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Droid Razr To The Rescue

It has not been good for electronics in the lab these days but hopefully a new Droid Razr and a new Kindle will change all that. I'm now waiting for my fourth Kindle. The first died an untimely death and just quit functioning. It had worked well for months. The second worked well for awhile but decided that the screen looked better if split diagonally with only one side working. The third arrived after a couple of days but the right arrow on the cursor kicked out half a dozen characters instead of moving the cursor. That made it a bit difficult to register the Kindle. The fourth one is in the mail. We'll see how it works when it arrives.

I can really state that I like the Kindle even though I have had problems with them. Likewise, I rate their tech support as very good. The return process, at least when things are under warranty, went very smoothly. I used their website to set up a call and they had all my info on hand. The replacement shipped the next day and I just had to find a UPS store to drop off the return.

Unfortunately the Kindle decided to die during one of my many trips. Luckily, none of my ebooks has any DRM and I had everything on my laptop. I simply copied the book I was reading onto my Droid and continued reading.

As you can see, my Droid was not in the greatest shape. Earlier I got a tiny scratch on the Gorilla glass so I had added a screen protector. The was fortuitous because it decided to take a dive out of my hand and land flat resulting in the neat pattern. The screen protector held it together and the touch screen worked, mostly.

 I finally replaced my Droid with a new Motorola Droid Razr. What a difference. Then again, that should be expected. If you want a more detailed review check out David Maliniak's The Testbench blog (see Faster, Thinner, Smarter, Stronger: It’s Motorola’s Droid RAZR).

The Razr is powered by a Texas Instrument's 1.2 GHz OMAP4 dual core Cortex-A9. It runs rings around the Droid. The touch screen is more responsive. The screen is larger and brighter. What else is there to say. It's a great smartphone. Some other editors like the iPhone. I'll take the Droid Razr.

The one oddity was how the Droid Razr splits the flash memory. The Droid had two flash memories, one removable. The Droid Razr has three. I suspect that this is going to cause some confusion but for now there is plenty of space on the two large partitions.

The big change will come when Android 4.0, code name Ice Cream Sandwitch (ICS), shows up. ICS is supposed to be in the Galaxy Nexus and will eventually find its way to the Droid Razr. You may have noticed a skip from Android 2.x to Android 4.0. Android 3.0, code name Honeycomb, was for tablets. ICS is supposed to blend the this into a platform that is common across smartphones and tablets.

The only downside with the Droid Razr is the camera's low light response. It is not the greatest but better than the Droid. Also, 4G LTE is fast. No surprise here. It is a power draw though as is WiFi. Likewise, the WiFi hot spot support is an extra cost subscription with Verizon Wireless. There is no extra cost for tethered operation so it is odd that WiFi support isn't. Then again, far be it for any corporation to not try to take the customer for whatever they can.

My Droid Razr is finding a home in an OtterBox case. Hopefully the screen remains intact. We shall see if it lasts for two years. Until the Kindle arrives, it will be my ereader.

P.S. The 4th Kindle arrived today. The screen works. The keyboard works. 3G works. WiFi doesn't. Oh well. Since I just use it as an ereader the WiFi does not get used much. The USB link works so I use Calibre for all of my ebook synchronization.

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