Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid RAZR MAXX HD

Verizon customers looking for the best Android phones will narrow their choice down to a few phones, including the Galaxy Note II and the Droid RAZR MAXX HD.

Both of these smartphones command a hefty $299 price, but offer large screens, long battery life and a multitude of features to users looking to settle in to a 2-year contract.

The Galaxy Note II delivers a large 5.5-inch display and a S-Pen stylus, bringing the Samsung Phablet craze to Verizon for the first time.

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD, and Droid RAZR HD, arrive as skillfully honed updates to the popular Droid RAZR smartphones from 2010, delivering better battery life on the entry-level model, upgrading to a larger 4.7-inch display and relying on new internals to deliver better performance.

Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid RAZR MAXX HD

Galaxy Note II vs Droid RAZR MAXX HD HERO

Galaxy Note II vs Droid RAZR MAXX HD

Galaxy Note II Review | Droid RAZR HD Review

Release Date

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is already available on Verizon, though it is still waiting for an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Because the Droid RAZR MAXX HD has been out for a month, users can save $100 upgrading at Amazon Wireless.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note II is available on a variety of carriers, several of which already offer the Note II for sale. The Verizon Galaxy Note II is already available for pre-order, but won’t deliver until late November, likely November 29th.

Users comparing the Droid RAZR MAXX HD to the Galaxy Note II are likely already set on Verizon, so there may be a slow month of waiting on hand.

Design

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD and the Galaxy Note II emerge from two different schools of thought on design and materials.

Galaxy note II vs Droid RAZR MAXX HD

the Galaxy Note II includes a 5.5-inch display and a S Pen stylus.

The Galaxy Note II is designed with a plastic body that looks thinner than it is on the Marble White model. The Note II is also larger than the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, something that’s impossible to avoid thanks to the larger 5.5-inch display. Users can remove the back of the Note II to get to the removable battery, something absent on the RAZR MAXX HD. The Note II borrows from the design language found on the Galaxy S III, which is more flowing than the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, with curves and rounded edges.

Droid RAZR MAXX HD vs Note II

The Droid RAZR MAXX features a solid design with Kevlar back.

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD hails from an industrial design school that focuses on metal, Kevlar and visible screws. The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is decidedly more brash in the looks department with a carbon fiber design on the Kevlar rear, a metal band that circles the edge of the phone and two visible torx screws on the bottom edge of the device. The construction feels solid, as if it is made from a single piece of material. The smaller 4.7-inch display allows for a smaller overall size and more pocketable form factor.

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is available in black, while the Galaxy Note II is available in white and grey.

Display

Users looking for the most screen real estate on a phone will gravitate towards the Galaxy Note II with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, but the Droid RAZR MAXX HD offers a smaller overall size without cutting much from the screen department, offering a 4.7-inch display.

Note II Display

The Note II’s 5.5-inch display on \ left, vs 4.8-inch Galaxy S III Display on the right.

The Galaxy Note II’s 5.5-inch display uses a 1280 x 720 resolution with a widescreen ratio, a change from the original Galaxy Note. Our Galaxy Note II review found the display is bright and delivers sharp text and images. In short, this is a nice looking large display. Users who want to watch movies on the go will love that the full 5.5-inch display shows a movie instead of cutting much of it off to letterbox HD content.

Droid RAZR HD MAXX Display

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD features a 4.7-inch display.

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD uses a smaller 4.7-inch display, but offers the same 1280 x 720 HD resolution as the Note II and a widescreen ratio. The RAZR MAXX HD is a Pentile display, but the display performs better than the older Pentile matrix displays, so it’s worth stopping in to see this display in person before writing the RAZR MAXX HD off. The display delivers good-looking blacks and bright colors while watching HD videos.

Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid RAZR MAXX HD Specs

On the spec sheet, the Galaxy Note II is at an advantage with a quad-core processor, double the RAM and offering the S-Pen, but don’t write the Droid RAZR MAXX HD off based on specs alone.

Galaxy Note 2 specs and features:

  • 5.5-inch display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 1.6GHz Quad-core Exynos Processor
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB Storage
  • 8MP Camera/1.9MP front-facing
  • 3100mAh battery
  • 2GB of RAM
  • S-Pen
  • NFC

Droid RAZR MAXX HD specs and features:

  • 4.7-inch display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 32GB Storage
  • 8MP Camera/1.9MP front-facing
  • 3300mAh battery
  • 1GB of RAM
  • NFC

Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid RAZR MAXX HD Camera

Both phones offer an 8MP camera that is capable of capturing nice looking photographs. Motorola adds features to the camera app from past versions of the RAZR, but Samsung shines with more photo taking options and sharing options. The video below, of the Galaxy S III shows many of the Note II camera options.

The image below is taken with the Galaxy Note II on an overcast afternoon.

Galaxy Note II Sample Photo

Sample photo taken with Galaxy Note II.

The image below is taken with the Droid RAZR HD, which uses the same camera as the RAZR MAXX HD.

Droid RAZR HD Sample Photo

Droid RAZR HD sample photo.

The video below shows a sample of HD video taken on the RAZR HD.

Software & Features

The Galaxy Note II has an advantage in terms of software and features, but the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is no slouch.

On the software side, the Note II is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, while the Droid RAZR MAXX HD must wait for an update. This means access to Google Now and the speed improvements of Project Butter are on the Note II, but not yet on the MAXX HD.

The Note II uses TouchWiz, a Samsung skin that gives a new look to Android and with it a bunch of Samsung specific apps that work with the S Pen. The skin doesn’t slow down the Note II. In addition to these apps and the S Pen, the Galaxy Note II is able to place two apps on-screen at once with multitasking mode, or pop video up to play on top of other apps.

Galaxy Note II S Pen

Air View hover feature gives preview of your email by hovering your S Pen over the email list.

The S Pen, a small pressure sensitive stylus is the biggest feature the Note II has over the Droid RAZR MAXX HD. This stylus interacts with a collection of Samsung apps and si smart enough to open a notepad or app launcher when removed. Users can also use it to view more information about items by hovering the point over a line in apps like email.

MotoBlur-Circles-Widget

Circles Widget on the droid RAZR MAXX HD.

The Droid RAZR MAXX HD uses MotoBlur, a skin that covers up the stock Android experience and adds a quick settings menu to the left of the main home screen for fast access to commonly used settings. There is also a Circles widget that shows a clock and the weather as well as alerts on missed calls, texts and battery life information.

Motorola also includes Smart Actions, an app that can use time and location to automatically toggle settings to help the battery last longer and quiet the phone.

While the Note II can last a full day of use in our testing, the Droid RAZR MAXX’s claim to fame is the ability to last a day and a half under moderate use. Even heavy use leaves power left when placing the RAZR MAXX HD on the charger at night. Some users may be able to stretch the battery life out a full two days.

Carriers

The Galaxy Note II is available on all four major U.S. carriers and regional carrier U.S. Cellular offering users more choice in plan pricing and coverage. Users looking at the Droid RAZR MAXX HD can only use the device on Verizon Wireless. Both phones connect to 4G LTE on carriers with coverage, and Verizon currently offers the largest 4G LTE coverage, which may be the deciding factor.

Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid RAZR MAXX HD Video Reviews

For an overview of the Droid RAZR MAXX HD< check out the video review of the slightly thinner Droid RAZR HD, where we show off the design, features and talk about battery life.

The video below offers an in-depth look at the Galaxy Note II and offers size and feature comparisons.

Price

The Galaxy Note II commands a hefty $299 price tag on most carriers, including Verizon. We’ve yet to find a deal on the Note II for less than a $300 two-year contract price.

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Because the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is not as new, by a few weeks, users can purchase it on Amazon for $199 as an upgrade or $179 as a new customer, a savings off the $299 price at Verizon Wireless online and in stores.

Comments

  1. TheRicker says

    well, a larger battery by a small margin and a more solid feel seems like the only reason to get the MaxxHD but the feel is very influencing! I don’t like plastic crap.

    • Seal says

      Have you tried holding a Note 2 in your hands? I have the gray one and it doesnt actually feel plastic. It’s a very solid phone. Check the drop tests on youtube.

  2. Joe Earley says

    Waited five days beyond my upgrade date for the MAXX HD. Other than the bite to the wallet, this is an amazing device and even at “only” 4.7 inches the display is plenty large enough. Love the ability to control how many home screens I use, and of course the battery life is amazing. Easily get a day and a half, most often two days before charging is required.Without a holster currently and carrying in my pocket, it’s a nice fit and with the square sides it’s easy to hold onto. The texture of the materials is solid, yet not so slippery as to worry about it falling out of my hands.

    Nice job avoiding picking a winner for a versus article, though without seeing the Galaxy to compare on my own I’d say the writer did a fair job covering the major features.

  3. Note2 says

    You have got to be kidding me. The Galaxy Not 2 Wins hands down!
    It has WAY better specs, amazing software (already installed), s-pen, and great large screen.
    Return your motorola phones and purchase the Galaxy Note 2 and enjoy the PHABLET Experience!

  4. mike says

    Not everyone wants a phone big enough to mount on your wall to double as a tv. No thanks on the Samsung. Or any other Samsung device. And just because the note has a 3100mah battery doesn’t mean it will last. Its powering a huge processor. It will get maybe 60% the battery life of the Motorola.

    • Dale says

      My wife’s NoteII is beating my Razor Maxx HD on battery life… :(….. I have been in a contest with her to max out the useage and see who comes out on top. Its a sad day…

  5. TAUSMC says

    I love my Galaxy Note 2. The battery lasts a very long time. With very heavy use of my phone, I get 18 hours of battery life with 4G LTE. If I do medium usage I get about 30 hours of battery. Like the multiple screen capabilities and the fast Quad Core Processor. The big 5.5 inch screen is awesome and it fits just fine in my pockets. I’m so glad Sprint got this phone October 25th and they didn’t put their name all over it.

  6. JMo says

    Note 2 100%, upgraded from the 1st Gen Epic, and it is only an UPGRADE. Samsung may have paid a billion to Apple, but the GN2 &along with the soon to be released Galaxy Note 3 will recoup it’s court losses 10fold suckaduck apple haters.

  7. Russell moore says

    As an iphone regular I wasnt too sure about switching to samsung but I was tired of my brand new and expensive iphones being outdated and devalued every 7 days. Well ive had the note 2 for 5days and I must say in terms of technology there isnt much difference. It really comes down to accessibility and presentation. Yes the iphone is more user friendly, easy access to menu’s and settings. But note 2 is simply gorgeous. Also with the note it is easier to write messages/texts. However I do prefer apple apps and the ease of the iphone, it is taking me along time to get formiliar with the note. I must say that in 5 days I have had to charge the note 3 times where as with the iphone 4 with the same ish use I would charge only once, this is the only problem I have with the note. The iphone is yesterdays news

    • nejilee88 says

      Well I must disagree with the part of that saying Apple is more “User Friendly”. To be honest, Apple has a lot of restrictions set and less user capabilities. To get the full pledged experience, you have to get to know your phone more. Just mess with it, look into the settings and you’ll see that Android, by a long shot, is more user friendly…

  8. matt says

    I’m hoping Motorola will come out with a screen as large as on the note. I’ve had a Maxx for almost two years and I have enjoyed it. I have big hands and a larger screen might give me a larger less cumberson keyboard. I have to make a decision in a couple of months….

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