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Motorola Droid RAZR review
The Droid RAZR is one of those rare phones that qualifies as a leap forward in hardware design and engineering. Sure, other handsets have higher-resolution displays and faster processors, but only the Droid RAZR squeezes a full set of competitive state-of-the-art specs and an LTE radio into a body just .28-inches thick — a profile thinner than any other modern smartphone available. Even more remarkably, the RAZR has a bigger battery than the Droid Bionic inside its ultraslim case. In other words, it’s the best phone Motorola’s ever put together, at least on paper. How does it hold up in the real world — and is it worth getting now instead of waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which was announced on the same day and features Android 4.0? Read on to find out.
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Hardware and design
Yes, the RAZR is thin. Unbelievably thin — just slightly over a quarter-inch thick. It’s hard to appreciate how thin that is without holding the RAZR in person; apart from the now-familiar Motorola camera bump at the top, most of the body is just as thin as an iPod touch, but there's a 4G LTE radio in there. That thinness is courtesy of the stainless steel frame and soft-touch Kevlar back, which also contribute to an impressively stiff and solid feel. There’s zero body flex here.
But while the RAZR might be thin, it’s not small — it’s rather huge, actually, with a ton of padding around its 4.3-inch display. In terms of surface area it’s actually closer to devices with 4.5-inch displays like the Samsung Infuse or Galaxy S II on T-Mobile and Sprint, and the thick bezel around the screen doesn’t make it easy to use one-handed. I have large hands and I found one-hand operation difficult; if you have small hands it’ll be basically impossible.
The front of the RAZR is notable for reasons other than its sheer expansiveness: there’s a notification LED, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor tucked in beneath the earpiece, and you’ll find the standard set of capacitive buttons at the bottom with the Verizon logo clumsily squeezed above them. The edges of the front glass are also slightly beveled, which makes the entire front surface appear to pop out slightly from the case even though it’s actually flush with the sides. It’s odd, actually — a bulbous feature on a phone that emphasizes thinness.
You’ll find MicroUSB, MicroHDMI, and the 3.5mm headphone jack along the top, but there’s no noise-cancellation mic as on the Droid X2. The left side is blank apart from a flip-down door for the 4G LTE SIM and microSD card slots, and the right side offers up the sleep / wake switch and minuscule volume rocker. Around back, the 8-megapixel camera, LED flash, and speakerphone are set into a gunmetal-colored plastic panel above that woven Kevlar back plate, and there’s a second microphone for video recording just below it. Inside, there’s a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor and 1GB of RAM.