Next-Gen Android Battle: Motorola DROID RAZR vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus

By , dealnews Senior Feature Writer

It's been a busy week for Android. Not only did Motorola inject Google's operating system into its now-resurrected RAZR line, but Samsung also unveiled it's long-awaited Galaxy Nexus — the first Android phone to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). But which of these two giants is the real über Android phone? We compared them to find out.

Motorola DROID RAZR vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
To be announced
Operating System
Android 2.3.5
(with MotoBlur)
Android 4.0
Ice Cream Sandwich
4.3" qHD Super AMOLED (960x540)
4.65" Super AMOLED HD (1280x720)
1.2GHz dual-core
1.2GHZ dual-core
16GB onboard plus 16GB microSD
16GB or 32GB onboard
1.3MP front camera
8MP rear camera
1.3MP front camera
5MP rear camera
720p HD video, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n, 4G LTE support, HSPA+, GSM
1080p HD video, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n, NFC support, 4G LTE support, HSPA+, GSM
4.4 oz.
4.7 oz.
*With a 2-year contract.

A New Standard for Android Phones

At 71mm thick (0.28"), the Motorola DROID RAZR is quite possibly the thinnest smartphone on the market today. It's also the lightest, weighing in at 4.4 oz. But don't let its starved profile fool you. This phone is a heavyweight monster once you move beyond its looks.

Inside it's powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and has all the markings of a flagship smartphone, including a 4.3" qHD Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass, 4G support, WiFi, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with 720p video capture. Make no mistake, this phone is in a different league from those old clamshell RAZRs.

Not to be outdone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a few firsts up its sleeve, too. Namely, it's the first Android phone to run the Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The updated OS brings with it a wealth of new changes, including a revamped user interface, Face Unlock (which lets you unlock your phone with a flash of your pearly whites), Android Beam (a feature that lets you wirelessly swap data with other NFC-capable phones), and Voice typing. There's also a feature that lets you monitor and set limits to how much data your phone uses, a great add-on for users stuck on tiered data plans. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of new features.

While it's true that the DROID RAZR (and plenty of other Android handsets) will eventually get the ICS update, the Galaxy Nexus' hardware was specifically built and tweaked for ICS. That gives it a potentially huge advantage over other phones like the DROID RAZR, which were built and tweaked for other flavors of Android's OS. In addition, the Galaxy Nexus runs stock Android (the DROID RAZR has a revamped version of Motorola's MotoBlur), so future Android updates should roll out smoothly with no fears of interfering with the manufacturer's skin.

The Galaxy Nexus Comes Out Ahead — and it Has Apple in its Crosshairs

If you want the latest and best Android phone, there's no doubt you'll want a Galaxy Nexus. However, although there are rumors it'll be a Verizon exclusive, nothing has been made official. (It's also rumored that it will start at $299 with a contract, the same as the DROID RAZR.)

That's not to say the DROID RAZR is a horrible choice. In fact, there's room for both phones to be Android flagships. But we're betting the Galaxy Nexus will provide a better overall experience.

As for oustide competition, both phones have the iPhone 4S in its crosshairs. Ultimately, which camp you choose depends on what ecosystem you're most invested in. But one thing is certain, as far as deals go, history has shown that Android phones tend to receive quicker discounts than Apple's iPhone (the 4S to date has only seen one discount from Walmart).

An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisRamirez. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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Time to trade in my old Nexus One for the new version. 
Agree. No clue why they removed the micoSD slot. Also, I was shocked to see the $299 price tag on the Droid RZR. (Feels very high.) That said, it's likely the 32GB Samsung will cost much more. Hopefully the discounts will be quick to roll in on both phones!
I'm very interested in the Galaxy Nexus, but their removal of the microSD card slot is questionable. I thought they were trying to shift AWAY from the iPhone stereotype? Now, more than ever, it seems as if Samsung is modeling their line similar to the Apple products.

Also, will the 32gb version cost more than the 16gb version? If so, then the Droid RAZR has an edge in that department.