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MOBILE DEVICES

Mobile Review: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
By: wubayou
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    2012-03-19

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    Motorola’s Droid and Razr brands have both made a splash with cell phone consumers in the past, and the same should hold true for the newer release, the Droid Razr Maxx. Equipped with a speedy processor, durable design, and a wide variety of features, the Razr Maxx offers plenty of power for Android fans seeking a new smartphone. The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx is available for the hefty price of $299.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless.

    The Droid Razr Maxx’s distinction as an Android-based smartphone means you get plenty of Google goodies packed into its set of features.  Among these are pre-installed Google apps such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Books, Google Maps, Places and Latitude, Google Calendar, and YouTube.  You also get access to the huge catalog of apps via the Android Market.  What is unfortunate about Android in the Razr Maxx, however, is the version.  You don’t get Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box.  Instead, the Razr Maxx comes with Gingerbread 2.3.5.  Some promises have been made of Ice Cream Sandwich becoming available on the Maxx in the future, but who knows when that will really happen.

    Some of the core features worth mentioning on the Razr Maxx begin with GPS for occasional navigational help, Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot capability, and voice commands.  The phonebook can hold as many contacts as will fit into its 16GB of internal memory.  Additional memory can come from 32GB microSD cards.  Messaging options include text and multimedia messaging, instant messaging, support for POP3 and IMAP email accounts, as well as Microsoft Exchange. 

    Beyond Google’s slate of useful apps on the Razr Maxx, the smartphone also comes with extra selections that add value to its feature set.  The Smart Actions app can help you automate everyday tasks.  For example, you can have it dim the phone’s brightness when the battery reaches a certain level, or have it disable GPS once you are connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network to help conserve battery life.  These are just a couple of ways you can use Smart Actions to help make life easier.



    Another useful pre-installed app is MotoCast, which lets you stream media on the Droid Razr Maxx from certain computers.  For enhanced viewing, there’s also the Webtop app.  It’s ideal for multitasking on a larger screen.  Once setup fully, Webtop makes it possible to even use a mouse and keyboard with a fully functional Firefox browser to increase productivity from content on the Maxx.  You’ll need some extras to leverage this functionality, but you get the picture.

    Entertainment options are numerous.  You can fill the phone with apps from the Android Market, surf the Web with a Webkit 5 HTML browser, or listen to music via the integrated media player.  The 8.0-megapixel camera offers several adjustable settings and can record video in 720p, but the quality of its photos is a bit uninspiring. 

    As you would expect with any Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx is quite thin.  No, it’s not the thinnest smartphone around, but Motorola does claim that the Razr Maxx is one of the thinnest 4G LTE smartphones you will find.  The phone officially measures in at 5.2 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 0.4 inches thick.  Its weight is listed at 5.1 ounces.  The Razr Maxx fits comfortably into pockets, but female users may find its overall size to be a bit hard to handle, especially when messaging.  To say that the Maxx is solidly built would be an understatement.  It’s constructed from diamond-cut aluminum and has a Kevlar coating on the back panel for added protection.  Whether or not it will protect you in a gunfight remains to be seen, but it should handle well against everyday bumps and bruises.  Additionally, the Maxx has what is referred to as nanotechnology coating that helps protect against liquid spills.

    The front panel of the Droid Razr Maxx is dominated by a beautiful 4.3-inch super AMOLED advanced display.  Colors and details jump off the screen and help make the smartphone ideal for browsing the web, viewing videos, playing games, and more.  The beautiful display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, which helps prevent scratches and other undesirable marks that can take away from the viewing experience.  The display is spacious enough to not only enjoy its visual greatness, but its functionality as well.  The virtual keyboard is responsive and good for typing messages.  If you’re looking for some more advanced typing options, the Swype feature allows you to type by simply connecting letters with smooth swiping motions.



    The user interface of the Razr Maxx lacks some of the perks you would find after the latest Ice Cream Sandwich release, but it is still solid overall.  The UI is intuitive and user-friendly.  There are five customizable home screens that give you plenty of options on how you want your phone to look and function, as well as several shortcuts to key, commonly used tasks.

    The Droid Razr Maxx’s performance is impressive thanks to a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of LP DDR2 RAM.  You can multitask with ease, and doing things like surfing the Web, viewing videos, listening to music, and the like are all accomplished in a snappy manner due to the combination of the processor and Verizon’s 4G LTE network.  As for call quality, it’s about as good as you could expect.  Calls are clear and lack any irritating distortion or interference.  Call volume is solid, and even speakerphone performance is praise-worthy.  All of these characteristics are appealing, but none is more impressive than the Razr Maxx’s battery, which is rated at 21.5 hours of talk time and 16 days of standby.  Needless to say, with such steady numbers, the Droid Razr Maxx is one phone that you can take with you on long trips without worrying about it constantly dying.  That alone could attract several potential buyers who travel heavily.

    Overall, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx is smartphone worthy of purchasing.  Sure, its lack of Ice Cream Sandwich is a negative mark, but its rock-solid construction, excellent battery life, impressive performance, and comprehensive set of features make it a safe pick for Android seekers.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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