Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

Summary: The Razr has returned, but the Droid Razr will probably be less appealing to female mobile users than the flip phone of yore.

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When the Samsung Infuse 4G was released earlier this year with its 4.5-inch display, I questioned whether or not smartphones are becoming tabletsMotorola's Droid Razr continues to push the dimension boundaries -- and not in a good way.

[Image Gallery: Motorola Droid Razr hands-on (photos)]

For reference, the Droid Razr sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED, advanced qHD display. The dimensions measure 130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm (5.15 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches), and the device weighs 127 grams (4.48 ounces) overall.

On the plus side, the thinness and the weight are overwhelmingly positive aspects of the external design. The display itself is fine too.

But the overall form factor is awkward and just too large. The most annoying parts about the design that really concern the Droid Razr more than any other smartphone with a large display that I have seen are:

  1. The 1080p HD camera sticks out at the top on the back of the phone.
  2. The phone itself (not the display) is too long and too wide.

The majority of the people I showed it to agreed that if maybe the Droid Razr was an inch shorter, it would be an OK device. But that still doesn't mean they'd buy it. (I'll acknowledge that my sample group was over a dozen people, most of whom are in their late 20s and early 30s, but a fairly even divide among men and women.)

Women, in particular, are going to be very turned off by the Droid Razr. It falls into a category that I like to refer to as "man phones." Generally, Android phones heavily populate this category for me because Android ecosystem partners -- especially Motorola -- like to produce really giant smartphones. Just look at the Droid X and the Droid Bionic, for starters.

I wouldn't mind if the iPhone was a bit bigger because the larger screens really do lend themselves well to people who want to stream videos and read frequently on their phones.

But I want to be able to hold my smartphone in one hand comfortably, to which neither I nor any other woman I showed the Droid Razr could do. Even most guys I showed it to (all of whom own other large Android smartphones) replied that the Droid Razr was awkward to hold and too big.

What I really don't understand is why do mobile OEMs want to keep making smartphones bigger -- to the point where it feels like we're going back to Zack Morris-like cell phones. (See photo.) Isn't the whole point of new technology to become smaller and thinner in order to be cool? But I digress...

I don't think the idea of further bridging the gap between smartphones and small tablets is such a good one either. The 5-inch Dell Streak didn't make it, and only a few devices (i.e. Nook Color, Kindle Fire, Galaxy Tab), have shown there is demand for even a 7-inch tablet. So what need is there for smartphones step in here?

When the original Razr flip-style, featurephones were released several years ago, they were actually stellar devices for their time. They were compact, stylish and operated as decently as anyone could want from a consumer cell phone in the mid-2000s.

It almost seems that Motorola just released the Droid Razr to try to ignite some sort of nostalgic feeling from those customers. As as Motorola (and Android in general) smartphones go, the Droid Razr isn't really that impressive.

For those who do want a super-slim smartphone with an extra-large display, maybe you should hold off for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which, magically, doesn't actually seem that imposing. The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered device hasn't been released yet, but I got to see one hands-on recently for a very brief period of time (less than 30 seconds).

Instantly I thought this smartphone would be more pleasing to a greater population of consumers. Yes, it has a 4.65-inch screen, but the display takes up more real estate on the phone, which has a less awkward shape overall.

To sum up, there are plenty of other great options, such as the Samsung Galaxy S II, on the market now for consumers looking for a large Android smartphone.

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Topics: Smartphones, Android, Hardware, iPhone, Mobile OS, Samsung

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Talkback

18 comments
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  • Sony Erisson Xperia Ray

    You don't have to be a woman, to not like huge phones. Go try the S-E Ray, I managed to talk myself out of buying one (have quite a few phones already) but that is the one that I think deserves to be the big seller in 2012.

    (Can't link to youtube it blocks my comments, you have to search to see for yourself)
    [Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray]

    Smaller than the Nexus, thinner, cheaper, more stylish, better interface, lighter, higher density screen, message light even when the screen is off, etc.

    Not really going to be the top seller, because SE aren't so good are marketing, but nevertheless, it's my pick.

    I think the only reason US is so focussed on the Razr is due to the carrier bundle policy. They chosen to market large phones, so those are the ones most people see.

    ----
    Even the 1% don't watch Fox news.
    Their peak viewer number is only 2.2 million, that only 0.7% of US viewers.
    guihombre
    • Some corrections

      @guihombre

      Razr is currently only offered on one carrier. The push for big screens is to encourage media consumption. That said, I dont see why anyone would want this phone. Crappy old Android load and poor batter life and as the author mentions, it is about an inch too long so the thinness doesnt matter.

      PS: If you want to be wise, dont watch any of the news on TV. Every network pushes stories that are read to you by someone who knows less than you.
      otaddy
      • That's really depressing

        I'm going through the phones on offer, things like the Evo, Razr, Galaxy S2, Focus etc.

        They're all either dull as dishwater, or hulking great slab phones. The choice from the US carriers is pitiful. :(
        guihombre
  • aquired taste

    I belive size of a smartphone is an affords taste. I waited long enough before finally upgrading from Droid 1 to bionic. The later seemed huge and bulky, but after couple of months droid one seems tiny and inadequate. the form factor works once you are used to it. I don't even miss physical keyboard anymore. the phone just grows on you, no pun intended.
    MadMaxDC
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    I love the new Droid RAZR, it's so sexy. I love large screens and do not like small screens after upgrading to the Droid X. I struggle with using my iPod Touch because of how small the screen is. Yes the resolution per square inch is big, but I struggle to see things unless I constantly zoom in, and the keyboard buttons are too small. You get used to the size after a few weeks, and once you do, you realize bigger is better. :D
    mathelli
  • It depends on use

    My wife found a tablet too big to cart around all over and after looking at several phones went with the Infuse (ATT).

    She says it gives her phone aspects and almost tablet aspects.
    For her she feels it is a great choice.
    rhonin
  • that's YOUR opinion

    i am female, and currently have the droid x which is a fairly large screen...
    i am offended that you have 'black balled' this phone because you feel it's too large for YOU!!!
    you are wrong speaking for all women...i know many who enjoy the larger phone for various reasons...
    cnet has rated the razr over the iphone for the first time EVER, and guess what??? it was a GIRL who reviewed it...
    speak for yourself!!!
    mackytack
    • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

      @mackytack Well said.... :-)
      nagnrik
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    Do not worry guys, A Mini RAZR is already under works which is about 6 mm thickness and "Googorola will announce it"... And, u all guys will be counting stars in the sky and doing it forever.....
    nagnrik
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    Dumbest article ever--the Razr is a fantastic smartphone. No smartphone is perfect, but the Razr's size is no problem and I do not have large hands.
    lhimmels
    • i agree!

      @lhimmels
      mackytack
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    Yeah, there's absoultely no bias in this artice :/
    LiterofCola
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    I think Droid Razr looks awesome! If I'm tired of holding a phone "large" like the Droid Razr, I'd switch to my bluetooth headset and leave the phone on the desk/in the purse anyways... I'm female, have small hands and actually find iPhone too small (too crammed) for my liking. I have Droid X now and absolutely love that phone. I wish my upgrade was earlier so I could get the Droid Razr now... So to answer the article's title: Yes, it does work for women. Not all of us want only esthetics and no substance...
    IT Pixie
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    "It almost seems that Motorola just released the Droid Razr to try to ignite some sort of nostalgic feeling from those customers. As as Motorola (and Android in general) smartphones go, the Droid Razr isn???t really that impressive."

    You've really gotta be kidding right? Don't like your job?

    What a stupid stupid biased review. Go girlpower!
    chillgreg
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    Droid Razr should have 0.1mm thin bezels with an aluminum look and feel around a screen in order to make the Droid Razr outshine Motorola Razr. :)

    I suppose Motorola does not know that Motorola Razr targets women more than men. :)
    Grayson Peddie
  • It's all a matter of perspective...

    I wonder what your reaction to the Droid Razr had been if James Kendrick would have first said: "Guys: this phone is for you. Women: you can't handle a big phone like the Razr, it's too much for you... leave the little cutesy phones for the women folk"

    I'm surpised I have to tell you this, but... part of Women demanding to be treated as equals is the abolishment of the 'right' of Women differentiating themselves whenever it suits their wants.
    UrNotPayingAttention
  • The Women Want my Droid RAZR!

    I was shocked to read this article. Since I received my Droid RAZR, on Friday, 11/11/11, I have been showing it off to all of my friends, family, and co-workers. Funny thing is, it is the women that seem to love this phone the most! The guys like the industrial look but it is the women that pick it up, size it up, and remark how sexy it is. It in extremely thin and light, so I think it will get quite a bit of attention from women. Should it be a little narrower and shorter? Well sure, that would be great. But as it is, it is still a breathtaking device. I have used the HTC Thunderbolt, Droid Charge, LG Revolution, and now the Droid RAZR. The RAZR is the only phone that I haven't come up with a solid flaw with yet. Calls are clear, 3G/4G switching works perfectly, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work flawlessly, speed is outstanding, and the screen looks great (even though it is Pentile). The battery life leaves a little to be desired, but name a 4G-LTE phone that has better lasting battery life today. I'm not a Moto fanboy by any means. Never have been a huge fan of Motorola Smartphones. But I honestly believe the Droid RAZR is a winner; and the ladies love it! So sorry Rachel, but it's time to rough up those dainty little hands of yours, and come out and play with the big boys! ;o)
    AeroTechDawg
  • RE: Motorola's Droid Razr: Does it work for women?

    my wife loves it. Made me buy one for her too.
    topgun966