Motorola RAZR Maxx Review
If you have read our article on “Top 10 Flagship Smartphones“, you will find the Motorola RAZR Maxx taking a solid spot. It’s an improvement to last year’s RAZR XT910, this time with a beefed up battery and an ICS update. Check out our full review after the break.
Design and Construction
At first glance the Maxx looks like it is made of glass and metal. It has a grey chrome finish for the bezel and a gun metal finish for the majority of the surrounding areas. It will give you an illusion that it is very hefty device but it’s actually made of durable plastic to keep the device light.
On the front is the 4.3-inch display, the earpiece, notification light, front-facing camera and four capacitive touch buttons. You will also notice that there is a small pinhole for the microphone where the capacitive buttons are. Iâ€™m not overly fond of it because it looked like someone poked a hole into the glass.
On top is the 3.5 mm headset jack, microUSB and microHDMI ports. On the right side is the power/sleep button and volume rocker while on the lower left side is a panel that covers the microSIM and microSD card slots â€“ a nifty design that is difficult to open if you have short fingernails.
Flip the Maxx on its back and you will find the 8 megapixel camera, LED flash, loud speaker and another pinhole for the microphone at the bottom. The rest of the back is covered with DuPont Kevlar â€“ good for repelling fingerprints and scratches but very unlikely to be bulletproof.
The RAZR Maxx has a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display with a resolution of 540×960 at 256 ppi topped with Gorilla Glass. Not one of the best displays Iâ€™ve seen for a screen of that size. Pixels are evident, the screen is a little too vibrant and the colours are saturated that it sometimes hurts the eyes.
On the good side, the wide display has true blacks and good sunlight legibility. The 256ppi is already decent but we’re expecting somewhere north of 300ppi for it to be at the same retina-like display resolution as the other flagship phones.
UI, Apps and Multimedia
Out of the box the RAZR Maxx was running Android Gingerbread but we were immediately prompted with the Ice Cream Sandwich OTA update. Motorola left the UI almost untouched but MotoBlur will make itself known when you start using its social networking apps such as Social Location. There’s also the MotoCast service which enables you to sync files, images, videos and music from your computer to your phone.
Iâ€™m glad that Motorola didn’t fill the device with bloatware and just included those that are useful. There are pre-installed apps such as those powered by Citrix for those who want to keep in touch with their businesses and Motorola’s own Smart Action app that helps you schedule automate the RAZR Maxx actions.
As for multimedia, it’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich so media playback is not an issue.
The Razr Maxx carries an 8 megapixel shooter with auto-focus and LED flash. The camera can produce sharp images provided that light is abundant.
However, shots taken indoors or during a cloudy day appear duller and gloomier than normal. For low-light conditions the LED flash does a good job and illuminating the subject three to four feet away.
Shutter speed is quick during bright conditions but for low-light I suggest holding the camera steady for another second after hearing the capture sound or else you’ll end up with a blurry shot.
For video calls, it has 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera is also capable of shooting videos with 1080p resolution at 30fps.
You can check the sample video below:
Performance and Benchmarks
UI performance is snappy with smooth transitions. No noticeable lags but it usually occurs when launching games. Bejeweled 2 and Fruit Ninja sometimes freeze for two seconds at the start but everything else seem to work seamlessly afterwards. From the way it looks, the dual-core processor handles everything smoothly.
For benchmarks, it scored 6,265 on AnTutu â€“ beating the Samsung Galaxy SII but behind the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Quadrant Standard gave it a score of 2,828 â€“ beating the Motorola ATRIX 4G but lagged behind the Asus Transformer Prime TF201.
The RAZR Maxx has the PowerVR SGX 540 to handle the graphics, giving it a score of 37.2fps.
Call Quality & Battery
Call quality is great. I made a call outdoors during a very windy day and the person on the other line heard my voice very clearly without the background noise.
The 3300 mAh battery is a massive treat. The RAZR Maxx managed to stay alive for three days with constant WiFi connection, music playback, regular texting and a few hours of calls. If we add watching movies and a few hours on 3G to the mix the device lasts for a little over two days which is still good.
However, the battery suffers when you start playing games. I played Bejeweled 2 and Temple Run for two hours and the battery is down to 75%. If you need to save on juice, you might want to reduce your gaming time.
Overall, the RAZR Maxx wonâ€™t disappoint. The 4.3-inch display, dual-core processors, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, 8 megapixel camera, high-quality build, and massive battery is a great package.
If there’s one thing I want changed or improved on the RAZR Maxx it would be the display. The screen resolution could be better and I find the vibrancy and colours too strong. But if this con is not a big deal, then the RAZR Maxx will definitely work for you.
Motorola RAZR Maxx specs:
4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced screen @ 540×960 pixels, 256ppi
TI OMAP4430 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
16GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, WiFi hotspot
8MP rear autofocus camera, LED flash
1080p video recording @ 30fps
1.3MP front-facing camera
Android v2.3.6 Gingerbread out of the box (upgrade to v4.0.4 ICS now available)
Li-Ion 3300mAh battery
130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99mm (dimensions)
145 gram (weight)
What we liked about the Motorola RAZR Maxx:
â€¢ High build quality
â€¢ 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording
â€¢ UI is fast and smooth
â€¢ Good battery life (highest in any smartphone)
What we did not like about the Motorola RAZR Maxx:
â€¢ Display resolution can be improved
â€¢ Image quality can be improved
The Motorola RAZR Maxx can be bought at Widget City for Php 23,800 (see listing here).