Motorola DROID 4 Hands-on and Unboxing

February 8, 2012
17

Say hello to the Motorola DROID 4. Just arriving on our test bench we decided to quickly snap some photos and look over the latest iteration in the popular DROID line before giving it a full rundown. At first glance you'd almost mistake this for the new DROID RAZR, only the screen is slightly smaller and we have that all important keyboard. Coming in with specs similar to what the DROID 3 should have been, the D4 has some impressive power under the hood in more ways than one.

In case you somehow missed the countless leaks of this smartphone here are the details. We have a very similar overall device as the RAZR, only less screen real estate and a few other goodies. With the D4 we have a 4.0" qHD AMOLED display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor under the hood, 1GB of RAM, a beefy 8 megapixel camera around the back and a front camera for video chat. Last but not least is Verizon 4G LTE -- the first DROID slider to rock this much requested feature.

For those that want a hardware keyboard, this is as good as it gets. With a new edge-lit QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE this is the best slider on the block -- and probably will hold that crown for some time. Unless Verizon releases a DROID 5 this summer of course. The keys have a great feel with a good sense of spacing and almost a chicklit style like many laptops, only in a smaller space of course. The edge-lit lighting is more than just a gimmick and makes using the keyboard in darker situations quite nice.

Similar to the DROID RAZR and RAZRMAXX the DROID 4 has a very difficult to remove back and battery door. The RAZR battery isn't user replaceable and you're not supposed to remove the glued on back. With the DROID 4 the back does come off, but it's no easy task. They've provided a small tool (don't lose it) inside the box as a removal tool. Under there is where you'll find the already installed micro-SIM for 4G LTE and a micro-SD slot for extra storage. It seems Motorola really wants to take the Apple route here, but is a bit undecided or afraid of the backlash that might follow. See the ridiculous picture below to see what I mean. Yes you must have the tool, and you pull the battery cover down and off -- and it's not easy.

Overall for first impressions the DROID 4 is pretty decent. Those wanting a QWERTY slide-out hardware keyboard it is excellent, but in terms of the Android market as a whole it's pretty average for me. Being extremely similar to the RAZR many should love this phone powered by Gingerbread. See our size comparison in the image gallery below. The DROID 4 like many other Moto devices should see Ice Cream Sandwich within the next 3-6 months. Just like the bootloader the back is also secured by a Motorola lock and key, something that I'd rather not see in the world of Android. Stay tuned for our full review soon and check out the hands on video below.

[device id=2148]


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  • Gax

    Does it/will it have global roaming?

    • Anonymous

      Verizon will enable Global LTE Roaming sometime this year.

      • Jdub

        Does Global LTE Roaming mean that we can go to another country that also has LTE simcards and swap them out and use their pay and go plan?

      • Anonymous

        that’s the plan (but you never know with VZW).  Get the Droid Razr MAXX (amazing battery life, but no Global LTE Roaming) or get the Droid 4.  That is my dilemma.

      • Jdub

        Yeah mine too, I travel a lot so that’s a big selling point for me to consider as well.

  • http://twitter.com/CSBiggestFan Adam

    Is the battery user replaceable or not… I see it in the picture with the back off, but hard to tell if its wired in or meant to be replaceable?

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

       @twitter-33904810:disqus  Yes and no! You could replace the battery yes, but it has a huge warning label and isn’t meant to be user replaceable. Just like the RAZR.

      • rick

        y would u listen to that just replace the thing

  • Loony2nz

    1) Moto will probably come out with a MAXX or HD version of this in 2 months (a la RAZR)
    2) where do you get that key?  is it bundled in the box?

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

       Yea for real huh.

      Yes the key is provided in the box, but is easy to miss

    • rick

      who says a la 
      btw ur screen names loony2nz but u got a pic of stewie

  • Krzysztof Michalak

    amoled? really? what is capacity of battery? like in razr or in razr maxx

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Battery is 1785 mAh so about average 

  • Spdstr280z

    Picked up one yesterday, have been waiting on it since it was a rumor. I had the OG Droid, and have been using an iPhone 4S for the last few weeks since the Droid was stolen. Right now I like the D4, I don’t love it. On paper, not having the AMOLED screen is disappointing, but in the real world the D4 screen is crisp and clear. When held next to the RAZR the difference is obvious, but that is the only time I have noticed it. Honestly the colors on the D4 screen seem more true to life while the RAZR has the AMOLED over saturated unreal look on photos. The styling I can take or leave, it is style for the sake of style, I like the originals unapologetic industrial look better. Performance is no problem, hasn’t hiccuped once, and 4G is amazing so far. The keyboard is the difference here, and other than a slight plasticy feel, it is amazing. The edge lit keys and 5 rows are what the mobile keyboard should be, solid win here. What bothers me is the feel… I read several reviews about the quality feel of this phone, and I expected something that felt as nice as the original, it just doesn’t…. I had to pick up several other phones in the store to realize that this really is one of the better feeling phones out there now. Only the RAZR and iPhone seemed to feel better in my opinion. Just not happy right now going from solid aluminum no nonsense design with a solid feel, to plasticy, rubbery Battlestar Galactica inspired style…. Seems Motorola is cutting costs and sinking a little closer to the lowest common denominator again. A positive to this style though, the back does fit the hand a lot better than the OG.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KREDJOYJ5FV3G6N47ZK7YAEJGQ Tom

    my roomate’s sister-in-law makes $86/hour on the lapţop. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her pay was $9092 just working on the laptop for a fēw hours. Read more on this web site… ŁazyČash5.ĉom

  • Andrea07pr

    Please!! CALM YOUR HANDS.. do you have schizophrenia or do you want me to get it?

  • Gulfster

      Why won’t Moto just do the opposite and disable
    the LTE radio and activate the GSM radio for the rest of the world!! and
    in future if the incompatibility issues is fixed, an update would be
    most welcome to get both radios working together. The GSM
    chipset(qualcomm MDM6600)is the same as RAZR XT910 anyway.