Motorola Droid RAZR HD: A Full-Screen Beauty in a Kevlar Coat

By Brent Rose on at

We haven't seen a flagship device from Motorola since the last Droid RAZR was announced nearly a year ago. A case could be made for the RAZR MAXX, announced at CES, but Moto needed something new and splashy to compete with the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Does this one have what it takes?
Motorola Droid RAZR HD: A Full-Screen Beauty in a Kevlar Coat (Updating)

The Droid RAZR HD boasts a revamped screen. It's 4.7 inches and HD. Should be a nice improvement over the original Droid RAZR's Pentile disaster. The biggest upgrade to the screen, though, is that it now covers the entire front of the phone. Bezel B. gone! It gives the impression that you're holding a window in your hand, rather than a device with a screen. This is very cool, as long as the screen doesn't crack at the slightest bump. The Gorilla Glass should help with that.

The back also loses the bezel. The laminated Kevlar back that the RAZR line has become synonymous with now extends across the entire back. This should give it a lot of strength while adding very little weight. It'd also splash-proof, like the other RAZRs and like all gadgets should be.

In its guts there's a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, and 1GB of RAM. We would have liked to have seen the quad-core S4 Pro, but the dual-core is still a solid performer, giving the One X and the S III (U.S. versions) their very good speeds. It has 16GB of built in storage which is expandable via a micro SD card slot.

While it's only been announced in the US on the Verizon network, it's 4G-ready, so we may see it debut on Everything Everywhere over here. It comes pre-installed with Chrome for Android, which should boost speeds even more. But if there's one problem that basically all big-screened, LTE-toting phones has had, its battery life. This phone is promising to take care of that.

But for those super heavy users, they're also going to have the RAZR MAXX HD. It's basically the RAZR HD, but with the same 3,300 from the RAZR MAXX. That's more that double the capacity of some other smartphones. In other words, it's going to be all but impossible to run out of battery in the middle of the day, which may be the biggest selling-point of all to some. It also comes with a chunky 32GB of storage and it has a micro SD card slot to expand upon that. Despite all of that, it's still a very thin device (comparable to an iPhone 4S).

Both Droid RAZR HDs will be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box, with Motorola's custom skin on top of it. This is a disappointment. Months have gone by since Jelly Bean was unveiled, and users are clamoring for those enhancements. Motorola has promised an update to Jelly Bean by the end of the year, but manufacturers simply must get faster on this, and since Motorola is a part of Google, they have even less of an excuse.

They come packed with an NFC radio, which means the digital wallet has finally come to Motorola. There's also an 8MP camera on the back and a front facing cam for video chatting. It's got a micro HDMI out for instantly streaming video, audio, and games to your home entertainment system, which is handier than you'd expect.

All in all, this looks like a very promising piece of hardware. We'll add more details as we get them. We're heading over to the demo tables right now, so check back shortly for our hands-on impressions.