Mobility

Motorola doesn't disappoint with the Droid Razr M

Jack Wallen takes a look at the Motorola Droid Razr M. Find out why he thinks it stands out above many of the other smartphones currently on the market.

The last time I worked with a Droid Razr, the device was incredible but felt over-sized in my hand, which made it difficult to use. However, that didn't completely detract from the fact that the Razr was a powerhouse and offered some really unique features that few other smartphones offered.

Now, Motorola has hit the ground running with the Razr M, and I'm here to tell you that they've discovered wonderful Nerdvana that lies somewhere between power and design. The second I held the Razr M in my hand, I knew that if the power matched up with the design, this mobile would be a sure thing. Ultimately, Motorola did not disappoint.

Specs

  • Platform: Android 4.0.4
  • Dimensions: 4.82 x 2.40 x 0.33 (122.5 x 60.9 x 8.3 mm)
  • Display: 4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels, Super AMOLED Advanced, Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass
  • Battery: 2000 mAh, 20 hours talk time, 17 days standby
  • CPU: Dual core, 1500 MHz, Krait
  • GPU: Adreno 225
  • RAM: 1024 MB RAM / 8192 MB ROM
  • Internal memory: 4.5 GB
  • Storage expansion: microSD, microSDHC up to 32 GB

Obviously, the phone has some fairly decent specs. It doesn't exactly hold up to the biggest hitters — like the Samsung Galaxy S III or the iPhone 5 — but it can certainly hold its own with most mobile devices on the market.

What's most impressive about the hardware on this device is the design. The Razr M is one of the first newer devices that I can easily and consistently use with one hand. This is due to the physical design and some of Motorola's interface modifications. For admin types, these modifications help make the Razr M one of the more efficient smartphones available — and what admin doesn't love efficient technology?

Let's take a look at what Motorola has done to make this device so much more efficient than other smartphones.

Physical efficiency

There are two primary areas where the physical design of the phone excels:

  • Button placement
  • Easy access to microSD card

With many devices, button placement dictates the use of two hands to use the phone. The Razr M places the power button and the volume rocker on the right side of the device, so you can quickly turn on or off the phone or adjust the volume with one hand. The size of the device also plays into this very well. Even smaller fingers like mine can easily manipulate the phone.

The location of the microSD card slot also makes this device incredible handy. On the left side of the device, you'll see a small door. Pulling that door out and down reveals the SIM and microSD card slots (Figure A). Slip in a card and you're good to go — no need to remove the back or the battery. Figure A

Easy access to the SIM and microSD card slots makes this phone stand out.

Software

The Motorola UI is very easy to manage. When you first turn on the phone, you're greeted with a lock screen. Tap the lock icon, and you'll see the following four icons appear in a circle (Figure B):
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Unlock
  • Text

Swipe toward one of those icons, and that particular app (or action) will open (or occur).

Figure B

The Verizon-branded Motorola Droid Razr M lock screen.

It isn't possible at the time of this writing to configure which apps can be immediately accessed from the lock screen, but that shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Another nice touch is the Quick settings screen. If you swipe the home screen all the way to the left, you'll wind up on the Quick settings screen (Figure C), where you can get immediate access to enable/disable the following settings:
  • Phone ringtone
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Mobile data
  • Airplane mode

You can also configure the phone lock and open up all settings.

Figure C

Quick access to these settings help make the Razr M a very efficient device.

There are plenty of other reasons why you'd want to give the Razr M a try (Verizon's outstanding 4G, solid battery life, and Android 4.0.4 ), but the ability to work efficiently helps make this smartphone stand out above many of the other contenders currently on the market.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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