Motorola Razr HD review: first look
We go hands-on with Motorola's latest Android smartphone, the Razr HD
Motorola is a bit of an oddball manufacturer. It used to dominate the mobile space back in the old days, but then when the switch to smartphones happened it got left behind.
The revived Razr brand, running Android, has attempted to gain a foothold but has largely hobbled along at the back of the pack, despite the phone-maker’s absorption into Google.
Motorola’s last handset, the Razr i, seemed to show a change in direction, but despite a good reception from critics for its competent spec, build and performance it has remained decidedly outside of the limelight.
Now though, Motorola is having another crack at things with the Razr HD, a revived version of the original Razr with an updated design and brand new hardware and software.
For those accustomed to the original Razr the front of the Razr HD will be a familiar face – proportionately it’s much the same and it sports similar tapered corners.
The device isn’t much larger than its immediate predecessor but the display has grown from 4.3-inches to 4.7-inches. However, unlike the Razr i it doesn’t sport an edge-to-edge display.
The Motorola ‘medallion’ at the top of the handset has shrunk and now sports a darker metal finish to make it much less obtrusive. At the bottom the quartet of capacitive buttons has gone, in favour of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean’s on-screen touch controls. Meanwhile the original Razr’s ‘lip’ around the outer front edge has also disappeared.
All these design tweaks combine to give the Razr HD a much more sleek appearance – it’s generally a more refined look than the old Razr which is a change we’re happy to see.
Another change is that the Razr HD has put on a little bulk from the original Razr’s design – it’s now 8.4mm thick instead of 7.1mm, not a huge difference but still noticeable.
As with the Razr Maxx and Razr i, Motorola appears to have concluded that having a bigger battery is more important than having the most svelte handset on the market, which is reasonable considering it’s still thin enough to look good.
It’s also fairly light at 146g and the weight distribution means it’s comfortable to handle. The battery pack itself is non-removable as this is a sealed chassis phone and comes in at 2,500mAh.
Around the outside edge, separating the fascia and the back panel, is an aluminium surround which lends a robust feel to the device. It looks sharp too, right down to the panelled design at each corner, complete with industrial-style bolts on the bottom.
On the right-hand side of the Razr HD, embedded into the top and middle of the aluminium panel, sits the power button and volume rocker - both also made from the same aluminium and well-placed for easy use when holding the phone with either hand.
These have a satisfying level of feedback when pressed and contribute further to the premium feel of the phone. The volume rocker has a bump at each end to aid unseen operation while the power button has serrated grip texture which we found worked really well in our time with the handset so far.
On the top is a 3.5mm headphone jack which is embedded across both the aluminium surround and the back panel.
Meanwhile, embedded in the left side of the surround at the bottom is a combined SIM card tray and microSD slot (operated via the use of a pin), a microUSB data and charging port, and an HDMI port.