Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Introduction:

Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
What a difference a year makes. Around this time in 2011, we were looking at the original Motorola DROID RAZR, which took the place of the DROID BIONIC as the manufacturer’s top-tier smartphone for Verizon. The DROID RAZR was the first to feature a more rugged construction, with Kevlar backing and water resistant nano coating.

Since then, the Motorola DROID RAZR (and the DROID RAZR MAXX) has remained king of Verizon’s Android line up, until this summer when the Samsung Galaxy S III was released with its stunning 4.8” Super AMOLED HD display and 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Not to be outdone, Motorola is ready for round two with their new DROID RAZR HD – the “HD” meaning that the display is now 720x1280 resolution, instead of 540x960 qHD that was on last year’s model. But there have been several other changes under the hood than just the display, including a better processor, higher capacity battery, and user interface, all of which we will take a closer look at.

Included in the retail package is the Motorola DROID RAZR HD XT926 smartphone, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, push-pin for opening the SIM & memory card slot, and user guides.


Design:

The Motorola DROID RAZR HD has an updated appearance from the original DROID RAZR, calling on some of the elements that we saw from its little brother, the DROID RAZR M, though it still stands out on its own.

The Motorola DROID RAZR HD isn’t overwhelming, and still fits quite comfortably in the hand or pocket - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
The Motorola DROID RAZR HD isn’t overwhelming, and still fits quite comfortably in the hand or pocket - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
The Motorola DROID RAZR HD isn’t overwhelming, and still fits quite comfortably in the hand or pocket - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

The Motorola DROID RAZR HD isn’t overwhelming, and still fits quite comfortably in the hand or pocket


Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

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

The first thing we noticed when looking at the DROID RAZR HD is that it is a bit larger overall than the original model, mostly due to the increases in display size and battery capacity. But it isn’t overwhelming, and still fits quite comfortably in the hand or pocket, although it is not as single-hand friendly as the RAZR M. The fit-and-finish is quite sturdy, as one would imagine, and the phone feels like it could take a beating – unlike the plastic feeling of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Gone are the dedicated capacitive buttons under the display, as you now have on-screen buttons as part of the user interface (more on that later). Above the display is a 1.3MP front facing camera, and below the Motorola label is the LED notification indicator, which is quite bright and noticeable when activated.

Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
On-screen buttons - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Front-facing camera - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

On the left side on the device is a hidden door that you have to use the included push-pin (or a safety pin) to open up to gain access to the SIM card and microSD memory card slot. We found it a bit awkward to open, and the SIM card is removed with the panel before you can get to the memory card slot. We would have preferred an attached door; similar to what is used on the DROID RAZR M, which could be more easily opened just using your finger nail. Down from it is the microUSB port and microHDMI video port, while up on top is the 3.5mm headset jack. On the right side is the volume rocker and power/lock key; each of which are easy to find by touch alone, as the volume rocker has a raised edge on both ends, while the power/lock button has a distinctive grooved feel to it.

The hidden door with the included push-pin - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
The hidden door with the included push-pin - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
The hidden door with the included push-pin - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

The hidden door with the included push-pin


The rear of the DROID RAZR HD is graced with soft-touch Kevlar backing, which actually curves partly around the sides, giving it a nice finished appearance. Almost gone is the “camera hump” with its 8MP autofocus camera, LED flash, noise canceling mic, and external speaker near the top.

Left edge - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Top - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Right - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Bottom - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Back - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Rear camera - The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

The sides of the Motorola DROID RAZR HD



Display:

Clearly, the main improvement with the DROID RAZR HD is that it is using a 4.7” Super AMOLED HD display with a resolution of 720x1280, which gives it a pixel density of 312 ppi. When compared next to the original DROID RAZR or the DROID RAZR M, which have a qHD display, we found that text and images are much clearer and less jagged on the DROID RAZR HD.

And since it's Super AMOLED HD, colors are fully saturated and have a “pop” to them. We also have good viewing angles when looking at the display from the sides, but there can be a slight color-shift when viewed at extreme angles. Even though the display is plenty bright for most conditions, we still find it a bit hard to view in direct sunlight.

Viewing angles - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Viewing angles - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review
Viewing angles - Motorola DROID RAZR HD Review

Viewing angles


Currently available from Verizon, the Samsung Galaxy S III and LG Intuition have a larger display, coming in at 4.8” and 5” respectfully, though the Galaxy S III has the same resolution and screen type as the DROID RAZR HD. But when looking at both next to each other, we noticed that colors were more on the “cool” side with the Samsung, while the Motorola was more “warm”.



Motorola DROID RAZR HD 360-degrees View:



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36 Comments

1. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

awesome

10. THE-DARK-KNIGHT

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 21, 2012

Motorola listens to consumers!- last year people said that the razr was very thin but very wide for a 4.3 inch phone. This year the razr HD has a big display but is still small for a handset with a 4.7 inch display. The edge to edge work with razr M was also very cool. Buti have to admit, Motorolas future phones will never be as thin as the original razr :'-( anyway, I really wanna buy a quad core razr!!!!!! Hurry up Motorola !!! I can't wait!!!

11. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

sorry for the short effortless comment. my sister typed it.

30. AnTuTu

Posts: 1580; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

I love Moto, its phones and its build quality. I really loved when Google bought Moto mobility because I knew something awesome is on the way.

2. MeoCao unregistered

Take Verizon branding off and it deserves a 9.

4. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4764; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

So you mean the logo ate away one point???

3. Nookie4u

Posts: 133; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

"built like a tank" now that's what I love.

5. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Obnoxious push-pin required for SIM and microSD card access I can't see this con on the iPhones reviews...Why?

7. Khaled_Toukhi

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

iPhone Arena... iPhone Arena evry where

29. quickweevil

Posts: 51; Member since: Dec 21, 2011

Because it's also where you access the microSD card and the pin-hole is too small to use a paperclip. It's incredibly inconvenient.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

8.5? It deserves at least a 9 without a doubt. Who's FAUguy anyways?

12. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

i noticed only now! who is FauGuy?

21. Brewski

Posts: 651; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

If you recognize the statue of Walt Disney on the home screen you've read a review by FAUguy. He's been around for a few years now, he even had to defend himself recently on a review to these exact comments. He doesn't do many news articles like John V or Mike H but he has plenty of time under his belt with Phone Arena.

8. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

This device would have been so much better looking without that dang Verizon logo on the front. Keep it nice and clean like the sgs3 does but its still just a minor gripe for me. Tho I would spend the extra 100 for the bigger battery and storage.

9. redmd

Posts: 1871; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Moto build quality is excellent. but their software is meh. really. they haven't come up with a nice camera module either.

13. johnriii

Posts: 248; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I got a chance to hold this phone the day before they released it. I like it, a lot. it is "built like a tank", and I like that. I was holding an S3 at the same time, and the S3 felt so....cheap. I know the S3 is a great phone, but in my line of work, I need something that doesn't feel like it could snap in half by accident while in my pocket. Unless HTC comes up with something similar, I'll be going with this when I upgrade.

14. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

The Galaxy S 3 mini got a higher score than this lol. I cant believe it doesnt have jelly bean; that is sad.

15. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I can't believe how low this phone scored. I don't see what it lacks from the s3, except for RAM. And it makes up for that with Its better battery and IMO superior build. Also I am yet to see a non nexus with JB out of the box, except for Note II, which is the current king of all phones, and if Motorola had done this fist, it would have angered the OEMs. (because google owns Moto if you didn't know) This phone should get a 9, with the Razr maxx HD getting a 9.3-9.5. Sorry about my rage, I just love this phone. We need KingKurogii in here to defend Motorola. On a completely unrelated note this is my first comment on the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity.I finally got rid of that terrible iPad. No more ios in my house : )

17. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

this review was done pretty badly. after all these years talking about how you guys wish you had a closer to stock Android experience and you finally get it you knock it for not having all the bloat from other UI's and you guys should've did the HD MAXX in the same review like all the other sites are doing because the HD and the HD MAXX are the same phone but $100 gets you a bigger battery and more memory just like how $100 gets you more memory on the SIII and the iPhone.

18. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

8.5 Solid score, just wondering how come the camera and video section were so scant and basically condensed? What's worse is that the reviewer talked about the UI which has been Motorola's scaled back since back on the Droid X, not sure what he means it's not as good as the other OEM UI out there(when they all suck) that doesn't even compute. S-Beam is just Samsung giving their own name to the Android Beam which is also on the Droid Razr HD and it's probably just as clunky to activate and use as on the SGS3. The cons are interesting, the camera should be better at this price point? Really? Since there are a gaggle of phones at this price point, what on earth does the reviewer mean by such a statement? Camera is a mixed bag would be something to take note of, but not camera should be better, what the hell? That could mean anything, when in your review you state that the camera has auto white balance problems and auto focus doesn't always work on the first tap. That's all fine, sounds like a software issue. Why on earth is the push pin to remove the sim card and SD card a con? Who on earth removes SIM cards and SD cards that much on a smartphone? Is it because you don't see these devices that much; is that why it's a problem for you? Like you were looking for a con to give the phone to justify your strangely negative but trying to remain objective review. ICS is a con? Seriously?!?

19. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

it's real funny considering that the iPhone uses the same push pin card door. xD Jelly Bean is so close that ICS should really be a non-issue. i'm rocking Jelly Bean on my M now and it works perfectly.

32. nyuvo

Posts: 72; Member since: May 10, 2012

All motorola phones are analysed and given cons for stupid reasons on this site. Look at the gs3 mini... Look at the explanation on the display portion of the review, they are so optimistic and are trying to talk up something that is bad. They even go as far to say that it is pleasant. Now look at for example the RAZR i. It has a much higher pixel density with the same display technology yet it just gets slammed to the floor. They need some sort of moderation on these reviews.

20. Brewski

Posts: 651; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

I just ordered my Maxx HD yesterday and should get it tomorrow. I still have the grandfathered unlimited data package and the Verizon salesperson was able to keep the unlimited data by adding a line. This way I get the subsidized price and not have to worry about data consumption, especially on an LTE network which will eat way more data than 3G. The only downside to that is I can't use my new phone as a hotspot without paying an added fee. :-(

23. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i might do that after seeing what's coming over the next few days. o:

22. jaheimRakim

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

I thought that this was a review?... why are you quoting motorola's talk time, you don't test the battery life yourself? what a joke, you have the most inconsistent reviewing system of them all text sites.

24. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

they couldn't get it to die. xD

27. FAUguy

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 09, 2008

We recently finished the talk time test, and it got 14 hours on a full charge.

36. jaheimRakim

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

hows the battery life when browsing LTE?

25. Izzy_V

Posts: 216; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

So after reading this review here are a few things I must point out: "This is actually the same processor that is found on the Motorola DROID RAZR M and the Samsung Galaxy S III, through the Samsung does have twice the RAM." The SIM card slot and microSD slot con(s). There is also an apparent color shift when viewing the phone at "extreme angles". "Overall it works well, through doesn’t support Adobe Flash, but it can be side-loaded and used with other browser" (no the 's' isn't cut off, knowing when to use the singular and plural variants of the word appears to be very hard for this person) On top of all that he still found time to complain about the almost complete stock ICS feel that Motorola has been trying to implement, which is strange because I haven't heard a single complaint about it until now since people seemed to enjoy them abandoning MotoBlur or any variation of it. Oh yeah, and a lower score than the SGS3 Mini. Can we get another reviewer, preferably with a brain, please?

28. Brewski

Posts: 651; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

I find most of Phone Arena's articles interesting tend to agree with a lot of what they say but if you don't like their review check out this one by Engadget. http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/19/droid-razr-hd-and-razr-maxx-hd-review/

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

DROID RAZR HD
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2530 mAh

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