Nov 11 AT 11:35 AM Anthony Domanico 18 Comments

First Impressions: Motorola Droid RAZR


The Motorola Droid RAZR is all set to release on Verizon Wireless at 11:11 a.m. The RAZR is the latest Motorola flagship device to launch on Verizon’s network, delivering 4G LTE speeds in an amazingly thin package. I’ve spent the last few days with the Droid RAZR, and what follows are my initial impressions of Verizon’s latest superphone.

Though the RAZR is slightly wider and taller than the DROID X2 and DROID Bionic, the device is incredibly thin and feels great in the hand. In an effort to keep most of the device thin, the microUSB, microHDMI and 3.5mm headphone jacks are at the top of the device, leaving the power button and volume rocker on the right hand side.

The RAZR is running Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with Motorola’s “Don’t call me BLUR” UI. Though BLUR has not exactly been welcomed in the Android community, the Gingerbread version of Motorola’s UI is much improved and less annoying than the previous version, and you can avoid it by removing the few widgets that come pre-installed on the device.

Over the past few days, I’ve only taken a few pictures with the RAZR, but the pictures I did take were pretty good, even in low-light situations. Cell phone cameras still aren’t quite good enough to replace standard point and shoot cameras, but we’re getting ever closer

Overall, my experience with the RAZR has been a positive one thus far. The 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display is gorgeous, with colors that are much more vivid than those on my Photon 4G. The RAZR is snappy and was easily able to handle any task I threw its way. The battery appears to be able to withstand a full day of moderate usage, especially with the built in battery-saving Smart Actions functions.

The one drawback I’ve seen thus far is that the RAZR doesn’t allow you to pull off the backplate to remove the battery, a feature that has almost been necessary for troubleshooting on all Android devices. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve pulled the battery in order to reset my device to get something to work properly. We’re assuming Motorola needed to do this in order to keep the device thin and solid, and we can only hope that holding down the power button in a pinch will allow the device to power down if it freezes up.

We’ll have a full review of the Droid RAZR up as we have more time to test the device, probably at the beginning of next week. The RAZR will be available for sale at 11:11 a.m. for $299 with a new two-year contract. Of course, you can find it for $111.11 (new customers) or $249 (upgrades) on Amazon, though you may have to wait a week or two before you actually get your hands on the device.

Anyone out there planning to pick up the RAZR today? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • davetheAndroid

    Go to settings, and to storage. See app space? A bit over 2 GB!? Just like the Bionic and X2. NO THANKS!!!! What good is a phone with 32 GB that I can only put 2 GB of apps on!?

    • Shanikwa Johnson

      You have no clue what you are talking about.

    • Sean Riley

      That’s definitely irritating, but probably shouldn’t be considered a deal breaker for most people. I’m not extensively using apps to SD and with about 200 apps on my Thunderbolt I’m only using up 1GB of internal storage.

  • Walter

    Bro if your putting 2 gigs of apps on your android phone you need a new hobby. That’s a lot of apps seeing as the android market has a cap for size limit.

  • DroidUser

    You can do a hard reset by holding power and vol up button. Don’t need to pull your battery.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Thanks for the tip. It’s actually volume down, but that worked.

  • Starship

    Little concerned about photo 2011-11-11_10-30-53_264 image 6/7

    are those tears in the kevlar or just the reflection of your fingers?

    • Greg

      That’s just the protective plastic film it ships with. Bad form leaving it on for the photo unless you weren’t allowed to take it off.

  • Starship

    Little concerned about photo 2011-11-11_10-30-53_264 image 6/7

    are those wrinkles in the kevlar or just the reflection of your fingers?

  • triangle

    While I think that engineering that has gone into this device to make it so thin and light is fantastic, along with the solid overall build quality, the device still looks unattractive to me. Motorola needs to improve on its design aesthetics because this funny octagon-like shape they are using for this device, the photon and the Xoom 2 media edition just looks kind of ugly.

  • jak2rocks

    @Starship It seems like there’s a plastic film over the back of the device.

  • indianzfan

    I just went to the Verizon store to check it out. My hands are big so I could use it one handed. I have no idea why people don’t like the Pentile display. I did not see any pixelation. It’s a very nice phone. I thing the screen is as big as my entire original Droid. I’m waiting for he public to test it for bugs before I drop some cash on it.

  • themanwithsauce

    My OG droid’s touchsreen died completely so I went into the store to see if they had a pre owned phone I could borrow until the nexus came out. But then the guy working there told me to pick one up… I think this phone is made with black magic. It should not be this light while feeling this sturdy. It really is in a different league.

    I ended up buying it and I don’t regret it one bit. I got some additional credit on my next phone bill (he waived my month’s bill and gave me the 30$ upgrade credit on my next month because he saw all the issues I had with both my OG droid and my Xperia play so if you’ve got a bad taste in your mouth they might do what they can) and the phone feels amazing. I picked up the nexus S before and the feel in my hand wasn;t awful but I do agree that it feels a lot cheaper than a flagship should be. I also root/flash so to me, being the first to get ICS only goes so far. 5 bucks says I end up running ICS on my razr by the end of the year.

    Fair warning – It’s huge. I’ve got large hands and pockets (and it is insanely light in your pocket) so to me, this is a plus but for others I can easily see it being a drawback. Bring your coat and any bags or purses you want to place this phone in and ask to use a demo unit to check its size. I found that the razr fits into my pockets quite easily and I can take it out with ease. Smaller pants or jackets might be more restrictive. Also, download the speed test app and use it immediately. 20mb/s download right out of the box. Wow. I’ve never used 4G before. Within two hours of getting i I’ve already started playing pocket legends and my netflix movies stream in a flash. Crazy! Installing the apps on my droid went like this – queue up for download…downloading…..downloading…..downloading…..downlaoded. Installing…..installing…..installing……….done. Downloading apps on the razr – queuedownloainstalldone.

    Say what you will about the styling but it really is a damn good phone. Makes you wonder why they bothered with the bionic…..

  • Androidcrazed6

    im soooooo confused in what i should do!!1

    im on sprint and curently using a samsung rant (which is only good for calling and texin)

    i want a new phone dont know which though. i was thinkiing the nexus once and if it comes out on sprint or the iphone 4s or the iphone 5 next year OR wait for 4.0 phones in 2012 OR samsung galaxy s2

    i will play games 80% and web browse and watch movies other%

  • Monochrome

    Still not a fan of the hump at the top. It doesn’t look good, no matter how thin the rest of the phone is made. I can appreciate solid construction and the light weight though. Not sure yet. Need to do a side by side with the GNexus. Still leaning towards GNexus though.

  • DB

    I’ve owned the RZR for 2 weeks now and the battery is a heart-breaking deal breaker on an otherwise superb “smarty-pants” phone. For minimal usage and/or battery saving apps enacted I barely get 24hours. For intensive usage (using GPS and maps in the background while talking on cell phone and texting) I get 2 1/2 hours or less. I depleted the whole battery (after 3 charge and non-rapid discharge cycles (conditioning)) in less than one hour (48minutes to be exact) while reviewing, downloading and installing apps and loading contacts [the old fashioned way: one by one (on purpose) as a way to keep the screen on while not necessarily using the processor much in the foreground] . For 2 weeks I’ve been held hostage to some sort of charger just to make it through the day. I don’t see how this can be rectified with some sort of fix or after-market product with the current form factor without having some sort of larger add-on battery charger plugged into the charging port – thus negating the otherwise superbly slim design. This should have been addressed before release. In practical usage it turns out to be a little like buying a Ferrari with a 4 gallon fuel tank!!! It is going back to Costco.

  • pritams

    Not bad..just the wrong time..

  • motorola droid

    Any phone which needs its battery to be removed time and again for whatever reason,doesn’t deserve to be bought in the first place.

    A smartphone should have also have smart hardware not just smart software.

    This is my opinion only and i dont intend to start a fanboy war in any way,shape,size or whateve