- Editor's Rating
- Compact design
- Good specs
- Great price
- Erratic signal strength
- Non-removable battery
Quick TakeDespite some eccentricities, the RAZR M supplies a good user experience for a remarkably reasonable price.
While the smartphone market is awash in high-profile and relatively high-priced handsets from Apple, Samsung, HTC and others, there are still many excellent mid-range offerings available that are less expensive, but don\’t compromise much on performance or design.
Chief among these smartphone options is the Motorola Droid RAZR M. This 4.3-inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 smartphone features a Super AMOLED Gorilla Glass 2 display (960 x 540) and dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, in addition to 4G LTE support. On paper, these specs are impressive for a phone with an MSRP or $100 with a two-year agreement (Verizon Wirless) at launch (and available for as little as $50 elsewhere), and the processor actually matches the chipset found in the vaunted US Samsung Galaxy S III. In fact, in Quadrant benchmark testing, Brighthand found the RAZR M actually beat the HTC One X, considered one of the top Android smartphones available, and came out near the aforementioned Galaxy S III.
The Droid RAZR M display also earned Brighthand\’s praise, thanks mainly to the Super AMOLED technology. Comparing it to previous Droid RAZR displays, Brighthand remarked, \”it still looks just as great, providing sharp clarity and contrast far superior to a regular LCD.\”
At 4.3-inches, it\’s larger than an iPhone 5 display, but actually smaller than some other Android smartphones, which are starting to creep upwards of 5-inches and beyond. The Motorola Droid RAZR M actually seems like a small device, however, thanks to the thin bezel and frame as well as the on-screen buttons. It\’s still pretty tough, however, as it sports a one-piece design. Unfortunately, that means that the battery is not replaceable, but should last at least a full day with moderate use.
So what\’s the catch? Where are the compromises? The most noticeable is the lack of an HDMI input, and complete lack of HDMI support with an MHL adapter (MHL enables HDMI streaming over USB). As a result, the Droid RAZR M \”does not support HDMI of any kind,\” despite some claims to the contrary. Also Brighthand found significant signal strength issues. \”It consistently displayed less signal strength than the others [Droid Bionic, Samsung Stratosphere], and it seems abnormally touchy about being held by the bottom of the device, which is where phones these days typically keep their antenna.\” Brighthand goes on to claim, \”it\’s something that I would hope Motorola can address, and soon, since as it is a weak signal is one of the RAZR\’s few major flaws.\”
Do those two issues derail the Droid RAZR M? Not at all, according to Brighthand. \”Despite some eccentricities, the RAZR M supplies a good user experience for a remarkably reasonable price.\”