters and the sales are diminishing every time a new version hits. You can't honestly say this newest generation phone is still a significant device in the oversaturated VZ market. I'd think VZ would agree by way of thier instant price drop.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 10:09 4

5. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Epic Fail. im all for android but this is just sad

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 10:44 6

7. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Okay, not a worthy successor. But, if taken on it's own, the D4 is a still a better QWERTY device than anything else out there right now. Certainly a better option than Blackberries, way more powerful with a top notch keyboard than any other phone on Big Red, and what are you going to do: drop down to the Captivate Slide on AT&T and it's slower network?

I am very, very disappointed that Moto did not view the Droid line as an elite device. It deserves better. But, if you want a real keyboard, there still is no better option.

posted on 12 Feb 2012, 20:09

32. GeekMovement (unregistered)


Kind of how I felt when HTC relased the HTC EVO Shift (which btw does not have a decent keyboard imo) which was kind of disappointing. Wish they viewed the EVO line as an elite device as well.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 11:54 2

9. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


I might even go as far as to say to buy the droid 3 over this unless you must have LTE.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 15:31 2

17. cthunder (Posts: 125; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Really?
Let's Droid 3 1Ghz, 512 mb vs 1.2, 1GB, a backlit keys and better overall kybd. and LTE. Yeah, those numbers make we want to get the 3 instead.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 18:54

21. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 272; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


numbers always dont mean everything

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 20:42 1

22. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Having used the D3 the keyboard is also really good and you wont notice any difference between the two devices as far as performance. I cant get over how poor the screen quality is on this one.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 20:58 4

24. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


the Droid 4 is actually going to be a good bit faster than the Droid 3 if the difference between the Droid Bionic and the Droid Razr is any indication. i think it has to do with tweaking Motorola may have done with the drivers for the OMAP4 in 2.3.5+ as even the benchmarks behave differently.

posted on 04 Mar 2012, 07:49

55. ZombiesAlso (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)


And longer battery after removing all the google connectivity crap

android calendar/contacts are easily powered by a hotmail account... since microsoft licenses activesync to google

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 12:10

10. squeeb (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Glad I pulled the trigger on a D3 back in December.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 12:21 2

11. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, at least it's a lot better than the DROID 3.

posted on 12 Feb 2012, 13:57 1

30. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Which isn't saying much. ZING!

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 14:32

12. doubleD (Posts: 78; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)


Is the screen worse than the Droid 3? Everyone on here complained about the Droid 3's display even though I didn't have a problem with it. Just trying to figure out if the complaints have merit.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 14:37 3

14. cthunder (Posts: 125; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


I didn't think the Droid 3's display was all that bad. It just seems everyone wants super amoled or they aren't happy with the phone.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 11:59

28. blazee (Posts: 414; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


no the screen is exactly the same as on droid 3 lol both have 4.00 inch lcd display with a resolution of 540x960 and pixel density of 275 ppi

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 15:22 3

15. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


I checked one out today and it doesn't feel as bad as you guys make it sound. it's about like the Droid 3 with a textured back. I am however disappointed about the lack of a removable battery. now really the only trade offs for the Droid 4 over the Razr are it's fantastic Keyboard and it's compact size along with a higher pixel density display.

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 15:29

16. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Did anyone notice that the Droid 3 is .51" and 12.9mm but the Droid 4 is .5" and 13mm
that makes no sence and needs correction phonearena

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 18:51 1

20. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 272; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


yep, screen sucked, i saw it in the store today activating my nexus. it was very dull and dark and didnt have any pop. such another disappointment, 2, maybe 3 in a row for the droid line

posted on 10 Feb 2012, 20:56 2

23. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


maybe the brightness was turned down. bet you didn't think about that. :P

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Motorola DROID 4

Motorola DROID 4

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.4 2.3.5
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.0 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (275 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.00 x 2.65 x 0.50 inches
(127 x 67 x 13 mm)
6.31 oz  (179 g)
Battery1785 mAh, 12.5 hours talk time

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