Motorola DROID MAXX Review

Call Quality

As with the Motorola DROID Ultra and Mini, the DROID MAXX does well in the category. We made several calls over the course of a few days, and all voices on our end were clear and natural sounding – as close to using a land-line. People that we called also said we sounded clear on their end, without any static or distortion. Volume was also good, as when turning it up all the way we could still hear callers while we were in a noisy environment. Signal reception was also respectable at -89dBm for 1x voice, and -101dBm for 4G LTE data.


If you are looking for a smartphone with a king-size battery, this should get your attention, as the Motorola DROID MAXX comes with an impressive 3500mAh internal battery. Keep in mind that the DROID Ultra has a 2130mAh battery, and even last-year’s model (the DROID RAZR MAXX HD) was 3300mAh. During our testing, we were able to get up to 20 hours of continuous talk time, or about 3 days of mixed usage on a full-charge with the DROID MAXX, compared to 13 hours of talk time or 2 days of mixed usage on the DROID Ultra.


Coming in at $300 with a 2-year Verizon contract, the Motorola DROID MAXX is the most expensive of the three DROID models. It combines all the features of the DROID Ultra, but increases the battery to 3500mAh, doubles the internal memory to 32GB, and looks higher end with the soft-touch woven backing. Still, $300 with contract is a lot for a smartphone, and we’re not really sure that the Motorola DROID MAXX can command that premium price, especially with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2 coming out soon.

Software version on the reviewed unit:
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Baseband version: MSM8960PRO_BP_2323.011.75.00R
Kernel version: 3.4.42-gfd1a699-00151gc170e6f
Build date: Tue Aug 6 18:39:38 CDT 2013
Build number: 12.9.0Q2.X-160-OBK_TA-14-7


  • Good build quality using Kevlar construction
  • Higher capacity 3500mAh battery
  • Excellent call quality


  • No expandable storage
  • Display should be 1080p at this price point

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

13 Reviews



1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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: Sep 09, 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: 214; Member since: May 18, 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: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 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: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 1273; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

PA forgot the yet another difference between Ultra and MAXX which is wireless charging...

6. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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: May 11, 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: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 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: Sep 09, 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: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 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: May 18, 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: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 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: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 30; Member since: Aug 19, 2012

U can buy sony xperia z1 with 20.7 mega pixel camera

9. spiral777

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 04, 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: Apr 23, 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: May 14, 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: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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 unregistered

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: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 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: Oct 24, 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: 188; Member since: Jun 15, 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: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 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.
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Motorola X8, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 3500 mAh

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