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Biscuit's Droid Maxx Review


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#1 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:44 AM

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.

 

droidrazrhdmaxx_large_verge_medium_lands

 

 

 

 

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...

 

dd0fbe274222849.jpg 8a6996274222872.jpg 11985f274222892.jpg 16da82274222914.jpg eb7418274222918.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 



#2 Kurb

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

Nice! I might look into that next year.

 

Buddy gave me a Galaxy Nexus and I love it, minus the battery life. :)

 

I have chargers everywhere.



#3 Scrumtrilescent

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:15 AM

<<Still babying his unlimited Verizon data plan through three account changes in the last two years.  They swore this last time in August when I merged it with my wife's account it would go away, but it's still there! 

 

I'm still also holding out for the Note III when it comes out (not sure if it's still coming out next month when I'm upgradeable or not).



#4 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:17 AM

<<Still babying his unlimited Verizon data plan through three account changes in the last two years.  They swore this last time in August when I merged it with my wife's account it would go away, but it's still there! 

 

I'm still also holding out for the Note III when it comes out (not sure if it's still coming out next month when I'm upgradeable or not).

 

C47 has a thread here on that, but I've heard the 29th as the date for the Note III.  Not sure if Verizon will get it then or not though.



#5 C47

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:17 AM

Nice! I might look into that next year.

 

Buddy gave me a Galaxy Nexus and I love it, minus the battery life. :)

 

I have chargers everywhere.

 

 

The battery life use to be really good on the Nexus.  I think it's newer versions of Android are taxing the hardware so much that it just runs the battery down quicker.  

 

This was a couple of weeks after I bought the phone. This was pretty normal use, except for the fact that I wasn't around a ton of wifi.....

 

Screenshot_2012-01-21-19-11-531_zps9482d

 

Now I'm lucky to get 12-14 hours on a full charge with normal use....



#6 C47

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:18 AM

C47 has a thread here on that, but I've heard the 29th as the date for the Note III.  Not sure if Verizon will get it then or not though.

 

Reading some of the press release from yesterday it seems like all carriers will get it at the same time....



#7 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:22 AM

2d8q88y.png

 

 

 

Mine often has the OS as using more than the screen... not sure how Moto pulled that off.

 

As you can see I'm on 22hrs plus and still at 56%.  That's after using at the gym for 2 hours to stream music and surfing the huddle, fb and twitter all night last night before bed.



#8 C47

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:25 AM

Damn that is pretty ridiculous.  If having a charger available almost all the time wasn't an option for me I would probably lean more towards the Maxx.  My minds pretty made up though, Been jealous of my sisters phone for 8 months now and unless it absolutely bombs I'll be getting the Note III.



#9 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:28 AM

I don't think you can go wrong with the GS4, the Note or the Maxx, and I'm also hearing good things about the Moto X.  Those that love HTC will also dig the One, I just personally didn't like it as much.

 

I think my wife will love the note III for it's screen size and the ability to use it for her work to take notes, memos, etc. as well as it being a great phone.  She's in the car a lot too, so the size of it won't be an issue, she can use her bluetooth stuff in the car.



#10 catfang

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:46 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

So my daughter has a non-data  line on my account. We're both eligible for upgrade and of course she wants an iPhone. If I made hers a data line is this still possible?  I've had unlimted data for years. Or maybe I could make hers unlimited since I'm not a huge data user.



#11 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:04 AM

So my daughter has a non-data  line on my account. We're both eligible for upgrade and of course she wants an iPhone. If I made hers a data line is this still possible?  I've had unlimted data for years. Or maybe I could make hers unlimited since I'm not a huge data user.

 

I don't think you can do anything with hers... sorry.  The trick for yours is to upgrade her line with the new smart phone (this only works directly thru Verizon, Best Buy or Costco).  It will automatically upgrade her line to a data line.  You MUST activate the new phone on her line... but then you can use their website to transfer "her" new phone to your line and it will drop hers back down to a dumb no-data line.   You get the new phone, her line goes back to the way it was.

 

It's a loophole.

 

Some of the "discount" vendors have requirements that you keep the data package on the line it's activated on for a certain period of time, Verizon itself does not.

 

Search it online, lots of info on it.



#12 Kurb

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:30 PM

The battery life use to be really good on the Nexus.  I think it's newer versions of Android are taxing the hardware so much that it just runs the battery down quicker.  

 

This was a couple of weeks after I bought the phone. This was pretty normal use, except for the fact that I wasn't around a ton of wifi.....

 

Screenshot_2012-01-21-19-11-531_zps9482d

 

Now I'm lucky to get 12-14 hours on a full charge with normal use....

Cant get my battery to charge now :(

Happened before and I got it worked out, not so lucky this afternoon :(



#13 Doc Holiday

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:28 PM

I'm thinking about getting a new phone soon, my battery seems to dying fast lately



#14 d-dave

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:26 PM

Great review! I'm strongly considering a Motorola for my next phone.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using CarolinaHuddle mobile app



#15 catfang

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 10:47 AM

Bump.  got the moto x yesterday.  so far I'm impressed.  Even got the Kit Kat update last night. Google pushed this one out fast.  Full screen (status and nav bar are overlaid on the wall paper)...camera action is very cool.  OK google now...I can even say "find my phone" and it will ring.  This feature alone will save me countless hours :)

 

 




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