on March 16, 2012
I decided to switch from AT&T to Verizon after
1) Becoming disillusioned with the quality (or lack there-of) of AT&T's network.
2) Becoming fed up with the "walled garden" of the iPhone/iOS, and the poor performance of the iPhone 3GS in particular.
3) Deciding to consolidate cell phone accounts with my partner, who has a Verizon phone.
I did my research, and I decided that the Droid Razr met my criteria for speed, flexibility, expand-ability, not being an iPhone, and then the 4G totally sold me on the phone. While I would have like to have had Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box like the Nexus has, I know a software update will come in time. Anyways, I finally bit the bullet when I saw the phone on sale here on Amazon Wireless, so I grabbed it, and have used the savings to buy a dock on regular Amazon, plus an Otterbox case (which actually fits really well to the phone).
The ordering process was pretty pain-free, though I had to "submit" my application a few times before it finally took. I was surprised that I had two-day shipping; originally the phone was supposed to arrive via Lasership on the 16th, but to my surprise it arrived a day early on my doorstep! Considering what I've heard about Lasership, I'll consider myself lucky. The Droid box, SIM card, and bonus car charger (thanks Amazon!!) were all snuggly and securely packed, and the box was delivered in fabulous condition.
Activating the phone was... Problematic. Amazon Wireless tried at first to resubmit/activate my phone with Verizon, but apparently Verizon did not want to play well with Amazon. The rep I talked to at Amazon, Emily, was extremely nice with me, and went out of her way to make sure I would still get the Amazon Wireless discount on my phone even if I had to go into a Verizon store to activate my phone. Later in the evening I called Verizon Customer Service to get the phone activated, but they were no help and pawned me off onto the Telesales department, who also could not help me activate my phone and blamed the whole deal on Amazon Wireless. So I called Amazon Wireless (at 10:30 at night! These guys are awesome!), and Malachai listened to my situation and whooped some butt into gear at Verizon to get my phone activated for me. You guys at Amazon Wireless deserve serious recognition for the awesomeness you all pull off every day!
Once my phone was activated and it booted up, it was WOW! The screen looks fantastic, Android OS is super-easy to navigate once you have the hang of it, and everything is organized in the logical and intuitive manner which iOS is not organized in.
Now I've only been using the phone for a day, but here are my initial thoughts about the phone:
-The screen is amazing. It beats the crap out of the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 screens in terms of brightness, depth, and ease on the eyes. I would go as far as to say that it is almost a tablet-quality screen, but it fits in my pocket!
-This phone is super fast! Really this kind of speed/responsiveness is what I would expect in a bulky laptop, not a smartphone.
-I absolutely love the "smart actions", and can't wait to play with them more!
-This phone is built to take abuse, without a case on it. The kevlar backing and gorilla glass are actually big selling points for me since I tend to be rough on small electronics. Having a case and screen protector on it (the Otterbox in the Verizon Stores gives you both out of the box!) will just make it last longer in mint condition.
-You have apps like Netflix, Kindle, and DocsToGo on the phone right out of the box. I've maybe only downloaded four additional apps so far; you'd have to download all of those separately on an iPhone.
-Once you experience data service (especially 4G) on Verizon, you will wonder why you did not get this phone (or a 4G phone in general) sooner. It is like cable modem fast!
-It is soooo much easier to move apps between screens on Android than iOS.
-Price. I got this phone during an Amazon Wireless sale for $40 with plan when it is normally $100.
-Amazon Wireless customer service. You guys rock!
-Verizon customer service. It seriously sucks.
-This thing eats through battery like a hot knife through butter. An hour of web-surfing on wifi will obliterate the battery; even leaving it uncharged over night will wear it down faster than my iPhone would wear down.
-Maybe this is just the con of micro-USB charging, but this phone charges extremely slowly, much slower than the iPhone.
-I know it will support the music files I have in iTunes, I'm just not sure how to get all of my music over just yet...
-The web browser is different from Safari in several ways. At least right now it appears that I cannot easily group bookmarks into certain categories or move easily between windows/tabs in Android as I can in iOS Safari.
Overall my first impression is that this is a great Android phone for a disillusioned iPhone user to switch to. Its great, really it is. Just beware Verizon customer service.
on April 28, 2012
Originally I would run into several issues with my phone, but they were always something pretty minor. For instance, if I connected my DroidRAZR to my Lapdock 500 the battery would die extremely fast. Another issue I had was games such as Phase 10 constantly Force Closing. However, these problems didn't take much away from a phone which worked amazingly. After owning the phone approximately four months I lucked out and was able to upgrade my phone to Ice Cream Sandwich. After upgrading the OS this phone has been absolutely amazing. It blows my iPhone out of the park. Below I've listed some things which help to make the phone even better than stock, and since making these adjustments my phone has been flawless:
1) Upgrade your OS to Ice Cream Sandwich--This should be done through your carrier once they release the update.
2) Install an Ad-Blocker app (most need your phone rooted, but some don't!)
3) Set up power-saver options from the Smart-Actions application to save battery!
4) Turn your screen brightness down! (By default it's extremely high)
5) Turn 4G connection off and download a 4G widget switch so you can turn it on only when you need it.
6) "Freeze" bloatware applications. Uninstalling these can cause problems, so only freeze them.
7) Install the Amazon app store and receive free apps every day!
Once ICS is install on your DroidRAZR Lapdocks change from something that's "cool to say you have" to something you can use anywhere. My phone now goes a full day with moderately high use with about 40% battery remaining, and a full down with below-average use with approximately 75% battery remaining. In addition, the Lapdock has now become an extension to my phone rather than an application that runs on my phone which makes applications such as Netflix which previously caused issues to work now work perfectly. As if all of that wasn't enough, since my OS has been upgraded I haven't had a single application force close on me.
on March 21, 2012
I have been using the Droid1 for three years now. I loved that phone, but it was getting heavy, slow, and clunky. So I did some investigating and bought this Razr.
Let me tell you, I am not disappointed. On the 4G network, this thing is the fastest phone I've ever seen. The screen is beautiful, apps load instantly. The camera takes beautiful pictures and videos. And I've discovered the Tango app (which allows video calls between phones that have the app)...I've been having a blast with that.
I have a laptop, desktop, iPad, and iPod but I find myself drawn to this phone instead of all the rest of my tech goodies.
I was most worried about the keyboard because I loved the pull out keyboard on my Droid1 as I typed on it with my nails. However, after a day or so, I've gotten used to the on screen keyboard. The screen and keyboard keys are big enough that I don't usually hit the wrong key. But when I do, it has a really perceptive autocorrect feature (near the top of the keyboard) that I tap on to correct the wrongly spelled word. Words I spell wrong are even highlighted in red so that it's obvious they're not spelled right...just tap on the suggestion and presto...my texts look like I have a PhD in English. Since I use the phone alot for business, that goes ALONG way.
The only con I have is that the battery drains fast. Since mine is so new, I probably still have all sorts of stuff running in the background that I've yet to figure out what's there. Also, I am constantly using it...just because I can't put it down. Once the novelty wears off, I'll prolly get better battery life. But, for now, I just take my charging cord to work with me and charge it back up.
This phone will rival your desktop, laptop, and tablet. Really. If the screen was bigger, it WOULD be a tablet. I'm thinking about selling my iPad because seriously, I haven't touched it since I got this phone. This does everything it does and more because I'm not tied up with the iTunes rules. I can download whatever I want. I love Apple just as much as everyone else does, but that iPhone is tiny compared to this. I compared them both and the screen on the razr is literally twice as big, but the Razr weighs less and fits fine in my pocket.
My favorite apps are: GPS, News, Tango, Netflix, Pandora, Lose It, Acupedo, Facebook, Twitter, Paltalk, Words with Friends, and Tune In Radio. I haven't even looked into games yet...cant wait to discover some good games!
on March 20, 2012
I don't write reviews often. I have written them, several of them, I just don't do it often. When I saw the RAZR only had 2 reviews, I decided to show a little love!
So I have had smart phones FOR-EVER... Starting with a Palm Treo 600 back in 2003-2004, maybe? After almost 10 years, I can't imagine going back to a regular phone. And I've had a physical keyboard all this time. I have nails, and if you type with your nails, a capacitative screen isn't going to do you much good!
When Palm stopped making the Treos (they hadn't come out with the Pre or the Pixi yet) I clung to my 700, desperately hoping they would release something. Finally the phone was so old and ticky I had to give up and I switched to a Blackberry, which I loved almost immediately. Just a few months afterwards, Motorola released the original DROID. I was salivating, and kicking myself for not waiting just a bit longer!
As soon as a year was up and I was eligible for an early upgrade, I snatched up the current DROID 2. I didn't love it right away... Took me about a week. I considered sending it back. But after a week, I was hooked. This thing was amazing! I already could feel myself choosing the phone over my laptop! Then, like an idiot, I dropped it in a friend's driveway and cracked the screen. Verizon's insurance (which I had) said that they could replace it, but they no longer carried the D2, and they offered me an upgrade to the DROID 2 GLOBAL. Cool...
NOT COOL! I HATED that phone! I had Asurion replace it TWICE in the year I had it, the stupid things were so sensitive and ticky. Everyone who knew me knew that you would generally hear a colorful line of expletives from me several times a day because of this stupid phone, taking up to 10 minutes sometimes just to make a call! It got to the point I was afraid to even attempt to go to the Internet, let alone do anything while there. I counted the minutes until I was eligible for my next upgrade.
And I knew I would probably get another Motorola Droid phone. I had such a great experience with my short-lived D2, they couldn't ALL be like the D2G! But here was the problem: I still wanted a physical keyboard. The DROID 3 had one, but I heard rumors that the D4 was on the horizon. I figured it best to wait for that if it was so close. Rumor after rumor about the release date of the D4 came out, but no confirmation.
Finally, this past Christmas after the infernal D2 looked like it was going to crash AGAIN, causing me to have to reload everything AGAIN (it had done this several times, so I had gotten quite adept at keeping the important things backed up), I declared I couldn't wait another day or I'd have to be committed to an insane asylum, and headed for the nearest Verizon store.
I wrote all of this because I wanted to illustrate that I am no smartphone newbie. Long-term veteran here!
I have NOT been disappointed. The keyboard worried me. But the screen on this phone is much larger than the D2G, and there is enough room for the pads of my fingers to touch down, despite my nails. Also, a little app you can get called SwiftKey X has AMAZING predictability features while typing, so I'm not typing as much. I may have gotten over-zealous once or twice downloading something that caused the phone to get caught in a "reboot loop" and had to do the factory reset on it, but in no way do I believe that it was the fault of the phone. I knew the RAZR MAXX was just on the horizon when I purchased this phone, but I was so frustrated with the D2G that I couldn't wait even another week. From what I've read about the MAXX, the benefits aren't that drastic! It DOES come with ICS already installed, and the rumors about when the RAZR will get the update are as cagey as the release of the D4 was. The battery apparently lasts much longer, but this battery is quite fine for me. I believe the "on board" storage is bigger with the MAXX, but with SC cards that can go as high as 64GB, what does that matter?
The only reason I gave it four stars is basically because I have managed to trip it up a couple of times. If the phone has an app or file on it that's causing problems, there really ought to be some sort of diagnostics you can access to see what the offender is, and remove it! Barring that, it ought to be able to run and eliminate those problems itself. But it doesn't.
After coming off of that horrid D2G, the RAZR is an absolute DREAM on a rainbow colored cloud!
on May 4, 2012
There are only a few things you need to know about this phone, so I'll try to be concise.
First, the build. Second to none. Kevlar, aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass, super thin, etc. Love the industrial design.
Second, the radios. This is where Motorola devices shine. If you can't get a signal with a Motorola on Verizon, there isn't a signal to get. From what I've read and seen, the RAZR will get a better signal than anything else on Verizon (yes, that includes the Galaxy Nexus and the 3G only iPhone 4S).
Third, 4G. I get over 12Mbps consistently around town. For those who don't know what this means: I basically have cable speed internet wherever I go. It really is that good.
Fourth, the screen. Gorgeous. There are screens that are technically better (Galaxy Nexus being one; iPhone 4S not even close), but you won't notice the difference unless you have a magnifying glass. Fire up some Netflix HD over your 4G connexion and enjoy the best colours and contrast on mobile!
Fifth, the operating system. I LOVE Android! The only reason to get an iPhone over this is if you are heavily invested in previous iPhone/iPod/iPad apps (though I bet you could change over for less than the cost difference between this and the iPhone 4S) or if you simply must have an iPhone and you don't care if it's not as good. The RAZR has a bigger, better screen (more contrast and more vibrant colours), is thinner/cooler (iPhone 4S is looking dated; plus a glass back is just stupid), has 10x the speed on 4G, and Android is so much more fun and has so many more options for productivity and personalisation. It can be super simple, like an iPhone, or really customised. Widgets and live wallpapers alone are enough to make Android look cooler and be more functional, not to mention stuff like free Google Maps turn by turn navigation.
There are a few complaints, as you can see from other reviewers, but they are either non-existent or easily managed. The main two are breakage and 4G eating battery. For breakage, I've found this phone to be quite durable (this is my fourth Android device, by the way). Do some break when dropped? Of course. It's a handheld computer, so it is fragile to a certain degree. That said, Motorola's done as good a job as possible in making it tough.
As for 4G, it totally eats battery. Very true. One thing that's great about Android, though: you can choose which network is on or off. From your home screen, do this: Menu --> Settings --> Wireless & networks --> Mobile Networks --> Network Mode. CDMA/LTE is 3G/4G on, CDMA only is just 3G. If you don't need the speed (streaming HD video, downloading files, internet browsing with multimedia, etc.), leave it in 3G only and you'll get 17+ hours easy. Pop it into 4G and you'll get a nice speed boost. You can even get a shortcut on the Play store called something like 4G toggle which will take you directly to the last step I outlined above.
One last thing. What I meant above about "getting better by the day" is the updates Motorola has already done to this phone. I've had it since November 2011 and have had two updates so far. My battery lasts longer and my internet speeds have literally doubled (on 4G; 3G went up by about 20% in speed). With Verizon expanding their LTE (4G) network and Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) coming to the RAZR, it's only going to get better!
on June 6, 2012
I got this phone at Verizon's recommendation. I then found it would burn through a full charged battery in about 2-3 hours. I would hate to see it once it's been broken in a while.
At Verizon's recommendation they have you turn off 4g, bluetooth, wifi, and basically everything that makes this a smart phone. Even with that, the phone burned through a charge in less than half a day due to the poor reception where I'm located.
Verizon will not even admit this is a problem with the phone. They will only replace it for the same phone which has the same problem.
I ended up spending my own money to return a useless phone and get the Razr Maxx.
Just spend more up front and get the Razr Maxx. The battery lasts much longer and what good is a phone if it's always dead?
Really terrible experience with Verizon.
on April 23, 2012
I upgraded to this phone from the original verizon/motorola droid i had for over 2.5 years and absolutely loved, it was undestructable and had no bugs. I upgraded to the new razr because of all the hype about gorilla glass and kevlar. This thing is flimsy. I have no idea why they chose kevlar as a phone material besides marketing. It is a fabric material that provides no structual support. I sat down in a car after having the phone for 2 weeks, the phone flexed just enough in my pocket that the screen cracked all over. Motorola was an insane carnival nightmare ride to deal with when trying to repair the phone. Ultimately they said they didnt have it in their database, I guess because it was so new. Customer service was basically useless, I finally got one girl who helped me out and got me a RMA#. I send it in and received it back about a week later UNFIXED! they returned it and said it wasn't in there system so they couldn't repair it. Called customer support again and they apparently had no idea why it was sent back to me. Eventually when I would call they would just send me straight to voicemail and never get back to me. They had no idea how to fix the situation and had no wish to help at all. My last 4 phones have been motorola. I had there first smart phone the "Q". I will never buy another motorola product again. I was very patient in the whole process.. I could have never imagined customer support could be this bad.
I loved the phone for the 2 weeks I had it. Just pray nothing happens to yours. Make sure you have insurance through an actual verizon store or you are out of luck.
on May 17, 2012
I loved my RAZR from Feb until Mothers Day when my screen mysteriously cracked on it's own! I made a call no screen crack I put it in my inside suit jacket Pocket (a very loose fit) take my phone out to make a phone call and there is a huge hairline crack all across the screen. This phone has never been dropped, thrown, stepped on sat on or otherwise abused. I to did the Verizon/Motorola dance where both implied this Never happens and is not a known issue. It's physical damage and voids my warranty.I point out that there is page on Verizons website forums page exist for this very problem, the manager at Verizon tells me she's had hers since November with no problems. well good for her. I don't have insurance because this is my 4th smart phone and I've never had a problem. If you go to Verizon's own website/ forum you will find 60+ others who have had the same issue. Even an otterbox doesn't seem to help.
on August 26, 2012
Nice looking phone. You have to modify half of the convenience out of it to keep the battery alive all day, and even then, if it's a long day, you'll be depleted before it's over.
If the phone has any problems, the motorola agents are unavailable to help in any way except to offer to maybe repair it if sent in, for more than the cost of an unlocked version.
It also did not work internationally... Find a company that supports its products, that either is number one, or wants to be. If you want an android, there are several companies that are HUNGRY for your biz. Motorola is not.
on July 31, 2012
This phone has a recurring issue with cracked screens. The engineering provides no rigidity to the phone so the incidental flex caused by carrying it in your pocket will break the screen. Took 2 months for mine to break. The crack is consistent with a number of others i have seen on the internet.
Motorola will not stand behind this product and says a repair (another flimsy screen in a flimsy phone) will be out of warranty and cost $150 to put another easily broken screen in your device.
Buyer beware. Do not buy the Motorola Droid RAZR.