Motorola Razr vs HTC Sensation XL

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We’re comparing Motorola‘s new Razr with HTC‘s Sensation XL this time around, but which of these super-smart Android’s will come out on top?

The newest device to drop from Motorola is the Razr – a slim, smart Android-powered phone that firmly has the iPhone 4S in its sights.
But rather than worrying about the newest Apple handset, we wanted to see how the Razr stacked up against some tough Android competition. And they don’t come much tougher than HTC’s Sensation XL.
Will Motorola’s next-gen Razr have what it takes to stand-up to HTC’s brutish device? Let’s find out.

Power
Motorola’s Razr is powered by a Ti-OMAP 4430 chipset consisting of a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU and augmented by 1GB RAM.
The running gear on the device performs well, and you’ll be hard pressed to tax it to the limit of its capability. We’re pleased to see 1GB RAM installed too as it should allow the Razr to age a little more gracefully than some of its peers.
The HTC Sensation XL runs on a single-core Scorpion processor from Qualcomm, clocked to 1.5GHz, and also boasts an Adreno 205 GPU.
With its single-core CPU, the Sensation XL is definitely lacking in comparison to the Razr, but the device can still crunch data with the best of them and will run fast enough for even the most discerning tech-freak.
One concern with the Sensation XL is that the RAM hasn’t been upped. It still has the same 768MB as the original Sensation, and while it isn’t a massive problem, it does degrade the device’s appeal and potential lastability.
Winner – Motorola Razr
Display
HTC’s Sensation XL features a 4.7-inch Super LCD screen that operates at a resolution of 480×800 and offers up a pixel density of 199PPI.
Performance is solid enough from the display. It responds well and its colour reproduction is good, but it never rises beyond that.
The Motorola Razr, however, features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen that operates at a resolution of 540×960 and comes in with a much more respectable 256PPI pixel density.
The Super AMOLED is, without wanting to be too blunt, vastly superior to the S-LCD on offer in the Sensation XL.
Colours are much more real, blacks are deep, and the display also draws less power. It also benefits from a Gorilla Glass fronting, to keep it safe from scratches and scrapes.
Winner – Motorola Razr

Software
Both of these devices run on version 2.3 of Android (Gingerbread) and are all the better for it.
Obviously you’ll have access to the hundreds of thousands of applications, games and customisations available in the Android Market too.
The dividing factor here is the device’s custom UI, with HTC’s Sensation XL offering up the tried, tested and loved Sense UI and the Razr weighing-in with its own (though we haven’t been given a catchy name for it yet).
Sense UI is a good-looking, powerful addition to the Android platform and offers the user custom-widgets, social networking features and other selected apps and tweaks.
It adds a much needed layer of aesthetic quality to the Google platform and, in our book at least, is still the benchmark custom user interface in the market.
The newly designed UI that features on the Razr is nice too though, with custom widgets, unlock screen and other tweaks you’ll definitely feel like you’re using a cutting edge device and the addition of features like MotoCast, for streaming media, is a real boon.
Winner – HTC Sensation XL

Form
Motorola Razr – 130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm, 127g
HTC Sensation XL – 132.5 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm, 162.5g
Overall the Sensation XL’s vital statistics are good (even without the Cosmopolitan-style half measures). The device is thin, well-built and manages to carry off its large, lustrous screen with aplomb.
The Motorola Razr is similarly fortunate.
The device feels very solid in the hand and, uniquely for such a thin smartphone, has a nice balance when in use.
The aforementioned thinness is odd and worrying at first though, and for the more clumsy among us it may remain so but if you’re careful it’s a nice feature.
One thing we weren’t so keen on was the profile of the Razr. When viewed in profile the device gives off the illusion of a painfully thin person wearing a crash helmet.
Materials on both devices are pleasing, with shades of metal and plastic woven together to create a premium feel (successfully on both counts).
Winner – Draw
Camera
8-megapixel sensors are the order of the day with these two competitors.
The Razr features auto-focus, LED flash, touch-focus, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilisation and 1080P video capture.
The Sensation XL chips-in with auto-focus, dual-LED flash, geo-tagging and 720P capture.
Both devices feature near identical 1.3-megapixel secondary cameras too, for all your video conferencing needs, and both perform as you would hope.
The Motorola Razr’s imagining, despite the high pixel count, is decidely noisey. The XL’s on the otherhand was dramatically clearer and thus gets our vote in this aspect of the comparison, despite not being able to shoot 1080p video.
Winner – Sensation XL
It’s a win for the new boy!
Motorola’s Razr has snatched victory from HTC’s big-screened gem, and with real voracity!
If you’re in the market for a new Android device make sure you certainly look long and hard at the Motorola Razr, which looks, feels and performs well enough to be held-up against the Galaxy Nexus and Apple’s iPhone 4S.
HTC’s Sensation XL is, for its defeat today, still a nice smartphone. But it seems to be beleaguered by its averageness.
Come on, HTC! Let’s have a device that goes above and beyond, rather than staying within sensible boundaries and parameters!

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