Some deem the iPhone too small. Some cringe at Samsung's glossy plastics. Some may find Motorola's Droid RAZR HD to be just right.
The Droid RAZR HD is the culmination of three years of rapid evolution. Sure, T-Mobile's G1 from HTC might have got Google's foot in the door, but it was the original Motorola Droid on Verizon's highly lauded network that gave Google its foothold on the mobile battlefield.
Now Motorola has set an eye-popping 4.7-inch touchscreen (the largest display ever on a Motorola smartphone) in a stylish revamp of the Droid RAZR introduced last year. The 1280 x 720 display stuffs 312 pixels per inch which puts it on par with its high-end competition. It offers generous viewing angles and is bright enough to work in bright outdoor conditions. You could nitpick over its oversaturated color.
The RAZR HD evokes a sense of a forged steel instrument clad in a Kevlar grip.
The industrial-meets-opulence design is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and 4S, but feels much more comfortable to hold. Though the RAZR HD is also available in white I think the black better compliments the dark Kevlar fitted across the back.
While Samsung's "plasticy" devices are often called out for feeling cheap, the soft Kevlar and metal construction of the RAZR HD makes for what feels like a premium smartphone.
Many top shelf devices are are omitting microSD slots, but Motorola has tucked one away accessible via a hidden slot on the left side. A tool to open the slot is included, but you can improvise with a paper clip. Some have complained about it being inconvenient. I've seen better, but I've seen worse. I don't get the big deal since most will stuff a 32GB card in there and never open it again.
The battery life alone may be reason enough for some to consider the RAZR HD. Even without the higher capacity battery of its bulkier Maxx HD stable mate, this RAZR has enough power to keep going when the competition flat lines.
The camera does a decent job, but if you want class leading imaging you'll want to look at the iPhone or Galaxy s III. That said, I'm confident it would serve just fine for anyone else.
The RAZR HD currently runs Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich, but an update to Jelly Bean 4.1 is imminent.
Who is the RAZR HD for?
The RAZR line is available only at Verizon, but it is global ready and NFC-enabled. Obviously, those lusting for a large smartphone screen will not be deterred by the device's 5.19H x 2.67W x 0.33D inch dimensions. But Motorola has done a good job keeping the bulk down for such a big display.
This leaves few top shelf competitors on the list.
Those turned off by Samsung's plastics should appreciate the materials of the the RAZR.
The Droid DNA by HTC, which like the RAZR HD is priced at $199.99, but lacks a microSD slot and makes do with a less potent battery.
The RAZR HD doesn't come armed with a list of superlatives, but Motorola has engineered a distinctive device with robust build quality and an appealing list of features.
This is Motorola's sharpest RAZR yet.
Specifications & features:
● 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB RAM
● 4G LTE with Mobile Hotspot for sharing with up to eight devices
● 4.7" 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD, 312 pixels per inch
● 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p HD recording
● Front-facing camera for video chatting
● microSD™ card slot with support for up to 32 GB
● NFC-enabled so customers can send contacts, links, maps and more directly to compatible phones with Android Beam
● Gorilla Glass display, Kevlar fiber and water-repellent nanocoating
● micro HDMI port
● SmartActions App
● Global ready
● Isis ready
● 5.19H x 2.67W x 0.33D
● $199.99 with 2-Year contract at Verizon