Take a look at a smartphone from a few years ago compared to something available today and you'll find a number of major differences. Screens, processors, operating systems and more are advancing at a breakneck speed. However, battery tech has been stuck moving at a relatively glacial pace, as evidenced by even some of the highest spec'ced smartphones of today struggling to make it through a full day of use. This is where Motorola stepped in with the original RAZR MAXX by infusing the DROID RAZR with a large battery to keep even the heaviest of power users satisfied. Fast forward to today and you'll see they're at it again with the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD, an update to the original DROID RAZR HD, which we reviewed here.
As the current Motorola flagship device there's definitely shared DNA with their other recent handsets, but there are also new touches like an aluminum band that runs along the sides of the phone where all the ports reside. The back is coated in a generous amount of Kevlar, which not only is very soft to the touch but also gives a good bit of grip and should provide some level of protection against minor scratches and spills. Every texture and surface on the phone feels premium with very tight tolerances, but thanks to a fairly large bezel above and below the screen you won't be mistaking this for a RAZR M. It's only marginally thicker than the standard RAZR HD at 9.4mm compared to 8.4mm but the weight is considerable and squared off edges don't do much to help the phone feel any smaller. It looks great but compared to some other phones of this size ergonomics are lacking.
Currently the MAXX HD is running Android 4.0.4, however, an upgrade to Android 4.1 is set to hit in the near future. Thanks to an impressive display of restraint from Motorola the phone runs a fairly lightweight skin making it quite fast, although animations aren't as smooth as they could be. There are a few additions such as a Quick Settings toggle you can get to from your home screen, the great Smart Actions app which can automatically do everything from send a text message to lower your screen brightness when triggered and a Circles widget to let you see the time, weather and battery use at a glance. You'll find a fair amount of Verizon bloatware that can't be uninstalled, but with 32GB of storage it really isn't a huge issue.
The device drops the capacitive buttons found on most Android phones in favor of on screen keys but with 4.7 inches of screen real estate you probably won't notice the few missing pixels. While still a Pentile display the Super AMOLED screen is quite good with great saturation, above average viewing angles and overall quality on par with most other 720p smartphones.
Here's the full video review of the device in action.
Powering the RAZR MAXX HD is a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 SoC with 1GB of RAM which is shared with most other high end Android phones, a 4.7" Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280x720, 32GB of storage along with a MicroSD card slot for up to an additional 32GB and that huge 3300mAh battery.
In Linpack the MAXX doesn't hold back, posting results right up there with the very best including the Galaxy S3, One X and other recent Motorola phones.
SunSpider results line up with what you would expect, the MAXX HD posted results just shy of the top but still very impressive and right on par with what you would expect given the internals.
GLBenchmark is where the Adreno 225 graphics start to show a bit of weakness. Here it matches most phones but falls well short of the PowerVR 543MP3 graphics in the iPhone 5.
Unsurprisingly enough battery life is where the RAZR MAXX HD shines. With a massive 3300mAh battery Motorola claims up to 32 hours of talk time on a single charge and in the HotHardware battery test it didn't disappoint. Our standard test has the phone refresh a webpage with a mix of graphics, text and Flash media every three minutes with the display at 50% brightness and Wi-Fi turned off, leaving the phone to rely on LTE for the entire test.
Lasting just under nine and a half hours of continuous use before giving up the MAXX is by far the longest lasting phone we've ever tested, making it ideal for even power users who want to use a phone all day. With more moderate use it isn't a stretch to make it through two days before hitting the charger.
With an 8 megapixel camera and LED flash you'll find it's a decent if not spectacular performer when capturing images and video. Pictures tend to be very saturated and detail is above average, however, performance with the flash is somewhat disappointing, as it is with most smartphones.
The 1080p video is the same story; perfectly acceptable but really nothing to convince you to ditch your camcorder.
The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX sports incredibly long battery life, excellent build quality and an update to Android 4.1 is due in the near future. The $299 price is a bit steep compared to options like the Galaxy S3 but if battery life is a major factor the RAZR MAXX HD is a solid choice.