It is a crowded Christmas market this year for mobile phones lovers. The iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus, Nokia Lumia 800. Every operating system and manufacturer seems to have a headline defining release in the fourth quarter of the year. In the US, rumours abound that telecoms operator Verizon will be launching Galaxy Nexus contracts and the Droid 4 on the same day, December 8th. Whether the new Droid does get a release users would still be able to satisfy themselves with the Droid RAZR, Motorola’s latest handset released this Autumn. So how do the two stack up?
Lining up the two seem a good match. Both have a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Both use Texas Instruments OMAP although while the RAZR is 4430, the Nexus is 4460. In terms of display, both are remarkably similar. The Nexus will potentially edge it slightly with its 4.65 inch curved glass, HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 but with a 4.3 inch a Super AMOLED display and 960 x 540 resolution no one can accuse the RAZR of lagging behind. Both have 1GB of RAM and both have 16GB of internal storage. The Nexus can be bought with 32GB but the RAZR comes with a 16GB micro SD card. The Nexus weighs in at 135g while the RAZR is 127g. It comes as no surprise, thanks to its heritage that, while the Nexus is 8.94mm thick, the RAZR is a mere 7.1mm.
In terms of camera the RAZR wins with the 8 megapixel compared with the Nexus 5 megapixel. The Nexus does come with zero shutter lag and the RAZR has been criticised for its lack of a shutter release. Other have claimed that although it is an 8 megapixel you can’t really tell, that pictures are not as sharp as you might hope, while one of the key descriptions of the Nexus camera is that it seems more powerful that it actually is. A tie, in that case. Both come with a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front for video calling and the like while both have video cameras at 1080p at 30fps.
In operating systems, the Nexus is the first phone to run Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Coming with Near Field Communication, face recognition to unlock the phone and an improved interface and notification system it will probably edge out the RAZR’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Yet Motorola has already announced the Droid RAZR will benefit from an Android 4.0 update, probably unsurprisingly as the American manufacturer has just joined the Google family.
With huge competition in the smartphone market this Christmas, consumers will be looking for the slightest feature to draw out one handset from another, but barely an atom gets between these two devices. With Google’s acquisition of Motorola, and Samsung’s close relationship with Google this makes the devices what, cousins once removed so perhaps a familial likeness will only increase in future generations? These two phones are arguably the best Android phone deals available until next year. But when both are so similar in terms of what they offer it comes down to only the most shallow of reasons; looks. Even in those terms the two are remarkably similar. Curved edges or squarer edges? Ultra thin body or ultra, ultra thin body? It has to be a tie, although consumers standing in stores choosing between the two will have to make the ultimate decision. Perhaps the winner will only be announced in sales figures?