Motorola announces new Droid Razr smartphones

The new Droid Razr smartphones are faster and will be upgradable to Android 4.1 by the end of the year

New Droid Razr smartphones -- Droid Razr Maxx HD, Droid Razr M and Droid Razr HD

New Droid Razr smartphones -- Droid Razr Maxx HD, Droid Razr M and Droid Razr HD

Motorola Mobility has announced three new Droid Razr smartphones with 4G LTE capabilities and reiterated its commitment to the Android operating system as the company forges ahead with its smartphone strategy.

The three new Droid Razrs are "the fastest devices we've ever made," said Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of product development at Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired in May.

The smartphones have dual-core processors and will be upgraded to Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean, by the end of the year. The new smartphones also pack more screen into the same size as predecessor phones.

The flagship Droid Razr HD has a sharper 4.7-inch, high-definition screen and a dual-core processor, Osterloh said during a press event to announce the new smartphones in New York. The compact smartphone will have a 2,500-milliamp battery, with talk time of 16 hours, which Osterloh claimed is double that of competing smartphones.

The Droid Razr Maxx HD has all the features of the Razr HD with more memory and a "more amped-up battery," Osterloh said. The smartphone will provide 21 hours of talk time and 27 hours of music over a 4G LTE network.

The Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD phones will be available in stores before the holidays, Osterloh said. The phones will be available through Verizon Wireless in the U.S., though prices were not provided immediately.

Motorola also announced the Droid Razr M, which has a 4.3-inch screen and will become available through Verizon Wireless in the U.S. starting next week. The smartphone has a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, NFC capabilities and 8GB of storage. The phone can be ordered for US$99 now and will be available in stores next week.

All the new Droid Razr phones will come with the Chrome browser preloaded, which is a first for Android devices, Motorola Mobility executives said.

The company also is due to launch a smartphone carrying an Intel processor on Sept. 18 in London. Motorola's smartphone launch comes as the race for market share heats up between mobile phone companies. Earlier on Wednesday in New York City, Nokia unveiled its highly anticipated Lumia 920 smartphone based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS. Apple is expected to announce the next iteration of iPhone next week, and new devices were also announced by Samsung at the IFA event in Berlin last week.

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside reiterated the company's commitment to Android.

Beyond Android, Motorola is making a "big bet on speed" with 4G LTE, Woodside said. Going from 3G to 4G means that searching the Web is faster and videos are more enjoyable to watch on a smartphone, for instance. There are 15 million subscribers to 4G LTE, of which one-third use Motorola devices, Woodside said.

Google needed Motorola Mobility to expand the Android ecosystem, said Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, during a speech at the event.

Motorola has done a lot with Android and the risk it took on the OS has paid off handsomely, executives said at the event. Motorola has the products, distribution and development to expand Android, they said.

"The new Motorola Mobility starts today," Woodside said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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