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Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review

Motorola DROID MAXX 2 7.8

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Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review

Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review

This year, Verizon and Motorola are bringing us two new DROID smartphones: the DROID Turbo 2 and DROID MAXX 2. Between them, the DROID Turbo 2 is the truly high-level, flagship device, while the MAXX 2 is more of a niche offering designed to maximize battery life, while still offering an adequate specs sheet. Will its focus on battery and more affordable price be enough to make it desirable in the eyes of consumers? Let's give it a closer look and find out!

The package contains:

  • Motorola DROID MAXX 2
  • Turbo charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety & warranty information
  • SIM removal tool


It looks and feels very much like the DROID Turbo 2, but it doesn’t get the Moto Maker or indestructible construction treatment.

Barely skipping a beat, the DROID MAXX 2 employs the same design style as the DROID Turbo 2, but it doesn’t get treated to the same level of customization courtesy of Moto Maker. Instead, the handset is available in two primary colors, black or white, which looks rather generic. Luckily, personalization isn’t lost entirely because it features a removable rear casing that can be swapped out for any of the other 7 colored Motorola Flip Shells that can be purchased separately.

On the surface, the DROID MAXX 2 looks nearly identical to the DROID Turbo 2, but there are subtle differences here and there. Most profound, it has a smaller footprint that makes it look just a smidgen more compact. However, there’s strangely no change to its weight whatsoever, tipping the scales at 169 grams just like the Turbo 2. While it shares the same thicker metal trim bezel, the arch with its casing is more uniform – offering slightly better ergonomics. And just like the DROID Turbo 2, it sees the same water repellent construction to keep it safeguarded against minor spills, splashes, or light rain.

Looking around the phone, there’s certainly nothing out of place here, as it strictly adheres to Motorola’s recent design language. One might think it’s packing dual front-firing speakers like the Moto X Pure Edition, but it’s actually just a single speaker below the display that’s used for music output – while the other is the earpiece.

Motorola DROID MAXX 2
5.83 x 2.95 x 0.43 inches
148 x 75 x 10.9
5.96 oz (169 g)

Motorola DROID MAXX 2

HTC One A9
5.74 x 2.79 x 0.29 inches
145.75 x 70.8 x 7.26 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

HTC One A9

Google Nexus 5X
5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches
147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
4.80 oz (136 g)

Google Nexus 5X

OnePlus 2
5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39 inches
151.8 x 74.9 x 9.85 mm
6.17 oz (175 g)

OnePlus 2

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Motorola DROID MAXX 2 Review


Without question, it has one of the brightest screens in an Android phone we’ve ever come across!

The Motorola DROID MAXX 2 comes with a sizable 5.5” display that features a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Out of everything, its ~8200K color temperature is a stark reminder that the panel exhibits an extremely colder tone – one that makes colors appear bluish.

On a positive note, the DROID MAXX 2 has one of the brightest screens we’ve ever recorded – eclipsing the Moto X Pure Edition in the process. On the manual mode, its peak 635 nit luminance is by itself blinding already, but that can be further pushed to 772 nits on the automatic mode when it’s used outdoors under sunlight. Not surprisingly, it makes it extremely visible in all conditions!

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Motorola DROID MAXX 2 772
HTC One A9 345
Google Nexus 5X 487
OnePlus 2 564
View all

  • Options

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 10:35 5

1. zeeBomb (Posts: 2296; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Verizon's very own bloated version of the X Play!

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 10:37 2

3. sgodsell (Posts: 4731; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

It doesn't matter it still has excellent battery life and a great display, in a small enough form factor. Besides if you don't like the Verizon version, then get another version of the Maxx which is the Moto X Play.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 10:36 2

2. sgodsell (Posts: 4731; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

I love the battery life on this device.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:03 5

4. Pattyface (Posts: 1646; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)

PA please let someone else review your Android devices.. This clown is drinking fresh squeezed apple cedar

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:15 5

7. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Dear Hiring Manager:

I am interested in the position of Copy Editor - Reviews. Although I have no professional experience in copy editing, I am confident that I can successfully reduce verbal clutter and increase the professionalism of your reviews.

Please feel free to contact me at this post. Your readers deserve better.

Bill D. Cat

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 19:31

27. joey_sfb (Posts: 6533; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

There an unmentioned con that rules them all, not an Apple branded gadget.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:03

5. jellmoo (Posts: 1973; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I dunno about the Verizon version, but the Moto X Play is utterly phenomenal. It performs like a champ, has a really nice and bright screen, and lasts for bloody forever before needing a recharge. Maybe the Verizon bloatware brings this one down, but the one we have in Canada is pretty much the best bang for your buck bar none. Easily a 9+.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:04 7

6. techandbeers (banned) (Posts: 110; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)

This review doesn't reflect the end score of 7.8.

It should be a minimum an 8.5.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:27 1

8. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

The rating is fair. This is a midrange device through and through. The screen is good but not great, the camera is good but not great, and the performance is poor with the Adreno 405/1080 combination. Battery life is its main strength. It doesn't match the well-rounded prowess of its predecessor.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 18:15 1

25. zeeBomb (Posts: 2296; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Yeah the ratings pretty good. Maybe should have gotten more so an 8, but the turbo having the same score would be strange wouldn't it. The camera nice, but if Motorola perfected their camera software.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:33 5

9. hortizano (Posts: 294; Member since: 22 May 2013)

Ufff.. is there anything on this site that deserves a 9 that is not Samsung or an Apple flagship? They should separate the reviews in flagships, midrangers and entry-level.. so every device could get a fair evaluation according to its level..

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:38 1

10. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

They've done a decent job of evaluating each phone on its merits. They clearly don't feel the LG V10 is worth the price for what it gives you, or compared to the much cheaper G4. The Moto G 2015 received a 9, because it's a great phone for the price. Obviously it's not equal to the similarly-rated Galaxy Note 5, but for what it is, it's pretty great. This Maxx 2 could be better, even for a midranger.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 12:18

13. vuyonc (Posts: 1062; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)

They almost went in that direction when they gave the 1st generation Moto G a score of 9 ironically -_-

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 19:13 2

26. ibend (Posts: 6610; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

and now they throwing 5-6 score to all cheap chinese phone, lol

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:46

11. crazycompact (Posts: 17; Member since: 02 Sep 2015)

PA, I have a question, how do you analyze the Android phone? According to you, the best reviews are apple/samsung and the worst are chinese phones

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 11:54 1

12. iushnt (Posts: 2185; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

The Amoled on nexus 6 was so worse than that of Galaxy S6. Now I am understanding why PA favors Apple and Samsung.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 12:39 2

14. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

Conveniently ignoring some of this year's most popular devices.

Nexus 6P 8.8
Moto X Pure 9.1
Moto G 9.0
LG G4 9.0

Just from that short list, I would say what PA looks for in an Android device is well-roundedness. Just being unbreakable isn't enough. Just a great screen isn't enough. Just great battery life isn't enough. Just a great camera isn't enough. But combine a good design, good screen, good performance, decent battery life, and a good camera, and you have a good review.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 13:29 3

15. uzimafioso (Posts: 458; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)

Not really. I remember a few months ago when PA ratings would make some sense. Nowadays they actually don't. This phone is a higher end mid-range offering (not a SD 410 series) at a decent price tag. It has an expandable card slot. A good enough camera. Is the newly crowned battery life champ. Ample multimedia experience. The same goes for Turbo 2. They get 7.8 and 8. The X Pure has everything identical to both these phones except the chipset (which lies between 615 and 810) and a better screen (for argument's sake) and lower battery life. It gets a 9.1 so if that was fair then the Turbo 2 should be around 8.8 and Maxx 2 should be at 9.3.
However if you see the latest trends PA has gone nuts. All phones have been given 5-8 points. Samsung A-something. 1+2. LG V10. All Chinese devices. Everything. The funny thing is that the Note5 at its price is still a 9.0 (I'd put it at 8.5 and Note 4 at 9.3) and you can get 2 Maxx 2s for that and it's still a solid multimedia package (since Samsung decided to walk backwards with ditching MicroSD cards and putting weaker speakers than last generations) and I honestly think Note 4 was a better deal than Note5.
So it's definitely not about well roundedness (is that even a word?) but rather about some really strong Kush that John V is on.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 13:36 2

16. o0Exia0o (Posts: 901; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)

Problem is the not the devices but the reviewers. John V., in my opinion, has always given low ratings to android devices whereas Michael H., who no longer seems to have a strong affiliation with PA, usually gives the higher ratings. But MOST of the commenters are correct that Apple and Samsung are the OEMs that seem to get the consistently higher ratings here on PA.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 13:51 1

19. uzimafioso (Posts: 458; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)

PA has never ever rated any Apple phone below 9, yes they gave the 5c a 9. The lowest Apple device would be some iPad Mini 3 or something and that's an 8 so it doesn't really matter. I know that when I read an Apple review by PA it's over-rated but damn talk about discrediting your own reviews. Especially since the newer generation iPhones have worse audio output than the 5s, the camera has almost stayed the same, battery life has been meager (since they want to sell 3rd party power banks) and worst of all they still have a 16gb base model. I'm using an iPhone 4s 32gb at the moment and iOS 9.1; funnily enough my cousin's 6 Plus stutters when opening the app switcher while my 4s doesn't. At all. So I think Apple is also walking backwards now. Disturbing really...

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 16:59 1

23. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

The problem with your comparison of the Turbo 2 (8.0), Maxx 2 (7.8), and X Pure (9.1) is that you're looking solely at specs and not at the overall feel of the product. You're ignoring the intangibles, the "does this feel like a really nice phone?"

Having handled all three devices, I think their assessment is correct. The X Pure feels the most premium, the most comfortable in hand, and has a simple, bloat-free software experience. The Turbo 2 feels blocky and unwieldy, but still premium. The Maxx 2 feels cheap, but is more comfortable to handle (my opinion) than the Turbo 2. Both are chock full of bloatware, which I feel detracts from the software experience.

On the whole, though, I think people are getting way too picky about fractions of numbers here and there. Just because you personally like one device more than another doesn't mean the PA reviewer will rate them the way you like. No review is completely objective.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 13:39 2

17. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

I don't understand why so many people can be so critical of of a review (one man's OPINION) on a phone that they themselves haven't even touched, much less used for a week or 2.

Yeah, I would have expected at least an 8.0, but as I've never even seen one let alone held or used one, my opinion doesn't really mean anything, does it?

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 13:46 1

18. o0Exia0o (Posts: 901; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)

The problem here is not the review its self but the consistency or should I say standard of the reviews. Certain OEMs seem to pull constant high numbers on their reviews while other OEMs tend to not fair as well. It also comes to certain reviewers seem to give low marks to a device that does not feature the OS of the reviewers choice. When I look at a device I tend to trust the user reviews on how a device should be ranked before a PA posted review.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 15:17

21. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

I don't disagree, but one factor to consider is that user reviews are done by people who own one device, or maybe a few (usually older). It's very unlikely that that a regular "user" owns anywhere near the number of recently-released devices that a site such as PA gets their hands on. These websites can base their review scores in comparison to other devices on the market, whereas users typically don't have that luxury.

A "user" review is likely to have some bias as well. If a person likes the device, they'll probably give it an inflated score to justify the money they spent on it. Conversely, if a person hates it and feels like they wasted money, they're going to give it a score lower than perhaps it deserved.

In the case of this review, there's practically zero reason to buy it over a Moto Pure/Style (which costs a mere $16 more) except for the longer battery life. The review score reflects that fact, even if it's not mention in "Cons".

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 15:06 1

20. drifter77 (Posts: 283; Member since: 12 Jun 2015)

The battery life is a pleasant surprise. The mid-ranger SD615 is known to be power hungry, and given the battery capacity it did well. I'm assuming the Lenovo Vibe P1 with the same specs and 5,000 mAh will set a record.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 16:52

22. roldefol (Posts: 4364; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

I suspect the screen resolution has something to do with it. The 3630 mAh unit in the Maxx 2 significantly outlasts the 3760 mAh unit in the Turbo 2. Supposing the two SoCs are equally power-hungry, the difference is the screen.

If nothing else, at least this phone is true to its roots. It just doesn't feel as premium as the Razr Maxx, Razr Maxx HD, or Maxx.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 17:21 3

24. ThePython (Posts: 901; Member since: 08 May 2013)

John V. strikes again.

posted on 04 Nov 2015, 21:15 1

28. najib1312 (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 May 2013)

I second most of the opinions here.............a bloody 7.8??? When the Droid Turbo is 8?

If anything, this phone deserves atleast an 8.5, since Moto X Pure which is only slightly more expensive is rated 9.1.

Nice & Strudy Design ~ Check
Bright Screen ~ Check
Dependable Camera ~ Check
Latest OS ~ Check
Reliable SoC ~ Check
Long Lasting Battery ~ Check
Storage Expansion ~ Check
Affordable price ~ DOUBLE WHAMMY CHECK!

What more do you expect from a sub $400 phone? IMO, Motorola has been the TRUE FLAGSHIP KILLER OF 2015 with their Moto X Play & Pure Edition.

posted on 05 Nov 2015, 10:34 3

29. TheNinja (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Nov 2015)

Solid and accurate review. Got the Maxx 2 when it became available. Replacing a Nexus 5X that I am returning. Both have mid-range specs, but the Maxx 2 runs much more smoothly with little lag and battery life is wonderful. Nice to not have to worry about looking for a charger mid-day and be able to use high accuracy GPS and other functionality without battery drain. I had lots of trouble with the camera on the 5X--launching would freeze the whole phone. Same with launching Snapchat. Haven't had any issues on the Maxx 2. I think the size is about right--Pure edition is too big for my tastes. Screen on the Maxx 2 is great--as good as my older Droid Turbo (which is amoled). The Maxx 2 is just about the same size as the original Droid Turbo, but I feel it's more balanced in the hand. Can't say enough positives about this phone--especially when you look at the bottom line: Price and value.

posted on 07 Nov 2015, 04:22

30. baldilocks (Posts: 812; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)

No issues with my 5X after the update. And the fact that updates are happening montly with the 5X is a plus for me. Let alone the fact that the superior CPU/GPU in the 5X will keep things running much more smoothly for longer.

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Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (402 ppi) TFT
Camera21 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, Octa-core, 1700 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.83 x 2.95 x 0.43 inches
(148 x 75 x 10.9)
5.96 oz  (169 g)

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