Motorola Droid Razr HD Review: Fast Speeds, Long-Lasting Power
If you like big screens, and who doesn't, you'll love Motorola's Droid Razr HD. The bigger version of the Droid Razr fits a mammoth display and a beefier battery to last even longer on the road. But it comes at the price of the size, which isn't for the faint of hand.
The sleek, midnight-black body looks great. Though large, the profile measures a skinny 8-millimeters. It's not as thin as some rivals, but it helps to ease the heavy 5.2 ounce frame. For comparison, the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 weigh-in at well under five.
The phone is big. I don't suggestion you try to one-hand it. If you reach for the wrong key, it'll come dangerously close to slipping out of your hand. But if it happens to drop, you'll be glad to know the front is made from Gorilla Glass, and the back from Kevlar. I'm just not sure it can stop a bullet, though. So don't try.
Just to be safe, Motorola coated whole thing in water-repellant nanocoating. That means if you drop it in a puddle, it won't skip a beat. Quick note: it's water-repelling, not waterproof, so don't go swimming with it.
Big screens on skinny bodies are all the rage now, and the Razr HD is no different. A gigantic 4.7-inch display dominates the front -- and it's stunning. The 1,280-by-768 resolution keeps images sharp, while Super AMOLED keeps it vibrant. Its PenTile pixel layout is a smidge fuzzier than the iPhone's Retina display, but the color saturation is impressive and the viewing angles are strong. You'll love watching movies and browsing the Web.
Really, all top-tier phones have about the same level of quality, so I don't look too much into the nit-picking. It comes down to this: they're all great. You won't notice one is better than another unless you look at them side-by-side, and even then, you'd be a snob for pointing it out. The point is, saying the iPhone is better than the Lumia or the Razr HD is like saying Scarlett Johansson is sexier than... crap. The Razr HD's display is fantastic. 'Nuff said.
The weakest aspect of is the 8-megapixel lens. It's not a bad camera -- it's just as good as the Galaxy S3. You'll take vibrant and clear snapshots, or at least they'll look that way zoomed out. When you get into the pixels, there's a bit of noise. Cameras were never Motorola's strong suit, and the Razr HD is no different. The color saturation is a bit duller than I'd like, and overall, it just feels flat. The same problem persists in the 1080p high-definition video, except worse. There's a second 1.3-megapixel lens for video chat and self-portraits. But outside of that, and it's not much use.
The software will touch it up with a lukewarm hue, but the editing tools are bare-bones. I like the alerts that tell you when there's bad lighting, that way you can quickly switch to HDR.
The Razr HD ships with Android ICS, but Motorola is promising a swift upgrade to Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean really distinguishes itself -- "Project Butter" smooths out the software, and updates to the interface offer a more efficient workflow, among other improvements. But anyways, ICS is still good too, I guess. You get all the Google goodies -- Gmail, Google Maps and all the apps you can find on Google Play. Oh, Verizon installed some bloatware, but it's no big deal. You can uninstall them.
That bigger size has one advantage -- a serious 2,530 mAh battery. Motorola claims the super-charged pack gives you a whopping 40 percent more juice than the old Razr, or around 15 hours of talk time -- that's talk -- and I can tell you that's... pretty accurate. You'll never have to worry about missing calls after work anymore.
The Razr HD comes out around the same time as its beefier sibling, the Razr Maxx HD. So in a market full of half-day devices, if you need a phone that lasts a long time, either Motorola will be your best bet. Meanwhile, the 1.5-gigahertz dual-core processor runs at top speeds, without lag, and NFC lets you run around town sharing data and making mobile payments.
Verizon's LTE service drains the power from most phones in a matter of hours, but the Razr HD's big battery is especially resilient. But just to prolong the life, you'd probably want to switch it off until you need it.
If you're into fast phones, fast 4G and fast processors, the Razr HD is a solid choice. It has all the high-end features you'd expect from a top-tier Android device, and that rare quality of a long battery life. Of course, the trade-off is the gargantuan size, but, hey, you can't have everything, right? If you don't mind the weight, and want more juice, give the Razr Maxx HD a look. And if you want less of both, the Galaxy S3 or One X+ might be your best bet. ♦
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Super AMOLED (Accelerometer / Proximity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor)
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