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Thread: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

  1. #1
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    Motorola Droid Razr Maxx



    In November of 2011, Motorola and Verizon released the Droid Razr. The name was a clear reference to their wildly successful clamshell phone from 2004. Motorolaís goal was to offer the thinnest 4G phone and also be thinner than the iPhone 4S. It exceeded everyoneís expectations in those areas, but suffered the same problem as that flip phone from 2004. Very poor battery life. In a typical smart phone users day, consisting of internet surfing, email, streaming video, gaming, and of course phone use, the battery would only last a few hours. This meant charging the darned thing at least twice a day. Needless to say, the owners were less than pleased.

    Fast forward to February, 2012. Enter the Droid Razr Maxx. The Maxx is the exact same phone with a bigger battery and a slightly thicker case. It is still the thinnest 4G phone, and is still thinner than an iPhone 4S. This is the phone Motorola should have released last November. Battery size increased from 1750mAh to 3300mAh. As far as I can tell, this is the largest capacity phone battery in any phone anywhere. Motorola claims up to 21.5 hours of talk time and 380 hours standby. This is even more important when you consider that Motorola has followed the iRoute and made the battery non-replaceable. For my past few phones, I would buy an upgraded battery and keep the original for a space for times I would be away from a place to charge. This is no longer an option with the Razr Maxx, so a long-life battery becomes critical.

    A bit of history of the Razr, itís evolution begins with the Droid X that was released in July of 2010. The Droid X was the Motorola smart phone flag ship and had cutting edge technology for itís time. The 2nd generation Droid X2 was released in May of 2011. The X2 upgraded the processor to a 1ghz dual core unit. Motorolaís plan was to use the new Tegra 3 quad +1 core processor in the iteration of the X line. The price of a Tegra 3 4G phone was far out of line with numbers the market generally accepts, so the decision was made to go with a faster dual core processor. The decision was also made to drop the X naming and resurrect the Razr name. Oddly, the parallel development with the Droid slider continued the same naming structure which recently gave us the Droid 4. The Droid 4 is essentially a slider version of the Razr. It has the same processor, screen, cameras, 4G radio, etc. It does NOT have the same battery as the Razr Maxx, but instead has a smaller 1785mAh battery, soÖ buyer beware. The new styling is also paralleled in the Droid 4. So, the Razr is a Droid X3 with a change of name.

    Specifications:

    DIMENSIONS


    131 x 69 x 9mm
    145g


    SCREEN

    Super AMOLED Capacitive touchscreen, 16 million colors
    960x540 resolution
    Multitouch
    Corning Gorilla Glass

    PROCESSOR


    Dual Core 1.2ghz Cortex-A9

    MEMORY

    1gb RAM
    16gb internal (8gb reserved for OS and app storage, 8gb usable)
    16gb micro sdhc card included (expandable to 64gb with micro sdxc card)

    CAMERA

    8mp rear camera with 1080p video
    1.3mp front camera with 720p video

    PORTS

    Headset
    USB
    HDMI
    Sim
    Memory Card

    MISCELLANEOUS


    Bluetooth 4.0
    Speakerphone
    GPS
    WiFi
    Mobile Hotspot (up to 8 users)
    Swype-enabled Keyboard
    Android 2.3.6 (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade coming)




    This phone is very thin and very light. The above picture shows a Droid X on the left and the Razr Maxx on the right. Theyíre shown camera-end to camera-end since thatís where both are the thickest. It feels very comfortable in the hand and unless youíre into the skin-tight hipster fashion scene, still fits in your pocket. Gone from the Droid X and Droid X2 are the tactile keys under the display. So far , the soft keys seem responsive enough, and add to the smooth appearance of the phone, but Iíd prefer the physical keys. Also gone is the Droid Xís camera button on the side. This was great for taking a nice, sharp picture since there was no tapping of the screen required for the shutter release. Speaking of the phone, you now have access to it while the phone is still locked. This will be a boon for those times when you want to get a picture in a hurry. The screen is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass which has a great track record for resisting scratches and damage. The back is made from KevlarÖ whether this makes a great difference in structural integrity or not remains to be seenÖ but it does look nice. The phone also has a water-repellant nanocoating.

    Aside from the non-replaceable battery, something Iím not a fan of is the placement of the usb port. Itís at the top of the handset. This makes using the phone awkward when plugged into a power source. This is about the only ďconĒ I can think of now.

    Performance? Thereís plenty on tap. Running the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark test (SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark), the Razr Maxx hits 2275. Lower numbers are better. As a comparison, the Droid X running Gingerbread scored a 6733. Quadrant Standard yielded a 2301. Higher numbers are better. For comparison, this is on par with the Galaxy Tab, ahead of the Galaxy Nexus, and FAR beyond the Droid X that gets around 1700.

    4G is plain amazing. Coverage is still spotty, but around western NY itís pretty good. I can get anywhere from 4mbps to 35mbps down. Page loads are lightning fast and streaming video great. Itís often much faster than my FiOS home service. WiFi reception is good where Iíve tried it (home, work), but Iíll have to see how it works in areas with weaker signals.

    The speaker FINALLY is producing a volume I feel is adequate for a thin phone. None of my old phones could really output enough volume for the ringer to be heard over any kind of distance, and God forbid you want to listen to some music when youíre in the shower. This thing delivers. And, when attached to external speakers, the sound quality is excellent. HDMI output to the TV looks great, too.

    When the weather improves, Iíll get some outside shots with the camera, but from what Iíve tried, the camera is OK. Smart phones can never rival a DSLR, or even a point and shoot. Itís a matter of physics. A tiny lens simply cannot compete with a real camera. But, they can do OK. Color and sharpness is decent and thereís a good flash and lots of different modes for differing conditions.



    Welp, thatís about it. So far, the Razr Maxx is an outstanding phone. It has a few things that in my opinion could have been implemented better, but everything is a trade-off. Compared to my old phone, the evolution of the Motorola Droid line is shaping up nicely.

    This phone is a Verizon Wireless exclusive and lists at $299.99 with a 2 year contract. I was able to score mine for $199.99 during a leap year day online sale at Verizon Wireless. This meant a 2 day wait for the delivery and doing the activation yourself. The activation was a breeze and took a total time of about 20 minutes including getting things backed up, restored, and setting up the various accounts.


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  2. #2
    Extreme Vetting chode_messiah's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    I think the Maxx looks/feels better than the standard RAZR. I really wanted the keyboard to replace my OG Droid so I went the Droid 4 route. Very pleased with the responsiveness. Passed the OG on to Dad so he can finally throw out his beat up original BB curve.

    edit: at your speaker quality comment, I actually found the OG Droid was better than my Droid 4 and the RAZR models I tested at VZW. That's gotta be my all time favorite phone. Perfect size and weight, amazing specs for its time, and it felt high quality, being almost entirely metal/glass. It's a shame the Droid line has been relegated to a second tier phone. Considering the delays, the Droid 4 should have dropped with a Krait, larger battery, and ICS. I wish ICS wasn't so far off for motorola handsets.

  3. #3
    living the clean life Tulkas's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    Great review.

    How is charge times? Do YOU notice it's significantly faster? And are there going to be any apps that take advantage of the the new hardware and screen?

  4. #4
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    Since the battery is large, charge time is up there. I ran it down to 5% last night and it took about 2 and a half hours to fully recharge. You can definitely tell that it's faster when you're running a bunch of stuff. Honestly, you can get lazy with this phone and forget task managers and battery saving tricks. Run it all and don't worry about it.

    Another thing I didn't mention was that for the first time on a Verizon network, you can access data while on a call. This is something that GSM networks could do, but not CDMA. Running on the 4G LTE Verizon network allows you to check the web or email or whatever while in a call. I guess the Verizon iPhone will be able to do this, too.

    Once it gets 4G.

    maybe
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  5. #5
    C-57D VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    I can do that on my blackberry, not saying that as comparison, just that it's a very nice feature.

    I have noticed that over the last 15 months, my BB charges in about 40% of the time it used to. battery going away I guess

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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    nicad?

  7. #7
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    D-cells.
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  8. #8
    C-57D VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    just popped it out, needed a reboot anyway. Lithium Ion

  9. #9
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    Nice phone review. I still can't believe that they haven't put ICS on it yet. I want one, but I'm not eligible for an upgrade for quite some time yet. Not only that I don't want to give up my unlimited data plan until it's time.

  10. #10
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Review

    Thanks, mb. Are with someone other than Verizon? I didn't give up my unlimited plan...

    As for ICS, the big thing is the drivers. Each phone has slightly different hardware and each piece needs new drivers. The individual manufacturers' overlay is NOT the hard part. As cool as ICS is, I can wait till they get it right. Motorola especially did a rush in Froyo when they promised it a specific time... and it was glitchy and needed a big patch.
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