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27 May 2012

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx review

Enter the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx. A mere two months after its predecessor was released on Verizon, this new contender came around to challenge the battery life of every single next-gen phone we've ever used. Its back end has been filled out somewhat to make room for a bigger battery, but at 8.99mm, it's still slimmer than a huge number of competing handsets on the market today. So what makes the Maxx different from the RAZR?


The Maxx isn't looking to win that title, but it still shouldn't be considered bulky by any means. After all, at its thinnest, it cuts a skinnier profile than the 9.3mm-thick iPhone 4S and the 9.47mm Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. Granted, the Maxx still sports the same 10.6mm-thick hump as you'll find on the original RAZR's back cover, though this time around, the slope running up from its thinner end is less pronounced. And frankly, we don't mind the dimensions one bit. We understand that thin is in, but the heft makes for a much more comfortable grip.

We took the phone off the charger at 8:30 AM, began our standard video rundown test that consists of an endless video loop while connected to 3G, walked away and waited. And waited. And continued waiting until 1 AM the following morning. That's right -- the Maxx lasted 16.5 hours playing the same video over and over before giving up the ghost.

As with the Droid RAZR, the Maxx sports an eight megapixel rear shooter and 1.3MP front-facing camera. As mentioned before, the sensors are identical to the previous phone, and as such don't expect to see many different results here. Colors are still muted in direct sunlight, it struggles in low-light situations and indoor images are once again a bit noisy. We were pleased to see only a limited amount of shutter lag, thanks to the phone's continuous autofocus feature.

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.

For such an advanced smartphone, the vague promise of a future Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is disappointing. Also, while a stronger battery is great, it's still not user-removable. People with small hands will find it hard to wrap around the phone's wide frame, and the 8-megapixel camera is unimpressive.

The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx proves that a powerful Android superphone can remain thin yet still promise marathon-worthy battery life. If you can live without Ice Cream Sandwich and have big hands, the Maxx is extremely compelling.

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