Motorola Droid 4 brings back the slider, in style

Motorola this week launched the Droid 4, a smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. 

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Over the past few years, Motorola has introduced a small army of Android phones, including the Droid Pro, the Droid 2, Droid Bionic, and the Droid RAZR. This week, the company took the wraps off the Droid 4, a handset with a 1.2-GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch HD screen, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Droid 4 sells for $200 with a two-year contract; Verizon Wireless has the device for sale starting this week. 

And for the most part, reviewers have been kind. "[I]f you are married to the physical keyboard, the Droid 4 is still without a doubt the most compelling phone on the market, as the keyboard is amazing. If you type a lot of emails, texts, or chat a lot, the keyboard simply can't be beat," writes the team at Wired. ZDNet was plainer still, proclaiming that the Droid 4 has "the best keyboard on any phone" out today. 

Of course, the Droid 4 isn't the only Droid phone launching this month. Motorola also introduced the Droid Razr Maxx, a handset with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen and a really, really big battery. According to some reports, the Droid Razr Maxx can handle 21.5 hours of talk time and more than two weeks of standby time without a recharge. 

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So hey, what if you're in the market for a new phone, but you can't decide between the Droid 4 and the Droid Razr Maxx? Well, over at CNET, Maggie Reardon breaks it down. "For me, I'd say that battery life is more important to me than the full physical keypad," she writes. "I made the transition from a full keypad on an old Samsung Blackjack to the iPhone 3G more than two years ago, and I haven't looked back to the physical keyboard since." 

On the other hand, as Reardon points out, the Droid 4 is a hundred bucks cheaper than the Droid Razr Maxx, which is priced at $300 with a two-year contract. They comes with a two-year contract, either way.

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

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