by Dave Altavilla — Monday, October 22, 2012
Motorola DROID RAZR HD Full Review
Design and Hardware
First impressions are everything. And when you spring this phone from its box, it's obvious how well-built it is, from its Kevlar backing to its gorgeous 1280x720 display (one of the best PenTile displays we've seen yet on a smartphone). The RAZR HD feels a bit heavier in the hand than phones of similar size, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, (which isn't a bad thing) though it does feel noticeably narrower, allowing your hand to wrap around the screen more easily. Those with dainty digits might appreciate this but the device doesn't feel quite as good in the hand due to the smoother edges found on similar high end devices. This of course is a matter of preference, however.
In addition, the sharper lines of the device, especially around the corners of the RAZR HD, make it slightly less "pocketable" perhaps, causing a more noticeable bulge. Conversely, though the GS3 definitely feels larger (and it is, slightly), the RAZR HD feels a bit thicker and more solidly built. The RAZR HD also offers not only a microUSB port but also a mini HDMI port as well, which is something the GS3 doesn't offer.
As for Motorola's now signature Kevlar backing, we can't say enough about it. One of the nagging complaints we'll continue to make about high-end Samsung phones is the thin, flimsy plastic used for the removable backs of their handsets. It mars an otherwise well-built feel. Not so with the Droid RAZR HD. Its backside Kevlar skin not only provides a durable surface but feels great and resists fingerprints and scuffs better than any device on the market currently. The downside? You guessed it, the RAZR HD's battery is not user serviceable. Is it a showstopper? Definitely not and its something consumers are learning to live with on many smartphones these days, including the iPhone 5.
And again, the 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display of the RAZR HD is definitely one of the nicest PenTile screens we've seen to date, with excellent contrast, rich color saturation, good brightness and wide viewing angles. Unfortunately Motorola makes inefficient use of those 4.7-inches with on-screen primary menu buttons for basic Home, Back and Application switching controls. As you can see, the buttons eat up a fair amount of screen real estate, and along with the lower DPI setting (which we actually preferred since web page text is much easier to read without zooming in), you'll find yourself scrolling more on this smartphone, versus competitive devices.
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