Motorola goes big and small with Razr line-up

Motorola joined the parade of fall smartphone announcements, unveiling three new Droid Razr smartphones for Verizon (s vz) just hours after Nokia debuted its first Windows Phone 8 devices.  The Razr phones — the Razr HD, Razr Maxx HD and Razr M — follow on the heels of last year’s launch of the Razr and Razr Maxx, which revived the Razr name as an Android (s goog) smartphone.

The Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD will be the higher-end options, serving as flagships for Motorola’s fall smartphone line-up. The Razr HD will feature a 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED HD display with a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon(s qcom) S4 processor with 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The device will offer a 2,530 mAh battery and will get an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean by the end of the year.

The Razr Maxx HD will bump up the battery size to 3,300 mAh and will offer more storage at 32 GB. Both devices will be among the first to offer Google’s Chrome browser pre-installed. The phones go on sale before the end of this year on Verizon(s vz)(s vod) with the price still unannounced.

Droid Razr M, Motorola, Google, Android The Razr M will serve as a more budget-friendly, smaller option for consumers, offering a lower resolution 4.3-inch qHD 540×960 Super AMOLED display with a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and a 3-megapixel front-facing camera.

The big feature of Razr M is that it pushes out the display to the edges, while still occupying a frame the size of the iPhone 4S (s aapl). That allows the Razr M to offer 40 percent more screen size than Apple’s smartphone in a similar shape. The device, which will also come pre-installed with Chrome, will feature a 2,000 mAh battery and will also be upgraded to Jelly Bean this year. It goes on sale on Sept. 13 with pre-orders available now.

The fall launches of the Razr M and Razr HD mark the first big product releases since Google completed its acquisition of Motorola. A lot of eyes will continue to be on what products Motorola puts out, whether they ultimately gain an advantage from being owned by Google or if they can keep up with Samsung, the runaway Android leader.

Motorola is hoping to win over consumers with an emphasis on 4G speed, combined with beefy batteries that hold up well under prolonged usage. And with the Razr M, Motorola is giving consumers a more svelte option, which serves as some nice counter programming to the increasingly bigger smartphones and “phablets” spilling onto the market.

The challenge will be to see if Motorola can generate some heat with the latest Razr phones. Samsung continues to be the go-to Android maker and the Galaxy S III showed no big signs of weakness on Samsung’s part. And HTC still puts out a strong line-up of devices that focus on media consumption and creation. But now that it’s part of Google, Motorola is touting a new chapter for the company and the new Razr family suggests Motorola is not ready to bow out of this market yet.