Even with a ton of prior reports floating around about the upcoming Droid Razr, Motorola still managed to impress with a new flagship LTE phone that revives the venerable Razr brand as well as a new fitness watch called MotoACTV that threatened to steal the show. The new smartphone goes on sale exclusively for Verizon’s network in November for $299 and is available for pre-orders on Oct. 27.
It was a pretty assured showing from Motorola, which is in the process of being bought by Google, and it shows that company can still put together innovative and even stunning hardware when it puts its heart into it. The Droid Razr is really designed to be a premium device that really doesn’t resort to any real compromises.
It supports LTE 4G on Verizon and has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.3 inch qHD Super AMOLED display with an 8 megapixel camera that can shoot video in 1080p. There’s also an 1780 mAh integrated (non-removable) battery that boasts 12.5 hours of talk time, and 16 GB of onboard storage with a 16 GB microSD card included.
The phone specs are solid but Motorola is really looking to offer a complete physical stunner that can stand up to aesthetics of the iPhone 4S. It’s not quite there but it offers some real styling and precision including a thin 7.1 mm thin design through most of the body, a woven Kevlar backing, aluminum accents, a stainless steel core and a new splash guard display that uses nanotechnology to shield the phone from water. Though it sports a camera hump that’s 10 mm thick, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjah Jha declared the device the thinnest smartphone in the world by virtue of its 7.1 mm thickness, which is thinner than the iPhone 4S’ 9.4 mm design. Let the debates begin.
I liked how the device handled and it didn’t feel slight or flimsy like some of the Samsung Androids can feel like. The backing has a good texture, though it’s hard to tell it’s made with Kevlar. And I’m glad it’s not a 4.5 inch or larger display because it feels big without being unwieldy.
Jha touted the software inside just as much as the hardware on the outside, highlighting four features. There’s the familiar webtop feature that allows you to connect the Droid Razr to a laptop dock that works with the smartphone’s data. But more important was a new Motocast personal cloud feature that allows users to automatically sync their phone to a computer at home so they can easily move documents, pictures, videos and music back and forth.
Users can stream music from iTunes to their phone and upload pictures and video from their phone back to the PC in seconds. It’s an interesting move that sidesteps Apple’s iCloud system but Jha said most people want to interact with their personal cloud, not a larger cloud storage system.
There was also a new battery optimization system called Smart Actions that allows device owners to tailor their battery usage to improve battery life by up to 30 percent. Users can have the system automatically turn off GPS and Bluetooth at home and dim the screen or throttle the processor or data usage when the battery hits a certain point. It’s a smart move by Motorola because battery life can be a killer on Android devices and this implementation makes sense.
Jha also touted the fact that while the Droid Razr is a consumer device, it comes enterprise-ready with government grade encryption, access to corporate email, calendar and contacts and access to a productivity suite that include Citrix Receiver, QuickOffice, GoToMeeting and video conferencing.
The Droid Razr is hitting the market crowded with a bunch of Android devices including the latest Samsung Galaxy S II family, as well the iPhone 4S. But it’s got to be at the top of the conversation for anyone looking for a smartphone. People might not love Motorola’s take on UI, but the device delivers in most every way and it’s got some good ideas on handling storage, syncing and battery optimization.
Will it see record sales like the original Razr? Probably not considering the competition. But it’s a decent time to pull out the venerable name and this device seems up to the task of being Motorola’s new flagship.