Motorola just took the wraps of the Droid RAZR M and, we've gotta say, the slender handset is quite the looker. The 8mm-thick body is plastic and Kevlar, just like its titular predecessor, but it adds some nice visual flourishes of its own, including rivets around the rim of the device. Despite its diminutive size, it has a nice heft in the hand, though we wouldn't say it's built like a tank. Overall, the device is frighteningly similar to the Droid RAZR, right down to the lock / power key with its concentric circle pattern. Also carried over from the OG Droid RAZR is the 4.3-inch screen. That means we are looking at a qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display, rather than some fancy HD panel and still saddled with a PenTile pixel layout. It also, as we harped on in the live blog, means that Android 4.0.4 has been slathered in Motorola's own skin. Though, we'll give credit to the new Google subsidiary for scaling back on the glitz and glam and letting Ice Cream Sandwich shine through a bit.
The 1.5GHz dual-core chip under the hood certainly isn't the fastest on the block, but its Snapdragon S4 pedigree means it's more than capable handling most tasks with aplomb. The 1GB of RAM certainly helps too. While we can't say we were able to put it through a truly rigorous battery of benchmarks, it seemed plenty snappy in our brief time with it. And things will only get better once Jelly Bean lands later this year with its buttery smoothness. (Fingers crossed that the move to Jelly Bean marks a new era of stock Android devices from Moto.) Sadly, some of the more exciting features of the device simply were not testable today -- for example the NFC chip and brags of exceptional battery life.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the RAZR M is the amazing amount of engineering that went into making the Droid RAZR, smaller. The display and all the internals are largely unchanged, the body has simply gotten smaller. And we've gotta say we're loving the new skin and thinner bezel. It's premium-feeling and not quite as awkwardly wide as its predecessor. Still, with PenTile on board we've got our concerns. Thankfully, the M isn't a bank buster -- you can pre-order one today for $99 (on a two-year contract, of course and after a $50 mail-in rebate). If you'd rather wait for the proper reviews to roll in before opening up your wallet, it'll be in Verizon stores next week.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.