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5 Reasons To Think Twice About Buying the Motorola Droid RAZR HD

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Earlier today, Verizon finally slapped official release dates on its two latest high-end smartphones, the Motorola Droid RAZR HD and the Droid RAZR MAXX HD. And while many consumers might be eying the devices, there are a few reasons why interested parties might want to think twice about buying the Droid RAZR HD and the Droid RAZR MAXX HD for Verizon.

There is no denying the fact that the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD are intriguing Android smartphones. They boast massive batteries, 2,500 mAh for the Droid RAZR HD and 3,300 mAh for the Droid RAZR MAXX HD. They have speedy dual-core processors. Capable cameras. And finally, they have large HD displays, something that has become a norm in the Android smartphone world.

However, while all of that is nice, there are some features that might make consumers, who might be set on picking one up on their October 18 release date, question whether the Motorola Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD are the right phones to buy on a new two-year contract.

Here are five reasons why you might want to think twice about buying the Droid RAZR HD or Droid RAZR MAXX HD.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

First and foremost, both of these devices will be arriving with a bit of a disadvantage. While devices like the Galaxy Note 2 will be arriving with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, Motorola has for whatever reason chosen to launch both the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board.

Android 4.0 ICS, while good, is an aging operating system. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has taken its place and it has already started arriving for some devices on the market. Jelly Bean, in our opinion, blows ICS out of the water.

And while Motorola has promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at some point after launch, it has not given a specific release date which means that it could be a month or several months before the update arrives.

Motorola promised Android 4.0 ICS for the Droid RAZR MAXX and Droid 4 in the weeks after their launches and it took around four months for the updates to arrive.

Something else to keep in mind is the fact that these phones have 1GB of RAM and dual-core processors. Motorola has had trouble with updates for devices with similar specifications. Case in point, the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX ICS updates that were plagued with bugs.

It will want to ensure Jelly Bean is perfect and that could mean a long wait.

Update Track Record

Motorola is trying to clean up its Android update image. When it announced both devices, it revealed a new Android update program wherein if any devices released in 2011 and beyond didn’t get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Motorola would credit owners with $100 towards a new Motorola phone. Problem is, it’s not clear whether this promise along with a leadership change will actually be able to change anything.

In the past, Motorola has been extremely slow in getting its devices updated to the latest version of Android. In addition, it has made promises it wasn’t able to keep. Examples include the delayed Droid Bionic ICS update and the cancellations of the Atrix 4G, Photon 4G and the Electifiy Android 4.0 updates.

Read: Motorola Promises Jelly Bean Updates for Droid RAZR, RAZR MAXX, Droid Bionic and More.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-05-at-1.54.12-PM-575x305

Motorola is trying to fix things with Jelly Bean.

Adding to the problem is the fact that these devices are attached to Verizon’s network. Verizon is notorious for its high-standards when it comes to testing Android updates and that means long waits for software.

We’re not saying long waits and delays are in store for the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD, but we’re saying, given the manufacturer and carrier track records, they appear to be possibilities.

Bootloader

When Motorola finally announced a new bootloader program, Android enthusiasts rejoiced. The manufacturer had long kept its device locked down which not only prevented users from installing custom ROMs – which translates means leaked Android updates, but it also hindered the development community as a whole.

Motorola continues to add phones to its bootloader program but at this point, we aren’t sure whether it will add the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD. In fact, we highly doubt that it will which means that the bootloaders on these phones will be locked preventing owners from installing custom ROMs.

Screen Shot 2012-10-11 at 11.57.19 AM

The Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD may never see their bootloaders unlocked.

It’s not Motorola’s fault though, it’s Verizon’s. Verizon is strict about its bootloader policy and even phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III could not escape its wrath. So, the chances that the bootloaders are ever unlocked on these phones are slim.

Instead, those who want one will likely have to shell out a ton of money for a Droid RAZR HD Developer Edition that will probably cost somewhere around $650.

Nexus

Those looking to buy the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD at launch will want to hold off, at least for a few weeks. That’s because Google will be taking the wraps off of its new Nexus smartphone on a date heavily rumored to be October 29th. While it may not be the phone that you ultimately end up buying, it’s certainly worth a look.

That’s because the new Nexus phone, presumed to be from LG, might come with a new version of Android, a quad-core processor, a massive 4.7-inch HD display, and a cheap off-contract price tag.

iPhone-5-LG-Nexus-4-comparison-575x524

The LG Nexus 4 on the right, compared to the iPhone 5.

Throw in the fact that it will have all of the benefits of a Nexus smartphone – fast updates, unlocked bootloader – and this rumored LG Nexus 4 smartphone is a phone worth waiting for.

But that’s not all either.

There is still a distinct possibility that Motorola might release a Nexus smartphone. We know that it’s interested in doing so, it has said so itself, and there are rumors that Google might be offering multiple Nexus devices this year.

A Motorola Droid RAZR Nexus could be one of them.

It’s Motorola

Plain and simple, Motorola has absolutely screwed some of its customers with its smartphone launches. For instance, right after the Droid 2 launch, it launched the Droid 2 Global. Then, right after it launched the Droid Bionic to lots of fanfare, it revealed the Droid RAZR. Then, if that wasn’t enough, it announced the Droid RAZR MAXX a few months after the Droid RAZR.

With CES coming up in January, Motorola could use the event as an opportunity to show off future devices, and maybe, even launch them.

Motorola-RAZR-HD-12-575x382

The company still hasn’t proved its going to release one high-end smartphone per year like Samsung and the Galaxy S III, and until it proves otherwise, we could see the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD trumped sooner than a year.

These are the reasons that I would stay away, at least for now. Anyone going to take the plunge on day one?

36 Comments

  1. Joe T.

    10/11/2012 at 1:20 pm

    6. (or lower, because it only matters to some of us): non-replaceable battery.

    I’ve gotten out of freezes on Android where the only option seemed to be to remove the battery. With this non-removable battery, would some of those freezes actually last days, until the battery drained?

    • Pete Cockerell

      10/12/2012 at 1:20 am

      Typically, no. You’d press and hold the Volume Down button for 10 seconds. That will reboot it.

    • jared

      11/12/2012 at 8:10 am

      I own this and it hasn’t even lagged once on me and if somehow it did freeze it would probably stay that way for about 10 hours to die

    • cameron

      12/06/2012 at 7:33 pm

      no because on the newer android phones ( i work for verizon so ive seen first hand) on the higher end newer android phones they have the hardware in them now to support the software where the older phones didn’t like the bionic and backwards….they have a feature in them now where IF and only IF you have a problem with freezing (i’ve had a maxx for 9 months and a maxx hd for almost a month.) you hold the power and volume down button and that does a soft reset just as a battery pull would…but honestly we don’t have people walking in with droids doing warranty claims like we used to its very very rare to see a moto or a high end samusng s3 or note 2 to come in with an issue ….lower end lg htc and some samsungs give problems but those are the free and 50 phones that suck ….hope that helps ….you have to also consider the article is written by someone carrying apple products that doesn’t have a 4th or 5th gen moto droid….all the new razr’s minus the original razr’s are great ….the battery is the only thing making the orig razr kinda suck.

  2. bill

    10/11/2012 at 2:03 pm

    Motorola is toast.it would be llike buying a Yugo.LMAO.do they really believe people will buy their lies?they are a trash supplier.i know I have a bionics and feel screwed over.bye bye motorola.

    • cole bonzer

      11/30/2012 at 3:39 pm

      just because it was 1 upped in the near future doesnt decrease the quality of the phone. If you wanted to buy it you liked the specs… how does a better phone coming out reduce the specs that you liked enough to pay for over all the other options?

  3. Don

    10/11/2012 at 3:13 pm

    Used to be Motorola was a good company with decent products. After the fiasco with ICS update delays for my bionic I am so disappointed. Wish I have gotten a Samsung instead. This will be the last Motorola product for me!

    • Amar

      10/27/2012 at 10:51 am

      I strongly disagree about that. I own a Samsung Galaxy S 1 (Which I love very very much), It was shipping with 2.1 and upgraded to 2.3 … only because of our amazing developers, I am not running JB 4.1 on it (which is amazing btw) … So I would say it is a matter of developer support….

      I mean with enough developers supporting you can do anything.. remember the HTC Leo? Its also running JB now ;)

    • jared

      11/12/2012 at 8:11 am

      But you are getting jellybean on that

  4. mike

    10/11/2012 at 3:14 pm

    Motorola is crap. You may get good phone support for your phone for the first 6 months. After that you can forget about updates. Im giving Samsung a try next time.

  5. Jerry Milford

    10/11/2012 at 3:46 pm

    Motorola (or the new Moogle) and Verizon need to share the blame with the Droid Bionic problem. Motorola has sent VZW several updates over the past several months but because VZW was not able to get their bloatware working properly, they kept sending it back to Motorola.

    I will give Moogle credit, at least their VP has been trying to communicate the problems to the public, Verizon has done an excellent job of completely ignoring their so called customers.

  6. DSampson

    10/11/2012 at 3:55 pm

    From Mr Soni’s Google+ page

    Punit Soni Oct 9, 2012

    +20

    1. I think I mentioned the plan for Bionic. It will be released in Q4. We have most of the work done, but an upgrade is a partnership between multiple companies, and there are processes which are outside of our control (many of them to ensure you get a stable release). This makes giving exact dates difficult if not plain impossible.

    2. We should have details of the rebate program soon and that should hopefully put to rest any speculation on who qualifies etc.

    3. Finally, as you can see (hopefully), I am really trying hard to keep the communication lines open between us. Its not about commenting only on positive comments etc. We are just cautious to react to things where we are still gathering info, making decisions. We are going to commit to things very deliberately henceforth because when we do, we are going to make it happen no matter what. At least that’s what the future will be like.

    • DSampson

      10/11/2012 at 4:01 pm

      And just to clairify

      1.) the processes out of control are Verizons Bloatware which can screw up a good product. if it doesn’t work, then VZW sends it back to Moto.

      2.) there will be a rebate program for some owners. After all, Moto needs to come up with a way to sell more phones, and VZW doesn’t want too many of their customers (sheep) to stray away from the flock. The sooner they can hook you into a new “share everything” contract, the better their profits soar.

      3.) At least Moto is communicating. VZW only speaks when they’re trying to sell you something and once they got you on their leash, customer service is no longer necessary.

  7. Matt

    10/11/2012 at 6:03 pm

    Don’t buy it. Motorola sucks. They can’t update the regular razr. That means they can’t or won’t do anything about the new one. Too bad, it is a good phone.

    • jared

      11/12/2012 at 8:13 am

      You don’t know what you are thinking because this thing blows away even the s3 in preformance

  8. Jose

    10/11/2012 at 6:18 pm

    Motorola builds phones that can take a hit. Unfortunately, they eff up on updates. I am a (unfortunate) bionic owner and the phone has had nothing but troubles. The 4G still goes of from time to time…..2 yrs after the phone was released! No more Moto for me either. It’s a shame really.

  9. John

    10/11/2012 at 6:51 pm

    when you’re owned by google there’s no excuse to be slow and break promises on updates!

  10. demian33

    10/11/2012 at 7:54 pm

    Hugely helpful review, Adam. I’ve been on the fence about buying a Razr HD after handling it in a Telstra store in Melbourne. The device felt sturdy, and I loved the idea of a long battery life and nearly stock Android. But the lack of Jelly Bean gave me pause. Motorola’s history of reneging on promised updates is the deal breaker. I’ll consider the phone when (or if) Jelly Bean for it is truly released. (And after I’ve seen what happens Oct. 29!)

    • jared

      11/12/2012 at 8:14 am

      Nope getting jellybean very soon the razr M already has it

  11. wins

    10/11/2012 at 8:46 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the “screwing customers” part. Launching new models randomly, making potential customers wait months for a highly anticipated phone, delayed Android updates or simply striking a phone off the Android update list because of “technical issues” – Motorola is an expert in making sure that you regret being a fan of a phone and brand which was, at some point in time, the best.

  12. arsenicnew

    10/12/2012 at 12:18 am

    Guys don’t go with this Blogger, he(Adam Mills) is a Iphone Fan boy. I can clearly say. Moreover, this year nexus devices will be launched by Samsung, Asus, LG and Motorola too.. its not just LG…. check other blogs…

  13. TM

    10/12/2012 at 10:26 pm

    I have 1 Moto Razr, and 2 Razr Maxx’s, and have had ZERO issues. Period.

  14. vgvnbvn

    10/17/2012 at 12:41 pm

    just buy an unlocked phone

  15. MR

    10/19/2012 at 7:27 am

    Why are all the manufacturers making phones without removable batteries! It’s a step backwards, unless they release some quantum powered endless battery. I don’t like waiting for my phone to charge. I buy multiple batteries and then swap one out when its low for a fully charged one. I can’t charge my phone on a plane, I cant charge it working out in the field. Sometimes the volume down and power button trick doesn’t work and your phone stay’s frozen for A WHILE. Who’s bright idea was it to start making the batteries non-removable? And charging a battery with another battery is by far the stupidest thing ever. This argument people make about buying an external charging pack is just idiotic. I’m disgusted with the direction these new phones are moving in. I want a phone with 1280×720 + res, 4.0″ + screen, that’s around the same size as the iPhone 4s, with a real QUERY keyboard, removable battery, micro SD card slot, quad-core processor, and unlocked bootloader. Where is that phone?? I’m willing to bend on the keyboard, but all the other specs can be met without an issue. Non-removable battery is the biggest deal breaker for me. My friend has to plug in his iPhone 4s all the time and I won’t submit to having that kind of a leash attached to me. Does anyone else feel this way or am I just crazy?

    • Simon

      10/21/2012 at 10:20 am

      I definitely require removable battery and microSD. I will not buy a phone without those two features. Size is a matter of preference. HTC used to be great until they stared the One series(locked battery and no microSD). Samsung is the way to go now. Almost all Samsung phones have removable battery and micro SD.

    • Matthew G

      12/06/2012 at 7:41 pm

      That’s what makes this line of phones amazing…. I was a battery changer too. I took the RAZR Maxx plunge and will never go back! The battery life is CRAZY!!! 3 days without a charge is a common occurrence. It charges quickly. Surely you can afford to charge it for 2-4 hours while you sleep every 2-3 days…. The non-removable battery is now a non-issue with this phone line. Go Maxx and see the difference.

  16. Lewis

    10/22/2012 at 8:17 pm

    For all of you Samsung lovers, there are websites that clearly show which manufacturers roll out updates the fastest, and Samsung is NOT in the top of the heap. Also to note…they make good phones, but always out of plastic. At least when you get a Razr or something similar they are made of quality materials. I have a Razr, which I got after getting rid of the Samsung Charge. The Charge was problematic, and Samsung only updated the software to Gingerbread after over a year, when most were rolling out ICS. I’m interested in Google phones because updates should be instantaneous, but don’t buy into all the Samsung hype.

  17. anant

    10/28/2012 at 2:22 pm

    i also have the razr n i love it…. its build quality, strong material, beautiful design, better battery than ever….. all i want to say tht i love it…. dont go with the blogger coz these 5 reasons are not tht strong points to think twice to buy a moto razr hd…. even think twice if u want single charge whole day battery performance on a smartphone, bright n sharp screen, faster n stronger phone, motorola has promised to provide an update very soon before the end of the year…. just go for it n feel the power of kevlar n the rest of the features….

  18. abhishek

    11/06/2012 at 11:24 pm

    The points mentioned above are completely useless.. i guess you have’nt used razr maxx hd …

    1.) Razr hd is definitely gonna have 4.1 jelly bean

    2.) Many people have mentioned the way to reboot it

    3.) Motorola is taking time but will surely be on the top of the charts again or atleast a top stable company.

    4.) Please do not compare razr hd with the new nexus that is gonna launch .. because if thats a reason to think twice about buying razr hd then there are many reasons for not buying the new nexus as there are many other phones waiting to be released which are gonna be far better than any phone you’ve seen.

    5.) Razr hd maxx has the biggest battery life in the whole mobile market

    6.) Its got google chrome which is soon gonna be the best mobile browser

    7.) The body of the phone is very rigid and infact much stronger than iphone 5… ( iphone5 has aluminium body which has a lesser strength than kevlar body of razr hd).

    8.) Iphone 5 is considered to have the best display capacity at 326 ppi whereas razr hd has a slightly lesser display capacity at 312 ppi which our naked eye would not be able to differentiate.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • abhishek

      11/06/2012 at 11:26 pm

      MOTOROLA UNDEAD!!!

    • Ilya

      11/29/2012 at 12:03 am

      I agree. This article was published too early to make valid points. The new Razr HD and Maxx HD are fantastic phones. The build quality is great, hardware is up to par with the current market, batteries are a huge selling point. Now that they’ve been out for just over a month, we can see that JB is about to hit both of these phones. I don’t understand why people in a lot of these replies are disliking Motorola. I think people have forgotten that Motorola is now owned by Google. This means a slimmed version of Blur, faster update, while maintaining Motorola’s build quality. It’s a win win for both companies.

  19. Sergei

    11/09/2012 at 12:32 pm

    Such a BS. It’s not Motorola, it’s Verizon. So what a heck with putting all this super -duper encryption into bootloader. Do as normal Guys from HTC, and Samsung do. Make it locked, but not encrypted. Verizon happy, and rest of the world happy too, because will be possible to unlock.

  20. Tom

    11/16/2012 at 6:02 am

    Take a step backwards and buy an iPhone. Can’t believe you dedicated a whole page to why you shouldn’t buy something based on your bitterness. Wish I had that much time to be a loser!

  21. Matthew G

    12/06/2012 at 4:10 pm

    Everyone is complaining about Motorola but I think they created a few GREAT phones and I’ve had no issues. I had all the modern fancy android phones and many more going backwards . Droid 1,2,3,4, Droid Charge, Galaxy Nexus, Bionic… and more recently: Razr HD, Razr M, Razr Maxx HD, Galaxy SII and SIII etc…) and had the I-phone 4S and 5 and am happy to announce i traded back down to my my original Razr Maxx. If I get JellyBean that would be great if not? I’m happy with my phone for so many reasons that I don’t care. My good ‘ol Maxx goes for THREE whole days with no charge and even then is not totally dead! I use it as a hotspot and stream video every day and still cant seem to wear this baby out any sooner. Three days is a bit unnecessary but none of the other devices even made it through a single day… Battery life should be a primary concern for all phone makers now. While I dream of charging once a week by 2014, I think charging only once a day should have been standard a long time ago.

    Attacking the offspring of this phone Maxx HD etc. over a silly thing like update schedule is ridiculous. As long as you like your phone out of the box there is no reason to whine just because you don’t have the NEWEST thing! I was like you recently. I needed the latest and greatest (look at my phone history). But I realized that can hang on to something I like and it WILL get updated sooner or later and I will love it even more. I’d say people should go buy the Maxx HD and if it’s anything like its father it will be a reliable, powerful and long lasting phone. (I also dropped it from a 3rd floor window and nothing happened except minor cosmetic ding on the side.) Kevlar back and gorilla glass, good tech support, industry leading battery and now HD screen…. Pair that with a promise of an update this quarter and you have a deal only a fool would turn down.

  22. Alex P

    03/05/2013 at 2:08 pm

    With the Razr HD getting the update to 4.1 Jelly Bean, this is one of the most under rated phones on the market. The OS is probably the closest thing on the market next to the Nexus 4 to being pure Android and it runs beautifully with no lag. There are a lot of great features in this phone. Many people are focusing too much on the GS series and the fact that it is Motorola, but keep in mind that Motorola is now owned by Google. This is a great phone (switched over from an iPhone 5) and you will not regret getting this phone.

  23. JEFF

    04/01/2013 at 11:51 pm

    Only 2 issues I have with my RAZR Maxx Hd is the locked bootloader (I blame verizon, cause I would really love to put Cyanogenmod 10) and the inability to remove the cover to trade batteries (not a huge issue, phone lasts long enough on one charge but I did almost kill it on 4G when my layover lasted 6 instead of 3 hours in an airport where people were searching for extra electrical outlets and it’s a sacrifice for the integrity of the phones shell). Otherwise, frozen phones don’t need to pull the battery out because of the Power+Volume down combo to soft reset the phone.

    This article was written way too early as seen by the fact that we have been given numerous updates to keep us happy. Are we on 4.2? No, but I don’t think we are that far off. Also, the Nexus 4? Seriously? LG has a very shitty record when I comes to support. My friend has an LG G2X phone that was so unstable no one could create a stable rom for it, even the main release has huge issues (not to mention an FM radio chip included that is never used.
    Don’t get me started on UPDATES with HTC for the Thunderbolt and Incredible 2 that never saw their ICS updates promised in October 2012 that have never surfaced (again might be a Verizon issue).

    Anyway, I didn’t have much time to decide before buying the MAXX Hd because I was having antenna issues on my incredible 2 dropping wifi and voice reception. I do not regret my decision at all.

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