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Motorola RAZR HD Review (PICTURES) (VIDEO)

30/04/2013 14:05 BST | Updated 30/06/2013 10:12 BST

When Google purchased Motorola Mobility last year, there were high hopes that the collaboration between the two would lead to immediate, startling Android products that would push the platform to the next level.

So far, that hasn't been the case. Motorola appears to still be rolling through its pre-existing roadmap of devices, and the latest flagship - the Razr HD - doesn't boast anything 'Googly' that its competitors don't have.

Indeed, there is no shortage of high-definition, thin and straightforwardly decent Android handsets on the market right now, and so without truly stand-out features it's hard to be that enthusiastic.

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That said, in most respects the Razr HD is a great and well-made device. It's not especially light, but the Kevlar back panel and slightly curved, asymmetrical design is pleasing to hold while making room for an excellent 2,530mAh battery.

Distinctive or beautiful the Razr HD is not, however. It's a dark and gloomy phone, which has none of the light grace of the S4 or the monolithic beauty of the iPhone 5.

Its 1280x720 pixels, 4.7-inch and 312 ppi AMOLED screen is decent, bright and clear, with rich blacks and very vibrant colours - something Motorola chooses to show off with its relentlessly insane psychadelic wallpapers. The phone also has a 1.5Ghz processor and 1GB of Ram, which is not top of the range - especially compared to the Galaxy S4 - but is enough to play the latest 3D games at quite a clip.

Likewise the camera is fine, if unremarkable, at 8-megapixels, though it doesn't stand up to comparison with any of the top handsets, including last year's Galaxy S3. It's also worth noting the battery is not replaceable, though that's not an issue for most.

The phone also supports the 4G networks that will be launched in the UK this summer to challenge EE's existing service, which could prove crucial for many users.

In software terms the Razr HD runs Android 4.1 out of the box, with only a few widgets and other additions to get in the way of the pure Google experience. The main change is that instead of multiple home screens by default, swiping right on the main page brings up some quick settings, while swiping left brings up options to add new home screens. SmartActions, which let you make changes based on location, also make a welcome return.

With all that in mind, it's hard not to admit that the Razr HD is a solid, fast and quality handset. But it does feel like an admission. While its flagship Android competitors - the HTC One, the Sony Xperia Z and the S4 - aren't light years ahead, they do have their noses in front. And the Razr HD is too expensive for that to be the case.

And, yes, it's also out-performed by the Nexus 4. Which is made by Google. And how that is still happening this long after the acquisition is -- if not baffling -- at least a disappointment.

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