Motorola's RAZR line of phones could be defined by the phrase high performance, low profile. These devices have been powerful and they've been thin.
With a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon CPU, the latest entry in Motorola's RAZR line – dubbed the RAZR HD -- is certainly powerful, but it's also more substantial than past models.
The RAZR HD is thicker than the RAZR MAXX, but it's also made of considerably sterner stuff than other entries in the lineup. I've complained that past RAZR models didn't seem as well made as their Samsung or HTC counterparts. Quite the contrary for this one; the RAZR HD's chassis is among the most well-constructed I've encountered – the large 4.7-inch display is nestled into a bezel with a metallic finish, and the rubberized rear case feels strong enough to resist rough handling without damage.
Even so, it's not overly thick at 0.33 inches, comparable to models like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5, and still fits comfortably into a pocket.
The RAZR HD's display is eyecatchingly clear, featuring 720p resolution and SuperAMOLED technology similar to the latest top-of-the-line Samsung devices.
It features the familiar 8 megapixel rear-facing, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera array, and the rear camera can also capture high definition video.
As is typical of new smartphones, it offers 4G LTE Internet capability, which combined with the high-powered processor make Web browsing extremely snappy.
The interface is classic Motorola: not too much, not too little. Motorola seems to enjoy leaving the customization of the screens and widgets on their devices up to the user, in contrast to Samsung and HTC, which both replace many of the default Android options with their own settings.
If pressed, I'd mention only two gripes: The battery life is a bit short, and, while we're talking batteries – the one in the RAZR HD is non-removable. This is a pet peeve and not a huge problem – iPhones have never had removable batteries, for example -- but being able to swap out batteries can be useful – particularly if something goes wrong.
All told, the RAZR HD is a superior offering – able to compete in both quality and power with high-end Samsung and HTC entries. What really seems to set it apart is the overall quality.
The RAZR HD is $199.99 with a contract from Verizon Wireless, and $599 without.
Nick DeLorenzo is director of interactive and new media for The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected].