The Droid RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola offers an enormous amount of internal memory and out-sized battery life wrapped up in a sleek, attractive case and using Verizon Wireless's ultra-fast 4G LTE network.
The MAXX HD's 5.19" by 2.67" x 0.36" case features a water-repellent nano-coating, though I'm not inclined to splash water on it for testing purposes. Its 4.7” Super AMOLED HD display makes videos look spectacularly vibrant, including HBOGO movies and YouTube clips.
Apps run smoothly and quickly on the MAXX HD's 1.5 GHz dual–core processor with 1 GB of LP DDR2 RAM. Its 5.54 oz weight keeps it in line with other phones in its class.
Games like Words With Friends and Angry Birds play cleanly and look beautiful. The responsive touchscreen has just the right amount of sensitivity. The phone's onscreen keyboard offers dual-purpose keys for numbers on the top row of letters, but not all multi-purpose keys like many other phones.
I had no trouble setting up my Gmail account and used a free app for setting up my Hotmail one. Text in messages and online articles looks crisp and clear.
You can add a 32 GB microSD card to the MAXX HD if you want, but who needs an SD card when you've got 32 GB of internal memory? Even with the standard Verizon software and the full suite of Google apps, you've still got 30 GB of space left. I still had 25 GB remaining after installing over a dozen apps, including some hefty ones.
The phone's 8 MP camera with launch from lock screen takes excellent photos, and the 1080p HD camcorder takes great videos. It also offers a 1.3 MP front-facing camera with 720p HD video recording.
I recommend using Dropbox to automatically sync pictures and videos with your computer without having to email them to yourself. With the MAXX HD, you can also share files such as photos and videos with compatible devices using Android Beam.
The MAXX HD runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, upgradeable to 4.1 (Jelly Bean). It comes with Quick Office software for creating and editing documents and spreadsheets.
Google's Voice Commands work swimmingly well on the MAXX HD with exceptional voice recognition. Many people who make frequent road trips quickly become enamored of Voice Commands, allowing them to text, email or call someone without any typing. You don't have to be a road warrior to love voice commands, though.
Anytime your hands are unavailable, but you want to use your phone, the Voice Commands app can help. Say you're in the kitchen making a recipe, you have flour on your hands and you need to know what you can substitute for buttermilk. Easily have your phone conduct a Web search without typing on the keypad. In addition to the actual Voice Commands app, the keyboard almost always offers a microphone key so you can switch to speaking rather than typing.
The phone also includes the Smart Actions app for extending battery life and automating every day tasks. The app lets you create your own custom task or choose a template, such as playing your favorite playlist during your workout. Other examples include sending a text message to someone at a certain time automatically or conserving battery life by shutting down some services at specific times, like overnight.
Speaking of battery life, I've never seen the MAXX HD's equal. I had the demo phone for three days before I charged it, and it still wasn't completely dead when I plugged it in. Its standby time is outstanding, even with apps running in the background, and it takes quite a bit of game playing and video watching to drain the battery.
Although no mobile service can promise to cover absolutely every portion of the U.S., there aren't many places you can hide from Verizon's reliable signal. They even cover most of the country with their speedy 4G LTE service now. The MAXX HD is also global ready, though you'll want to make sure to sign up for an international plan before traveling outside the U.S. to avoid an unexpectedly hefty bill.
The MAXX HD sells for $249.99 with a two-year agreement, and Verizon's plans start at around $60 to $70 per month for one device with a minimal data plan and unlimited texts and voice calls.
The MAXX HD is an excellent choice in a high-end phone, particular if battery life is an important factor.