It looks like I will have to do a video on this phone after all. I admit I was skeptical. But the phone has actually managed to surprise me. Both good and bad surprises, I'm afraid. And so I post my travel notes here for those who are curious.
- I'm not sure what the deal is on this one. But I have the regular RAZR, and while it did experience the data drop issue, it was nowhere near as bad as with the MAXX. With the regular RAZR I could switch in and out of Airplane Mode and it would kick back on, but the MAXX seems to require a hard reboot for some reason. Annoying, but it only happened the one time.
- Phone calls MURDER the battery life on this phone. More details about the battery later, but I would estimate that a 1-hour phone call alone was responsible for nearly 30% of the battery loss. This is on par with how the Galaxy Nexus' battery behaves, but the original RAZR would have dropped maybe half that with the same phone call. It makes me wonder if they amplified the radio or something.
- Not the phone's fault, more Android, but it's really getting irritating trying to restore from Google only to find out that the majority of apps don't restore even though they were installed on a previous phone that was backed up. DroidForums is one such app. Also none of the Amazon apps reinstall themselves either. Pretty much any useful app, doesn't reinstall.
- I really was not impressed with the earpiece volume, but the same applied on the regular RAZR.
- The Alarm is a bit spotty. I had it set correctly, verified it was both the night before and the next morning, and it never did go off. It's sitting in an HD Dock so I can easily tell when the alarm goes off, it never did. It worked the next time I used it. Fortunately my internal body clock knows when it's time to wake up during the week - the alarm is just so I don't purposely lay in bed lazy for 20 minutes.
- Weight. No, it's not the Rezound, but the lightness of the RAZR was appealing to me, and I'm not a thin-phone kind of guy. But I like a phone to feel lighter, especially when making calls. I was in pain due to some pulled muscles and holding the phone up for extended periods was killing me more than it would have with the regular RAZR. Yes, it's that significant of a weight difference.
- First "Smoke" Test - I used the battery in a "mixed" moderation mode. So no heavy use, and a bunch of varied tasks and actions. This is listed below. The phone achieved approximately 27 hours of battery life in this mode, from a full charge, no discharge. Color me impressed.
- Screen brightness set to automatic
- Bluetooth enabled
- Full GPS w/Google Location enabled
- Two different weather widgets with constant updates
- Push corporate email
- One 20 minute phone call
- A little bit of web browsing
- A little bit of music streaming
- 700MB worth of Mobile Hotspot (I have unlimited)
- Three YouTube videos in HD mode
- Full 4G - NO WIFI AT ALL
- No task killing, no app killing, no process killing, no third party managers, nothing
- One tweet
- Second Test - Time to put this phone to the real test. This involved another "mixed" mode, but with less active use. So basically it involved everything above except for the Hotspot, the YouTube, the phone call and the tweet (used the Nexus to handle these tasks instead, so the MAXX stayed in the holster the whole time except for looking at corporate email). In this scenario - which emulates a phone that is left to its own vices and in the case of the standard RAZR would have still brought it to its knees - the phone was at 67% battery 14 hours later. If I do simple math that equals a battery life over 40 hours, and that's without WiFi, all mobile data and push. Again, color me impressed.
All told the MAXX's battery work was impressive. The only downer was just how much battery I lost with phone calling, compared to the regular RAZR where calls seemed to hardly faze it. I know it seems like a no-brainer being over 3000 mAh, but even the Bionic with extended battery could nowhere near touch what the MAXX can pull off under the same use cases. It seemed at times the Bionic's extended battery was what a standard battery should be.
- Third Test - Here's where the rubber meets the road. In addition to the Smoke Test bullets, here's what other stuff I did. Also, I took only the MAXX to work and left the Nexus at home. The MAXX was my only mobile device today. I needed to know just how good the phone is under stress - and I did stress it. With all of the First Test bullets PLUS the below bullets, I type this now with my phone at 7%, 16 and a half hours later, with Advanced Clock Widget estimating another 2 hours (unlikely). I would say 17-18 hours of battery life under an extremely heavy workload.
- 1 hour of 4G web browsing via both the built in browser and Opera Mobile (which is the only way I could get into an HTTPS site)
- 1 hour of phone use across 6 phone calls, 3 of which were in a low signal shielded stairway
- Downloaded 6 apps over 4G Market
- Reviewed 3 PDF documents via OfficeToGo
- Ordered stuff from AmazonFresh Mobile
- Reviewed traffic and navigation on Google Maps
- Performed banking tasks via Citibank Mobile
- Ordered stuff from Amazon MP3
- Responded to two work emails via Touchdown
- Reviewed voicemails via Google Voice
- Screen was set to max brightness and no timeout all day
- Received two text messages via Google Voice which went to the phone's Messaging app
- Reviewed weather conditions for 4 cities in the state