Dave Courbanou

October 19, 2011

2 Min Read
Motorola Announces Droid RAZR, Without Ice Cream Sandwich

Do you remember back when you paid almost $300 for that once-sexy, uber-popular silver or black flip phone? It was called the Motorola RAZR, and like all the other cool kids on the block, I had one. Now Motorola is stirring up those old RAZR feelings for the Droid RAZR. But will this version make the cut?

In 2004, three years before the iPhone arrived, the Motorola RAZR took the world by storm, mainly because it was stylish and thin. It wasn’t a smartphone — it wasn’t even running any sophisticated software — but in 2004, you either had the latest feature phone or a BlackBerry.

Jump forward nearly seven years and the RAZR is back, this time as the Motorola Droid RAZR, designed to also be super-thin and stylish while providing an ultimate Android experience. By ultimate, Motorola means a 4.3- inch super AMOLED screen, 7.1 mm at its thinnest (but at its thickest, still bigger than the iPhone), a dual core 1.2 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM with 32GB of media app space and a whole bunch of interesting extras including a Kevlar back, Gorilla glass front and a special water-resistant coating applied to the external and internal components. Motorola has also made strides to reach the IT enterprise market with built-in remote wipe, encryption and Quickoffice.

It’s a nice package, and for U.S. customers the Droid RAZR will hit the market on Verizon’s LTE 4G network for $299. There’s no official launch date yet, but Verizon has said early November. And that’s exactly what’s troubling me: The Droid RAZR will be running Android 2.3.5, which is not Ice Cream Sandwich. It will be interesting to see how upgradable the RAZR is once it’s made available to consumers. More importantly, will Verizon or Motorola make ICS available for the device when Google has launched it? To me, this seems key to the success of the device, because as good as the Droid RAZR looks good on paper, it won’t stack up to phones launching with ICS. You’ll essentially be buying yesterday’s hardware running yesteryear’s OS.

This is doubly strange because, keep in mind, Google owns Motorola Mobility. If there’s no ICS support, it could very well mean Google has taken a hands-off approach to Motorola Mobility. But I’m inclined to believe, like the Xoom 2 tablet, these devices are the last products on a roadmap that ends with Google eventually taking the reigns. I’ll keep tabs on the Droid RAZR, but I have a feeling that, like other Android phones in the past, it will come and go.

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