Update: Likely in anticipation of the HTC One on Verizon, the Droid Razr M is now free year with two-contract.

If the M in the Motorola Droid Razr M stands for anything, it must be mobile. It's the lightest, thinnest phone in the refreshed lineup of Droid Razrs exclusive to Verizon Wireless. It's sleek and compact, but hasn't sacrificed anything in performance. It sports the same 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM found in its bigger siblings, the Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD. Instead, the phone is sized down in the screen, battery and storage departments to make for a compact and affordable little handset.

Really though, it's not that little. It's telling that this "light" model of the new Droid Razr trio packs a 4.3 inch (109.22 mm) screen. Surely the time of the sub 4-inch screen has passed, especially now that the iPhone 5 has hit 4 inches. The Droid Razr M has been designed to strike a balance. It's a phone with a screen big enough for gaming and enjoying videos, but thanks to a compact design, it won't feel like a brick in your pocket.

Droid Razr M review

Weighing in at 4.4 ounces (126 grams) and going for $99 with two-year Verizon contract, the Droid Razr M is easy on the pocket and the pocketbook. Just like the Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD, it runs Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich. Some might wonder why Google-owned Motorola couldn't get Android 4.1: Jelly Bean, the latest Android OS, to ship on its phone. While an update to Jelly Bean has been promised within the year, ICS is still very sweet, especially on this snappy little handset. In white, the two-tone look is reminiscent of the titular dessert.

Droid Razr M review

Design

When it was first unveiled, not everyone was in love with the Droid Razr M's two-tone design, sloped bezel and kevlar backing. In either black or white, it couldn't please everyone.

Droid Razr M review

At first we weren't sure what to make of the phone's unique aesthetic, but we grew to appreciate its striking look and sleek build. The slim bezel makes for minimal bordering around the 4.3-inch screen. Since the Droid Razr M uses only virtual Android buttons, the screen gets to take up the maximum amount of real estate possible on the phone's face.

Droid Razr M review

Update: Motorola has introduced a magenta version of the Droid Razr M.

The Droid Razr M's back has Motorola's signature kevlar backing pattern. The rear bezel slopes inward, providing a thinning, diagonal design that gives the impression of looking at an optical illusion.

It's a weird phone to behold, but not unpleasant to the eye, at least in our opinion. However, we doubt anyone would argue that it doesn't feel great to hold.

At only only 4.4 ounces, the Droid Razr M might have found the perfect weight. It's light enough that you may forget it's in your pocket, but has just enough heft to achieve a premium feel. While the most desirable weight for a smartphone may be shrinking since the iPhone 5 is only 3.95 oz (112 g), we know some consumers prefer a phone with a little more weight to it.

Not unlike an iPhone, the Droid Razr M is constructed with aluminum that feels smooth and strong in the hand. Luckily, it doesn't seem as prone to scratches and scuffs as Apple's new phone. We kept the phone in our pocket among keys and coins while walking around town and haven't found any marks on the handset.

The phone's display is Gorilla Glass and thanks to that thin bezel, the screen is nearly edge to edge. Adding to the sleek design is the fact that the Droid Razr M only has physical buttons on its side. On the right side of the handset there's a volume rocker and power button. On the left there's a hidden panel that pops open, allowing you easy access to the SIM card and microSD slot.

Droid Razr M review

This pop-up panel is a nice touch, though it felt flimsy, like it could be ripped off if we weren't careful. Also, we wish the phone's battery was this accessible. The Droid Razr M features a non-removable battery, sadly.

With a 4.82 inches (122.5 millimeter) body and a 4.3 inch (109.22 millimeter) screen, the Droid Razr M is a great size for one-handed use. It's bigger brothers the Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD broke the 5-inch mark, giving them a nice screen size for media consumption, but the potential to be awkward in the hand. The Razr M avoids this, keeping a body size that remains highly functional but not bad for movies and games.