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TheStreet Open House

You Can Never Be Too Rich for Thin Droid Razr

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Never mind how big, powerful or app-friendly that phone of yours is, the new standard at your next client onsite meeting will be how thin that device is.

The thinnest-phone-wins wars started this year with the release of the roughly three-eighths-of-an-inch-thick Samsung Galaxy S II ($199 with a two-year plan from Sprint (S)). And Friday, Motorola (MOT) upped the slimmed-down ante with its roughly quarter-inch thick Droid Razr ($299 with a 2-year plan from Verizon (VZ)).

I initially dismissed this thin-is-in niche as a for-geeks-only trend. But after spending the weekend with a demo Razr, I have to say -- at least at first blush -- for business people contemplating a svelter smartphone, thin might just be the new black.

What you get
The Razr is a fabulously powerful business smartphone that actually fits in your pocket.

I could go on and on -- and on -- about how thin and light this phone is. But when you finally get down to a Verizon store and check one out, you still will wonder how this 7.1-millimeter-thick thing could possibly be a fully functioning device.

But trust me, this little phone is packed with big business features.

The case is done -- I kid you not -- in Kevlar, DuPont's (DD) woven synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests. The processor, LTE network, powerful multiway still- and video-imaging system and 4.3-inch screen work together to offer business-class speed and power for most critical mobile work functions. I found support for Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) documents, mail and calendaring to be excellent. The unit came with a handy pocket version of GoToMeeting and Quickoffice preloaded. There is a nice mobile hotspot and support for several third-party peripherals such as the Motorola Lapdock that I will review down the road.

And at least initially, battery life looks to be a reasonable all-day-on-one-charge affair. It's all great.

What you don't get
This thing is not cheap, and don't expect a respite from the usual nickle-and-dime smartphone headaches.

Listen up: You are looking at a $300 spend with a contract or a full retail price of $650. Ouch. Also, considering the network potential here, you are probably going to need the full boat, 10 GB monthly access plan, which is $960 a year not including your voice bundle, extras such as hotspots and other fees. That makes a $1,500 yearly access bill a real possibility. Double ouch! And as fab as the thin design is, try using the hatch to find the outboard media cards. Or getting a SIM card in and out. And while the screen is bright, it is surprisingly cramped, and to my eyes, a step down from the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Bottom line
Motorola deserves credit for serving the business niche with the new Razr. The device is fast, light, powerful and thin. But keep in mind, as marvelous as the Razr is, it is not the only thin smartphone out there. If you are anteing up this kind of coin, be sure it fits your needs.

Much long-term testing remains, but initial testing makes the Razr look like a sharp business tool indeed.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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