Motorola Droid RAZR v. HTC Rezound v. Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Verizon’s Big 3 Compared


On the eve of the release of the Motorola Droid RAZR, many buyers in search of their next smartphone are faced with some serious decisions. Only a few days after Moto’s super-slim handset is released the similarly powerful HTC Rezound will hit shelves. Shortly after that comes the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. All three handsets feature 4G LTE connectivity, beautiful displays, and dual-core processors, but which truly rules Verizon’s holiday lineup?

Click for full size.

As you can see from the above chart (click to get a bigger view), the handsets match each other nearly blow for blow in all the important categories. The Rezound holds an edge with a Qualcomm MSM8660 processor clocked at 1.5GHz per core, but it’s close. The Galaxy Nexus and Droid RAZR are clocked a bit slower, both utilizing a 1.2GHz OMAP 4 CPU. The Galaxy Nexus and Rezound are deadlocked with their 720p displays to the RAZR’s qHD offering, but the Nexus has the biggest screen at 4.65-inches. Size isn’t so much a plus, but it will sway some people’s decisions (though the Nexus manages to pack the large size in frame that still manages to not feel too big).

As has been harped on often enough, the true deciding factor is in the software. Android die-hards will want the Galaxy Nexus for its cutting edge Android 4.0 software and direct Google support. The every day user may not find this as big a selling point, especially considering Motorola and HTC’s use of custom software on top of Android 2.3. Other difference-makers include the RAZR’s 7.1mm chassis reinforced with steel and kevlar and the Rezound’s Beats Audio integration.

We can’t offer a definitive statement on the three until all have been thoroughly put through the paces, but at first glance none is the clear winner. Different aspects of each device will appeal to different users, but it’s hard to say going with any particular one would be the wrong choice.

Kevin Krause
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  1. I like decisions on robots.

  2. Nice chart, but, um, why do you have a category labeled Flash Player Support that contains information about connectivity features?

  3. I can’t wait for Verizon to get the HTC EVO 4G, that’s the show stopper.

    1. Nice troll attempt lol

      1. I’m not as good as it as real trolls, thanks.

  4. Ummmm, Galaxy Nexus has a clocked down (standard 1.5GHz) OMAP 4460 rather than the Razor’s OMAP 4440.  The OMAP 4460 will eat the Qualcomm MSM8660’s dinner.

    1. The difference in cpu’s may not make up for the lower clockspeed, plus just because it’s clocked down, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to overclock it to 1.5, even if you root. they very well may have lowered the clock speed to 1.2 in order to lower the tempeture to fit the processor in a more cramped location

      1. clock speed depends on the kernel.. which we will be able to change in the nexus due to the unlocked bootloader, but will NOT be able to change it in the RAZR.  

        Remember the OG Droid’s 600mhz omap was underclocked to 550mhz, but runs at 1.1-1.2GHz all day without a hiccup.

        I suspect the 4460 will be able to push 1.8+GHz.    

        1. I’m thinking of rooting my OG Droid and would be very interested in learning more about kernels that could help it run at 1.1 GHz. Could you give me some more info about this?

    2. RAZR is 4430. Yeah… they should have made that distinction. There’s a significant difference. To the uninformed, they might think they RAZR and the Nexus have the same screen (except size) and the same processor.

      1. Exactly. Nexus Prime has much better display and better CPU. Its OMAP 4460 is rated at 1.5Ghz, but Google/Samsung choose to clock it at 1.2 to conserve battery.  I’m really sure with some hack or custom rom, you can increase the clock speed to 1.5 (and that’s not even consider overclocking).

        Camera is where it’s debatable.  Some people might prefer higher resolution, but I prefer zero lag time and higher quality.

        The other phones have advantage in microSD card and HDMI out.  Nexus somewhat makes up with NFC and wireless video out (will be available in later OTA update).

        For me, Nexus easily wins with ICS, display, and CPU.  The other factors are debatable and less important.

    3. Exactly. Just saying OMAP 4 doesn’t do it. There is a HUGE difference between the 4460 in the Nexus and the 4430 in the RAZR. Of the 3 CPUs the 4460 is the clear winner.

      1. I am sorry to dissapoint, but the difference between the 4430 and the 4460 is not much. Now if you where talking between the 4460 and the  4470 you would be right.


        1. “The main upgrades to the OMAP4460 processor are an increased GPU performance and improved external memory access performance.”  – http://armdevices.net/2011/10/26/interview-with-the-texas-instruments-omap4-team/

          I agree that it’s not HUGE, but I was more pointing out the fact that it is different than the RAZR and should have an edge over the MSM8660.

          The above linked interview with the OMAP4 team is a great read.

          1. It definitely has the edge compared to the MSM8660, that I have no argument.

        2. Not quite. The 4460 is capable of 1.5GHz speeds (and if TI would have gotten their act together for launch, they would have certified all GN’s at 1.5GHz), so we will likely see some overclocked kernels for the Nexus coming out of the development community.

          1. But its is not a HUGE difference like the step from 4460 and 4470, the only real difference is the clock speed between the 4430 and 4460. But the 4470 has a whole new GPU, which is a HUGE difference.

      2. About the only significant difference is that they’ve bumped the GPU – the same one as in the original Galaxy S – up 80MHz. Not exactly huge.

        1. iv’e always found the Hz on a GPU to be of far more value on than on a CPU.  So bumping up a GPU frequency is probably the equivalent to double that bump on a cpu.

        2. Not quite. The 4460 is capable of 1.5GHz speeds (and if TI would have gotten their act together for launch, they would have certified all GN’s at 1.5GHz), so we will likely see some overclocked kernels for the Nexus coming out of the development community.

      3. Actually, the 4460 and 4430 are the same chip.. manufactured at the same time exactly the same way.. 

        The difference is that even though they are manufactured the same, all chips do not come out the same.

        They test them all.. and those capable of running at 1.5+ GHz get a 4460 slapped on them.  Those capable at running 1.2+GHz get a 4430 slapped on them..  The rest get tossed in the trash

        1. dont forget that the ones that run 1ghz are thrown in the droid 3 :P

  5. The chart says 1.1Ghz OMAP4 on Razr. It’s 1.2Ghz actually. And it’s 4430 in razr and 4460 in Nexus.

  6. How come this site says there is a gyro in the razr? http://www.tabletmac.net/android-app/behind-the-glass-a-detailed-tour-inside-the-motorola-droid-razr.html

    =/ I thought gyro’s where pretty standard

  7. what about battery size?

  8. The lack of HDMI and sd slot on the GNex bother me. Ill prob end up getting it anyway.

    1. The Nexus supports HDMI through the miniUSB 2.0/MHL jack. You just need a simple adapter to convert from the miniUSB plug to an HDMI, you can find one on Amazon for like 8 bucks. Considering you need a miniHDMI to HDMI cable anyway, one more adapter isn’t that bad.

      Also, read more into MHL, it’s a proposed standard on the rise, and Samsung will be incorporating it into its TVs in the future. Google/Samsung are actually ahead of the curve on this one.

      1. does that adapter allow you to charge it while using the hdmi?

        1. Yes, all the adapters that I’ve seen include another miniUSB slot so that you can charge the phone simultaneously.


          1. nice!

        2. From what I’ve heard… only certain Samsung TV models from 2011/2012 are capable of charging over MHL. Otherwise, no.

        3. Yes it does charge at the same time.  In fact it requires it. Its the same adapter I use with my GS2 (which can play 1080p mkvs on my big screen beautifully).


  9. Why is Verizon getting all of the best phones right now? I don’t really understand why att isn’t bidding for better phones for their customers. It seems that tmo and Verizon are on a roll with great devices.

    1. because it’s almost Christmas time, of course, lol

    2. Because Verizon has suffered long enough with out Nexus all these years and also missing out on the GSII. That said… I hear ya. Three exclusive super awesome phones almost seems like overkill.

      1. Verizon’s suffered? More like, Verizon’s customers have suffered…..

        1. I agree.  Lots of my friends are on Verizon and ask me what phone to get and up until now I had to recommend something that was already behind the curve.  

  10. The screens on the RAZR and Nexus should be differentiated. The RAZR has a Super AMOLED Advanced screen, while the Nexus has a Super AMOLED HD. Both are better than standard Super AMOLED.

    1. and both far better than S-LCD. 

  11. I think the fact that the GN doesn’t have any physical buttons is a huge positive. Not only is the screen size able to be increased, but I’m sure the development community will be able to hack it so that we can customize our own buttons. *crosses fingers*

  12. So many good phones rite now, what about next year when quad core phones are introduced? No matter the phone there will always be something better coming out.but the Samsung nexus has a bright future.

  13. Did you guys forgot about NFC? Isn’t that also a sensor? Thanks for the chart!

  14. NFC is the deciding factor for me, and the upcoming Nexus is the ONLY Verizon phone that has it.

    1. Problem is, there won’t be too many friends with a nexus phone to bump it with. Will the nexus come with Google Wallet that maybe used at cashier terminals at stores?

      1. I would assume that Google’s flagship phone would come with support for all their new smartphone apps/features.

  15. There are so many erros and omissions. I guess battery life was left out due to the unknown lte nexus size. But the flash support column is labeled wrong and the processor speed on razr is wrong. Exact processor model and amoled type is left out too. And what about the gyroscope. Is nexus really the only phone with one? What about Bluetooth? Please takes this chart down or fix it asap.

    1. Nexus has a 1750 mAh battery.

    2. “Flash player support” means playing video from the internal flash drive, hence the connection types.

  16. You forgot the UI, which is the most important thing to me: blur vs. sense vs. chocolate… standard chocolate wins any day

    1. mm chocolate

  17. Damn you verizon! Thank god the galaxy nexus is better than nexus s. Good job google. I guess the next carrier will have three quad core phone next year.

  18. I know that it would be quite laborious to include each and every feature, but this list seems a little sparse. Even on the features it does show, we’re missing valuable information. There’s a couple small errors as well. I just don’t want some newbies to stumble upon this post and get the wrong idea.

    Can we get a new list?

  19. It’s the Galaxy Nexus for me, because it’s a pure Android device. It has no bloatware, timely updates, and support directly from Google throughout the entire year of 2012 and possibly 2013 also. The previous Nexus phones had support and current updates for 2 years, which is the length of a contract. Having Android phones, to me, the biggest problem was the lack of updates.

  20. I would’ve gotten the nexus but it doesn’t have an sd card slot so I’m getting the HTC rezound

    1. Rezound will have 16 GB storage with 16 or 32 GB additional through SD slot. Nexus will come with 32 GB, so you’ll need to get the biggest possible SD card to expand past the Nexus.

      1. Yeah but it’s not just about the capacity. It’s also about the convenience or the option of using an SD card. To me, it’s not a deal breaker but I could see how someone would be turned-off by its omission.

    2. And when you get it…you’ll live with infrequent updates.  At least with the RAZR we know updates will be forthcoming.  HTC is horrible at updates.

      1. I guess you haven’t heard of the Evo?  It got Froyo before any other phone and Gingerbread not long after only a few phones.  

        1. Or the MyTouch Slide, which got Froyo soon after release…oh wait. At least its better than the Behold 2.

  21. Galaxy Nexus wins the day. Hands down.

    In the 13 categories shown here, it handily wins at least 5 of them (and I’m being nice). It “ties” in at least 5 categories. The other 3 categories it either “loses” or doesn’t have that feature (SD card slot). Again… that’s being nice. In my opinion it wins at least 8 of the 13 categories. All three phones kick ass and you should be proud to own any one of them.

    The RAZR is easily the “worst” of the bunch. Its thin form and premium materials are its only real standout features. That said, it matches the Rezound and Nexus in many categories and shouldn’t be scoffed at. To me, the non-removable battery is a significant turn-off. An older-ish processor and the lack of HD screen resolution seals the deal. No thanks.

    The Rezound is awesome if you can get past its tired Sense UI, mediocre battery, and hefty build. Beats audio is cool, but I don’t think it’ll have much attraction except for those with Beats headphones or those seriously concerned with music. The processor is great at 1.5Ghz, but the Nexus’s processor is underclocked. It will easily reach 1.5Ghz if you wanted to. The HD screen should be suberb with those resolutions in a 4.3″ screen. PPI should be off the charts! Both the Rezound and the RAZR have a huge advantage with their SD card slots. For some, it’s almost a deal breaker not to include such a feature.

    The Nexus represents a perfect blend of hardware and software. Sure it’s got ICS, but all three will eventually recieve the new software and some people even like the OEM skins. But the Nexus seems to be future proof with NFC, MHL, and fast software updates. The TI OMAP 4460 will easily boost to 1.5Ghz to provide future processor needs. The battery is removable should you find yourself with an old, dying battery. HD screens are the future. ICS has been optimized for HD screens. RAZR owners will be left in the dust.

    So… those who want a phone that will still be relevent and updated regularly over the next two years, I suggest purchasing the Galaxy Nexus.

  22. Am I upset there is no SD card on the Nexus? Yes, I swap SD cards out all the time. Is it too much to ask for just one small little slot on the phone? Probably.

    1. Is asking questions just to answer them in the next sentence annoying? Without a doubt.

  23. I think it needs to be noted that the Nexus is running the OMAP 4460 and the RAZR is on the OMAP 4430. If you look at the 4460 specs it can run up to 1.5 ghz to match the Rezound.

  24. I would have preferred if the Rezound had stuck with a body similar to the Sensation. The Sensation is by far the best looking current Android phone, with the RAZR being number 2. I think that the nexus one was probably the best looking/best overall Android phone for its time.

  25. The Rezound is shipping with a barometer as well. 

  26. SD card is very important. Is like their trying to take all of our privacy away from us. I would rather have my personal data, pictures on an SD card because at least i can remove my card and put it away where no one can get it. Personal data on internal memory can always be retrieved even if you wipe it clean , decide to trade in or resell your phone. The data is always there. They also trying to promote this cloud junk to take away your privacy. Its sad but i think more and more phones produced in the future will have no sd card slot.

    1. Which tells me you got something to hide. Come on or else we can send Anonymous after you and post you all over the net for the person you really are. Just kidding bro. I definitely like my privacy as well.

      1. Yeah, it’s really sad that the Nexus doesn’t have SD support as well. I didn’t buy the Nexus S specifically because of it, and now it’s the same for this one. 

        Well, actually, none of the three made it to my must-haves because of two important factors: NFC and SD support. Rezound and RAZR have the latter but not the former, while Nexus is vice versa. I want a phone that has both.

    2. I agree on wanting the local storage as well.  With Sandisk selling 64GB MircoSD cards now, that work in most phones, I definitely will be getting a phone with a slot.  

  27. This chart only scratches the surface.  What about other details like bluetooth etc.??

  28. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_Nexus#Hardware
    Galaxy Nexus can also output 1080p video via MicroUSB port. As everyone else is pointing out this chart is very lacking.

  29. Holy Crap! The Rezound’s gonna have a 341ppi S-LCD display! No PenTile, real subpixels and everything. Why is no one talking about this? 

    This will potentially be the first phone to have a better display than the iPhone’s. 

    1. The Rezound is definitely my second favorite and that screen has a lot to do with it. LCD’s aren’t quite as energy efficient as AMOLED and they don’t display colors quite as vividly. But that PPI is pretty rediculous!

    2. Enjoy it for the two hours that your battery will last you.

  30. @ cherubdog. Explain that to a female. No pussy for you. Lol.

  31. 1 is locked, 1 got bad battery life…. only sammy left :)

  32. You ladies are missing some key points in my book.

    1: The rezound has the best, hands down, GPU. It more than makes up for its CPU, especially once it gets ics.
    2: Yes, to expand past the 32GB of the nexus, (if verizons version even is the 32GB version, I haven’t seen proof) you would need a 16GB card, but many people swap out 8GBs or multiple cards to make this very worthwhile. (so even if the nexus comes up with an eSata or usb 3.0 adapter it doesn’t stand a chance.)
    3: The display on the rezound is going to make your eyes bleed, its going to be so beautiful.
    4: Coming from working in a retail environment where we actually sell phones, Samsung phones have the absolute worst quality, ever. Nearly every single model has had major hardware flaws that repeatedly get swapped out.

    This is such a major flaw to the point where I would not even consider the Samsung “instinct” galaxy nexus as a valid choice. I’m so disappointed that Google chose a shoddy manufacturer with a horrendous track record in the mobile world for their flagship phone. My ratings are:

    1) HTC Vigor(aka Rezound)
    2) Motorola Razr
    3) Motorola Droid Bionic
    Unlucky #13) Samsung Instinct Galaxy Nexus.

    I’m getting super excited to troll galaxy nexus forums.. can’t wait to read all of the problems.

    1. LUL you are captain of the troll team I see. Congrats. Enjoy not having ICS for the next 10-14 months.

      1. That’s quite an exaggeration.  Htc’s flagship phones, other than the Thunderbolt, have had updates as fast as any other manufacturer.  

        1. The Incredible JUST got a GB update, it was HTC’s OG flagship. BTW, all of the manufacturers suck at updates, none are excluded. Thus why a Nexus is so sought after.

        2. I guess my EVO Spoiled me.

  33. I’m going with the Rezound. Htc makes phones with good,sturdy hardware. updates are not always plentiful, but as the Thunderbolt showed, Htc likes devs and thier phones are rooted easily. Moto phones are horrible from what i’ve seen and Samsung isn’t far behind. i’m rocking an Eris still and other than my outdated hareware and 1st gen problems, love the phone. Hopefully in the next couple years they’ll even consider making an another eris/dinc sized phone with say a…quad core? 

  34. I find it funny that so many of you act like HTC is the only smartphone with crappy battery life. Almost ALL smartphones have crappy battery life. I have an extended battery in my Droid X otherwise I would get maybe 4 hours out of it and I do not even run that much stuff! The Rezound is on the top of my list. The Razr looks horrid and the Galaxy Nexus looks good but no SD slot is a huge turn off and I have never found anyone who has had luck with a Samsung phone!!! 

    1. I agree with most of your points, but I’m willing to take my chances with the Nexus.  I’ve been getting by with 16gb of space on my SD card for my droid for the past 2 years and I think if I got the 32gb Nexus it would satisfy me at least until it came time to upgrade again.

      That said, I really REALLY like the looks of the Rezound and with a PPI around 342 (iPhone 4 has 326 PPI with it’s retina display) I might just be swayed into getting that instead.  Only things keeping me from changing my mind and shooting for the Rez is that it’s still on GB, it’s still got Sense, and it will still take it a long time to get updated from OS build to OS build.

      …in short I’m willing to sacrifice a denser (prettier) screen and expandable memory for “future-proof-ness” and the default Android experience.

  35. The Razr is practically designed to compete with Apple, that is, except for the quality of the 8mp camera. For the few of you who were concerned about security and privacy, the Razr is the only one with government grade security features (a direct attack at RIM and Apple, I suppose). Adding to this are the lapdock accessories and the HDMI-mirroring, which offer a full-fledged firefox browser and Linux-like experience. Then you have MotoCast (repackaged ZumoCast) integrated into the features that streams media and files from a home computer. For battery issues, it has the “Smart Actions” app which is marketed as increasing the life 25%. Some reviews say it is a good effort, although it could be better.

    Secondly, the fact that the Nexus only has a 5mp camera is crap, especially with the release of the iPhone 4S.

    I want overall performance, of course, but the camera quality tops my list. Almost makes me want to go get an iPhone 4S……………… yea, about that.

    1. Anyone who bases cellphone camera quality on only megapixels as measuring stick hasn’t the slightest clue what they are talking about.

  36. But… the display is inferior, inaccurate, and less dense. And regardless of the CPU, the GPU is outdated as well. The gnex was just too underwhelming, especially given Samsungs track record on quality, its not worth the risk. I understand most peoples gripe on battery life, but I have no issues with keeping my phone above 80% all day.

  37. I will sir, and you have fun swapping your pile out every 4-6 weeks for a replacement for the next 2 years.

  38. Can anyone comment on the phone quality of the three phones?  I need clear calls for my business in addition to the smartphone features.  Motorola has always had superior call quality but don’t know about the Droid Razr.  Thanks

  39. There several things missing from this chart.  How about including removable battery (Y/N), battery size in mAh, Bluetooth version, USB version, WLAN versions supported, capacitative touch function buttons (Y/N) and gorilla glass (Y/N).

    Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound have removable batteries, Motorola Droid Razr does not.  Samsung Galaxy Nexus battery is 1750 mAh, Motorola Droid Razr is 1780 mAh and HTC Rezound is 1620 mAh.  Motorola Droid Razr has Bluetooth 4.0, the others have Bluetooth 3.0.  Motorola Droid Razr has 802.11b/g/n and the others have 802.11a/b/g/n.  They all support USB 2.0.  The Motorola Droid Razr and HTC Rezound have capacitative touch function buttons, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus does not.  The Motorola Droid Razr has Gorilla Glass, the others do not.

  40. Rezound has gorilla glass..

    1. Not according to the information that I’ve found online.  It might have something similar to gorilla glass but everything I’ve read says that it doesn’t.

  41. Rezound for me all the way. Battery will be fine for me, and I dont mind getting the 2750mah battery… 

  42. I pick the Galaxy Note in white plz.  

  43. i waiting for the knew htc one to come out which will have a quad core processor

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