Hands On with the Motorola Droid Maxx 2 for Verizon
The Maxx 2 from Motorola is the less expensive of Verizon's two new Droids, but it is no less compelling. The phone offers incredible battery life, customizable rear shells, and specs to spare. It shares its design with the tougher Turbo 2, but the Maxx 2 isn't quite as rugged. Here is Phone Scoop's early take on the Motorola Droid Maxx 2.
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Verizon Wireless and Motorola took to the stage in New York City today to show off the latest Droids, the Turbo 2 and the Maxx 2. Motorola has long been Verizon's Droid partner in crime, and these additions to the family carry forward the brand and partnership with pride.
Many aspects of the phones are similar. They have selectable rear colors, metallic frames, and more than a passing resemblance to the Moto X Pure Edition. Where the Turbo 2 aims to be a rugged, you-can't-break-it workhorse, the Maxx 2 targets more of the sub-flagship budget crowd.
The Maxx 2 is a large phone. This is not a handset for people who are phablet averse. It often requires two hands but is more pocket friendly than the Turbo 2.
The Maxx 2's design is what we expected from Motorola. It is quite obviously related to the 2014 Nexus 6 and the Moto X from 2014 and 2015. The phone's innards have a nano-coating to prevent damage from accidental spills, but the Maxx 2 cannot live through a dip in the pool. The materials all feel good in the hand, and the phone is assembled tightly.
The Maxx 2 is not shatterproof. It has a lower-resolution screen (full HD) and a mid-range processor (Snapdragon 615). It has a rounder shape to the rear panel, and the angle formed along the side edges helps the phone sit much deeper in your hand. The bezels are thinner along the sides of the screen, and the Maxx 2 significantly lighter than its tough brother. The Maxx 2 is a bit thicker (front to back) than the Turbo 2.
One thing I like about the Moto X is how the fits into the frame. The glass is curved slightly at the edges to create a smoother seam between metal and glass. The Maxx 2 employs a different approach; the glass curves on the sides, but not on the tops. This means it is smooth along the edge, but there is a small lip at the top and bottom. Above the display, you'll note the selfie cam, speaker grille, and sensors. Only a speaker grille is visible below the screen.
The screen lock button is located on the right side of the phone, within the metal frame. It has a nice, ribbed texture so that it stands apart from the volume toggle which is located below it. I like the travel and feedback of both these controls. The SIM/memory card combo tray and headphone jack are on top, and the USB port is on the bottom.
The Maxx 2's camera module closely resembles that of the Moto X; it is a metal ellipse with the camera lens at one end and the indented Motorola logo at the other. The two-tone flash is in between. Interestingly, the flash is combined into a small circle, rather than an oval as on the Moto X.
Motorola loaded Android 5.1 Lollipop on the Maxx 2, which has a very slight skin from Verizon Wireless. There's the ever-familiar circular clock widget, and an abundance of Verizon bloatware clogging up the somewhat adjusted app drawer. One thing I'm not happy about: the camera. The Maxx 2 has the exact same camera app that's been on all Motorola phones since the 2013 Moto X. It's a rather crummy piece of software, in my opinion.
I was more impressed with the Maxx 2's 1080p LCD than I was the Turbo 2's quad HD AMOLED screen. It is brighter and offers truer color, even if viewing angles aren't quite as good.
Motorola is not allowing people to customize the Maxx 2, but it comes with several different rear shells, and Motorola is selling replacement shells that come in a variety of colors and materials. This lets people personalize the Maxx 2 at least a little bit.
The benefit? It's significantly less expensive. The Maxx 2 costs $384 at full price, or $16 per month through an installment plan.
The Maxx 2 is the less expensive of Motorola's two new Droid handsets for Verizon Wireless, but it is still a competitive offering. This Android smartphone impresses with excellent build quality and a battery that delivers on Motorola's promises.
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