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First Australian review of Motorola’s 4G RAZR HD

By Leigh D. Stark | 3:34 pm 04/10/2012

The first handset from Motorola to support the next-generation of high speed 4G mobile connections, the new RAZR brings with it a bigger screen, heavier battery, and LTE performance, marrying it with some strong materials to help survive day to day life.

Features

Motorola has been mostly missing in action from the smartphone scene this year, with only a handful of handsets released and none really stealing the flagship crown from last year’s reincarnated Motorola RAZR.

With only a few months until the end of 2012, the company is back with a new RAZR, designed to take on strong competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S3 4G and Apple iPhone 5.

First up is the screen which sits at 4.7 inches and supports 720 x 1280 (also known as 720p HD), up from the 4.3 inch 540 x 960 qHD screen used in last year’s RAZR. The technology used here is Super AMOLED covered in Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, and coated in a splash-resistant nano-coating. This also covers the back, which itself is encased in Kevlar fibre.

Those are some high quality materials, and Motorola aims to impress not just with the RAZR’s build, but also its innards, which enclose a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, and 16GB storage. You can increase capacity via a microSD slot, which is located next to the microSIM card slot.

One of the most recent versions of Android is available here – Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich – and while it’s not the newest iteration there is, Motorola says the upgrade is coming soon.

Multimedia and connection options are all fairly standard, with many of these features seen on other top-tier handsets we’ve seen this year, but we’ll go through them nonetheless.

You’ll find an 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash on the back, plus support for capturing Full HD 1080p video, with a 1.3 megapixel front camera for video conferencing and the occasional self-portrait.

Connectivity is covered with WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Near-Field Communication (though this relies on the SIM card), and microUSB charge and data port, and Motorola has been kind enough to include a microHDMI port, too.

Anyone who just can’t live without the web will be pleased to know that Motorola’s RAZR HD supports Telstra’s 4G network running on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology. This offers speeds over 20Mbps when you’re in range, and just under it when you have to switch back to a 3G connection.

With all of this onboard, Motorola is hoping the phone can not only survive your regular day, but also not run out of juice, and to help the engineers have thrown in a massive 2500mAh battery, the same sized battery from Samsung’s massive Galaxy Note.

Unlike most of 2012′s phones, there are no painted-on or decal-printed soft buttons for using Android, with most of front occupied by the 4.7 inch screen.  Yhe regular three bottom buttons – back, home, and app switcher – are provided in software with an onscreen display that can change based on the app you’re running.

There are two physical buttons on the handset, though, with a power button and volume rocket both sitting on the right edge of the Motorola RAZR HD.

A 3.5mm headset jack can be found at the very top of the handset.

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Price (RRP)

$720 outright; Available on plans from Telstra;

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Well priced against its competitors; Excellent build materials that make it more resistant to everyday life; Great video modes;

Product Cons

A little on the heavy side; Kevlar back can look grubby; microSD slot hidden under SIM tray, requiring a pin to get access to; Mediocre battery life;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Design

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