Hands-on with the Motorola ATRIX HD and RAZR V (video)

We got to spend a bit of time with the upcoming Bell ATRIX HD LTE and RAZR V models today, though the latter will be coming to multiple carriers in the coming months.

Both devices are really nice in their own ways, though we can’t help but think that the RAZR V is merely the original Rogers version with a nicer screen and Ice Cream Sandwich, available across multiple carriers. We’re not sure what the price is going to be just yet on either model, but rest assured that the RAZR V will be extremely affordable. Read on for the full scoop and videos.

The ATRIX HD LTE is another story altogether. Running Android 4.0 with a slick new skin, that device screams premium. It has a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD), a 8MP camera and a 1780mAh battery. Of course it packs a LTE radio in there, too.

The device resembles the RAZR in many ways, though at 8.4mm it is not impossibly thin like its predecessor. We’re a bit disappointed Motorola wasn’t able to squeeze in a RAZR MAXX-like 3300mAh battery inside the more spacious interior, but we expect the extra room is taken by the 720p TFT display.

Like the RAZR, the Atrix HD LTE has a small reverse chin at the top where the camera module sits — we haven’t had a chance to use the camera yet, but we’re hoping it produces better photos than previous Motorola handsets.

The screen, however, is gorgeous. This is Motorola’s first HD display and they’ve done a great job translating Android into the new high-density form factor. Unlike the Galaxy S III, this is not an AMOLED display, and it looks a lot like HTC’s Super LCD 2 screen on the One X. We will have to do some serious testing in the coming weeks, but this is a beautiful screen with lots of nice colours, deep blacks and high brightness levels. We’re a bit concerned about the limited viewing angles, but we’re not going to judge it until we get one for ourselves.

As Motorola’s first LTE device, the ATRIX HD LTE is pretty well-rounded. As you can see from the quick test we did above, the speeds it gets on Bell’s network are pretty astounding; it equals and in some cases surpasses the Galaxy S III, especially in the uplink.

As a 4.3-inch device, the RAZR V is a little more compact than the ATRIX HD LTE, and it’s definitely easier to hold than the original RAZR which launched last year on Rogers. Gone is that excess side bezel in favour of a thin and light body with Kevlar backing.

Again, the RAZR V is not as thin as the original but at 8.35mm it’s nothing to snuff at. If this launches in the $49.99 price range, which we believe it will, it will be a pretty competitive product. Inside we have a 4.3-inch 960×540 qHD AMOLED display, a 1.2Ghz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB RAM, a 8MP camera, VGA front-facing camera,  4GB internal storage and a 1750mAh battery. It also runs Android 4.0 with an updated skin, which we look forward to trying.

The RAZR V’s backing has a continuous Kevlar piece which looks really nice. We’re hoping that the camera, too, is improved from the original RAZR, but so far we like what we see.

Both devices have an updated version of SmartActions which first debuted on the RAZR. The idea is simple but powerful: actions that respond to events, either learned by the phone or pre-programmed by you. For example, you can have WiFi turn on whenever you come within the vicinity of a particular GPS location; or battery saving mode could engage when the phone dips below 20% battery life.

Both devices are debuting on Bell’s network and that means they will come with all the content services usually included on the carrier’s smartphones. Mobile TV is being pushed really hard in the run-up to the Olympics, and the devices come with the app pre-installed. Note that they use on-screen buttons for expanded screen space when watching video, just like the Galaxy Nexus.

For more information, check out Bell’s landing pages for the ATRIX HD LTE and RAZR V.

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