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Next Day Thoughts on the New Family of DROID RAZRs [Opinion]

Today may have been all about forked Android new Kindle Fires, but for whatever reason, I’m still thinking about the event that went down yesterday, from Motorola. There were all sorts of interesting story lines to pay attention to. We had the first ever product announcement by new CEO Dennis Woodside, some of us hoping for a surprise or two, and then a mention that this was a “new Motorola” that would return to caring about customers. It was a lot to process, but I came away with some opinions and wanted to share. 

“New” Motorola

Even if Dennis Woodside had not been on stage talking about a “new” Motorola, we all could have guessed that this was indeed a new beginning for a company desperately in need of one. Motorola is now Google-owned and has a former Google exec running the show, along with a number of hand-picked big wigs. There is no way, that going forward, there won’t be a Google influence on this company even if Google will continue to try to tell you that there won’t be. After all, Eric Schmidt opened the damn thing, talked about Google for 5 minutes, and then brought Woodside on stage. Following his intro, Woodside then mentioned Google more times that I could even keep track of.

But being “new” is something I think that we all can appreciate. Former CEO Sanjay Jha seemed to care about two or three things that no one else on the planet cared about:  locking down phones, enterprise garbage, creating a Blur database, and attempting to re-invent the wheel. It’s clear that with Woodside in control, it’s about getting devices in as many hands as possible and actually listening to customers. In order to do that, Motorola is creating devices that appeal to everyone, built with quality materials, at affordable prices, that are hackable (if you want them to be), and last a long time on a single charge.

The Devices

We were introduced to the RAZR M, RAZR HD, and RAZR MAXX HD yesterday, three phones we essentially already knew everything about. Well, we didn’t know for sure that a MAXX HD was on the way, but when it was announced, it didn’t exactly surprise anyone. All three phones look fairly impressive. They all sport the latest in high-end specs, are built with high-quality materials, and will likely hold a signal better than any other phone on Verizon’s network.

But did any of it blow our minds? If we look at the competition, it’s tough to jump up and say, “Hell yes it did!” The Galaxy S3 has all of the specs in the RAZR HD, but with double the RAM and it has been out for a couple of months now. The RAZR HD, well, it won’t be out until this winter when a new Nexus or two will arrive, along with HTC’s 1080p phone, and who knows what else.

The RAZR M is an interesting product, though. It’s affordable, has great specs, and an edge-to-edge display that helps it fit into a smaller package. If only Motorola could have taken the edge-to-edge approach to the RAZR HD, then maybe we’d be talking about something truly innovative.

So while I haven’t had my hands on any of these phones yet, after watching the press event, I’m simply left shrugging my shoulders at them. Style-wise they look OK, if you like the look of the original RAZR. I know that I can’t ever go back to qHD, so the RAZR M isn’t for me. The RAZR HD could be an option, but it won’t be out for a couple of months and by then, we’ll have so many amazing options that I’m trying to figure out if it will even be in the equation?

Developer Editions

One of the highlights to the event was the announcement that Motorola is going to care about the “tinkerers and hackers” in the Android game. They will release developer edition phones with unlockable bootloaders, since the whole hacking scene is part of the draw for many to Android. The only problem is, you can’t buy one of these at a subsidized price and will instead have to fork out anywhere from $550 to $650 for one. I appreciate there being options like this, but not everyone has $700 lying around or is willing to save up that kind of cash to spend on their next phone. Plus, at that kind of price, I can’t imagine there will be enough in the wild to create much of a developer scene. The majority of RAZR HD owners will likely buy the phone on contract at $199 and then hope that someone can root it and eventually figure out how to get recovery on there for custom ROM flashing.

Nothing will change from the scene today, but this way, Motorola and Verizon can say, “We gave you an option.” Just seems half-assed at this point. If they really want to support developers, then they should release a bootloader unlock tool for all of their phones and then make it clear that if you unlock, you void your warranty. Keep track of MEIDs that are unlocked and refuse to support warranty claims that were willing to roll the dice. That’s giving people a choice.

Odds and Ends

  • Jelly Bean Updates:  Woodside understands that the update process is broken. He talked about Jelly Bean updates coming before the end of the year for most of their phones. He also introduced a $100 credit for those that bought phones this year that won’t be upgraded to Jelly Bean. They want you to be current and are giving you an incentive to stay with Motorola.
  • Battery Life:  I really do love Motorola’s focus on battery life. Even though we are entering an era where processors are efficient enough to give you good battery life anyway, we should get even more life out of a single charge thanks to the magic that Moto is tossing into phones. The batteries are thinner, bigger, and last a hell of a lot longer. I’m still not sure why we need a RAZR HD and a RAZR MAXX HD, though. Just make one phone and call it good.
  • End of Sanjay’s Moto:  I can’t help but think that these phones were the last from former CEO Sanjay Jha. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2013 Moto phones look and feel nothing like what we were introduced to yesterday. Since phones take months and months to plan and create, this is what Woodside and the new crew were left with, so they are trying to make the most out of them. Next year, it should get really good.

At the end of the day, I’m still excited to give these new RAZRs a spin. Official opinions can’t ever be formed after watching a live press event over YouTube. But beyond the products, I think what I’m more excited to see, is what Dennis Woodside and his crew can do with this company that we have all wanted to love for the last two years, but were unable to after watching them make horrible decision after horrible decision. Moto should have a bright future, we just need to get out of 2012 to see it.

  • PhillipCun

    I loved motorola when the OG droid came out and their build quality, radios and battery life are spectacular. I hope they can come out with a nexus device with better designs.

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      I love this designs leaning more towards the razr m design. The m will not be as wide as the other two. They need different designs not better ones.

  • shane

    I think Sanjay Jha was a fcuking horrible CEO.

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      He gave you the droid.

  • http://twitter.com/SmokeNMirrors SmokeNMirrors

    I’m psyched about the dev phones and hopefully Moto will do these for all their new phones. Subsidies are a thing of the past for grandfathered unlimited data users anyway. Full priced phones are our future.

  • disastrousrainbow

    I agree. I heard about all these new Motorola phones and was like…wait, so HD panels and that’s it? Boo, you whore…

  • Bionic

    2013 will u be Motorola’s year. Just wait.

  • Bionic

    My update is in May. I would gladly purchase a maxx HD at that time. However I would think by May Motorola will have something great out or soon to be out. I’m loyal to Motorola. While Samsung is nice, I just can’t leave Motorola. Their phones have been too good to me.

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      I can’t leave Motorola ever. They are the best period. They heard us about the display, battery and bootloader. Samsung still makes plastic and HTC horrible batteries.

  • Soofdawg

    Your comment regarding this lineup being the tailend of Sanjay Jha’s tenure is spot on. I was anticipating a much more impressive update, but you put it very well…there just isn’t enough bang compared to the S3. Thank goodness Sanjay was shown the door….maybe next year will be Motorola’s real time to shine under newer and fresher design/innovation. Great new devices, just no mind blown.

  • LiterofCola

    Eyeing the Razr Maxx HD, might bite the bullet late this year.

  • enigmaco

    Talk is cheap as far as i am concerned I am so annoyed with Motorola that I want nothing to do with them. My next phone will be either Samsung or HTC once developing reaches an end with my Droid 3 it will be on to the next one.

  • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

    Excellent article Kellex. I too am cautiously excited to see what Motorola can do under new management. I actually like these new devices, and while obviously too late to market to generate many sales, they still look like a solid update.
    On the future of the company, If I have JB on my regular RAZR and my wife’s Bionic come new year’s, my next phone will most assuredly be from Motorola, as I doubt anyone else will have the lion’s share of their current devices on JB by then, and I don’t really care about the bootloader if the stock software is good.

  • David

    I can see why Kellex would be excited to give these devices a spin…(a) gets them for free or has money to throw away.

    These devices are boring and have nothing new and exciting to offer.

  • http://profiles.google.com/slow88lx slow88lx

    Yo Kellex, it seems like there may be a new list of phones getting JB. Can you make a comprehensive list of all Moto’s(verizon and otherwise) that will and will not be getting JB?
    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/JKingDaRuler Jay Kingsley

    Wait ? these new phones dont have Jelly Bean … Come on !!!!! Even the biggest fan boy has to be upset at that …

  • thajack

    Motorola is still ridiculous. They’ve been owned by Google for several months now, Jelly Bean has been out for a few months now, and they come up and announce new phones that are coming out a few months FROM now and still won’t have Jelly Bean.

    Tell you what… I bet they would if Motorola would do away with crappy nonBlur.

  • ronandersonjr

    Everyone had better start saving up to buy a phone at full price if you still want unlimited data

  • thajack

    FTA: ”
    If they really want to support developers, then they should release a bootloader unlock tool for all of their phones and then make it clear that if you unlock, you void your warranty.”

    I can’t believe we would actually want something like that. It shouldn’t void your warranty any more than buying a Dell PC and upgrading it from Windows 7 to Windows 8 would void your warranty.

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      All manufacturers that allow bootloader unlocks state that it voids the warranty, even Nexus devices. It really is the only way, or people who never should have been playing with the software will vastly overclock their device, fry the proc/board, and then cry about warranty failures.

      • AnGeLFaCe777

        Motorola should have the unlock tool for the geeks. They have it for the photon q

  • fanboy1974

    I still have hope for the HTC 1080p phone. I expected this crap from Moto weeks ago so no surprise for me.

  • Pegleg

    After yesterday’s weak event I think I’ll be looking elsewhere for my new phone. A new two year contract for me with Verizon, but with a non-MOTO phone, will give Google plenty of time to get MOTO (sans Sanjay) on a good course. So, here I sit, totally disappointed with all the entities concerned, waiting to see what evolves between now and Dec. 31st.

  • KleenDroid

    I hope things turn around for Motorola but it seems it won’t happen till maybe the end of next year. So for now they are a non player. Maybe 2014 could be a good year for Moto, but unless we can unlock their phones it will just more of the same old nothingness.

    Sadly I don’t see a Motorola phone anywhere in my near future. They didn’t make significant enough direction improvements to make me think they are not already done.

    Stick a fork in Motorola.

  • http://profiles.google.com/zkolev Zack Kolev

    The Razr HD Maxx would make a fine Nexus. It they made a Nexus out of it, I would totally take it over a Galaxy S3-based Nexus. Straight cash, w/o VZ subsidies!

  • Rob

    I meant Droid 5 when talking about a really state of the art Droid….

  • Rob

    Good article! I hope Woodside is on the ball. I agree that these projects probably started under Jha and finished under Woodside. The design of the Razr M is nice but not as admirable as the Razr when it came out and the Razr HD Maxx looks VERY similiar to the current one with a HD screen. I think it might be a good move for Woodside to come out with a really state of the art Droid with a 4.7″ HD touch screen and a big luxurious hardware keyboard. A top of the line camera with burst shooting would be great too. A phone like this would be very inspiring to Motorola’s base and increase positive awareness of the brand as a whole.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

      Could not agree with you more ! Motorola needs to put good cameras on their device and tweak the designs a little bit. Other than that they are doing good things moving forward.

  • Butters619

    You have to keep in mind that the current product line up is still influenced by the old Moto. It will be awesome to see the products starting in 2013

    • Bionic

      Exactly

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

      I completely agree with you. I am so excited about 2013 and their new products. This new CEO will fix things over there.

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      I can not wait for that. I have confidence on Woodside.

  • Aaa

    The one nice thing about the announcement yesterday is that they announced all/most of their variants in one event, instead of waiting a couple months after RAZR to announce RAZR Developer Edition and RAZR Maxx and RAZR [color].

  • ManBearPig618

    For a 2013 flagship, I’d like to see quad core + 2 gigs of RAM. Moto underwhelmed me there.

    Also, the whole “dev edition” thing irks me. Just let us unlock our damn phones. I’ll probably buy my next phone off-contract to preserve my unlimited data, but it still sucks for the “not enough in the wild” impact it will have on development.

    • Dain Laguna

      Why would you want to see that? Benchmark bragging rights? We shoukd be after nice software implementation, not how much ram is under the hood

      • ManBearPig618

        Nope. I’ve literally never benchmarked a phone. But after using the Tegra 3 4+1, performance and a battery life (no doubt due to the low power fifth core) have been so good that I’d like to see that tech move forward into phones. And the RAM will simply allow more multitasking.

      • AnGeLFaCe777

        You are right, we do not need 2 g of ram.

  • EC8CH

    Moto just needs to break away from the evil grip VZW has over it.

    • Tyler

      Yes, Samsung doesn’t rely on just one carrier to deliver their product best products. Motorola needs to do the same.

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      After all these years you still troll lol! Your comment was on point this time.

  • akazerotime

    In about 2 months the RAZR MAXX HD will be delayed until Feb 2013, then show up again in a “all new” form factor with less specs AND be called the Motorola Bionic 2…

  • Zach Armstrong

    The build quality and almost stock version of Android is nice. But they have a little more to do for me to buy one of their phones.

  • sperho

    The RAZR M is what is interesting to me. My wife needs a new phone (she still has an OG Droid), but all of the superphones of late are huge and it turns her off. The 4.3″ screen coupled to a tight form factor is a sweet spot that no one is really putting decent hardware into until now. The M isn’t a spec monster, but for a lot of people who’d like a little bigger screen and don’t need the specs, I’ll bet it’s a hit. I’ll probably buy one for her off-contract so we can switch it AT&T or TMo so I can get a “real” Nexus phone after I work up enough phone lust to ditch my VZW GNex.

    • carlisimo

      The RAZR M would likely be limited to 2G speeds on other carriers, unless I missed something.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hitesh.gamdha Hitesh Gamdha

        Nahhh, thts fully global phone

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      The m is a beast too. It just doesn’t have the hd display nor the 2500 mah battery. It has 2000 mah and qhd display for 100 dollars it’s a steal. Good job Motorola! The design of the m is beautiful.

  • nightscout13

    So Kellex, you see this current lineup as mediocre? I thought Jha did a decent job starting with the Droid 1 all the way to the RAZR MAXX.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Decent is about right. He’s not winning any awards for the phones under his belt, but they are like you said, decent.

      • nightscout13

        Maybe if they had better Marketing in 2010, things might have turned out better. But of coarse, then there’s their un-timely OS upgrades…

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

      I am agreeing with you. I feel jhay made bad decisions, but he did good things.

    • MicroNix

      D3 was an EPIC fail on Moto’s part. Poor software. Poor keyboard (keys flaking out in < 1 year), problems that never got fixed and no ICS.

  • Dwayne

    I am pleased to see the general direction Motorola is now taking. They have been making very solid products for a long time, though I’ve not always cared for their lack of proper customer response. It is clear to me that they are now really trying to listen to what people want and to respond appropriately. Since they they are making a real effort at a new start, I am hoping the very best for and from them.

  • cooksta32676

    I want so bad to love Moto. Just very difficult when they’re a day late and dollar short. I could care less about bootloaders or Blur, just seems like you’re buying a device a few weeks short of EOL.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    I think the Razr M could be a big winner. It looks fantastic and I will pick one up off contract.

  • cooksta3276

    I want so bad to love Moto. Just very difficult when they’re a day late and dollar short. I could care less about bootloaders or Blur, just seems like you’re buying a device a few weeks short of EOL.

  • Jim McClain

    lets just wait and see before believing

  • Radgatt

    Samsung: Galaxy Series
    LG: Optimus Series
    HTC: One Series
    Motorola: Razr Series
    Sony: Xperia Series
    Apple: iPhone

    Makes sense to me!

    • Mapekz

      I hope they stick with this. HTC still has to streamline their offerings (they still make Incredibles on Verizon when it should just be called the One S…One X wasn’t on all carriers, etc), Motorola looks like they put themselves in a good position to only need to release 3 devices a year (RAZR, RAZR MAXX, and RAZR M) to cover their bases, and Samsung did right with the Galaxy S series but their mid- and low-end phones are so inconsistently named and laughable.

      I haven’t followed LG or Sony sufficiently but they haven’t released anything impressive yet and I don’t expect them to change that anytime soon unless the rumor that they, along with Samsung, will be releasing a new Nexus phone this winter.

    • Jason James

      Motorola sells Razr phones only on Verizon and the One series isn’t on Verizon. so Moto and HTC would need to bring the same name to all carriers but Moto cant bring the “droid” with them

      • Radgatt

        Motorola does sell razrs outside of Verizon. I didn’t say droid series. Your htc point is correct though.

        • Jason James

          i didn’t know the Razr was sold on other carriers unless you’re talking about unlocked ones or oversees

          • Radgatt

            Yeah. Rogers in Canada is getting the RAZR HD and one of the UK carriers is getting the RAZR M. So its not just Verizon and not just unlocked.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

            Canada is another country.

    • BBC

      I would love to own a RAZR Maxx HD, it’s my phone of choice, but I’m unwilling to pay Verizon rates to get it.

      Please Motorola, PLEASE, make the RAZR HD readily available to smaller, less expensive carriers. I WANT to be a RAZR customer, but as long as they are just this side of exclusive to Verizon I won’t be!

  • Tino Wallace

    Seem like they will all be pretty good phones, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why they are releasing phones that the Galaxy S3 will still crush RAM wise. I don’t see myself wanting to upgrade to one of them. Love the battery life of my Rzr Maxx, but other than that the GS3 out performs it in just about every category. Not forking over more loot to get a new phone that the GS3 out performs as well.

    • joe

      As far as the “crushing part cause of the GS3 RAM” only if your running stock Jelly Bean. TouchWiz Jelly Bean is not buttery smooth. So you’ll probably won’t tell the difference.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

        Motorola skin is the best one.

        • MicroNix

          You need to share some of that stuff you are inhaling.

          • Justin

            Have you not seen blur recently? Its nearly non existant compared to TouchWiz.

          • http://twitter.com/wade_county John P

            Don’t worry cause apparently, if we don’t agree with new GS3 owners were wrong. Mind you I own a HTC device (no bias) and I have played with every single iteration of skin and android version that’s out there now. If they don’t want to agree that’s fine, but their in denial.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

            It has been shown over here and other android sites that Motorola blur is the lighter skin of them all. It looks nicely than the one on the nexus. It has better colors on the settings.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            Stop trolling

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

      Gs3 just have more ram, but a plastic feel and the display is pentile let’s not forget about that.

      • C-Law

        RAZR HD is pentile too

      • MicroNix

        I’ll take the SG3 display over a Moto display *any* day. Sorry but I had to deduct you on that one.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

          The display on these new devices has more pixels than the ones on the htc one x and samsung galaxy s 3. I compared the three devices on at&t.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            Educate yourself, the atrix hd is using color boost. The new droid razrs will use super amoled hd.

        • AnGeLFaCe777

          Let’s compare the display with the razr hd and gs3.

    • CK

      Unfortunately, you people continue to leave out one very important feature of these PHONES….the ability to make a phone call. Maxx does it well, s3 does not. Switched from a Maxx 2 weeks ago and suddenly can’t maintain a phone call in places I used to.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey.Brito77 Jeffrey Brito

        People do not understand about the most important feature. They seem to care about boot loader and designs. I feel these designs are better than last year’s i just wish they can start putting good cameras on their devices, not that i care so much about it but it will make their devices almost perfect.

        • AnGeLFaCe777

          Good point but I take radios over camera anytime.

      • Andrew Roth

        I have a galaxy s3 and have the same reception i had with my iphone 4s, original droid, and droid x. reception is 95% your carrier and about 5% radio. People love to exagerate…

  • CapnShiner

    Motorola Mobility should just change their motto to “Too Little Too Late.” That’s pretty much a summary of what they have done for the past two years. The Bionic was amazing when it was first shown at CES but by the time they actually released it everyone else had already surpassed it. The RAZR was good but then they burned all the people who bought it by releasing the RAZR Maxx so soon after. The RAZR Maxx is what the RAZR should have been, just like the RAZR HD Maxx should just be the RAZR HD. They are starting to let people unlock their bootloaders but only after losing so many customers over locking it in the first place. So many bad decisions. So much wasted potential. Too little too late.

    • Michealfelps

      They can call it the Moto JoJo … it’s too little too late.

    • MicroNix

      Add to that motto, “We are the buffet of phones”…nothing like a sit down dinner in the way of quality, but you can see a whole lotta mediocre. Once again, we see more phones delivered than Moto can possibly keep updated let alone fix any issues with them. Again, Sanjay’s legacy of making, selling and screwing with only the short term sales in mind. Sanjay had no business sense whatsoever because that formula will only work for a short while. It doesn’t take long for it to catch up with you and for you to start sliding fast. Retention by taking care of the customer is the way to a long lived business….there’s just too many idiots that look to make a quick buck and then move on to the next business to destroy. Brand loyalty does NOT come from screwing your customers.

      • Stevedub40

        Unless you’re apple, because their customer’s take whatever crap they feed to them.

        • dangolds

          Apple releases 1 phone model/year and makes a point of updating the software on its devices for 2 years or so. I’m pretty sure that if Motorola had followed a similar strategy, customers would have been much more loyal to the Motorola brand. You don’t have to like the iPhone but you’re blind if you think Apple doesn’t provide good customer support and service. That’s one reason why their customers stay loyal and keep buying new products.

          • Bsody

            You mean updating the OS number for 2 years, not actually giving them the new features right?

          • dangolds

            I’ve got a 3GS for work that I’ve had for a couple years. Other than Siri, most of the relevant features that were added to iOS4 and iOS5 made it on to my phone. Definitely preferred that approach to the uncertainty of the ICS update that I went through with my RAZR Maxx. I’ve since sold the Maxx and bought a Galaxy S3. Besides the fact that I liked most of the Galaxy s3 features and design better than the Maxx, the fact that they’ve been following Apple’s approach in terms of marketing the phone and creating global awareness for the device gave me greater confidence that they were trying to build lasting brand loyalty. A natural extension of that would come in the form of faster software updates than Samsung was historical Lly known for. Sure enough, Jelly Bean appears headed for this phone much more quickly than it took for the Maxx to get ICS. If that happens, it will make me that much more likely to buy Samsung over Motorola the next time I’m in the market for a new phone.

          • MicroNix

            Definitely. Like the way we all felt about the OG Droid when it was released. One phone, plenty of TLC and updates. And most of all, you didn’t feel it was dated 4 weeks after purchasing it! Motorola had the magic formula at the start, but then pi**ed it away for a short term dollar gain with an array of new devices. You would have thought that when Samsung came out with just one device that smoked their entire line up put together that they would have got the hint to get back to their roots, but they didn’t….and market share slid.

          • dangolds

            Couldn’t agree more. One reason I’ve always liked Apple products is because they don’t make you feel like a chump by releasing a new flagship device 3 months after you buy their latest and greatest. I’m glad to see Samsung is adopting this approach and that HTC is looking to do so as well. My wife had the OG droid and I thought it was a real good phone at the time, a nice alternative to Apple. But less than a year after the launch, they started flooding the market with so many devices, that it was impossible to figure out what their true flagship device was. I think it’s critical that OEMs make it clear to their customers what their top end phones are, both in terms of marketing before launch and in their actions in the months following the launch – waiting 10-12 months before launching a better next gen version, ensuring that software updates and support are made regularly for 18-24 months post launch, etc. Without these actions, OEMs like Motorola will never achieve the brand awareness and customer loyalty needed to compete with and take market share away from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            I am agreeing with you, but keep in mind that apple do not give you choices one device same model and not enough new features. Motorola needs to make 3 devices per year and stop giving Verizon preferences.

    • Mapekz

      To be fair, they did streamline a lot of their offerings over the last year and now that Google is going to be more involved we might see better stuff from them in the future.

      In terms of AOSP-friendly software, for instance, one commenter pointed out on AndroidPolice that the RAZR HD/MAXX HD had a customized nav bar a la Xyboard style back and home buttons but the RAZR M in the same review had traditional ICS nav bar buttons: the RAZR HD and MAXX HD were running ICS but the RAZR M was running Jelly Bean. This implies that Motorola may be further stripping down the MotoBlur in future Android releases going forward so we can have more unadulterated software to allow for the true Google experience.

      Motorola still has a ways to go but I will easily give them until October 2013 to demonstrate their new direction. If they still mess up I will only make an exception for any Nexus devices they release and only because Nexus devices are technically Google devices simply manufactured by an OEM.

      • Jordan Webb

        This is where I’m at. This press conference (specifically, the M) boosted my confidence in Moto by a significant chunk. Come September of next year, they have a chance to snag my contract.

    • michael arazan

      The $99 version is going to sell like hot cakes for kids and students, and people who don’t want to buy expensive smart phones now. The economy is still in the dumper you know. I think it is a step forward in the right direction. But verizon is the problem, their the ones with exclusivity with Moto phones, and an expensive data market now too.

      • Stew

        They don’t have exclusivity on Moto phones. In fact, Sprint and AT&T have their own Moto flagships in their Photon and Atrix lines.

  • SnoDrtRider

    I don’t get everyone’s gripe with Motorola… you buy a phone with a locked bootloader knowing full well it is locked and you expect Moto to do something about it even though you bought it at a subsidized price from a third party vendor (Verizion, ATT, Etc).
    How can anyone with any logic in their thinking hold Moto responsible?

    I have had nothing but great service from Moto with anything I had to deal with them directly on as far as warranty goes. Just last night I reported a problem with the “Sliver” BT earpiece I purchased and I was told they were shipping a replacement and to “Just return the defective unit withing 30 days”
    On a whole my Motorola products going back to analog flip phones have outlasted and performed better than any other phones I have ever mistakenly owned.

  • Trust Me I’m a Lawyer

    I would not say that this press conference gave me much sense of direction of the “New Moto,” but I was encouraged to hear some of the right things coming out of Dennis’s mouth. Unfortunately, for me these phones very much seem to be to work of the old Motorola. Hardware that represents a very polished “me too” rather than an industry leading breakthrough.

    Motorola has to seriously look at where its releases are falling in the update cycles of the other manufacturers. What we have seen in 2011 and 2012 is that Motorola is content to launch phones with comparable hardware, months after the competition. Once the RAZR HD is released Moto will have a phone that in terms of specs basically equals the GSIII, but definitely does not surpass it in a meaningful way. This phone releases after conceding a four to six month sales lead to its competition.

    We won’t see the true work of the new Motorola until the next major upgrade in 2013. If Motorola is coming to become an industry leader it will either have to turn out a significantly upgraded device next year early in Q2, or really up its game and try to leap-frog the competition’s technology in the Q3-4.

    Motorola needs to seriously consider the one phone for all carriers approach that Samsung has taken with its flagship devices and satisfy the demand for carrier exclusives from lesser devices such as the RAZR M. While such a decision would involve it surrendering the value that it has built in Verizon’s Droid marketing, the RAZR brand used to be globally recognized on its own and could be used as a successful multi-carrier brand of its own.

    • Mike

      The droid brand and marketing sucks. It was good for the original Droid back in 2009 but its been an epic fail since then

    • Larizard

      +1 to the all carriers comment. They need to stop sleeping with Verizon and start giving other carriers some love. And I’m sure Google knows that: with the circus that was the Galaxy Nexus release, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more Motorola phones heading to ATT, Sprint, and T-Mo.

      • AnGeLFaCe777

        Plus 5 for your comment!

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      Everything that you said is true. I do believe that the gs3 will be inferior than droid razr hd and maxxx in terms of better build quality, the display, better design and of course better speakers and radios. I will give Sammy the edge over Motorola with their ram and lens and sensors.

  • ezpotato

    it is about more than just specs. i sold my gs3 based on build quality, and annoying signal (minor, but annoying) issues. 2gb of ram didnt really effect me , my rezound on ICS WITH sense runs quicker wiht the stock launcher, vs the galaxy. screen? I will take the ATrix HD screen (which is gonna be on the razr HD) over the GS3 any day. I really like my rezound though, but i also like less than 4.5″ cause of these small hands :(

    Neither of these phones warrants me using my cash to pay outright (keep unlimited) until they drop to about 300$ on cl, mainly because there’s so much on the horizon. but if i was to give up my rezound in the next 2-3 months, the RAZR HD Maxx is what i would go for over the GS3 and a 5″ htc phone. Instead, I will play the Android game, and “wait for whats’ around the corner”, as there always is something coming.

    • Dain Laguna

      Not trying to flame, but i have a hard time believing that your rezound was smoother than an s3 given extensive hands on, side by sides comparisons of the two. Even with ics, the rezound is just meh.

      • ezpotato

        not really flaming. besides the apps panel, the Rezound loads up the screens faster, exits out of apps quicker, and doesnt have that horrid button samsung put on the GS3. Dont get me wrong, the S3 has it’s strengths, but besides specs on paper, the only other thing i give it credit for is a simultaneous launch in the US, and android empowerment. the task killing is choppy, launchers work like crap on it, esp nova, which is odd. User experience wise, i still have to have a samsung phone that has kept me to samsung.

        • KleenDroid

          The size issue for you aside, you must not have realized that the choppiness and speed issues you spoke of are easily resolved.

          But if you are happy with the Rezound that is all that matters at the moment. But in the future if you have a phone and it seems to be laggy and all that stuff and you like the phone otherwise come on the boards and ask for some help.

          For reasons like this is why many want phones that can be unlocked which the SIII now can. I’ve had many phones that were good and was able to make them great.

  • Moto+Google

    I honestly think we should wait until they announce their next big phone, likely in 2013. Even the Intel phone is going to from Sanjay’s era and might only be available in Europe anyway. I am really excited about next year. They hired Regina Dugan and she will basically be running an innovation center at Moto. There are other hand-picked execs like you said and so it seems as though the talent is there. 2013 will be the resurgence of Motorola, for their sake and ours.

  • Guest

    Note how there is no RAZR MAXX HD Developer Edition.

  • http://twitter.com/wade_county John P

    I don’t get the hating on Motorola. It has a S4 just like all US flagship devices, a lightly skinned version of Android, bigger battery (regular Razr), the RAZR M is essentially Motorolas One S. People need to relax already. Hell, no skinned Jelly Bean device havesbeen released ( just the Note 2 & Galaxy Camera which were “announced”)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I’m totally with you, just not understanding why Motorola is waiting until November or December to release the Razr HD. There are phones equally as good that are out already, and will have been for 6 months by the time this phone launches. Also by that time, there will be better phones.

      Moto just needs to kick it into gear already.

      • ManBearPig618

        I get why a 2012-2013 flagship (i.e. the GS3) runs the S4, but this phone won’t even be in consumer hands until December. It’s the 2013 flagship for Moto, yet it’s going to run off the same chip the GS3 will have been running on for half a year.

        • MicroNix

          Can we say, Bionic? Rinse and repeat.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            The Bionic is a solid phone. It was not replaced by the RAZR, it was the equivalent of the RAZR M, a solid mid-range device that they were greatly mistaken to have marketed (however shortly) as a flagship.

          • MicroNix

            You took my comment wrong. The Bionic when announced at CES was a top dog contender at that time. By the time it was released, the thunder of the best of the best was stolen by phones already out from other manufacturers with equal or better specs. If we’re talking today’s specs for a 2013 phone, once again, it will be underwhelming when it arrives and not the “killer phone” we all hope is around the corner.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            Let’s hope they do not make the same mistakes.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            They hyped the bionic so much in here and they were let down because it did not come out when they wanted.

        • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

          This is the 2012 flagship. I fully expect them to do as Kellex suggests and leapfrog the S4 Pro/Early 2013 devices with some super uber device next fall. If they take their time and support these current phones well, they will gain a lot of goodwill. Then all they need to do is put out a solid, one-up flagship at the end of next year on ALL carriers, and they will be well on their way back to the top.

          • ManBearPig618

            This isn’t the 2012 flagship though. It’s not even going to be in consumer hands until December 2012. This is the phone they want in people’s hands throughout 2013.

          • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

            Motorola is on a different release schedule than HTC or Samsung. With the Razr, they moved from a Q2 to Q4 release. That makes the Razr HD their flagship device for 2012/2013. The problem is that the Razr HD specs are in-line with their competitors, rather than 6 months ahead. Hence my assertion that they will shoot straight past the specs on the next HTC/Samsung devices and completely outclass them in 2013 if they want a shot at their former glory. They will need to force their competitors to look like they are playing catch-up, rather than the other way around.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            You have a good point. They need to win the trust of some of you again. Motorola need to make their devices with the edge to edge display and less wider. I can imagine a 4.7 hd display edge to edge and wide like the droid x ;-)

        • AnGeLFaCe777

          You are 100% correct. What Motorola are thinking?

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      They will cry over and over when it comes to Motorola. That’s nothing new in here. I can’t take my eyes of the droid razr m. Motorola why you did not put the hd display in it? :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Royer/100000358962998 Travis Royer

    They seems cool, but it’s still Moto. Still burned after my Bionic fiasco. Rezound is keeping me very happy still

    • Dwayne

      No, it is not the same old Moto though. This is same name but new ownership and leadership. Glad you like your Rezound though. I’m very happy with my Maxx.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000319419715 Nevelo BegFor MercyStone

    I tryed to love moto I did but samsung finally won me over with the S3, now awaiting the rumored sony nexus device.

  • cancerous_it

    Motor as built much bad will with their ex-customers. My family had 3 moto phones but the lies and shitastic support made me promise never to buy another moto phone. I loved the hardware and radio but those weren’t even remotely enough to keeping me as a customer. Moto has much to do to earn my money. I just don’t see it happening.

    • Dwayne

      Even though they have all new ownership and leadership. That’s so open-minded of ya.

    • thajack

      I have to agree. The new ownership and leadership doesn’t do anything for me at this point. They’re still locking/encrypting the bootloaders, they’re still loading them with nonBlur, they’re still not loading them with even a current version of Android (even with Blur).

      We’re talking about a phone effectively made by Google, coming out in a few months, still without Jelly Bean. Ridiculous.

      • Mark

        The phone was already in the works when google bought moto. So the phone wasn’t “effectively” made by google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markaaron.collado Mark Aaron Collado

    i will hold on to my droid bionic till the day they have a top of the line phone at a decent price with the latest android ios ! ! ! ^_^ lets go moto step your game up

    • Dwayne

      “latest android ios”…’uhm..’er.. right. Surely that was a typo. :)

  • carlisimo

    The RAZR M is good news for those of us who prefer mid-sized phones. It’s not perfect – I want to see someone sell a full-priced 4″ – 4.3″ phone with a great screen – but it makes us feel like we haven’t been forgotten. It’s not a low-end phone by any means.

    (I’d say the HTC One S is pretty good too. Unfortunately, both of these phones are each available on just one carrier.)

    • Matthew Merrick

      Check out the Acer CloudMobile ;) pretty much, take the One S and give it a retina display

    • AnGeLFaCe777

      I am agreeing with you. The one s is a great device too similar to the m.

  • Trevor

    It’s been said many a time, but I’d be ecstatic to own a Moto Nexus made with VZW in mind.

    • omgitzjose

      Hopefully someone at googorola is listening

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Williams/579249547 Jonathan Williams

        Da Googs….

      • Trevor

        Let’s hope

      • CampyGuy

        Moto’s smartphone build quality has been great lately…

        It’s time someone slapped Googorola upside the head with one of their RAZRs to get them to pay attention to what we want!

        • AnGeLFaCe777

          I do agree, we should have the most beastie device in the world. Google needs to give a few slaps to some of Motorola’s employees.

      • AnGeLFaCe777

        Stop the troll!

    • Alexander Garcia

      Yes! This! A million times THIS! =)

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      I actually am too. I will miss my AMOLED screen on the Gnex, but I’m excited to see a Moto Nexus.

      • Butters619

        First, the Razr HD uses a Super AMOLED display.

        Second, the display on the G-Nex wasn’t exactly “write home about it” good.

        • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

          First, that’s good to know, and awesome.

          Second, yes it is. Yes, it’s pentile, but the deep blacks are so worth it. Also, yes there are better displays now. But you must remember, the Nexus was one of the first phones with a high dpi screen.

          • AnGeLFaCe777

            The rezound came out on the same time, the display on the rezound made the nexus display look bad.

    • Riz Virani

      Motorola phones are so good, build wise. I drop mine everywhere, and not even a scratch. If Googorola can keep that up, and allow for more than just Verizon phones, I’d be in.

    • bj

      Me too. Although I’d have to think long and hard about ever buying another Nexus on Verizon again.

      • Trevor

        I used to think that too, but with how easy it has been to unlock, root and ROM the GNex, I wouldn’t mind dealing with Verizon’s worthless update schedule.