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Motorola DROID RAZR 4G LTE smartphone hands-on

Gallery by Michael Oryl on Tuesday October 18, 2011.

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Motorola announced its newest 4G LTE smartphone today, the familiarly named DROID RAZR, and we were able to get our hands on the device shortly after it was revealed. The DROID RAZR sports a very thin, 7.1mm stainless steel and Kevlar body, and is powered by a dual-core, 1.2GHz processor.

First impressions upon picking up the DROID RAZR is that the name suits it, even if it is mashing up two well-known brands. The RAZR is thin and light, both something that helps mask the sheer size of its very sharp, qHD resolution AMOLED display. The display was really sharp and had the deep blacks and bright colors that we love AMOLED for.

In spite of the fact that the DROID RAZR has a steel internal frame and aluminum accents, it felt a bit hollow. I have no doubt that Motorola's strength claims for the device are accurate, but I probably would have been OK with a bit more weight and a more solid feel to the device. The new nano coating that Motorola has applied to all parts of the device, including its internal electronics, should make it resistant to accidental water exposure, though, which certainly will make the phone more rugged in the real world.

But minor design complaints aside, and they are minor indeed, the device has a great deal going for it. It's very fast and the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread OS moved very smoothly, even with the latest version of what used to be called the MOTOBLUR user interface.

The phone sports a respectably large 1,780mAh battery, but, as we know from previous devices, LTE smartphones eat up batteries like kids at a birthday party consume cake and ice cream - at alarming rates. To aid that, Motorola has added an intelligent power saving system called Smart Actions that allows the phone to turn on and off power-hungry features like GPS and Bluetooth when they are not needed based upon "triggers" like location, time, or inactivity. The phone can even detect when it is lying motionless and be configured to respond appropriately. That's pretty slick, and should help the phone eek out more battery life when properly configured.

The Motorola DROID RAZR could have picked a better day to launch, considering Google is expected to announce the Samsung-built Galaxy Nexus smartphone with Android Ice Cream Sandwich today, but it's still a desirable device.

The Motorola DROID RAZR will be available from Verizon Wireless for $299 next month. Motorola has said that it will also bring the smartphone to global markets in November. Motorola has confirmed that the LTE connectivity feature will only be available on the U.S. version of the DROID RAZR for Verizon Wireless.

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Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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