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printed July 30, 2014
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Review: Motorola maxx Ve

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

While the added real estate of the exterior screen makes navigating and accessing the Ve's features somewhat easier, both it and the interior screen suffer from the same affliction: smudge. If there is any amount of smudge on either screen, viewing them becomes more difficult, especially in the sun.

The exterior screen lets you access the media player and shows all your service indicators. It also serves as a viewfinder/vanity mirror for the camera. Colors were muted on this screen due to the smoky glass effect of the front panel. Having clear plastic over the screen would have helped make it more viewable. While viewability wasn't necessarily poor indoors, it was abysmal outdoors. Any smudges at all obscured the screen almost entirely when in direct sunlight.

The interior screen was a definite improvement over the exterior screen. The resolution is much higher (compared to the V3m), and all the images in the Verizon menu system were crisp, sharp and bright. Color seen in pictures viewed on the screen were very accurate. Reds, greens and blues were rich and warm. The screen looks good in dark/inside environments. It also fares a little better than the exterior screen did outdoors. While the smudge factor does make the screen harder to read in direct sunlight, you had to fiddle with it less than the exterior screen to get a good view.

Sound

Call quality with the Ve was excellent. The earpiece speaker was very clear for phone calls. Set to maximum volume, it was too loud for quiet rooms, adequate for moderately noisy environments, but not so good for loud rooms. Conversations were easy to manage walking down city streets, but even a busy Starbucks began to drown out the earpiece a little bit. Even so, there was no popping, hissing or crackling during calls. Even though the earpiece could have been louder, voices were crystal clear.

The external speaker was decent. Set to the highest level, it was loud, but not overly so. We did miss some calls when in noisy places with the Ve in our pocket. Alert tones and ringers were never distorted through the speaker. Nor was music, even when cranked all the way up. The speaker kept the same consistent quality even when pushed to the Maxx (sorry, pun definitely intended there). It was audible from several rooms away, but not in an obnoxious way. Speakerphone calls were also clear and free of distortion. It was never thin or tinny sounding. Still, it would have been nice if the speaker could have been amped up just a bit more.

Signal

As with other Verizon phones, the Ve has signal strength indicators both for EV-DO coverage and 1xRTT. In our time with the Ve, it never had less than 2 bars of coverage in either indicator. Most of the time at least one of the signal strength indicators showed 4 bars. In the NJ version of the vault test, a known deadspot, the Ve still managed to retain 2 bars of coverage. It held onto data and voice calls when traveling through the Lincoln Tunnel and did not drop any calls while we had it.

Battery

We were often able to go 4 full days between charges, even with the Bluetooth on. If you take pictures often, browse the Internet a lot and send messages, the Ve required charging every 3 days. Streaming music via Bluetooth seemed to be the one thing that drained the battery quickly, and could sap it completely in as little as 4 hours of constant use.

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