Droid RAZR MAXX HD Review: Editor’s Choice
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD has everything we love about the standard Droid RAZR HD, plus more storage and a larger battery. The Droid RAZR MAXX HD earns the GottaBeMobile Editor’s Choice Award for solid build quality, 4.7-inch HD display, no compromise battery life and affordable pricing from Verizon Wireless’ partners, including Amazon. The Droid RAZR HD is a great phone, but the MAXX is worth the money for users that don’t want to worry about carrying a charger or portable battery pack around.
Motorola improved on the design of earlier Droid RAZR smartphones with the new Droid RAZR MAXX HD, adding in the latest processors and a larger 4.7-inch display perfectly suited for HD video watching. Despite the larger display, the phone’s dimensions are not noticeably larger. The phone is less than 1mm thicker than the Droid RAZR HD, and includes a longer lasting 3300 mAh battery that will last all day, even with heavy use.
Read: Droid RAZR HD Review
The RAZR MAXX HD is still waiting for an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which should address most of the Droid RAZR MAXX HD shortcomings.
Many high end smartphones with 4G LTE run out of power before the day is over, which is why the larger battery in the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is a major factor.
With the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, owners can use the smartphone to game, watch videos surf the web and get turn-by-turn directions – all the activities they purchased it for – without worrying about the phone being dead before the end of the day.
Droid RAZR MAXX HD | $299 | Verizon
Droid RAZR MAXX HD Review Guide
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The video review below for the Droid RAZR HD, showcases the features and performance also found on the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, which uses the same processor, with a larger battery.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD’s smooth Kevlar back looks amazing and offers a great tactile feel. Unlike many Android phones that feel like separate pieces snapped together, the Droid RAZR MAXX HD feels as if it is made from a single piece of material. Rounding out the design are two visible screws on the bottom of the phone that add to the industrial look of the RAZR MAXX HD.
Motorola designed the Droid RAZR MAXX HD to survive in the hands of clumsy users with a Gorilla Glass front, Kevlar back and a metal band that runs along the edge of the phone. The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is splashproof, thanks to a nanocoating that prevents small amounts of water from damaging the phone, but it is not waterproof.
Users that love notifications won’t be able to miss the large notification LED tucked behind the earpiece on the front of the device. This glows in a variety of colors to alert users to new emails, missed calls and other notifications.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD features a 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution that is great for watching HD video content on the go. The display is large enough to enjoy a movie or TV show, but no so large that it is a challenge to hold thanks to slim bezels.
The Super AMOLED display uses Pentile matrix display technology and not LCD like the iPhone 5. Users turned off by earlier Pentile displays should give the RAZR MAXX HD a chance as the display quality is better than the Pentile displays found in earlier phones.
Text and photos look good on the RAZR MAXX HD’s display, though the iPhone 5 display looks slightly better in side-by-side comparisons. Watching movies on the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is enjoyable thanks to deep blacks and bright colors.
Like the RAZR HD, Motorola chose to add a small rim that runs along the edge of the display. This protects the display from scratches while placed face down on a table, and acts as an edge to keep users’ thumbs on the screen.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD features a dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM, just like the Droid RAZR HD. Like the slimmer device, the RAZR MAXX HD delivers snappy performance while using apps and browsing the web with the built-in Chrome browser.
The device lags when switching apps and opening the app drawer, a drawback that is likely tied to the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) software Motorola shipped on the phone. Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is reportedly on the way, and with it the speed enhancements of Project Butter, which is much faster for these tasks.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is capable of playing many games, from Fruit Ninja and Canabalt HD to The Dark Knight Rises without any lag or issues.
The phone connects to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network with speeds faster than most home internet connections. Like the Droid RAZR HD, the MAXX HD holds a 4G LTE connection better than the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD battery life is the real reason to opt for it rather than the RAZR HD. The larger 3300 mAh battery lasts all day, even under heavy use and constant 4G LTE connectivity.
Motorola claims it will last 32 hours including standby time. In real non-stop use that’s 21 hours of talk time or 8 hours of web browsing. Suffice to say, the Droid RAZR MAXX HD battery will last a full day, for even the busiest users.
Motorola is well-known for delivering good audio and call quality, and the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is no exception.
Calls are rich and clear on both ends of the call, delivering better call quality than the iPhone 5. The speakerphone is also loud and clear thanks to a sizable speaker on the back of the device.
Music and movie audio is loud and dialogue is clear, even with explosions and background noise in busy movie scenes. The audio is much louder, and better quality than the Galaxy Nexus or the Galaxy S III. The music is loud enough to hear while relaxing outdoors or while taking a shower. Headphones still offer the best movie watching experience, but the speakers are above average.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD features an 8MP camera on the rear and a front facing HD camera for video chat. This is the same camera found in Droid RAZR HD, which is an improvement over previous Motorola cameras, but not at the top of the class.
The camera does not do well when trying to take photos fast because the camera attempts to refocus before taking the shot. The result is a lot of missed photos, even if the frame is in focus.
There are options to change modes, include a HDR mode that the camera app prompts users to select for certain conditions. The camera can take a photo while shooting video, though the photo is saved at a lower resolution.
Overall the camera is good, but not great. It performs best for group photos in good lighting or landscape photos. Below are sample photos and a sample video taken on the Droid RAZR HD.
Motorola shipped the Droid RAZR MAXX HD with Android 4.0.4 ice Cream Sandwich, now two versions behind the most recent release. Motorola promises an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the near future which should deliver faster performance.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD features MotoBlur, a skin that sits on top of the basic Android installation. MotoBlur includes a Circles widget that offers fast access a clock, weather and battery information, and can show missed calls, alarms and new text messages.
The MotoBlur software also includes fast access to commonly changed settings with a swipe left to right form the main home screen. This reveals the Quick Settings menu below.
Motorola also includes Smart Actions, a free app that can turn features on or off and change the volume of the ringer based on time and location. This allows users to set up profiles that automatically change. Check out Smart Actions in use in the video below.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD commands a $100 premium over the Droid RAZR HD when purchased from Verizon, bu the benefit of a battery that lasts all day under the heaviest use makes the price increase well worth paying for mobile users.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD delivers a great experience and is worth considering while picking a premium smartphone on Verizon Wireless.