Priced at $300 with a two-year Verizon contract, and sporting a design nearly identical to last year's Motorola Droid RAZR, the new Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX could easily be mistaken for a marginal update. Don't be fooled -- with a massive 3300 mAh battery that claims to deliver 21 hours of talk time or 15 hours of video playback, it has the potential to be a game-changer for smartphones everywhere.
At first glance, the RAZR MAXX is almost identical to the Droid RAZR. It has the same semi-angular shape, the same layout, even the same top-mounted micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports. It's only when you flip it over that you can notice the one real physical change.
Whereas the Droid RAZR had a "hump" at the top of the device for the camera, similar to Motorola's Droid Bionic and Droid X line, the RAZR MAXX is smooth from top to bottom. This is to accommodate the larger battery that's the MAXX's major feature change. Yes, this does technically make the phone thicker, but at 0.35 inches, it's also far from "thick." In fact, it's still thinner than the iPhone 4S, and the same thickness as the Samsung Infuse 4G that seemed so impossibly thin when it came out.
Of course that extra battery also makes it a bit heavier, at 5.1 ounces versus the original RAZR's 4.4, but that's still a remarkably small penalty for a battery which is almost twice the size of the RAZR's, and at least 1400 mAh more than any other LTE phone.
Part of the weight and thickness savings, of course, is that the battery is non-removable. The LTE SIM and microSD card, usually tucked under the battery cover, are under a door on the side, and the battery itself is safely sealed away from the user. This of course means no battery swapping, as well as the fact that battery problems could effectively require you to return the phone. When the battery wears out, the phone is basically a paperweight. Of course, by the time that happens in four or five years, the RAZR will be so obsolete that it'll be worth roughly bus fare anyway. Such is the march of technology.
Overall, I very much like the design of the RAZR MAXX. It has a solid build quality, and it's very comfortable to use. It's hefty, yes, but still thin, provides a lot of power in a not very large package, and it's comfortable to work with.
At 960 x 540 (qHD), the RAZR MAXX's Super AMOLED display is identical to that of its predecessor, and one step down from the 1280 x 720 displays of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Spectrum. That shouldn't be taken as a slam though; for most people, the difference between 960 x 540, and 1280 x 720 isn't going to be as visible as you might think when you're talking about a display that's 4.3 inches. HD resolution is great, particularly for web browsing, but it's not really necessary or a mind-blowing upgrade the way going from a much lower resolution like 320 x 480.
Regardless of the exact resolution, the screen looks great, and provides all the perks you expect out of an AMOLED screen: excellent contrast, true blacks and greys, and well defined colors. Although some LCDs can equal it, AMOLED still is a guarantee of great viewabilty and quality, every bit the equal to a high-end LCD.
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