Tech

ICS, World Phone Capabilities Come to Verizon's Droid Razr and Razr Maxx

Quick, pack your bags -- it's time for a vacation! While Verizon's 4G LTE phones have, up until this point, been confined to CDMA-based networks in foreign lands, this morning the company announced that it is transforming the Droid Razr and Razr Maxx into full-fledged world phones, which makes them compatible with more than 220 voice and data networks around the globe. Tagging along with the new-found global freedom is an update to Android 4.0, commonly referred to as "Ice Cream Sandwich."

The upgrade activated the phones' GSM radios, which were just taking up space until today. The Razr handsets will also be able to access GPRS, EDGE, and HSPA networks, GigaOm reports.

Other Verizon 4G LTE phones are also expected to eventually be unlocked as many also have GSM radios and Verizon's blog post said that the Razr phones "will be the first 4G LTE smartphones on the Verizon Wireless network to be Global Ready," indicating more activations are forthcoming. 

One thing to note: while you may now be able to use your Razr and Razr Maxx in foreign locales, Verizon's internal roaming charges and plans carry hefty charges, often costing multiple dollars per minute for voice calls. Verizon's LTE phones have SIM cards, however, which you may be able to swap out for a local service's SIM in other lands. Verizon's kept mum about whether or not it'll be unlocking that capability.

Meanwhile, the Android 4.0 update adds several tweaks, fixes and new features to the phone, including ICS's Face Unlock and the ability to open apps directly from the lock screen.