The Motorola RAZR brand has been around since smartphones were reserved for business executives on high salaries and clamshell phones were the norm. Indeed, back then, mobile photography was only just making a start with sub megapixel cameras. Now, however, the Motorola RAZR HD is the 2012 high-end phone, considered by many a mid-range now (2013). This is the Motorola RAZR HD Review.
Motorola RAZR HD Review:
After the Moto G, which I reviewed last month, the Motorola RAZR HD is a return to Motorola’s 2012 flagship series. RAZR HD sports a 1.5 GHz Dual-Core processor, a 4.7 inch Super AMOLED display, with an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP forward facing camera running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Despite the less than stellar specs (especially compared to the Moto G), the Motorola RAZR HD is a very nice, usable phone. The outside styling is very smart, with an anti slip, anti splash Kevlar-made texture on the back, that has a matt chevron design with a metal band round the side, which gives it a nice look.
Rear of the device showing the non slip (Kevlar) surface and 8MP camera
The smooth black screen has no physical buttons, opting rather for the stock software buttons of the OS. The only physical buttons on the phone are the power button and the volume rocker found on the right hand side of the phone. The left side holds the Micro USB charging port as well as a Micro HDMI port, allowing you to connect your phone to a TV to watch videos (although you have to purchase an HDMI adaptor or cable as it’s not included in the box).
The Right hand side showing the power and volume buttons
The left-hand side also holds the tray for the micro SIM card, which can be ejected with the included pin (tool) from the box. The downside is, this is also where the Micro SD card is held. Ejecting the tray will pull out the SIM card, which, if done whilst the phone is on, could cause damage to either the phone or the SIM. I feel this was a poor choice in an otherwise well designed phone.
The left hand side showing the SIM tray and Micro SD slot with the charging port and Micro HDMI port
The RAZR HD comes with stock Android 4.1.2 bar a couple of included apps from Motorola. To say the phone has a proprietary launcher would be wrong, as other than a handy “Quick Settings” drawer accessed by flicking all the way left and one or two handy apps and widgets (Clock – Weather), the rest is as you would expect to find Jelly Bean.studio
Motorola added just a handful of proprietary apps such as SmartActions, Voice Commands, Movie Studio and Guide Me. Most of these apps are self-evident from their name, but SmartActions deserves some explaining.
SmartActions app screenshot
SmartActions allows you to set certain tasks to be performed automatically based on certain criteria. For example, it can be programmed to switch your phone on to silent when you arrive at work or when your calendar shows you has being in a meeting. It can turn off all non-essential apps and connections when battery level drops to 10%, or set your phone to silent and dim the screen at bed time. The simple interface allows you to choose from up to 12 triggers and 19 actions. Sadly, despite being on the Google Play store, it’s only available to Motorola phones, as this is a very useful app.
As always with all tested devices, we ran them through AnTuTu 4 benchmark app, OpenGL 2.0 3D rating (due to the graphics chip) and Quadrant SE.
AnTuTu 4 benchmarking bar graph results
As you can see from the images, the Motorola RAZR HD didn’t excel in the benchmarking, but kept level with the Nexus 4, which would be a rough equivalent. Scoring 15765, which places it firmly between the Google Nexus 4 and the HTC One X. In AnTuTu’s 3D Rating, it managed to score 3465 points in the OpenGL ES2.0. The main reason for this low score is due to the fact that the Motorola RAZR HD doesn’t OpenGL3, which many new phones, like the Moto G, do.
OpenGL 2.0 3D Rating result
In the Quadrant SE test, the device scored 5058 points, putting it above all the other devices it compares it to in the SE edition.
Quadrant SE Benchmarking result
The Motorola Razr HD’s rear camera is 8MP. The following photo shows a festive test picture. The features of the camera are standard, in that you can add filters to the photo’s you take, use different scenes, modes and change the exposure. You can set the volume key to either take a photo or operate the zoom. In the video setting, you can set audio scenes, which help to capture the best sound possible. One of the settings is wind reduction, which could be useful on windy beach days. You can also change the mode to slow motion and time lapse mode.
Photo test of the Motorola Razr HD
The Motorola RAZR HD is a very nice phone and one which is worth considering if you need a mid-range, mid-sized phone. Looking at the Motorola website, it looks like the RAZR HD will get Kit Kat, but there is no date mentioned on the website.
Priced at £225 ($415.60/€302.45) SIM free from Amazon UK and other retail outlets, this phone, although not the newest or fastest, is worth keeping in mind.