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printed October 1, 2014
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Review: Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX for Verizon Wireless

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The RAZR MAXX has the same display that the RAZR did. It measures 4.3-inches and rates qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels). If you look closely, you can see pixels here and there, along the edges of icons, text, and graphics. This is because the display uses PenTile technology. The display isn't as bright as I was hoping it would be, either. It is a Super AMOLED, but it doesn't come off as brilliant as comparable Super AMOLEDs from Samsung. Also, the color loses accuracy when viewed at an angle. When looking at a white web page straight on, it looks white. Look at it from an angle, however, and it looks blue. This means it won't be as great to share what's on the screen with friends, as it will be harder for them to see it unless you hand over the phone.

Signal

The RAZR MAXX is a 4G/3G device, meaning it uses Verizon's CDMA EVDO 3G network when there's no 4G LTE coverage available.

As a 4G device, the MAXX performed excellently. I attended a concert at Madison Square Garden with the MAXX and I had no problems at all connecting to the LTE network and sharing videos and pictures of the show -- despite the thousands of people and semi-underground theater in which I was standing. When LTE was available, the MAXX gave me no trouble finding or connecting to the network. Data speeds were good over both 4G and 3G. I can't say that data speeds were massively faster over LTE when compared to EVDO, but the browser's performance did feel zippier.

As a 3G device, the RAZR MAXX makes a significant improvement over the original RAZR. It was able to find Verizon's network no matter where I took the phone, and didn't drop any calls during my testing.

Sound

The RAZR MAXX is a good voice phone. Calls were crystal clear most of the time, with the sound quality degrading only under the worst signal conditions. Vexingly, the earpiece produces far less volume than the original RAZR. With in-call volume set all the way up, it was easy to lose the conversation to a loud TV. The speakerphone also sounds great and was loud enough for use in a quiet home or office. Noisy work sites or in a speeding car wouldn't work out so well. Ringers and alert tones can be set loud enough so everyone in the building knows when your phone is ringing. The vibrate alert is strong enough to make sure you know the phone is ringing or delivering messages, too.

Battery

Battery life is where the RAZR MAXX earns its stripes. It's absolutely amazing. Eight hours of non-stop use (Twitter, camera, video camera) under 4G coverage barely dented the battery. With light use, it easily blows through two full days. I streamed audio over Verizon's 3G network for three hours straight and that only drained the battery by 10%. Oh, and I have the display's brightness set all the way up. I set up a test call and let the phone run for about 7.5 hours. Seven straight hours of phone time only dinged about 30% from the battery.

The RAZR MAXX has the best battery life of any smartphone I've ever tested. It's amazing. If your smartphone is your lifeline, the RAZR MAXX will see you from sunrise to sunset, and then some.

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