Motorola Razr M first impressions: Maximized screen real estate at its finest

Droid Motorola Razr M

Check out our full review of the Motorola Droid Razr M

Motorola announced an updated line of its Razr smartphone family this week, and the first of the three to be released is the Motorola Razr M — otherwise known as its budget-friendly edition. At $100 (with a 2-year contract,) the phone stacks up competitively to other budget phones on the market such as the HTC One V. Here’s our first look at what Motorola has in store for its Razr line.

It’s funny to think that a 4.3-inch screen phone these days is considered “compact,” but that’s exactly how Motorola described the Razr M during its press conference Wednesday. The near edge-to-edge design offers more screen per square inch — which makes the advertised 4.3-inch screen bigger than it sounds. The 960 x 540 resolution display itself is truly vivid especially under the gorilla glass, and the whole device feels more expensive than your average budget phone. Thanks to its Kevlar back, the anti-scratch and added grip makes for a beautifully-designed phone that feels like it’s worth a ton more than one Benjamin.

While the Motorola Razr M comes with an internal memory of 8GB and 1GB of RAM, storage is expandable with the micro-SD slot placed right on the side of the phone. The SIM card slot is also right next to it, so no more opening the back of your phone and digging your nails in to remove either chips. The device is runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a bit of a disappointment, but Motorola says all the new Razr phones should be getting Jellybean by the end of the year.

The Razr M also comes with a dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 MP back camera, and a 3 MP front-facing shooter. The dual-core processor makes the Razr M run extremely fast. Switching between screens is swift, and you can program your own pages and add them as needed. To delete, simply hold and drag the app icon or page to the trash can.  

What’s new about the Razr M is a circle interface that allows you to customize shortcuts. For example, new text messages can appear on the most prominent circle while the second circle is dedicated to weather. For each city you add, you can flip the circle to navigate through the cities and get updated weather information for each location.

According to Motorola, one full charge can deliver an impressive 20 hours of battery life but we’ll see if that claim holds true. Be on a lookout for our full review shortly. In the meantime, the Motorola Razr M is available for pre-order now at Verizon with an official release date of September 13. To get the $100 price, you will have to mail in a $50 rebate through Verizon.