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Motorola Droid Razr M to sell for $99, use Verizon LTE

Motorola also touts upcoming Droid Razr Maxx and Droid Razr HD

The Droid Razr M will sell for $99. Motorola Mobility today announced the Droid Razr M, a smartphone with a dual-core processor and a 4.3-in. screen that will sell for $99.

The new M, available in stores next week, is available for pre-order online beginning at 5 p.m. ET today, Motorola said in a webcast event.

The Google subsidiary also unveiled the Droid Razr Maxx and Droid Razr HD, but didn't spell out prices. Both will be available before the holidays, officials said.

The Razr M will run over Verizon Wireless LTE and includes an 8-megapixel camera, 8GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM. It also provides an NFC chip. The screen runs nearly edge-to-edge with a 960-x-540-pixel resolution on a body that is 4.82 in. long by 2.39 in. wide. (The thickness was not included in early specs.)

At 4.3-inches, the Razr M will offer 40% more screen size than the iPhone 4S, said Motorola's Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of product management.

The Droid Razr HD will have a 4.7-in. screen but Osterloh noted that some users want a smaller device that's easy to hold in the hand.

The event, webcast from New York City, included an appearance by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, which purchased Motorola 90 days ago. He and Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside praised the technology leadership of Motorola, starting with the first cell phone in 1973; it weighed 2.5 pounds, had no display and took 10.5 hours to charge.

Schmidt said that 1.3 million Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, are now activated every day. All the new Droid phones from Motorola will run Jelly Bean, also known as Android 4.1.

Woodside said there are already 15 million subscribers to 4G LTE networks in North America, and one-third of them use Motorola smartphones. That, he said, makes Motorola the leading LTE smartphone maker.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said that the Droid Razr M's bigger battery, larger screen and Jelly Bean OS are important features, but added that the device is "not a standout."

She noted that the device launch itself is less important than the fact that this marks the first Motorola phone announcement since Google bought the company.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

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