Motorola Droid RAZR or Google Nexus Prime?

I'm still on the fence then: wait for Google Nexus Prime which is expected to be a flagship model or seriously consider the Moto Razr?

Moto Droid Razr is back!

Motorola Droid RazrWell this makes my upgrade decision just a little bit more difficult, and possibly I’m not alone in that regard.

Today, Motorola Mobility re-launched its storied and much revered RAZR brand (remember how slim was in circa 2004?) in the form of a sleek, powerful Android smartphone. Of course, this makes perfect sense. Moto is now owned by Google via the $12.5B acquisition this summer that caught many of us off guard. Slim, as in 7.1mm slim, is in once again.

It’s a much needed move. According to comScore, Motorola’s market share has dropped from 15% in May to 14% by the end of August.

As I wrote last week I’m one of millions of proud, first-gen Moto Droid customers. I picked up the phone on launch day (Nov. 6) at a local Verizon store here in Silicon Valley. It was busy, and there was a lot of excitement about this little fledgling OS called Android. There was by no means Apple-level pandemonium.

I remember the customer service rep helping me set up my credentials – just typed in my Gmail info, and – bongos! – all my info was there including calendar, and contacts. Ah, first love. That was just the beginning. When I started to use Google Navigation the little Droid quickly became indispensable – it took me everywhere, up to Berkeley Rep over to A.C.T. in San Francisco, up to Rubincon Estate in Napa and then back to the Computer History Museum (to interview Woz himself) in Mountain View.

Up until today I was thinking the Google Nexus Prime would replace my trusty Moto Droid.

But now this: Moto Droid Razr.

Specs are amped, as expected:

— 4G LTE
— Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
— dual-core 1.2 gigahertz CPU
— 1 GB RAM
— 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display (this may very well be my favorite feature)
— 32 GB storage (16GB on-board / 16GB memory card)
— 8 MP camera w/1080p video (anything is better than the original Droid!)
— 2 MP front-facing camera
— 7.1mm thick
— reportedly the first device to stream HD Netflix movies (per Motorola Mobility president Sanjay Jha)
— battery: 12.5 hrs talk / 9.5 hrs video
— on sale: early November (wouldn’t you know it, just as us first-gen Droids are coming off contract)

Regarding that Kevlar nano coating: boo-hoo. Not a big deal I don’t think really- I’ve never had problems with rain or water in the past, so this is a bit of a ropey dope in my view.

Price is also top end, at $299 with two year contract. I don’t expect many Apple fans to convert, what with the 4S priced $100 less.

Many are already scoring this one in favor of the Google Nexus.

I’m still on the fence: wait for Google Nexus Prime (curved glass design?! and possibly running ice cream sandwich, aka Android 4.0?) which is expected to be a flagship model or seriously consider the Moto Razr?

The Razr's large Super AMOLED screen is my favorite feature... well, aside from LTE.
The Razr's large Super AMOLED screen is my favorite feature... well, aside from LTE.
At only 7.1mm thick (half the thickness of the HTC Thunderbolt) this is the slimmest Android smartphone on the market.
At only 7.1mm thick (half the thickness of the HTC Thunderbolt) this is the slimmest Android smartphone on the market.

[More photos of Razr: Verizon and Motorola]

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  • Anonymous

    Nicely written.

    Small correction: the 4S isn’t priced $100 if you’re looking at comparable capacity ($299 for the 32GB 4S).

    I’m in the same boat. I really want the [Galaxy] Nexus [Prime] to be something special. Partly because it’s Samsung, and I have far more confidence in their build quality (I’m about to return a Bionic due to the plethora of hardware/software bugs; really don’t want to go Motorola again). Partly because it’s built for ICS right out of the gate. And partly because it’s a flagship device, so I feel that it’s more likely to get close attention for updates/bugs.

    But the latest reports/leaks for the Nexus are making me apprehensive: no mention of an SD card slot or HDMI out, both of which are deal-breakers for me. Part of me can’t believe that any new, top-end phone — particularly Google’s own flagship model — *wouldn’t* have those two features … but part of me is concerned that Samsung sees them as less broadly-used by the average user, and therefore dispensable in the interest of keeping costs down.

    Current pros for the Nexus: NFC, native 720p display, native ICS. (And nicer design and likely better build quality, IMO.)

    Pros for the RAZR: known SD card slot and HDMI out.

    Please, Samsung. Please don’t screw this up. Please make the Android Jesus Phone. Pleeease don’t make me consider getting another Motorola by default….

    • Anonymous

      ha ha, man i love my bionic!  The only minor software bug for me is the switching/losing data between wifi and 3g/4g but thats already on the next bug fix.

      Its new and couldnt be any worse then the tons of complaints already for the iphone 4s!

      • Jcaz89

        One major problem from a business standpoint on my motorola contacts.  There is no filed for birthday which is so important for me to keep up to date with important business contacts.  Why would  Motorola leave that out of  my droid x and now the Bionic?

        • sonu *

          Are you for real? You want a field for “birthday” to keep up to date with business contacts? Who are you, a birthday clown for adults?

    • Steve Wayda

      Why would you root for Samsung over Motorola?  Samsung is a Korean company and Motorola is American.  If you’re American you should be ashamed

      • George

        Samsung doesn’t make phones with idiotic bootloaders, and replies that ” if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks.” So screw them :)

      • Anonymous

        Oh please, spare me your “buy American” propaganda… that ship has sailed years ago.  We’re in a global economy where competition is far too great and let’s face it, these phones won’t be built in America, so the only people in America seeing any revenues will be a small design team and corporate big-wigs.  Look at the auto industry… Hyundai, VW, Nissan… all foreign automakers with stateside factories, creating American jobs.

      • Anonymous

        wow. you are narrow minded. you do realise most of the production for motorola is not done in the US. idiot

        • Jmarr299

          jesus its a fucking phone, calm down, the guys not an idiot because he thought the company made the phones in america…. ur an asshole for calling him an idiot and getting so fired up over a phone….. something you should spend 1% of your day thinking about….. get a life

      • S. Sentinser

        Why would I root for Motorola? It’s a Californian company and I’m a Floridian. If you’re Floridian you should be ashamed.

      • joe

        oh please….if someone said that they would give you a ford focus or you could get an acura tl…which one would you pick?…..shame on you!…lol

      • sonu *

        Please, your “buy american” bullshit is so flawed, you’re the typical old tyke that can’t learn new tricks. Today’s world is about competitiveness, and if you aren’t on that boat, well you’re SOL. So to you I say keep buying overpriced american goods, you’ll be easily forgotten, and ripped off.

  • aoeu

    I am also in the same situation.  I hope some of the rumors of the Nexus arn’t true.  I am hoping for a 1.5ghz processor as well as an 8mp camera.  I am itching to get my hands on a new phone and I want it to be awesome.  I really hope the nexus is the one phone to rule them all, at least till after the holidays.

    • Anonymous

      Many 5MP cameras get beter quality than their 8MP counterparts.  You can not judge a camera solely on it’s pixel count.

  • Jchb

    Bear in mind that the Google/Motorola purchase is not yet approved let alone completed.  The phones coming to market from Motorola were design frozen long before the current purchase situation.   

  • ha! moto droid… little late to the android game, I was rocking the T-Mobile G1 way before Nov. 9th! :D

    • Herpyderp

      damn son you are the coolest human being ever, I MEAN EVER!!!!!!

    • Anonymous


  • The Nexus will come with ICS, the Razr will come with GB, and who knows when it will be updated to ICS. Nexus devices always get updates before other devices, and the Razr will probably have a locked bootloader. IMO, this is a no brainer. Nexus all day long. 

    • Betta2 Geo

      but no HDMI? I hope it’s not true.

    • John C

      They can get around locked bootloaders… like the droid x.

      • I know, but I would rather have true access to it.

  • MML Design – Will

    Yes.. The moto RAZR is said to be upgradable to ICS… i will probably be getting this new motorola device. A nice little upgrade to its brother, my droid x.

  • Siimpliiciity2o9

    the only thing that bugged me about Motorola was the fact that it wouldn’t include a front facing camera. But no problem there.. Now we just have to wait later on to see the full specs for nexus prime or galaxy nexus whichever name you want it to be called. I was waiting for the nexus for sure up until today when all the specs about droid razr caught my attention. I have had original droid. droid 2. Droid x. Droid Incredible and incredible 2. I hope the nexus will turn out better than expected or I guess the droid razr will be my next phone. :]

    • Siimpliiciity2o9

      I was really debating on going for the iphone 4s. Thank you droid for the reassurance <3

  • Guyver

    After getting burned by Motorola again with the horribly flawed Droid Bionic I have given up on them.  HTC makes a far superior phone both in the quality of their build and the way in which they implement Android with their Touchsense UI. 

    The Bionic was supposed to be a “flagship phone” and it’s release was delayed time and time again.  When it was released the phone was flawed at the core of basic functionality.  It can’t communicate with the SD card properly in storing and retrieving data.

    That app you bought and installed in your phone?  It might be there one day and gone the next.  How about data connectivity?  Well, you’ll need to turn your phone off here and there for it to reset the signal after it’s lost.  Look up all the problems with the Bionic.

    I hope that Verizon and Motorola have a class action lawsuit brought against them for bringing a phone to market they had to know was broken and selling it as the greatest thing ever.  Oh but wait!  They are going to release a major update to fix all those pesky problems sometime in NOVEMBER!

    • Jacoblmueller

      Like many others here, I have no confidence in Motorola.   My wife and I both got the original Droid on launch date.  My phone held up well for a while, now runs as slow as crap, no matter how many apps I delete.  She went through 4 or 5 phones, mostly hardware issues, her latest one slowly losing touch screen response from right to left, little by little each week.  She gave up and went iPhone 4S.

      I’m holding out hope for Nexus Prime.  No desire to go Moto again, although the Droid RAZR does look great, especially with the thin build.

      Oh, and those of you complaining about 5MP camera really need to do some research.  I’m glad it will only be 5.  Smaller pixels often mean lower image quality, and they are already too small for my taste.  Of course the optics need to be up to snuff, and the camera was terrible in the original Droid.  But 5MP is plenty of resolution, and ought to provide better image quality.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that I normally prefer HTC’s brand of Android phones. The last Moto Razor also left a very bad taste in my mouth… if I’m going to quit HTC, it’s more likely to be for the Nexus.

  • Oksaw Nosaj

    I had a Moto droid and upgraded to the Samsung fascinate.  I should have NEVER gotten the fascinate.  I waited forever to get the 2.2 upgrade, the speaker, mic, and battery SUCKED!  The fascinate’s only saving grace was the AMOLED screen.  I regretted picking samsung over moto and don’t want to make the same mistake again…

    • Obz(urgirl’sdream)

      retard alert!
      nexus’s get updates first
      google phone
      has good batter

  • Anonymous

    Sorry about I will not be able to get either of these phones, I have to get my first HTC Vigor. what I have to go with is a global phone. Neither one of these phones are global, and I will be in England in November, Korea, Thailand in December and January then Australia in January. So that means I need to have a phone that works, in all these countries yet have 4 G while in the USA. So that why I will be going with Verizon first LTE world phone.

  • JamesKnauer

    The original Droid’s release date was November 6th, not 9th. My first smartphone purchase and my first introduction to Android.

    • Right, it was a Friday (11/6/09), thanks for the catch.

  • Scott

    The specs for the Galaxy Nexus and Razr seem comparable (I just finished watching the live Samsung/Google event) other than ICS for Nexus and I didn’t see anything specified for the Razr. My only concern is there was no specific release date for the GN, only that it was coming in November. I guess we will have to wait and see. Too bad Google/Samsung didn’t take a hiny from Apple, if yiu are going to unveil a new phone amidst months of hype, have the decency to give a solid release date. I may go with the Razr despite it possibly coming without ICS out of frustration.

  • The nail in the coffin, for the Razr, IMO, is the sealed battery compartment. What the heck is that all about? I ALWAYS carry a spare battery with me. After 10 or 11 hours and my phone is dying, and I can’t get to a charger, it’s nice to have the option to swap out the battery. Bad move, Moto.

  • Nwlanding

    This is making me take pause as well. However, I’d want to learn that it will receive ICS sooner than latter. I’m drawn to the Galaxy Nexus for the larger screen and NFC. However accessing my home PC and avoiding using a cloud service is an important consideration. I want to get my hands on both and compare. Hope it happens around 11/10 or 11/11/11

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to hear your updated thoughts now that the Nexus Prime has been revealed and slated for the same time frame! I’m a Sprint customer… but I think the Nexus Prime might be sexy enough for me to break contract… as I’m sure it’s probably headed to Verizon.

  • Jackson

    Motorola locked bootloaders = FAIL

  • Anonymous

    What?  No slide out keyboard?  Not even an air-type keyboard???  What about side-facing cameras?  And no USB host ports?  What about when I want to plug in my 3TB media drive to watch movies on it???  And where is the built-in laser pointer?  What about the LED projector so I can use it in meetings to show presentations?    I still have to use my fingers to navigate- why isn’t this using eyeball tracking?  Does it interface with my kitchen appliances?  Does it even have an optical drive?   And where’s the kickstand?  If those CPUs don’t get hot enough to iron my shirts in the morning, I’m going to be plenty miffed.

    For Pete’s sake, quit all your whining: it’s a phone.  Pieces like this are so out of touch — there wasn’t even a mention of… dare I say (dare, dare!)… voice quality.  Ever more proof that Google and Android are the next Microsoft and Windows: virus-prone bloatware that requires ever more power to run.

    And what’s with the chick who looks like a cat pooped in her Cheerios only to have discovered it… after the fact?  Does she look like she’s about to hurl, or what?  You can haz hair brush???

  • Christian C.

    I say Motorola’s phone will be less successful than the Nexus Prime, yet, it will exceed it in performance, and of course, thin-ness.