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Motorola Droid Razr HD review: How phones should be built

JR Raphael | Oct. 23, 2012
Motorola's Droid Razr HD makes a lasting impression with its first-class build quality and outstanding battery life -- but the Android smartphone also has its fair share of flaws.

With its recent acquisition by Google, it's no understatement to say Motorola Mobility is on the brink of a brand new era. While Google's influence on Moto is just barely starting to show, the company's newly launched line of Droid Razr phones makes me optimistic about its future.

The flagship of Motorola's new lineup, the Droid Razr HD, is available now from Verizon Wireless for $200 with a new two-year contract. The new Android 4.0 smartphone is accompanied by the Droid Razr Maxx HD, a near-identical device with a bigger battery that sells for $300, and the Droid Razr M, a smaller and slightly lower-end model that costs $99 with contract.

I've spent the past several days using the Droid Razr HD in place of my own personal device. While the phone is far from perfect, it gets a lot of things right -- and with its focus on build quality and battery life, it fills an important niche in the ever-expanding Android market.

How 'bout that body?

The first thing you notice when you pick up the Droid Razr HD is how well constructed it is. The phone feels rugged and durable while still achieving a high-quality, premium look.

Motorola Droid Razr HD

The Razr HD is 2.7 x 5.2 in. and 0.33 in. thick. It weighs 5.2 oz. -- a bit heavier than some of its contemporaries but still quite comfortable to carry. The phone has a textured Kevlar material on its back, a silver metal band around its edges, Corning Gorilla Glass on its front and a water-repellent nanocoating on its surface to protect it from spills. This is no plasticky, flimsy-feeling phone; the Droid Razr HD is built to survive.

The phone has a 4.7-in., 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display. It does utilize Pentile technology, which will undoubtedly disappoint some display aficionados, but with its 720p resolution, the screen actually looks quite good by most standards. It's bright, clear and easy on the eyes, with little to no visible pixelation.

Above the display sits a giant 3/4-in. LED indicator that flashes different colors to alert you of missed calls and other notifications. As with other Android phones, you can install a third-party app to take control of the LED, and customize how and when it works.

The Razr HD has a single speaker on its back. On my review unit, the speaker sounded somewhat distorted when playing high-pitched sounds, like the tones for incoming text messages and other system notifications. This may or may not have been a defect specific to my review unit; it's hard to say for sure.

 

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