Motorola MT917: What the Droid RAZR should have been; will it ever leave China?

Earlier this month we saw leaked images of an as yet to be announced Motorola Android smartphone called the MT917. We called it the “Chinese RAZR” since it looked a lot like the RAZR we saw announced here in America, but it had a custom TD-SCDMA 3G radio that only works in China. Well today Motorola officially announced the MT917, and we’re frankly shocked that it isn’t the model that ended up being sold on Verizon. First key difference between the MT917 and the Droid RAZR, the screen. Whereas the RAZR has a 4.3 inch 960 x 540 pixel display, the MT917 does 1280 x 720 pixels on an even larger 4.5 inch panel. Next is the camera, which is just 8 megapixels on the RAZR, but an insane 13 megapixels on the MT917. Now yes, the MT917 is 8.5 mm thick versus 7.1 mm for the RAZR, but if that bothers you then … we don’t know what to tell you to make you happy. Everything else is the same: Android 2.3, 1 GB of RAM, etc.

The question on our mind is when will this beast of a superphone ever leave China, and if it does then will it be updated to run Ice Cream Sandwich, thus eliminating the need for the (now dated looking) dedicated Android buttons on the bottom of the device? We’re a sucker for high end specs, and the MT917 ticks nearly every box on our wishlist. The only thing that could make it better would be support for NFC, despite it being used by a small number of devices today.

What do you think, why would Motorola save their real flagship for China instead of launching it in America? And now that you know the MT917 exists, are questioning your decision to buy a RAZR this holiday season? Here’s hoping we’ll hear more about the American version of this thing at either CES or MWC in early 2012!

  • Anonymous

    I have a discount to use on Verizon & they are running a data pak promotion (4gb for the price of 2gb/month) and was eyeing the Droid RAZR. Now not sure what to do; wait if the discount will hold through next year or not?  It’s tough as on Verizon it’s nearly a 2-year commitment when you buy a phone.

    • Personally, I’d rather wait for the Galaxy Nexus. People have been ultra harsh on the Droid RAZR LCD. Also, do you really need LTE?

    • Personally, I’d rather wait for the Galaxy Nexus. People have been ultra harsh on the Droid RAZR LCD. Also, do you really need LTE?

      • Anonymous

        Interesting, that’s Samsung correct? When is it out? 
        I don’t “need” LTE, but it’d be nice to have as I live in the Boston area and coverage is great.  I don’t think the rates are different (they’re doing a $30/mo for 4 gb promotion now).  I can certainly hold off a couple years until there are more options and some of the higher end phone feature kinks get sorted out.

        • Samsung, yes. Comes out early next month. Do you want a Verizon phone or is any operator on the table?

          • Anonymous

            Verizon is where I’ll stay…I just did some research and the Galaxy Nexus does seem nice.  Seems it’ll be available for preorder starting tomorrow.  The reviews are favorable, and some of the “cons” are things that I’ll be experiencing for the first time on a phone anyway, so I won’t be too picky about minor annoyances with the video quality etc.  I don’t like the no microSD slot but as many have stated, 32 gigs is plenty and one can move pictures & other files to one’s laptop hard drive if one maxes out all that space. Apparently Verizon is going to market it as having no OEM customizations, also nice to see.

          • Well glad to see I could help you make a better decision!

          • Anonymous

            You did for sure. I didn’t even know about the Galaxy Nexus and it’s there for pre-order tomorrow.  I wouldn’t consider myself a power user so I’ll also consider 3G phones but in terms of 4G seems it’s down to the two mentioned here.  Thanks again!

  • Mse32

    Yeah i have one and let me tell you the Razr is way better than the Galaxy Nexus. and yeah believe me you do need 4 g lte its awesome. Plus a phone made out of plastic like the Nexus? Phf. please.

  • Bulk

    Non-removeable battery, I guess thats a deal killer? 

    If its coming AT&T’s LTE network – also a negative. AT&T does not want you to use their LTE network for streaming or gaming unlike Verizon. AT&T’s LTE TOS states: “”Data sessions may be conducted only for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access.” DO NOT buy AT&T LTE phone.

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