Droid Razr Is Great but Pricey

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-11-10 Print this article Print

The phone has many of the requisite applications and access to the 300,000 applications in the Android Market. The free MotoCast application lets users stream music, pictures and documents from their computers through the Razr, adding some nice media portability. Motorola has also added what it calls a Smart Actions application, which is a personal phone management assistant of sorts that boosts battery life and automates utilities.

No, not like Apple's Siri virtual assistant. What Smart Actions does is let users create rules that trigger the phone to perform certain actions, such as silencing itself, or turning off power-draining features to preserve the battery based on where a user is with their Razr. Smart Actions will automatically launch news in a widget on the Razr in the morning and open Google Maps to optimize it for use in the user's car.

The phone, which has 16GB of internal memory, expandable to 32GB with a microSD card, also connects to Motorola's docking stations, allowing users to port the Razr's content to a larger display.

To my mind, the only thing that could make this aesthetically-pleasing, speedy handset better than it is would be if it were loaded with the new Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" platform, with holographic icons and soft navigation buttons, among other perks. Alas, we must wait until next year for that on the Razr.


Motorola packed this puppy with a 1,780-mAH battery, which I assumed would provide a full day's use. It did, albeit for email, Web browsing, phone calls and texting.

What OEMs won't tell you-and what is incumbent on me to tell you-is that whether you're using 3G or 4G LTE networks, the phone's battery goes kaput fast when you stream video or play a lot of games-anything that involves a lot of data.

I tested the Razr's power source by playing TV episodes on mute as I worked on other stories. On a full charge, the Razr made it through just two-and-a-half X-Files episodes. X-Files runs about 45 minutes per episode, which means I wore down the battery in less than two hours. The battery got hot, but not fry-an-egg-on-it hot the way the HTC Evo and other phones before the Razr cooked.

So if you're going to be out and about and watching Netflix or a lot of YouTube, make sure you bring your Razr's charger. Don't think about swapping out the battery either; it's enclosed and non-swappable, which on the plus side lends itself well to the thinness and lightweight design of the Razr.

Also, at $299.99, the Razr is as pricey as a phone on contract gets here in the U.S. That will ward off some who perhaps want to buy Verizon's Samsung Stratosphere 4G LTE QWERTY slider for half the price, or even a shiny new Apple iPhone 4S for $199.

Of course, if you place a premium on speed and cutting-edge design without concern for the hardware cost, you can't go wrong with the Razr. It's at the top of its class from Motorola, and the Android OEM was at the top of its game for this smartphone.  


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