It might be Ice Cream Sandwich day, but Motorola didn’t let that stop it from rolling out a slew of announcements and a much anticipated phone. The Droid RAZR brings back an iconic brand, and does so with style. Motorola also talked about accessories, the cloud, and Verizon even had a presence to talk about 4G LTE.
Let’s go over the important details point by point and get all caught up.
The Droid RAZR is Thin and Fast
We could tell from the leaked images that this was going to be a slim device, but wow. The Droid RAZR is just 7.1mm thick, which is thinner than the iPhone and all other current Android devices. And it’s not like there's nothing in there; the Droid RAZR packs some serious heat.
Motorola’s new phone runs atop a dual-core TI OMAP4430 up-clocked to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 16GB ROM, and it has a new 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) Super AMOLED. The panel, being branded as Super AMOLED means that it’s a Samsung component, and we’ve always liked their AMOLED screens.
The Droid RAZR has a kevlar back and is water resistant, which is really unusual for a high-end device. Motorola claims over 12 hours of talk time with the new RAZR, and that’s a good thing. According to early reports, the battery is non-removable.
The device is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Blur enhancements, but how is it going to fare against Ice Cream Sandwich? We’ll find out next month. The Droid RAZR will go for $299 on contract. We hope you didn’t buy a Droid Bionic.
MotoCast is Motorola's Personal Cloud
According to Motorola chief Sanjay Jha, only about 15% of people store content in the cloud, and they want to change that. MotoCast is a personal cloud storage account that lets users of the Droid RAZR to upload files to the web for secure storage.
To use MotoCast, the RAZR has to be plugged into a PC, and used to create an account. Content can then be chosen and shared to the device. Jha demonstrated the service by streaming some tunes and images. It was not clear if the service would be coming to other Motorola smartphones, but we don’t see any reason why not.
MOTOACTV is More Than a Watch
If you are an Android user, and the active type, Motorola has a new device that you’re going to be lusting after. The MOTOACTV is a wrist watch size device that is essentially a very small android system. It runs on a 600MHz SoC and only weighs 35g. The ACTV is designed to track your performance while running, walking, and biking. There is also GPS assist to track routes. The data collected will be automatically uploaded to the new ACTV website when you hit a Wi-Fi network.
The ACTV can even tie in with a Motorola Bluetooth headset to track heart rate, as well as take calls with the assistance of a phone. Additional device tie-ins are possible with an upcoming MOTOACTV app in the Market, and it’s not just for Motorola phones. The price is a major sticking point, though. The 8GB version will sell for $249, and the 16GB will be $299.
If you’re willing to shell out that kind of cash, The MOTOACTV will be available on November 6 at various retailers.
More Accessories You Probably Won't Buy
Motorola is really banking on the Droid RAZR judging from the huge number of accessories that were announced. There are two laptop docks; a 10.1-inch and a 14-inch. Both of these appear to be specific to the RAZR hardware, which slots into the back of the shell. No idea if the Webtop is any less terrible to use.
To alleviate some of the stress caused by that non-removable battery, there is a portable Moto power pack, and a travel charger. Docks come in a few flavors for this device. There is a car dock, Webtop enabled dock, and a simple USB dock. As if all that wasn’t enough, there is also a Moto-branded keyboard.
Verizon’s 4G lead
Lastly, since the Droid RAZR is a 4G LTE phone, a Verizon rep was on hand to talk up Big Red’s network. Verizon reports that its LTE network will be in 178 market by the end of the year, and that full nationwide coverage is expected by the end of 2013.
It really puts the competition’s efforts in perspective. AT&T is just starting the 4G rollout. T-Mobile has no plan other than to be acquired. Then there’s Sprint, which is switching from WiMAX to LTE in the middle of next year.
Those are the salient points from Moto’s event. The RAZR looks like a solid phone, but it’s already on old software before it even hits the market. It’s going to be a tough sale in that respect. Though, all those cloud services could be a draw. The accessories, not so much. As for the ACTV, there’s something undeniably fun and quirky about this product, but the price is a bit high.