Motorola RAZR: The World's Thinnest Smartphone Is Also Splashproof

After crashing and burning in a blaze of mediocrity, the once-legendary RAZR lineage has a new successor. The RAZR is a 4G LTE, 1.2 GHz dual-core, Kevlar-constructed wafer of a phone.

AU note: The Motorola Droid RAZR -- which will just be the Motorola RAZR locally -- is exclusive to Optus at launch and almost certainly won't have 4G, as Optus won't be rolling their 4G service out until next year.

The RAZR is only 7.1mm thick (although it has significantly thicker bump at the bottom), making it the thinnest of its kind. It also has 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage, 12.5 hours of talk time, thanks to an 1800 mAh battery, 8MP camera (with 1080p recording), a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display strengthened with Gorilla Glass, a steel core and Kevlar fiber, which makes it strong and lightweight. But the real gem here is that all parts of the phone -- even the electronics -- have been coated in a water-resistant material, which will help guard against spills and the elements.

There's also an added bonus for road warriors, as the RAZR will dock with Moto's webtop (just like the Atrix), and the MOTOACTV, a smartwatch that can sync with the Droid RAZR for on-the-fly updates and functionality.

From what we can tell, the RAZR feels like a faster, thinner, better version of the Droid Bionic. Here's what Brent had to say after playing with it:

The phone feels extremely solid but also incredibly light. I held it next to the the Droid Bionic and it just feels feather-weight, but at least as strong. The Kevlar back is rubberised and had a good non-stick feel. The new Super AMOLED screen is a dramatic improvement over the Bionic. That pixely cross-hatch of Pentile has been banished. Instead it was bright and clear and colours looked very good.

I was hoping I'd see a boost in speed from the 1.2GHz dual-core processor (versus the 1GHz found on the Bionic), but nothing was immediately noticeable. Actually, if felt a little slower, maybe. I'll reserve judgment on that front, but it's something I'll keep an eye one when we do our exhaustive testing.

Basically there is no reason, at all, to buy the Bionic over this. I mean, absolutely zero. Why would you want something heavier, slower and worse-looking? I'm sure they'll be dropping the Bionic's price tag with a quickness to give people some (any) reason, but as of now, I'm not seeing it.

Sadly though, there's no mention of Ice Cream Sandwich as the Android OS powering the RAZR: it is instead running Gingerbread.

AU note:In Australia the RAZR will be available exclusively through Optus for $0 on the $59 Optus Cap plan. You can pre-order through Optus from October 24.

Update: I just spent some time talking to the engineers behind the Droid RAZR, and I was able to get some nice little nuggets.

First off, they spent about two years developing the kevlar. They originally looked at carbon fiber (because who isn't these days?), but carbon is no good for wireless signal. Kevlar, on the other hand, is super strong, rigid, and won't bork your calls. In fact, Kevlar's so solid that during early prototypes they couldn't even cut a piece down to size with a band-saw. That should make you feel pretty good about the phone's strength. Gorilla Glass on the front helps, too.

This phone is made with a new process, where layers are laminated one-by-one on top of each other. This makes the devices exceptionally strong and rigid. The upside of that rigidity: better sound quality through the external speakers, since vibration is cut down significantly. The room I was in had a lot of ambient noise, but the phone sounded pretty good. The downside: the battery is no longer removable. LTE devices are pretty power-hungry, and while most people don't resort to battery-switching during the day, it's always nice to have the option.

Moto's engineers said the camera is essentially the same as the one on the Droid Bionic, but tweaked a little to give it better performance. We weren't too hot on the Bionic's camera, so we'll definitely be checking that when we get our review unit.

Lastly, the splash guard is created by spraying a nano-coating across all of the components, except the screen. It's on the ACTV, too, and I was told that it would be coming to virtually all Motorola phones in the future. Awesome. Now if we could just submerge them, too, I would be happy as a clam. -BR



    Good looking phone. Thinner and stronger than the galaxy s 2. I think we are now looking at the best android phone in the market

      For possibly a few hours.... Until the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus Prime is revealed.
      Still nice phone with good specs. Motoblur appears to have had a few upgrades, and hopefully is improved.
      Good to see the Razr name back, them phones were everywhere in the mid 00s.

        so how'd that Galaxy Nexus theory work out?

          Pretty damn sweet if I might say so myself. It trumps this phone in nearly every category that matters.

      The kevlar (carbon fibre look) back looks out of place - not as nicely finished as the Atrix IMO)..

      Still, qHD SAMOLED @ 4.3" will top that of the Galaxy S II and should be quicker than the Nexus Prime (which has 720p screen with the same TI CPU), so this could be a damn good deal when I go to upgrade my Optus contract next month :)

    Will the Optus version be 3G only (not usable on a future LTE network)?

      Didn't read the article. Disregard

    Looks pretty nice. Does Motoblur still suck these days?

    Looks good but is it faster/better than the iPhone4S?

    Only the fanboi/girls will tell.

    Hopefully can get one from USA unlocked?

      It's certainly not another variant of the same phone at a higher price, I'll tell you that much.

      Why not just wait 1 more month....optus always sell their mobiles u can get one from Telechoice for outright :)
      note: might not work with telstra 850 network:(

    Why do all Motorola products look like they're throwbacks from the 80s?

    They need to hire some designers.

      This is probably the first Moto Android phone I've liked the look of, physically and specs-wise. It looks like the Nokia E-series a little bit, I had an E71 and loved it. The edges and back look much like that. I really want the upcoming Nexus but if the price is too high and this is cheaper (cheaper than the Nexus and the SGS2) with a good following on XDA then I could see myself getting it.

      This design has absolutely nothing of the 80s about it. If you know your design, you'll know this has 1970s written all over it- specifically mid to late 70s.

      In that, it's not bad. The late 70s had a certain design aesthetic that was classic, it gave us Star Wars afterall, but it's still a little retro.

    Could certainly be a contender for tradie-tuff phones.

    As usual I'll wait for a release to see one put through it's paces.

    Looks good but honestly, the bulge at the bottom would disturb my inner OCD requiring symmetry and the device to sit flat on the table :-(

    I'd be constantly picking it up off the table, to try to set it back down flat again.

      put it upside down

    it sounds like they've actually considered the customer experience.

    ie - form factor, and at least thinking about call quality with the kevlar, the splashproofing, and gorilla glass...

    sounds like it's thinner, while still remaining rugged, which is sexy!

    two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

    The kevlar back is esentially a gimmick. Unless someone is bandsawing your phone in half it is going to add zero to the durability of the device. Although of course it may not blend.

    That being said, it is noticeably more durable than glass.

      I thought that too, but it's not true.
      The kevlar allows you to make the body thinner and lighter while still being strong enough to serve it's purpose.

      So the weight of the body is taken out of the equation- you can therefore have things like a bigger battery, etc, as well as shaving millimetres off of the thickness. :)

    Damn! Hey sexy! $59 on Optus in what? less than a week? Total disregard for iPhone 4S.

    If later on it comes out with Ice Cream Sandwich or can somehow be upgraded, I'm buying.

    This looks awesome.

    Just wondering, when the thing boot loops what do you do to force a reset if you can't pull the battery?

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