Motorola Razr Maxx full review

Motorola has launched the Motorola Razr Maxx in the UK. It resembles its predecessor, the Razr, runs on Android and promises extended battery life – hence the. It’s available to purchase SIM-free for around £400. Read more smartphone reviews.

Motorola Razr Maxx: Design

It's almost impossible to tell the Razr Maxx apart from the previous model. They share an identical shape, with distinctive clipped corners, and size of 69 x 131mm.  

Identical, that is, until you turn the phone over and realise the Razr Maxx doesn't have the crazily thin 7.1mm profile of the Razr. It's been expanded to 10.6mm at its thickest point to accomodate the larger battery.

Since the Razr Maxx is fatter than the Razr, it's unsurprisingly heavier, too. But it's certainly no wrist-breaker at 144g. 

We really like the look and feel of the woven Kevlar found on the rear, and if you want a tough phone then you'll be pleased to hear the Razr Maxx has Corning Gorilla Glass and a water-repellent coating.

Power and volume buttons are found on the right-hand edge while exposed ports reside on the top side. The Micro-SIM card and microSD card slots are hidden underneath a plastic flap on the left hand side.

Motorola Razr Maxx: Build quality

The Razr Maxx is as solid as a rock. It feels stiff and well-made in the hand. 

Buttons and ports are tactile and the Kevlar rear lets the phone stand out from the competition. We didn't set about finding exactly how bullet proof it may be.

Motorola Razr Maxx: Hardware

The Razr Maxx is equipped with the same complement of hardware as the Razr – namely a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. This is respectable even while handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X boast quad-core chips.

We didn't find the dual-core processor to struggle with tasks during general use. The Motorola Razr Maxx also performed well in the Geekbench 2 test, managing an average of 1084 points, a higher score than Sony’s flagship Xperia S, for instance, which scored 922 points. 

At 16GB, storage is generous compared to most Google phones, so there's internal space enough for some apps, music and films. If that’s not enough, a microSDHC card accepts cards up to 32GB in capacity.

The 4.3in Super AMOLED Advanced screen takes a qHD resolution: that’s 540 x 960 pixels. The screen is bright, vivid and reasonably sharp with a high pixel density of 256ppi, higher than that of the Samsung Galaxy S II. The large size lends itself well to tasks like web browsing, gaming and watching video. 

The Razr Maxx has standard 11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 plus the rarer inclusion of a Micro HDMI port – handy if you want to play games or watch a film rented from the Play Store on a bigger screen.

Alternatively you could try this wirelessly by making use of the digital living network alliance (DLNA) certification.

Motorola Razr Maxx: Camera

In keeping with the other hardware the Razr Maxx boasts an 8Mp rear camera with LED flash and a 1.3MP front facing camera.

The camera app, accessible via the lock screen, is simple to use with a range of easily accessible effects and settings. Results from the rear camera were consistently good with detailed and natural-looking photos. The rear camera is able to shoot video content in full-HD 1920 x 1080 size. 

The front-facing camera produced an excellent, if slightly oversaturated, picture for video chats or taking self-portraits.

Motorola Razr Maxx: Software

Software is the area where the Razr Maxx is more out of touch. It runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, although Motorola has confirmed an update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will arrive next month. Even if it keeps this promise, the Maxx will still be behind the curve now that 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is on the scene.

The user interface runs perfectly well on the Razr Maxx with smooth animations and a decent lock screen. But set against the slowly expanding roster of phones running Android 4.0, it just looks so dated.

There are plenty of pre-loaded apps on the Razr Maxx including the usual gang of Google services plus Amazon Kindle, Quickoffice and GoToMeeting. We got excited by the inclusion of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – only to discover it was a trial version.

Motorola also included its own apps, some of which are extremely good. We particularly like Smart Actions which automatically adjust settings based on user defined parameters. For example, it can turn certain functions off when the battery drops below a certain level or automatically switch silent mode off and on between certain hours of the day.

Motocast is found within a number of apps. This allows media content, such as music, video or documents to be streamed from a home computer no matter where you are (as long as the machine is turned on).

Motorola Razr Maxx: Battery life

One of the selling points of the Razr Maxx is the battery life, since it’s fitted with a whopping 12.2Wh battery, around twice the capacity of most smartphones. 

And we weren't disappointed with the result, the Razr Maxx lasted us a total of four days use before we needed to charge it. This is twice as long as the competition and a notable achievement, especially when you consider the devices isn't all that chunky. 

NEXT PAGE: Original PCWorld US review >>

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