updated 12:55 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Droid RAZR is first thin, long-lasting 4G phone
Motorola ended rumors and unveiled the Droid RAZR. The device aims to leap over the typically bulky limits of 4G phones: its use of a Kevlar back and a stainless steel frame help it measure 7.1mm thick at most points, thinner than even a Galaxy S II, while still being strong enough to survive common abuse, including splashes. Battery life also doesn't take the typical hit: Motorola expects 12.5 hours of calling and 8.9 hours of video.
Part of this comes through an update to the Android 2.3 version of Blur known as Smart Actions. It can tell when the user is home, for example, and switch off Bluetooth and GPS knowing that it can get its position from Wi-Fi.
Although it has a 4.3-inch, 540x960 display like the Droid Bionic, it now uses a more vivid Super AMOLED screen that helps get to the new size. It's also faster in clocking the dual-core TI chip to 1.2GHz. Motorola claims that the phone is more than twice as fast on the web as even the iPhone 4S: it can pull up ESPN's page in three seconds versus the iPhone's eight. The hardware is also purportedly the first to stream Netflix in HD.
The Droid RAZR has a large 1,780mAh battery in spite of its size and is one of the first Android phones to support Bluetooth 4.0. An eight-emgapixel back camera with 1080p recording and a front facing camera are similar to the Bionic, Motorola said. It carries 16GB of built-in memory and a 16GB microSDHC card already installed.
Motorola's takeover of ZumoCast also now gives it a pseudo-cloud service in MotoCast. Similar to the earlier iOS app, users can stream music, presentations, or other bandwidth-light content directly from the computer as long as it's on. Motorola sees it as avoiding the need for servers and remote storage.
Corporate support is toughened up through government-approved encryption, remote wipes, and other features that don't always come to Android. Citrix Receiver, GoToMeeting, and HD video conferencing are available from the start.
In the US, the Droid RAZR will be on Verizon's network in early November for $300 on contract, with pre-orders starting October 27. Other countries such as Canada are also getting the phone just as the RAZR, although their release dates aren't known. Many countries will have access to the Lapdock 500, a new 14-inch notebook converter that gives users an extra-large version of the Webtop experience when the phone is cradled inside.