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Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon
Manufacturer: Motorola
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What's hot: All that Droid RAZR goodness, with nearly 2x battery life.

What's not: Less than ergonomic handful.


Reviewed February 1, 2012 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX wasn't completely designed to make you Droid RAZR buyers feel less enthusiastic about your purchase a few months back. This isn't a Bionic to Droid RAZR story. The MAXX is the exact same phone as the Droid RAZR, but with a higher capacity battery. The RAZR MAXX has a 3300 mAh battery vs. 1870 on the Droid RAZR, and it's sealed inside just like the original. That means you get seriously longer battery life, and that addresses our one serious concern about the Droid RAZR. Not that it terrible bad battery life or a small battery, but since you can't swap in a spare, you are at the mercy of a charger or portable external battery pack if you need to go for long periods of time with power-hungry LTE 4G turned on.

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX


This Android 2.3 smartphone will eventually get an upgrade to OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. I still love the look, and it's hardly thicker or heavier than the Droid RAZR despite the serious 76% increase in battery capacity. It measures 0.35" thick vs. 0.28" for the first Droid RAZR, and is just over a half ounce heavier. It feels better in hand because it isn't so impossibly thin, and battery life is truly excellent. I managed two days with light to moderate use on a charge, and a full day with very heavy use.

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX

The Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX.

The Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX has a 4.3" qHD Super AMOLED display that's very colorful and good looking to my eye. It may not push as many pixels as 720p Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but it has deep blacks and vivid colors with little pixelation. It runs on a dual core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 3340 CPU with a gig of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage. Verizon includes a 16 gig microSD card, so you've got lots of storage out of the box. The MAXX has the same just OK 8 megapixel rear camera that can shoot 1080p video and a front video chat camera.

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX

The Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX is available now for $299 with a 2 year contract on Verizon Wireless. Meanwhile, the Droid RAZR has dropped down to $199 on contract, so if money is more important that seriously long battery life, the Droid RAZR is still a great option. With the original RAZR, you're getting the same phone and same software other than the change in battery capacity. In fact, we're including some of our Droid RAZR review in this review.

Phone and Data

Voice quality is excellent for both incoming and outgoing voice. Data speeds on Verizon's LTE network are good, but the RAZR and RAZR MAXX can't compete with Qualcomm chipset phones like the HTC Rezound and LG Spectrum if you're in a weak LTE area as we are. The RAZR MAXX will generally stick to 3G rather than waffle between 3G and 4G all day, which is kinder to the battery. But our Spectrum and Rezound tenaciously hold onto our area's weak LTE signal with no waffling whatsoever.


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Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX Video Review

Design and Ergonomics

The Droid RAZR gets a big win for esthetics and a minor loss for ergonomics. We wish it were as comfortable to hold as it is good looking. Even if you don't like the looks, you've got to admit it's a striking phone. The curved Kevlar back with that distinctive pattern (fingerprint resistant), the uber-thin gunmetal sides and tapered ends make for good looks. The front is dominated by the 4.3" display though the bezel is a tad big. The four front capacitive buttons are backlit, but are close to the bottom edge and are thus a little too easy to accidentally trigger when handling the phone. We actually like the MAXX's thicker casing because it's easier to hold and the camera hump on the back is less pronounced.

The two ports, micro USB and micro HDMI, are up top on the only thick edge (if you can call 10mm thick). They're exposed for ease of use and it looks cool in a techno sort of way. The power button is on the right and works easily, but it's prone to accidental presses like Samsung Galaxy S II phones. The volume buttons are below the power button, and are too small and low to easily operate. A door on the lower left hides the LTE micro SIM card and included 16 gig microSD card. The headphone jack is up top and the speaker fires from the rear.

Horsepower and Performance

The Texas Instruments OMAP dual core CPU seems to be Google's darling this season, and it's appearing in a lot of Android smartphones, including the Galaxy Nexus. A 1.2Ghz TI OMAP dual core CPU with hardware graphics acceleration powers the Droid RAZR MAXX. That's a step up from the 1GHz dual core TI OMAP used in last month's Verizon flagship, the Motorola Droid Bionic. But it's not a huge step up. That said, the RAZR is a fast and responsive phone, and it benchmarks well, particularly in the Sunspider JavaScript test where it shows some good acceleration.

Pinch zooming is fluid, apps launch quickly and Adobe Flash Player 11 is fairly smooth with fairly responsive controls (Flash isn't slickly fast and smooth on Android in general). The phone has 1 gig of RAM (standard for Motorola Webtop phones) and 16 gigs of internal storage complimented by a 16 gig microSD card. The phone runs Android OS 2.3.6 with Motoblur (though Motorola has toned down Motoblur and no longer refers to it by name since it wasn't well-received in its first year).


  Quadrant Linpack multi-thread Sunspider JavaScript Test
Droid RAZR MAXX 2540 75 2160
Droid RAZR 2550 75.7 2102
Droid Bionic 2126 59 4029
HTC Rezound 2421 63 2998
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 3346 83.8 2878

Video playback of the MPEG4 variety up to 1080p is very good using the phone and an HD TV via the micro HDMI output that mirrors the display's contents. The phone is compatible with Motorola's Webtop accessories like the Lapdock 100, and that means it can be a poor man's laptop of sorts. Webtop is an application on the phone that runs a stripped down version of Linux with a file manager, the Firefox web browser and Android apps when connected to a compatible Moto accessory.

Verizon and Motorola bundle Verizon Video (streaming video for a daily/monthly fee), VideoSurf, Slacker, NFL Mobile and Netflix. Motorola's MotoCast is a very cool app that's basically a rebranded version of ZumoCast. You can use it to connect to your Windows or Mac computer and copy or stream content from your computer's hard drive. That means you can access your iTunes library (non-DRM content only), stored videos and documents anywhere you can get a 3G/4G or WiFi connection on the phone. The bad news is that the phone won't mount as a a generic mass storage device for those who prefer simple file copies from any computer to the phone.

Battery Life

As noted, the RAZR MAXX is unbeatable for LTE battery life. It's like having an extended battery permanently installed, and the phone had no trouble lasting through the day with heavy use that included push email, calls, GPS navigation and streaming video from Netflix for an hour. The only drawback? When that ample 3300 mAh battery is depleted, you'll need a charger because you can't swap in a spare battery.


It's sexy, it's unique and nearly bulletproof thanks to Gorilla Glass on the front and Kevlar on the back. Voice quality is excellent, download speeds on LTE rock and the phone has supreme battery life. The Super AMOLED display is very colorful with deep blacks, though it's not the highest resolution display on the block. The Droid RAZR MAXX works with Motorola's myriad accessories including the Lapdock, giving it an element of versatility. But it's a handful, and one-handed operation is a strain even with larger hands.


Price: $299 with a 2 year contract, $649 without contract



Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX


Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX


Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX


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Display: 4.3" capacitive Super AMOLED display. Resolution: qHD 960 x 540, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer, has an ambient light sensor.

Battery: 3300 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. Claimed talk time: up to 12.5 hours. Claimed standby: up to 8.5 days.

Performance: 1.2GHz TI OMAP dual core CPU with 1 gig of RAM and graphics acceleration. 16 gigs internal storage.

Size: 5.15 x 2.71 x 0.35 inches. Weight: 5.1 ounces.

Phone: CDMA dual band digital with EV-DO Rev. A 3G and 4G LTE.

Camera: 1.3MP front video chat camera and 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash. Can shoot 1080p video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

Software: Android OS 2.3.6 Gingerbread.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot, 16 gig card included.


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