Droid Razr Best Motorola Android Phone Yet

Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr 4G LTE smartphone launches Nov. 11 for $299.99 on contract from Verizon Wireless. This speedy Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread phone is at the top of its class in form factor and power.

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) is clearly taunting me. One year after purchasing the Android OEM's serviceable Droid X smartphone, I am playing with a phone that blasts it apart in speed and aesthetic beauty: the Motorola Droid Razr, which goes on sale Nov. 11 for $299.99 on contract from Verizon Wireless.

The Droid Razr is the phone the Droid X should have been. I didn't consider the Droid X with its 4.3-inch screen to be clunky a year ago. Yet I can't help but think that's the case as I view it next to the Razr, which breathes new life into Motorola's best-selling Razr feature phone legacy.

The handset runs Google's Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of LP DDR2 RAM on Verizon Wireless' 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network.

Verizon's 4G LTE is typically a force in Fairfield County, Conn. Ookla's Speedtest application showed the phone getting anywhere from 12 to 16M bps download speeds, and 5 to 8M bps upload speeds on a consistent basis.

Applications such as Angry Birds, Netflix, YouTube and Facebook and Twitter for Android hummed along beautifully on this handset, which is a super-thin 7.1 millimeters, or 0.28 inches, compared with 0.4 inches for the Droid X.

It's even thinner than Samsung's thin Galaxy S II smartphones, which measure around 8.9 millimeters, or 0.35 inches. It's also a full ounce less than my Droid X, only 4.5 ounces, which is in my opinion the ideal weight for a phone.

While Motorola has been outfitting its premium smartphones such as the Motorola Atrix and Droid Bionic with quarter high-definition (qHD) screens for the last several months (the Droid X launched with a 4.3-inch WVGA (854 x 480) screen), the Razr's screen is a gorgeous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) Advanced qHD display with 960-by-540 resolution. It's easily the best Motorola handset screen to date.

Moreover, the screen is super sturdy. A smartphone so thin needs to be sturdy, so Motorola has packed this gadget in Corning Gorilla Glass for the screen and Kevlar-yes, the synthetic fiber renowned worldwide for its use in bulletproof vests-as the enclosure. For added protection, it has a water-repellent coating.

Phone calls were great on this device, whose thinness made it a real joy. I held it up to the ear, and I detected no tinny sounds or echoes. Pictures shot with little latency via the 8-megapixel camera, which is complemented by an HD 1.3MP shutter in front for video chats. Video shot from that rear-facing camera captured in 1,080p HD and output at 1,080p via High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to my TV.

Also, it should be noted that the virtual QWERTY keyboard-different from even that of the Droid Bionic-offers crisp, white lettering against a jet-black backdrop, something that really stands out on this device.