At last, a phone that won’t die on you.
While there are certainly more powerful phones on the market at the moment, the Razr Maxx does offer a decent set of specifications for most of your needs.
User Interface and Apps
Although the Razr Maxx looks and feels like a great phone, its software is somewhat prehistoric. Still running Android 2.3, it’s hard to understand why Motorola haven’t pushed a newer version of Android to this handset yet.
Sitting on top of Android is Motorola’s own user interface, which swaps out the standard Android icons for its own jazzier versions. You’ve got five desktops to contend with, and swiping left or right results in a glossy transition across the screen and widgets. It’s all a bit flash really, and the more widgets you have on-screen the slower the transition runs.
In addition to the standard Android apps, Motorola has bundled a few of their own which are worth mentioning. The music player is well organized and even allow you to stream music from DLNA servers, complete with lyrics – just bear in mind that active DLNA connections will start to affect your battery life. There’s also a Social Networking app to combine updates from your various social networks, although opting for the bespoke Twitter and Facebook apps are recommended. Social Location lets you tag interesting venues around you, while MotoPrint lets you connect to compatible printers to print files directly from your phone. You can also setup MotoCast, which allows you to connect to a computer and view or download files straight from your phone. As long as the target computer is switched on and configured properly, you will be able to get to your files without connecting to a PC. It’s not as seamless as other solutions such as Google Docs, but is still a useful feature to have. Lastly, there’s Motorola’s Smart Actions, which lets you define various actions on your phone – for example you can define a smart action to turn off your ringer volume and wifi when you’re heading to bed, or turn off your emails on the weekend. There are an infinite number of things you can do, and implementing these Smart Actions can not only save you time, but also battery life.
Screen and Camera
The screen on the Razr Maxx is certainly bright, but isn’t as crisp as other newer Android phones or the iPhone 4. Even so, it’s large enough for comfortable viewing of documents and web pages and even outdoors it made for comfortable viewing.
The camera however, is a mixed bag. While the 8 megapixel camera produced clear images, at time it produced really muted colors, and the autofocus occasionally took its own time before I was able to snap a photo. Certainly newer phones that have a lag-free shutter will overpower the Razr Maxx, but if you’re patient enough you can pull off some decent photos in good lighting. The phone is capable of 1080p video recording, which is good enough for uploading to YouTube, but certainly doesn’t look like HD video if you want to use the footage for anything else.