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Hands on: Motorola Droid Razr

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011

Motorola resurrects Razr brand

Motorola has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, resurrecting the Razr brand that dominated the flip-phone market a half-decade ago. The Android device shares little with the original Razrs, aside from thin profiles compared to competing handsets--the Droid Razr measures just 7.1mm from its facade to the woven-Kevlar backside. Electronista took an early look at the upcoming device at the Motorola/Verizon launch event in New York.

Despite the thin profile, the new Droid's 4.3-inch display does not make it one of the smallest devices on the market. Nonetheless, the company seems to have struck a great balance between display size and overall volume and weight. Kevlar undoubtedly helps lighten the device, which weighs 42 grams less than the original Droid. The rugged design also extends to the internal components, which are protected by a "water repellent nanocoating" that is said to guard against damage from accidental spills.

We like the new display, which keeps the Droid Bionic's 960x540 resolution but steps up to a Super AMOLED Advanced display with brighter colors and a significant improvement to the contrast ratio. The 'Advanced' display offers an appearance similar to Super AMOLED Plus displays that we've seen, ditching the fuzzy PenTile pixels to improve clarity.

After spotting Google chairman Eric Schmidt in the crowd at the launch event, we were hoping the Razr might be one of the first smartphones to move beyond Gingerbread. The device still utilizes Android 2.3, however, but Motorola has worked to improve the experience with a number of new features. We like the automatic upload options for videos and pictures, along with new location-based power management that can turn off Bluetooth when a user is at home or silence the ringer when at work.

The Razr takes advantage of 4G LTE connectivity and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, pairing fast download/upload speeds with fluid OS interactions. During our limited tests, the device showed excellent performance similar to other high-end Android offerings equipped with dual-core processors.

We expect Motorola's latest Droid to be a strong contender in the Android market. It combines many of the best features already available on other devices, while also bringing several unique upgrades that set it apart from its peers.

Verizon will begin taking preorders later this month for $300, with availability expected sometime in November.

by MacNN Staff



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