Motorola DROID 4 vs Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX

Interface and Functionality:

Knowing that we’ve been tantalized by Ice Cream Sandwich, we’re still perplexed to find that these two top-notch smartphones still running an older build of Android. Finding that all too typical MOTOBLUR-whatever interface running on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, we still adore its glitzy looking presentation thanks to its heavy use of 3D and transition effects. Needless to say, we can still dream about Ice Cream Sandwich, but we’re thankfully presented with all of great aspects of Android – like its deep level of personalization and useful widgets. Come to think of it, this interface was actually first established by the DROID 3 from last year, so yeah, there’s nothing terribly new found with either.

[img full [[108004,108005,108006,108007],[108008,108009,108011,108014]]:"The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread" /]
[img full [[107162,107163,107164,107167],[107166,107169,107170,107172]]:"The interface of the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX" /]
Absolutely, if you happen to be extremely big on messaging in general, the Motorola DROID 4 is the unanimous choice thanks to its fantastic physical keyboard. Well, that’s not to say that the experience is inferior on the DROID RAZR MAXX, which is blessed with a spacious layout, but it doesn’t quite have the same pleasant feel of having a tactile response when pressing something.

Flaunting the same customized interface, their respective organizer and email apps are identical in every way. Beyond that, they’re stocked to the roof with the same set of preloaded apps, which surprisingly plays to the needs of enterprise/business users as well. Finally, with Motorola’s Smart Actions feature on board with the two, we adore the control we’re given in customizing and organizing various aspects of the phones.

Processor and Memory:

Taking into account that one handset is priced higher than the other, one would assume that the processor hardware in one is going to be better than the other. However, that’s not the case as these two devices are powered by the same 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor. To sum it up, both perform equally to one another, as they’re capable of maintaining a consistent rate of responsiveness with almost all operations – albeit, they’re plagued by that darn choppy pinch zooming in the gallery.

In terms of memory capacity out of the box, the DROID RAZR MAXX has the upper hand, seeing that it has a 16GB microSD card, 8GB of internal storage, and 2.51GB reserved for apps. Conversely, the DROID 4 is outfitted with 8GB of storage with 2.36GB for apps – though, it can be supplemented further with a microSD card of some size.

Internet and Connectivity:

Having been spoiled by Verizon’s 4G LTE network for some time now, we’ve come to expect nothing but stellar web browsing. Rightfully so, that’s exactly what we find with these two speed demons as they quickly and effortlessly load our site with no problems at all. Complementing the peppy data speeds, fluid navigational controls are in abundance everywhere we look, thus, culminating in one fine web browsing experience. Even better, they handle Flash heavy sites relatively well with little sluggishness diminishing the performance.

Running a few speed tests on both smartphones, we find the results very similar on numerous occasions, and in the same places as well. With these two CDMA devices, they’ll revert to good old EV-DO Rev A connections in the event that 4G LTE isn’t present. Finally, they both feature aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

So close but yet so far away for the D4 - if only it had the Super AMOLED display of the RAZR. A better camera would have been nice, but the display is what keeps the D4 in second place.

2. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 2010

Agreed, I would be all over this droid 4 if the screen wasn't so terrible

3. DoctorD0S

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I really don't understand how every reviewer raves about the Razr display. The Droid 4 display is atrocious, with blatant ghosting and it looks washed out, but the pentile on the Raxr does not have sharp text either, in fact it looks jagged and has fringing. Even the Droid Bionic and Droid X2 screens looked better because they were a RGBW pentile, and the whites at least looked ok. Seriously in 2012, why are we still using pentile displays? Clearly you can use the vastly superior RGB matrix on any display type, so lets start! I would gladly pay the incremental $10 or $20 to get a vastly superior display. For some reason people see AMOLED and and are all wowed, the only "wow" AMOLED display I have seen is on the Nexus.

6. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

AMOLED is like putting loudness effect on the sound - it's not very accurate at all, but it's very attractive and "wow" effect is easily understood. This doesn't have to be so much a bad thing when we are dealing with smartphones - legibility is awesome, a pleasure to use, despite the fact that it uses PenTile matrix. PenTile is problematic only in case of reading small text on web pages and therefore it requires greater pixel density, at last like on Galaxy Nexus, although even on Nexus you can see the inherent flaws of PenTile... but all in all, AMOLED is much more convenient and cooler for smartphones, and while Samsung Galaxy SII i still the only smartphone that uses SAMOLED with RGB matrix, while we wait for others to do the same thing - it is still undeniably the best display technology for smarthones yet! In couple of years, almost all displays, whether on smartphone, tablet, computer or TV will be some kind of OLED technology. It seems that even Apple will utilize it (LG made).

4. AndresJ

Posts: 48; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Obviously if i had to choose it would be maxx, not because of the display but for it's battery.

5. cthunder

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

I am sticking with the Droid 4. Despite the display this is the phone I have been waiting for.

7. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

Are people still dim enough to keep buying Motorola's crap phones? Judging by their market share, people are wising up.

8. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

"...while the other relies on its generous battery life to woe consumers..." Perhaps you meant 'woo' or 'wow' there John instead of 'woe'. Auto correct and predictive text like to slide a few in under the radar don't they? Just the other day I told me own mum I was looking for a specific boob to give my girlfriend as a Valentine's Day gift instead of saying a specific book.

9. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

there's trade offs for the SAA display in my opinion. it reminds me of why i disliked the Galaxy S series before Samsung showed off SA+. the colors are punchy and they sure get your attention but they're just so gaudy and whites aren't truly white but the blacks are great, truly black just like i like them. i'm so torn between the Droid Razr and the Droid 4 it's not even funny.

18. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Still waiting with baited breathe to see which direction you go, buddy!! ;-)

19. EarnYourLeather

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 14, 2012


10. cthunder

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

I am in the same boat. Although while I love the Droid Maxx, I am leading towards the Droid 4. I'm qwerty kybd fanboi and with me having big hands it makes life a lot easier than trying to type on a touch screen phone.

11. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeah, the keyboard is a big plus for me too especially after coming from the Droid 3. o:

16. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

I felt like that coming from a Droid 2. I was tired of having a heavy phone, so I took a chance on the RAZR and have not looked back. I too, have big hands, but find that it is quite easy to type on the screen. I'm, using Swift Key as my keyboard, it is easily the best keyboard out there (IMHO). You should take a chance on the RAZR,

20. Jarahawk

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

Right. Typing on a touch screen while driving HAS to be the reason so many texters die behind the wheel. With a good ol' physical qwerty I don't even need to look at the phone.

12. doubleD

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

Tough decision for sure. For me, I prefer the Droid 4's smaller form factor, and the physical keyboard. While the Razr Maxx on the other hand has that amazing battery and a more "premium" feel. I don't use the keyboard that often on my Droid 3, but sometimes I don't know how I'd live without it. The differences in the screen's quality means nothing to me. The Droid4 has the same screen as the Droid3, which I'm happy with, never understood all the complaints in the first place, looks fine to me. So basically it comes down to spending an extra $100 for an amazing battery (which I don't need unless I forget to charge my phone at night) but losing a keyboard(which is only occasionally used) and having to get a larger sized phone(which I don't like). I'm not eligible to upgrade for 3 months and haven't had any success geting Verizon to let me upgrade earlier, so I guess I have plenty of time to decide.

13. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

if only it had a removable battery (which i don't see why it doesn't) then you'd be set. if it did i'd be trading my Razr for a Droid 4 right now.

14. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

It really feels to me that John V. was insanely bored while comparing the two devices for the most part of this article. I mean, other than the Droid 4's keyboard and the AMOLED screen parts, I felt like he was either pissed off or bored out. Good article though.

15. crysiswarmonger

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

I bet the LCD of the 4 is better in the sun than the amoled... I can see all phones inside, the deciding factor is how well they are outside in the sun.

17. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

These are two very are specific needs phones: Do you need a keyboard, or you will die a slow, horrible death? You will get the Droid 4, and survive for 2 more years. Is the battery life on your LTE toy driving you out on the ledge, forcing you to consider the concrete swan dive? Come back inside, and get yourself a Maxx. If neither one of those apply to you, why wouldn't you just get the now-cheaper RAZR in the color of you choice, or the even cheaper Bionic? Neither are much of a step down, and Motorola fans will be able to keep a little change in their pocket. Me? Droid 4, so long as the screen is acceptable.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.