Motorola RAZR MAXX review
When the Motorola RAZR launched late last year, it had everything we wanted from an Android smartphone. It still stands up well today - six months on - though it has been surpassed by the HTC One X and looks to be trumped by the imminent Samsung Galaxy S3. Just nipping in first, Motorola has launched this variant of its handset, the new RAZR MAXX.
The MAXX is essentially identical to the current RAZR in every respect, bar one. Motorola has upgraded the battery from a more-than-respectable 1,750mAh to a huge 3,300mAh. It's a whopping 88% bigger, and is simply the biggest battery we've seen in a smartphone (and more than double the size of the current iPhone's).
Its performance in our battery test matched up to our high expectations. For the test we run a H.264 video on a continuous loop with headphones plugged in and the screen at half brightness. The original RAZR lasted for just shy of ten hours, and the MAXX came in at nineteen hours and 23 minutes, roughly in line with the size of the larger battery.
It may have been what we expected, but it's a still a stunning result. With a full battery charge, a RAZR MAXX would keep you entertained for the entire length of the longest scheduled flight on earth - an epic eighteen hours and 50 minutes from Newark to Singapore. Rather than set off half-way around the world, we did some more real-world testing over the weekend. Leaving work with the phone fully-charged on a Friday afternoon, the MAXX lasted a whole weekend of browsing, gaming, talking and texting. The battery was pretty much flat when we arrived back on Monday morning, but it’s the first smartphone we've used that can last multiple days.
Now, most of us will still insist on charging it every night. But even then this is a phone that won't run flat from constant gaming, or when reception is poor and the handset is constantly searching for a signal.
There's really nothing else that compares to the MAXX in terms of battery size. Most current smartphones have batteries up to 1,800mAh in size (including the HTC One X). One notable exception is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3, which has a big 2,100mAh battery; though even that is dwarfed by the MAXX's, which is still 57% bigger. With both handsets using similar-sized OLED-based displays, we'd expect that differential to roughly show itself in our tests.
Screen brightness in endurance test
Nice to see a phone manufacturer designing for practicalities like battery life, durability, water resistance, even details like a scratch-proof surround to where the various bits plug in/out.
As to your battery endurace test, surely it should be conducted at a fixed absolute brightness level, rather than at the manufacturer's mid-point brightness? After all, we set our phone's screen brightness to what is suitable, without reference to where that point falls in each manufacturer's scheme. Mid-points could be very different between manufacturers, meaning that your endurance test result is as much an artefact of the manufacturer's mid-point as it is a product of the true battery life.
By dalerm on 24 May 2012
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