The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, successor to the DROID RAZR on Verizon Wireless is one HECK of a device.
Caps locks aside, Motorola and Verizon have teamed up to bring a beefed up version of the DROID RAZR to market that is able to produce blazing LTE data speeds, a crystal-clear display and able to get you through roughly two business days of battery. Up to this point, this scenario was unheard of. I have been using this device for the last few weeks in the metropolitan Washington, DC area in conjunction with the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and without getting in to a carrier war, let me just say that this device blows almost any other Android device on any other network out of the water.
Read on for my thoughts on the DROID RAZR MAXX by Verizon Wireless.
If the rating of ten out of ten doesn’t tell you enough, the DROID RAZR MAXX is just a beautiful device. It is a little thicker than the DROID RAZR to make room for the 3300mAh lithium-ion battery. At 8.99mm thick, this device is still one of the thinnest LTE smartphones on the market. The DROID RAZR MAXX packs a qHD 4.3″ Super AMOLED Advanced display with Gorilla Glass and a Kevlar battery door (As in, the same material used in bullet-proof vests) which makes this device extremely durable.
The black and pewter chrome scheme makes this device sleek, sexy and form fitting. With the power of a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor under the hood, it’s like that little black dress on Michael Johnson in his prime (Quite a picture I know). In addition to processor speed, you will also get a CDMA 800/1900 EVDO Rev A/LTE radio, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage space. The RAZR MAXX comes with a 16GB memory card pre-installed and is expandable to 32GB. Similar to the iPhone, the battery cannot be removed. Many people need to be able to use a spare battery to get through the day but thanks to the bigger battery on the DROID RAZR MAXX, carrying around a spare battery or your wall charger is simply not necessary.
For taking photos/video, the RAZR Maxx has an 8-megapixel camera with auto-focus that takes amazing photographs (See the test photos of the 2012 Infiniti G37xS donated by Jim Coleman Infiniti in Bethesda, MD for photo quality). The camera app can be launched right from the lock screen, which makes it easier to capture that precious moment of your cat before he decides to knock over the glass of water on your living room table. The front camera seems meager at 1.3 megapixels, but is capable of shooting 720p video and decent video chat quality. Not only are you able to capture 1080p video on the RAZR MAXX, but you can also output your flicks directly to a HDTV via the HDMI port on top of the device.
Network Performance and Battery Life- 10/10
Verizon Wireless claims that they are the “nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G network” and while I can only speak for coverage in Washington, DC this statement is not overbilled in my opinion. Speed tests averaged download speeds of 7.59Mbps maxxing out (had to) at a scorching 20.44Mbps in one of my tests downtown. Upload speeds averaged 6.42Mbps topping out at 10.8Mbps, also in downtown Washington. Verizon advertises that their 4G LTE network speed ranges from 5-12Mbps and in my time with the device, my speeds stayed within this range the entire time. Mobile hotspot, which supports up to eight devices on 4G & up to five devices on 3G, enabled me to connect my WIFI-only iPad 2 and take advantage of Verizon’s lightning-fast network to stream Netflix videos in HD without a hiccup.
In the eight years that I have had Verizon Wireless service, I think I can count the dropped calls on one hand. Say what you will about Verizon’s pricing for services and lack of unlimited data plans, but there is no denying that Verizon maintains the strongest network, with the fastest data speeds out of any of the four top carriers.
Battery life on the DROID RAZR MAXX was very impressive for a LTE device with such an illuminating display. Thanks to the 3300mAh battery and Motorola’s “Smart Actions”, I was able to make it though two full days without needing to charge the device with little use. With moderate use, I was able to squeeze a day and a half out of the RAZR MAXX and with a lot of calls, texts, Internet browsing and video-chatting; I was still able to make it though an entire business day. Not having to worry if my phone was going to make it through the day was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I have not used a 4G Android device yet, without having to sacrifice brightness or notification frequency or sometimes even having to turn the radio off just to get through the day.
Software and UI- 9/10
Overall, I really like the direction Android is headed. The RAZR MAXX came with Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with MotoBlur and while it’s not Ice Cream Sandwich, the user experience on this device was still very enjoyable. On a side note, the DROID RAZR MAXX is slated to receive ICS and there are ROMs floating around right now that work very smooth on this device if you want a taste.
MotoBlur is not as intrusive as in previous versions, offering laid back icons, five home screens and customizable (and expandable) widgets. The Swype keyboard comes preloaded as a very useable second option for a keyboard. The Swype keyboard is very intuitive and as long as you learn the basics, “swyping” can be very quick and easy. My preferred method of input is still the built-in voice dictation.
Other MotoBlur enhancements include a camera unlock shortcut and mute switch on the lock screen, an easy to use virtual keyboard and the ability to switch from to a different home screen via pressing the home button when in standby. Smart actions are Motorola’s tool which allow you to run a specific profile for various scenarios. One profile is a “meeting” profile, which not only silences the ringer, but will even send an automatic text response stating that “I am in a meeting and will call you back later.” Other smart actions are a “battery extender” profile which will lower brightness and delay syncing during standby and a “low battery” profile which will kill WIFI, blueooth, sync and other battery hogs when your battery goes below a certain percentage. All of the smart actions are customizeable depending on your preference.
The last feature I really want to highlight is the the way the screen shuts off when you lock the device, similar to the classic television sets. Although many will deem this feature to be insignificant, it is probably my favorite Android enhancement on the RAZR MAXX.
I very much enjoyed my time with the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX. The hardware is sleek and sexy and combined with the speed and reliability of the Verizon network, there isn’t much to dislike about this device. I prefer vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich to Gingerbread with MotoBlur, but we can’t all be the Galaxy Nexus. It is good to have variety and options in the mobile space and the RAZR MAXX delivers all of the same high-end specs at $100 less then the G-Nex. Win-Win.
The Motorola DROID RAZR sells for $199 on Verizon Wireless and I definitely recommend this device to any VZW user looking for a solid Android device.