It has been quite a while since a Motorola smartphone last showed up at my door for review, with the last one being the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX back in what must have been early spring of this year. It has been (in technological terms at least) quite a while since then, and in the meantime HTC, Samsung, LG, and Google all revealed new flagship smartphones.

Although it didn’t get quite as much press, the Google-owned Motorola Mobility also released a new flagship smartphone, the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, which finally made its way to my doorstep today. What follows is a quick unboxing and first opinion,  while the full review, and several more posts examining specific aspects of the device, will be posted in the coming weeks.

Most Android smartphones are packaged well these days with little interference from the carrier, but it is still worth noting that the matte finish and weight of the box make the RAZR MAXX HD feel like a quality product before you even get to the phone. Once the box is opened, the RAZR HD sits prominently at the top of the box, with some redundant lettering to its right. The accessories, pictured further down the page, can be found under the phone.

Just like the original RAZR, the RAZR MAXX HD has quite a distinctive Kevlar back cover. The in hand feel has been improved even further over the original RAZR, and the device feels quite solid. Adding to the solid feel is the slightly larger and more angular square construction, with a metal band running along the sides. The RAZR MAXX HD is larger than its predecessor, but if anything the design of the phone has actually improved.

The front of the RAZR MAXX HD is fairly nondescript as with most smartphones, except for the very top portion. Motorola added a unique, but still mostly subtle, branding to the earpiece that has a brushed aluminum finish, and the strip below the nameplate is actually a glowing notification light. (I’ll save the pictures of it in action for the review.) Although I was afraid it would look cheap, Motorola’s touches on the front of the phone actually look quite good, and make it stand out just a bit from other black slabs.

The included accessories aren’t very exciting, as there’s nothing beyond the usual microUSB cable, AC adapter, and SIM removal tool that I’ll probably lose. It was interesting to find that the number of quick start guides seems to have increased, but it’s not as if anyone really reads those anyways.

I’ve only had the RAZR MAXX HD for a few hours now, but I can already say that it is exceeding my expectations. After the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X, I didn’t think that Motorola’s offering would be very impressive, but it is looking a lot like I may have been wrong. For starters, the design of this phone is great, the display looks phenomenal, and the camera has so far been a cut above what I was expecting. The full review will be coming in a couple of weeks, but until then keep an eye out for some specific RAZR MAXX HD feature coverage in the interim.