While the Droid RAZR has a solid screen of its own, the Galaxy Nexus display is larger, higher resolution, and Samsung’s Super AMOLED line of screens always seem to outshine the competition: literally. While both phones can display HD quality video, the Galazy Nexus stunning… and not just because of its larger size. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)
While I have some slight hesitation about Android 4.0, they aren’t (mostly) concerns with the Galaxy Nexus itself, but rather the ideological direction of the Android Platform as a whole. From a tech elite standpoint, the Galaxy Nexus’ software is far ahead of the Droid RAZR’s as it debuts Android’s new version: Ice Cream Sandwich.
Features such as Face Unlock, Android Beam, and Instant Voice-to-Text are immediate improvements. Small touches to core apps – like pinch-to-zoom in the calendar and offline GMail search – go a long way. Added focus on widgets and mobile gestures are a natural progression that makes your device “feel” more advanced and a completely revamped UI and style with new fonts and a picturesque magazine feel make the Nexus uniquely modern.
But the Galaxy Nexus has a downfall: Android 4.0 has (at least it seems) a higher learning curve than the RAZR’s Android 2.3.x. But that’s a caveat more than an arguing point and the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t just “edge” the RAZR – it solidly defeats it. Still… one could understand how some people might prefer the software of Android 2.3.x on the Droid RAZR. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)
Most consumers will see the 8MP camera on the RAZR and 5MP camera on the Galaxy Nexus, with identical megapixel counts on the front cams and think, “RAZR wins hands down. Obviously.”
They would be wrong. First of all, megapixels shouldn’t be the primary measuring stick of mobile cameras unless you’re printing out posters. Second of all, Samsung has a knack for making amazing mobile cams as I first noticed on my Droid Charge Review and have appreciated ever since. But it doesn’t stop there.
Thanks largely to Android 4.0′s software, the Galaxy Nexus software provides a vastly superior camera experience. There is zero-shutter lag which means as soon as you press the “take it” button, your picture snaps. This also enables the “rapid fire” or “burst” capabilities that mobile phones typically lack- a huge advantage. Pile on an awesome panoramic option that’s better than similar options and a very slick and intuitive UI and the Galaxy Nexus runs away with the camera category. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)
This category is a succession of gives and takes. When you make a remarkably powerful mobile phone packed into teeny tiny dimensions, you’ve got to make sacrifices here and there. Both devices have 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, MicroUSB ports, and 3.5mm headset jacks- current top-smartphone staples.
Only the Galaxy Nexus has NFC – not something hugely important now, but a feature whose importance will grow over the life of a two year contract, starting with Android Beam.
Only the Droid RAZR has HDMI-out, allowing you to connect your phone to TVs and monitors for big screen viewing of movies, playing of games.
To many people, NFC and HDMI are more buzz words than practical power features, so let’s just say they cancel each other out. NFC might gain a lot of ground in the next two years, but we’re not going to give it the edge on the possibility that a specific standard takes off. How many people use the NFC on their Nexus S I know I don’t. (Winner: Draw)
The Droid RAZR has a slightly larger battery than the Galaxy Nexus (1780 mAh to 1750 mAh) but just like camera megapixels, this number isn’t everything. More important are factors such as:
How big of a memory/battery hog are the features on the phone?
How efficient is the OS in the processing various types of data?
Any extenuating circumstances that would cause one to largely out perform the other?
This is an absolute tie, can’t even be discussed until the phone’s are in the wild and put to good use, and even then the results are subjective. If Android 4.0 involved significant advancements in battery efficiency this would be a different story, but it doesn’t so far as we’ve heard.
One potential pitfall of the Droid RAZR battery is that you can’t remove it. Like most anything this is probably part of a tradeoff whose other end is being more thin, more compact, and more sturdy, but for the purposes of this category, not being able to remove/replace the battery is enough of a fear (whether realistic or not) to give the ridiculously slim margin to the Galaxy Nexus.
Tie… at least until further notice. (Winner: Galaxy Nexus)
Because the Droid RAZR has a removeable MicroSD slot and higher storage capacity it enjoys a slight edge in this category. While it’s become a very public point of contention, think about how often you actually remove or replace your MicroSD card and think rationally about the important of this factor in your decision making process.
With more and more of computing moving to the cloud, it’s likely that MicroSD card slots will soon become a thing of the past. But because the cloud isn’t quite there, and the RAZR offers expandable/removeable memory, it wins the battle. With 16GB of internal memory and potentially 32GB of external storage the RAZR reaches 48GB of total storage while the Galaxy Nexus maxes out at its 32GB internal storage option. (Winner: Droid RAZR)
They’ve got the exact same processor (the 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460) and the same amount of RAM (1GB), so it’s hard to argue this one. (Winner: Draw)
Save the best for last? While the “build quality” is often a matter of opinion, it cannot be overlooked in this comparison. It may normally be a subjective factor, but the Droid RAZR feels much sturdier while being both thinner AND lighter. And it’s not all perception: Gorilla Glass, Kevlar, Diamond Cut Aluminum Accents… the Galaxy Nexus may act/display superior but the Droid RAZR looks/feels superior. And that has to count for something (how much is up to you). (Winner: Droid RAZR)
Galaxy Nexus = Future Proof, Droid RAZR = Future Promise
Droid RAZR = Bullet Proof, Galaxy Nexus = Feather Weight
But overall WINNER: Galaxy Nexus (technical victory)
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