Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx, on sale from Verizon Wireless for $299.99 with a two-year contract, is the first smartphone that qualifies as a power mobile data user's best friend because it has the best battery life on an Android smartphone I've ever tested.
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone offers all the features of its Droid Razr predecessor. That includes the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) Advanced screen, which is encased in kevlar fiber and Corning Gorilla Glass to withstand drops and ward off scratches.
The handset is also, like the Razr, powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and supported by 1GB of RAM for a speedy user experience when accessing applications.
Since I reviewed the Razr in November, I'm not going to focus on all of those features for the Razr Maxx because it would be overkill. I will confirm that the call quality matches that of the Razr. So does the speed. As with the Razr, Ookla's Speedtest of the Maxx showed me anywhere from 10M bps to 16M bps of download speeds, and 6M bps to 9M bps upload speeds.
What I will discuss in detail is this device's battery life, which is roughly twice that of the original Razr. The Droid Razr has a 1,780mAh battery, which was decent for a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) smartphone.
The 4G LTE Razr Maxx handset packs a 3,300mAh power supply. Verizon said that means users will enjoy some 21 hours of talk time on 16.5 hours of standby time. We'll see about that, I thought.
I did two tests with this phone, which you can see in my hands-on here, after going through the basic features for myself last Friday.
For the first test, I powered the phone up and used it all day Saturday-making calls, which were of solid sound quality; sending text messages and playing several games of Angry Birds.
I downloaded two dozen applications and watched a dozen YouTube videos of various lengths. I even watched a movie on Netflix from the phone. (Okay, I just let the movie play as I'm not ready to spend over an hour watching something on a screen this size.)
I also played around with one of Motorola's core new applications, Smart Actions. This application let me define rules for whether the phone should silence the ringer while I'm at work, and turn it on when I'm at home, tweak the Bluetooth settings, and start playing music when headphones are plugged in.
I still had plenty of juice at the end of the day-at least a third. I recharged the phone overnight and turned it on Sunday morning to begin my second test for standby battery longevity.
As I write this, around 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, the Maxx is still showing three-quarters of battery life. I haven't done a thing with it other than tap the power button to check battery life.
Here's the thing that really wowed me about this phone beyond the battery life. With a battery pack of this power, I was expecting a chunky little brick of a phone. Instead, the phone is a remarkable 8.99 mm, or 0.35 inches, thin.
Sure that's thicker than the 7.1 mm offered by its Razr brethren, but it's around the thinness of the Samsung Galaxy S II handsets.
It's a marvel that Motorola packed a battery of that power into a phone this thin, and frankly I'm not sure why anyone would buy another 4G LTE smartphone, such as the battery-chomping HTC ThunderBolt or Samsung Droid Charge from Verizon.
You might ask yourself whether you should buy the Razr or the Razr Maxx. First, go to a local Verizon store or Best Buy and hold both in your hand.
Second, the answer in my mind is simple. If thin and light is your top priority, the Razr is the right phone for you. If battery power sits atop your list of smartphone features, the Razr Maxx is your best bet.
Moreover, both cost $299.99, so to me, buying the phone with the best power source is the obvious choice: to the Maxx, totally, and for sure.