We’ve scraped beneath the surface of Motorola’s new smartphone to find out how the RAZR stacks up against the iPhone 4S. Read our first impressions below.
Motorola RAZR vs iPhone 4S – Build
Don't let the RAZR's sliver-like form fool you. Yes, it's just 7.1mm thick but Moto's latest smartphone should hold it's own against the sturdy iPhone 4S in drop tests. The RAZR's back is made from Kevlar plus there's Gorilla Glass over the screen and even a special coating, called Splash Guard, to protect the RAZR's precious insides.
As for design, the iPhone 4S has kept the iPhone 4's slick but solid build with one home button. The RAZR has instead gone for super-slim with a bump up top with four capacitive Android buttons below the screen. Which handset you prefer will depend on whether you like a bit more room in your pocket or you're willing to sacrifice space for the iPhone's minimalist looks.
Motorola RAZR vs iPhone 4S – Screen
Until we check out the RAZR's qHD and Super AMOLED display, we can't comment on the screen quality – but we're excited about how it will square up to the iPhone 4S's Retina Display. Expect vivid colours and stunning 960x540 resolution.
As for size, Motorola wins hands-down – the RAZR packs a 4.3in screen, taking up most of its front side whereas we didn't get the increase in size that we were hoping for from Apple – so we're stuck with 3.5in movies and music videos.
Motorola RAZR vs iPhone 4S – Power and performance
The RAZR's 1.2GHz dual-core processor and the iPhone 4S' dual-core A5 chip shoot them both straight to the top of the class in terms of performance – both phones should let you browse, run apps and play games without any lag or irritating crashes.
Motorola has packed 1GB of RAM into the RAZR versus 512MB for the iPhone 4S and while the iPhone 4S is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, the RAZR has 16GB of storage and will play nice with a 16GB micro-SD card.
The RAZR edges ahead of the iPhone 4S in terms of battery life – its 1780mAh battery lets you spout nonsense for 12.5 hours of talktime and lasts for almost 9 hours of video playback. The iPhone 4S does improve on its predecessor – it can now last 8 hours of talktime on 3G and 14 hours on 2G.
Motorola RAZR vs iPhone 4S – OS and apps
Apps-wise, developers still tend to start with an iOS app or game before moving onto Android but both the App Store and the Android Market now offer more choice than you'll ever need, with new additions flying at us daily.
As for OS, we were satisfied enough with a Gingerbread-toting Motorola RAZR but now we've learned that RAZR owners will be enjoying some Ice Cream Sandwich action come early 2012 we're torn between the two big mobile operating systems.
iOS 5 brought some slick, useful features to the iPhone – like iMessage, a pull-down notifications bar, smooth Twitter integration, Newsstand and on the iPhone 4S, the voice-activated assistant Siri.
With Android's just-announced Ice Cream Sandwich, we're getting excited about features like resizeable and scrollable widgets, folders for your apps, new photo editing functions, a revamped contacts book and up to 16 tabs for web browsing. Watch this space for an Android 4.0 hands-on.
Motorola RAZR vs iPhone 4S – Camera
Another close call, both the RAZR and the iPhone 4S sport a 8MP rear camera and both have made the leap to shooting 1080p HD video. And while Ice Cream Sandwich does have a new photo editor, with live effects, panoramic mode and instant Google+ upload, there are so many photo editing and effects apps for both iOS and Android that either could easily replace your ageing compact.
VERDICT Our hands-on time with the RAZR (minus Ice Cream Sandwich, for now) will give us more of an idea of how much we want one but already Motorola has unleashed an impressive spec sheet on us. It matches the iPhone 4S on performance, camera and build and edges ahead with its superior battery life and bigger screen. So if your feet are firmly planted on Android's soil, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus isn't your only top-end option this year.