Hardware

Motorola Droid 4 Review: Initial Impressions (Video)

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Before we chat out the Droid 4 there’s a bit of other news we need to address right quick. As you’ll surely notice, we’re doing smartphone reviews a little differently now. That said, this video and my basic hands-on impressions are just the first in a three-part series reviewing the phone. Stay tuned for what comes next!

Alright then, back to business…

The Motorola Droid 4 has spent exactly 24 hours on shelves, and from the time I’ve spent with the phone I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s doing quite well there.

If you keep up with phones you know that the Droid 4 is a big deal, the fourth in Motorola’s Droid brand (which happens to be one of the most successful Android brands we’ve seen to date), and a QWERTY-packing beast if I may say so. The thing about it, however, is that the keyboard (any physical keyboard) is becoming less and less necessary.

To be clear, I think that the Droid 4 keyboard is possibly one of the best I’ve ever used. It gives a solid tactile feedback and is fairly easy to navigate. The fact that it’s backlit only adds to my infatuation. But… a combination of great auto-correct and Swype nearly makes that keyboard useless.

I understand that back in the day typing on a touchscreen was super annoying, since the auto-correct wasn’t quite up to snuff. That’s not really the case anymore, and I almost feel like anyone who insists on a physical QWERTY is doing so simply because they’re so used to it.

Truth be told the transition can be tough from QWERTY to soft keys, but Swype can make that transition a lot easier and you’ll ultimately be much faster in the typing department.

Still, for those of you who demand QWERTY-style satisfaction, I can’t recommend a better handset than the Droid 4. The 4-inch screen compliments the size and weight of the phone perfectly, and it honestly doesn’t feel that much smaller than the 4.3-inch Razr display.

Watching movies and playing games is still just as great, in terms of size, but it only made me feel “eh” in terms of quality. Sure, it’s plenty bright and pixel-dense, but it doesn’t have the wow factor of these 720p displays we’re seeing lately.

I didn’t experience any serious issues with the phone in terms of performance, and it would seem that 1GB of RAM combined with that 1.2GHz dual-core processor can handle basic tasks and multitasking just fine. At the same time, I’ve only spent about 24 hours with it, so things may change with heavier testing.

As you can see in the video, the Droid 4 looks much more like the Razr or Razr Maxx than it does its other Droid family members. I almost wish that Kevlar fiber casing was along for the ride, too, but that might ruin one of the best things about the Droid 4: its $199.99 price tag from Verizon.

We’ll be hitting you with more on the Droid 4 as the week progresses, so stay tuned for the rest of our review.

Note: I mistakenly stated in the video that the Droid 4 runs Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, when it in fact runs Android 2.3.6. My apologies.

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