Galaxy Nexus vs. Droid RAZR


There are a boat load of people trying to decide between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid RAZR. As you found out in my “First Impressions: Galaxy Nexus & Android 4.0” article, I’m one of them (and Kevin’s praises in his RAZR First Look didn’t help). It’s easy enough to take a look at side-by-side specs of the two phones, but I wanted to open a dialogue about each area of the device to help further the discussion of how these phones compare.

To preface this epic showdown, I’d like to proclaim that BOTH of these devices are beasts, and potential customers should be confident that regardless of which they choose, they’re probably making the right choice either way. In addition, both of these phones are unreleased, and we’ll be updating this article once we learn more from our full reviews.


While the Droid RAZR has a solid screen of its own, the Galaxy Nexus display is larger, higher resolution, and Samsung’s Super AMOLED line of screens always seem to outshine the competition: literally. While both phones can display HD quality video, the Galazy Nexus stunning… and not just because of its larger size. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)


While I have some slight hesitation about Android 4.0, they aren’t (mostly) concerns with the Galaxy Nexus itself, but rather the ideological direction of the Android Platform as a whole. From a tech elite standpoint, the Galaxy Nexus’ software is far ahead of the Droid RAZR’s as it debuts Android’s new version: Ice Cream Sandwich.

Features such as Face Unlock, Android Beam, and Instant Voice-to-Text are immediate improvements. Small touches to core apps – like pinch-to-zoom in the calendar and offline GMail search – go a long way. Added focus on widgets and mobile gestures are a natural progression that makes your device “feel” more advanced and a completely revamped UI and style with new fonts and a picturesque magazine feel make the Nexus uniquely modern.

But the Galaxy Nexus has a downfall: Android 4.0 has (at least it seems) a higher learning curve than the RAZR’s Android 2.3.x. But that’s a caveat more than an arguing point and the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t just “edge” the RAZR – it solidly defeats it. Still… one could understand how some people might prefer the software of Android 2.3.x on the Droid RAZR. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)


Most consumers will see the 8MP camera on the RAZR and 5MP camera on the Galaxy Nexus, with identical megapixel counts on the front cams and think, “RAZR wins hands down. Obviously.”

They would be wrong. First of all, megapixels shouldn’t be the primary measuring stick of mobile cameras unless you’re printing out posters. Second of all, Samsung has a knack for making amazing mobile cams as I first noticed on my Droid Charge Review and have appreciated ever since. But it doesn’t stop there.

Thanks largely to Android 4.0’s software, the Galaxy Nexus software provides a vastly superior camera experience. There is zero-shutter lag which means as soon as you press the “take it” button, your picture snaps. This also enables the “rapid fire” or “burst” capabilities that mobile phones typically lack- a huge advantage. Pile on an awesome panoramic option that’s better than similar options and a very slick and intuitive UI and the Galaxy Nexus runs away with the camera category. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)


This category is a succession of gives and takes. When you make a remarkably powerful mobile phone packed into teeny tiny dimensions, you’ve got to make sacrifices here and there. Both devices have 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, MicroUSB ports, and 3.5mm headset jacks- current top-smartphone staples.

The differences?

  • Only the Galaxy Nexus has NFC – not something hugely important now, but a feature whose importance will grow over the life of a two year contract, starting with Android Beam.
  • Only the Droid RAZR has HDMI-out, allowing you to connect your phone to TVs and monitors for big screen viewing of movies, playing of games.
To many people, NFC and HDMI are more buzz words than practical power features, so let’s just say they cancel each other out. NFC might gain a lot of ground in the next two years, but we’re not going to give it the edge on the possibility that a specific standard takes off. How many people use the NFC on their Nexus S? I know I don’t. (Winner: Draw)


The Droid RAZR has a slightly larger battery than the Galaxy Nexus (1780 mAh to 1750 mAh) but just like camera megapixels, this number isn’t everything. More important are factors such as:

  • How big of a memory/battery hog are the features on the phone?
  • How efficient is the OS in the processing various types of data?
  • Any extenuating circumstances that would cause one to largely out perform the other?

This is an absolute tie, can’t even be discussed until the phone’s are in the wild and put to good use, and even then the results are subjective. If Android 4.0 involved significant advancements in battery efficiency this would be a different story, but it doesn’t so far as we’ve heard.
One potential pitfall of the Droid RAZR battery is that you can’t remove it. Like most anything this is probably part of a tradeoff whose other end is being more thin, more compact, and more sturdy, but for the purposes of this category, not being able to remove/replace the battery is enough of a fear (whether realistic or not) to give the ridiculously slim margin to the Galaxy Nexus.
Tie… at least until further notice. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)


Because the Droid RAZR has a removeable MicroSD slot and higher storage capacity it enjoys a slight edge in this category. While it’s become a very public point of contention, think about how often you actually remove or replace your MicroSD card and think rationally about the important of this factor in your decision making process.

With more and more of computing moving to the cloud, it’s likely that MicroSD card slots will soon become a thing of the past. But because the cloud isn’t quite there, and the RAZR offers expandable/removeable memory, it wins the battle. With 16GB of internal memory and potentially 32GB of external storage the RAZR reaches 48GB of total storage while the Galaxy Nexus maxes out at its 32GB internal storage option. (Winner: Droid RAZR)


They’ve got the exact same processor (the 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460) and the same amount of RAM (1GB), so it’s hard to argue this one. (Winner: Draw)


Save the best for last? While the “build quality” is often a matter of opinion, it cannot be overlooked in this comparison. It may normally be a subjective factor, but the Droid RAZR feels much sturdier while being both thinner AND lighter. And it’s not all perception: Gorilla Glass, Kevlar, Diamond Cut Aluminum Accents… the Galaxy Nexus may act/display superior but the Droid RAZR looks/feels superior. And that has to count for something (how much is up to you). (Winner: Droid RAZR)


I’ve already stated that both of these phones are winners, but depending on your personal preferences you might lean one way or another. Here are a couple factors that have no clear winner, but should be considered when choosing between the two.

Galaxy Nexus = Future Proof, Droid RAZR = Future Promise
When will my device be upgraded to Android 4.X? Users are always eager to get the latest OS upgrade and the Galaxy Nexus – because of Google’s role in the phone’s creation – essentially stands first in line. Although Motorola is promising a swift upgrade to Android 4.0 from Android 2.3.x, Android fans have learned the hard way to buy phones based on their CURRENT state and not future promises (Case in point: the Motorola XOOM’s 4G upgrade). And then there is the potential of NFC to become a household utility.

Droid RAZR = Bullet Proof, Galaxy Nexus = Feather Weight
A common criticism Samsung phones receive is they’ve got a plasticky toy feel. On the flip side, others praise the same characteristic for it’s light portability. Far fewer people criticize Motorola for creating heavy/clunky phones, instead praising their weight and heft with compliments like “good build quality” and “feels nice in the hand”. In addition to perhaps FEELING more sturdy, the Droid RAZR is built with water-resistant Kevlar fiber and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. If durability and heft are primary preferences you seek in a phone, you’ll likely prefer the Droid RAZR. (Side note: a Samsung official told me the GN has Gorilla Glass but I have my doubts)

WINNER: Galaxy Nexus (technical victory)
Exceptions: see the 6 user types below

It’s tough to beat an Android Phone when Google partners in its creation from the ground up, but the Motorola Droid RAZR gets about as close as one could hope. Samsung didn’t exactly throw every snowball in their fort (ex: 5MP camera vs. 8MP camera), but they didn’t need to. Perhaps most of all, we may finally be learning that the purpose of the Nexus line of phones isn’t to blow other devices out of the water, but instead create a balanced harmony between the hardware and software without having to go overboard.

The Galaxy Nexus achieves that hardware/software feng shui, but leaves the door open for competitors like the Droid RAZR – with a tougher feel, alternative ports, more manageable size, etc – to make their own case for adoption. Don’t forget about Motorola’s accessories – such as the Laptop Dock and newly announced MOTO ACTV – which will work in tight integration with the RAZR. And then there is the intangible unexplainable desires: the RAZR was a truly iconic phone and “Droid” is the newest gadget icon… how cool would it be to have the nostalgically modern Droid RAZR?

So there you have it: two phones, both winners, requiring each person strongly investigate their gadget value system to determine which is the best to buy. If it’s too difficult, throw your hands up and choose the Galaxy Nexus: 2 years is a long contract and the future proof nature is the key kicker. Otherwise, find your smartphone horoscope below to determine your calling:

  1. Software obsessors: Galaxy Nexus
  2. Hardware obsessors: Droid RAZR
  3. Camera lovers: Galaxy Nexus
  4. Early adopting tech elite: Galaxy Nexus
  5. Average Joe: Droid RAZR
  6. Former RAZR Users Who Want To Return To Nostalgia: Droid RAZR
I think that’s how it goes: define the category most important to you, decide which phone is better in that category, and let that be the direction the wind blows you.

Head-to-Head Specs: Galaxy Nexus (left), Droid RAZR (right)

So what do you think?

Before either of these phones were announced (and specs/features known) we posted a poll asking which phone you want more and over 75% said they wanted the Galaxy Nexus. So now, with all the information revealed, we ask you again. Don’t forget to tell us WHY in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=5599572]

Don’t forget to check out our First impressions of the Galaxy Nexus and our first look at the Droid RAZR!

Check out the Droid RAZR Forum and the Galaxy Nexus Forum where conversations are already bumping!

[Note: this article will be revised after we fully review each product]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I am super torn! I want the thinness, shape, splash guard and overall look of the RAZR, yet I want ICS, the camera speed (or is that ICS?), removable battery and slightly larger screen of the Nexus. I want them combined. Yes, I know Moto confirms ICS is coming to RAZR but, well, we know their track record on speed and I’m afraid of what they might do to it to accommodate Blur.

    I simply cannot decide which to beg my wife to allow me to preorder until I see side by side hardware comparisons pictures, and side by side video comparison of the software at work.

    I’ve not been this torn since………..hell I don’t know. But I wish I knew which one I wanted. Great write up bud, and it helps, but personally but I’m still not sure. :(

    1. I feel the exact same way. I guess I have to wait to try them both in store.

      1. Same here, I think it’s going to take a hands on comparison in a VZW store for me to decide.

        1. Film it with an HTC Rezound and you’ll win the Android Triple Crown :)

          1. Ha, nice.

            One thing I would add is the RAZR’s world phone capability and that it sports bluetooth 4.0.

          2. Yea, but NFC should give it some definite added bonuses. Although it is slower to transfer than bluetooth, I wouldn’t be surprised if future devices didn’t make use of NFC more.

    2. del this

    3. You need your wife’s permission?

      1. lol, well that was said half jokingly but yes, marriage is happier that way. Especially considering how much we spend already.

        1. I was just joking. I have to clear it with the wife too. She’s ok with it because I got her an iPhone 4s. lol

      2. Those of us who are married understand.

      3. Wife = CFO = Chief Financial Officer

        Sure, you can take a flyer every now and then but…

    4. The fact that the Nexus One and S were still being compared to phones almost 12 months after their release just goes to show that in the end the Galaxy Nexus will stand the test of Android time.

      Also didn’t you have a Nexus One a while back???

      1. Nah, OG Droid -> Droid X … You’re thinking of Shivers/Dave I think

        1. Yeah it was Dave. I just remember you guys talking about your phones on the Podcast.

      2. I still have my Nexus One, and use it daily…. i think i might purchase the Galaxy Nexus

        1. Yeah my sister still uses my Nexus One and she really wants my Nexus S but I already have it sold as soon as I get the Galaxy Nexus.

    5. Moto’s actually pretty good when it comes to speedy updates, the Xoom fiasco doesn’t negate that. And the Xoom itself is still one of if not the quickest tablet when it comes to system updates is it not?

      1. I was mostly remembering the OG Droid update that was delayed time and time again. Then I read complaints here and there about the Xoom update so had that in mind but, didn’t follow it myself.

        I’m still torn!

    6. As of recently moto has been great with their speed of updates, the blur factor though maybe a deal breaker for some. I don’t mind it so much as some, but I guess people wont know that till they have a hand on experience with the new blur. I recommend giving the bionic a spin just to get a hands on feel of it.

  2. Winner: Dark Souls

    1. But in all seriousness, there is one thing I didn’t see addressed in this article which is a more important factor for me: Vanilla Android on the Nexus vs. “Blur” + locked bootloader on the RAZR. I have the Droid X now, and while it’s a terrific phone, the only complaints I have with it surround Motorola’s poor implementation of the software. I’m not looking forward to any more of that, so the Nexus is my winner.

      1. Not to mention, with how significant ICS alters the UI… it’s going to take FOREVER for Moto to update the RAZR to 4.0 in my opinion.

        1. Ya thats a big thing, if they came out and said January or February the Razr would get ICS I would probably choose that. I have a bad feeling that it will be April or May and that would just suck. I wanted a phone with HDMI out but with all the other things ICS brings out of the box it is so much more compelling to me. I’d still like to know the differences in the LTE Nexus Vs. the hspa+ becasue i am on verizon, plus battery life on LTE.

          1. Just an fyi, Samsung phones support HDMI out through their MHL port via a small converter. Not that that makes this gut wrencher any easier…


          2. Good to know

          3. I thought that as well, which is a plus. Not sure that I will use it that much, but it is nice to have everything that is available and HDMI would be nice to have.

          4. Not only that, but it allows you to charge and output HD video at the same time through one cable.

            Advantage, MHL

  3. Another thing that bothers me is that the Razr will still have hardware buttons that will be redundant once it receives the update to ICS. I think the Nexus will look cleaner since it will not have those buttons.

    I also DO NOT like the square look of the Razr. It will not sit as comfortably in my front pockets as the rounded curves of the Nexus. I have heard this as a negative by several people (wasted space due to curves) but I think it looks more elegant and natural. We are past the days of the BRICK phone…they should be rounded and look comfortable to hold.

    1. ICS won’t make the hardware buttons redundant… it SUPPORTS onscreen buttons, but doesn’t preclude having hardware buttons.

    2. ICS will surely adapt to phone with physical button (so no screen display)

  4. Galaxy Nexus is my choice because of the lack of MotoBlur and screen. While the RAZR has the HDMI out, it’s not something that I’d use very much. I typically don’t store tons of data on my phone that I need moved around, so expandable/removable memory isn’t a factor.

    1. plus there’s mhl, which is good enough and probably the wave of the future

  5. What about the HTC Rezound? It certainly has specs that compete with both of these! That’s the phone that will end up in my pocket on 11/10!

  6. I know for a fact that samsung talked about the pogo pin dock solution for the galaxy nexus having audio AND video out, it was explicitly mentioned during the show at about the 18:30 mark or so. I’ve heard rumors it will support MHL which will effectively nullify the RAZR’s HDMI advantage. I don’t know for sure about MHL though..

    Lets not forget about the bootloader: Advantage Nexus!

    Oh, and the ACTV will work with any android phone, not just the RAZR; not that many people will care about that.

    1. Yes, Nexus will have an MHL port which actually makes it a bit better on the HDMI front since it can charge + play on th same cable. You beat me to it.

  7. Why has the GPU of the Galaxy Nexus not been released? Both phones use the TI OMAP 4460. Interesting if it outshines the A5… Or Google and Sammy could just be butt hurt because of the A5’s GPU in the iPhone 4S.

    1. the TI OMAP 4460 has an integrated SGX540 GPU so unless they went to all the trouble to completely alter the die, I would expect that to be the one in there. Not very impressive, but as long as it runs fast I could care less.

      1. I see your point but we all knew what was inside the a5 for a year now. and the 540 gpu is an anitique compared to its dual core sibling. I think it will be fast but I work with a lot of Appleheads and I saw an oppurtunity to really go for the win… even if they upped the chip to 1.5 it would have been nice.

        The sad thing is I realized that the Galaxy S2 with ICS will be a faster phone with better graphics. this would put Samsung in the lead for next year’s Nexus as well…. and that’s BS.

        1. It is an under clocked 1.5 ghz chip which can be rooted and changed…

    2. The iphone has a much better GPU… samsung dropped the ball and I’m pissed at them. I didnt need them to beat Apple just match them. The tech is there. Anyone can incorporate it.

      Razr with a January upgrade??? Razr wins… most of the Nexus wins were on the software front. In 2 weeks people will break the bootloader.

  8. what about the bloatware? that shit pisses me off

    1. Well that’s a plus for Nexus then, ICS lets you remove any app from showing/running.

  9. Did anyone actually read the article? Or did everyone scroll directly to the comments to state their opinion? LOL!

    1. I read it. But that Nexus is too much over the RAZR. I also personally hope that MOTO doesn’t sell very many RAZR’s due to the fact they came out with the Bionic so close to this one. They are starting to over-saturate themselves, how will they be able to get all their phones upgrades?

      Plus. LOCKED Bootloader.

      1. Starting to??? Lol

      2. I thought all these phones were web capable? Can’t they just 301 redirect old OS to new OS with HTACCESS.apk?

        I kid, I kid

      3. exaggerate much? they release two phones in quick succession and it’s over saturation? And I’m not seeing the logic, Samsung and HTC have just as many devices of similar specs that they’re going to have to update, and both of them have even more questionable records when it comes to updates.

    2. Rob I read the article and I agree with your opinions, I was just hoping for a 3-way comparison with the (horribly-named) HTC Rezound as well–I think it has the specs to at least merit a comparison with these two.

    3. That’s what happens most of the time with most people; instead of actually reading the article or watching the video, they just react and start thinking about what they’re going to type after reading the title of the article.
      Damn kids.

  10. ICS for the win!!!

  11. Even if the specs were identical I would choose the sn because motorola still locks their bootloaders. When it comes to Android an unlocked bootloader is godsend.

  12. For me it’s the Rezound. I want expandable SD.

  13. 1. Galaxy Nexus
    2. Galaxy S2
    3. Droid Razr

    Doesn’t the Nexus also support 802.11a (and 5 GHz N)?
    Does it have a MHL output? What can be done with the pogo pins?

    1. pogo pins can be used in a dock to output audio and video, it was stated during the show, about 18:30 if you’re interested. I’m really hoping it supports MHL, I’m sure i won’t use it much, but I still want to have it. Really MHL is the best of both worlds since it charges as well as outputs audio/video

      1. well maybe we can have a pogo pins to HDMI adapter?
        What did they use during the presentation to clone the output?

        1. Previously, Samsung has used a converter from the MHL/USB port.


          The dock’s potential for audio/video sounds awesome!

  14. droid razr is 1.3mp front? I didn’t think you could record 720p video on 1.3mp.

    1. 720p = 921,600 pixels, which is less than 1.3 million.

    2. Ok so I’m no the only one that thought I heard 720p front camera video?

  15. The comparative spec chart lists the Droid RAZR as having only 802.11n. I would think that would be a dealbreaker for people who only have 802.11g in the places that they frequent. (Or more likely, the chart is wrong.)

    A big advantage of the Nexus is the fact that it is vanilla Android (no BLUR-like layer) and will presumably be the first to get software updates direct from Google. Additionally, a big advantage of Nexus not mentioned in the article is that it will have an unlocked bootloader, allowing the customer to choose what software they run on the phone, unlike the RAZR which (presumably) will have the same locked-down bootloader as the Droid 3 and Droid Bionic.

    Big advantage Nexus.

    1. it’s the same. b/g/n capable

      1. Not that it matters for most, but all the specs I have read say the Nexus has a/b/g/n.

    2. I also, In the article it says both phones have Bluetooth 3.0 but the chart says the Razr has 4.0. Not that I know what the difference is or that I use Bluetooth ever but It does show that there are inconsistancies. I would assume you are correct in saying that the Razr does more than just wifi N.

      1. I remember hearing BT4.0 as well. It is the low power option. A big step up from 3.0 in terms of sustainable BT connections, due to its low power consumption.

        1. Razr for sure has bluetooth 4.0 confirmed by a moto rep

    3. I’m imagining it’s a typo. WiFi radios are nearly always backwards compatible.

  16. Moto RAZR looks much sharper than the Nexus. Nexus has 3 better things going for it, first being 4.0 ICS, 4.65 better screen and camera sensor.

  17. I’m going for the RAZR for the build quality. I work outside and train the military in all kinds of weather conditions, therefore, I need a phone like this. And if ICS does come to the phone early next year, that’s a bonus to me. Plus it is CDMA/GSM so it will work anywhere in the world

    1. The galaxy nexus will have gorilla glass thats the only thing that makes the moto razr durable. Kevlar backing is just hype..
      But if you are a world traveler the razr would be the only option for you
      But theres also rumors the the HSPA+ version of the GN will be CDMA and GSM
      So hopefully the truly better phone will work for you.

  18. Locked Bootloader = RAZR is out of the running for me.

    No SD slot = Galaxy N has been downgraded from “OMG! Where do I sign?!” to “I’ll consider it”
    I have a 32GB Class10… I’d like to have the option to use it

    1. Honestly, the build quality and SOME options on the Razor make it much, much more appealing than the Nexus. I have seen multiple Samsung phones be featherweights and yes, the build quality bothers me. It is cheap feeling and how a phone feels it as important as how well it holds up!

      Locked bootlaoder doesnt mean CRAP! This means XDA has to spend another week breaking into it. Big freakin whoop! ICS seems nice, but they keep adding “oooh, shiney” features. I only feel half of the features actually mean anything and will actually be used

      1. Having a locked and encrypted bootloader has more to do with than just root access. With a locked bootloader, you cannot flash ROMs that require custom kernels such as Cyanogen (because custom kernels cannot be flashed).

        You are also stuck with the same version of Android that your device came with until Motorola decides to update it. And even then, you have to root all over again if the developers are able to find a new exploit. A locked bootloader really only harms those who care to do some heavy tweaking to their devices, not “normal” people.

        You have no system-level access, overclocking becomes difficult, etc. The Galaxy Nexus also ditches the entire phone made out of plastic trend that Samsung has been using, and goes for a metal chassis.

        1. Since when does a locked bootloader block system-level access? Unless you are talking about the kernel (which for overclocking you can always use a kernel module) a locked bootloader has nothing to do with a locked /system partition. The G2 did not have a locked bootloader.

          1. It would easier for me to lie and say I was referring to the kernel and such, but I won’t. Since I have never had a bootloader encrypted/locked device, I was just spewing random Google’d information that seemed accurate enough. That system-level access thing did sound incorrect, but I figured the place where I gathered the information from knew more than I.

            In all honesty, having a locked bootloader does sound somewhat irritating. But I can’t see how it would completely ruin a good phone for someone unless they really enjoy messing with their device.

          2. It doesn’t and it seems most people who comment here are mad at the locked bootloader, but they don’t know why they are, and they have no reason to be mad. I personally refuse to use a phone with a locked bootloader because I have a legitimate reason: I am a heavy XDA visitor and I flash a lot of roms, kernels, modems, you name it. I also have developed a theme, but having a locked bootloader won’t stop you from doing that. The bootloader will prevent you from running a kernel that is not signed by the said OEM, or in some cases such as the Atrix was, a custom recovery either. It depends on what the bootloader is checking for signatures, and how it does it. As for “cracking” bootloaders, that is near impossible, the better term would be to “bypass” the bootlaoder, especially if it is an encrypted bootloader, instead of just being locked.

          3. Since I can not reply to your comment below, I will here. Fortunately the Droid 3 and the Bionic have already had Cyanogenmod boot up on them both. I have also done a nandroid of my droid 3. Third I have a custom rom on my phone. Fourth, I switched out my cameras .apk with the Atrix one, and changed the permissions. The only thing I seem to have not been able to do with my droid 3 since its release is switch out the kernel or overclock it. I am completely happy with this phone, even with its locked bootloader, I wont be surprised if we will have the same options with the razr unless they have ‘fixed’ the exploit with the razr that was used on the bionic and d3

      2. A locked bootloader is not the same as rooting a phone, you can’t just “break into it”. And some bootloaders, depending on their design, cannot be cracked, but I’m not going to go into the complexities of bootloaders for someone who is completely ignorant of them.

      3. I have the OG droid. It’s solid as hell. I have beat the hell out of this phone. . .on purpose. Every time i pick it up I get disappointed. I would much rather have a light phone than a lead weight.

  19. This review is so complete – have placed a link to this article. Its true about the camera especially – loads of negative reactions around that point. Google should really have seen this coming with the rest of the competition launching 8mp handsets – other wise the Nexus S looks like a good package. At the end of the day, some people will buy based on mega pixels.

    1. Yep, just for the sake of the ignorant, they shoulda dropped a 8mp in there..

      I can see it now, fapple fanboy “(asks siri) which is better 8mp or 5mp with a great sensor”

      Siri “whatever we put in our iPhone 4 from 16months ago and added some old iPad 2 parts and called it a S, IS BETTER! Now quit reading android websites and get back in line iSheep”

  20. I’ll go for the Nexus : I love large screen and it seems this one is beautifull
    Specs are pretty so so but I’m a little confused with the lack of HDMI and microSD slot (nop I don’t really need it but I like to spend my money and know that I can do it)

    The Nexus serie’s early updates convince me for the Nexus, as we know the speeds of the manufacturer for the updates (cheers custom ROM dev teams !) …

    1. Yeah, I can easily live without the SD card slot. I was disappointed at first but then thought about it and 1. I haven’t filled the 16gb card I have in mine now and 2. I’ve never once taken it out of the phone. So, I’m more disappointed in the HDMI. Similar to what you said, my phone doesn’t have HDMI out and I think it would be neat. Even if I never end up using it, It would still be nice to know I could.

      1. The Galaxy Nexus has been confirmed to output to HDMI through an MHL port.

        1. Yes! Thats a maajjjoor plus

    2. The Galaxy Nexus has been confirmed to output to HDMI through an MHL port.

      1. This is a great news !
        Thx for letting us know :D

  21. Sure the RAZR is going to get ICS soon and it’s super thin and sexy, but as much as I love the RAZR’s hardware there are 2 characteristics of the Nexus that I CANNOT ignore that will prevent me from even considering the RAZR. HD res with 320ppi + STOCK ANDROID!!! Maybe, just maybe when the RAZR gets ICS Motorola will NOT put Blur on it (I doubt it), but the display on the RAZR will never be able to match the HD 320ppi utter awesomeness of the Nexus!! qHD was so last year. Not putting an HD res display on the otherwise awesome RAZR was a huge fail. I’m actually not even so concerned with the res as much as I am the pixel density. Anything less than 300ppi is not acceptable. Oh, and there is no way the RAZR will receive timely updates like a Nexus phone. The Nexus will get Jelly Bean when it comes out and maybe even the next one, the RAZR will probably be forgotten by Motorola in 6 months.

  22. Man if the RAZR had an unlocked bootloader it would be so so desirable. Work-arounds would be able to be made for all the pitfalls. Bricking this seems easy with the non-removable battery.

    This comparison is very accurate and unbiased. Gratz on that.

    We were all hoping for a phone that was going to be revolutionary, and instead we are left with 2 phones that are close to the mark but fall short. Droid 1 and the Iphone still hold the crowns for revolutionary.

    I ask you, whats going on with that HTC Rezound that is hiding in the shadows? And when will Sony Ericcson revitalize their line and push something out that will once again blow our minds? Who remembers how awesome those walkman phones were only a couple years ago?

    I myself will be getting the GN only because moto betrayed their word and locked the bootloader again. I think the RAZR is by far the better hardware.

    One last thought. Imagine Goog gave the RAZR the nod to be the first ICS phone. How would this poll change? Nobody on here would want the GN. The fact that motos phone is still making people scratch their heads without ICS is a big accomplishment.

    Bravo and Shame at the same time moto, for locking your damn bootloader.

    1. “Man if the RAZR had an unlocked bootloader it would be so so desirable” – thank Verizon for this. I’ve read that Motorola confirmed the European version would be unlockable – it was due to the “carrier” that the Verizon Droid RAZR is not.

      1. No. That is a common misconception. An old college buddy of mine is pretty high up the ladder at VZW, and he told me himself that they don’t really care about encypted bootloaders – that’s Motorola’s thing. If VZW wanted encrypted bootloaders, the HTC and Samsung phones would be encrypted as well, and they sure as hell wouldn’t be getting a Nexus phone. Moto should’ve kept to their word about the bootloaders, and handled it the way they did with the Atrix; if you want it unlocked, that’s fine, but your warranty is done – which I agree with completely, if you don’t know what you’re doing and brick your phone, the OEMs/carriers/underwriters shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistake.

  23. Galaxy Nexus because of the quick updating and long support from Google themselves. this will also be a true developer phone. sorry Moto, but i can’t wait to get my hands on a Galaxy Nexus! very excited!

  24. Excellent review – already being discussed in AndroidForums.com Nexus thread before I could even get the link posted! :)

  25. The bottom line is that both phones are sweet and extremely capable. If the RAZR had no locked bootloader, I’d have a very difficult decision. But the fact that the bootloader is locked, is coming with Android 2.3.X, and will (true to Verizon) invariably come packaged with gobs of bloatware (probably a GetItNow! app too :- ), then that seals the deal.
    Again, both phones are sweet, but the locked bootloader bit locks you not just to the software, but to Verizon’s ridiculousness and jackassery.
    Galaxy Nexus will be my next phone.

  26. I’m feeling really burned by MotoBlur.. On the hardware front, I would pick the Droid RAZR but because of Blur I’m going with the Galaxy Nexus.

  27. Pretty good comparison. The only thing I would say is change “Horsepower” to “Performance” and give the Galaxy Nexus the win for the hardware acceleration in ICS. IMO that will make all the difference.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and I totally hear you on the hardware acceleration bit. Behind the scenes ICS improvements could also prove powerful in Battery efficiency, software, and other areas as well… I just felt like it would be more appropriate to include those after actually reviewing the phones and updating this article. Either way, agree with your assessment and hope ICS makes a great difference as you suggest!

  28. You made a mistake in your article. The Driod Razr has Bluetooth 4.0 vs Bluetooth 3.0. This means that it will be compatible with any future Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices coming out in the sports or medical fields.

  29. PLEASE REDO this when the REZOUND IS released

    1. OKAY i promise WE will look into MORE COMPARISONS

      Playin’ with ya… but thanks for the suggestion. Definitely a good idea.

      1. Rob, in specs, i assume those are not the LTE dimensions??

      2. Thanks Rob! I really appreciate this by the way…I’m in the category of deciding between the 3 phones though.

      3. Yeah thanks Rob this is the only comparison that I have read that hasn’t been biased or incorrect.

  30. I have asked the following question to @android on twitter and cannot get an answer from anyone…

    What will ICS do to phones that currently have physical buttons??

    not that i care (since Galaxy Nexus will be mine!) but for my poor wife who will be rocking the Droid X for the next 5 months…

    1. it will use the buttons you have and hide the soft buttons. I don’t have a link to where I read that but I’ve seen it multiple places

    2. lol it wont do anything. Andriod still supports hardware buttons, its just up to the manufacurer to modify the code (very easy). you wont have 2 sets of buttons.

    3. In the settings of ICS the on screen buttons can be toggled of and on which will be easy for Motorola to do for hardware button phones.
      But sadly I wouldn’t get your hopes up because Ice cream sandwich probably won’t come to the X any time soon.

  31. I’m getting the RAZR for my wife. It is perfect for her as a stay at home mom. Great build quality, thin, water proofing, and much faster and stable than her Droid X. To her an unlocked vanilla phone is a different language. So quality and look is what she wants/needs.

  32. question: Razr is sporting these sensors:


    Does the Nexus have a Gyro or Barometer?

    AND UMMM “(Side note: a Samsung official told me the GN has Gorilla Glass but I have my doubts)” THIS WOULD BE HUGE, I WANT GORILLA GLASS!!!!!!! I am sick of BodyGuardz

    1. Gnex does have a gyro and barometer. Don’t know the answer to the gorilla glass thing. I remember the Nexus S did NOT have gorilla glass because of the contour screen. Maybe by now they figured out how to curve it, but I wouldn’t assume it does.

      1. That’s what she said. I mean, that’s what I said, in the post: check the link to Engadget’s original article about the Nexus S non-gorilla-glass tweet from Samsung.

    2. The Galaxy Nexus does have Gorilla Glass, don’t worry about that…

  33. I Hope the nexus does have gorilla glass.

    Dows the Nexus now have a LED Notification light for missed calles/text messages. There is a option in the menu for LED notification but is this for missed called/text’s, I do hope so.

    1. yes, there’s an RGB notification light on the bottom part of the bezel of the galaxy nexus for exactly that purpose

  34. Well, it looks like CM7 may be coming to the Bionic soon enough, so it looks like a locked bootloader isn’t stopping anyone. (custom kernels on the other hand…).
    Still, while I love the hardware of Moto, I have to go with the dev. friendly GN.

  35. So since the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have SD Card slot won’t that make installing custom ROMs a little more of a hassle?

    1. not at all; internal memory mounts to a computer just like an SD card and can be used exactly the same way to do nandroid backups and rom flashing and the like.

      1. what about needing to delete a radio/upgrade file (if applicable) without having the phone go into a bootloop when turned on to have the computer recognize the memory? current phone (thunderbolt) i can remove the microsd if something goes wrong on the card–insert it into a computer & look around without having to boot up the phone.

        that’s my concern. i hope i’m wrong.

  36. Can we get something like this that includes the Rezound as well? I think a Battle Royale would be more epic than Epic Faceoff lol.

  37. “While I have some slight hesitation about Android 4.0, they aren’t (mostly) concerns with the Galaxy Nexus itself, but rather the ideological direction of the Android Platform as a whole.”

    Am I the only one who disagrees with this statement? I LOVE the direction they’re taking Android. The big pictures, the card style contacts. Android used to be very boring and utilitarian. With ICS, it’s just as beautiful to look at as iOS or webOS.

    1. Well. I’ll be happier if they get to where they allow for some customization of it. For example, I don’t want everyone around me to be seeing all the thumbnails of pictures and contacts, for no reason other than principle. Privacy should be an option. Also, when going into gallery to find a picture, I’d sure like to pinch-zoom the thumbnails to much smaller for the reason listed above and for ease of use.

      That’s my biggest complaint thus far that sorta relates to his statement.

    2. You LOVE how it works on this ONE phone… but it could have negative implications on the Android ecosystem if Google’s “Vanilla” is more of a “Custom UI” in the first place. The initial concept behind making Vanilla phones underscored a much different notion.

      1. We have all been asking Google to improve the UI and functionality of Android phones for years, now that they have finally done it you people complain? What’s wrong with you guys? Google is trying to improve the usability and the general look of their operating system, not only for us, but also for the average person. You shouldn’t need MOTOblur or HTC Sense or TouchWiz to have that.

        1. Please realize I could flip this back around and say: you’ve been complaining about BLUR and Sense and TouchWiz for years and everyone bragged about the simplicity and elegance of vanilla android. Then they go and virtually recreate their own “Custom UI” with a ton of bells and whistles and you guys praise them? What’s wrong with you guys!

          It’s a very grey area and I’m trying to show both sides objectively.

          1. Your point is well taken, from some of us. I think we all just want to bask in the glory of our UI overhaul and then later on get into the detailed and thoughtful analysis of what it all means and the impact on the Android ecosystem. You forward thinker you!

          2. The problem is in your definition of custom UI. Vanilla means base. Whatever Google decides is base is, by definition, base. If they keep people from tweaking their base, that is one thing. I can’t comment on that as I have no real clue whether they will or will not be allowing this.

      2. How exactly could you consider it a “custom ui”? it is stock as is. No 3rd party layers are added on top, no extra processes are present.

        IMHO, its a big step in the right direction. Android needs both functionality and polish if it is to appeal to certain customers and stay competitive. Part of the reasoning behind this update may be to discourage OEMs to add their own GUI interpretation, or at least minimize changes.

        And yes…I worry about the user experience on the lower end models that will see ICS, but i’m sure there are recommended hardware requirements…

        For what it is worth, you could have argued this point about both Froyo and Gingerbread, and I am sure we will see devices that are sluggish with this release as we did then.

        Also consider the alternative, what if the GUI was in fact the exact same…..how do you think the press would have reacted?

        I wonder if I am one of the few that are actually very excited about this release…

    3. No you’re not. It’s funny how Engadget of all sites gave a more favorable review of the Galaxy Nexus in their hands on review than Phandroid. Pigs are flying.

  38. The Razr looks great to me, and I am honestly excited to try one out, however I actually like the way other Samsung phones feel in my hand better than my OG Droid. In addition to that, I want the newest software possible with no skinning going on, so the Nexus wins for me!

    1. I had OG Droid and now have a Droid X. The Razr is much more like the DX, and I love DX.

      I agree, OGD was way less comfortable.

  39. Locked bootloader turn me off.

  40. For the NEXUS: You guys think it’s gonna be $199/$299 -or- lame as Fapple $299/$399 for the 16gb/32gb from Vzw???

    Better be $199/$299!

    1. I think it’ll be 299 for the 32gb in the US. The 16gb is the only option in the UK, so I think the 32gb is the US version.

      1. Makes sense, apple going for the $400 pricetag is ridiculous, well not from them, just in general.. I mean $400 for a 16month old ipone 4 with some scrapped together iPad 2 parts from 6 months ago and $400, whatever Fapple http://tinyurl.com/3wr5po2

        1. unfortunately, verizon is the highest definition of idiocy (and motorola too), in that they feel that charging near iphone prices somehow makes phones seem more in competition, even though it does the opposite. No smartphone should ever go above $200 on contract or $350 without, but then again when did common sense ever enter the equation for US carriers, I suppose.

        2. Yeah, from Apple $400 is cheap. They know their sheeple will easily pay $600, $800, or even $1000 for that POS just because it has a little partly eaten apple on it.

    2. you do know the iPhone comes in at 199/299/399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB right?

      1. Yes, I am well aware of the 16month old iPone with some scrapped together 6month old iPad 2 parts, same size screen since 2007 and no LTE is $199/$299/$399

    3. and if you trust leaks, the GN will probably be 299/399 for 16gb/32gb because of the LTE

    4. For the record, Apple’s phone are $199 and $299 for the 16 and 32GB, respectively. Bumps up to $399 for the 64GB.

      Nice attempt at ripping on Apple in a situation where it wasn;t even warranted.

  41. It’s the Nexus or the iPhone 4S for me. Maybe the Galaxy S II if the Nexus doesn’t come to AT&T at launch.

    I don’t know if i can handle the tiny screen on the iPhone, but the camera and Siri have me giving a hard look apple’s way. The Nexus camera looks like it could even out that part of it, but Siri…

    I’ve tried *ALL* of the voice recognition software android market has to offer. No mi gusta. Totally apples to oranges. pannous voice actions comes closest, but it’s not really all that close.

    AHHHH! I’ve been tearing my hair out for a week!

    1. Android is coming out with IRIS( siri backwards) in a couple of weeks and it will be awesome but until then I recommend speaktoit.
      Also iPhones have so many drawbacks I would seriously consider android before you even consider iPhone

  42. Im glad you did this comparison because ive been missing sleep over wich phone to pick. I want the nexus because of the screen resolution, ics, and the camera but i want the razr because of the hardware. Ive also been a motorola fan since the v551 (2002?) Yea its gonna get ics but who knows when thats happening….

  43. You are comparing the 3G+ Nexus to the LTE Razr. Samsung stated the LTE version will be thicker and didn’t state battery life.

  44. Bottom line, this is still a phone. Due they get comparable call quality and have comparable speakerphone quality?

    I also don’t know how much larger the nexus is. Is it wider or does it just give a more vertical experience?

    1. What? You talk on your phone? That’s so ’90s

  45. Torn as well. Looks like when my upgrade is ready 11-11-11, I’ll play with both devices at the store and see what feels better.

  46. Locked bootloader will be a moot point for most. ICS brings the ability to turn off anything that is installed (read turn off any bloatware). While this is not custom kernals most people read locked boot loader as cant get vinilla… but this is not true… now if they are able to turnoff ICS ability to turn off applications is another question.

    Basically people who are not technically inclined were buying android phones and
    then going to xda trying to install a custom rom to remove blurr or sense ui…
    this was giving android a bad name because it was not user friendly in what people heard
    as its major advantage.. now in ICS they tried to give regular users the ability to mod their phone without having to know was rooting and bootloaders and flashing means

    1. Locked bootloader definitely doesn’t mean no Vanilla. My Droid 2 has a locked bootloader, but thanks to CVPCS and 2nd init (and all the other awesome devs out there) I’m running CM7 on my D2, which is definitely Vanilla Android.

      The difference is, I can’t have a custom kernel. And a custom kernel may lead to a better battery life, less bugs in the CM7 I’m running (since devs would be more familiar with the kernel, instead of having to deal with the Moto kernel – although I have to say as well that most of the bugs have been squashed at this point) and so many more awesome things.

      The locked bootloader is still a HUGE deal for the people who know what it is and what it means. It has nothing to do with the ability to “remove” bloatware or anything else that ICS brings.

      1. …So basically exactly what I just said…

  47. “Average Joe: Droid RAZR”

    Where did this come from? You categorize people and suggest one phone over the other, but then you basically just say “for all you other people, get the RAZR”. The Nexus wins the vast majority of your categories, and yet you still suggest the RAZR to your “average joe”. How does that make sense? Shouldn’t your average Joe get the Nexus as it will be easier to use and future proof. As far as I’m concerned only people REALLY concerned with durability and a super thin form factor should get the RAZR. You make it sound like your average person (average joe) should get the RAZR, and the Nexus is only for people with specific tastes/needs. I think it’s the other way around.

    Also, my 2 year old HTC is made entirely of plastic, has no gorilla glass and looks nearly brand new. Not one scratch on the screen.

    1. did you read this part??? But the Galaxy Nexus has a downfall: Android 4.0 has (at least it seems) a higher learning curve than the RAZR’s Android 2.3.x. But that’s a caveat more than an arguing point and the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t just “edge” the RAZR – it solidly defeats it. Still… one could understand how some people might prefer the software of Android 2.3.x on the Droid RAZR.

      1. This. I think the average joe – and by this I mean people who are only mediocre in their tech skills – will find a harder time learning ICS. It could go either way but Randy illustrates the main reason I made the comment.

        1. perhaps “average joe” means someone that’ll beat the crap out of their phone.
          in which case gorilla glass & kevlar backing are what you need.
          being thinner doesn’t hurt either. puts less tension against your keys in your pocket.

  48. Just looked at specs. So nexus is longer but a tiny bit less wide than razr. So held landscape, we are talking cinamascope. Held portrait, a “taller” experience. Peculiar. Don’t get why anyone would want a longer phone without it being wider. I have an HTC evo 4g. The nexus will be a tiny bit longer. But much lighter with a fabulous camera and a better battery, hopefully, as I have an extended battery and my phone is a bit thick. I will go with camera, if call quality is great.

  49. Galaxy nexus.. After having the droid X with tons of inefficient motoblur bloat that I never use, and a locked bootloader, then stepping up to a Thunderbolt with Sense, I’m ready for a direct-from-google no BS added phone with a large beautiful Samsung display

  50. Excellent job Mr. Rob! Do I sense an ever so slight undertone that your mind screams NEXUS, but your heart pines for the RAZR? If so…

    My sentiments exactly. Moto developing a Nexus = my DREAM phone.

    That being said, I have to go Nexus (access to latest software and camera being the main reasons, along with NFC).

    1. This is 100% absolutely true. It’s kind of like when you’re in a sticky relationship situation. You THINK know the RIGHT thing to do but you keep asking for advice because you just want to hear more and more and more. In the end, you’re heart is telling you one thing, you’re mind is telling you another, and at some point you’ve just got to make up your mind because nobody anything tells you is going to help you decide anyways.

      You read my mind, actually. I mentioned this EXACT thing our forum admin before posting and considered including it in the article.

      1. Then allow me to pose this question: will you be going with your head, or your heart? =]

  51. I’ll be getting a Galaxy Nexus and the deciding factors for me are the camera and NFC.

  52. One little update you should make in the article. The Galaxy Nexus has higher resolution, but BOTH phones use a Super AMOLED display made by Samsung. :)

  53. Anyone buying the RAZR based on Moto’s “Promise” to bring ICS to it needs to be given a head-examination.

    Ref: Xoom 4G upgrade.

    1. The Xoom got 4G didn’t it? Maybe not as quickly as some would have liked, but it happened.

    2. Yeah.. I explicitly mention this in the article. And it’s not the only instance and it’s not the only OEM/Carrier making promises and not following through. Promising something keeps the sales numbers up… but not following through doesn’t usually hurt. Time to live and learn, Android fans. And teach a lesson in the process?

  54. I haven’t seen where they say the Razr is a 4460, I only see spec sheets that say its a 4430…and the GN is the 4460. Got an official sheet that says they are both in fact 4460s?

  55. I have been dying for the Nexus, but the absence of a microSD card slot is a huge, huge, disappointing factor. I could easily fill up half or more of 32 GB with music and other files that would then enable me to abandon other media-playing devices. In the absence of a reliable, inexpensive cloud service (especially given that my device and I frequently go into areas with no coverage but where I would still love to listen to music!–I really don’t understand why these phone manufacturers can’t grasp that there are lots of people and lots of places in the U.S., and far more outside the U.S., where people might want to use the media functions of their phones but have no coverage or Wi-Fi access…!!!), putting all that material on a microSD or two that I can swap out as needed would be a huge boon, leaving the phone’s internal memory free for other stuff that wouldn’t benefit from swappability.

    I’m certainly no computer engineer, but given how bloody tiny a 32GB microSD card is, I have absolutely no idea why these phones can’t have 128GB or more internal memory in them–it would take up hardly any room!

  56. I realize that you were looking to give the GN the win here, but all other things being equal, wouldn’t the combination of the larger battery and smaller screen give the clear edge in battery life to the RAZR, not even factoring in all of the battery-saving software tweaks Moto revealed at their event the other night?

    1. There are too many variables. You could also argue for a ton of battery saving software tweaks in Android 4.0 or claim that BLUR itself will be a battery hog. Battery life also depends on the person using it, and given the close mAh numbers and other variances, I’m not comfortable proclaiming a winner until they’re actually reviewed. And then it could still likely be a tossup.

      1. So the “Winner: Galaxy Nexus” in that section was a typo? Also, I understand the multitude of variables hence why I said “all other things being equal”.
        Sent from my Verizon Wireless Droid

  57. i think RAZR has OMAP 4430. i’m confused now

  58. I agree with the nexus shows balance between hardware and software. I hope it comes to ATT soon. I don’t want the galaxy s lll announce when the nexus comes to ATT.

  59. Looks like the Galaxy Nexus does have HDMI capability:

    “HDMI: Silicon Image MHD SiI9234 transmitter over MHL (same as Infuse 4G and GSII)”

    “Main input/output type supported: Headphone, Speaker, Microphone, Bluetooth, Voice, FM, S/PDIF over HDMI; USB Audio DAC (digital-to-audio converter with USB input and stereo outputs) should also be supported”

    Source: Engadget.

  60. I saw on another site that the Droid RAZR is using the TI OMAP4430 1.2Ghz processor, while the Galaxy Nexus is the currently the ONLY phone running the TI OMAP4460 1.2Ghz processor (initially supposed to be clocked to 1.5Ghz, but apparently it’s been scaled back); according to an article I read earlier on another site:
    “The OMAP4460 is very similar to the OMAP4430 that’s already appeared in many Android devices (like today’s Droid RAZR), but the PowerVR540 GPU has been cranked up to 384 MHz (compared to 304 MHz in the OMAP4430).”

    That would mean not only greater overclocking potential (once rooted), but possibly greater graphics performance, or at least identical graphics performance at the higher resolution of the larger SAMOLED screen, IF it’s true. If they’re both in fact using the TI OMAP 4460 tho, the main factor would be the optimizations in ICS.

    1. Motorola’s spec sheet lists the 4460 as the processor so if its the 4430… its their bad.

  61. As a former Cliq owner, I will never again buy another Motorola device.

    They take way too long to fix bugs, they lock the bootloader, and they take too long to update their devices to the newest version of Android.

  62. The nexus sounds like the better phone however Samsung is the least dependable brand. As I have stated in the past over the course of the a few years myself, girlfriend, and her brother went through 16 Samsung phones of some of different models and the longest they lasted before having hardware issues was 3 months. All the Motorola phones we have ever had still work. So it would take a lot of convincing for me to get another Samsung.

  63. A small note on WiFi – I believe the G-Nex is dual-band (2.4GHz & 5GHz) and does 802.11a/b/g/n. Dual-band 11n should mean higher performance for those with dual-band networks. The RAZR is 2.4GHz only and does 802.11b/g/n.

    As for HDMI out – I’d be surprised if the G-Nex didn’t do HDMI via a microUSB dongle like the GSII.

    1. This has been confirmed.

  64. Bing, Bloat, Blur, slow OS upgrades and the non removable battery all but take the Razr off the map for me. Kevlar, Gorilla glass and Motos typical beefy build quality drag it back on, kicking and screaming.

  65. I think one cool feature of the Razr is Ant+ support. Seams like it is getting over looked. It will allow the device to connect to heart rate monitors and (more importantly for me) speed, cadence, and power sensors. It will allow me to ditch my Garmin bike GPS and just use my phone while on my bicycle. With a touch screen and Google Maps I won’t need to carry my phone and GPS. Plus Google Maps is way better than the Garmin solution.

    That said I am really torn about which device to get. I’ve been holding off on an Original Droid for about a year now waiting to see what would come out this fall. The specs on the Prime are not what I was hoping for. The screen still has a lower DPI than the new iPhone which is also a contender. I think the native Google apps will probably prevent me from going to the dark side.

    Maybe I’ll wait till the next device announcements…

    1. There will ALWAYS be hard decisions to make. Keep waiting until the 100% clear decision presents itself you’ll still be holding onto the original Droid while everyone else is walking around with TimeTravelVechiclePhones like the NokiaDroid Universe Jetson S3

  66. What’s the deal with no release date and price?

  67. I’m thinking the GN. Mainly for ICS and the fact that updates should be Google-dependent, not Samsung.

    I’m disappointed in the lack of microSD. I use almost all of my 8gb microSD right now, and that’s on a crappy phone that can’t really do much. 16gb would fill up quickly with movies and music (assuming they offer both in the US and the 16gb is cheaper). Not to mention, F the cloud. Why would I want to suck up all of my soon-to-be-capped data plan with stuff I could just as easily have on the device?

    Non-removable battery and locked bootloader are a bummer on the Razr. not to mention Blur and slow updates from Moto.

    I’ll be pissed if it’s $299 though.

    1. Agreed. The whole “everything is moving to the cloud” and “we need to start capping and throttling users” is such a BS contradiction. The “cloud” is a joke. The reception and speeds aren’t there (I’m often on EDGE or no signal at all), and even when I have good signal, pulling a movie in over the “cloud” would be painful and destroy my data plan.

      Besides, MicroSD isn’t just for extra storage: it’s for data security/backup. Back your data up to your SD card (Titanium Backup, et al), and no worries if your phone kicks the bucket. This has saved me MANY times.

      MicroSD BETTER not be going away, like this idiotic review suggests. What kind of clueless person is this author, anyway?

      1. You’d be suprised how many people are convinced they don’t need micro SD cards anymore because of the cloud. Its kind of weird really.

  68. Assuming the RAZR would have gotten the 4.0 update eventually anyways (very likely), I would still go with the Galaxy for the reason that the battery is replaceable. On my Nexus One, I’ve replaced mine about 18 months into its life, and my friend after about a year.
    ALL other factors (ok, except screen quality), I would say weigh in the RAZR’s favor. Small, sturdier (if my Nexus One did not have a metal frame, it would have died several times from drops by now), not huge (just how big do screens need to get??) and expandable memory are hugely in RAZR’s favor.

    If I’d have to choose between these two, then for the battery issue seals it (Galaxy). The fragility of a plastic frame on the Galaxy and no replaceable battery in the RAZR means I’m not getting either, and will wait for a phone that will combine the two’s strengths.

    If ICS ever makes it down to the Nexus One, I may not get a new phone for another year or two anyways…here’s hoping :)

  69. Since you did Razr lovers, you should have done a Nexus lovers too: I’m a Nexus One owner going for my second… :)

  70. “MicroSD card slots will soon become a think for the past”==thing of the past
    # corrections

    this article cleared up a lot of the questions i had on specs.

    one thing though–i wish they’d thrown in DLNA for good measure. MHLA is nice, but i really want DLNA for a no-cable option.

  71. I really prefer the more masculine Droid styling

  72. Great informational layout — appreciate that. I’m going with the Galaxy Nexus. Why? It’s all about the screen, baby!

  73. Moto developer site is now saying it’s 4430 in Razr.

  74. Sidenote: Moto is claiming it’s the 4430 processor, and Razr actually has BT 4.0. (it was one of the selling points during their presentation). Still, Nexus for me :)

  75. This decision has been bugging me because I LOVE Android 4.0 and the screen on the GNex, but the Droid Razr does have removable storage (though its not a whole lot more than the max of the GNex) and I love the way the Droid Razr looks. I do also like the metal feel of Moto. products. I don’t know I want both for completely different reasons, if the Droid Razr came with removable battery, Android 4.0 vanilla, and/or unlocked bootloader I would choose the Droid Razr outright but the differences make them very competitive decisions. Especially being that the Droid Razr likely won’t see 4.0 until late-early 2012, and after just now getting a buggy 2.3.4 on my Incredible I’m definitely sick of the shitty update scheme they have going with Android handsets.

    1. Moto is pretty good about updates.

  76. Am I missing something? Under wildcard you have the Razr as bullet proof and the Nexus as feather weight. The Razr is then described as having “heft”. But the specs show that the Razr is 8g lighter than the Nexus.

    1. “Heft” was referring to prior Motorola phones.
      He was trying to show Media biasing Moto, finding ways to turn flaws into features.

      1. But he then says if durability and heft are things the user looks for, then they will probably prefer the Razr. So he is saying that the Razr still has heft.

        I think heft was the wrong term to use.

  77. I’m on the fence with this choice. I have a Droid X2 now but will upgrade to one of these two Verizon phones because I upgrade… that’s what I do.

    I like the comparison review – well done. One issue – crediting the cloud for storage space is a fair point assuming users have an unlimited data plan. I have a family plan – one of my kids got their phone too late to get in on the unlimited data option. Most people who enjoy music likely have 16+ gb of music to put on a device. If the Galaxy Nexus has 32 gb internal then that would be my choice. I’m curious to see pricing for the 16gb/32gb options.

    I LOVE the idea of no bloatware which, in the end, will be why I choose the Nexus. If Google is going to continue to develop Android experience devices w/o an external storage option then the 2012 phone should have 16/32/64 gb options. Don’t be too quick to credit the cloud option as a reason to discard phone storage capacity.

    Great comparison – thank you.

    Bottom line – they are both BA phones. I could make good use of either one. Great to have so many design/software options on the Android platform.

  78. I feel that ICS knocked it out of the park and I would rather go with an OS that is easier to hack and not have to worry about Moto*Blurp*. I’m not a huge fan of the plastic-y chassis but I’ve heard a lot of people complain that Motorola’s hardware is pretty shoddy in quality despite the “solid feel” in the hand. I guess I can’t knock it till I’ve had one but it has turned me off of going with Moto in the past (and I liked Sense WAY better than Blur). The speedy camera goes a long way too. I like that the Galaxy Nexus has a big chunk of internal memory as well but an SD Card slot would have still been nice.

    Overall I have to say I’m more excited for the Galaxy Nexus than the Droid Razr. But really since I’m still locked into a contract I won’t be getting either and I will likely be getting whatever is out in January 2013 for that reason. So by then both these phones will be obsolete in that sense. I am excited to see where Android is going though so in that sense both phones will help make everything better.

  79. NFC makes the Nexus a winner for me.

  80. Moto will never learn with their locked bootloader BS. Samsung all the way, can’t wait to get the GN on Verizon!

  81. Woops, double post. Damn.

  82. I am really, really hard on phones, and the Droid line has held up well to my abuse. Yes, I once slammed my OG Droid in a car door. And it kept on working, display and all, in spite of it being BENT.

    Also, HDMI is a useful thing to me. I won’t give that up.

    I am not so hot on the non-replaceable battery (I use an extended battery now, and need every mAh I can get), but I am encouraged by the advertised built-in battery management stuff on the Razr. Hoping it will pan out.

    Also, according to the ad spot, using the Razr will cause me to be ravaged by hot random females in elevators, which is a feature I’ve been looking for.

    I’ll be staying with Motorola and jumping from my DX to the Razr.

  83. I don’t think the accessories for the RAZR (& Bionic) are fairly weighted here. Having a 4G device with a laptop interface, or tablet-style with the asus padfone, can’t be understated.

    I think a lot more people will use this than on the Atrix, because they’ve standardized the equipment to work on multiple Moto devices (greater chance of longevity & support). If you have an older unlimited data plan (e.g. me & all the other Droid 1 users hitting the 2yr anniversary) its even more appealing.

    Granted, Ice Cream Sandwich is the ideal environment for said device (see Padfone), but accessories have yet to be announced for the Galaxy Nexus. If they never do, perhaps Verizon could give the Nexus “free tethering” to compete with the Padfone when released…?? Here’s to dreaming :) :)

    1. those are overpriced and nobody uses them because the carriers try to charge you an extra plan to use it.

  84. Still waiting for a physical keyboard, global, 4g LTE verizon motorola phone.

    Droid 4? Anyone? Bueller?

  85. I thought the processors were different? The RAZR using a 4430 and the GN using a 4460??

  86. Ok frankly the galaxy nexus is going to blow the razor out of the water and its simple why.
    The only upper hand the the RAZR has on the prime is the thinness and the hmdi(although a samsung rep confirmed the GN will have an adapter)

    The “cool design” and durability on the RAZR is just a lot of hype. The kevlar backing is simply hype nothing more and the GN has the hyper weave backing which will be similar.
    Gorilla glass is something that has been used by samsung long before motorola picked it up and it is confirmed being on the GN.

    Second the ICS simply trumps the razrs gingerbread and motoblur or wait they stopped using that name because of how much people hated it.
    Google built this phone for ICS! It will be pure android and run beautifully on that and it will get updates first not waiting numerous months like motorola.

    The screen on the GN is unheard of and may trump the retina display PPI wise and it has super amoled on top of that for a vivid bright and detailed screen.
    Also Google is dying to get NFC widely used and frankly what google wants…google gets. And like everyone knows the GN will take better pictures everywhere ESPECIALLY in low light (something these higher MP cameras in phones can’t do)

    Another thing is that the processor is better on the GN because its version of the OMAP has a better graphics processing and its under clocked to 1.2 which can be changed depending on preference.
    All in all the Galaxy Nexus will be a future proof phone the Razr won’t last(like all moto phones) and it doesn’t have NFC which you will be wishing it had a year into your 2 year contract.


    1. I am getting the nexus but I feel that with google buying moto they are going to put more pressure to get their phones updated quicker. Idk how long that will take but I think you will start seeing moto update their phones faster and maybe even remove blur/Map

  87. Engadget confirmed the NG has HDMI through the MHL port. Please update.

  88. Probably mentioned somewhere, but the GN has MHL, so it can output to HDMI with a MHL cable. If this does become the defacto power/video output standard, I’d have to notch this one up for the GN.

  89. I’ll be buying the Nexus. There are a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is that the screen is larger. I would have preferred a 5″ display too.

  90. No can do on the RAZR. Owning an Eris and then an Incredible (arguably two of the most Dev supported phones yet) has made me a certified crackflasher of radios, kernels, ROMs, you name it. I can’t justify a locked bootloader, and if I could, I would upgrade to a 4S. That said, the RAZR is going to sell better than any Moto Android since the OG for the simple fact that the RAZR name is so popular. Amazing marketing move by Moto.

  91. Two updates should be made to this article.

    1) It has been confirmed that the Galaxy Nexus does HDMI thru MHL, although, since an adapter is needed it’s not exactly useful.

    2) The RAZR does not contain TI’s 4460. Motorola’s product page lists it as the TI 4430, which would definitely give the win to the Nexus in the horsepower category. Proof at the link below.


  92. just because something seems cheap and plasticy, doesnt mean its gonna break.

    they just did a sgs2 vs iphone 4s drop test. the cheap feeling phone won.

    id rather have a phone i know can take a fall then a phone that “feels a little better in hand”

    1. Well, hard to argue with that. I drop my phones, unfortunately, way to much. My DX has fallen several times, once from 6 feet onto aggregate. It’s not a few bruises on corners but fortunately has held up well.

      Not saying it feels cheap, but it’s sure not the beast my OG Droid was. 6 feet for that woulda probably been the doom of it.

  93. As a former OG Droid owner, my current X2 has killed all desire for another Moto device despite the build quality. My next phone will be the one that is most supported by the dev community, and open “vanilla” android (how apropos now that we have ICS) wins over Blur/locked bootloader any day. The GN will almost certainly be my first non-Moto handset as well as the first phone I buy out-of-contract. I need a 2nd job!

  94. Although I’m getting neither, I thought I’d say this. My iPhone-bearing friends would not even look at what’s on Nexus’ screen, because it DOES NOT impress visually. Another plastic toy that looks very much the same as hundreds of other phones. RAZR on the other hand stands out, and with that looks absence of ICS and screen are forgivable.

    1. so you played with the nexus to know how the screen looks in person? I had an iphone and it is nice yes but sucks outdoors and samsung makes some nice screens.

      1. I didn’t mean the screen. I meant overall style.

  95. all that should matter… Nexus runs Android. RAZR runs MotoBuggyBlurDroid

    1. they both run android.

      1. Yes, but Motorola’s version is super buggy. When you take away the launcher, the contact manager, the dialer, the calendar, the clock, the car dock, throw in a bunch of bloat.. you really should have to call it something else.

        I run a rooted Thunderbolt with an AOSP-based version of Android on it… my wife runs something similar on her Droid X. Both are rock solid. However… her Droid X with Blur on it was awful and crashed all the time.

        You really shouldn’t be able to call them the same thing.

  96. Overall the nexus seems to be a fairly large phone I am anxious to see how it will feel in hand and fit in pockets. I like how light samsung makes their phones and as long as it doesnt feel much larger than current phones and about the same as the infuse it should be fine.

  97. My reason for the Galaxy Nexus is similar to someone getting the Droid Razr because they had a Razr. My first Android phone was the Nexus 1. So… You see where I’ll be going.

  98. need something official about gorilla glass in the GN!

  99. FYI: The Razr screen is Super Amoled Plus, the Nexus is the minus version

  100. The Gnex not having a SD card makes it hard to make up my mind

  101. Is this Rob Jackson guy new? This article sucked, and there are lots of mistakes. Nothing but an amateurs opinion.

    Remind me never to read something written by this moron.

    1. Ha. That moron is who started this site 3 years ago. Feel free to go elsewhere if you like :)

  102. couple of problems here – wired batteries have proven more efficient by apple with the iphone and who really caries extras anywho.

    the sd slot and hdmi are lacking also the camera itself is better.

    the article should have read sacrifice features for the earliest possible ics availability with nfc.

    1. Well, it’s the ability to remove the battery in case of a freeze up that I’m concerned about.

  103. Obviously 4g kills the battery life on phones. But I live in a 3G area. So if I turn off 4g then the battery life should be great on either phone?

  104. Any chance we can get a comparison of Galaxy Nexus, Droid Razr, and Rezound? Maybe even with Iphone 4s along side for sh*t’s and giggles…???

  105. There’s a few things wrong in that specs comparison sheet.

    The Nexus is labeled “No” for HDMI connectivity when it’s capable of it via USB (just as the GS2 phones are). The RAZR doesn’t have a OMAP 4460 CPU, it’s a 4430 clocked the same as the Nexus’s 4460 (still almost identical, but worth mentioning). And I think there should be an annotation next to the battery specs for “removable/non-removable”.

    1. That’s what I thought about HDMI. The G-Nexus uses MHL to connect to your HDTV via the USB on the device…

  106. What’s wrong with the HTC Rezound? ya stupid name but the specs are pretty good. Although I don’t know to much about the processor differences tho.

    I don’t get the whole cloud thing there are data limits it’s not like you’re going to be streaming and uploading much of anything to the cloud. I’d rather have a Micro SD card slot so I can put my 32GB stick in and have 64GB on the phone isntead of being limited to 2GB a month via the cloud.

  107. All I need to see is that the RAZR has motoblur. Let’s go Nexus.

    1. I hate it less than I thought I would on my DX, but yeah I’d rather have “Vanilla”.

  108. does anyone know if the Razr will be able to stream content from your phone to your TV through the HDMI-out? Or is it just for content that you have on your phone? I really wanted to get something like NFL mobile and stream it to my TV, but the Nexus doesnt have that option.

    This is pretty much my only reason for going with the Razr over the Nexus.

  109. I’m sorry if this was already covered, but they do not have the same processor. The RAZR has the TI 4430 @ 1.2Ghz, while the Galaxy Nexus has the TI 4460 @ 1.2Ghz.

    The differences from what I can tell according to the white pages consist of two additional chips (MA & CMU).

    Directly from the current 4460 white pages….
    “ Overview
    The CMU provides the ability to perform maintenance operations on Cortex-A9 MPU caches by physical address range. This reduces the execution time required by the Cortex-A9 CPUs to perform cache maintenance operations, while improving the overall throughput of maintenance operations. This frees the CPUs for other useful work. The registers inside the CMU are configured using the 32-bit interconnect configuration port from the local interconnect. The CMU operates at half the clock speed of the CPU core.
    The main features of the CMU are:
    • Autonomous cache invalidate and clean-and-invalidate operations on physical address ranges
    • Multiprocessor and multiprogramming supported through built-in atomic range set allocation
    • Independent programming of parameters in 64 range programming sets (RangeSets)
    • Poll for status or interrupt on completion or error
    • Handshake with power-management logic to ensure the CMU is idle before power management
    The CMU indicates the idle status to the Cortex-A9 MPU subsystem, which implies all pending operations in the CMU are complete and is used by the local power-management logic to signal to the global PRCM module to shut down the domain clock and power of the Cortex-A9 MPU subsystem. The local power-management logic uses a handshake approach to ensure that the CMU completes all outstanding cache maintenance operations and enters IDLE state.”

    And for the MA chip….
    “The purpose of the MA is to improve the missed latency of the L2 cache between the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and external memory. One of the PL310 master ports is connected to the MA and is used for all accesses to SCRAM. The PL310 address filtering mechanism is used to split incoming addresses between the MA connected to one of the PL310 master ports and the local interconnect connected to the other PL310 master port. Requests from the MA to the EMIF typically run at half the CPU frequency. In high-speed (turbo) mode, when the CPU runs at higher frequency, these requests can be run at one fourth of the CPU frequency. The MA matches the bandwidth of the PL310 port on burst accesses by packing the write data to 128-bit-wide words and unpacking the 128-bit read data at full processor speed. Because the MA duplicates some of the logic in the local interconnect and DMM module, the MA has similar functionality.”

    However since both chips are TI OMAP 4 chips they both have the dual cortex M3 MPU subsystem which uses two additional M3 cores to handle subsystem controls for display, imaging, and some controls of the video and display subsystem. Granted they only run ARMv7-M and Thumb-2 instruction sets but this should help the TI OMAP 4 family perform well when it comes to battery life and overall usability.

    Neither of these phones or any of the current TI OMAP 4 chips are going to be able to keep up with Exynos benchmarks currently (well see if the 4470 comes out swinging), however only a small % of us actually use benchmarks as the only criteria for whether a phone is better than another. It’s nice to see TI trying to attack the battery issues and interesting way to part the subsystem routines that are proving to be big battery and system hogs.

  110. A quick correction. The Razr has Bluetooth 4.0, not 3.0, and its the second phone to get this (after the iPhone 4s). 
    Currently there are not many devices out there that support it, but expect to see watches, sports sensors, keyboards and similar that support it soon. 

  111. Negatives for the RAZR:
    1.  carrier forced applications, widgets, and setup wizards. 
    2.  manufacturer forced applications and widgets. 
    3.  Non-removable battery.  People who don’t purchase or use extra batteries while at the same time claiming they are useless are idiots and don’t speak from experience.  Even if you don’t intend to replace your depleted battery with a fresh one on a daily basis, after ~1 year of recharges, dropping $20-30  to replace your waning battery will breath new life into your phone.  This is a clear advantage for the Nexus, especially for power users on the go.  
    4.  micro-HDMI vs MHL. MHL is future tech and is meant to be better than micro-HDMI because it can charge while outputting.  Even if your current HDTV doesn’t support MHL, it’s still technically the better tech.  In the mean time, go buy an MHL adapter from $15-30.  You’ll end up paying $15-30 for a microHDMI cable anyways. 
    5.  OMAP 4430.  The Nexus has the OMAP 4460 which has some minor architectural improvements as wells as a higher clocked GPU for better graphics.  Also, the 4460, per the specs, is intended to run at 1.5Ghz.  So my guess is the 4460 will be more power efficient at 1.2Ghz than the 4430.
    6.  Locked…this phone (in the Verizon flavor) will be locked up and probably locked up permanently.  
    7.  qhD vs 720p AMOLED 
    8.  Gingerbread vs ICS.   
    In addition to all the extra features, ICS uses GPU acceleration and better multi-threaded support, so the Nexus should just be a better all around experience.  I would not be surprised if it took Motorola 4+ months to get ICS ready…and by then it will be just like their bastardized version of Gingerbread.
    9.  Camera – RAZR may have more megapixels, but a good camera that does not make.  As the article states, the Nexus does photos and video better.  
    10.  16GB microSDHC card.  You aren’t getting a 32GB phone when you get a RAZR. You will need to spend an extra $70-100 for a decent 32GB class 10 micro SDHC card if you want a true 32GB phone.  As a Bionic owner, let me tell you that your 16GB built in memory isn’t 16GB.  8GB is reserved for OS software so you only get 8GB partition for apps and storage.  And that little 8GB partition is very limited.  This makes it a 24GB phone.  Switching between your internal and external SD card is a total pain in the ass.  For example, the stock android browser, e-mail and g-mail will always save downloads and attachments to the internal SD card.  Then you have to annoyingly use a file manager to copy and paste it to where you want it to go on your external SD card.  if you use google music cloud service, it will cache gigs of music on your internal SD and you constantly have to keep an eye out for how much space remains on your small 8GB partition.  You will quickly realize how useless and limited that 8GB partition is for storing data.  I consider my Bionic to be only a 16GB phone because the 8GB internal partition just isn’t useful except for storing application cache.  I will say the same for the RAZR. Even if the SD card isn’t removable, I would rather take a full 32GB internal over 8+16GB=24GB.

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