It seems like it was a decade ago when I first got a Motorola Razr. Thin and light, clearly modeled on the Start Trek communicators, the Razr defined cool. But as all things tech, it faded from glory. Now we have smart phones.
I was a day one adopter of the Motorola Droid, which still stands as the most dramatic leap in cell phones. The Droid ushered in the era of Android and Google dominance. There are dozens, if not hundreds of Android phones now, but the original Droid stands above them all as the leader that brought about the Android revolution.
So it's only fitting that Motorola unleashed the new Droid Razr, an attempt to capture the magic of their two earlier home-runs. So did Motorola achieve what they aimed for?
The Droid Razr is an astounding work of technology. To say it is thin is a understatement. As the thinnest phone in the world, Motorola had to shave a few centimeters off of the size of the Nexus and other super-thin phones. What is most astounding about the Razr though is how light it is, it feels like a feather in your hand. The carbon composite back fits perfectly, the whole image is on of light and strong. With Kevlar and Gorilla Glass, this phone has as much Dow-Corning as it does Google-Motorola in it!
But being thin and light mean nothing if it isn't a good device. Turning the phone on shows one of the primary strengths, and a major weakness of the device. The Super AMOLED display is startling bright the bright and clear display. Looked at straight on, it is by far the best display on the market. But the display also reveals the first, and maybe only compromise of the thin design. The Razr has a very narrow viewing angle, if you get off of dead center more than 20 or 30 degrees, the screen gets a distinct, blueish tinge. All AMOLED's do this, but a little space between the glass and the screen cuts down on the effect, to keep the phone thin, Motorola put zero space in.
The OMAP 4430 duel core processor is remarkably speedy. The 2835 score on Quadrant destroyed the Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 and Moto Xoom tablet. This is phone ready for anything you want to run on it. Multitasking is effortless, it switches from browser to games to Netflix without a hint of hesitation.
Call quality is good, as would be expected on Verizon. Web browsing on the 4G LTE network is also as expected, very fast. The camera is good, not great. Skype with the front camera gave good results, the 4G network kept the conversation smooth.
Battery life is the biggest concern, and is as would be expected, all over the map. Used as a phone and email device, the battery life is very good. If all I do is make calls and read email, I can run about 48 hours on a charge. But that isn't what one buys a phone like this for. The battery killer is clear, the 4G LTE radio. About 3 hours of web browsing will drain the phone to nothing. And it IS the LTE, because watching Netflix streaming has no more effect than simple web surfing. The phone is smart enough to turn the radio off when not used, but when it is used, the battery drains fast.
The Droid Razr is worthy of it's name, it is a top notch phone. It easily bests the iPhone 4S, but that isn't where the battle is, how it stacks up against the Nexus Prime is where the Razr will win or lose.
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