When Motorola launched the Droid Bionic, the company made a big deal out of something called ZumoCast, which allows you to stream media directly from your computer. With the RAZR, it’s making a big deal out of something called MotoCast, which.... allows you to stream media directly from your computer. The two apps are oddly separate, although they seem to be built on the same foundation, and they work similarly well — that is, they work well until you run into a rough service patch or hit your data cap by streaming video to your phone all day long.
Once installed on your computer, the MotoCast application can also handle syncing content over USB from iTunes, which is extremely useful.
The RAZR can also run Motorola’s Webtop environment when plugged into the various docks. You probably don’t care. Webtop remains as marginally useful as ever — it’s not a reason to buy the phone, nor a reason to avoid it.
Lastly, we should note that all of these tweaks and extensions to Android mean that the RAZR won’t get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich until sometime next year. That’s hard to take, especially since we’re expecting Verizon will launch the Galaxy Nexus with 4.0 in the next few weeks. And even when the RAZR does get ICS, you’ll forever be stuck with those four capacitive buttons at the bottom of the screen as Google moves Android away from them entirely. Yes, ICS will work with them, but they're not at the cutting edge of the platform. It may or may not matter to you, but it’s definitely something to consider.
Performance and battery life
Motorola might pack on the unnecessary animations and bloat, but the RAZR’s overall performance is quite good: I got Quadrant scores of between 2400 and 2800, which is in range of other high-end Android devices like the HTC Amaze 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II. I did notice a fair bit of occasional lag in the web browser, although it was inconsistent, and the SunSpider browser test returned a score of 3448.6, which is in line with other high-end devices.
I also got terrific LTE performance in my testing: between 5-10Mbps down and 5-8MBps up in my Brooklyn apartment, and 10-15Mbps down and 6Mbps up in The Verge’s Union Square offices.
Motorola only gave us but a single day to review the RAZR, so we'll have to see how the battery holds up over time, but in average use the RAZR’s battery held up as well as any other LTE device — I browsed the web, made a few phone calls, checked my mail, and otherwise used the phone like normal for most of the day before having to charge up. Unsurprisingly, the more I used LTE, the quicker the battery drained. The 1780mAh battery is a bit larger than the Droid Bionic’s and it offers slightly longer quoted talk times, but it’s also sealed in — you won’t be able to quickly swap it if you’re a serious road warrior.