Droid RAZR vs. Galaxy Nexus: Features, Release Date, Carriers

In just a couple of days, many of you have a big decision to make. Do you pick up Verizon’s latest Motorola 4G LTE smartphone, the Droid RAZR, or do you wait for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to arrive? It’s not an easy choice in the slightest (and if you throw the HTC Rezound in, it makes it that much more complicated) so we wanted to try and help push you in one direction or the other.

Keep this in mind though. Don’t base your decision solely based on what you read. Before you pick up a new smartphone, always (I’m serious) go and get some hands-on time with the device.

It makes a world of a difference.

That being said, let’s dive into some of the similarities and differences between two of the most exciting phones of the year, the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Carriers

You might have thought that both of these phones would only be available on Verizon. Well, that’s certainly a possibility but from the looks of things, they both will likely be headed to other carriers in the future.

Galaxy NexusThe Droid RAZR actually might be headed to AT&T within the next couple of months (or weeks) as a device that matches up with it has passed through the FCC with bands for AT&T’s network. No LTE radio on board though which means that the Verizon version is going to be vastly superior.

Still, if you’re grandfathered into an AT&T data plan and want to keep unlimited data and pair it with the Droid RAZR, it might be worth waiting for Ma Bell to make an announcement.

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As for the Galaxy Nexus, things are a little more, well, complicated.

There has been talk of launches on AT&T and Sprint after Verizon’s initial period of exclusivity but as of right now, nothing is set in stone. We do know this though.

Verizon had put up the words ‘exclusive’ over a banner of the Galaxy Nexus on its website only to take it down shortly afterwards. We know that it’s not exclusive to Verizon because it’s launching elsewhere in the world so maybe the move had something to do with that. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that it’s coming to other carriers in the future.

We won’t know for sure until another carrier announces plans to carry it.

And it could be awhile before one does so.

Hardware

Features Motorola Droid RAZR Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Weight and Dimensions
  • Depth: 0.28 inches (7.1 mm)
  • Weight: 4.48 ounces (127 grams)
  • Depth: 0.35 inches (9mm)
  • Weight: 4.76 ounches (135 grams)
Camera 8 megapixels

  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
5 megapixels

  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
Video Recording HD video recording

  • 1080p video recording
HD video recording

  • 1080p video recording
Display Super AMOLED Display

  • Advanced qHD resolution (540×960)
  • 4.3-inches
Super AMOLED Plus HD Display

  • 1280 x 720
  • 4.65-inches
  • Curved Glass
Cellular and Wireless
  • LTE
  • LTE/HSPA
Other Key Features
  • Super Thin Design
  • 16GB of storage
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1.2GHz Dual-Core TI OMAP 4430 processor
  • 32GB of storage
  • NFC
  • 1GB of RAM
  • TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz

So, the main differences here are the fact that the Galaxy Nexus has the newer OMAP 4460 processor from Texas Instruments. It also has a larger display with better resolution.

The Droid RAZR though is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Nexus.

Pricing

The Motorola Droid RAZR is already up for pre-order which means that it has an official price tag attached to it already. For those of you looking to get it on-contract with Verizon, it’s going to cost you $300. For those of you that wish to get it without signing your name over, it’s going to be a little more expensive. $350 more expensive.

Yes, the off-contract Droid RAZR is $650. That’s probably a little too expensive for most.

Don’t expect the Galaxy Nexus to be any cheaper though.

And while Verizon has announced the Galaxy Nexus, the carrier hasn’t offered up any sort of pricing as of yet. We fully expect it to cost the same $300 on-contract as the Droid RAZR and the Droid Bionic before it and we expect that the $650 price tag might also be applied to the Galaxy Nexus off-contract.

That’s guesswork but it’s not a stretch.

Release Date

Droid RAZRMotorola’s Droid RAZR has been up for pre-sale since October 27th and while Verizon hasn’t explicitly said when it will come out, it has confirmed that it will be out no later than November 10th.

November 10th is actually the projected release date for the device so don’t be surprised to see Big Red launch this phone, officially, on Thursday of next week.

The Galaxy Nexus’ release date is currently unknown. Verizon said that it would be launching later this year and we’ve heard a few rumored launch dates but nothing has been set in stone yet.

For awhile, the front-runner was November 10th, then eyes turned to November 17th – the day that the phone will arrive in Europe, and now, a report has claimed that the U.S. won’t see the device until after the European launch.

So, it’s possible that we won’t see the Galaxy Nexus hit Verizon until later on this month but rest assured, it’s coming.

Software

Last but not least, the Galaxy Nexus and the Droid RAZR will be coming with two different versions of Android. While Samsung’s device will be the first smartphone with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board, Motorola’s Droid RAZR will have Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread out of the box.

And that’s not the only disadvantage that the Droid RAZR has in this department.

The Galaxy Nexus is a Nexus device which means that it will likely be the first device to get any old update.  Droid RAZR owners will have to wait for Motorola and Verizon and sometimes, that’s an unpleasant experience.

Moto and Big Red have promised future Droid RAZR owners an upgrade to Android 4.0 at some point in early 2012.

If  you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of Android 4.0, have a look at our in-depth preview right here.

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You might just see why having it out of the box would be satisfying.

Comments

  1. Oaklands says

    I have been studying these 2 phones and have gone back and forth like heads at a tennis match.  I don’t like that Motorola chose to encrypt the boot locker on the phone but at least it will be able to be rooted.  This is important to me to be able to make backups.

    I have to go with history on 4 things:

    1. Build quality
    2. Phone signal strength
    3. Wi-fi strength
    4. Personal prior history.

    1. Solid vs plastic (Razr)
    2. Moto has always been better
    3. Moto has always been better
    4. Every Moto phone has always lasted and been rock solid.  My 1 Samsung sent me running back to Motorola.

    Given the history, I can wait 2-3 months for 4.0.  I’m more worried about rooting than custom roms, though I do like better roms.  Bottom line, it is for my business and I need something that will last me 2 more years.

    • Adam Truelove says

      Good luck with your solid Moto phone with good signal strength while it’s rebooting randomly and locking up on you.  Also, the displays Motorola uses have always been garbage.

      • Oaklands says

        Like I said, those were the facts I had to go on.  I don’t want a piece of plastic that will shatter the first time it gets hung when getting out of the vehicle.  There are good and bad to both phones, but I don’t see a lot of love for the construction of the phone and features.

      • junk says

        Hmmm…sounds like the Sammys I’ve had before.  So Adam, are you saying I received two bad Sams and the rest of their phones are ok??  Either way, don’t think I’ll be buying a Samsung phone, tv, bluray player…anything.

    • Scotty Braun says

      Very true!  I want the Galaxy Nexus, well because its the Galaxy Nexus. But Ive had good experiences with all my Moto phones. I sold my Droid 2 Global, and bought a Samsung Charge because I wanted to experience the LTE.  But Its very slow, and doesn’t feel well built. The wifi sucks on it, and so does the gps..    I’m stuck in the same dilemma.  The Razr looks like its a great phone, and I actually find Moto’s new UI useful. I’m weighing my options too..  I have 2 upgrades available, and want to use them wisely!   

      • Anonymous says

        I have the charge also. It used to be a tad bit slow, but I assure you it’s only because of Samsung software (filesystem). If you don’t mind rooting it, the Gummycharged FE 2.0 rom works amazingly well. My phone is faster than ever, I wouldn’t change it for anything else. The display is beautiful (AMOLED “Plus” vs Galaxy Nexus’ PenTile) , and I never use wifi because LTE is just as fast as my home wifi and is available everywhere I go (LTE coverage is excellent in greater Baltimore area, although YMMV)

        Rooting really wasn’t difficult at all. Just follow the directions closely, it’s a piece of cake.

    • MaryJane says

      I agree on the Fascinate.  I have had mine replaced four times due to freezing, buttons, etc.  Makes me nervous for the Nexus.  I have had razr’s before and they were the most dependable but never had one as a smartphone.

  2. Mark Bishop says

    Other features to think about.
    Removable Battery-Samsung Galaxy Nexus yes              Droid Razr no
    Micro SD Slot-      Samsung Galaxy Nexus no                 Droid Razr yes
    NFC-                    Samsung Galaxy Nexus yes               Droid Razr no
    Beam-                  Samsung Galaxy Nexus yes               Droid Razr no
    ICS-                      Samsung Galaxy Nexus yes              Droid Razr no but soon

    • MaryJane says

      Help me out. What is an NFC?  Also, there is no MIcro SD slot for the Nexus???  wtf.  What smartphone doesn’t have one these days.  Is that true?  Thanks.

  3. Dave Drwencke says

    I am stuck in the dilemma right now as well.

    I recently switched from T-Mo to VZW and picked up the Bionic – I am very pleased with the device after 3 days (build quality, the moto skin, LTE and performance have been great). That being said, with the Razor coming out in a week I think I will return the Bionic to get the improved hardware. From the looks of things I prefer the Razor style (thinner, lighter, Kevlar and Gorilla Glass) the Razor also packs a faster processor (1.2 vs. 1.0) and an improved FFC (1.2MP vs. VGA). If it is true that the Razor will be getting 4.0 relatively early in 2012 then I think that is enough for me.

    I love the bigger screen and higher resolution of the Nexus and of course earlier access to the 4.0 software, but I am not sure the NFC really matters for me, and though Beam is a cool concept I am not sure I will ever use it.

    So really the Nexus has the better screen and early 4.0 access when compared to the Razor (coming from my personal use view).

    I think I will take the higher resolution camera on the Razor and the what appears to be best in class build quality with the Kevlar and Gorilla Glass vs. a slightly bigger screen and earlier access to 4.0.

  4. Spangy123 says

    You can draw all kinds of comparisons between these two super-phones. So what? What really matters in making a two year commitment is which phone best meets YOUR needs/wants and stirs your passion. I compared the phones based on what matters most to me and pre-ordered the Droid RAZR. In a few months, they’ll both be rocking ICS, so that will no longer be a differentiator. In the meantime, and for over a year after, I’ll get to look at the RAZR’s kickin’ industrial elegance. I’m sure the Galaxy Nexus will be an awesome phone, but it just doesn’t get me excited. Sorry. 

    • Thtgrl says

      So, I have no idea what to get. I am deciding between the razr and the rhyme and the nexus. This is the first forum I’ve read that the majority want the razr. I know I want ics and I would like to know that I can update my Droid to ics for free when it comes out, or would I have to wait until it’s available from out of the box and keep my crappy samsung rogue until then. Please find put and tell me!

      Ummmmmmmm yummy ice cream sandwich!

      Will I be able to update for free???

      • Spangy123 says

        Updates have always been free, so I would expect that to be the case here. They are provided (when the manufacturer and carrier are good and ready) via an over-the air update. Voila!

        • undecided says

          I am in that exact same problem. Yes you can definitely update for free. I know I can wait. Can you? I want there to be a way for me to try which was better and just compare. I know you’ll make the right decision tho! I am leaning towards the nexus. Its supposed to be fantastic, though it is BIG, but so is the razr. the only difference is that the razr is lighter. UGHHHHHHHHH i need help too!

      • MaryJane says

        Okay, i have been online for a month now comparing the Nexus, Razr, and Rezound.  Rezound is out cause it is really bulky compared to the other two.  Looks just like all the other HTC’s.  Razr vs. Nexus.  Biggest problem with the Nexus is i hear there is no Micro SD slot.  I dislike that.  It is also a Samsung and after owning the Fascinate for 2 years i am more than ready to upgrade.  I love the Samsung ease of use but unlil this last one i have i had to exchange 4 times in one year due to freezing,etc.  Worried the Nexus will too.  I had the Bionic (droid) for one week and the 4G/3G wouldn’t work correctly so had to use wi-fi to download everything.  This was 2 different Bionics both with problems.  I just want a dependable phone.  Both will eventually do the same things and both are lightweight but the MIcro SD slot is important.  Razr has a screwed on back so you can’t mess with the battery (previous smartphones freeze up and you have to take the battery out to fix).  Anyone have any pluses on either phone to help make a decision would be great.  what is a NFC???

  5. MaryJane says

    Okay, i have been online for a month now comparing the Nexus, Razr, and
    Rezound.  Rezound is out cause it is really bulky compared to the other
    two.  Looks just like all the other HTC’s.  Razr vs. Nexus.  Biggest
    problem with the Nexus is i hear there is no Micro SD slot.  I dislike
    that.  It is also a Samsung and after owning the Fascinate for 2 years i
    am more than ready to upgrade.  I love the Samsung ease of use but
    unlil this last one i have i had to exchange 4 times in one year due to
    freezing,etc.  Worried the Nexus will too.  I had the Bionic (droid) for
    one week and the 4G/3G wouldn’t work correctly so had to use wi-fi to
    download everything.  This was 2 different Bionics both with problems.  I
    just want a dependable phone.  Both will eventually do the same things
    and both are lightweight but the MIcro SD slot is important.  Razr has a
    screwed on back so you can’t mess with the battery (previous
    smartphones freeze up and you have to take the battery out to fix). 
    Anyone have any pluses on either phone to help make a decision would be
    great.  what is a NFC???

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