Yesterday was a big day for Android fans, especially for Verizon users. Not only was the long-awaited Galaxy Nexus – which will almost certainly be headed to Big Red, along with other carriers – announced, another flagship Android phone was made official, too. The DROID RAZR, an Android smartphone with undeniable ties to one of the most popular phones to ever grace the planet, is also slated to land at Verizon's doorstep in the coming weeks.
While having a choice is a good thing, it doesn't always make things easy. Both of these phones will be available in November with some serious specs in tow. The RAZR will be available for $299.99 with a two-year contract, and since we still don't officially know which carriers it will end up on, the price is still unkown.
Until I watched the event yesterday, I really had no interest in the DROID RAZR at all. Sure, I was glad they were bringing the name back, but Motorola has failed to impress me as of late. After the event and seeing the phone in action, however, my decision in which phone I will buy next became a bit more tricky. I thought I knew, without a doubt, what my next phone would be, but now I'm on the fence.
First up is the DROID RAZR. It sports a 4.3-inch qHD (960 by 540 pixels) Super AMOLED Advanced display, 1.2GHz TI OMAP dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage, expandable memory slot with 16GB pre-installed, 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p recording at 30fps, LTE and a 1,780 mAh battery. All of this comes packaged neatly in a remarkably thin (7.1mm) and lightweight (127 grams) chassis, with a stainless steel core, coated with woven Kevlar fiber on the back and spun aluminum accents. While the RAZR definitely carries one serious spec sheet, the highlight of this device is design and durability – though it will ultimately be a love-or-hate phone. Simply packing an LTE radio into a 7.1mm thick body is a feat in itself.
Then there's the Galaxy Nexus, which will ship with a contoured 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display at 1280 by 720 pixel resolution, a 1.2GHz TI OMAP dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16 or 32GB built-in storage, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p recording, LTE connectivity and a 1,750 mAh battery. The Galaxy Nexus is both thicker and heavier than the RAZR at 8.84mm and 135 grams. The body, which was originally believed to be a HTC-like metal body, is actually made of Hyperskin, a protective, soft-touch material.
In terms of specifications, these two devices are quite similar. The biggest differences are the display, in which the Nexus has the upper hand by quite a margin, and the fact that the Nexus ships with Ice Cream Sandwich versus the RAZR's Gingerbread (with Motorola Applications Platform atop). That said, Motorola has promised a fairly speedy update to ICS for the RAZR, though I would take that with a grain of salt. Other differences are the HDMI out on the RAZR and NFC on the Nexus.
There are also some caveats to each device worth noting: the RAZR has a non-removable battery and the Galaxy Nexus has no expandable memory slot. Also, I'm not exactly a fan on the on-screen buttons featured in Ice Cream Sandwich and the Nexus.
The more I think about it and list these things out, the more obvious my decision becomes. I promised myself I was going to quit buying non-Nexus phones and stick to stock Android devices that will ultimately receive lots of developer love. Not to mention that 720p display is enough to make a man weak at the knees.
Most of my doubt comes from the fact that I was honestly expecting more to be done with optics in the Nexus. Since Google put so much effort into ICS camera software, I figured Samsung would have upped the ante as well and used some sort of advanced lens. I am pretty disappointed in the camera samples from the Nexus that I've come across thus far (not that I think the RAZR's 8-megapixel shooter will be any better), but I will wait to get the device in my hands before I make any real assessments on the camera. And the lack of a microSD card slot kind of saddens me, even though I use cloud storage for almost everything.
That said, I will certainly have a hard time avoiding swiping my card on RAZR launch day. To me, most of the RAZR's appeal is the supposed durability. Gorilla Glass, Kevlar and a stainless steel chassis sounds like they would make for a pretty tough device, but I do have some doubt that it's really any stronger or more durable than any other phone out there.
I know some of you aren't a fan of Samsung hardware, and some of you weren't exactly fond of the new UI in Ice Cream Sandwich. So the Galaxy Nexus and RAZR announcements may have thrown you guys for a loop, too – likely for different reasons than mine. Tell me, pups. Is the Ice Cream Sandwich debut device on your wish list? Will it be the phone that's bringing back the popular RAZR name? Or do you have your sights set on something else? Cast your vote in our poll below!