Share this Story

Video: Hands-on With Motorola’s Two HD RAZR-esque Devices for China, Talk About Beautiful Screens


As we were wrapping up our Motorola booth session this afternoon, we stumbled onto two devices that looked extra special, but at the same time, sort of unfamiliar. Sure enough, they were the MT917 and the XT928, the two HD RAZR-esque devices that Moto released to China back in November.

We paid attention to these devices for one simple reason – that they both rock upgraded specs (4.5″ HD 720p screens, Dolby Digital sound, 13MP cameras, etc.) over the RAZR which was released around the same time here in the States. Why release these in China if they are ready for prime time, yet leave us with a phone that is essentially a step below? We will likely never know that answer.  

What we do have though, is video footage of them both in action. The specs – including processor – pretty much remain the same as the RAZR, but again, the screens are the stars. Check out these macro shots before diving into the hands-on action.

(click to enlarge)

Beautiful, right?


  • Taglogical

    Why did the American version contain a comparably crappy OLED display versus it’s Chinese counterpart? Because there are many vocal Americans clamoring for more and more OLED garbage. Too bad. I still hold out hope that people will wake up and get off this crappy OLED bandwagon.

  • NotoriousNeo

    I give it a month or two after the Maxx launches here before they launch one of these models here as the Razr Maxx HD or somethin’.

  • Anonymous

    Ill drop my Bionic with the quickness for one of these. 

  • Erick

    I wonder how many people here realize that carriers in other countries don’t subsidize their phones?
    So a manufacturer can be free to make a phone that’s as expensive and full featured as they want without any carrier stipulations that gut features to land at a certain price point.  Of course that also means people in other countries don’t think anything of plunking down over $1000 per phone either.

  • “Why release these in China if they are ready for prime time, yet leave us with a phone that is essentially a step below? We will likely never know that answer.”

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe someone at CES with some balls could actually ask them WTH.

  • Complaints for churning out a new device every 2 months, even if the latest of those phones amounts to a bigger SSD and battery, now complaints for not bringing a pair of them here…it’s like trying to take a piss in the wind.
    I think some of you need to thank Moto…they’re heroically giving you all something to complain about, even though we know most of you don’t REALLY care.
    What they should do, is swap out the radios and bring these to other carriers here in the US. Lord knows if the D4 weren’t coming to Big Red, I wouldn’t be staying.

  • Jamdev12

    This is what I don’t understand. If you have phones like this and you are going to release an update to the RAZR call the MAXX why not have one of these phones as the MAXX version not the same freaking phone you are selling with a bigger battery. It is ridiculous and silly if you ask me. HD screen and 13MP camera. Really? Why not Moto/Verizon? Why not?

  • Anonymous

    Verizon wants to sell you a new phone for $300 on contract.  Motorola wants to sell Verizon phones.  Of course Motorola wants more money for higher spec’d phones.  Verizon chooses the lower spec’d version because the margins are higher because they still sell them for $300.

  • xj333t

    Looks like my Droid X screen.

  • Marcus Schoen

    If you hate your Motophone on Verizon, you have only Verizon to blame. They have a thumb in everything Moto does when making the phone. In China, Moto is free of requirements, making the phones they want to. The Maxx was, in my opinion, 100% Verizon saying: We want this. Make it for us. Now look at Motophones like the Atrix 2 and Photon. Compare it to the Bionic, their class sibling sharing similar specs. Which of these do you like better? 

  • Anonymous

    It’s all about cost and profit margins for Verizon.  These RAZR-esque phones probably cost a lot more to manufacture with their better specs that the Droid RAZR and upcoming Droid RAZR Maxx and Americans like to buy subsidized handsets when they renew their contract.  So in order for Motorola to price the Droid Razr and Razr Maxx at a price where Verizon could sell it on contract for $299, they needed to have lower specs.  Imagine how much the subsidy would have to be for Verizon to sell one of those Chinese handsets at a price point that a lot of customers would be willing to pay.

    • Anonymous

      You hit the point correctly but I think you go the companies wrong. Verizon’s profit margin is minimal when it comes to devices and this is really a concern of Motorolas. The other major player in this all happend to be Apple. The leading telecom company in China is offering free iPhone 4S’ with contracts. Motorola needed to build something monumental to keep the largest market in the world from difecting. Unfortunately, this comes with a price. Us. By paying the same amount in the US for a “lesser” device, we are essentially subsidizing the Chinese versions and keeping the profit margin sustainable.

      • Anonymous

        You’re right.  I got the companies wrong.  I meant to say “It’s all about cost and profit margins for Motorola” not Verizon.  Motorola has to price the Droid Razr here in the US so that Verizon can sell it for a price of $299 or less and Verizon is not going to subsidize a non Apple phone more than $200-$300.

    • Anonymous

      Also need to take into consideration that Motorola devices (like almost every tech piece) is manufactured in China. This means a lot of costs are cut out the door since there is no shipping, additional taxes and fees, etc, to get those devices to foreign markets. While the device may be spec-ed the same, a phone in China would be cheaper for a carrier to purchase than a phone, say, in the U.S. Maybe VZ didn’t see the value in selling that device here at this time? Maybe they need to wait for prices to go down on manufacturing. I’m sure there is far more involved than just “subsidies” and that if Verizon felt there was a financially feasible reason for those devices that they would bring it stateside, pronto. Tech-heads are probably not the majority of users, however, so those high-end devices may not sell as well as we all may hope or believe.

      • Anonymous

        I wasn’t saying that it was just “subsidies” that drove the decision if that’s what you thought I was saying.  It’s about profit for Motorola.  They (and Verizon) will sell a lot more Droid RAZRS priced at $300 with a 2 year contract than a model that will cost more than that.  Remember the Droid RAZR is sitting side by side in the Verizon stores with the Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound so it has to compete on price with those other devices.  I’m sure we’ll see devices with those specs eventually, probably in the Droid RAZR 2 or Droid RAZR HD or whatever they decide to call it.
        You made a good point about the phones being manufactured in China and that it costs Motorola less money to sell a phone in China than in foreign markets.  I didn’t think of that.
        I agree that the tech-heads who frequent these forums are not the majority of users so those high-end, higher priced devices will not sell as well as people on here might believe. 

    • rumplestilskin

      You watch though, the sprint nexus will be $200 ($250 at most). Vzw said it was the lte radios as to why they charge $300 but now that at&t has (& sprint will) release lte devices at $200 we realize that vzw is just crooks squeezing an extra buck out of their customers. Most expensive plans and phones…why do we stay here? They know for one reason or another they have the leverage on their customers. For some reason we pay what they ask.

  • Anonymous

    “Americans are stupid, they will buy anything we sell!” ~Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha

    • Anonymous

      No we will only buy whats presented to us. lol  I get your meaning but if it not in the US then how are we to buy this device??? 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Why does it matter? Non HD displays are cheaper to make. Bump up the price and then millions of people will buy it (like durrr iPhone)

        • Anonymous

          In hcina the mobile device are copied and the Chinese are very good at taking a cheaper screen for example and mkaing yours look like crap. In China they are more mobile savvy and have a great sense on technology and making it better. for less. Go into the Chinese market and watch a cheap screen not sell at all. moto knew what it was doing and they did a good job of presenting a quality device with a great screen to the Chinese. Plus calculate the billions of people that will buy that device.

          Do the math and hear the swipes of credit cards and Yen hitting that cash registers, they’ll out sell and make more money in China than the US thats for damn sure.!!!!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            Understand it is a joke.

          • Anonymous

            lol no worries man, 🙂

          • Taglogical

            Add the “America OLED Fad” into this: there are many people in the US that actually think they like OLED displays… this makes it much easier for a company to shovel us $#%^ ($#%^ = OLED)

          • Taglogical

            Add the “America OLED Fad” into this: there are many people in the US that actually think they like OLED displays… this makes it much easier for a company to shovel us $#%^ ($#%^ = OLED)

  • Anonymous

    no ICS? Who cares…

  • All comes down to them wanting more money. Now that a lot of us excluding me have the RAZR they will probably announce these to the states when they have something better. BASTARDS! Just make the best if the best and I assure you everyone will buy it!

    • Logan Powell

      Unfortunately American consumers have proven that we are fantastic pawns to designed obsolescence. Overall people will want the best thing that they can have at the time, not the best thing that they can have, so business practices dictate that you always keep something back so that you can make the consumer gobble it up when it’s no longer your best offering.

  • Anonymous

    … anyone consider Moto had a model device and met with VZN and they said FU?  So they took it elsewhere. Or do you just think they walk into Verizon and say “here this is what you will launch in Q4 11”.  

  • Anonymous

    Motorola needs to stop their routine of make an improved model of the same phone every 2-3 months, pissing off owners of the last one in the process.
    Droid X2 –> Droid Bionic –> Droid RAZR –> Droid RAZR Maxx
    Same phone just with a few improvements each time. 
    That’s another reason I got the Galaxy Nexus, there’s only a new one like once a year. 

    • Anonymous

      Keep justifying why you got that fat plastic battery hog of a device, its ok you’ll feel better.  🙂

      • Guest

        you mad bro?

      • pete

        Yeah man it is a battery hog! M goin to return mine today and probably get razr maxx.

        • LionStone

          Yea maybe people will get off HTC’s jock now and realize any high power device with sweet screen is gonna suck the juice if you’re on it long enough.

      • Calculatorwatch

        Weird, I just got mine and I only used like 50% with 4G on all day. Are you talking fat width wise? or are you just trying to defend your misguided razr purchase?

        • Anonymous

          I actually have a Nexus, doesn’t change the fact it should be pink with a snout.
          On Jan 11, 2012 11:43 AM, “Disqus”

        • LionStone

          Just having 4G on doesn’t really say much, it’s what you did with it. How much browsing/internet, etc. did you do?, screen time? and call time?

    • Kierra

      I dont get this rationale

      • Nick

        He’s the type of person that is insecure about his phone, so if a slightly newer phone comes out he gets all butthurt. He doesn’t care that not everyone is due for an upgrade at the same time every year and most people don’t want to buy 6-month old hardware when they upgrade.

  • TheAndroid1

    It’s very simple people.

    They didn’t have the time to convert their Verizon bloatware to 720p.

    • That makes absolutely no sense, so your joke failed and it isn’t funny.

    • Anonymous

      It’s very simple.

      XT928+RAZR MAXX battery+unlocked bootloader+LTE+ICS=Galaxy Nexus/Rezound KILLER.

  • bobukcat

    This could have been a Verizon decision and not a Moto decision.

    • Anonymous

      I think VZW is intentionally trying to ease into phones with screens larger than 4.3″ verrrry slowly.  Or at least waiting until they get all of us grandfathered unlimited data users onto a tiered plan. 

      AT&T has, what, 3 phones on shelves now and a few more in the pipeline with 4.5″ or larger screens?   And that’s not even counting the coming Galaxy Note.    

      But Verizon just has the G-Nex and the upcoming LG Spectrum (and the Speccy ships with GB & is gimped so badly in its internal storage that it’s not really worth considering). 

      I am still eagerly awaiting a 4.5″ or larger 720p ICS LTE powerhouse with removable storage AND battery.    Maybe VZW is being like Apple and afraid that large-screen smartphone will eat into their already non-existant LTE tablet sales?

      • Anonymous

        You have to take into consideration Verizon’s probable business decision that most people don’t want to walk around with a television to their head when they are supposed to be talking on a phone with some Internet functionality and applications. I personally hope a niche breaks where people obsessed with screen size can get their televisions, and those business people (and average joes and joanes) more concerned about using a phone as a phone with extra functionality can get their practical-sized devices. Having every device so large (4.5in+) is ridiculous for the majority/average/business users.

  • Anonymous

    USA = 300 Million | China = 1 Billion. You do the math. Besides, their middle class is larger than the entire US population….

    • Anonymous

      Not to mention China has been living in the mobile age while we were still amazed about Vonage and other VOIP stuff.  

      • Anonymous

        I agree and this was only part of the decision but a big factor in revenue stream for Moto. As a business decision I would’ve done the same thing hit the largest market that you can with a great device, great screen running Android, and watch the cash flow come in.

      • Anonymous

        China is a strange emerging market that skipped an entire technology step. In the US, 90% of all US homes at one time had a telephone line. In China, that number was closer to 40%. Against what analysts and some dreaming investors expected, as China developed, they never adopted the hardline phone and skipped a step and went straight to mobile phones. Which is also why they don’t care about vonage or VOIP, they never had a home phone to begin with.  

    • Loki

      remember 1/3 of chinese are peasants and farmers who don’t even know there is anything outside china literally living in a 3rd world environment. They are basically living life serfdom and are tenant farmers for the people/government of china, basically slaves.

  • C-Law

    This was their chance to compete with the galaxy nexus for us tech nerds but they failed and sent them to china

    • Anonymous

      I somehow doubt they were really concerned with the Nexus. The Galaxy SII and iPhone is more of a concern than the Nexus. The Nexus is a niche device that is hardly a major player in the grand scheme of it all. It’s like saying Honda is worried because they don’t have a direct car to compete with GM’s Corvette. They aren’t. Hence, not a failure by any means.  

  • Toddman214

    How would you compare the screen to the GNex? Was it fairly thin?

    • Toddman214

      Sorry, the video had not loaded up by the time i posted.

  • Edelafue

    hahahah never again motorola

  • Edwin M

    Nice to see what Motorola thinks of their US customers. Give us a locked Razr, Droid 4, and godawfully named Xyboard. Why would they think highly of their US customers?

    • Anonymous

      China is the new USA

      • Anonymous

        Fun fact…. More people in China speak English than in the entire United States. That is a true fact jack.

        • Anonymous

          Wouldn’t surprise me one bit…and to make matters worse – they probably speak it much more efficiently as well.

          • leslie chow

            Oh rearry? I’d rike to think they can’t even pronounce the word motororra. Lol

        • Anonymous

          That’s because most of the people in the US speak spanish.