Can the Motorola Droid RAZR Compete with the Galaxy Nexus?

On October 18th, it’s widely believed that Motorola will announce a new phone that will likely be called the Droid RAZR, a name that will combine the company’s two most iconic brands.

Shortly after that, Google and Samsung will be taking the stage at an event in Hong Kong and will not only be showcasing the upcoming Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system but will assuredly be announcing a new Nexus device called the Galaxy Nexus.

Yes, you heard that correctly.

Two highly anticipated Android smartphones will be announced on the same day.

Droid RAZR

So what this means is that those of you who aren’t aiming to buy an iPhone 4S or a Windows Phone Mango device (you weren’t really considering a BlackBerry, were you?) will have a big decision to make.

Now, in order to help you in making an informative decision, I’ve already gone over why I don’t think one major upcoming Android release can compete with the Galaxy Nexus. And it’s now time to put Motorola’s next 4G LTE device to the test.

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Can the upcoming Motorola Droid RAZR compete with the Galaxy Nexus?

Let’s take a look.

First off, here are the rumored specifications of the Droid RAZR. A 4.3-inch qHD display. A 1.2GHz dual-core processor. 1GB of RAM. 4G LTE. Kevlar coated case. Gorilla Glass display.

We’ve also seen it show up in some photos so we have a fairly good idea about the form factor as well. It’s supposed to be the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone yet. Thinner than the iPhone 4S even.

Fantastic.

But none of that trumps the Galaxy Nexus.

Galaxy NexusBoth phones will have 1GB of RAM and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Both will likely shoot 1080p video. But that’s just about all they will likely have in common.

The Galaxy Nexus will have what is believed to be a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD with curved glass. That’s 720p quality. The Droid RAZR? Well, it’s rumored to have a qHD display. PenTile Matrix or not, it’s still of a lesser quality. It’ll also likely have NFC (near field communication) support and a massive 1.750 mAh battery which will help deal with the 4G LTE.

And it’s that last part, the battery part, that I think is an important piece to consider. The Droid RAZR is supposedly going to be the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone yet and it makes you wonder if it’s going to have to sacrifice battery size to attain that moniker.

The Galaxy Nexus will be 9mm thick at its thinnest point. Can’t really imagine how much thinner the RAZR is going to be.

In addition, I think the Galaxy Nexus’ curved glass design trumps that of the rectangular Droid RAZR. That’s just personal preference though but I think many who have picked up a Nexus S will agree how delightful it is to hold.

It’s no surprise that Apple has apparently been experimenting with it as well.

So, overall, the Galaxy Nexus features a couple of beefier specifications and may pack a bigger battery than the Droid RAZR. The design of course is personal preference. In other words, we can’t really make a full conclusion based on hardware alone.

But what about software?

This, in my opinion, is where the Galaxy Nexus will make you forget about the Droid RAZR. You see, the Droid RAZR is going to be announced on October 18th during the day (12PM) here in the United States. Google and Samsung won’t take the stage until later in the day as their event is taking place in Hong Kong and now New York City.

What this means is that there is a good chance that the Droid RAZR will have Gingerbread on board when it arrives and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. (I also just don’t see them having MotoBlur ready to go with ICS.)

In fact, we’ve seen it show up in a benchmark with Android 2.3.5 on board. This, if true, makes the Droid RAZR far less appetizing and here’s why.

  1. Android updates for Verizon phones usually aren’t timely. And if they are, they are often plagued with bugs.
  2. As many of you know, the Nexus branded devices are the first to get updated.
  3. And lastly, who doesn’t want Android 4.0 right out of the box? I know I wouldn’t want to wait until 2012 to get my hands on it.

That being said, maybe Moto and Big Red throw us a curveball and we see the Droid RAZR launch with Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s a Droid device though, which means it will very likely have MotoBlur.

The Galaxy Nexus will likely have a vanilla version of Android, free from a sluggish UI. That also means that it won’t have Verizon bloatware and will probably have an unlocked bootloader right out of the gate.

Probably won’t be able to say the same for the Droid RAZR and that’s where it loses out to Galaxy Nexus.

So, the Galaxy Nexus is on par with the RAZR in the hardware department and it will likely have a huge advantage software-wise. But what about on a sales level? This is the only place where I could see the Droid RAZR maybe luring a few people in.

Oh wait, I forgot. Verizon and Motorola are completely inept at marketing 4G LTE and 4G LTE smartphones. (See: Motorola Droid Bionic). RAZR/Droid are two of the most iconic names in phones and I just don’t see them doing anything worthwhile with them.

Throw in the fact that Google will likely throw its weight behind the Nexus in order to battle the iPhone 4S and you have a Droid RAZR that will have a hard time appealing to the average person who didn’t buy an iPhone 4S already.

Final whistle.

Galaxy Nexus – 3.

Droid RAZR – 0.

Now, ultimately, what it comes down to is personal preference.  But right now, on paper, the Galaxy Nexus cannot be touched. It outclasses both the Droid RAZR and the HTC Vigor.

We’ll find out for sure on the 18th though.

Comments

  1. BrianB13 says

    Droid Razr + no ICS + plenty of bloatware + Blur + qHD display < Galaxy Nexus + ICS + no bloatware + no Blur + 720p large HD display  

    • Alexander Garcia says

      It should be Droid Razr + no ICS + plenty of bloatware + Blur + qHD display IS DIFFERENT FROM Galaxy Nexus + ICS + no bloatware + no Blur + 720p large HD display. Both have potential to be awesome devices and at this point it is clearly an issue of personal preference. Simply based on specs, form factor, and overall design alone… I’m leaning toward the DROID RAZR. I’m not a fan of the curved form factor and definitely not a fan of full HD display on a handheld device. These are my personal preferences and with that it’s DROID RAZR FTW for me.

    • Mxb115 says

      people are failing to realize that google just bought out motorola mobility for 18 billion..so they can (as creators of android) have a direct hand in creating the device. lets not jump the gun.

  2. Adam Truelove says

    “Two highly anticipated Android smartphones will be announced on the same day.”While this is true, we still have no idea when Verizon will actually announce this phone as being on their network.  I’m sure we’ll see this awesome phone next week in some form, but will Google/Samsung actually cover carrier support or will they let the carriers do that on their own time?  And when will Verizon actually get around to announcing a release date/price?  The same day as this announcement?  Weeks later?

  3. wireless G says

    Motorola has become Android’s most embarrassing crap-ware vendor. Between the Xoom, the disappointing Bionic, and now this, it seems they’ve given up on hiring industrial designers who know their head from their behind, and think they can get away with horrible-looking displays just because they claim high resolutions. They’ve become completely lost since the days of the original Droid. Let’s hope Google forces them to do a complete 180 if their merger is approved. Otherwise, it’s going to be all Samsung, with HTC and LG as the only other reputable hardware vendors.

  4. Dulshan Kalpage says

    I know how bad Motorola is with their marketing and their software is even worse. But I would definitely say their hardware is among the best. I own a Moto DEFY and a Google Nexus S and the only reason why I use the Nexus more is because the software is better. The DEFY on the other hand definitely lives upto its name – Scratch, shock, water, dust resistant, has an excellent loudspeaker (loud, good quality), usually has a lot more free memory than the Nexus and runs Android 2.2 almost without any lag. Thats pretty good for a 800Mhz processor and 512mb RAM. Sure its a lot smaller and thicker than the Nexus but I would prefer Motorola over Samsung in terms of hardware. Just my opinion.

    • Still On Droid OG says

      I agree that Moto has better hardware. While the G Nexus has a sweet form factor, the Droid RAZR has kevlar and gorilla glass.

      It makes me very tempted because I trust the durability of the Moto phone based on my experience with the gorilla glass and strong structure of the Droid OG.

      Of course the software is very important so I will wait to make my decision! I am so excited for the 18/19th!

      • Dulshan Kalpage says

        The software is definitely more important. Thats why I use the Nexus instead of the DEFY. Unless ICS arrives soon to the RAZR soon, I dont really see much hope in it. Its sad really lol; great durable hardware missing out on the good software. Go for the Nexus; Samsung is pretty good at their phones (hardware) as well and you get the greatest in software. Besides the Nexus probably looks/feels better than the RAZR. 

        • Dagobah says

          After additional info has been released, the decision is not so clear-cut.
          It seems that the RAZR might have a normal 3 subpixel RBG display whereas the Nexus has a pentile display.  As we have seen in the past (droid bionic, x2, atrix, etc…) they can be REALLY bad for reading text or any time you’re not holding your device at arm’s length.  And since pentile screens share subpixels between pixels, the resolution listed is complete BS.

          If that information turns out to be true and there is a large difference in display quality, then ICS suddenly doesn’t seem like the nexus’s ace in the hole.

  5. Scott says

    Just curious, has everyone forgotten that Google bought Motorola? Does everyone really believe that they will really give their own subsidiary the short end of the stick? I would hypothesize that even if the Razr comes out with Gingerbread instead of ICS that Google will ensure a quick upgrade. As far as all this hype about the Verizon roadmap, how is it that the Razr is rumored to be coming out fairly soon and yet it doesn’t show on that roadmap? Another hypothesis is that the roadmap leak isn’t accurate. One final note to make revolves around Samsung’s amazing ability to find excuses to delay product release dates. If they drop the ball on the Galaxy Nexus Prime (whatever it ends up being named) again you can bet they will lose sales to both Motorola and HTC. I know they will lose my business.

  6. Anonymous says

    This is how many HD movies I have a desire to watch on my smartphone = 0.
    I am going with the phone that fits in my pocket.  It sounds like the RAZR is going to be smaller than the Galaxy Nexus and will have plenty of juice to manage my smartphone needs.  But that’s just me.

  7. cpug5150 says

    You Moto haters make no sense whatsoever. No offense to Samsung, nice phones, but dear God, what makes the Galaxy Nexus superior to the Spyder? Don’t give me crap about look and feel, that’s all subjective and is no barometer to the unit itself. To the idiot that said Moto’s Bionic feels cheap, SERIOUSLY? Obviously you’ve never played with any of these phones because even review after review indicates how cheap the hardware is on the Samsungs, all plastic. Size screen? Subjective. ICS? Subjective and regardless, it’ll be available out of the box and/or shortly after via update. Screen resolution? Most reviews indicate how nice the AMOLED screens are on the Samsungs, they are, but the Spyder will have an AMOLED screen as well. Aagain it’s subjective because I for one can’t stand the bluish hue the Samsung AMOLED screens display while on the internet. Can’t believe more people don’t complain about that. Beautiful screen, but I like my whites WHITE, not a cloudy filmy blue. Processor? The same, a 1.2 Htz is not gonna be noticable over 1 htz. Marketing weak for Moto? Again subjective. I think the Bionic commercial is pretty sweet. I also think Samsung’s latest GSII comercial is great as well. Both fitting for the phones they’re promoting. The list goes on and it’s all subjective so quit your hating and bitching, one phone at this point (specifically apples to apples phones) is superior to the other. You either like Samsung or you prefer Moto, both great phones so get over it. I have the Bionic and love it. Fast as F$%K, great UI (again, subjective), and the screen’s display is WAAAAAAAAAY blown outta proportion. It’s great and if you view the Bionic side by side the vividness, clarity, and crispness is marginal at best. Don’t use the term resolution when comparing the new Moto’s with the latest Samsungs (with exception to the ones comin out) because the Moto’s have more resolution and they are BOTH PENTILE! Samsung just happens to arrange more affective matrix’s Bottom line…….quit trying to bark up a tree that isn’t there. Moto, Samsung, HTC, iPhone, all great devices for the most part (higher end hardware) and it all just comes down to preference, NOT facts.

  8. Herosince1987 says

    to all those who thinks droid razr is verizon device you are wrong its launch countdown is also showing on indian website and here we dont have any carrier named verizon 
    next it is razr trademark phone and motorola claim is right this is going to be best device even better than nexus atlast google is not going to sacrifies a company for just one phone

  9. dwane johnson says

    i love motorola.defenatlly droid razr is going to break all the records of all the dam samsung phones

  10. Justin Ellenbecker says

    Being a “Droid” Device doesn’t guarantee motoblur.  The OG launched without it.  Every Moto device has blur on it now.  The only other device that didn’t as the XOOM and that was an “Experience” device as well.  Maybe you people should get your shit together before posting this type of hype-beast crap.

  11. Smoke NMirrors says

    This phone looks nicer than the Galaxy/Nexus for a lot of reasons: Build Quality, Radio Quality, Battery Life, it matches on CPU/GPU and has an SD card slot.  Sure it doesn’t have ICS at launch but will.  Looks like a better (not so massive) form factor.  The screen should be as good at a resolution the GPU will handle better.  Tell my why this isn’t as good again?  From what I see it may well be better!

  12. FIRZEN_NET says

    I am also thinking of getting this phone over the Galaxy Nexus. The GN does have a lot of attractive qualities, but the Droid Razr right now is looking to be very attractive as well. The exterior design just screams to me for the DR, where as the GN looks pretty plain. I know its all about ergonomics, but seriously, the GN looks boring. DR actually has a design feel to it. Some people might not like it, but I rather that they try a new look than stick to the same old boring round look.

    The next thing is Specs; I get it, the GN has better specs than the DR, but I really might not care when it comes to choosing. The DR interface is still going to be beast maybe just not as beast as the GN. I used to be one of those who always pursue the most updated software, but I realize with that mindset, I’ll just be disappointed a while later. Hardware can be upgraded/modded, but you’re stuck with how your phone looks like.

    The ICS is extremely attractive well, but some features in the DR also make me want to get it. The Motocast, power management, and other built in features seem to address the common problems like battery life and so on. I won’t have to keep using Apps from the market to manage the battery or CPU which were made to use generally for all rooted android devices. Their features have been made JUST for the DR, so I’m interested to see how well it will work. Motoblur is nothing. It’s getting better than it used to be, and you can easily get rid of it. Thats the power of android.

  13. Clinton Macleod says

    Seeing that specwise these 2 are almost identical (I doubt there will be an obvious advantage with the HD screen while comparing these 2 devices in both hands.)

    It inevitably comes down to looks, not to mention durability, where is the Prime’s Gorilla glass? RAZR is also water & dust resistant, the back is made out of Kevlar.

    For me that means the RAZR wins. The prime looks fugly from the front.

    When specs are this close, it comes down to looks, the RAZR is 2mm thinner and way sexier. It will also be a cheaper anorexic slut, everyone prefers cheaper.

    RAZR FTW.

  14. Mt says

    U did not mention the nexus WONT have removeable storage and WILL have a worse quality camera 5mp vs 8 on the razr. As for ics, the razr will get it. As for bloatware just dont open it up, hide it in your app list or root your phone if your that anal.

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