Motorola DROID RAZR Review

At one point not too long ago, high-end Android powered smartphones were considered to be a rarity in the landscape, but in the last couple of years alone, it seems we've been inundated by them – to the point that the market was over-saturated. In fact, it seemed like every month (even weeks), some kind of high-end device was being announced or launched, which made it very difficult for consumers to separate the great from the greatest. Looking back at it now, there's no arguing that we've been jaded by it all, since our expectations have become rather cutthroat in what is perceived to be a game changing device.

Combining two of the most memorable brand names in phone history, the Motorola DROID RAZR is bent on establishing itself as the poster child of tomorrow's next-generation Android smartphone selection. On one hand, it follows in the same stylistic manner that made people fall in love with the original Motorola RAZR from back in the day – thanks to its insane razor thin profile construction. Meanwhile, it doesn't skimp out from what we've seen already in the past, considering that it's packed to the brim with some cutting-edge technology to make it one drool-worthy smartphone – like its 4G LTE connectivity, Super AMOLED display, and dual-core processor.

Packing all of that hardware, and some additional software functionality from Motorola, it's priced at $299.99 with a two-year contract – thus, potentially making it one justified price point. Knowing that some other respectable handsets are on the horizon, namely the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound, we're curious to see how the Motorola DROID RAZR is going to set the bar. Let's not waste anymore time and dive right in!

The package contains:

  • Motorola DROID RAZR
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information

This is the review of the Verizon-bound DROID RAZR. The European version is called “Motorola RAZR” and is identical, except for the fact that it is a GSM+UMTS phone, instead of CDMA+LTE. 


Game changing! That perfectly sums up the overall design of the Motorola DROID RAZR seeing that it flaunts one of the most compelling handset designs in recent memory. We're not kidding about that, because going forward, all other smartphones have to live up to its mark.

Aesthetically, it combines the designs of the Motorola DROID X series and the PHOTON 4G, but it's able to dramatically separate itself from them thanks to its remarkable razor thin construction. 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. Regardless of that, it's an incredible engineering masterpiece to behold considering that it packs 4G LTE connectivity. And to complement its svelte appearance, it's by far one of the lightest smart phones in its size category.

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

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. So yeah, it's a modern marvel in every way!

It's not the first time we're seeing a 4.3" qHD (540 x 960) display with Gorilla Glass on a Motorola smartphone, that's because we've seen it done already on the DROID BIONIC and DROID X2, but what's new is the fact that it features a Super AMOLED panel instead of a traditional LCD one. Granted that it utilizes the PenTile matrix arrangement, it's more than capable of producing distinctive details to make even fine text more than visible to the eye. However, its pixel density of 256 ppi is way behind those of the upcoming GALAXY Nexus and HTC Rezound, which clock at 316 and 342 ppi, respectively.

Not surprisingly, we're captivated by the polarizing and saturated colors it's able to produce. Throw in its high contrast ratio, deep black color production, and wide viewing angles, it's well equipped in providing plenty of visual treats to our eyes. Still, we find ourselves covering the display with our hand in outdoor conditions.

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. Furthermore, to profoundly exhibit its premium taste, the Motorola name is etched into the diamond-cut aluminum accent.

On the left side of the phone sits a plastic flap that hides away the handset’s microSIM card slot and microSD card slot – the latter of which is preoccupied by a 16GB microSD card.

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. Between the two, the power button is slightly more raised versus the flat feel of the volume rocker – still, they exhibit a good response when they're pressed.

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!

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 that we've been accustomed to seeing since the original Motorola DROID X. 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.

Motorola DROID RAZR 360-degrees View:



1. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Sexy! Finally a Motorola phone made correctly. I'd say a fitting score. I think qHD on 4.3'' is fine and the ICS update will be on the way.

3. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

By made correctly, I don't mean build quality cuz Moto is top notch in that area.

152. Mark_Washington

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 05, 2011

I like this phone! Very solid build. The metal edges have a good feel and are easy to grip, the camera bulge is not too protrusive, it feels very thin and light in the pocket, and it's pleasantly fast in CPU and downloads. Call quality seems quite good, natural sounding voices, much better in this respect than my previous Droid X. Camera is actually pretty good. Didn't have great expectations after seeing poor low-light performance in Photon, but this doesn't seem to display the speckle that predominated the Photon. Multi-shot (six shot) is a nice feature. Reasonably fast shutter. Overall pleased. Things I'd change: - The pixelation on the screen is very annoying. Text is much harder to read than on iPhone. Fringing is visible on all straight lines. A white background has diagonal, crisscrossed lines. In the case of black lines on a white background, some borders have red edges, some blue. This is presumably due to the alternating RGBG/BGRG pixel pattern. As a result, small text is often illegible. The screen changes colors off axis, especially past about 45 degrees it shifts everything towards green. Not nearly as good as Samsung sAMOLED screens in that respect. So, the display is the biggest letdown on this device. -Battery life is short, expect to recharge every chance you get. Take it off the charger and read a few news articles and it's down to 70%. Presumably worse if doing games or video or nav. Rough estimate is it will last about 3 hours with normal use, and that's with 1780 mAhr. -Power button is placed awkwardly, and is nearly flush with the phone, but the saving grace is that it has a distinctive ridged feel that can be used to find it by running a finger along the edge. Even with these drawbacks, still like it better than other current Android phones, e.g., rate it over the GSII for 540 vs 480 pixel screen resolution and higher quality materials and overall better design. But please, put a decent 720 pixel screen in the next Razr. I suggest check for best deal before you will buy the RAZR at:

2. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

Is the thickest point is 9 mm?

5. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

doesnt matter.. this thing is thin as hell!

52. sudhar131998

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

hell is thin? or was it just a figure of speech cause i don't know but i got a question for you , have you visited hell?

84. Sinaps

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 27, 2010

Don't be a smart ass, you know what he meant.

87. Nathan

Posts: 85; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

The thickest point is 10.6mm while the thinnest is at 7.1mm.

4. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Dang this phone has disappointed me because of the camera hump and the bad battery life. The rezound won't have good battery life either I can tell already but hopefully the nexus can step up in that department.

56. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

how will the Nexus step up? it has a similar sized battery and it has an HDSA display w/ everything the Razr has here.

83. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Yeah i am saying hopefully but its looks as if it will be a while till we get a lte phone with good battery life. What i would have rather moto done is make the phone thicker get rid of the hump and stick a bigger battery in ther say 2000 mah. The rezound has has no chance at decent battery with a 1.5 ghz proccesor 720p screen and small battery.

149. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

They're already saying the Nexus has incredible battery life for a 4G LTE phone. Probably a combination of hardware optimization and several other small factors. I believe I read on here or somewhere else that it is capable of 12 hours on full brightness and constant usage and running of apps. That's pretty amazing. Grab a 4G to 3G widget/app and you should be seeing this baby last 2+ days on normal use.

74. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

You say bad battery life...and even tho it didnt reach 12.5 hours talk time in this review.....just comparing it to the Bionic and saying its similar is nothing to sneeze at. The Bionic currently has the best overall battery life of all the LTE phones on Verizon. And the talk time is the biggest difference.

88. NotoNeo

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

The pictures make the hump look bigger than it actually is. In person, it's no bigger than an iPhone 4. At least that's how it looks. Trust me, see it in person and you will be taken aback by how thin the device really is.

6. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I really can't decide between ths and the Rezound.

23. willardcw4

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 01, 2011

I'd say the Rezound over the RAZR... the screen being 720p on the Rezound is a big deal and is a lot more 'future proof'. With that much of a difference in ppi between these two phones you should be able to notice the difference in the store when you're handling them.

57. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

how the hell is it more future proof than the Razr? because of the HD LCD Display? the Rezound is weaker than the Razr which means it's not as future proof.

143. leftheodo

Posts: 108; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

How is the rezound weaker than the Razr? The screen of the razr with its pentile technology is not that good! Take a look at the review and see the backround of the video being watched on the phone!

7. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Come on how can you give this phone an 9. Ofcourse the design is awesome but the screen is really outdated with its low pixel density, and the camera isnt that good either. If This gets an 9 what would the HTC Rezound get than, a 10? because the screen is one of the most important things on a phone almost everything you do with your phone goes trough your screen

8. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Clearly you have not read thre review. Two words: SUPER AMOLED. 256 ppi is quite alright. this thing is also amazingly thin so it deserves what it got.

11. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

is quite allright worth a 9? a screen is so essential for a phone. and with this "retina quality" coming with the rezound and nexus on android devices im just asking myself what grades these phones would get knowing that the one also already has ICS and the other one 1.5 processor

15. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Would you rather have them review the Galaxy S II again and give it a 8/10 because the pixel density in that phone is much lower.

93. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

Exactly. On a 4" screen, you have to put your eye right up to the screen to see any difference. Everyone is so caught up in specs, they miss the fact that it's the whole package that matters. It's unlikely that you will be watching anything on this phone that will require such density. It's not a flat screen TV people, it's a phone.

112. harold1

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

gtrxman, Do you ever read text on the web? higher resolution is always nicer.. and the whole package on this is pretty good

16. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Would you rather have 340ppi S-LCD or 260 ppi Super AMOLED? The OMAP chip, even though its not the 4460, is more powerful than the S3 in the Rezound.

18. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I would go with the Rezound, mainly because of HTC's sexy design, amazing pixel density, and HTC Sense. Also, the Super LCD on every new HTC phone is much sharper than the one's you'd find on the Sensation.

94. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

What makes the Rezound sexy? Not criticizing, just asking as I find it quite boring.

27. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

I will take the S-LCD 340 ppi any day. It is a lot sharper and it is not pentile, even in the video you can see the pixel.

31. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

WTF Screen is outdated??? Low pixel density??? Nexus has 720p but it is pentile so for me it is quite a rubbish. Do you really think that you would be able to see a difference between RAZR screen and Rezound which additional has weaker S3 compared to OMAP?

35. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Yes you can definitely see the difference till 300 PPI. And since i use my phone alot for reading (books, Internet and emails) the screen is a dealbreaker for me.

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

  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor TI OMAP4430, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1780 mAh(12.50h talk time)

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