Motorola’s Rick Osterloh announces three Droid Razr smartphones. Photo: Noah Devereaux/Wired
NEW YORK — Close on the heels of Nokia and Microsoft’s Lumia Windows Phone 8 announcement, Google and Motorola took to the stage on Wednesday to announce three new Android Razr smartphones: the Droid Razr HD, Droid Razr Maxx HD, and Droid Razr M. Motorola also took the opportunity to discuss the high-level direction the company is taking from now on as a part of Google.
New Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside — he’s been at the helm for three months — discussed the three points of focus for the company: speed, power management, and Android.
“We believe that faster is fundamentally better,” Woodside said at the event, noting that as of today, Motorola is the leading maker of 4G devices. Of course, speedier phones have more battery-life concerns.
“A mobile phone that is plugged into a wall is simply not a mobile device,” Woodside said. “Some people say that’s not a problem — you can just buy a battery pack. And that’s true. But why would you want to do that?”
As for the third area, Motorola was the first device maker to go full-in on Android, and, naturally, it is fully committed today as a part of Google. To that end, the new Razr phones will be the first to ship with built-in Chrome browsers. They’ll also come with the latest Jelly Bean OS by the end of the year and will come in developer editions that allow users to customize the Android code.
“We want our users to know that if you want the best Android device possible, you should look at Motorola,” Woodside said.
Each of the three Verizon-exclusive phones features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, as well as an 8-megapixel rear camera that can shoot up to 1080p video. All three handsets will also feature Corning Gorilla Glass displays, DuPont Kevlar backs, NFC chips built-in, and microSD card slots to add an extra 32GB of storage.
The big differences between the three handsets lie in screen size, included storage capacity and battery life.
The top-of-the-line Droid Razr HD features a 4.7-inch screen and a 2,500 mAh battery that promises 16 hours of talk time. According to Motorola SVP of Product Rick Osterloh, Motorola focused on fitting a large screen into a small device. “We made it our mission to increase the display size without growing the actual size of the phone, and the result is the Droid Razr HD, the most compact big-screen smartphone,” Osterloh said.
For those who want a powerful battery, there’s the Droid Razr Maxx HD. It’s essentially the same phone as the Droid Razr HD but with a battery that lasts significantly longer. According to Motorola, you can get up to 21 hours of talk time and 10 hours of video streaming on the phone. With the Droid Razr Maxx HD, you’ll also get some extra memory. Both the Droid Razr HD and the Droid Razr Maxx HD will be available before the end of the year, though pricing has not yet been announced.
Finally, there’s the relatively compact Droid Razr M. What’s unique here is the edge-to-edge screen, which makes it possible to fit a 4.3-inch screen into a smaller handset. The Razr M isn’t short on specs, either. It will run on 4G LTE networks and will have 8GB of storage.
“Our screen has 40 percent more screen area than an iPhone 4S,” Osterloh said. “What you get is more screen per square inch than ever before.”
The Droid Razr M is available today for pre-order and will cost $100 with a two-year Verizon contract. The phone will start shipping and will appear on store shelves next week. Check back soon for our hands-on look.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles contributed to the reporting of this story.
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside talks about the company’s direction now that it’s part of Google. Photo: Noah Devereaux/Wired