Motorola DROID MAXX ReviewMotorola DROID MAXX 8.5
For those keeping track, we recently reviewed the Motorola DROID Ultra and the DROID Mini, which now leaves us with its big brother, the DROID MAXX. There are a few key differences between the Motorola DROID MAXX and the DROID Ultra – first the MAXX has a higher capacity 3500mAh battery to provide longer usage time, as well as 32GB of internal memory instead of only 16GB, and soft-touch coating on the back of the device. Because of these extra features, the Motorola DROID MAXX has a premium price of $300 with a 2-year Verizon contract, making it $100 more than the DROID Ultra. Are these extra features worth the price of the DROID MAXX? Let’s take a closer look.
Included in the retail package is the Motorola DROID MAXX XT1080 smartphone, 2-port USB wall charger, microUSB cable, and user guides.
When looking at the Motorola DROID MAXX next to the DROID Ultra from the font, it may be difficult to even notice a difference. But after picking them up, you can clearly tell which one is the DROID MAXX, as it is slightly thicker and heavier than the DROID Ultra. Also, Motorola decided to use a soft-touch coating on the back that has a nice woven pattern to it. This gives the DROID MAXX a more higher-end look and feel that we appreciate over the glossy fingerprint magnet on the back of the DROID Ultra, even though both are made out of Kevlar.
137.5 x 71.2 x 8.5 mm
5.89 oz (167 g)
137.5 x 71.2 x 7.18 mm
4.83 oz (137 g)
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)
138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
3.5mm jack (top)
Volume and power keys (right)
microUSB port (bottom)
The sides of the Motorola DROID MAXX
Both the DROID MAXX and DROID Ultra make use of the same 5” Super AMOLED display with 720x1280 resolution. It produces nice saturated colors and is pleasing to the eye, but when compared next to the Samsung Galaxy S4, you can clearly see a difference, as text and images are sharper on the Galaxy S4’s 1080p display. Since these phones use Super AMOLED technology, the viewing angles and color reproduction are great, but we did notice that the display on the Galaxy S4 appeared slightly brighter when both display’s brightness were turned all the way up.
Also on board is the Active Display notification feature, which Motorola has included on all of their new DROID and Moto X. Basically what it does it allows you to nudge the phone, and only the center of the display will turn on showing the date and time. Then if you get any notifications, such as a new message or a missed call, only that part of the display will turn on. This way, the device will conserve power since it does not have to turn on the entire display.
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2147; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Ridiculous pricing for a mid-range device with a large battery. Price considered, with this HW, the high battery drain as reported by several sites and the bad camera, this is about a 6.5 device - passable for better alternatives.
12. zevooptik (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)
This phone has been in my possession for about two weeks. As a light user, I have been able to get 5 full days and 4 nights on a charge twice. Battery saver is turned on, active display turned on, google now is disabled as is the always on voice command. I also have some syncing turned on(three email accounts). I personally would call bunk on any of the supposed battery drain issues. The camera quality is a step up from the 2nd gen Maxx, which I also owned.
The phone feels amazing in hand, certainly better than any LG or Samsung I have held. The phone is extremely fluid. I initially thought ill of Moto for going 720p, now I see the logic. I do not believe hardware is currently there to support 1080p quite yet, maybe with Snapdragon 800.
2. techguyone (Posts: 127; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I'd agree with that, it's all well making the 'experience' worthy, but when competitors are pushing substantially better hardware at the same price point, you have to wonder how much of that is justified.
I suspect we'll see biggish discounts fairly sharpish. Moto would sell a lot more if it was priced more to the mid range than top end. They shot themselves a bit in the foot after all the hype and build up with such a high price point at the end.
3. o0Exia0o (Posts: 458; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)
Sooo.... The Droid Ultra scores 8.7? the Droid Maxx with its bigger battery and longer usage time between charges scores lower that the Droid Ultra? How does that work?
4. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Not to mention the gaping storage difference. No way would I pay $200 for 16 GB without expansion in this market. I expected the much better equipped Maxx to easily outscore the weak Ultra.
5. kanagadeepan (Posts: 756; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)
PA forgot the yet another difference between Ultra and MAXX which is wireless charging...
6. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
A nice plus, and one I'm happy to see on more and more Verizon offerings including the upcoming G2. I think it's worth a millimeter or so of thickness to have the option.
7. icofnc (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 May 2009)
I've carried the gauntlet of Motos and they "ultra" reliable. I'm testing the S4 and after downloading the new Google keyboard, it is....fair. Resolution isn;t everything. The S4 won't stay on vibrate/silent! This could be both embarrassing and depending on the situation, quite problematic! It is this fault that I'll be returning the S4 today. I would prefer to have an SD slot, but I'll make due w/32G if it means my phone will STAY silent when I set it in that mode!
8. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
great phone- but Im just not seeing the 48 hours. Ive turned off active notification and tocuhless controls and im getting about 28 hours tops- Dont get me wrong a solid full day is nice, but I still have to charge it everynight to ensure I have a full day the next day.
The weight/size is also a little heavy so it makes 1 hand use awkward.
Ive been an android user for 4 years now, but Im thinking of making the jump to iphone :/ I need a great camera and do not want a galaxy so Iphone seems the way to go.
13. zevooptik (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)
I have kept active notifications on, but also never enabled touchless controls or google now. I also make sure GPS stays off. As stated in an earlier comment, I have been twice been able to get five full days and four nights on a single charge with light using. Texting, light calling, and a few games of sudoku a day. Unfortunate your experience is so different, one suggestion I have is to enable battery saver mode.
19. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
wow zevooptik that is a huge difference. I do utilize google now- so I'm going to switch it off to see if that helps.
20. lolrus (Posts: 29; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I keep GNow on with my tablet but it's too much of a battery drain on the phone.
I absolutely love the service but it was just crushing my battery (GS3)
15. SupermanayrB (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
The funny thing is BGR & Phone Arena said that the older RAZR\'s were awkward for one hand use, but the phones that they praise (S4 & G2) are both bigger & less one hand use friendly than the old RAZR\'s and the MAXX. I have the RAZR Maxx and S4 & have tested the MAXX; the latter feeling the most comfortable in my hand.
I call bogusness.
17. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
It's all about the bezel. The OG Razr had an enormous bezel for its size. I tried it when the phone first came out and found it uncomfortable to use compared to my Rezound which is also 4.3". The super-flat back didn't help matters. They improved hand-feel last year with the Razr HD and again this year. The Galaxy S3 and S4 have pretty thin bezels for their size, and the G2 blows everything else away, it's practically all screen (like the Moto X).
21. aymnga (Posts: 14; Member since: 19 Aug 2012)
U can buy sony xperia z1 with 20.7 mega pixel camera
9. spiral777 (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)
why go with 1080 if you're looking for better battery life? 720 is more than enough so i think they made the right decision.
23. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
I don't really remember the moto X with the same hardware except battery being a standout in battery life. You might be able to make a case that current GPUs are more suited to 720p than 1080p, but that seems to be a performance rather than a battery issue.
10. jajones82 (Posts: 3; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I own the droid Maxx, and the rating is fairly correct, 8.5-10....However, if the same reviewer is going to give it an 8.5 after giving the lesser model Droid Ultra an 8.7 rating, there may be issues with that. Are these extra features not worthy of a 9.0, or at least 0.2 points higher to make it on par with the Ultra?
- Wireless Charging
- Mega Battery life
- 32gb of storage
- soft backing instead of fingerprint magnet (like the Droid Ultra)
11. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I suspect that if the Ultra were $150 and the Maxx $200, they would have rated the Maxx higher. I hate that reviewers take price into account so much, especially since Android phones often go on sale or drop in price so quickly. In the long run (a 24 month contract), $100 is peanuts.
14. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3270; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I completely agree with you & jajones82 on this. It makes no sense that the Ultra has a higher score. At the very least, they should have the same score, but it makes more sense that the Maxx should have been rated higher. Motorola gives you 4 extras for your $100. Apple only gives you more memory for your $100. By this logic, the 32 & 64 GB iPhones should be rated significantly lower than the 16GB.
I also agree with your last point. I don't understand why people buy cheap phones on contract. You're paying the same monthly price regardless of what phone you get, so you might as well get the best phone available for the price. If I buy a $200 phone on contract, I end up paying $2400 over the life of the contract as opposed to $2300 over the contract for buying a phone that may not be future proof. The extra 4% is worth having the best available device.
18. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
And even without contracts, I think the extras of the Maxx are worth the $100 difference. Subsidized pricing screws up the value equation. If you look at paying $500 for a Droid (mini) vs. $600 for the Ultra and $700 for the Maxx, it's a much smaller difference than $100 vs. $200 vs. $300.
16. SupermanayrB (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
$249 for this phone if it had an SD slot would\'ve been a perfect price point considering the battery. The .2 drop in scoring doesn\'t make sense. Phone arena complained about the Ultra being a fingerprint magnet (which, I don\'t remember fingerprints on the BACK of a phone ever affecting the performance of a device, but yet they whined about it, a lot) but the MAXX is not yet they score it lower because of the price.
Either way, to each his own I guess.
22. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
I consider the price premium over the Ultra, reasonable. $50 for both double the storage and extra battery life, seems about par for the course in my opinion.
I just wonder if the Ultra isn't priced a little high. The MotoX makes sense at $199 since they build it here, and with the proprietary SoC add ons. Yet the Ultra isn't made in the US, so why does it start at the same price as the MotoX? Then again, like someone else said subsidized pricing muddies things up a bit.
24. bwhiting (Posts: 182; Member since: 15 Jun 2013)
Hmm seems like a worthwhile investment to me in my eyes for a phone for real. Might just get the device and replace my own Razr 16GB with this one instead of getting the Ultra, even with the red color design they have for them.
25. roldefol (Posts: 3260; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Try the two phones, as a Razr owner I have a feeling you'll prefer the Maxx. It's only a bit thicker, but the soft-touch Kevlar has a much better feel. The Ultra is completely moot now that Verizon offers the Moto X for the same price. The real choice is Moto X vs. Maxx.