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DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD Review

When Motorola first introduced the DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD, they coupled the announcement with the idea that this was a “new Motorola.” In the front office, it most certainly is new, however, any industry player knows that these phones are the last to be inspired by the old guard. But before we start looking to the future for what’s next, we can’t look past the new RAZR family, as these are Moto’s final works of 2012. Bigger and better displays, long battery lives, and closer-than-ever-to-stock MotoBlur are all a part of the theme. Are they worth your dollar? 

The Good:

  • Specs:  When a phone has top-tier level specs, we like to call it out first thing, so that you know exactly what you are in for. The RAZR HD and MAXX HD most definitely have better than average specs. They both sport 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors, 4.7″ HD Super AMOLED displays, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear cameras, 1.3MP front cameras, Verizon’s 4G LTE, and massive batteries for best in the business battery life. There may be phones already available and new ones around the corner that have slightly better specs, but these are nothing to be ashamed of. Motorola tried to go high-end with the RAZR HDs and succeeded on paper.
  • Battery Life:  It’s no secret that the #1 selling feature for both the RAZR HD and MAXX HD is how long they can last on a single charge. In fact, when we got our review units, it was the first thing we set out to test. The RAZR HD has a 2530mAh battery, while the RAZR MAXX HD has a whopping 3300mAh battery tucked inside. Even with massive batteries like these, Motorola still managed to keep the devices relatively thin at 8.4mm and 9.3mm, respectively. How did they perform, though? As expected, they are both battery monsters, easily getting you through 10-15 hours on a single charge with the RAZR HD and much longer than that with the MAXX HD. At no time did I ever have to worry about plugging either phone in during the day. In fact, I found myself religiously checking the MAXX HD’s life, because it seemed like it should have been dead hours ago. I actually had the MAXX HD top out at 1 day, 10 hours and 47 minutes before I decided to plug it in, as it finally hit me with my first “under 15%” warning. You can see battery results screenshots below.

  • Design, Build and Feel:  Motorola definitely has its own unique take on how a smartphone should look. It also knows exactly what it should be made of and feel like. No device is a better example of their style than the RAZR HD. With a soft-touch kevlar backing, metal banding around the outside, sharp-yet-rounded corners and edges, and big black face plate on the front, these phones are beyond removed from the “cheap” plastics used by many of their competitors. The RAZR HD is industrial, yet soft and stylish, and feels great in hand. It also feels like a phone that could be dropped a couple of times and survive. I actually face dropped it onto my hardwood floors and it came away unscathed. Overall, this phone reminds me a lot of the last year or so of Motorola phones, but kicked up a notch on the refinement level.
  • Display:  The 4.7″ HD Super AMOLED display on the RAZR HD and MAXX HD is a solid HD display. After having the LG Optimus G for a couple of weeks with its HD IPS+ LCD, I would be lying if I said that the RAZR HD’s came even close to that device. However, it’s still HD, brings the colorful ambiance that is a Super AMOLED, and looks great while watching videos or thumbing through a recent batch of pictures. It has a PenTile pixel arrangement, something we normally can’t stand. But at this point in the HD display game, there are so many pixels per inch that the naked eye won’t be able to pick this up. You’ll see the shared pixels in our macro shots below, but don’t take that as a knock against the display. Like I said earlier, it’s a solid HD display even if it isn’t the best in the business.

(Click for larger images)

  • Performance:  Thanks to the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM, neither phone has any problems on the performance front. Sure, they aren’t rockin’ out with quad-cores or 2GB of RAM like many of their competitors’ new phones, but they still hum along nicely. I do run into slight jitters here or there when accessing some menus. Overall though, I was very pleased with performance. Both the RAZR HD and MAXX HD can compete with most of today’s high-end phones.
  • Notification LED:  One of my favorite features on the RAZR HD is the massive notification light under the front speaker grill. It’s multi-colored, and manages to glow wider than almost any other notification light in the business. It seems silly to be so excited over something so small, but this is one area where Motorola really hit it out of the park. Using an app like Light Flow, you can turn this light from light blue to green to purple to yellow depending on the application that wants to use it. Check out the video below to see it in action.

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  • Speaker:  I’m now a major Motorola speaker fanboy. The external speaker on the backside of the RAZR HD is hands-down, the best speaker in the business. When watching videos, listening to music, and playing games, it almost sounds like surround sound. It’s incredibly loud and clear, and makes any situation that requires sound, so much more enjoyable. If there was one knock against it, it’s that the notifications are almost so loud and violent, that they come off a bit distorted at times. Seriously though, this speaker is awesome.
  • Custom UI:  Motorola came out a week ago and admitted that they are trying to make their custom Android skin as close to being stock Android as possible. Unfortunately, carriers want skins to differentiate between phones, but that hasn’t stopped Motorola from keeping theirs super minimal. As you can see in the pictures below, MotoBlur (yes, I’m still calling it that) looks fairly close to stock, with subtle accents or OS design tweaks here or there. The lock screen has been tweaked to provide more options up front, there is a fancy new 3-circle clock widget front and center, home screens are added 1-by-1, the app drawer is minimal with an added “Favorites” panel, and the settings menu is only colored differently. My favorite new Blur feature has got to be the Quick Settings panel that can be accessed with a swipe to the left from your main home screen. Rather than cluttering the notifications pulldown, Motorola went a different direction by giving these options their own hidden page, a move I fully endorse.

  • Jelly Bean Updates:  Motorola, under new Google leadership, is all about Android updates. In fact, when they announced the new RAZR family, CEO Dennis Woodside said that the RAZR M, RAZR HD, and MAXX HD would all receive Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) before the end of 2012. For those keeping track, that’s a major update from what they were released with in about 2 months time. It would have been nice to see them launch with the latest and greatest in Android, but we’ll take a holiday update.
  • On-screen Navigation Keys:  Thanks to Motorola trying to stick as close to stock Android as possible, they are one of the few phone manufacturers to adopt on-screen navigation keys. I personally enjoy them because they eliminate the need to add room onto the chin of a phone for hardware navigation keys. But going forward, with Jelly Bean, they also allow for easy access to Google Now at any time and any place with the simple swipe up of the home button, something you will never be able to do with a phone that doesn’t have on-screen navigation keys.
  • Verizon’s 4G LTE:  Verizon’s 4G LTE network covers more than 400 markets and over 200 million people at the time of me writing this review. By the time you get done reading it, I wouldn’t be surprised if another dozen markets were lit up. The rollout of their’s has been remarkable. The RAZR HD, thanks to its LTE radio, gets to take full nationwide advantage of it.
  • Developer Edition:  Motorola is aware that there are tinkerer and developer communities out there that want to do more with their phones. They want to install custom software, remove bloatware, and feel like they fully own a device they just paid hundreds of dollars for. To appease this crowd, Motorola released the DROID RAZR HD Developer Edition. This phone can only be purchased through Motorola directly and at full retail, which means you’ll have to fork out $599 to have full Android freedom. Hey, at least you have an option, right?

The Not-so-Good:

  • Camera:  I haven’t had any luck with the 8MP rear camera on either the RAZR HD or RAZR MAXX HD. I’m sort of left wondering if it’s a software issue rather than a sensor issue, though. Pictures come out fine at times (I lied, and really meant rarely), but mostly, they are a noisy and blurry mess. The camera app darkens or lightens sporadically to extremes, sometimes in the same location and under the same lighting. It’s almost always inconsistent in some way or another. I feel like these same issues have plagued Motorola phones for years now. Hopefully now that Google is in charge, there will be a bigger focus on creating software that produces great stills. Oh wait, stock Android’s camera software is awful as well – probably won’t be holding out hope, after all. Here are some samples.

  • MAXX Price:  Let’s be perfectly honest here, there should not be two different RAZR HD models. There should be one phone called the RAZR HD, and it should match up exactly to what the RAZR MAXX HD is. The price of $299 for the MAXX version is a bit ridiculous, knowing that you are only getting a battery with an extra 800mAh, along with 16GB of extra internal storage. This was clearly a marketing move, but it sucks for consumers. The Galaxy Note 2 will likely drop in at $299 as well, yet it has a bigger, more advanced, and beautiful display, the same amount of storage, has twice the RAM, and includes a special pen. Poor move here, something that was probably forced by Verizon after seeing the success of the original RAZR MAXX.
  • Bloatware:  I came up with 17 bloatware apps that have been preinstalled by Verizon. In their last couple of phones, these weren’t as much of a sore spot because you could go in and disable or uninstall most, thanks to Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, Verizon and their partners have decided that they don’t want you doing that any longer, and have made most of these apps permanent fixtures.

Gallery:

RAZR HD

RAZR MAXX HD

RAZR HD vs. RAZR MAXX HD

Video Overview:

RAZR HD

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RAZR MAXX HD vs. RAZR HD

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The Verdict:

Motorola has done a great job with the RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD of creating a phone with high-end specs (for the most part) and industry leading battery life. If you are the type of consumer that finds yourself without access to an outlet or charger for much of a day, these would probably be your best options. While testing the MAXX HD, I was able to cruise into a second day of normal use with plenty of battery to spare. Motorola appears to have listened to consumers when it comes to performance and all-day-usage.

It’s not all high scores for the new RAZRs, though. Motorola’s competitors are all ready to introduce the future of smartphones over the next couple of months, which means doubling of RAM, moving onto quad-core processors, and even better display tech. While the RAZR HDs have nothing to be ashamed of, they don’t necessarily even top the Galaxy S3, a phone that was introduced 3 months ago.

I will say, that while reviewing both phones, I ran into very little issues. In fact, these phones very much feel like some of the more complete smartphones I have used in some time. Aside from the camera not living up to my quirky standards, you really can’t go wrong here – unless of course, you find yourself always wanting the best of the best, which should be here over the next month.

  • erik

    Has anyone else had an issue while browsing on chrome with this phone? While scrolling up and down sometimes it will zoom in when I definitely only have one finger on the screen. I took it back to verizon thinking the scree was defective and they traded me for a new one. Before I even left the store I noticed my new one does the same thing. I’ve had android phones for last 3 years and never had this problem so I know its not cuz of the way I use it

  • Laki S.

    I reeaaaallly wanna get the MAXX HD, but I’d have to get it off contract.. That battery sounds sweet, but I’ve been hoodwinked by the Bionic… I’ll give it another month or so, just to see if I still have the itch, or if something better has come along by then. After the Bionic, then the Nexus 7 debacle, I don’t wanna be an early adopter anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/DSullivan721 Dennis

    So I woke up today and decided I needed to pick up the HD Maxx… Trying to talk myself out of it at leastfor now!

    Does anyone know or have a guess on how the rom/kernel may be? That’s one of the only reasons I don’t want to give up my Gnex!

  • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

    i wonder what jelly bean “in the coming months” means….. maybe may?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Before the end of the year is what Motorola said.

      • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

        oh wow! hopefully that is true for everyone’s sake

        • Mark Mann

          i bought mine thursday, and i went into settings and pulled the jb update when i got it home and rooted ics first of course

  • Tino Wallace

    Lots seem to like the design of these, but Moto has some of the most uninteresting phone designs to me on the market. With that said it is still a solid handset though, just not mind blowing.

  • brando56894

    I’m still debating on whether or not I want to get this because I’ll have to pay full retail for it, since I’m not due for an upgrade for another year. My Rezound is kind of annoying me with its poor quality control (on a second one, and pretty much all are plagued with feedback from the radios, a lot get really hot batteries (115-145F), etc…) and just the general slow development pace. I may wait it out to see if Verizon does get a Nexus though…

  • Dan

    Got my HD the evening of the 18th, upgrading from my trusty DROIDX(with an extended battery). My HD doesn’t have the battery life of my X and I am using it the same way once I’d set the HD up. I even put the all-black home screen on to save power.

    This is very frustrating. I leave GPS and BT off. Yes, I’m in a low cell signal are but I use Wi-Fi 98% of the time which was the same for my X. My HD is not performing like the one DL tested

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368032580 James E. Burkett

      Just for kicks I downloaded the Motorola launcher because I wanted to try the Circles widget. My Nexus went from a buttery smooth beast to a clunky Droid X2. Motorola’s launcher definitely slows down stock Android.

  • Mordecaidrake

    Anyone had their phones go into bootloops? My unrooted HD MAXX has done it twice. Not sure what’s going on.

  • speraider430

    Can someone explain why the RAZR HD and RAZR HD MAXX are two separate phones? Just make the MAXX your one release and stop confusing the common android consumer. I know everyone on this site knows the difference and welcomes both phones, but seriously just make one flagship phone and run with it. When you try to be everything to everyone you end up being nothing to everyone.

    • JoshGroff

      The average consumer would ask a Verizon sales rep, who would then tell them the difference is the battery.

  • DainLaguna

    kellex you dont have quirky camera requirements….you just want moto to join the likes of htc, samsung, apple and nokia in offering a good shooter on their high end devices.

    i am curious as to why you feel androids software is subpar in the camera dept…..

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Stock Android software struggles all of the time to take decent photos. Look at the Galaxy Nexus. My best test though, was putting stock Jelly Bean on the One X. Since the One X takes some of the better pictures of any smartphone when HTC Sense is on there, I was curious as to how it would do with stock camera software. To keep it short, it was awful and made me want to put Sense back on just for snapping photos.

  • bogy25

    Having the TBolt still I need to upgrade – I went to the Verizon store and this phone is just awesome. It feels great in hand and looks premium compared to others and yes, pinch to zoom on pictures is smooth unlike the original Razrs. Now, my dilemma…quad cores and 2GB RAM being released – what to do…..also do I shell out the cash for off contract to keep my unlimited plan?????

    • Will

      Me too man, same problem. Except my thunderbolt crashed and burned so now I’m on an old brick phone until i choose which phone to get. My contract is up, but i think waiting for the note 2 or dlx will be worth it. Seems a bit odd to pay 300 for a phone with half the processing speed, even with a monster battery.

      • Charlie

        The ram won’t be missed a bit. As for the processor, are you really absolutely positively going to need and use 4 cores for a phone? It’s not always about specs.
        Personally, the Note 2 is a touch to big for me and I don’t like Sense one bit, so this was a no brainer. This phone is stellar. Good luck!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368032580 James E. Burkett

        Just some advise, the DLX while it has a Beautiful screen, will only have a 2100 or 2200 MAH battery while the Note 2 will have a 3200 MAH battery… Also the DLX does not have a removable battery, while the Note 2 does. If you’re looking for a phone with a battery that will last/can be replaced, get the Note 2.

  • Aaron

    I want to understand how it benefits Motorola to tether the RAZR brand to Verizon. The original RAZRs were on every carrier and made Motorola the king of flip phones. Now Verizon gets all the love and everyone else gets Photons or Atrixes or Electrifies, and then. Motorola realizes they can’t properly support so many different models so everyone not on Verizon gets left behind. Samsung makes the same GS3 for all, giving everyone the chance that their device will stay current. Even HTC seems to be getting it with their ONE line. Until I get a Moto Nexus or RAZR on US Cellular I will never buy another Motorola again. Rant over.

  • Tom Z

    Keeping Unlimited Data… Do I use the new Micro SIM or cut my old SIM to fit?

    Will Verizon change the SIM number to the New Micro-SIM without changing my plan?

    • hkklife

      They did it for me when I went from a Bionic to a Galaxy S3. They are usuall pretty cool in-store about doing stuff to keep the grandfathered unlimited people happy. Of course, that could change any day now.

      • Tom Z

        Thank you… I wasn’t sure if the store would do something like that with a phone purchased at a non-Verizon retailer.

  • ericsorensen

    No “locked bootloader” as one of the “cons”? It is in my book.

  • LordStickMax

    Did you try the camera with at third party camera app??

  • Knlegend1

    No

  • Alexander Garcia

    Excellent EXCELLENT review to another awesome phone Kel-El. The folks over at the Verge had gotten a lot of fans of the new RAZRs pretty lit up with their unjustifiable low score of the device. So many commenters at the Verge bashing the reviewer’s piece. Haha.

  • RoadsterHD1

    This Moto’s last dual core effort. I’m waiting for the 2013 Quad-cores from Moto…..

    Motorola DROID BIONIC
    ICS 4.0.4
    1.2GHz OMAP-4430 Dual Core
    1gig-DDR2 RAM Stock Kernel
    OEM Launcher
    Quadrant Standard Score 3100
    AnTuTu Benchmark 6322
    Vellamo 1054/347

    • hkklife

      I want a Moto phablet. 5″ 720p screen minimum, stylus not required.. If Moto could somehow squeeze in a Maxx-sized (or better) battery into a body that’s got the Note 2′s screen but smaller in all other dimensions, I’d go for it in a heartbeat.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368032580 James E. Burkett

        The Note 2 has a very comparable 3100 MAH battery compared to the MAXX’s 3300 MAH battery. Try the Note 2.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

    Seems like the kind of phone I’d buy my wife, if it had at least a decent camera. I’m tired of her complaining about battery life, but yet refusing to ever go out of her way to charge her phone.

  • Ron

    Looking at the MAQXX HD but in reading the reviews, it appears the MAXX HD Pro will be a better solution with JB and 2gs. When is the expected release date?

  • jnt

    There is only one thing I don’t like about my Maxx HD – and I really love everything else – as the article stated, the camera. It’s ridiculous that Moto can’t make more of an effort here. I have 1-2 year old HTC / Samsung / Apple devices that still take better pictures, easier, than the entire new Razr lineup (M and Maxx HD are what I have).

  • igotgame

    Kellex…how many times are you going to take battery screen shots without screen on time when you know by now people want to see that? I mean seriously…come on

    • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

      At this point I can only conclude he is unaware you can view screen on time. Battery life tests without screen on time is worthless. Here let me take a screenshot of my Gnex on battery for 9 days…sitting on my nightstand.

      • noyfb

        Also Speakers mean a lot to me, I hate wearing headphones and ear buds won’t stay in my ears. I would make the tradeoff of a little bit of a lesser screen for a top line speaker like Motorola.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnAdamBenson Adam Benson

    How can you seriously list Specs as a Plus when it is almost the same as last years phone? Sorry buy im waiting for the Note 2 a few more weeks and quad core+2GB Ram…..

    • Paul

      There’s a huge difference in the processor this in the original droid razr. That said, it still has the specs of a phone that would have come out when the GS3 did, not just now. Definitely not “top-tier” for a phone released in this time frame.

      • hkklife

        Sigh….so true. If these phones had come out in May/June/July timeframe they would have dominated the market. And with ICS and these specs, there is absolutely NO reason they should have been delayed untl late October! So now, thanks to the endless delays, they’re going to be also-rans at best due to the already-available IPhone 5 and Galaxy S3, plus whatever is in the pipeline to be released between now and Christmas.

  • Brando

    For the battery life you guys show the phones use 48% and 38% of power for screen on time. Do you know the actual time the screen was on for? I kind of feel this tells more about battery life then just a % of juice used.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.rajek Stephen Rajek

      I got nearly 9 hours of screen-on time before my battery hit 5%. That was my first full day of usage after buying the phone, so I expect that to only get better as the battery goes through a few charging cycles.

      • Brando

        Jesus christ. My Gnex w/ it’s 2.5 hours of screen-on on the extended battery just cried.

  • GBravo2005

    I am waiting for the Note 2 and LG Nexus 4 to come out before I make up my mind. While the HTC J Butterfly intrigues me I have not been a big fan of the HTC phone I currently have, although I did love the Tilt I had several years back :)

  • Happy to be in MT

    Any users out there familiar with both Galaxy S3 and Maxx HD? Verdict? (aside from hardware specs)

  • Raven

    Could someone please test with a 3rd-party camera app such as Camera ZOOM FX and report if that works any better than the stock camera app?

    • http://about.me/teamdave teamdave™

      Do what raven says, we need to know asap :)

    • Robert Jimenez

      It’s all right, not really any better than the default camera.

  • jeesung

    i use Nova gestures for Swipe Up = Google Now on my OG Razr Maxx (XDA Google Now port)

    And yes, the camera sucks on it too. I miss my Thunderbolts picture quality :(

  • ernie

    I got the RAZR MAXX HD a couple days ago. Your review is right on. The camera is just about worthless, but I carry a ‘real’ camera with me for travel/work. Rooted it last night thanks to @djrbliss, then disabled the bloatware with Titanium Backup Pro. The only problem I’m having is that downloads and app backups (everything that used to go to my SD card on my old D2G) are going to my internal storage, not my SD card and I haven’t figured out why yet.

  • droidrazredge

    Hey @kellex:disqus I noticed that you had the MAXX HD top out at 1 day, 10 hours and 47 minutes before you decided to plug it in before the first “under 15%” warning. I was wondering because I currently get that with my Razr Maxx with OMAP 4430 processor. I know at least with the MAXX there are issues with the ICS update that has not been addressed by a firmware update but I am suprised to see the MAXX HD get similar battery results when the issues should have been addressed. Is it because of the HD display that draws on the battery ? I would still think with a Snapdragon Processor that it should be more efficient than my MAXX. I see that the display for your MAXX screenshot shows about 38% of battery usage and mine is normally about 67-73%. could it be that the battery needs to be fully discharged before optimal battery results are achieved like normal lithium batteries? still seems strange to similar results. I was really hoping it would be like the 2 days 10 hours I use to get before the buggy ICS update with the same amount of usage. Just wondering if the issues could still there with the battery drainage.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Don’t forget that while the MAXX HD does have a more efficient processor, it has a larger much higher resolution screen. In the end it kept the battery life in the same ballpark as the OMAP RAZR MAXX.

  • http://twitter.com/Beer_Man_Mike Michael Bassett

    I see GameNow as a feature but no app or info on it? I would love cloud gaming but the website says it’s coming November? Any info?

  • htowngtr

    Do you think the Note 2 will be a better idea to buy?

  • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

    The SGS3 was released way more than 3 months ago!

  • azndan4

    So lets see. The phone released three months after the Galaxy S III but it has less ram, an inferior screen, an inferior camera, and a locked bootloader. And it is going to be severely outdated NEXT MONTH on the processor, screen, camera, and matched on the battery front by the HTC DLX. And on top of that Blur, although similar to stock android, is no where near as aesthetically pleasing as vanilla android. I think this phone falls far short of what it could have been. Too little, too late.

    • bobukcat

      I really like the GS3 but TouchWiz is mostly just wiz, as it pi**-poor.

    • Zach

      I’m pretty sure that both phones use the same HD Super AMOLED screen except one is 4.8 and one is 4.7.

  • zepfloyd

    Coming Soon: The DROID Razr Maxx HD Pro. Complete with Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad Core Processor and 2GB RAM.

    • T4rd

      Expect this to hit around January =p.

    • Deano

      Great to hear that, I really hope the Maxx HD Pro does really come out!!
      If it does come out, That’s the one for me.. I’ve been with Verizon wireless for over a decade and a long time Motorola user ever since back in the 70s I just hope they do come out with this max HD Pro, We really need a new phone to hit the market!!!

    • http://about.me/teamdave teamdave™

      Motorola’s naming system really cracks me up :)
      coming 2015….The Motorola Droid Razr Nexus Maxx HD Pro 2

    • Alexander Garcia

      …and running JB. Haha. As funny as that may sound, I would definitely get that.

    • l whale

      Are you sure that there will be a DROID Razr Maxx HD Pro.?

  • j__h

    Can you take a series of shots with the camera with no filtering for the good ones so we can get a feel for how it is on average?

  • kixofmyg0t

    Awesome review. I kinda wished the RAZR HD had the S4 Pro or even OMAP5, and 2GB of RAM…. But I think these were in the pipeline for months and months.

    I’m very happy with my MAXX HD. Let’s hope Moto hires (or buys) some people who specialize in the camera business…..instead of laying off everyone who made the Atrix camera work so well :/

    • Paul

      I don’t know why Motorola hasn’t bothered to put effort into better cameras. It’s a big factor for a lot of people.

      • kixofmyg0t

        I don’t think it’s the camera hardware itself actually. I think it’s the software, even the AOSP camera sucks. Moto had a pretty good camera on the Atrix, half of that was the software……of which I installed on my Droid 3 to fix its issues.

        The problem is that during “that guy who was CEO” reign some of THE BEST software engineers were laid off. Talent in the Android world is a precious thing that cannot and should not be so easily thrown out the door. Moto needs to hire. Get people who know what the eff they’re doing on their team. Quality products will lead to quality sales.

        • speraider430

          Whatever it is, I remember before I returned my Bionic the camera was AWFUL. I don’t consider myself a camera snob either but there was something not right with the functionality. Almost seemed like a downgrade from my droid 1 camera.

          • kixofmyg0t

            I didn’t have a problem with my Bionic’s camera, once off 886.

            But then again I’m much less critical of the camera than others. I do like the HDR mode on the RAZR HD, it helps take better low light pics IMO.

          • dandar

            HDR is not for low light, it’s for high contrast photos. Say when you capture part of bright sky and tree shade. Normally shadow will be under exposed or the sky will be blown out, HDR in theory will help you capture both with correct exposure.

          • kixofmyg0t

            You are absolutely right. Still, HDR mode makes it easier to take more decent low light pics is all I’m saying.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            HDR takes three shots, at different exposures so one of those will be “brighter” because the exposure compensation is set differently (it allows more light in or raises ISO, etc).

  • will bartlett

    you need to start screen shotting the screen on time, not just the battery percentage used…

  • bucwylde23

    How is the Maxx HD camera VS the Galaxy Nexus camera? My Gnex camera is pretty bad and if the Maxx HD is equal or better then I could live with it.
    Tired of this horrible battery life, I”m at the point where I just want to be able to use a phone without always worrying about extra batteries/usb chargers.

    • Trevor

      I’m at that point too with my Nexus. It’s annoying as hell. This phone has gotten me to stop playing mobile games completely because I can literally watch the battery percentage drop every few minutes (at most).

  • Dan

    What was your screen time on with the maxx when you ran out of battery?

    • bucwylde23

      I would like to know this as well.

    • kixofmyg0t

      I have had just over 7 hours of screen on time when it gave me the 14% warning.

  • desertdawg

    I was able to disable all apps except for the Verizon apps application and Verizon’s mobile hotspot application

    • desertdawg

      disabled applications screenshot

    • Malcolm James II

      Is it possible to disable the VZW backup assistant? Seems it is baked in…

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.rajek Stephen Rajek

        Yep, disable the app called “Sync Service”.

        • Malcolm James II

          thanks!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368032580 James E. Burkett

          Excellent. My brother’s GS3 keeps trying to activate that crap, now I know how to disable it.

  • Charlie

    No, it doesn’t have a quad-core cpu or 2gb of RAM, but it’s a great phone. It’s not about having the cutting edge. If you wanted cutting edge, you would be upgrading every 3 months. This a fantastic phone that will last the full length of a contract and should have the updates to boot.

    • Paul

      For some, but considering the faster processors in phones coming out already, this won’t be able to handle a decent amount of apps by the time 2 years go by.

      • Charlie

        Absolutely it will! I’ve still got my OG sitting around that can run plenty of today’s apps today just fine, and it’s been out for over 2 years. Since quad core in phones is in it’s infant stages, it’s going to take a good while for the adopting rate to call for many quad core optimized apps and games.

        • Paul

          My Incredible hasn’t been able to run a lot of things for well over a year, and it was top of the line when I got it (the day it was released).

          Games won’t necessarily be optimized for quadcores, but the quadcores will be able to handle games with the background apps running, and the graphics power will definitely be utilized in games.

    • LiterofCola

      Exactly, there will never be a superphone out there. Some will have 2 gigs of RAM, others with a quad-core, but no expandable storage. This will have the best battery (so far), full HD, expandable storage (which is important since I don’t feel like streaming my music EVERYTIME I want to hear my music to and from work)
      It’s whatever works our for you in the end.

  • jzwerlz43

    well ive found my new device (maxx hd here i come!)

  • PuzzleShot

    Wait, they disabled app disabling? Ughhhhh

  • Malcolm James II

    I upgraded to the RAZR HD from the RAZR MAXX, and I can honestly say that it’s a near perfect phone. JB will make this thing complete. If you can you might as well go with the MAXX HD though (I think I will)

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Would agree, fork out for the extra goodies. Or buy it from Amazon for $199. :P

    • kixofmyg0t

      I hear JB is just around the corner…..

      • C-Law

        Lol.yeah the people buying this phone are brave indeed. I remember moto saying the same thing exactly a year ago with the original razr and ics. Just bc google is in charge doesn’t mean Verizon will change. I want proof before i buy a phone off contract. Probably going note 2 or dlx anyway since verizon isnt gettng the nexus

        • baldypal

          Where is the proof that Verizon will not get another Nexus?

          • Zach

            Where are the leaks and rumors this close to the Nexus event that say Verizon will? It’s all GSM this year, or we would know by now.

          • Paul

            It’s still possible verizon is getting it later than other networks or is getting a different nexus.

          • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

            Not proof but because Verizon sucks cock at releasing updates for a NEXUS DEVICE…

          • baldypal

            Careful. You’re ignorance is showing.

          • LiterofCola

            Yep

          • brkshr

            There is no ‘proof’ yet, only educated guesses based on Verizon’s record/history. Verizon waited until everyone’s two-year contract was up on the Original Droid, to release another device with an unlockable bootloader (i.e. Galaxy Nexus). Verizon is also the only carrier in the WORLD to encrypt the bootloader on the Galaxy S3 & reportedly the Galaxy Note II as well. There are also Android Developers that have contacts within Verizon, that are saying VZW is not getting the LG Nexus 4 (or whatever it will officially be called). My money is on Verizon not releasing another device with an unlockable bootloader (or Nexus), until at least Nov/Dec 2013. If ever.

        • Motos rolling updates

          Well now do you feel silly?

    • LiterofCola

      Yep, I’m getting the “new phone itch” again. Might be a Maxx HD in my future.

    • moew

      I’ve been reading reviews left and right and did the same, just went from a RAZR MAXX to a RAZR HD.

      Reviews can’t do this thing justice, I stopped by a VZW store today at lunch just to play with various phones on the market now. I ended up going back on a break and buying the RAZR HD, it’s that polished, and just excellent in person!

      • Malcolm James II

        I agree! Definitely much better than anything out when you consider quality, performance, and skin. And I did end up going back and getting the MAXX HD

        • Sobr0801

          My brother is picking up the Maxx soon. I think he will love it coming from HTC’s Inc 1, then Inc 2. He will love the extra battery life.

  • Tom Z

    I don’t like what I’m reading about the bloatware. I thought I was going to be able to disable them since this came with ICS. Hmmm, I wonder if there will ever be a way around this…

    • Butters619

      Like I said to the person above. Root. Problem solved.

    • RayLovesick

      There is a way around it. Root, Install Titanium Backup, and freeze what you don’t want.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Some of the stuff Titanium doesn’t get because it’s in a different location. Root explorer is needed.

      • Tom Z

        I thought you couldn’t root this phone… I want the MAXX and it’s not available in the developers edition.

        • will bartlett

          you can root all phones…the bootloader is locked on motorola phones

          • kixofmyg0t

            *some Motorola phones. *most Motorola phones, but that seems to be changing.

    • Kasey Hendrickson

      I have disabled some bloat, without rooting.

  • Mohamed Khfaga

    got to have it MAXX HD

  • Mrhug3

    Want. That is all.

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    Moto manager: Hey, we need to make our motoblur version of Android stand out. We should keep all the name labels on all the hotseat icons.
    Moto engineer 2: But that is pointless and will make all the icons not centered vertically anymore. And it will make the app drawer icon look really bad because it doesn’t have a label.
    Moto manager: DO IT!!!!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I was very close to ripping them for this. Not sure why we need icon labels in the damn tray. It looks horrendous.

      • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

        I simply don’t understand what they could have been thinking when they made that decision. None of the OEMs take pride in elegant design anymore. Apple does, Google does, but Samsung, Motorola, etc. do not.

  • http://profiles.google.com/chuckg73 Charles Gallagher

    I have the Galaxy Nexus and the Maxx HD and a RAZR Maxx and the camera on the Maxx HD is by far the best of all 3.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Really? I don’t have a Galaxy Nexus to compare it to….but I think the camera is ok(just ok)

      • Diablo81588

        The galaxy nexus camera is terrible. By far the WORST on the market.

        • Jim McClain

          Since i put jelly bean bamf on my nexus,camera is a lot better

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368032580 James E. Burkett

        I have a VZW Nexus running JRO030 (Verizon’s Jelly Bean 4.1 ROM) and the camera is great… Don’t know why people talk about how “terrible” it is.