Droid Razr Maxx: a slim smartphone with a super battery (review)

Summary:Though the Droid Razr is a mere three months old, Motorola and Verizon have already released a followup. And it's exactly what the original should have been.

If you bought Motorola's Droid Razr last November or at any point since, I'm sorry.

Three months after the release of the impressive and slim smartphone comes its similarly slim but inconceivably better sucessor: The Droid Razr Maxx [sic]. Motorola's latest Droid takes all of the best parts from the original Droid Razr and improves them, leaving everyone who bought last year's model understandably--and probably irrevocably--upset.

A Droid Razr with an edge

In comparing the Droid Razr Maxx to its predecessor, it's a wonder that Motorola and Verizon didn't just skip the original phone entirely. At 21 hours, the Droid Razr Maxx offers a talk time almost double that of the original Droid Razr. That, of course, is due to its 3,300 mAh battery, which dwarfs the 1,780 cell found in its predecessor.

As a result of this upgrade, the Droid Razr Maxx is a bit thicker than the Droid Razr. That sounds like a problem at first, but seeing as how one of the most prominent criticisms of the Droid Razr was that it was actually too light, this added weight is actually a good thing in the end.

These things aside, the features of the two devices are almost completely identical. Notably, as with the original, the battery on the Droid Razr Maxx is non-removable, which some potential owners may balk at. But seeing as how it's this feature that helps keep the device so slim in the first place, perhaps that hesitation is a bit unwarranted.

Solving the 4G battery problem in style

Battery life on the Razr Maxx is a dazzling thing. Even with moderate use, the phone goes at least fifteen hours without need for a charge. Keep in mind that much of this data was transferred is over an 4G LTE connection, making the Maxx's battery life that much more amazing in comparison to 3G phones than can barely scratch eight hours.

And you won't get a more useful metric than that. Unless you are running YouTube for hours, or doing something similarly taxing and unlikely, it will probably take a whole lot of work to drain the Razr's Maxx's battery. Which is certainly a good thing.

Another notable bit about the battery is that, while it lasts quite a long time, it does take a bit longer to charge compared to, say, the Nexus S 4G. (Disclosure: I own a Nexus S 4G.)

Bottom line

There's something quite special about the Razr Maxx. While not so great for recent owners of the Droid Razr, the Maxx's existence proves that, with enough engineering prowess, manufacturers can create devices that can seamlessly run on 4G networks without sacrificing battery life. And that's a very exciting thing.

Even for those for those not at all enthused by this battery life increase, there's good news: With the appearance of the Razr Maxx, Verizon has dropped the price of the original Droid Razr to $200, giving its successor a more premium sheen but also making the original Droid Razr a bit more enticing. Everybody wins.

See this gallery for more shots of the phone.

Update: Here's a link to Verizon's official page for the phone.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Smartphones

About

Ricardo Bilton writes for ZDNet's The ToyBox.

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