Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
10/20/2011
02:50 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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Galaxy Nexus Vs. RAZR: Android Smackdown

Motorola and Samsung both debuted brand new LTE 4G Android superphones on Tuesday. Which is the better device?

It's always great to see two companies announce competing products with lots of flash on the same day. Tuesday saw some pretty serious news in the mobile landscape, with Motorola and Samsung slinging new smartphones on stages in New York City and Hong Kong, respectively.

Motorola kicked things off in New York with its (re)introduction of the RAZR. The Motorola Droid RAZR is, by all accounts, one of the more exciting smartphones to come from Motorola's labs in recent years.

The Droid RAZR brings back the name of Motorola's most successful line of phones and slaps it on an Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone. First, it is one of the slimmest smartphones ever, at an astonishing 7.1mm thick. It has a Kevlar (you know the stuff they make bullet-proof vests out of) battery cover and "Splashguard" nanotech coatings inside and out to protect against liquid damage. Gorilla Glass protects the front of the phone, which so far sounds like a spy's dream device.

The Droid RAZR also includes a 4.3-inch qHD display (540 x 960 pixels), is powered by a 1.2-GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, and boasts an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture. Oh, and somehow Motorola managed to stick a Long Term Evolution 4G radio in that for Verizon Wireless's network.

Other features worth mentioning: Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy; 16-GB on-board memory (16-GB microSD card included); remote wipe, pin lock, and government-grade encryption; and voice and video chat conferencing. In hits Verizon's shelves in several weeks for $299.99.

Sounds good, no?

Barely nine hours later, Samsung's execs took the stage in Hong Kong to announce the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Galaxy Nexus is the antithesis of the RAZR. Where the RAZR--even in name--is all angular and sharp, the Galaxy Nexus is about curved glass, smooth surfaces, and tight integration with the new system software from Google.

Rather than call out the hardware features of the device, Samsung and Google spent more time talking about the Android 4.0 heart of the device, which features things such as Face Unlock, Android Beam (for sharing contact details via NFC), and support for more complex voice actions.

On the spec side of the equation, the Galaxy Nexus includes a hefty set of capabilities. It includes a massive 4.65-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with 1280 x 720 pixels; dual-core 1.2-GHz processors; a 5-megapixel main camera with 1080p video capture and flash; and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera. It will include support for HSPA+ in world markets and support for Verizon's LTE 4G in the U.S. Samsung and Google said it will go on sale in the coming weeks.

Pitting the hardware head-to-head, the Motorola RAZR still comes out on top in my book, but this match-up isn't about the hardware. No, it's about the software.

By announcing the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0, Samsung and Google threw a fastball right past Motorola (and Google's actually trying to buy Motorola right now?). The appeal of the newer version of Android will push early adopters towards the Galaxy Nexus, especially if the phones are to be sold from the same carrier in the U.S.

Some Motorola representative, somewhere in a non-U.S. market, "confirmed" on Twitter that the RAZR would get Android 4.0 in January. But that has not yet been backed-up by Motorola in the U.S. Can the RAZR survive on Verizon's shelves that long next to the Galaxy Nexus? Probably, but it won't enjoy the holiday sales figures that it might have seen if it shipped with Android 4.0 rather than Android 2.3.

Google's Andy Rubin said that Google will make Android 4.0 available to some existing Android 2.3 Gingerbread handsets mere weeks after the Galaxy Nexus launches. Just how quickly the carriers and handset makers get around to distributing it to the dozens of devices is unknown.

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faber1978
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faber1978,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2011 | 2:45:42 PM
re: Galaxy Nexus Vs. RAZR: Android Smackdown
Writer left most important out;
Samsung: newest clean version android, unlocked bootloader, camera be good
Moto: notoriously slow software updates, blur sucks, locked bootloader
Hands down samsung wins easily.
crono
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crono,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2011 | 6:53:53 AM
re: Galaxy Nexus Vs. RAZR: Android Smackdown
I would like to see that book where RAZR beats Nexus on hardware.
Is RAZR bound to Motorola Blur rather than clean Android?
That is really the only question that matters, which was not even mentioned here.
Why is it that manufacturers infect their devices with this crap UI which makes people stay away from their devices, is beyond me.
Just offer your layer as a removable option, and see what it does to sales.
I will stay with clean Android, thank you very much.
yarnim
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yarnim,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2011 | 1:29:27 AM
re: Galaxy Nexus Vs. RAZR: Android Smackdown
This post is funny and not worth a second of anyones time. Stating nothing but listing their official spec sheet, and proves himself having no idea at all about these devices saying, "Razr comes out top in my book", uh...based on...ok..Your book? LOL like what kinda source is that I really want to know. Oh wait is it cuz the motos got a bluetooth 4? 8 mp cam? LOL
this nexus's 5mp will blow that 8mp out of the water any given day. its all about image processor. and bluetooth....pfff. is that really even worth mentioning? Please be more knowledgeable before posting something like this in a site called "INFORMATION WEEK"

plus, (and Google's actually trying to buy Motorola right now?) sigh...
asking readers whats already been done in a information week post. The acquisition is only pending to get approved from the gov. regulators, in other words, technically it is bought already.
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