Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD Review
With the DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD being Motorola’s premier devices, you might hope that it would come running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, but it actually has Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, though Motorola does say the Jelly Bean update will come out before the end of the 2012.
In fact, the DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD are using the same custom Motorola interface that is on the DROID RAZR M and ATRIX HD. Compared to other custom Android experiences out there, such as HTC's Sense UI and even Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX; it lacks the comprehensive, complete, and useful functions to make it compete on the same level. Also missing are some advanced features found on other high-end smartphones, like Samsung Galaxy S3's SmartStay, Popup Play and S Beam, or LG Optimus G's WiseScreen, Qslide and Screen Zooming. Ultimately, the user interface on the DROID RAZR MAXX HD is nothing more than a skin running on top of ICS and feels a bit lacking when placed next to the competition – as opposed to an experience worth gushing over. In fact, the only thing new that Verizon customers might notice is the main "Circles" widget on the homescreen, which we've seen already on the DROID RAZR M and ATRIX HD. Though we are glad that the DROID RAZR MAXX HD can have up to 7 home screens, instead of just 5 on the original DROID RAZR MAXX.
As we mentioned earlier, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD uses on-screen interface buttons instead of separate capacitive buttons below the display. It has one for back, home, and multitasking. Even though the design is well thought-out, it does take about 0.30” of screen space away from open applications. That means if you are browsing the web, viewing an image in the gallery, or playing a game, you’re not going to have use of the entire screen with those apps because of the on-screen buttons. The only exception we found was when playing videos, as it will use the entire screen. Because of this, the 4.8” display on the Samsung Galaxy S III actually appears much larger when next to the DROID RAZR MAXX HD. For example, when browsing the web, the actual browser window is 4.4” diagonal on the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, while the Galaxy S III is 4.8” diagonal.
Looking though the handset's usual set of organizer apps, there isn't anything particularly different about them when compared to other Android devices, mainly because it's using stock Android apps. Therefore, whether you check out the Calculator, Calendar, or Clock, you won't find anything new with them.
Paying attention to the E-Mail app and separate Gmail app, they present us with the usual experience, but nevertheless, we appreciate the productivity they have to offer us. Of course, setup is a painless procedure, as it merely requires only your email address and password for proper completion in most cases; through you can manually setup POP3 & IMAP accounts, as well as Verizon.net and Microsoft Exchange.
With the large 4.7” screen, we don't have any problem typing away with its on-screen keyboards. Additionally we are glad that it includes both the Motorola and Swype ones, allowing you to choose which one you prefer to use.
Processor and Memory:
Unlike the first Motorola MAXX that used a TI OMAP 4430 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD comes with a beefier 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor and 1GB of RAM. This is actually the same processor that is found on the Motorola DROID RAZR M and the Samsung Galaxy S III, through the Galaxy S III does have 2GB RAM.
The DROID RAZR MAXX HD feels plenty quick to us when moving between the home screens, the app drawer, and when opening applications, though as a high-end smartphone it would have been nice if it came with a larger amount of RAM. But as you can see from the benchmarks scores, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, DROID RAZR M, and Galaxy S III all are pretty close when based on the numbers. More importantly, you can clearly tell the improvement with the Snapdragon S4 over the TI OMAP 4430 processor that is used by original MAXX.
|Quadrant Standard||AnTuTu||NenaMark 2|
|Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD||4972||6787||59,6|
|Motorola DROID RAZR M||4864||6715||61,3|
|Samsung Galaxy S III||5022||6831||58,7|
|Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX||2895||6178||36,7|
When it comes to internal storage, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD comes with 32GB, twice as much as the original DROID RAZR MAXX. Meanwhile, the DROID RAZR HD comes with 16GB of internal storage, while the DROID RAZR M is limited to 8GB. Regardless, all can use a microSD memory card for up to 64GB of added storage space.
Internet and Connectivity:
Like with the Motorola DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR HD, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD and comes pre-loaded with the Google Chrome browser. This is not a surprise, as Google has incorporated Motorola Mobility, so naturally they’d want to use Chrome. Overall it works well, through doesn’t support Adobe Flash, but it can be side-loaded and used with other browsers – at least until the upcoming Jelly Bean update is installed.
When using the DROID RAZR MAXX HD in Verizon’s 4G LTE areas of South FL, we were able to get download speeds ranging from 6-15 Mbps and uploads between 2-6 Mbps, depending on the area and if we were outside or inside. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5GHz) is supported, as well as Mobile HotSpot, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
1. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3495; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Same reviewer, same ridiculous reasons to bash this phone. 2/3 of those cons are still unreasonable.
6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
I think it's reasonable. There's nothing much new brought to the table - unlike the 9s given to the S3 and the like - which brought tremendous amounts of 'new'.
i'm confused though. who is this FAUguy?
7. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3495; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
The cons he gave to it were unreasonable, except for the camera. A lot of devices have that pin for removing the sim tray, but that wasn't a con for them. And it not being released with Jelly Bean isn't really a con either; the Optimus G wasn't released with Jelly Bean, but once again it wasn't a con.
50. gtrxman (Posts: 102; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Or how about the iPhone not having copy and paste for so long. Don't think that was ever listed as a con. I have the RAZR MAXX and for someone with big hands, I need to use a paper clip or other small item to get the SD card out, so the inclusion of a pin is a positive. They are cramming a whole lot into the space. It's a matter of physics. Definitely not a con.
So what if Jelly Bean isn't on board, it'll be here soon enough. Just a few months ago everyone was singing the praise of ICS. At least on Android updates are frequent, whereas with the iPhone, you have to wait a year for an upgrade. If it isn't a con for an iPhone, it shouldn't be for this phone.
53. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i actually have the JB Leak on my MAXX HD now. it's perfectly solid and i would imagine the OTA Soak test will start in about a week or two since the OTA is rolling out to the M now.
8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3495; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Also, FAUguy has been a part of PA for a while
10. FAUguy (Posts: 76; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)
We understand that some of you may not look at the push-pin door as a con. But when it makes it more difficult to get at the memory card slot, and the SIM tray has to come out first, then we wonder why did Motorola choose this method than what was on the original DROID RAZR or the DROID RAZR M, since both of though are easy access.
13. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i like it. if that's what comes in exchange for having a full metal spine then i'm all for it and besides i hardly ever remove my SD Card. these phones have USB Mass Storage you know.
16. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Haha...looks who's showing things here!! :D
But yes i agree...if i have a 32GB or a 64GB microSD card, i won't bother removing it. Unless it's not enough!
22. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 612; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
I'm pretty sure that the Razr didn't have expandable memory or did I mistake that for another phone?
28. SupermanayrB (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
All RAZR's, even the original RAZR from 2004 have expandable memory.
25. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3495; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I understand where you're coming from, but this method can't be any harder than others when it comes to removing the sim tray. And most other devices with this push-pin door don't even have expandable memory, which matters to a lot of people.
Motorola couldn't have used any other method without complicating the build quality of the device, the fact that Motorola implemented it that way must be appreciated by many for the people who prefer their products.
27. SupermanayrB (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
I agree with you with wondering why Moto didn't stick to the same method on the original RAZR/Maxx & RAZR M, but unless your phone is unlocked or you travel abroad on a consistent regular basis, just get a 32GB or 64GB SD card that way you never have to open the SIM/SD tray. #problemsolved
51. gtrxman (Posts: 102; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Maybe because the internal shape of the battery is different because the screen takes up more real estate?
They don't make unnecessary design changes. Unless it's originally a bad design or the entire phone is changing. Clearly this is some sort of compromise. How often to you take out your SIM or SD card anyway?
3. SetiroN (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)
Just a meager 3 more hours talk time? That doesn't sound right.
5. predator93 (Posts: 117; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
Thats around 20 % more, not bad actually.
34. jroc74 (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
3 extra hours of talk time for 770 mAh more battery.....I'll kindly take it.
Although......$100 extra for 770 mAh more battery isnt worth it IMO. And I have a Maxx HD.
35. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
well you also get twice the storage. Samsung charges $50 extra for their 32GB variant of the SIII. pretty much you're paying another $50 for a huge, sealed battery too.
4. PAPINYC (Posts: 1947; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
If this phone, while it's GREAT, gets an 8.7 then yesterday's review of the Galaxy Note II should be upgraded to a 9.7...IMHO!
29. SupermanayrB (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
For what? I saw the Note II a month ago & other than it being a big ass GSIII the only thing about it that impressed me was being able to put the keyboard in right & left hand mode to make one handed texting a lot easier. That's pretty much it.
43. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
Motorola droid maxxx hd is the closest complete device. The only con it is the camera.
9. redmd (Posts: 768; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Moto should buy their camera sensors from Sony. their camera sucks truly.
11. oldmandaddy (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 May 2010)
This is amazing phone , hope Motorola sell a lot of this. This is better than SGIII
17. Lboogey6 (Posts: 237; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)
Yeah totally agree especially since it has.......
Well no wait well I guess I don't agree lol definitely good phone though
12. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I wonder what the people in Motorola are thinking about the camera they employ on their phones. Every review i see about Moto, except for Atrix 2 and some 2-3 phones, no matter who reviews it, always say the camera could be better... Don't they listen? I mean, Phonearena mustn't be the only site reviewing the phones!!
15. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
well Engadget actually seemed to like the Camera on the HD.
18. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Wow...i didn't know. Now i'm confused...
I found "The camera has always been a strong suit of Motorola handsets." written there...
I don't know which to trust any longer!!! Sigh!!
26. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3495; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I was wondering about this. To me the camera looked fine, but I was like, "Eh, I'll just trust the tech enthusiasts." However, now it seems like I was right the first time.
32. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Moto could use better software but the quality hasn't really seemed bad to me but i hardly care about the camera quality so i just took the critics' word for it.
19. redmd (Posts: 768; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
I previously owned the Razr maxx then sold it after a month. the camera is shameful for the price. it's just so wrong. the software is in limbo between stock and blur its less functional compared to sense or touch wiz. the only thing good about it is build quality and battery.
many people complained of Samsung utilizing plastics but not their software because it's one of the most polished UI.
14. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
an 8.7? what is your deal with the Razr's? this is definitely a 9 or a 9.5.
23. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
I'd put it at least on par with the SGS3. But again if it doesn't come from Samsung or apple it's automatically not satisfactory enough for a 9 anymore.
44. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
I give this device an 9 or 9.5. It has the looks industiral with a little bit of candy bar, great software close to stock. the display is awsome, radios build quality is the best coming on second place are the regular razrs then the iphone 5. This device rules and we can expect better now that google owns Motorola.
20. tusshharish (Posts: 324; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
its iphonearena again.....they give most rating to iproducts and less ratings other phone....................
21. tha.fox (Posts: 100; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)
Hows this get a lower rating than the S3?!?! Its more durable, water resistant, better signal, better call quality, better feel holding it, HDMI, on screen buttons, better battery life, a close to stock look instead of ugly touch wiz and motocast cloud services. The only thing the s3 brings to the table that is new is a exact copy of siri and a few motion things tht are useless.
46. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
i am agreeing with you 1000 % The only things that the S3 has over this it is the sensors and 2g of ram. My friend has this device and i can not take my hands of it. The feel of this beast it is just awesome .
24. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 612; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Wow, I couldn't believe what I was reading, this is a cut and paste job, with a few changes here or there to accommodate the name of the phone and tid bits about battery life, could have just cut all that out and just made it one page if you were going to spam up with this mess. Heck you didn't even take photos using the Razr Maxx HD camera, nope just put the same photos up from the Razr HD. Is your job that boring that you can't even do it wholeheartedly, then quit!
I swear if I read another point about Moto UI I will lose it, since the OG Droid rolled out people and review sites have been against the UI that OEM slap over android and with all honesty they were correct, the UI slowed the phones down and added mainly eye candy and prettied up Androids already built in functions. Each Moto flagship released had a UI that became even more transparent, to praise around each review site. Now all of a sudden it's a problem, what the hell kind of flip flopping nonsense is this, starting to sound like our very lippy GOP candidate.
Not sure if Moto camera are the actual problem or is it the software interface they have been slow to do things, especially when taking photos. Was sure that the Razr was very quick in start up and take a photo department. I'm readily awaiting the comparisons as I bet they will make no sense as they will just use the same photos they already took to use for comparison. So forget about up to date information coming for that part.
One thing that confuses the crap out of me, the GS3 carries the exact same processor as the Razr HD/Maxx, and comes with 1GB more RAM, yet for some reason it's numbers are barely any better than the Razr, comes with things that are borederline useless and cumbersome to use(S Beam is nothing more than Android Beam, which comes with ICS). I'm sure it seems cool to touch phones together to pass some info, but seriously wtf? S Voice is even more garbage as it sounds robotic and it is quite slow, Google Voice is still much faster and easier to use, heck I have used a 3rd party assistant app on my Droid X that's faster than S Voice. GS3 is a great phone, love the screen and the camera is quick acting and takes excellent shots but Samsung muddled up the UI, there is just too many drawers to search through to find things you want and what's worse is trying to use GS3 with a PC, it's a serious problem and I even went to the forums to find a solution and it's up or down with results which means Samsung fudged something up.
I'll be getting my Razr Maxx HD soon, as long as I can keep my Unlimited data plan, which the tech in the store assured me my data plan will not change, but we shall see.
What I see as blatant bias on this site is how on the iPhone 5 review the reviewer went and tooled around with things to give you an idea of what was new, played with the panoramic camera feature and the like. For this phone nothing, look at this he didn't even switch the camera modes to best suit the photo op.
30. SupermanayrB (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
That shows how much they're riding Apples id**k. Android phones've had panoramic features since 2010. But now because it's on an iPhone it's latest & cutting edge. These reviews are bogus to say the least.
The only thing I don't like about this phone is that it doesn't come in white like the RAZR HD. That's it. I will be getting this phone, whether I order it off contract from Motorola or add another line for $10 & save $350 before tax, depending on what my wife is gonna be cool with since I just got the RAZR Maxx in April. LOL. But it was free so it's really not a loss.
47. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
My friend thought the same thing, but i feel black looks more executive and more sophisticated :)
33. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
something that drives me crazy is that when they review Motorola devices they never go into the camera settings and turn off the widescreen shots. that reduces the resolution to 6MP.
37. FAUguy (Posts: 76; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)
The images that we took are 8MP, not the 6MP wide screen.
36. FAUguy (Posts: 76; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)
The camera samples in this review ARE taken by the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, but was at the same time as the DROID RAZR HD images for its review. Since both phones have the same cameras, that is why their image looks similar. The only difference between the two phones is the battery capacity, which give you better talk & standby time, thickness & weight, and the internal memory. All the software is the same, as is the good call quality and construction.
38. theo14461 (Posts: 125; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Get the Samsung GS III. Much better all around, except the battery life. I love the build, and sound output of the Motorola.
40. Twashbush (Posts: 47; Member since: 08 Jun 2011)
yeah you just said it yourself, the moto has better battery, better build, better sound. so why get the GS3?
that right there is no reason to get the GS3 over the Razr Maxx HD if your on verizon!
41. sfukr (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Jul 2010)
Is the volume and sound clarity at least as good as the Clout you have?
45. FAUguy (Posts: 76; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)
I would say the call/voice quality is a bit better on the RAZR HD than my LG Clout, but the call volume is louder on the Clout.
48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5470; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
so can we get a MAXX HD vs. SIII now? ;)
49. JazzyJ (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)
Maybe I'm clueless cuz I'm an iPhone user about to make the leap to Android, but I've read a gazillion reviews on Droid phones and am curious why such a recent review of such a new device doesn't make any comparisons to an HTC One X PLUS? Initially, based on reviews it was a tie between the S3 and HTC but I gave the HTC the edge due to the display quality but needed more than 16GB on AT&T. This Sony phone does not sound very impressive in the least unless the SD card slot is a really big deal to you but that seems to be a moot point if the competing phones are offering 64GB built-in?
52. gtrxman (Posts: 102; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Irrespective of how well it performs, the battery on the HTC is weak. It also has issues with the GPS always being on (several YouTube reviews) which further eats the battery. At least for me, no matter how nice the display is, it doesn't warrant the sacrifices of battery and other usability factors (Sense is still a memory hog that slows down the phone). HTC's stock browser is also weak, but you can easliy add Chrome or Dolphin for a better browsing experience, though. The phone does have a nice build quality, equal to the MAXX HD and certainly better than the Samsung.
54. LiquidAlloy (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)
There is no cons with this phone. I have it, I know. It works literally perfect. Responds fast, extremely stable and the screen contrast and resolution is incredible. Amazing device. The Verizon 4G LTE with this phone is a perfect combo. Like Jack Daniels Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce with Kluck U chicken fingers.
55. ateo (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Jul 2008)
Hi all. I have a Razr Maxx. Not Droid, just Razr Maxx. That's right, I live in Europe. I would love to have this phone, and I don't understand why Motorola hasn't released it in Europe. They have released the Razr Hd but not the Maxx HD. I would appreciate some info if ever this phone will be released in Europe because I'm interested in an upgrade.
56. dimakop (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Dec 2012)
Lol. Dude seriously. You have no clue. First of all compare the camera on this to the One X and DNA and you will find severely fuzzy edged images on ALL of the DNA and One X images, even more incredibly poor when zoomed in. Download them to your PC or MAC and test. Sure, you're thinking who cares, but try snip a piece of the zoomed image and keep that portion of the zoomed in photo to print. Do the same on images from the RAZR MAXX HD This may not have a ton of filters, but the camera has outstanding lenses and as far as the flash...its so damned bright you can't keep your eyes open and by far the brightest flash I have ever seen on a phone.It lights up a large room and it looks like daylight! The device also takes the same amount of time to start up apps including the play store, games and web pages as quadcore phones like the Nexus 4, galaxy note 2 and the DNA, often it actually loads faster. For those using the mobile hotspot, this works without flaw, not like the DNA which has annoying intermittent 'connected'and 'disconnected'issues' something a businessman would loathe. you want a true review of this phone see Engadget and ignore this and techcrunch, they have no idea.
57. SupermanayrB (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
I do that with all the AT&T phones we carry at my store. I threw in my original Droid RAZR MAXX & compared it to the 4S, 5, the GS3, Note 2, One X, One X+, Xperia TL, Optimus G & Atrix HD. The only camera that came close to my phone was the Note 2. It's cool though. They don't know how to review on this sight. Watch them rate the 'X' phone with a 7.5.
|Display||4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi) Super AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Dual core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
1024 MB RAM
|Size||5.19 x 2.67 x 0.37 inches|
(131.9 x 67.9 x 9.3 mm)
5.54 oz (157 g)
|Battery||3300 mAh, 21 hours talk time|