Motorola Droid Maxx
Manufacturer: Motorola Part number: DROIDMAXX
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as of 03/13/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $149.99
- Reviewed by: Brian Bennett
- Reviewed on: 08/26/2013
- Updated on:09/17/2013
The good: The Motorola Droid Maxx delivers astonishingly long battery life, a big, colorful screen, and a durable, attractive design. The phone performs inventive tricks such as responding to voice commands, giving screen-based notifications, and quick-launching the camera, which takes pleasing pictures.
The bad: The Motorola Droid Maxx is expensive.
The bottom line: If you can get past its steep price, the massive-screened Motorola Droid Maxx is currently Verizon’s best Android smartphone.
Best Android Phone Yet - Incredible Battery Life
by Im_Daniel on October 17, 2013
Pros: New Motorola features feel very well done
Screen looks great!
Phone feels great in the hand
Plenty usual Verizon crapware
Active Notifications is cool feature
Really impressed long life battery
Cons: No FM Radio
Summary: I have used a lot of different Android phones since 2009, and this is the best experience yet. After getting things set up I am really impressed with it. It ...
Summary: I have used a lot of different Android phones since 2009, and this is the best experience yet. After getting things set up I am really impressed with it. It really feels like a polished and premium phone experience. It isn't too heavy or thick, but feels a bit big in the hand compared to my previous Galaxy Nexus. The new Motorola features feel very well done and if I had to switch to stock again I would miss them.Edit:
The screen looks great! It is a huge improvement from my old Galaxy Nexus and it looks very hi res to me. It looks very similar to my iPad 3 with the retina display. The colors are rich and it is easy to read everything. I have seen my friends 1080 screen and I don't see any difference. The lower resolution means it runs more smoothly and it uses less battery. Great decision by Moto to go for the 720 screen. As for the size, it is plenty big. I would compare it with the HTC One or GS4.
I was not really expecting much after hearing that it was just a dual core processor. But after using it for a few hours I am VERY impressed. I move instantly in and out of apps, switch apps quickly, and I can still use the phone just fine even when I am updating lots of apps in the background. I have tried out the GS4 in the Verizon store a bunch and it has plenty of lag doing these things. Samsung has never put much care into optimizing Android for their phones.
It has a smallish Verizon logo on the back at the bottom with no logos or other BS on the front at all. This phone is a bit bigger than my Galaxy Nexus before this and takes a bit to get used to. It just feels bigger because there is not much curve in the corners of the device like there is with the Samsung smartphones. It doesn't have that awful design from the previous models where the device isn't an actual rectangle thankfully. I would compare it in size almost exactly to the HTC One.
The phone feels great in the hand and doesn't feel heavy at all for the size of the battery inside. In fact it feels plenty light. It is definitely lighter than my Galaxy Nexus with the extended battery (~2200 mAh) and much thinner too. The matte finish on the back is very nice and gives it a really quality feel. In the previous Droid Razr series the Kevlar back felt a bit much because it is much thicker. This new thin model has the best feel of any smartphone backing I have tried lately. I guess I am not a fan of the aluminum backing the HTC One has.
The biggest downer I had about this phone was the built in buttons as opposed to the on screen ones. On the older apps it shows a bar at the bottom of your screen with the menu icon. Then I found out you can hide that bar at the bottom and just hold down the multitask button to see the bar. I got used to it in a snap and now am happy to have the extra screen space.
As for the usual Verizon crapware, there is plenty of it on this phone. Thankfully with the disable app function I was able to kill all the ones I knew I would never use. Once I did that it was almost just like a clean phone, with the exception of a Verizon login and widget I couldn't get rid of.
This is a really cool feature. I wasn't expecting much here, but I was pleasantly surprised. When it senses movement or when you get a notification it fades the pretty looking messages and fades them away after a short period of time. It is very minimalistic so you won't be bombarded with a bunch of text or icons. Because they fade in and out you won't need to worry about screen burn in. You can select what apps are allowed to use the notification system. It really feels like it is a new stock Android feature, not just a Moto specific one.
This was a hidden easter egg for me. I didn't hear anything about it until I saw it on the phone. It is a Chrome extension that allows you to send and receive text messages, view recent calls, and receive notifications all from your browser. I installed the Chrome extension and I was up and running right away. It is very polished and well done for a first version. It has a very Googleish feel to it, like it was integrated into stock Android. Now that I have used it for a month I can't live without it. I can quickly reply to texts without breaking my stride doing work.
I am a pretty light user, but I have been really impressed with the battery life. To go over 2 days without charging with normal use and still have 44% battery life left is pretty amazing. Even on heavy usage days I have been very impressed with the battery life. I played a game for 2 hours straight and only saw a 4% hit in battery life. I downloaded over 20 gigs of music with less than a 10% hit.
I have gone from always worrying about my phones battery life to not even thinking about it anymore. I feel like we have finally reached where smartphone should have been all along. It is a great feeling to not need to charge your phone much at all anymore. For my business I needed a phone where I didn't need to worry about battery anymore. This phone passed test that with flying colors!
This is a solid phone. I am really impressed. I would give it a solid 9/10 or even higher. This is the best Android experience I have used over the Nexus 4, GS4, HTC One, and Galaxy Nexus. If you have Verizon this is a must buy. If you are not on Verizon then just know that the Motorola X phone will be a great experience. The only downside there is the smaller battery size.
Tip!, recommend to check for best offer for this Droid Max at: Droidxphones.blogspot.com/p/motorola-droid-maxx.html
Updated on Dec 29, 2013
Recommend to check for best offer at: Mobileindy.wordpress.com/motorola-droid-maxx/
10 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best Phone Ever!
by dmcolwell on August 27, 2013
Pros: Wireless charging
Battery Life (Awesome!)
Love the volume up/down buttons easy to move and feel
Speed of use and system
Cons: None that I can think of, if any price.
Summary: I love this phone. I believe this is the best phone Verizon has had in a long time. The experience on this phone is almost stock android and it just ...
Summary: I love this phone. I believe this is the best phone Verizon has had in a long time. The experience on this phone is almost stock android and it just works so smoothly. I hate people comparing the "specs" on paper to this phone because I don't know what they used in this "x8" Processor but it works so smootly. Things just send so fast on this and you go back and forth between apps and screen with absolutely no hiccupps like I had on my DNA. It doesn't get hot when you charge it or use it which is something I had major issues with my last couple phones. This is a great phone. Awesome sound quality, crystal clear and the speakers and speaker phone stand out like no other. Also the 3 sound isolating microphones make it so clear. I was in a car wash today talking with my husband and he never knew I was in the car wash! I love how the assist tells you about an incoming text or call when you are driving and having the option to tell it to ignore or answer. The text to voice features are really accurate. It has understood almost every text, command I've told it to do. I think the camera is fine. I have taken indoor shots and outdoor and I think it is a big improvement over past motorola phones. Maybe it isn't 13mb camera with all the features, but when I want a shot that good, I'm using my Nikon camera. The 32gb storage is fine for me. Not an issue as I use dropbox for photos. My music library only takes up a few gig so not an issue. People have complained about the price but it is the same for a 32gb Ipod which doesn't have as many features as this phone. I hope this review helps thos out there that are looking for an honest opinion about the phone from someone who owns one instead of everyone just talking negatively about it because of the specs, the price or because it doesn't say Apple or Samsung on it. I live in a rural area and Motorola phones Always, hands down, get a better signal in our area and I have less dropped calls with it--including this one.
7 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best Smartphone I've EVER Owned
by Bruce121574 on August 27, 2013
Pros: Superb Battery Life
5 Inch Screen
Buttery Feeling Kevlar Coated
Solid Build and Quality Feeling In The Hand
Super Fast Speed
Very Smooth Graphics
Excellent Call Quality and Speaker
Cons: Steep Price (but worth it)
Wish It Was 1080p (but the screen quality is still FABULOUS)
Summary: It took a long time to decide which phone to get with so many worthy contenders. The fact that I've only owned Motorola Smartphones helped me decide, since I'...
Summary: It took a long time to decide which phone to get with so many worthy contenders. The fact that I've only owned Motorola Smartphones helped me decide, since I'm already used to the graphics. I had considered an HTC One, but the smaller display (4.7 inches compared to the MAXX's 5) and the 1/3 smaller capacity battery (2200mAh to 3500mAh) swayed me; even though the price of he HTC One is 100 cheaper. The Galaxy S4, though one of the best phones available, has too much "bloatware" and other gadgetry I'd never use, though having a removable battery is certainly a "plus," but at only 2600mAh compared to that 3500mAh MONSTER power source the MAXX has, plus the plasticy housing, made me look again to the MAXX. After a few days of use, the strongly recommend the Droid MAXX if you want a super high quality phone you'll be happy with for 2 years or maybe more! It's just about PERFECT. By the way, I have ZERO problems recharging the phone's battery. NONE. That little quirky thing the CNet review had must have been an anomoly. GET THIS PHONE IF YOU WANT TO BE BLOWN AWAY and DELIGHTED as its owner. LOVE IT!!!!!!! Kudos to Motorola/Google. This is one fine pocket computer that also serves as a phone :-)Sorry for the couple of misprints in my review. I should have proofread it before submitting; but now that I'm here, I left out how great the MAXX is letting you see your notifications without having to turn on the power. You just pick it up and emails, texts and other notifications appear. How ingenious and a great battery saver.
Updated on Aug 27, 2013
4 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best smartphone on Verizon to date
by okpud on August 29, 2013
Pros: Extra long battery life
Excellent voice quality
Bluetooth Trusted Devices
Wireless Charging (Qi)
Miracast wireless display/audio mirroring
Gesture control to activate camera
Cons: No HDMI or MHL out
Poor Miracast performance when connected to a bluetooth device
Some Bluetooth A2DP streaming problems w/ older devices
No USB fast charge option
Summary: Simply put, this is currently the best smartphone offered by Verizon. You get all the great features of the Moto X, like Active Display and "always on" voice commands, with ...
Summary: Simply put, this is currently the best smartphone offered by Verizon. You get all the great features of the Moto X, like Active Display and "always on" voice commands, with better battery life and wireless charging. This is my fifth Android phone on Verizon and I am very happy with it.A couple of other notes I forgot to mention:
I am averaging a full two days between charges with moderate usage. Performance is excellent with the latest technology in CPU/GPU cores used by the X8 computing system. 4 general purpose CPU cores are just not needed to keep this phone very fast and responsive. No lag at all and very smooth graphics, unlike most every other smartphone I have owned. Motorola focus on usability features over a bunch of gimmicks in this design. Cases in point:
Active Display blows away all other notification systems out there, like blinking LEDs
Voice Commands are easy to use while driving and keep your eyes on the road
Trusted Bluetooth device list allows my phone to stay unlocked when connected to device like my car or home phone system. For me, this is great since I use my phone for business and keep a secure lock screen enabled. When in a "trusted area" around my BT devices, my phone stays unlocked. Leave the area, and it automatically locks again.
So far, I only have a few cons with this device. The lack of a dedicated HDMI or MHL port for video out is a bit of a loss for me. Miracast is fine, but only a few devices support it today whereas every hotel I travel to have HDMI inputs available on the in room TVs. Also, Miracast performance on my home TV tends to stutter if BT is left on (digging through the MAXX's manual, I finally found a warning about this). Streaming audio over BT (A2DP) is problematic with some of my older BT receivers. New ones work fine, but older devices support A2DP tend to stutter and skip when connect to the MAXX (but not other Android devices, like my Nexus 10 tablet). I expect this will probably be address with a later ROM update. Lastly, I really wish Mot would have added a "fast charge" option for charging over USB when connect to a computer. Since it doesn't, you'll only be able to charge at 500mA unless you connect to a dedicated USB charger vs. a computer. Several of my other Android device support this feature so you can get a full 1000mA+ of charging off a computer port when a data connection is not required.
All-in-all, though, this is a solid device that I would highly recommend to those in the market for a new smartphone.
Updated on Aug 29, 2013
The MAXX is Global Ready and SIM unlocked. This is great since I travel to Europe and keep a prepaid SIM for international use. Just replace the Verizon nano-SIM with a new one and you are good to go with most global GSM/HSDPA providers. It even works with a AT&T SIM, but only for their 3G network (no LTE on AT&T due to their different frequency bands from Verizon).
If you use Chrome as your Internet browser, Motorola Connect is a great plugin that works with the new Verizon Droid Mini/Ultra/MAXX lineup + the Moto X. Now I don't have to pull my phone out of my pocket read/send TXT messages or see who's calling. It pops right up in my Chrome browser and is easy to use.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great phone but there are flaws you should know about
by Agent4545 on August 30, 2013
Pros: Battery Life
Surprisingly nice screen
Smooth UI-no lag at all
Cons: Can't text videos
Can't forward calendar invites using outlook exchange
Wireless charging makes the phone hot
Camera is inconsistent and unreliable
Speaker quality is sub-par compared to other flagships
Bluetooth connections are "fuzzy" at times
Summary: If you're coming from iOS this will seem limiting. The main feature of this phone is clearly the battery life. Depending on how important that is to you I ...
Summary: If you're coming from iOS this will seem limiting. The main feature of this phone is clearly the battery life. Depending on how important that is to you I would make sure that weight the other sacrifices compared to an Iphone 5/S4.
3 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
no constant charging needed. Works really well.
by man4pnw on February 21, 2014
Pros: Thin, light, large brilliant diplay
Cons: I wish they come out with it 2 years ago.
Summary: I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
Summary: I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
Love this phone! Very reliable & battery life excels!
by mikehammer63 on February 6, 2014
Pros: Battery life
Very sturdy but still attractive
Kevlar coating but comfortable to hold
Cons: I have found none.
Summary: This is by far the best phone I have ever owned. I have seen reviews by some people mentioning problems with the headset connection, speaker quality and camera quality. I ...
Summary: This is by far the best phone I have ever owned. I have seen reviews by some people mentioning problems with the headset connection, speaker quality and camera quality. I have had no problems with any of these things. Others have commented on how great the speaker sounds when I play music or videos (better quality than my laptop).
As for the phone. I was on a video set a few weeks ago and the photographer had problems with his camera. When he did get it working the lighting was so inconsistent his pictures were not coming well. I took a few with my phone and showed them to the director. He loved them and we used my phone to do all his photography. He was very pleased with the result and has used many of them as he promotes it. We also used the Droid Light app a lot that night as a supplement to lighting in many tight spots and by the end of the night I still had 50% battery life!
Amazing phone, Apple and Samsung should be scared
by lunajett on January 16, 2014
Pros: BATTERY LIFE is unbeatable, truly changes the smartphone experience.
Twist to open camera
Price - I lucked out and grabbed this for $12.50 on Amazon
Cons: Can't really think of any bad things about this phone.
Stuck with another 2 year Verizon contract.
Summary: Had this about 6 weeks now, previously had an Incredible 2. I've never been a huge "phone guy" and didn't need to have the biggest and best everything. ...
Summary: Had this about 6 weeks now, previously had an Incredible 2. I've never been a huge "phone guy" and didn't need to have the biggest and best everything. But my biggest issue with smartphones has always been poor battery life. They can pretty much all do amazing things, but no matter what a phone can do, what good is it if you have to worry about making it through a busy day, or "ration" out your phone use to stretch battery life? Sure, usually you can plug in somewhere for awhile to get a bump and make it through, but why should you have to worry about that? This phone really eliminates any of those concerns. Admittedly, I am a fairly light user - checking email and texting throughout the day, checking a few news sites, maybe some GPS or searching or music, etc. I never watch movies or play games on it, so not a lot of big battery drains. But I've been going 3 full work days between charges - like take it off charger at 7AM Mon, and by Wed bedtime be down to around 5%, so plug it in overnight. That's like 60+ hours. Again, that's light use, I'm sure most people won't get that. But that's still amazing, and even when I am using it a lot I can easily go two full days and probably have 15-20% left. No matter how busy my day is and how much I'm using it, I never have to worry about running out of juice. I don't have to carry a charger with me, or think "let's see, I'll be at my desk for lunch so if I give it a bump then I can probably make it through the afternoon...." Aside from all the other amazing things this phone does, the battery alone is a gamechanger, really liberating. I think if more people experienced this, they would dump whatever phone they are using now and grab a Maxx.
The Active Notifications is really cool. Seemed a little gimmicky at first, but I love it now. It will alert you with a little fade in, fade out message when you have email or text, and you can preview it to see if you need to check it now or it can wait, without having to power up whole phone. Nifty little way to save some of that battery.
Motorola Assist is great, although takes a little getting used to. The phone knows when I'm driving. It will be in my pocket, and say "Text from Alison, read or ignore?" I say "read" and it reads me the text. I believe I can also respond or send texts verbally, but haven't tried that.
"OK Google Now" seems to work great, although I haven't done anything too complex with it. Voice recognition is amazingly accurate, probably like 95%. Very rare I have to correct it or retry. You have to learn how to phrase questions and what keywords to use, but you can't expect any phone to completely read your mind.
A lot of people complain about the camera. I don't know, it seems fine to me, but I've never expected my phone to be an awesome camera. I'm probably one of those people that will always have an actual camera for anything important - if I'm going to the Grand Canyon I will take a real camera and not expect my phone to do it justice. A phone camera for me is always for snapshot, spontaneous stuff. The camera on this phone is perfectly fine for me for meeting those needs, but if you expect your phone to take gallery-quality photos, you might not be completely happy with it. Oh, but the "twist on" feature is really cool. If I want to catch a quick shot, I can give the phone this little twist as I am pulling it out of my pocket, and the camera is open and ready to go by the time I get it up to my face. Any other phone, you have to get the thing out, then look for the camera icon, tap that, wait for it to open... This feature just saves you that couple seconds that might make the difference between getting the shot or not. I was doing the little movement wrong when I first got it, and couldn't get the camera to open. I had the girl at Verizon store show me, and since then it's worked fine everytime, I was just holding the phone wrong when I twisted it.
Build quality is awesome, phone has just enough heft to feel solid without being too heavy. Kevlar back feels great, I hate those slippery smooth fingerprint magnet surfaces on so many other phones. Even though this is supposed to be a very rugged phone, I've kept a nice Incipio case and screen protector on mine since I got it. It may not "need" it but I like the extra protection, why take a chance with damaging it? The case adds a nice little contour and a little more grip to it, while still being very thin and sleek.
The size is perfect for me. It's a little bigger all around than my previous Incredible 2, it's got 5" screen vs 4" although overall dimensions are probably only about 1/2" bigger all around. I was worried about it being too big to comfortably use with one hand. It did take a little getting used to and sometimes I do have to really stretch a thumb or shift it a little in my hand, but overall I feel the larger screen is well worth it. Big enough to make everything a little easier, without being too big to comfortably slip in/out of a pocket.
I know the Maxx's specs on paper may not look as good as some of the competitors, but I seriously doubt any human could tell the difference in the real world. Screen looks great and everything is super fast. Don't get hung up on lab benchmarks and specs; think about how you really use a phone and what improves day-to-day functionality. Seems like a lot of hot new phones out there like Samsung and Apple compete to come up with the latest "gee whiz" features for people to ooh and ahh over, but seriously how useful and practical are things like eyeball tracking or thumbprint ID? To me, they seem like they would just get more in the way of how most people really use a phone, and are just more time and hassle to figure out how to work with. Motorola has come up with great phones that have practical, usable features that just make a smartphone that much more of an enhancement to your life, without getting in the way. I honestly don't understand why the Maxx and the other new Moto phones are not taking more share from Apple and Samsung. I think Apple just has such "cache" (Ooooh, it's APPLE, it must be the best!) and Samsung has big flashy screens, that people are overlooking an option like Motorola that is just quietly doing almost everything better. Moto needs to step up its marketing or something, because this phone really should be changing the dynamic much more than it has.
Oh, and BTW, I got my Maxx for $12.50 on Amazon in early December. Yes, I had to start up another stupid Verizon contract which I hated to do, but for that price I figured it was worth it. I had been watching price fluctuate a lot on here leading up to Xmas, varying from like $199 to $39.99, and I finally pulled the trigger one day when it hit $39.99. Thought that was great, but the next week I noticed it had dropped to $12.50. Well, did you know Amazon will price match itself, up to I think 30 days from purchase? So I emailed them and yep, they promptly refunded the difference so it ended up only costing me $12.50. Go Amazon! So if you are looking at this, take some time and monitor the price for awhile, you might get a real steal.
How about either expandable memory or 64Gig onboard?
by carpentertl on January 5, 2014
Pros: Great phone! See"summary" for comments. CNet thinks it's a better idea to make the summary longer than the review section. Bottom line up front philosophy I guess.
Cons: No replaceable battery. No expandable memory. See summary for comments. This isn't as bad as it seems depending on your lifestyle.
Summary: Pros: I've had 3 different Android devices, the Bionic being the latest (which I loved despite its battery consumption rate), and this one is what consider to be a ...
Summary: Pros: I've had 3 different Android devices, the Bionic being the latest (which I loved despite its battery consumption rate), and this one is what consider to be a significant upgrade in reliability. The Bionic was powerful and had all the functionality I wanted but even with the extended battery I couldn't get it to last a full 26.2 (don't judge my run time). So far I have had no trouble with the promised battery life and I'm able to enjoy my music, GPS tracking on My Tracks by Google and my Bluetooth heartrate monitor by Polar. Even answered a call with my yurbuds at about the 17 mile mark.
The call quality on my Bluetooth in the car shows a better clarity despite the road noise. I blame the rest on UConnect and the pavement of my microphone.
Streaming video is excellent! I work on a military base and get a lot of interference on signal, but when my friends have difficulty getting any connection I usually have at least 1 bar of 4G service. Friendly jab at iOS devices.
WiFi connection is stable and works like it should, nothing noteworthy in my opinion.
Worth the price if you can deal with the size.
Cons: Kit Kit eats up about 6GB of memory so you get chopped down to roughly 26GB after upgrade. With the running I do I keep a lot of music on my phone for motivation, variety is the key, and I try to snap pictures as often as possible. And since Verizon was kind enough to do away with their Unlimited data plan (plus me not wanting to pay full price for the phone to keep it (bad move on my part)) I can't swap out music without a WiFi/USB connection. This make cloud storage, Google Play store, a non option reduce my music on device without it becoming labor and time consuming.
I did have an issue with my first phone powering down by itself, but I used the warranty, got a new phone and haven't had an issue since.
(Oh, CNet, how about more space in the Pro Con space and less in the summary. Seems backwards to me. Summary... short. Just my opinion.)
Innovative, solid phone with spectacular battery life
by ZZMonkey on December 10, 2013
Performance (no noticeable lag in Android)
Voice controls, active notifications and camera gesture are creative and practical features unique to Motorola
Cons: Camera is fine but not quite as powerful or full-featured as rival flagships
Typical Verizon bloatware and Android update delay
No IR blaster
No MHL/HDMI out
I would prefer software navigation buttons
Summary: This phone might be missing some of the horsepower and bells and whistles of Samsung and LG flagships, but I prefer Motorola's superb build/radio quality, the proprietary features (...
Summary: This phone might be missing some of the horsepower and bells and whistles of Samsung and LG flagships, but I prefer Motorola's superb build/radio quality, the proprietary features (always-on voice control, active notifications, camera launch gesture) and vanilla Android feel (instead of other manufacturer's feature-rich but offensively ugly and clunky Android skins).
Battery life is as good as advertised, which, to be only slightly hyperbolic, is life-changing. Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2 also have great battery life, but this phone was a better for me as explained above.
I accidentally spilled a glass of water all over the phone and it was unfazed.
I love how the screen turns on with the time and notifications preview just by taking the phone out of your pocket or picking it up off the table (no wake button press needed).
- Manufacturer: Motorola
- Part number: DROIDMAXX
- Bottom Line: If you can get past its steep price, the massive-screened Motorola Droid Maxx is currently Verizon’s best Android smartphone.
- Product Type Smartphone
- Width 2.8 in
- Depth 0.33 in
- Height 5.41 in
- Weight 5.89 oz
- Service Provider Verizon Wireless
- Operating System Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Diagonal Size 5 in