Software Development

Motorola Droid Razr Teardown: Better hardware should anger Bionic buyers

The Droid Razr is thinner, lighter, and has better hardware than the Droid Bionic, which Motorola release just two months prior.

Thin and stylish the original Motorola Razr flip phone was a huge success. I used a Black Razr for many years, until it broke in 2009. In November 2011, Motorola released the first Razr smartphone--the Droid Razr.

The new Razr has a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and a 4.3" Super AMOLED display (960x540 pixels). It measures 5.15" (H) x 2.71" (W) x 0.28" (D) and weighs 4.48 ounces. The Droid Razr comes with Android 2.3.5 installed, and can be upgraded to Android 4.0. It's also the first phone to have the latest version of Motorola's Webtop application. In the US, Verizon sells the Razr for $299.99 (with a two-year contract). I bought our Razr test device (sans contract) from a local Best Buy Mobile location for $799.99 (plus tax).

In this week's episode of Cracking Open, I show you what's inside the Droid Razr, and discuss what I learned from my teardown. That basically, the Razr is an upgraded Droid Bionic.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Motorola Droid Razr

Cracking Open observations

  • Replaceable battery: Unlike the Bionic, the Razr's battery isn't designed to be user-replaceable. But, it's not soldered to the motherboard either. If you're willing to remove the back cover (and likely void the warranty), you could replace a dead battery.
  • Standard Torx T5 screws: I was able to remove all the Razr's screws with Torx T3, T4, and T5 screwdriver bits.
  • Super AMOLED display: The Razr has a 4.3" (960x540 pixels) qHD Super AMOLED display. Although their displays are the same size and offer the same resolution, this is a step up from the Bionic's LCD.
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera: The Bionic has a VGA-quality camera. The Razr has a 1.3MP front-facing camera.
  • Slightly higher-capacity battery: The Razr has a 1,780 mAh battery, compared to the Bionic's 1,735 mAh battery.
  • 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 Processor: Although Motorola stuck with the TI OMAP 4430 processor, the Razr has a 1.2GHz chip compared to the Bionic's 1GHz processor.

Internal hardware

To avoid damaging our test device, I decided against desoldering all the EMI shields on the Razr's motherboard. Luckily, our friends over at iFixit did.

For more information on the Droid Razr, check out Deb Shinder's real-world review, "Motorola Droid Razr: Super model or serial killer?"

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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