Motorola Razr HD review

Motorola's flagship handset comes with underwhelming specs

Motorola Razr HD
4G-enabled, but without much else to write home about

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We didn't have hugely high hopes for the Motorola Razr HD. With a price tag of around £400 SIM-free it's competing with the Samsung Galaxy S3, Google Nexus 4 and other high-end phones, but it just didn't seem to have the specs to justify that sort of outlay.

It only has a dual-core processor when much of the competition are running quad cores, and 1GB of RAM where 2GB has become standard. This is especially strange since it's the company's highest end handset, making it for all intents and purposes its flagship phone, so you'd really think it would want to go all out.

But while the specs aren't desperately impressive it did impress us in other ways - the battery life is head and shoulders above most of the competition, call quality is great, it's got a premium build and its micro HDMI port gives it a selling point that not many other phones have.

We liked

The battery life is by far the most impressive thing about the Motorola Razr HD. It's almost become accepted (and acceptable) that a phone will need charging pretty much daily, but this handset bucks that trend. You're still not likely to get more than two or three days out of a single charge, but that's very impressive compared to a lot of phones.

Call quality seems great too. Your choice of network will of course have an impact, but it seemed to receive a stronger signal than many other phones, and even when the signal strength was low, quality didn't suffer as much as it could have.

A microSD slot is really welcome, as it allows you to expand the memory massively - and given that this is from a company owned by Google, which doesn't like local storage, it's a nice addition.

Then there's the micro HDMI port, which makes it easy to hook it up to a TV or monitor. You don't often think of phones as devices for home entertainment but a micro HDMI port goes some way to changing that perception, as well as coming in handy for hooking it up to TVs in hotel rooms when you're away - although a number of others use the microUSB port instead.

This obviously has the issue of meaning you can't charge the phone at the same time (unless you have a fancy cable) so two ports is always better than one.

We disliked

The core specs are its main downfall. They're not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they're also not really good enough to justify such a high price tag.

The video camera also isn't the best we've seen and the angular design of the phone can make it uncomfortable to hold - and the juddery action of use throughout can, at times, really grate on what could be a much better phone.

Final verdict

In the end we couldn't find all that much wrong with the Motorola Razr HD, while there was a lot that we were quite impressed with.

We've talked about it already but the battery life really is the biggest selling point of the phone, since it's mighty impressive. The call quality is good and having a micro HDMI port is nice.

The build of the phone is not only good but also a little more unique than most handsets, since the back is made of Kevlar. The speakers are impressively loud (if tinny) and having a microSD card slot is always appreciated, if not unusual.

But while we haven't found much to complain about, the specs are a pretty big deal. It just really does seem underpowered for what you're paying, and while the specs might not seem terrible now, the relative weakness of them is going to make it become a lot more dated a lot faster than most similarly priced phones.

That's not to say you shouldn't buy it - the battery life is reason enough to at least consider it and there's plenty more to like about it too, but the specs definitely hold it back.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.