Monday, November 14, 2011

The Verizon Big 3: The Razr, Rezound, and Galaxy Nexus

I have had a few people ask me which one of these phones they should get, so I thought I would give my thoughts on them. so without further delay: the Droid Razr, HTC Rezound, and Galaxy Nexus, Verizon's big three.

The Droid Razr
First up is the insanely thin Droid Razr by Motorola. This phone runs a lightly modified Android 2.3.5 on a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 540 X 960. A 1.2 GHz dual core processor with 1GB of ram keep things moving along smoothly. It has 16 GB of storage with a 16 GB micro sd preinstalled. It is, of course, a Verizon phone which runs on their 4G LTE network providing it with perhaps its best feature. With 4G LTE and a speedy dual core processor it is sure to be fast, but I worry about how battery life will be, and with no way to change batteries that speedy 4G goodness may leave you tethered to a plug. This was likely the trade off for the phone being so thin is they made the back cover non-removable which makes for a slick looking device, but perhaps restricts functionality a bit. From what I have seen the screen is very good. Although, phones with higher resolutions are on their way and one is out now coming up next. The Razr includes an 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p HD video.

The HTC Rezound
The HTC Rezound was one of the most highly anticipated phones of the year due to the fact it is viewed as HTC's attempt to redeem themselves from the semi-disaster that was the HTC Thunderbolt. The Rezound has a 1.5 GHz snapdragon processor and 1 GB of RAM under the hood with 16GB of memory and a preinstalled 16GB micro sd. It has the first 720p HD screen on a smartphone. The 4.3" screen uses LCD technology so colors are not going to be quite as vibrant as the Razr's Super AMOLED, but the 720p resolution makes up for what it lacks in color. Due to the display resolution, HD videos fill the screen and are not distorted. Plus the higher resolution also means things appear sharper with more defined edges. Like the Razr it has an 8 MP camera that shoots 1080p video. From what I have seen online so far the Rezound appears to have a slight edge over the Razr with overall camera quality. The Rezound has a removable battery, but I feel it may be a bit under sized because, like the Razr, the Rezound also packs 4G LTE that is still known to be a battery hog. At 1620 mAH it is the smallest of the "big three". On the software side of things, the Rezound brings Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with the Sense 3.5 overlay as well as beats audio built in. So audiophiles rejoice.

The Galaxy Nexus
The Galaxy Nexus will likely be the best Android phone to release this year and mostly because of one reason; it ushers in the era of a unified Android tablet/ phone environment with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This completely redesigned version of Android is designed to bring usability and polish to Android. The Galaxy Nexus itself is no hardware slouch either. It has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor with 1 GB of RAM. It will come with two storage capacity options, 16GB and 32GB, but no sd card slot. It has a 5MP camera which, despite its lower pixel count, is said to produce pictures as clear or clearer than the iPhone 4S. It also shoots 1080p video. The Nexus has a 4.65" Super AMOLED 720p HD display that is curved to match the contour of your face. While there are not many people who have the Nexus, the ones that do are reporting it to be phenomenal. It was reported to have a 1750 mAH battery, but now it seems that may have been increased to 1850 mAH to lengthen battery life on the Verizon LTE version. One person with a 1750 mAH battery has posted a screenshot of the phone with 45% battery left after 5 hours of moderate usage on 4G. This should greatly improved over the rest of the 4G phones

My Recommendations
All three of these phones are great devices, but they may be suited to different people. If you want a phone that is sleek and weighs next to nothing and not being able to change batteries isn't an issue for you then the Droid Razr would be an excellent choice. If you are an Audiophile, then you will definitely want to go with the Rezound. My personal favorite is the Galaxy Nexus. All indications point to it as being polished to iPhone like standards because of Ice Cream Sandwich. Even though the Rezound and Razr are getting Ice Cream Sandwich, the Nexus will be the first phone to receive Android updates to add features and fix bugs because it is a Google phone. My best advice, if you don't have to have a new phone now; wait until the Nexus releases then go play with them and see which one you like the most. All are great phones and definitely worth considering.

Here are some reviews and a comparisons:
Droid Razr review from Engadget
HTC Rezound Review from the Verge.
CNET's review of the Galaxy Nexus
P3Droid's hands-on review of the Galaxy Nexus
Wirefly Comparison between the Razr and Rezound

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