The Good Despite a beefed-up battery, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has a slim, attractive, and durable design with the same gorgeous display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and fast Verizon 4G/LTE data speeds as its predecessor. It retains powerful multimedia chops and tight security features.
The Bad For such an advanced smartphone, the vague promise of the upcoming Android 4.0 ice cream sandwich is disappointing. In addition, although a more durable battery is great, it still can’t be removed from users. People with small hands will find it difficult to wrap them around the wide frame of the phone, and the 8MP camera does not impress.
The Bottom Line The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx proves that the powerful Android superphone may remain thin, but still promises a marathon battery charge.
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Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
Editors’ note: The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx was recently updated to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Be sure to check out our hands-on with the phone and its refreshed software.
Motorola is enhancing the ante of Android with its new creation, the Droid Razr Maxx. This ultra-slim phone comes with all the great features that graced the first Droid Razr, Motorola also raised its 3,300mAh battery. Promised to work for days, Maxx may be the longest, most powerful smartphone we’ve ever seen. Read on to find out if it’s $ 300 starting price.
Motorola has made a splash with the first Droid Razr with a bold testament that it is the slimmest Android smartphone ever seen. For the company that started the subtle phone mania with the original Razr V3 , it was a good move, even if the Razr’s smallest chassis always changes.
Interestingly, the company can not boast of Droid Razr Maxx. Measuring 5.14 inches by 2.75 inches long, 0.35 inches wide and weighing 5.1 ounces, the Maxx is slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor (0.28 inches, 4.5 ounces). However, it still feels very fresh and light, despite its large size. I also found that it fits well in the pocket of my pants, albeit with a confusing bulge. Of course, people with small hands will have trouble understanding the widescreen widescreen device. However, the hump on the back of the phone, which held the camera lens and made the first Droid Razr too heavy, disappeared.
In fact, the way Motorola managed to squeeze in a more powerful Razr Maxx battery was to fill that hump. It was a clever design call because without the hump the Maxx feels more balanced, even if it has a thicker profile.
Virtually the same in overall thickness, the Droid Razr Maxx (left) is as comfortable to pockets as the first Droid Razr.
Don’t worry, though, there are other Motorola innovations, such as chassis made of aluminum cut aluminum, and a thin sheet of glass in front of the sculpture that fits the edges of the phone. Like the original Razr, Motorola has covered the Maxx back in Kevlar, which, though sleek and soft, means that the battery is not removed. Fortunately, the Razr Maxx comes with a 3,300 mAh battery, compared to the smaller Droid Razr 1780 mAh battery pack.
I like the Kevlar lining. It won’t stop the bullets, but it still resists scratches and scuffs. Another durability feature is the Maxx nanotechnology coating, also found on the Droid Razr, which protects the inside of the phone from light moisture and messy spills. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not waterproof, so don’t take it to the beach. To make Maxx even tougher is a Corning Gorilla Glass display with a chemically treated, scratch resistant surface.
Like the Droid Razr before, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx runs Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with the thinnest version of Motoblur placed above it. For example, you do not have the annoyance of creating a Motorola account before using your phone like you did with old phones. This is the same implementation as other Motorola phones, such as the Atrix 2 and Droid Bionic. There are five custom home screens where you can get more shortcuts to dialing, messaging, camera and main menu at the bottom. If you press the Home button in the standby mode, you will see all the home screens immediately, similar to the HTC Sense interface.
The lock screen displays the default digital clock, date, and battery information. To unlock, simply swipe the lock icon from left to right. You can also activate the vibration / call feature here and go straight to the camera application. Those who like the Droid Razr virtual keyboard will find the same well-placed keys, light tactical feedback and responsiveness here. You can also use the default keyboard or Swype for quick one-handed recording.
Droid Razr Maxx uses a lock screen that allows you to switch the call or go straight to the camera.
Special Droid Razr owners will appreciate the same great virtual keyboard on Maxx. It has large buttons with many distances, and the buzz of light tactical feedback.
The Droid Razr Maxx offers an array of Android features that contain all the essentials, including a few surprises, such as GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 (which supports the next generation of low-power accessories), Wi-Fi and a mobile hot-screen point-in-point that lets your phone operate as a modem for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices. Keep in mind that the Mobile Hotspot feature costs about $ 20 extra per month, in addition to your voice and data.
Razr Maxx also offers the usual selection of Google apps and services that are already downloading: Gmail, Google Talk, Google Search with Voice, Google Maps with Navigation, Google Books, Places, Latitude and YouTube. Phone and organizer features include a calendar, an alarm clock, a calculator, a file manager, a to-do list, voice command support, and a loudspeaker.
Other preinstalled applications include helpful assistance from free and paid software and services such as Amazon’s Kindle, Blockbuster, Let Golf 2, Madden NFL 12, Netflix, Radio Slacker, MotoPrint and VideoSurf. Of course, Verizon has added a few custom programs, such as Device Configuration, Verizon Mobile Messenger, My Verizon Mobile, NFL Mobile, V Cast Tones, Verizon Video, VZ Navigator, and Visual Voicemail, which cost about $ 2.99 a month. Honestly, in my opinion, the most useful of the lots is the My Verizon Data widget, which works by default on the home screen and evaluates the use of your data to avoid being jammed or hammered for an extra charge.
Corporate and Government
Who says you need a BlackBerry for private or public sector mobile security? Motorola doesn’t think so. Plus, Droid Razr Maxx is Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, not to mention government FIPS 140-2 encryption for email, calendar and contacts. For even more peace of mind, more rigorous methods such as remote erasure, PIN blocking, SD card and device encryption, as well as remote on and off camera and Wi-Fi are also possible.
If you need to customize this document on the go, Razr Maxx has a Quickoffice application that allows you to create and edit MS Office documents; Citrix GoToMeeting Video Conferencing Software; and the experience of the Webtop laptop PC (more on that below).
MotoCast, Webtop and Smart Actions
The smartphone performance envelope app is the MotoCast app. This allows you to share documents and media files with your home or work computer. MotoCast also refers to the Gallery app to host photos and the Music app to access music files.
Many Motorola Android phones have Webtop applications, and the Droid Razr Maxx continues the tradition. This turns the handset into a mobile quasi-PC with netbook-level functionality. Just add it to compatible accessories like the Lapdock 100 (10-inch screen), Lapdock 500 Pro (14-inch screen) or HD station, and the Webtop platform launches automatically. These laptops have a keyboard and a touchpad, but you will need to bring your own input devices if you use something like an HD Station.
In fact, Webtop is a Linux-based operating system that offers a Netbook-like experience for document creation and surfing the Internet through a full Firefox web browser. The user interface is quite sparse, consisting of a docking station or software launcher with multiple programs. The phone screen is also displayed on the large display, so you can still access the contents and features of your phone in this configuration. To learn more about Webtop, check out our review of the Atrix Notebook Dock .
Another cool Android software is Motorola’s Smart Actions app, which aims to make the company’s mobile phone easier. It’s basically a phone behavior automation tool that follows the rules you set. For example, you can get your phone to turn off Bluetooth and GPS automatically when it detects a home Wi-Fi network, or make it brighter when the battery level is critical.
There are other neat tricks, such as setting an alarm to automatically shut down in the office or launch the music player when you plug in the headphones. But I’m not sure how useful it is, as I believe that people should control their technology, not the other way around. When smartphones do become conscious and dual as personal satellites, they may be able to predict my whims, but for the time being I prefer to choose what I want to do when I want to do it.
Motorola Droid Maxx, which deals with all types of bidding, offers many multimedia options to spend time. In addition to third-party applications such as Slacker Radio, Maxx has the usual reliable Droid Music application, which is much more capable than Android software. Like Droid Bionic, the app features Internet radio features, a music store provided by Verizon Wireless and my loved ones, podcast subscription support and playback. Remember, you can also use the application to stream music from your home server through MotoCast. Fortunately, the Droid Razr Maxx has 16GB of internal storage as well as a pre-loaded microSD card of 16GB and can support cards up to 32GB. The files it can work with are AAC, AAC + AAC +, AMR NB, AMR WB, MIDI, MP3, WAV, WMA v10 and WMA v9 formats.
Netflix combines perfectly with the stunning HD AMOLED Maxx screen. Watching “Tron: Legacy” even through LTE connections was impressive, and I quickly forgot that the movie had no logical plot. The colors were rich and deep and the blacks were endless. Another treat is the Micro-HDMI port of the phone, which can be connected to a large HDTV screen to make your experience even more enjoyable. This is also possible through DLNA. Video formats are supported: H.263, H.264, MPEG4 or WMV v9; Download your own or download them directly from Android Market.
Watching the HQ YouTube trailer on “Avengers” and movies like “Tron: Legacy” over Netflix was a big-screen explosion on the AMOLED Droid Razr Maxx.
Just like the Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx offers a smart 8-megapixel camera that quickly loads in 1.1 seconds from the lock screen. There is virtually no gap between the flaps that can be talked about. You can adjust the resolution, shutter tone, color effects, shooting modes, and exposure. Other settings include geotagging, self-timer, several scene modes such as Macro and Night Portrait, Panorama, and Flash.
Due to the speed of the Droid Razr Maxx, the image quality was solid, with clear images and details. Although color accuracy is a weakness of the phone. Still life photos looked washed out and muted. In low light, most photos also contained image noise. The LED flash didn’t help the problem, but it also didn’t blow up the objects in the foreground. Capable of shooting full 1080p video with many additional audio features such as stereo, wind reduction, concert, balanced and front face to choose from, home movies are the Maxx Fortress. My videos were clear and well exposed even in low light, and automatic stabilization curtailed any shaking of the hand.
While the Droid Razr takes photos with speed and sharp detail, the colors look muted.
I tested the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx on the Verizon CDMA / LTE network in New York. Confirming that there is a reason that Verizon is proud of the cellular infrastructure, in my tests the Razr Maxx has demonstrated excellent call quality. The phone’s headphones had a lot of volume and I didn’t hear any static, buzzing or other digital artifacts during the voice calls I was making. The subscribers on the other hand also said that the line was clean and free of any distortion, and it was difficult for them to say that I was talking to them from my mobile phone. Also, the subscribers couldn’t say that I switched to the Razr Maxx phone speaker. On the other hand, I noticed that the speaker of the phone was soft and lacking serious omph. For this reason the sound was not distorted at high volume.
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx sample call qualityListen now:
For a short period of time, even the CNET offices had impressive data rates, with download speeds averaging just shy of 9 Mbps. However, uploads in the same location ranged about 0.6 Mbps. This performance is lower than the typical speed we see from Verizon LTE phones. I plan to update this review with additional test results in the near future.
Of course, Droid Razr Maxx’s claim to fame is its high-performance 3,300mAh battery. The Motorola phone is rated for offering 21.5 hours of talk time and about 16 days of standby time. With that number, we will still need to run our battery tests on the Maxx, but in anecdotal use during my short initial testing period, the phone never dropped below 80 percent – quite fine. Later, while testing in CNET labs, Razr Maxx played “Godfather” with a screen brightness of 50 percent and half-volume sound, continuously in a loop for 19 hours and 47 minutes. That’s enough juice for more than three back-to-back, coast-to-coast flights. In the following tests, we squeezed 20 hours of continuous call time. Although less than the promised 21.5 hours of talk time, it is still stellar.
Since the publication of this review, we have returned and tested the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx with the official battery discharge test at CNET Labs Video. As you can see in the graph below, the Droid Razr Maxx run time of 916 minutes (15 hours 16 minutes) beat all other phones that were still operating the same standard.
Video Trial Video Play Video (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Motorola Razr Maxx
916 HTC Evo 4G LTE
613 Motorola Droid 4
545Samsung Galaxy S3
530HTC One X
395Samsung Galaxy Note
388 HTC One V
Samsung Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile)
Android 4.04, 1.5GHz dual-core, 16GB internal storage, 4.8-inch display
HTC Evo 4G LTE (sprint)
Android 4.0.3, 1.5GHz dual core, 16GB internal storage, 4.7-inch display
Samsung Galaxy Note (AT&T)
Android 2.3, 1.5GHz dual core, 16GB internal memory, 5.3-inch display
Motorola Droid 4 (Verizon)
Android 2.3.4, dual-core processor, 1.2 GHz, 16GB internal memory, 4-inch display
HTC One X (AT&T)
Android 4.0.3, 1.5GHz, dual core, 16GB internal storage, 4.7-inch display
HTC One V (US Cellular)
Android 4.0.3, 1 GHz, 512 MB internal memory, 3.7-inch display
Motorola Razr Maxx (Verizon)
Android 4.04, 1.2GHz dual core, 16GB internal storage, 4.3 “display
In many ways, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx is a smartphone that the Droid Razr was supposed to be. Adding a powerful battery, while maintaining a slim and machined size, makes this great Android phone extremely attractive. I really want the latest and greatest Android ice cream sandwich to appear on my phone instead of just the promise of future updates. In addition, its hefty price tag of $ 299.99 will give everyone except the most dependent gadgets reason to think. Still, thanks to the high speed 4G LTE data transfer, the amazing HD AMOLED screen and the battery designed to make the Green Bunny enviable, Maxx can be more than enough mobile technology for your needs.