Motorola Droid Razr HD vs Samsung Galaxy S3
Motorola has come to become one of our favorite smartphone producers after a journey of more than ten years in the industry. Their products are solid and well-built having emphasized on resistance for rugged usage. This makes them excellent candidates for military personnel. Motorola has continued this tradition of rugged smartphones from their enterprise mobility clients. Motorola used to be one of the very few manufacturers producing enterprise mobility systems ten years back. These devices were rugged as it could be; you could take them to a fight, you could use it as a hammer on a nail, and you could throw it off a 120kmph car, and it’ll still live to see the next day. These enterprise level rugged devices ran on Windows CE, and because Windows CE was a pain at the time, Motorola had a hard time transitioning from their rugged devices to smartphones. If the operating system used in those devices were a good one, Motorola would be playing a completely different role in today’s market.
However, thanks to Google, Motorola also found their strong ground on Google Android smartphone operating system. Since then, they have released a lot of models, but they have maintained their firm grip on the ruggedness and they have also made it a habit to come up with the thinnest smartphone as possible. At an event held at New York on 5 September 2012, Motorola has yet again revealed another thin and rugged smartphone which caught our eye. This one is formally known as Motorola Droid Razr HD and has a striking resemblance to Droid Razr. At a glance, it can be seen as a big brother to the recently released Motorola Droid Razr M. Hence let us compare this new smartphone with a smartphone that can be used to provide a benchmark. We’ll give our first impressions on Droid Razr HD and move on to compare it with Samsung Galaxy S3 to find out whether it matches the general industrial norm for high end smartphones.
Motorola Droid Razr HD Review
Droid Razr HD is a device that can be clearly seen as the successor for Droid Razr. We compared Droid Razr M with Galaxy S3 and this comparison would contain some of the same details, as well. The only difference we were able to see was in the size, screen size and the display resolution. It is powered by 1.5GHz Dual Core processor on top of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset with 1GB of RAM. Android OS v4.0.4 assumes the duties of been the operating system and will soon be retired by Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean. It has the same UI as of Razr M and gives you a taste of Vanilla Android at times. The operation was crisp, and we felt the device was oozing with power. A Dual Core processor is not much of a deal nowadays, but this processor runs on top of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset which makes it more powerful than the rest.
Motorola Droid Razr HD has 4.7 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 312ppi keeping true to the HD label. The screen looks delightful with vibrant colors. It’s really thin at 8.4mm and score dimensions of 131.9 x 67.9mm and weighs 146g. We have to admit the weight is somewhat in the heftier side of the spectrum although it doesn’t really bother you when you’re holding the handset in your hands due to the relaxing bezel it has at the back. The Kevlar coated back plate ensures the ruggedness of this device. Razr HD comes in CDMA version as well as GSM version while supporting 4G LTE connectivity in both versions. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n ensures that you can stay connected continuously while giving the chance to host a Wi-Fi hotspot to share your super-fast internet connection. The handset has a nominal storage of 12GB, and you can expand it using microSD card up to 32GB which is good. The 8MP camera has become a norm for similar kinds of smartphones; following the line, this one can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 frames per second, as well. The 1.3MP camera in the front can be used for video conferencing. Motorola has also included a beefy 2530mAh battery which may be enough for the power hungry LTE connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) Review
Galaxy S3, the 2012 flagship device of Samsung, comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android OS v4.0.4 IceCreamSandwich. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs and tops the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S3 with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus.
As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S3 also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S3 can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S 2, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S3 will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S3 has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this caliber needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S3 only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
A Brief Comparison between Motorola Droid Razr HD and Samsung Galaxy S III
• Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by 1.5GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM while Motorola Droid Razr HD is powered by 1.5GHz Dual Core processor on top of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset with 1GB of RAM.
• Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android OS v4.0.4 ICS while Motorola Droid Razr HD also runs on the same operating system.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi while Motorola Droid Razr HD has 4.7 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 312ppi.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30fps while Motorola Droid Razr HD also has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30fps.
• Samsung Galaxy S III is bigger, thicker yet lighter (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g) compared to Motorola Droid Razr HD (131.9 x 67.9mm / 8.4mm / 146g).
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 2100mAh battery while Motorola Droid Razr HD has 2530mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S3 is a better and more powerful smartphone compared to Droid Razr HD. It has a better processor and some cool new features portrayed by Samsung’s tagline; ‘Built for Humans’. However, it also comes with a higher price tag that has become the privilege for high end smartphones. I wouldn’t dare to call Motorola Droid Razr HD as a mid-range smartphone, but it isn’t high end material either given it only features a dual core processor. The interesting fact to note is that, right now, the chances are that both of these devices would perform in the same caliber in similar applications, in today’s market. Samsung Galaxy S3 would perform better in futuristic applications as well while Motorola Droid Razr HD would have problems in smoothly performing in those applications. So, if you do look in to that distant future, Motorola Droid Razr HD may not be the smartphone for you. However, if you’re on a tight budget, it may just be the smartphone for you, as well.