Motorola Droid Razr XT910 Mobile Phone Hands-on Review

Talk about being slim, being sexy and being something that would make others stand at the bay, the Motorola Droid Razr is what we would be mentioning about. The Droid Razr is an extremely thin device, holding the name for being one of the slimmest smartphones, at 7.1mm thickness. For whoever said that Motorola still has to do a lot to enter the best league, they are already into it with the Razr. What we are impressed with, is the Display, the Feel, the Camera and the interface. Read below for the every nook and corner aspect reviewed.

Motorola Droid Razr Lock Screen

Design, display and feel

The Motorola Droid Razr is a superb designed, classy, large yet light weighed smartphone in the market, making the competitors wonder how the stuff is packed in the 7.1mm thick body of its. The size of 4.3-inch for the screen seems to be a prerequisite in the present market, as most of the Android smartphones has it and Razr too has the 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a high-raised border on all the sides. The front has the Metallic lines on the top, over which the Motorola logo is engrossed. The front looks good overall, except the front camera which is oddly placed below the Motorola logo, not at the center though. The same problem is seen even at the bottom where the mic is placed just below and between the touch-sensitive keys. What we are still fascinated about, is the design on the sides where the edges are not rounded but the dimensions get lesser at the top and bottom. The bottom area below the display has the 4 touch sensitive keys – Menu, Home, Back and Search.

Motorola Droid Razr Front  Motorola Droid Razr Back

The sides are totally well made, with not many keys on the left and right panes. The left pane has got a section with a cap over the two sockets, one for the Micro-SIM card and one for MicroSD card. To remove or place either the SIM or the MicroSD card, you need to open the cap. The right side pane has got the excellent-made volume jack keys and a centimeter above that, the lock key which again has the same layer which the Motorola logo on the front has.
The back side of the Razr is an attraction, with the bulge on the top that rises in a curve, and the bulge accommodates the Camera, LED flash and the speaker. The camera is nearly at the corner, just left to which is the HD 1080p text written, speaking about the quality of video which can be captured using the camera. Below that is the rubbery back panel, which gives an excellent feel when held in the palm, and from an angle the back panel gives a shine. The Motorola logo lies in the center of the back panel and in the bottom, there is some information about the phone which includes the FCC certification, the model number and the manufacturing, assembling info.

Motorola Droid Razr Side Panel  Motorola Droid Razr Right Panel

Motorola Droid Razr Top Panel  Motorola Droid Razr bottom panel

The Motorola Droid Razr overall gives a great feel when held in hands, and there is no difficulty in holding it in hands and touching on the other end corner because of the thin design, and one of the differences from the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S where we liked the Razr is the location of the lock key, which is in the right side panel and not on the top. If the lock key is on the top, it would have been very inconvenient to use it always to unlock the screen. We are impressed with the way the Razr looks from the front and side. Gone are the days when we appreciated the Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones for being sleek and thin, as the Droid Razr is way thinner than all those.

Motorola Droid Razr Thickness  Motorola Droid Razr Back Bottom

Operating System, Interface and Apps

Motorola rocks it with the customization, Android users who were on the Samsung Android smartphones would love the way things are organized in the entire interface, leaving nothing similar to the interface of the Android OS seen in the other brands. Powered by the Android 2.3.5 OS, the Motorola Droid Razr welcomes you on the lock screen with a unlock button which is to be pulled towards the right for unlocking the screen, and on the right at the same level there is a shortcut to open the camera, and the camera icon needs to be pulled to the left to open the Camera app directly. In between both of them, is the Sound toggle, where you can directly choose whether to activate the Sound or Silent profile for the phone. There is a large button in the bottom to make any emergency call. The top areas show the time and date. While trying to unlock the screen or switch the camera on, a very gentle but noticeable haptic feedback is given. You don’t need to pull the lock key totally, but just swype would automatically send the icon towards the right and unlock the screen.

There are 5 home screens, each of which has its own shortcuts and widgets, flaunting the productivity the phone can produce. Summing up what all the home screens have got -

  • 1st home screen – Gallery in which you can add multiple accounts of yours, and photos from various accounts are displayed in the gallery.
  • 2nd home screen – Music player widget, Google search widget, News feed widget and the shortcuts to the Motoloud app and the Google maps app.
  • 3rd home screen / center home screen – Favorite contacts list, with 3 contacts displayed in the list, Calendar widget, shortcuts to Browser, gmail, Android market and Google talk apps.
  • 4th home screen – Social networking widget where you get the latest updates after the accounts are added, shortcuts to Alarm & Time and Camcorder apps
  • 5th home screen – The shortcuts to toggling the Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the GPS Satellites, and along with that the homescreen has the Youtube app widget.

Motorola Droid Razr Home Screen  Motorola Droid Razr Android Home Screen

The bottom icons in all the home screens remain common, including the Phone, Text Messaging, Camera and the Apps lists icons. There is no shortcuts as we see in the notification panel of most of the Android smartphones. What we see in the Notification panel of the Droid Razr is the Date and any unread notifications. The application lists form a grid system which come in multiple pages that can be scrolled from side to side. The touch-sensitive home key in the bottom below the display, takes you to the home screen when you are somewhere in the middle of something, but when you press that key while on the home page, all the home screens open in a single grid page.

Long press the home screen and you can make changes to it, add or remove the widgets and app shortcuts, change the wallpaper and place one of the very beautiful and eye-catching Wallpapers (static or live, we loved all of them! Vibrant colors which don’t hurt the eye). The application folders can be created on the home screen and various apps can be listed in it, if you are one of those who loves to play around with multiple applications in various categories.

Motorola Droid Razr Apps Pages

Settings section in the Motorola Droid Razr has the following (everyone would be familiar with most of them) -

  • Wireless & Networks – Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Tethering, VPN settings
  • Call settings – Fixed dialing numbers, voicemail settings, other call settings like the Call forwarding, Caller ID reading, Text message reply settings etc.
  • Sound settings – Sound mode – Silent, Vibrate, Volume for notifications, phone ringtone selection, haptic feedback, audible selection settings and the notification for the battery full status
  • Display settings – Brightness level, Auto-rotate the screen, Animations, Screen timeout, wallpaper and in-pocket detection (depends on the light sensor)
  • Data Manager – This has a data meter which estimates the amount of data used while using the Data network, and a data saver which shows you to control how your device uses the data
  • Battery Information – Shows the battery level, the battery status and the list of applications and internal systems with the percentage of battery being used by them
  • HDMI Settings, Location & security, Applications, Accounts, Storage, Privacy, Language & Keyboard, Voice input & output, accessibility options are mostly the same in the Android OS of the other smartphones too.

The About Phone section clearly shows the version of the OS, being 2.3.5 Gingerbread, and the model number of the phone being XT910. Some of the other info shown includes the build number and date, and the kernel, webtop, baseband versions. In this same section, we found that the just unboxed Droid Razr has got a software version update available, so do check for the update once you purchase it.

The Motorola Droid Razr has got a couple of pages full of Applications, i.e. 40 apps come by default! Woah, a lot to play around with already. The important shortcut apps include the Mobile Hotspot, Task Manager, Downloads, Files, Quickoffice. The default applications which any Android phone comes with – Google Maps, Google Talk, Android browser, Gmail, Calendar, Camera, Android Market, Youtube, Google Places. Moto has tried to make everything different, so the default music player here is the Motorola Music, and a couple other dedicated apps for the Razr users are Motoloud and the Motoprint.
Long pressing an app icon would open the list of tasks – Add to Home, Add to Group, Hide.

Unlike the Samsung Android phones, there is no physical home key, but the functioning of the touch-sensitive key is nothing different. Long pressing the home key would open the list of the recently used apps. There are a lot more differences and changes, in which the Motorola Droid Razr could be called a lot geekier, but one thing is for sure, you are not seeing anything hard to work on. Though very different, the interface is one of the easiest ones to play around with.

Camera – Still & Video capture

Motorola Droid Razr Camera

The 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash captures the pictures in a decent quality, but we won’t be happy to compare it with the Galaxy Note camera, which is of 8MP too but produces better picture quality. We are totally impressed with the clicks with the flash in dark conditions though, where it produced pretty neat details on the captured pictures. The pictures of objects close to the camera were stunning with the flash light, but if something a little far away is captured in the same conditions, the quality is compromised eventually.

Pictures captured using the Droid Razr Camera:

Motorola Droid Razr Camera Capture Sample Motorola Droid Razr Camera Capture Sample Flash

Motorola Droid Razr Camera Capture Jeans Droid Razr dark camera flash

The camera of Droid Razr captures 1080p HD video, the speed being 30 fps. The focus is an issue, so we had to struggle with it when we moved around taking a video of objects far and near at the same time. Autofocus works a lot better in taking still pictures, but when the video recording is the question, we see a compromise and a tripod capture is a better way.

The front camera is of 1.3-Megapixel and one of the outstanding features of its being the 720p HD video recording, making the whole Razr a full-HD recording device, with both the cameras recording High-definition videos.

Performance, storage and battery

The Droid Razr has a Dual-Core 1.2GHz, Dual-Channel RAM Processor, which is good enough to support a good number of applications running in the background, and still running something heavy on the front. We did notice a lag during a few functions like the pinch-zooming of pictures in the gallery, and while you are multi-tasking, the shifting between the apps produce a very small lag, which still is noticeable. We would be doing a benchmark test very soon, as soon as the device is played around with, and much more functioning is done so that the Razr gets a actual test. Open a quickoffice app and browse a file in it, and then suddenly go to the list of apps or scroll through the various home screens, a lag is noticed there too. There is no lighting speed phone in the market, we agree, but still many function at their best speed for at least a few days. If the Droid Razr lags already, we expect a lot slower performance when other applications are installed, web browsing is done and heavy usage is done!

Razr has got a 16GB storage, and this can be expanded to 32GB using a MicroSD card. The battery of 1780 mAh does stay for a long time when viewing videos, but after a full charge we don’t see more than 4 hours, when multiple apps are used together. The battery charges very slow, when charging either on the USB connection with a PC, or through direct AC charging too.
Battery drains quite much when the Internet tethering is on, and Ethernet worsens the charge percentage. When the battery is below 15%, the Razr lets you know about the same before every function, so we don’t get a chance to complain later. The charge percentage doesn’t increase or reduce much when you have the Internet tethering on, and at the same time have the Razr connected to the PC through the Micro USB connection. We did simultaneous tests of battery in the Galaxy Note, Droid Razr and the Xperia Arc S, and there the Note was the winner, followed by the Razr and the Xperia Arc S.

Connectivity options

The Motorola Droid Razr comes with a lot of options for the connectivity, mainly to the Internet connections including the 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi, apart from the Ethernet connectivity. The web connectivity and data loading is pretty fast and neat, with the browser of Android working very well and loading the stuff at a good speed, although we tried only the 3G connection. The hotspot of the Droid Razr is excellent, and the 4G network could be shared wirelessly at the same time with 8 other devices which have the Wi-Fi option. There is a mini-HDMI port, just beside the socket for the MicroUSB cable.

The Bluetooth file transfer works well, with a neat transfer speed tested with the Nokia, Samsung phones showed a good result, nothing different from the Galaxy S II transfer speed. There is nothing that a standard high-end Android smartphone should have in the list of options for connectivity, and that we don’t see in the Droid Razr. The Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS are very easily available to toggle on/off, as being the part of one of the various home screens. The Data Manager available in the Settings helps in managing the way the data network is being connected with, and the data usage count for you to ensure you aren’t crossing any browsing limits when running Internet on the data network plans.

Final Verdict

A thorough testing, playing around and comparison does still keep us quite interested in the Droid Razr, thanks to the beautiful user interface and the excellent design. Motorola has been tricky though, disappointing us with a new version of this, named the Droid Razr Maxx which holds a bigger battery than this, and that is released just within a couple months of the release of the Droid Razr original. The 4.3-inch screen, the 7.1mm thickness and the internal specs all add up to make this device stand in the small list of actual best Android smartphones in the market.

We would be coming up with the various tests and the videos comparing the Droid Razr with your favorite Android phones, which are worthy of being compared with the Razr. Overall the phone is a perfect piece of productivity and entertainment. The user interface is made in a way to keep you busy playing around and exploring the stuff.

About Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. Loves everything Tech & Cricket! Keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more updates!