titleThe list of different Android based phones available at any time is both overwhelming and frustrating. It’s almost impossible to get good feedback from friends who have the same phone because of this. So it’s rare than you have any one phone that manages to stand out. Doing something different is the only way to do this normally, but most times this ends off coming off as gimmicky or just lame. When Motorola introduced the Droid Razr Maxx it caught my attention right away. This was just before our trip out to San Francisco for the GTX 680 Editors day, what a better way to put the Maxx’s proposed batter life to the test!

Product Name: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx

Review Sample Provided by: Verizon

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


Specifications

GENERAL

4G

4G LTE

ANDROID™ PLATFORM

Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) upgradeable

MULTIPLE NETWORKS

CDMA800, CDMA1900, LTE B13 700

CAMERA

MEGAPIXELS

8 MP (rear facing camera)

CAMERA TYPE

HD P2P Video

DIGITAL ZOOM

8x

FOCUS

Automatic

FRONT FACING IMAGER

1.3 MP with 720p HD video capture

IMAGE EDITING TOOLS

Cropping, rotating, Geo Tagging, brightness, color, enhance, flip, resizing, and effects

MUSIC & VIDEO

MUSIC PLAYER

Yes

SPEAKER EFFECTS

Equalizer with Bass Punch

VIDEO CAPABLE

Yes

VIDEO CAPTURE

1080p HD, tri-microphone for audio scene selection

PLAYABLE FORMATS

AAC, H.263, H.264, MP3, MPEG-4, WAV, WMA9, WMA10, eAAC+, AMR NB, AAC+, WMA v9, MIDI

STREAMING MEDIA

Audio, Video, Internet Radio

VIDEO CAPTURE RATE

HD 1080p quality, 1920X1080 resolution, up to 30fps capture and playback

WIRED STEREO DEVICE EFFECTS

3D Stereo, Home Theater, Live Stage, Custom

POWER

TALK TIME (CONTINUOUS)2

up to 21.5 hrs.

BATTERY TYPE

3300 mAh Li Ion

STANDBY TIME

up to 380 hrs.

MESSAGING

EMAIL

Corporate Sync, Google Mail, Push Email, Yahoo® Mail, Hotmail, AOL

MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING (MMS)

Yes

PREDICTIVE TEXT

SWYPE®-enabled, multitouch keyboard with next word prediction

TEXT MESSAGING (SMS)

Yes

INSTANT MESSAGING (IM)

Google Talk™, Windows Live Messenger®, Yahoo!® Messenger, AIM®

IMAGE FILE FORMATS

BMP, PNG, GIF, JPEG

VOICE MAIL

Standard voice mail, Verizon Visual Voice Mail™ (capable)

CONNECTIVITY

SYNCHRONIZATION

FOTA, PC Sync, Corporate Sync, Google Sync

WI-FI

802.11 b,g, n

BLUETOOTH® TECHNOLOGY

Bluetooth Smart Ready; Stereo Bluetooth Class 2, Version 4.0 LE+EDR OPP, DUN, SPP, GAVDP, AVDTP, AVCTP, A2DP, AVRCP 1.4, HFP 1.5, DID, HID, HSP, MAP, PAN-NAP, PBAP, SM,GATT/ATT,GAP,HR

DATA ACCESS

Yes

4G MOBILE HOTSPOT

Be a mobile hot spot for up to 8 other devices

CONNECTOR TYPE

Micro USB, HDMI® Micro

DATA TRANSMISSION RATE

USB 2.0 (High speed)

DLNA (DIGITAL LIVING NETWORK ALLIANCE)

v. 1.5; Share content wirelessly with other DLNA equipped devices

GPS AND LOCATION SERVICES

aGPS (assisted),  eCompass, sGPS (simultaneous), GLONASS

HEADSET JACK

3.5 mm

CALLING

SPEAKERPHONE

Yes

CALLER ID

On main display, Picture ID, Ringer ID

ADVANCED SPEECH RECOGNITION

Yes

AUTOMATIC REDIAL

Yes

CALL WAITING

Yes

CONFERENCE CALLING

Group call

EMERGENCY DIAL

Yes

MUTE CALL

Yes

NOISE REDUCTION

Dual microphone noise reduction

PHONE BOOK

Unified contact list (Gmail™, Exchange,Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)

SPEED DIAL

Speed dial, direct dial shortcut

VIBRACALL

Yes

VOICE DIALING

Yes

WAIT AND PAUSE DIALING

Yes

CARRIER FEATURES AND SERVICES

VERIZON WIRELESS

Back Up Assistant, Verizon Media Manager, VCast Music

GOOGLE MOBILE SERVICES

GOOGLE MOBILE SERVICES

Gmail™

Google Calendar™

Google Contact Sync™

Google Latitude™

Google Maps Street View

Google Maps™

Google Maps™ Navigation

Google Quick Search Box™

Google Talk™

Google eBooks™

Google™ Search by Voice

YouTube™

INCLUDED APPLICATIONS

BUSINESS

Quickoffice®, GoToMeeting®, MOTOPRINT

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix(support resolution up to HD), Blockbuster, Amazon Kindle, Let's Golf 2, Madden NFL 12, NFL Mobile, Slacker

LIFESTYLE

Smart Actions, MOTOACTV

MOTOCAST

Stream or download your music, pics and more from your PC to your phone.

SMART ACTIONS

This application lets you take control and mastermind your phone's settings and actions in an infinite number of combinations.

INTERFACE

OPERATING SYSTEM

Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) upgradeable

LIGHT-RESPONSIVE DISPLAY

Yes

KEYPAD LOCK

Yes

HAPTIC FEEDBACK

Yes

DEDICATED KEYS

Volume control, Back, Search, Menu, Power/Lock, Home

BACKLIGHT

Yes

PINCH TO ZOOM

Yes

TOUCH SCREEN

Capacitive touch screen

VIRTUAL KEYBOARD

Multi-touch and Swype

VOICE COMMANDS

Google Voice Search and Voice Actions, and Voice Commands

PERSONALIZATION

RINGTONE FORMATS

AAC, AAC+, eAAC, MP3

WALLPAPERS

Preloaded and downloadable, Live wallpaper

PHYSICAL

SIZE (H X W X D)

130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99 mm

DISPLAY SIZE

4.3-in.; Super AMOLED Advanced qHD(540 x 960)

WEIGHT

145 grams

ANTENNA TYPE

Dual

FORM FACTOR

Touch Tablet

MATERIALS AND FINISH

Made with Dupont™ KEVLAR® fiber and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass

PRODUCTIVITY AND SOFTWARE

CALCULATOR

Yes

CALENDAR

Calendar, Corporate (Exchange) calendar, Google Calendar

AIRPLANE MODE

Yes

CLOCK

Alarm clock

TECHNOLOGY

MEMORY

16 GB internal; 16 GB microSD card pre-installed

ACCELEROMETER

Yes

NETWORKS

CDMA800, CDMA1900, LTE B13 700

PROCESSOR SPEED

Dual-Core 1.2GHz , Dual-Channel RAM Processor

REMOVABLE MEMORY

supports up to 32 GB microSD

SENSORS

Proximity, ambient light, eCompass, battery temp, Accelerometer



Packaging

The packaging for the Razr Maxx is similar to what you would find on any of the DROID branded phones in the past few years. Across the front you have the DROID eye and a faded background giving the logo a little more “pop”. Around back there is just a listing of what the packaging contains as well as all of the required trademarks information. When you slide off the slip cover you are greeted with that same wore background but this time we have the full Droid Razr Maxx in text across the top. This portion of the packaging opens up to feature the phone directly on top inside like a jewel.

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Under the phone itself you will find all of the phones documentation, a whopping four books as well as the phones SIM card. Along with all of the paperwork you also have the phones USB cable and an AC to USB adapter for charging the Razr Maxx.

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Both the front and rear of the phone were covered in a protective film to keep them from being damaged prior to getting our hands on them as well.

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What’s it all about

The Razr Maxx is based on the Droid Razr so before we jump into what makes the Maxx special you should know what the Razr is all about. I don’t think anyone hasn’t had any experience with the Original Motorola Razr, an innovative phone from long before smart phones that focused on bringing top of the line tech (at the time) into a thin form factor. This combined with great pricing later in its life made this a very popular phone. Motorola took the same ideas that made the original Razr and implemented them overtop of today’s tech.

Today’s Droid Razr will get you an 8MP camera that is capable of recording video in 1080p, the capability to use the phone as a “webtop”, android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) with the ability to upgrade to ICS later, all on a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display. Slicking with the Razr theme the entire phone is what they call impossibly thin at 7.1mm’s thick. Around back on the phone you have a Kevlar coating that helps protect the phone and give it a little extra styling. To go along with the Kevlar backplate it comes with a Gorilla Glass front.

The Razr Maxx is very similar to the normal Razr but with one huge difference, batter life. Motorola packed in a 3300 mAh Li Ion battery, compared to the standard Razr’s 1780 mAh battery. This additional capacity adds slightly to the phones thickness as well as upping its reported talk time from 600 min to up to 21.5 hours on the Maxx.  This should keep the 1.2 Ghz Dual Core processor and 16 Gb’s of memory powered for many hours of Angry Birds and Words with Friends.

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How did it perform

To most people, things like 1.2 Ghz dual core processors, 16Gb’s of onboard memory, Android Gingerbread, 4.3 inch screens, and 3300 mAh Li Ion battery’s mean nothing. If you asked my mother why she liked her phone she wouldn’t tell me it’s because of any of those features, she would tell me about what it was capable of doing for her and she would tell me if she had any slowdown s or battery issues. As much as the geek in me wants to ramble on for hours about all of the little features that Motorola packed into the Razr Maxx, what is important is how it performed when using it.

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With that in mind, I’m going to compare my experience with the Droid Razr Maxx to the HTC Thunderbolt; another great 4g phone that also runs on the Verizon network. With both phones having similar sized screens and 4g it’s a great way to compare both battery life and reception. With the Razr Maxx having a .2 Ghz bump in performance it will also be interesting to see how they compare for smoothness as well.

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Taking both phones out to San Francisco gave me a chance to try them both out in multiple places starting with the LanOC office itself. We are located directly in the middle of two 4G towers but in the middle of nowhere, because of this we are lucky to get 4g meaning in some areas of town we will see signal come and go as the phones fight to maintain that 4g connection. This is both very abusive to battery life and frustrating when all you want to do it check in on foursquare or check your email. I noticed right away that the same areas where I would fight for service with the Thunderbolt the Razr Maxx would have a consistent connection. Although I wasn’t unhappy with the Thunderbolt, as it was a improvement over my Droid Incredible, I was very impressed with the Razr Maxx’s increased reception. While traveling across the country and back I noticed this again and again.

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Comparing battery life between the two phones was night and day. My experience with HTC phones for battery life has been questionable at best but the first time using the Razr Maxx from a full charge is was clear that it was a major improvement. My first charge lasted me a full three days of typical use including installing all of my every day apps. The Thunderbolt on the other hand required charging every night and a second charge every day at around 3pm to be able to make it through the day. For the first time in all of the time I have had a smart phone I really didn’t have to worry about where I would find my next charge and frankly it felt great. Even when I put the phone under heavy use while traveling I was still able to go a full day and a half between charges, something I can’t even do with the thunderbolt if I don’t touch it all day.

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The main reason I have always kept goingback to HTC phones in the past was the smooth HTC sense interface. As much as I would love to run a pure Google OS, every time I get my hands on a phone without my HTC keyboard I fumble around trying to type. Let’s not even get into the fact that the bottom four buttons between the two phones are different, you would think that every Android phone would have the home button in the same location! Adjusting to the interface on the Razr Maxx was interesting but once adjusted it was easy to spot the differences in performance between the two phones when flipping back and forth between them. I would never call the Thunderbolt slow, but the Razr Maxx was noticeably snappier with its extra .2 Ghz of processing power.  

There was one area that I would have liked to see Motorola work on with the Razr Maxx, its camera. On paper it was a great camera, but when comparing phones between the Thunderbolt and the Razr Maxx the difference was night and day. Where this because the most obvious was using my banks check deposit on the go functionality, every single time I attempted this with the Razr Maxx I would have to try multiple times to get the photo to take. With the thunderbolt it would work the first time without any interesting artifacts or issues. Take a look at the two photos below; the hand burger was taken with the Thunderbolt and the desert with the Razr Maxx.

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Overall and FV

So at the end of my time with the Droid Razr Maxx it was really hard to give up. Verizon can attest to this fact, and I am really sorry to this for this. But this should tell you how much I enjoyed my time with the phone. Even coming from a more than capable Android phone to the Razr Maxx was an experience. For just a short period of time I was able to live life without worrying about where I would charge my phone next, something that you don’t even think about in everyday life until you finally don’t have to worry about it. My only hope is that the Razr Maxx has left enough of an impression for all of the manufactures to question why they aren’t packing large batteries into every phone. I know in order for them to keep the phones thin like the Razr Maxx we might have to give up removable batteries, but if we can get a true full day of use out of a smart phone while using it all day we can finally look past the charging cables and enjoy our phones, more importantly we can life our life to the Max!

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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