With hands clasped firmly and raised upwards together, Google and Motorola announced the release of their upgraded family of DROID RAZR smartphones this afternoon September 05, 2012 at Gotham Hall in New York City. Speed, enhanced power management, and further use of the expanding Android mobile platform were the emphases in development for their upgraded line. The three phones included in the new DROID RAZR family are the DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR HD MAXX, and the DROID RAZR M. The RAZR M will be available for pre-order starting today (9/5/12) at 5pm for $99.The announcement event began with a performance from New York City based/Australian born indie-rock band The Kin. Lead singer Isaac Koren gently flailed his arms with rock star poses directing a room full of tech geeks who nervously sang along. Drummer Shakerleg, a name probably given based on the bulbous shaker constructed of light bulbs on his left ankle, stole the show by slamming the tops of his knuckles fiercely against the undersides of his cymbals. The Kin admitted their wireless chin-strap microphones were “the closest we’ve come to a boy-band,” but when The Kin walked through the audience, they sure smelled much more like a boy band than a band of boys. Except for Shakerleg, he wuz dirty.
Following the performance, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt thanked the band and hinted towards the day’s big announcement. Schmidt highlighted the growth in popularity of the Android OS with some statistics. There are approximately 480 million Android users and 1.3 million Android activations daily. Schmidt was especially proud of their current 52% market share in the smartphone market. Despite their lead, Google wants to remain competitive in the mobile market and hold their position. This is where their alliance with Motorola comes in.
In August of 2011, Google announced a $13 billion buyout of Motorola creating the Motorola Mobility division of the company. Led by Dennis Woodside who has been at the helm of this division for only 90 days after nine years of moving up within Google, Woodside proclaimed, “The new Motorola starts today!”
Guiding principles in the product development department for Google’s Motorola division started with Motorola’s rich history of technological innovation that include such milestones as Neil Armstrong’s famous “giant leap” transmission sent from the Moon to Planet Earth via a Motorola transceiver and the invention of the very first private handheld mobile phone by Dr. Martin Cooper, who was in attendance at the event. Unfortunately, Neil Armstrong could not be there.Outside of their deep technological heritage, Woodside emphasized the premises of speed, power management, and the Android operating system. In regards to speed, all of the new DROID RAZR phones will run on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, which currently has 30 million subscribers and covers 75% of the United States. Due to the increased speed of the 4G LTE network, users transfer more memory daily. On the 4G network, the regular user transfers 89MB a day versus the 8 MB for a 3G network user. As a result of the increase in data transfer, more battery life per phone is expended. Thus, power management was the second key goal in product development. Finally, the new DROID RAZR phones will be offered in developer editions to enable modifications of the phone through open-source code. DROID RAZR phones will also be Jelly Bean compatible and offer continuous upgrades throughout their lifetime.
Rick Osterloh, Senior VP of Product Management for Motorola Mobility, approached the stage to introduce the “fastest devices we’ve ever made”: the all new Motorola DROID RAZR Family. Although the RAZR line was launched last year with the DROID by Motorola, the Google/Motorola team wanted to improve with new phones DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR MAXX HD, and the DROID RAZR M.
The DROID RAZR HD is a touch screen phone that has a 4.7″ Super AMOLED HD display screen stretched to the corners of the phone. Osterloh boasted that it has 85% more color saturation than the iPhone 4S. The RAZR HD runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and includes the Google Chrome browser pre-installed. Outputs featured include 3.5mm, USB 2.0, and HDMI. Camera included shoots at 8 Megapixels, 1.3 MP for video and a 8x digital zoom with auto focus and LED flash. Also, this phone plays FLAC files and displays video at 1080p! There are 12GB available as internal memory, but this is expandable using a microSD card. Battery life is measured at 2530 mAh or up to 16 hours of talk time/7 hours of YouTube streaming/20 hours of music streaming. Specs for mixed usage time equal out to 24 hours.
For users who like to push their battery life to the limit, Google and Motorola are offering the DROID RAZR MAXX HD. The 3300mAh of battery power offers up to 32 hours of mixed usage lifetime. Also, the MAXX HD includes up to 26GB of built-in memory. Otherwise, the MAXX HD offers similar features and specs to the RAZR HD.
The final product announcement of the day included a smaller version of the RAZR HD dubbed the DROID RAZR M, featuring a 4.3″ display screen spanning from edge-to-edge. The RAZR M is a total of 7mm smaller on its X-Axis and 9.4mm smaller on the Y-axis creating a phone that Motorola Mobility hopes will slide easily into your pocket and hand. The RAZR M features the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM but includes less internal memory at 4.5GB.
For protection, all of the phones feature Corning Glass display, DuPont KEVLAR fiber, and water-repellent nanocoating.
The DROID RAZR M will be available in Verizon stores starting Friday, September 07 for $99. Both the DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD are planned to be released before the holidays.