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DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX Run Identical Software – ROMs and Updates Could Work With Both

During the filming of our RAZR MAXX unboxing, we noticed that the device appeared to be running the exact same version of Blur that was introduced to the original RAZR through the last OTA update. We found this odd as we have seen re-hashes of products in the past that while very similar, will still cary slightly different software versions. The problem with manufacturers doing that (and it could be for hardware reasons), is that they need to develop separate OTA updates for each specific device. And when they have to work on two different updates, that usually means it will take longer for end users to receive them.

Well what if that isn’t the case with the RAZR MAXX? By all accounts, the MAXX is identical on the hardware front to the RAZR aside from a bigger battery, and now that we can see that they run the same software, in theory they should be able to run each other’s ROMs and OTA updates.  

Take a look at the two About screens for the devices below:

As you can see, they run the same kernel, Webtop software, Blur build, version of Android, and were built on the same date. It’s the same software, folks.

Our brave friends over at the Android Source ran with our discovery and actually flashed a ROM and the leaked OTA update that we posted earlier in the week with success. Now, you need be very careful in doing something along these lines, but the early signs point to everything being interchangeable that has been done on these two phones. That may be a first.

Cheers Timothy!

  • Jay

    I’m up for a upgrade.  Looking at Razr Maxx, GNEX, and Rezound but mainly the first two as the Rezound is frekin huge.  Anyways, was planning on getting the gnex all along but now that I’ve done research I can’t decide. 

    Razr Maxx – Better Sound, signal, camera, and huge battery.

    GNEX – Better Screen, cooler looking to me, first to get support.

    Here is where I’m stuck, with the Razr Maxx I can root it, rom it, overclock it, use live wallpapers, run 4g, full graphics, and install all the widgets I want while having a battery all day long.  I keep seeing on forums that peeps with the GNEX have to use black wallpapers, no widgets, turn 4g off, etc. to get through a day.  Someone please persuade me with proof to get the GNEX as I think its looks cooler has a better screen, but if it can’t make it through the day running everything I want, whats the reason.  Seriously, my OG runs 3g all day, live wall paper, widgets (beautiful widgets, facebook, twitter, espn, bookmarks, beautiful weather), custom rom, overclocked to 1ghz and does not studder very often yet if I get the GNEX it won’t be able to do half that and make it 5 hours.

    • Anonymous

      The GNex is a fine device with competitive battery. What you have to decide is how much hacking you want to do. Even if they do unlock the bootloader (or, rather, decrypt the bootloader signature) on the RAZR with the ICS update like they promised, the GNex will still be the phone for ROMs. It won’t even be close; like comparing the Droid Eris to the OG Droid. So, if you’re ROM happy, there really is only one choice. This is also your pick if you need NFC (until they come out with those NFC enabled MicroSD cards, of course).

      If you want the best signal reception, a cool form factor, and the best battery life on 4G (until they come out with the 28nm 4G modems), there is only the RAZR MAXX. This is also your pick if you need a MicroSD card slot. If you want the coolest form factor out there and don’t need crazy good battery, get the RAZR (non MAXX). It’s battery is reportedly better than the GNex’s stock one, and it had a profile that’ll even make iPhone fans drool.

      As for the screen, it really is a non-issue. The GNex definitely has the better screen of the two, but only if you hold them side by side and compare static text from 2″ away. In all, real-world scenarios, the screens are the same.

      TL;DR:
      ROM machine +NFC = GNex
      Long life + MicroSD = RAZR MAXX
      Sexy as hell + MicroSD = RAZR

  • Anonymous

    I had the Razr and honestly not a bad phone with smart actions and battery life. But I swap it out for nexus bc 3 months after it was release they already made a new product in its place. The nexus will be around for about 4 to 5 updates without roms…

    • Anonymous

      That makes no sense. So, if the GNex came out with a new model that was nothing other than the same phone with a better battery it would be outrageous, but if no update comes out it’s cutting edge? The logic doesn’t follow. The OG DRAZR is just as good as it ever was, you just now have the option to get a slightly fatter one with a longer lasting battery.

      • John Smith

        Im still happy with the droid x… I don’t know why everyone is so butt hurt about this…The X2 came out a month after I got it and I was like, damn this phone is so good they made a second one…lol

  • Anonymous

    Anyone tried to remove the back covering and put it on an OG razr yet?

    • Anonymous

      Not yet, but I can’t wait for someone to do this. I’d love to have an “extended battery” for my RAZR as an option, and taking the back cover off looks only marginally more difficult than it is on most phones with “user replaceable” batteries.

  • No

    How much better would this phone be running straight blurless ICS?  1000 times !

    • Anonymous

      Have you tried it out; I mean, more than just a quick, hands on at a store?

  • Anonymous

    You also might be astonished how easy it is to turn the Razr into a Razr Maxx…..

    • Thomas32811

      Yes, duct tape is amazing stuff!

  • Dd_fuji

    after this bull crap stunt im no longer purchasing Motorola devices, becasue whats the point, as soon as i buy a device they will announce the exact same device with the one weakness resolved a couple weeks later and then a month later it will be released and be denied to exchange. i love my razr but im pissed. they probably were prepping their factories and  R and D department was putting out the final design for the maxx before the droid razr was even released.

    • Anonymous

      I hate to break it to you, but every manufacturer does this and will do this as long as people keep buying up the phones. And seeing all these articles about “5 bajillion android activations in Q4 2011, etc etc” the manufacturers will just keep on churning them out. Chances are htc and sammy customers will be saying the same before spring arrives. I’m sure Rezound 2 featuring a bigger battery and beats by snoop has been in development for months already.

  • Prime7

    So…instead of charging you for a new battery, they’re charging you for a new phone instead. Classy.

    • Anonymous

      Wow have you been under a rock for the last month? Weve known about this phone and what it is for many weeks. Your comment would have been relevant sometime shortly after Christmas. Failure

      • Prime7

        You might notice the lack of a question mark in my comment; that’s because I wasn’t posing a question.

        Also, no, we have not known that the software would be completely identical between the two variants, as that is unprecedented in the Android world, as far as I know.

      • jbonics

        What he means noob is that M should take a hint from HTC make the phone OWN the first time. If you dont have time to do it rite the first time your not going to have time to do it rite the second time. MAXx fail you Wol lol waste of life…..Wol….

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the leaked OTA update runs perfect!

  • Anonymous

    Nice. Time to go to the RAZR forums on XDA to see what they’ve got cookin for this phone, then.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFPEEVOO5MEWJ7AXARTBS4KVJI Marshall

      It’s pretty limited

  • Anonymous

    *glues a different battery on phone* – Do you think it should run the same software? – No, we changed the hardware.
    lololol
    Moto made a decent decision for once.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Kirk/1386021939 James Kirk

      they should just recall all the original razr phones and give everyone a razr maxx for their troubles. It would definitely in-store confidence in their brand for the motorola consumer, which i used to be one with the og droid, but nor anymore. 

      • Anonymous

        But that costs money…. :D

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know that I’d trade mine in for a Maxx. I might get the battery and rear cover for just in case use, but I really love the form factor of this device. I know it’s not a practical thing, but neither are racing stripes on a ’69 Camaro.

  • jhalsey205

    Yep. I have a RazrMaxx and have successfully rooted and installed a custom rom  

    • No

      yea but how about the kernel ?  moto stock crap..

      • Anonymous

        Exactly the reason I got a Gnexus over the razr.

    • Anonymous

      Cool, do you think this gives a possiblility to use it as a GSM phone in Europe?

  • Anthony Alves

    I was going to laugh at Motorola if the software wasn’t compatible with each phones. It’s a razr with a bigger battery. lol

    • Anonymous

      Suprised Motorola wouldn’t just change it anyway just to screw with people.

      • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

        That kind of willful dickishness sounds more like a Samsung trait to me

        • Anonymous

          *remembers unlock bootloader tool*
          Nope.

          • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

            I guess you forgot about te Galaxy S ICS news?
            Galaxy S devices don’t have enough built in storage to have both ICS and a TW skin, so instead of dropping TW to give ICS to Galaxy S owners, Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab owners can look forward to never getting ICS at all.

          • Anonymous

            Tooosh. Yes tooosh. Both suck CD
            Nexus FTW

          • Anonymous

            I don’t see the Droid X with ICS…or the Droid 2…or the X2… or the 3…or the bionic… or the razr …or this…

          • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

            Yeah no one has it yet, but Moto’s way more reliable when it comes to delivering updates(if not making sure they’re bug free). And have confirmed the RAZR/MAXX and Bionic will get it.
            And I’ll bet the X2, D3, Photon, Atrix, and Atrix II will get it at around the same time as those do.

          • John Smith

            My droid X is running encounter ICS beta3 just fine. Its basically CM9. So ICS is actually on the X. There is also a CM9 for the bionic, atrix and razr already…so i dont know what planet your on….

          • Anonymous

            The hardware is simply too old. The mobile industry moves fast these days, and the pace is only getting faster. You simply can’t expect to run the latest software on a 1.5 year old device. It wasn’t designed for that.

          • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

            The Nexus S has the same chipset and can run it.  Way more onboard storage though(like 1mb compared to the 2 on my girl’s fascinate?). But there’re ICS roms and the like that people have put on Galaxy S devices.

          • Anonymous

            You inadvertently answered your own question. If you want the latest updates, buy a Nexus. If you don’t care about updates, and you’re happy with the way your phone ran when you bought it, then buy one of the other dozens of OEM versions.

            I don’t know why it’s taking so long for people to get this.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            Up until now you could not get a dev device on Verizon. Probably why people weren’t buying them. 

          • Anonymous

            Per Google, anything that can run Gingerbread can run Ice Cream Sandwich, so the “too old” argument is a red herring.

          • Anonymous

            Well of course it can “run” it. The G1 can “run” it, lol. An old pentium can “run” crysis. Doesn’t mean the user would actually enjoy it, though.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Like the R2D2 Droid back in the day? What a mess.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t recall that device having that issue. I never paid attention to it though. Did it have different software from the D2?

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            Yea, it was a debocle. Apparently with all the star wars junk flashed in there, it affected the updates and everything else. That is why it has it’s own little universe. Far far away…

          • Anonymous

            Trololo

  • Anonymous

    This doesn’t seem suprsing to me. Same phone with a glued-in extended battery…

  • Nexussss

    RAZR MAXX is literally the RAZR with an extended battery

    • Anonymous

      which is not necessarily a bad thing. what sux is that MOTO should’ve released these at the same time giving users a choice of slimness or longer battery life. now the RAZR folks are screwed b/c VZW’s extended time to exchange phones (like Jan 5 or whatever) has passed. for those just purchasing, of course, good for them.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Listen, everyone gets screwed at one point or another. Look at the lineups. HTC – T-bolt, Charge, Rhythm, Rezound. Moto- Bionic, RAZR, RAZR Maxx. Samsung- Droid Charge, GNex. LG – Forgot name – new HD version with unkown name. There are a bunch more that are not 4G, but that seems like a different race to me. When you only count the 4G phones, it isn’t that bad to be honest. At any rate, there isn’t one company that hasn’t surpassed their own flagship device over this past 6 months. 

        • Phoneman67

          Yep i got the samsung charge and have hated it ever since.  I just want a phone that makes calls and the gps works.  Does the razr or razr maxx work in this way.  The only thing i wished they would have fixed is the the hd screen on the razr maxx. Any one that has a razr not happy with the screen.
          thanks for any help.

          • I’m Kick-Ass!

            I don’t think you will notice a huge difference in screens unless placed side-by-side. HD would be a nice feature but videos look excellent to me

            But some reviewers didn’t like the screen. But they were looking at pixels from literally 2 inches away.

            Sorry about the Charge but that one was pretty much universally panned by reviewers and users.

          • Phoneman67

            Hey thanks, what about call quality, any problems?

          • I’m Kick-Ass!

            Honestly the call quality is probably the best of any wireless phone I’ve owned. (Samsung, HTC, Moto phones)

            I returned a GNex due to dropped calls and general bad call quality. I gave it a week and a half before bringing it back. This is in and around NYC, not a fringe area. I’m beginning to believe this was the reason for the delay in the release but that’s speculation.

            The battery on the thin one is decent so I would expect the MAXX to easily be the best on 4G but we will get the results of that in a few days.

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            RAZR is far superior to the Gnex. Kinda miss mine… The Gnex is kinda like a classic car. It is fun to tinker with it but sometimes you just want to be able to turn the key and go. This phone has to be unlocked, it is unusable stock. lol 

          • No

            The only things superior is the the superior amount of crack you inhaled to make
            such an asinine statement.  But for the camera take that razr and its blury gingerbread and stick it right up your tailpipe. 

          • I’m Kick-Ass!

            You wouldn’t be on the debate team would you. Your persuasiveness is unparalleled.

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            Whats weird, my wife won’t part with her Droid Charge for anything. It is literally the first Android phone she has ever had that doesn’t have any issues. She went from Eris to Incredible to T-Bolt to Charge and loves it. BTW, the RAZR has an excellent screen, I loved mine!  

          • I’m Kick-Ass!

            She didn’t like the Incredible? The original one with the AMOLED screen was one of HTC best phones. 

            It’s the kind of phone HTC is talking about when they say they need to release fewer but better phones.

          • Anonymous

            Phone calls are as good or better than my OG Droid, and the GPS gets the fastest, most accurate lock of any device I’ve ever used period. Only problem is they still have some bumps in the compass software. It works great on the Catch compass app, but it doesn’t work on Sky Maps or point the correct direction in Maps. Works fine in Navigation, though, since it tracks you moving. All in all, I’m extremely pleased with the phone and GPS aspects of the RAZR.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFPEEVOO5MEWJ7AXARTBS4KVJI Marshall

            Then go with an HTC. I had a droid charge too call quality was a joke. I assume the new nexus probably has the same crap radio hardware. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/borgey401 Andrew Borges

          pretty sure the only device that’ll ever trump the nexus is the next nexus. bottom like is moto fell off. if you want to admit that or not is your problem. i understand you trying to justify an awful purchase but damn man just let it go…. it happens to the best of us sometime in life.

          • I’m Kick-Ass!

            GNex is not God’s phone. It has it’s strengths and drawbacks. I returned mine due to the call quality.

            Although I don’t agree that we should accept “everyone gets screwed at one point or another”. Verizon definitely did a job on anyone who bought the thin one at the same price. It’s not like the MAXX was released 6 months later. They knew it was coming and soon. 

            It can’t even be called a refresh. It’s the exact same phone.

          • Anonymous

            It would be even worse if they released it 6 months later… Hey, we still haven’t figured out ICS but we did glue in a bigger battery!!!

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            I traded my RAZR for a Gnex. Not really dwelling on my “poor” purchases at this time. Just putting it out there that these things happen all the time. Wanna get bent, try following the TV market as closely as this. A 60″ LCD used to cost like 5k just a few years ago. Some poor saps are still paying off their out of date DLPs off their BB cards at 19%. At least we are only on a 2 year cycle, max, for most of us.