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Motorola DROID 4 Review

Motorola DROID 4

Posted: , by John V.



Motorola DROID 4 Review
Delivering one solid performance in all aspects, we’re astounded by the DROID 4’s calling quality. Specifically, voices are fairly clear sounding on both ends of the line – with no distortion or background noise muddying things. Meanwhile, its earpiece may be a bit neutral with its overall volume, but there’s no issue using the speakerphone as it produces strong tones with distinctive voices.

Always a concern for us, we’re happy to say that the DROID 4 doesn’t fall victim to that annoying loss of 4G LTE connectivity like some of its distinguished rivals, and in fact, we rarely saw it occurring. Maintaining an average set of bars in high coverage areas, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing.

After being spoiled by the superfluous battery life of the DROID RAZR MAXX, we know that the DROID 4 isn’t going to be in the same league with its 1,785 mAh battery. Rather, we’re brought back to the chilling reality of yet another 4G LTE smartphone with poor battery life. In fact, we’re able to get close to the 10 hour mark of normal usage before being warned about low battery. So yes, we’ll continue to dream on about battery life, but in the meantime, it’s something that requires constant charging whenever and wherever possible.


Some will argue that the midas touch and allure of the DROID family has faded, as it seems as though the torch has been handed over to other more prominent devices like the DROID RAZR. However, when you think about it more, the original DROID family was never known for bringing killer spec’d hardware, but rather, it balanced things out with its quality performance and unyielding presence. Surely, it doesn’t blatantly come off as being a WOW device, however, we can honestly say that it packs along the best landscape style QWERTY keyboard on any smartphone out there.

In our ever demanding society, we sometimes get lost in the hype and expectations surrounding certain devices. However, if there’s one thing we’re grateful about the Motorola DROID 4, is that it sticks to a very reasonable $199.99 on-contract pricing, which won’t break the bank like some of the premium priced 4G LTE smartphones out there. In hindsight though, Motorola has eclipsed the possibilities of what we expect out of a QWERTY packing smartphone, but deep down inside of us, we’re still yearning for that monster DROID-only smartphone that’s packing an eye-catching design, cutting-edge hardware, and a totally new experience to prove to everyone that it’s still a force to be reckoned with.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 2.3.6
Build Number: 6.5.1_167_DR4-1_M1-215
Kernel Version:

Motorola DROID 4 Video Review:


  • Fantastic keyboard
  • Acceptable $199.99 on-contract price
  • Great calling quality


  • Poor quality display
  • Non-removable battery
  • Below average battery life
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
6.513 Reviews

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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)

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:
Display4.0 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (275 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
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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