Hands-On With The Verizon Droid RAZR By Motorola

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After the hot mess that was the Droid Bionic Saga (Delay! Delay! Delay! Screw it, release garbage.), I didn’t think I could ever like another Motorola device again. Guess I was wrong.

I just spent a bit of time with the just-announced Droid RAZR, and, at least at first glance, it is… surprisingly great. Dive in for my first impressions, won’t you?

The First Impressions:

  • The Samsung-made Super AMOLED screen is, as we’ve grown used to with Samsung’s most recent displays, amazing. The blacks are deep, the color contrast vivid. It’s still not quite as high res as Apple’s retina display, but the difference is a hard one to notice
  • The overall device aesthetic is… interesting. Not quite my tastes (perhaps because I’m so used to round corners, while the RAZR is intentionally angled), but not at all off putting.
  • No lag. None whatsoever. Of course, we’re talking about a brand new device here with little bogging it down, and Android as a whole is considerably less laggy than it was a year ago — but try as I might, I couldn’t get any of the transitions or animations to stutter.
  • New to the Droid RAZR is a feature Motorola calls “Smart Actions”, which allows you to automate certain events based on triggers like location (based on WiFi networks or geofences) and time. Arrive at work? It can change your ringtone away from “Sexy and I Know It” and your wallpaper to someone who is wearing clothes. Back at home? It’ll put things back to your personal tastes, flip off Bluetooth, slow down the processor (to save battery), and up the ringer volume in case the handset slips into the couch. There are third party apps that do similar things, but Motorola’s offering is surprisingly intuitive and seemingly well built.
  • Slim. Incredibly slim. Even with the chunk of ugly at the top (where the radio/camera are stored), this thing is razor (HAH!) thin.
  • Though I wasn’t able to get sample shots of the device, I did use the camera. The shutter lag was minimal, and the time between photos was trivial.
  • My favorite part of the entire device? Oddly, the back. So many manufacturers (I’m looking at you, Samsung), have come to focus all of their efforts on the front of the device. What about the part the world sees while I’m actually using the phone as.. you know, a phone? The Droid RAZR’s back surface is almost entirely Kevlar, which feels remarkably nice in the hand. It’s the texture of soft-touch paint, without the added thickness.
  • The battery isn’t swappable — which is sort of weird, for an Android device. They sacrificed that option to make the device slimmer.

That’s all for now — but feel free to ask any questions down in the comments below. We’ll try to get our hands on a production device to give this thing a proper review in the coming weeks.

We’ve got a nice demo video or two coming up soon — sadly, the WiFi here appears to be carrier pigeon-based. Check back soon! Update: Now with video!