So we were talking about new phones in a thread a while back and at the time my HTC Rezound was starting to act up some... I decided it was time for a new phone and so I stole my son's upgrade (on Verizon) and got me a new Maxx the week they came out.
My choices were narrowed down pretty quickly to the Samsung GS4, the HTC One and the Droid Maxx.
I ended up going with the Maxx mainly due to the battery.
I've had it about two weeks now so I thought I'd put down my impressions of it so that if any of you are in the market...
Styling: I really like the way the phone looks and feels. The kevlar back is not slick and it is easy to hold. The screen is bright and easy to read, and slightly larger than the phone I just came from, the Rezound. It is very similar in size to the GS4 and slightly wider than the HTC One screen. The buttons are solid and easy to use although I personally prefer the power/wake up button be on top whereas it's on the side of the Maxx.
My buddy has a GS3 and he picked up the Maxx and commented on how heavy it is. It is certainly heavier than some of the other phones, no doubt a consequence of the giant battery, but it's not HEAVY by any means.
Software: This phone comes with stock Android 4.2 Jellybean. No skins here. The interface is slick and fast, no complaints here at all. Love the stock Motorola widget (as seen in the picture above) with the clock/weather/battery. All three of those little circles "flip" to reveal more functionality. Some reviews I've seen complain about the Google bar being locked at the top of every page. It is, but it doesn't bother me... I actually like it. I use that bar quite a lot.
Otherwise it's pretty much like every other Android phone I've had. My one minor complaint is that unlike HTC's sense UI skin, when you receive a notification when it's asleep and you swipe the lock button, it does not go to that particular application, but only to the home screen.
Voice Recognition: I'm going to divide this into two parts:
Text input via Voice: Works fantastic. Recognizes instantly almost everything I say. This functionality has improved dramatically in Android phones.
"OK Google Now": This is a feature unique to these new Moto phones. Anytime you can simply speak "OK google now" and the phone recognizes only it's owners voice and activates. You can use it to search the web, get directions, send a text, set an alarm, etc. This is a killer feature, BUT it has it's limits. The voice recog is not as good as that of text input and it doesn't always understand you. Also, you can do most anything with it, but almost everything requires a manual input as well... so you can't actually send a text without touching the screen... at least I haven't figured out how to do that. Also, if you're in a car or other moderately noisy environment the phone has a really hard time understanding you. One plus however is that web search with "ok google now" is very good.
Driving Mode: This was an unexpected surprise. When you're driving (or at least in a moving vehicle) the phone automatically recognizes this and will ask you if you want the phone to read texts to you as you receive them. This is not unique to this phone, but to newer versions of Android and is really, really handy.
Battery Life: This was the big selling point for this phone. They were not kidding. If I charge this thing to 100%, I can use it a LOT before it comes anywhere close to needing a charge. Web surfing, phone, facebook, taking pics, whatever, I get 2+ days out of a full charge easily. The lowest the battery has gotten on me is like 15% and that was well into the third day of a full charge and I was not babying it... WiFi on, Bluetooth on, everything... One thing that enables this is the phone's notification feature. It shows you the time and notifications on the main screen, but only lights up a small portion of the screen right in the middle, so there aren't flashing lights and all of that to drain the battery when you get a text, email, fb msg or whatever. Plus the battery is huge. It's a 3500 mAh battery which is very large capacity.
Camera: I've taken a few pics and only like one video... no issues here. I don't really worry about the camera a whole lot. I know some are camera snobs and want only the best. This thing has a 10mp camera which should be more than I ever need. I have not run extensive tests on it, but I'll post some pics I've taken with it at the bottom. Nothing exciting here, but nothing bad either.
Google Now: My son had this on his damn iPhone 4 long before I had it. Google didn't make it for Android versions before Jellybean, which is retarded in my opinion. He loved it and so do I. It kind of combines your web searching, interests, locations, weather, etc, into one app and makes suggestions about events, restaurants, gives you times to your frequently traveled locations (home, work, gym, etc). If you don't have a Jellybean phone, I suggest you get one just for this... it has a lot of potential.
Oh yeah, it's a phone too... call quality is fine. 4G is strong (at least around Wilmington anyway) I haven't seen anywhere that the signal was an issue. Calls sound fine even in noisy environments.
Here are some random pics...
If anybody has any specific questions, let me know....
Also, I didn't do it, (saved it for my wife) but I found a way to keep your unlimited data plan with Verizon IF you have a non-data line already open on your account. I'm on WiFi the majority of the day either at home or at work so 2GB is more than enough for me.