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Motorola Razr HD review

Motorola's flagship handset comes with underwhelming specs

Our Verdict

Battery life is great, but the Razr HD really does seem underpowered for what you're paying, and while the specs might not seem terrible now, the relative weakness of them is going to make it become a lot more dated a lot faster than most similarly priced phones.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 22 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good battery life
  • Simple OS
  • MicroSD slot

Against

  • Low specs for price
  • Uncomfortable build
  • Poor video camera

The Motorola Razr HD launched in the US late last year, but in that time all that's changed is the name (it was called the Motorola Droid Razr HD in the US), so it's less of a mouthful now.

Unfortunately the specs haven't changed, leaving it with just a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.

Rounding out the specs, the phone's running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, there's a 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 display, 16GB of internal storage - which can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 32GB - and an 8MP camera capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps.

Motorola Razr HD review

While those specs would be fine on a mid-range phone, for a flagship handset they were looking a little low-end even last year, and now next to the Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4 they seem positively quaint. Being a flagship handset, it's not unreasonable to consider these phones its competitors, despite them rocking at least quad-core processors and 2GB of RAM.

Motorola Razr HD review

Of course specs aren't everything and they don't always equate to real world performance anyway, but it's still a little disappointing. On the other hand the price is a little lower than some top-end handsets, coming in at around £400 (Australian prices TBC) SIM-free, cheaper than an iPhone 5 or Sony Xperia Z.

It's priced at around the same level as the high-end-but-last-year's Samsung Galaxy S3 - but even that substantially outperforms it on paper. Ditto the Google Nexus 4, which can be picked up from Google itself for just £239/AU$349 upwards.

Motorola Razr HD review

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One thing that we will say is that the Motorola Razr HD certainly looks the part. With a rugged yet premium-looking Kevlar back plate, it comes across as both expensive and built to last. It's also a nice change from the plastic found on most phones, or even the glass or shiny metal that a handful sport.

The corners are also a bit different, being less rounded than most of the competition, giving it a striking, almost jagged look. The front of the phone doesn't disappoint either - sure it's basically just a sheet of glass, but it's edge-to-edge, leaving it looking pretty slick.

Motorola Razr HD review

At 146g it's got a pleasing amount of weight to it, which feels particularly appropriate given the slightly rugged design. Size wise it's about what you'd expect for a top-end phone, with a 4.7-inch display and total dimensions of 131.9 x 67.9 x 8.4mm.

If anything it's actually quite a slim handset, though still somewhat thicker than the incredibly slender 7.9mm deep Sony Xperia Z.

Motorola Razr HD review

While it doesn't feel bad in the hand, it doesn't feel great either. The Motorola Razr HD's Kevlar back has quite a pleasant feel but it's also quite slippery, making it slightly harder to get a solid grip on than many other phones. The corners also present a slight problem, since being more jagged than most they can be a little uncomfortable, potentially digging into your hand slightly when the handset is held in certain positions.

Pretty much the only thing on the front of the phone is the 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 screen with a 312ppi pixel density. That's quite sharp, just topping the 306ppi Samsung Galaxy S3 and almost matching the 318ppi Google Nexus 4, though not even coming close to the 441ppi Sony Xperia Z or 468ppi HTC One.

Motorola Razr HD review

The only other things on the front of the phone are small black strips at the top and bottom. The bottom strip is devoid of any features, while the top strip has the earpiece in the centre, with an indicator light above it, which flashes when an email, text or voicemail comes through.

There's a small Motorola logo at the very top, and the 1.3MP front-facing camera lens just to the right of it.

Motorola Razr HD review

The Kevlar back is adorned with an arrow-like pattern, with an 'M' in the centre. The main 8MP camera (which can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps) is at the top, while to the left of it there's the flash and to the right there's a speaker.

The edges of the Motorola Razr HD have a brushed metal look to them, with the top edge housing a 3.5mm headphone port on the right.

Motorola Razr HD review

The right edge is home to the only two buttons on the phone - a power button near the top (which is also used to make the handset sleep/wake up), and a volume rocker halfway down.

The positioning of the buttons is fairly standard and works well. Usefully they also feel different, since the power button has little ridges running along it, while the volume rocker is mostly smooth but juts out a little at each end. This makes it easy to differentiate the buttons by touch alone.

Motorola Razr HD review

The left-hand side has a micro HDMI port at the bottom, for connecting the handset to a TV or monitor, a micro USB port above it and a little compartment halfway up, which houses the microSIM card and a microSD card.

Motorola Razr HD review

The back plate can't be removed, so there's no option to swap the battery. However it comes with a 2530mAH battery, which is pretty big for a phone of this size. It promises impressive performance too, with Motorola claiming it can manage up to 24 hours of talk time or 286 hours of standby time.

If the battery lives up to its potential it could be the saving grace in an otherwise slightly underwhelming handset.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, GPRS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyDroid RAZR HD
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 700, LTE 800, LTE 1700, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameMotorola
Battery Talk Time22 Hour
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)146 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density312 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.3 Megapixel
Height131.9 mm
Width67.9 mm
Depth8.4 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time720 Hour
ManufacturerMotorola, Inc
Product NameDroid RAZR HD Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Product LineDroid RAZR HD
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberSM3716AE7A3
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.motorola.com/uk
Marketing Information

BATTERY: ALL DAY PERFORMANCE

Your day didn't get longer, but the DROID RAZR HD battery sure did. A single charge powers you for an eye-opening 24 hours of performance. Take in up to 7 hours of your favorite YouTube HD shows, listen to 20 hours of streaming music, or surf the web on 4G LTE for 6 hours. DROID RAZR HD leaves other batteries in the dark.

PREMIUM MATERIALS: GO ANYWHERE, DO ANYTHING

DROID RAZR HD has durability down to a science with advanced composite materials such as KEVLAR® for a bump resisting, tough-as-nails finish. Meanwhile, Corning® Gorilla® Glass protects the display from scrapes and scratches. Even spills and splashes are child's play thanks to a water-repellent nanocoating inside and out.