Motorola Razr Maxx - Android on Steroids

Launch SRP: S$749

Overview, Design and Features

Overview 

Motorola resurrected the Razr branding late last year with the launch of the Android smartphone, Razr. Staying true to its roots, the Razr smartphone sports a sturdy, classy and ultra thin (7.1mm) design with a substantial battery life. It easily could have been one of our top recommendations at that point if not for the sluggish user experience caused by the bloated user interface (UI).

Seven months later, the Razrr Maxx arrives in our labs with a larger-than-life battery and runs on Android 4.0 out of the box. Is it a better buy than the Razr? Here's a quick run-down on the specs of the Razr Maxx before we explore it further in our in-depth review: -

 

  Key highlights of the Motorola Razr Maxx

  • Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display / 960 x 540 pixels
  • TI OMAP 4430 dual-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory 
  • microSD support up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera / LED flash / 1080p video recording
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • 145g
  • 130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99mm
     
  • Availability: Shipping since end June.
     

 

Comparing the Motorola Razr Maxx against the Motorola Razr

Specifications Motorola Razr Maxx Motorola Razr
Operating System / User Interface
  • Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Processor
  • TI OMAP 4430 dual-core
    1.2GHz
  • TI OMAP 4430 dual-core 1.2GHz 
Built-in Memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
Display
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced / 960 x 540 pixes
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced / 960 x 540 pixels
Camera
  • 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera 
  • 1.3-mgapixel front facing camera
  • 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera 
  • 1.3-megapixel front facing camera 
Storage
  • 16GB internal memory 
  • microSD support up to 32GB
  • 16GB internal storage 
  • microSD support up to 32GB
Battery
  • 3,300mAh
  • 1,780mAh
Dimensions
  • 130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99mm
  • 131 x 69 x 7.1mm
Weight
  • 145g
  • 127g

 

Design

The Razr Maxx does not deviate much from the Razr in terms of physical attributes. It sports the same Kevlar fibre coating on its back, giving the phone a smooth, matte feel.Besides its scratch-proof properties, the Kevlar fibre also does not attract fingerprints and smudges. In addition, you will find a similarly-sized (4.3-inch) Super AMOLED Advanced display reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass on the Razr Maxx.

As tabulated above, both the Razr phones share much of the same specs apart from the extra large battery that Motorola had to accommodate in the Razr Maxx. This results in the phone having a slightly thicker (8.99mm) and heavier (145g) chassis.  The signature bump found on the Razr is notably absent on the Razr Maxx, giving the phone a flatter back and more even weight distribution.

While the numbers may seem staggering, the differences are hardly noticeable. For the sake of comparison, here's a list of the most recent Android smartphones that are in the same class as the Motorola Razr Maxx: 

In terms of looks and handling, the Razr Maxx stands out from the crowd of iPhone lookalikes in the market. It does not pretend to be another iPhone clone; its Kevlar fibre back coating gives the Razr Maxx a unique style. Having said that, the build quality is solid and handling of the device is great, thanks to the angular sides. 

The standard suite of connectivity options can be found on the Razr Maxx: microUSB port, mini-HDMI port, microSIM and microSD card slots. There is certainly room for improvement on the design of the Power button and media controls as we sometimes had difficulties pressing the buttons. They could be made bigger and longer to provide more tactile feedback.

 

Features

When the U.S variant of the Razr Maxx was launched in January 2012, it was running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Motorola Razr Maxx you get today should run on Android 4.0 as the company announced the availability of the over-the-air (OTA) update for the Razr and Razr Maxx in early July.

If you are wondering whether the device will get the Jelly Bean update, we are as clueless as you. So far, Motorola has not made an official announcement as to which devices will be upgraded to Android 4.1. 

According to Motorola representatives, the user interface on the Razr Maxx is essentially the same as the one found on the Razr except for a few new features. For example, the lock screen has been modifed to include four shortcuts to camera, phone, unlock and text messages.

This isn't the first time we're seeing such an implementation on Android devices, as HTC was the first to feature it on Sense 3.0 (and Sense 4), followed by Samsung on its Galaxy S III smartphone. It's a shame that you are unable to customize the four shortcuts according to what you use more frequently, while HTC and Samsung devices offer that flexibility.

The ability to view all home screen panels with a single pinch gesture is also absent on the Razr Maxx. Having said that, you have five home screen panels to span your apps, folders and widgets. Depending on how you customize your home screens, five panels may not be enough for power users.

Dotted across the user interface of the Razr Maxx are Motorola's minor additions such as QuickOffice, GoToMeeting, MotoPrint, SMART ACTIONS and MotoCast. One of the more interesting add-ons that we think users would like is the package of free 10 EA game titles such as Need for Speed, which is first featured in the Atrix 2.

At point of publication, the package is not yet available for download. Motorola states that the package will be ready soon without giving a specific time frame. For the full list of game titles, do check out our review of the Motorola Atrix 2

We've discussed in depth of Motorola's exclusive services and apps such as SMART ACTIONS and MotoCast. Basically, MotoCast acts like your personal cloud service where you can backup your media content and contacts. SMART ACTIONS app enables you to set different rules for your phone to act upon under different scenarios you preset. If you want a better look at what both offer, do take a look at our review of the Motorola Razr.

9.0
Design
8
Features
8.5
User-Friendliness
8
Performance
9
Value
9
The Good
Superb battery life
Solid build quality
Great handling
Smooth overall performance
The Bad
Processor could have been upgraded
Decent imaging performance but can be better
Awards:
Editor's Choice