Peas in a pod

Motorola launched a family of new Razr-branded smartphones in New York today, including the Razr HD and Razr M, which are bound for store shelves at Telstra soon. We enjoyed hands-on time with both phones at the launch event, looking for the unifying elements of the Razr name and for the features that make each unique.

The new Razr HD and Razr M are alike in so many ways, but these are mostly under the hood. Motorola is hoping to appeal to both the power users and the everyday users — even those who may not have owned a smartphone before.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Big daddy

The Razr HD is the papa bear of the Razr family this year, with a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP processor and 16GB of storage.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Getting warmer

Among the several changes to the size and resolution of the screen, Motorola has also dialled up the saturation in the new Razr HD compared with last year's effort. The results are pretty dramatic, and not unlike the screen on the Galaxy S III.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET


Motorola's Kevlar battery cover is back again, and is equally as bulletproof as last year's Razr — which is to say that it isn't bulletproof. The Kevlar composite is in fact an engineering decision made with a slim handset in mind. Because Kevlar is strong, Motorola can use a thinner sheet of it to protect the handset, and save room for other things, like the handset's huge 2530mAh battery.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

I spy HDMI

We were happy to find that Motorola is still supporting micro-HDMI out on the new Razr HD, even if it isn't making any new LapDock-like keyboards to plug the phone in to. The long flap on the left in this picture houses both micro SIM and microSD card slots.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Android inside

For those who are interested in how Motorola's acquisition by Google might have effected these new phones, it is interesting to see how much of the user experience is just like stock Android. This contact entry, for example, is just as you'd find it in a pure Google Experience device.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

A nice touch

One tweak we noticed and loved straight away is the inclusion of this Quick Settings screen. This is accessed by swiping to the left from the first home screen, and offers shortcuts to features that we find we change multiple times every day.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

M is for mini-me?

The new Razr M could be the dark horse of the two new Razrs. It's a more compact version, and while this often means cheap feeling and underpowered, it isn't the case with the Razr M. It's just as powerful as the Razr HD, and it comes with 4G, which is still a pretty big deal in Australia.

The differences are its smaller screen with a lower qHD resolution (the same as the Razr last year), a smaller 2000mAH battery and less internal storage.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Sizing up the competition

For comparison's sake, the Razr M is almost the same size as the iPhone 4S. This is significant, given that many iPhone users tell us that they love the size of Apple's phone.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Kevlar strong

Like the Razr HD, the M also has a Kevlar battery cover and Gorilla Glass covering the touchscreen. In this shot, you can see the M's camera, which includes an 8-megapixel sensor.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET

Tapering off

In this pic, you can see the shape of the M a little better, showing how it is slightly thicker at the top and how it tapers off towards the bottom. You can also see a similar SIM and SD card cover to the one we saw earlier on the Razr HD.

Joe Hanlon travelled to New York as a guest of Motorola.

Photo by: Joe Hanlon/CNET
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