The Droid Razr HD is a stylish and capable piece of hardware. It looks great in black or white, and feels nice thanks to its Kevlar backing and edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass. We have only the slightest reservations about it, simply because smartphones have become so very competitive at this price point.

We liked

First off, the design. The Droid Razr HD is much better looking than its predecessors, the Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx. That edge-to-edge screen gives it a bold, simple face and capitalizes on the sizeable real estate of the device. It's also pretty thin for a device with a 4.7-inch screen and a big battery.

The 1.5GHz dual-core proves that not every phone needs four cores to be a premium device. The Razr HD doesn't perform as well as the quad-core packing Galaxy S3, Optimus G or HTC One X+, but it's perfectly capable of running Android 4.0: Ice Cream and a flurry of apps. It takes hefty multitasking to bring about minor stuttering.

Droid Razr HD review

The version of the OS it runs is close to vanilla, but the few tweaks Motorola has implemented are actually quite nice. The Quick Settings menu and Circles widgets were two of our favorites.

Being exclusive to Verizon's 4G LTE network doesn't hurt these new Droid Razrs either. While Verizon's service is by no means cheap, it was blazing fast and reliable. While using the phone in the San Francisco Bay Area, we rarely ended up with less than four bars or on 3G service.

The battery is great too. Motorola's claims of 7 hours of YouTube streaming, and 6 hours of 4G LTE came through, thanks to a big 2530 mAh battery and energy sipping dual-core processor.

Finally, we liked the Droid Razr HD's big, sharp screen. The high contrast colors are eye catching, and the extra visual real estate is great for gaming and watching videos.

We disliked

At $199 with two-year Verizon contract, the Droid Razr HD isn't priced very competitively. Don't get us wrong, it's a great phone, but at that price it's in the running with three of the hottest contenders out there: the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X+. All it really offers over them is battery life, a clean UI and big high-contrast screen. It's a not an easy choice for consumers.

The camera is nothing special either. It takes pretty average to subpar pictures in anything but perfect outdoor light.

Droid Razr HD review

There's a decent amount of Verizon bloatware, and Verizon Backup Assistant crashed on us constantly. Consumers can surely do without it, as well as VZ Navigator, Verizon Tones, Verizon Video and NFL Mobile, all of which cannot be uninstalled.

It's also something of a middle child between the Droid Razr M and Droid Razr Maxx HD. Given its price and smaller, lower resolution screen, the Razr M is obviously a mid-range device. When choosing between the Droid Razr HD and Maxx HD, you've got an odd choice to make. Is it really worth an additional $100 for exorbitant battery life and double the storage, not to mention a heavier phone? We're not sure it is.

Verdict

The Droid Razr HD is a very good phone. The screen and overall design is very handsome. Its dual-core processor is capable, and it only sips battery power. It's a long lasting, reliable device that still has more than enough power to get the job done.

Being exclusive to Verizon is no handicap either, since the company's 4G LTE service is far-reaching and fast.

There's nothing wrong with the device, except for a mediocre camera. It's just that competition is so stiff. At this price you could have one of our other favorite phones, the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3.

The choice essentially comes down to personal preference. While we prefer the aluminum and Kevlar construction of the Droid Razr HD to the more plastic feeling construction of the Galaxy S3 and Optimus G, there is something to be said for quad-core power. And while many weren't crazy about what iOS 6 brought to the table (and took away. We're looking at you, Apple maps), it can't be denied that the iPhone 5 is one of the best phones out there.

Ultimately, it's a very fine phone, but struggles to stand out amongst the competition. Remember how we mentioned that Motorola pays George Lucas to use the name Droid? To put our verdict in Star Wars terms, the Droid Razr HD is far more of a helpful R2-D2 than fussy C-3PO, but it's not quite capable of assassinating the competition like IG-88.