When it came time to get an upgrade on my Verizon 4G phone (I've been using the HTC Thuderbolt 4G for a year and a half), I read a lot of reviews.
After considering a lot of the options (Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Droid Razr M, Razr Maxx HD, Razr HD), I opted for the Razr HD. Here are my first impressions:
After unpacking I discovered that, unlike what I was told by a recent customer service call, the SIM cards are different sizes. So, the simple swapping out the SIM to quickly and simply activate wasn't happening. However, after making one call to activate the phone, it was done. Nice.
Reloading Apps to New Device
Of course one of the biggest hassles when you get a new phone is reloading all of your apps. With my Thunderbolt, I had to either go online and send them all to my phone from the GooglePlay store or do the same directly from my handset. With the Motorola Razr HD it just happened. At some point while activating and setting up my phone and accounts, I recall being asked if I wanted to get my apps from Google. Sure.
I then went about the setup and when I went to start downloading my apps I discovered they were already there. Yay! I experienced this with my original Droid and loved that Motorola continues to make it this easy. If you cannot do this with your phone upgrade, click here for instructions on alternate methods of updating your apps on your new device.
Aside from having to start the Stupid Zombies game app from the beginning again (re-live the fun), all of my apps transferred without a hitch. And setting them up for my convenience was a breeze.
Many of the reviews I read indicated that the 8 megapixel camera on the Razr HD is subpar. Well, if that's the case then the Thunderbolt must have really sucked. I just took a couple of moderate light photos and they looked decent. And who cares, really. I have PhotoShop.
The camera also has a panoramic option which works very well and a time lapse option, which may make it so that I no longer need the Lapse It app.
Although I primarily use the Dolpin browser, the Razr comes with Google Chrome pre-loaded. At first glance it seems fast and efficient, with easy to navigate windows and it even has the Incognito browser window so you don't have to worry when you visit those sites that you pretend you never visit but you really do. A lot. :)
When I went to the Uverse app to check out an episode of Homeland, it indicated that the video may not be watchable in high definition. So, I just said, forget that and lowered the resolution. It still looked great. I'll look into whether it works in high def later and let you know. But, all in all, the 4.7 HD screen (with an HD slot to connect to my TV or monitor) is very cool indeed.
Note: after the latest upgrade, I can no longer stream using the Uverse app, but it does still allow you to download and view some of the shows. They need to get this fixed. In the meantime, I'm using Showtime Anytime and HBO Go for my premium channel series fixes.
One really great improvement over the Thunderbolt is the video chat. I tested both Skype and Tango with decent results. On the Thunderbolt (perhaps it was just on mine) there was a very annoying alien sounding distortion noise in the audio on both Skype and Tango. On the Razr, no such issues.
The Tango app loaded and launched much quicker than Skype. However, Skype had the advantage of being able to use my bluetooth (Plantronics M50) for the audio.
The Motorla Razr HD is pretty much the same phone as the the Razr Maxx HD, but with a slightly smaller battery capacity (2530 mAh as opposed to 3300 mAh). In either case, most reviews indicate that I will be astonished. Especially when compared to the battery inadequacy of the HTC Thunderbolt. I tested it for two days. The first day in 4G all day, the second day in 3G.
Day One Battery Log:
I started the day with a full charge at 5:10 a.m. My usage was moderate to heavy with many application downloads, internet browsing, email and a little gaming. The phone was set to 4G for the entire day.
• After six and a half hours of pretty extensive use, the battery indicates 75% capacity. I have been downloading apps and surfing the web. No video.
• After eight hours, battery displays 69%.
• After 12 hours the battery indicated 59%
Day Two Battery Log:
I downloaded the LTE OnOff app from GooglePlay and switched to 3G for the second day test.
• After more than five hours, the battery is still at 98% capacity. Amazing.
• After eight hours the battery is still at 80%. I think this test is done.
I think it's pretty clear that if you want long battery life, just switch off 4G. I only switch on 4G if I am going to watch video or download something. Otherwise, your battery life is gobbled up as your Smartphone continually searches for 4G towers.
Note: By the time I am finally submitting this piece, a couple of weeks have passed. Since then, the battery life seems to have gotten better. It's very odd to go an entire day of normal usage and not worry about the battery.
Voice to Text
I had to add a section on the voice to text feature because it's truly amazing.
I do a lot of writing (articles, scripts, jokes) and have gotten into the habit over the past several years of dictating the content into the body of an email using voice to text, then editing later. The way it used to work is you would dictate, dictate, dictate, STOP. Then hit the microphone again and dictate, dictate, dictate, STOP. And that was a very useful tool. But, when I went to dictate for the first time with the Motorola Droid Razr HD, I started to dictate as usual, but my screen almost instantly showed me what I typed, and waited for me to dictate more. And then more. And then more. I didn't have to continually hit that microphone button. A nice feature and for someone who uses voice to text, a real time saver.
I've only had this phone less a couple of days as of this writing, but so far it's a great device. And I really didn't mean to bad mouth the Thunderbolt. It was a great phone and the issues that it did have were manageable. But, I'm not looking back.