Razr Maxx HD vs. Galaxy s3

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR MAXX HD' started by SynysterBurns91, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. drew96dawg

    drew96dawg Senior Member

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    I think things with Motorola are going to change in the near future now that Google owns them. Google is great at giving people what they want, that is why they are one of the most successful corporations in the entire world. They have become what they are in a relatively short period of time, apple, another of the biggest corps in the world has a 20 year head start on Google.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Xparent Blue Tapatalk 2
     
  2. 06M6TorridGTO

    06M6TorridGTO Member

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    As promised, here is my review so far. I just started typing and it got extremely long. I am sorry about that but it just describes in detail my experience with the phone, not so much the features that it has like I have already outlined. I separated the main topics and summed it up at the end a little bit if you don't feel like reading through everything. So here goes: After my last week and a half with the Razr Maxx HD, I am actually missing my HTC Droid Incredible 2. I guess I got used to HTC over the years. I like their dialer, their keyboard, their gallery, calculator, calendar, etc. I could go on. I have been looking for so many replacement apps to fix these problems on the Maxx HD. I don't know if it is Motorola or just ICS but I hate some of what has been done. I'll state my review with the things I do like and then move on to those that are annoying me lol I know that the likes are much smaller than the dislikes but this review was really to point out the things I didn't like. I picked this phone because of the features mentioned in my earlier post (http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dr...razr-maxx-hd-vs-galaxy-s3-23.html#post2325582) and most of that has help up as promised. So more so, I wanted to touch on and describe what could be improved. I think this actually needs to be sent to Google!! lol

    Likes
    The biggest thing that I like with this phone is the battery obviously. I have been down around 30%-50% when getting in bed, depending on when that it. That compares to around 15% on a decent day with the DI2. But I often did plug it in randomly while at work or when I got home. It just depends on how much I used the phone that day but it was never at 50% with just some use. I also like that the SD card is removable without taking off a battery cover. It limits the possibility of loosening the plastic and/or breaking the cover. However, I don't really like that it cuts off my phone signal when doing so because the SIM card has to come out. But on the DI2, removing the battery cover for more than a minute dropped the signal also since that acted as the antenna. But at least then, I could just replace the cover quickly and be fine. I do love the quality of the display. The HD screen is amazing! Pictures of the fall colors looked awesome, however, I was taken back when I realized they didn't look nearly as good on the computer. But this is pretty much obvious as a computer or TV screen wont have nearly as many pixels per inch due to its size.

    Dislikes
    And here comes the bad. I'm just having a tough time wrapping my head around the fact that I never once paid for an app or replaced any of the stock apps on my old phone (except I used Handcent SMS) yet on this one, I am not pleased with what came on the phone and am constantly looking for alternatives.

    Dialer
    First and foremost, the dialer, in my opinion, is horrible compared to what I had with HTC. I would change it to a different dialer but the fact that I wouldn't be able to dial 911 if I ever need to is pretty messed up. What happened to a phone still being a phone?! I shouldn't have to click more than once to initiate a call (without using widgets that is). The problem I am having with the dialer is that I cant just clicker on dialer and then be able to see my recent calls. I used to click on phone (that's what it was on my DI2 with Sense), then see two or three recent calls above the keypad. If I started scrolling that list, the dialpad would drop down. I would see all recent calls (from at least the last week or more), then my favorites, then the phone book. I could type a name or number in the dialpad and all matches would show up. Not on this phone. This one shows me only one match and gives me an option to show all of them which is just one more click. With the DI2, as soon as I pulled up the dialer, all I had to do was click on the recent call right above the list (say two calls ago), or type first and then click on it, or scroll a little bit to find the name I wanted and then click. As soon as I clicked on the name in the dialer, the call was initiated. If I wanted to call the most recent call, incoming or outgoing, all I had to do was click the green call button, and it starts calling. On the Maxx HD, if I hit the green call button, I get the most recent dialed number put in the input box. Then click it again to call. But what if I want to call back the last person that I talked to, the one who called me. Then I have to go to recent calls. In my opinion, this is a big step back. Say that last cal was a missed call. If I hit to green button to call them right back, I get instead the last number I dialed. I have to go to recent to dial the missed call. I do realize that there is a green call button next to the contact on the recent calls list. That helps but I have already had to make one extra click to get to the recent calls. Another thing about recent calls is that it does not show only the most recent call from a person. Instead it shows multiple calls from a person. For example, say I call my girlfriend, then call a friend (friend1), then my girlfriend again, then a different friend (friend2), then my girlfriend calls me. On the HTC, my recent calls are in this order: girlfriend, friend2, friend1. On the Maxx HD, I get girlfriend, friend2, girlfriend, friend1, girlfriend. Pretty annoying. At least if I had multiple calls with my girlfriend between calls, I would get just one listed showing multiple calls (green or blue symbols on that entry). If I wanted all of my calls shown on the HTC, I just had to click call history, but I never needed to see that. That would show everything, including back to back calls from the same person. I'd say that The Maxx HD recent calls list is a cross between the HTC's main dialer screen and the call history but I never really used call history anyway. Ok so those are just my gripes about them and I just wanted to explain the nitty-gritty differences that I have experienced. I didn't think it would be that long lol

    Keyboard
    On to more things I dislike. The keyboard is good for accuracy but lacks the ability to long press a letter to get a certain symbol. I don't wanna have to click a button to bring up symbols, then click that symbol, and then have to click the button to go back to letters. I also noticed that there are no arrow keys. This was included on my DI2 but not my Eris. When using my Eris after having the DI2 for so long, I realized how much I would miss them. The included Swipe does have the symbols behind it but I'm not a fan of swipe and don't want to have that being used when I accidentally drag my finger over the screen and it causes a swipe. The dialer I am trying out (SwiftKey3) fixes the symbols without swipe, and makes it super easy to add question and exclamation marks by just clicking and swiping left or right on a certain key (not even holding it). But SwiftKey3 its just not as accurate as the stock one. As a test, I tried out a sample long text (full size) with my DI2 and with my Maxx HD on various keyboards at a pretty quick rate of typing speed. The Maxx HD stock keyboard came out decent with only a couple words wrong. SwiftKey3 and some others that I tried came out worse but I did not use any symbols since I already knew that would slow me down on the stock one so I didn't factor it in. Then I did my DI2. Same message, same speed (if not faster) and I got only one incorrect letter, a "u" instead of an "o" in the word tomorrow. But it still put the word in, "tomorruw", even if it was the wrong word. Everything else was dead on and I typed it just as fast. To me, that's a clear difference. Now I can say I had been typing on that phone for two years but I'm sure it wont get that much better on the Maxx HD. Now if only I could find that same HTC keyboard on the market! I also wish I could import my personal dictionary from my DI2 but I haven't figured out how if it is in fact possible. I think it would depend on the keyboard I use anyway.

    Gallery
    Then there is the gallery. My main gripe with it is that there is no option of showing or hiding certain albums. I know that I can add them to a certain folder to hide them (.noalbum or something like that which was mentioned on here before) but I don't want to have to rearrange my stuff to hide them. Plus I have backups on the SD card and if there is a backup of, say, a website in my case, then the image files on there are in my gallery when i don't want them to be there. I'd have to move them from where they are and into that certain folder to get them off my gallery. My HTC had the ability to hide certain albums so all of my website image folders were hidden. I can't even figure out what order that the gallery places albums in. I would like it to be alphabetical like the HTC. I think it is most recently modified but I'm not sure. Yes, I know I can get another app for it but again, more customizing required than necessary on previous phone, which seemed to be the most user friendly right out of the box. Another gripe about the gallery is that it takes a good 5 plus minutes to show my albums after I unplug it from the computer. For instance, I want to transfer a picture to my phone's SD card by just plugging it in to the computer. I plug it in and do that. Once I unplug it (after taking it off mass storage mode), it takes forever to get the gallery to show my albums. I have also noticed that all of my ringtones for each person and my settings for my alarms (since I use phone ringtones of music in a playlist) are all changed back to a default ringtone that the phone initially had. It always switched back to my own settings once my SD card was back in the phone or the computer was no longer connected with my HTC. It's really annoying because I constantly transfer pics onto the card without pulling the card out of the phone. I believe it was doing the same thing when pulling the card out too. One more thing about the gallery is that the list of sharing options is long and I won't use most of them. I understand putting them there but at least show our most used ones first or let us customize the list. I only use it for texting and Hancent SMS shows up almost at the bottom of the list. At least on the DI2, it was still shown without having to scroll (when in portait mode but had to scroll a slight bit if in landscape mode).

    SmartActions/Volumes - not as much of a dislike, but not as impressed as I thought I would be
    SmartActions is nice but there really is a limited amount that can be done with it. I can change my ringer volume, but not my notification volume. I have to have WiFi on to use location instead of giving me the option to use GPS instead. I have installed Tasker and love it, except there are a couple specific things not allowed by Google like turning on and off the GPS, which SmartActions can do. Apparently, that requires user input so third party apps are not allowed to control it. A combination of the two is good. I will be using Tasker from now on with whatever phone I have but SmartActions is nice for a couple things that Tasker cannot do. Regarding volumes, there is no way to link my ringer and notification volumes together so that when I use the physical volume rocker, it changes both. Not with ICS!! Whose brainy idea was it to eliminate that lol this was the first reason that I got Tasker. With SmartActions, you could only change ringer volume, not notification or media volumes, and since they cannot be linked, I needed that changed too. Fortunately, Tasker does just about everything and I can program it to change all volumes, including notification, alarm, media, etc.

    Widgets
    Another thing is that the HTC had some really nice widgets that I loved and got used to. I liked the people widget, although the favorites widget on this phone is okay. The HTC people widget allowed me to set what I wanted to do with each contact when I clicked on them so I would set them all to call when I clicked on it. I could actually click on their name and it would bring up the contact info. On the favorites widget that I found on the Maxx HD, when I click on the contact, I get a brief summary with some contact info and phone numbers. I can then click call or go to the contact info, or text, etc. I would prefer to just make one click instead of two but that seems to be the theme with this phone so far!! I guess most people don't spend enough time on their phones already so we now should make two clicks for every one that we used to. Still on widgets, I miss the calculator widget that I had with HTC. A great widget and used frequently. I almost never used the calculator app. No calculator widget on this phone. I know that I can download one but none of them are as nice as the HTC one. The calculator on this phone also doesn't seem as nice as the HTC. The other thing I miss is the center homepage but I can deal with that. I knew it going into this that there was that difference with the S3 but I'm not really too picky about it. I kinda like the settings screen to the left though. I used to have all of my settings as widgets on the screen immediately left of the home screen on my HTC so this is similar except that I can't customize it my way. I can't even access an easy sync button and there is no widget for that so I had to download one. Another thing Motorola has missed. And a music widget? Come on now. You can do better than what you gave us. The HTC one was really nice. I'm jsut gonna stop and say that I just liked all of the widgets that HTC provided.

    Summary
    So in summary, I don't like that the dialer requires two or three clicks for every one click on my DI2. The keyboard is accurate but does not have symbols without clicking the symbol button (instead of a long press on the letters). It also does not have arrow keys. The gallery lacks the ability to show/hide certain albums. It is not organized alphabetically. The share list is long, requires scrolling to get to the items that I use most, and cannot be customized. Also, the gallery seems to take a long time (5+ minutes) to load albums after the SD card is put in the phone (or disconnected form the computer). SmartActions is good, works fairly well, but is limited in what it can do, leaving out common everyday items that I would use. Tasker comes in here to help despite the cost. SmartActions does have a couple things that it can do that Tasker cannot due to OS limitations, such as turning on and off GPS dues to required user input. A combination of SmartActions and Tasker is ideal. Ringer and Notification volumes cannot be linked together for use with the physical volume rocker. That rocker only controls ringer so with not link, notification volume cannot be changed without settings or app/widget control. Widgets are not a helpful or plentiful as on my HTC devices. Calculator is okay but not as good looking as on my HTC. Also requires a second screen to show advanced options instead of one screen with basic and advanced when in landscape mode on the HTC. No stock calculator widget either. Center homepage would be nice instead of leftmost with settings as the only thing to the left but this is not a big deal. Allowing us to place the home page anywhere, including center, would be even better.

    Comparison to S3
    Ok so those are my main gripes. I know I typed a lot but maybe it will help others to know about the phone and how it is used (versus just the features) before they actually get it. I was going to go back to Best Buy yesterday or today and get the Galaxy S3. But first I stopped into the Verizon store to use the S3 and see how each of those gripes compared. To my surprise, other that Touchwiz, the phone is the same!! Same dialer which annoyed me. Same keyboard except that it had swipe built in which I did not like. I could do that on the Maxx HD and at least have symbols. Gallery was different but still could not let me show or hide certain albums. It also had the same list of sharing options that could not be customized. That's not to say there isn't some way to get into the settings of the OS and try to change it but I'm not sure how possible that is without rooting. The calculator on the S3 is actually worse! It has the same look to it at first but there is no option to bring up other functions like square, square root, pi, factorial, etc. On the Maxx HD, you could just swipe to the left and it would bring up the advanced panel. On the DI2, you just rotate the phone to landscape mode and they would all be there in one view. Still the best stock calculator out of these in my opinion. There were some different widgets on the S3 due to Touchwiz I'm guessing as some useful but overall, pretty similar. Nothing like the HTC though. Also, the volumes could not be linked on the S3 either but i was already pretty sure that was an ICS issue. So all in all, it turns out most of my gripes are due to Ice Cream Sandwich and not just Motorola or the Maxx HD. Switching to an S3 wont change anything that I don't care for on the Maxx HD.

    My Options
    My 14 day period is up today so I have to make a decision. I am really torn right now between keeping the Maxx HD (and finding the right apps to fix get it the way I like it) and taking it back to get something else. That something else would most likely be another HTC with Gingerbread, probably another DI2. I did find the DI2 in red for free with two year activation so that is a thought. I could also purchase a used one from someone for around $100 and have no 2 year contract. However, I am not too concerned with a contract because I will definitely have a cell phone over the next two years and I am satisfied with Verizon and my unlimited (or Share Everything if we go to that). So I would probably get a new one for free with the contract. The problem with this is that the DI2 is only a 3G phone and only has 1.1 GB of internal memory. I have been running into memory problems and constantly deleting texts and apps to free up memory for more. I also did not get great battery usage from that phone. It worked but I would often leave it plugged in at work (which is not an issue) but that would only get my through part of the evening. I talk a lot with my girlfriend on the phone so the battery does drop pretty quick. Having an extra battery on hand to pop in isn't easy because the phone takes forever to get out of the Otterbox and then takes a good 5 plus minutes to turn on. The extended battery and cover is a thought but I then cant use it with my Otterbox so that's a no-go. These three limitations are pretty important. i love the Maxx HD and everything about it, except the software. The Gingerbread OS on the DI2 is great but the phone has physical limitations. I think it is looking like I should start considering rooting my Maxx HD to Gingerbread (if possible) to get the best of both worlds. But I've never done that and am not to sure what I could screw up so easily. I am thinking that since today is the end of my 14 day period that I will just hold onto the contract upgrade. But with Best Buy, I have 30 days to take the phone back. I could in fact get a different phone then I believe with the contract extension. I am going to Best Buy to inquire about that later.

    Any thoughts about what I should do? Should I just stick with it and find the proper apps to fix things? Or should I just go back to the older technology and limitations that I had with the DI2 just to get Gingerbread? Or should I bite the bullet and learn how to root so that I can put Gingerbread on the Maxx HD? Maybe wait and see if Jelly Bean will fix some of these things, although I highly doubt it. Or should I just go back to Best buy today, return the phone and contract, and wait a little bit, but that would require me finding a cheap phone or another DI2 until then? I hate making decisions!!
     
  3. SynysterBurns91

    SynysterBurns91 Member

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    It sounds like you have issues with the latest versions of android (software), not the hardware. Since you love the Maxx HD, I'd stick with that, and I'd recommend looking for new apps that you like. There are loads out there. To me, as long as long as you like what you're stuck with on a phone, everything else is secondary due to the fact that it's changeable. The Maxx HD is an amazing phone, and if it wasn't for the GS3, I would've definitely gotten that. (I didn't need that much battery life, and there are things about the GS 3 I couldn't see myself passing up).
     
  4. 06M6TorridGTO

    06M6TorridGTO Member

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    Yeah see thats my thought. The hardware cannot be changed once I pass today (14 day policy for the contract with Verizon). I check with Best Buy and they said their 29 day policy is that the phone can be returned but there is only one exchange allowed so if you change the phone, then you are stuck with that one. Before the 14 days, you can just return it though and get your contract reversed. So the hardware cannot really be changed after this 29 day period (14 if I want to experiment) but the software can of course always be changed. I can wait for Jelly Bean and if that doesn't work out for me and I cant find anything I like, then it looks like I still always have the option to root the phone. I'm not really sure how much that entails but I see there is a good bit of support for it on these and other forums. I am a computer programming graduate too so I do have plenty of programming knowledge and I know the ins and outs of computer operating systems. I'm sure that would help me in some way. I guess if I love the hardware, then stick with it and see what I can do about the software, first with apps, and then if necessary by rooting the phone? Also, what are the basics of rooting? Voids my 1 year warranty? No support at Verizon? Support with my contract? Is it even legal? lol
     
  5. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    Try go dialer ex... free and it sounds very similar to what you had. Also try QuickPic for gallery... also free and is very popular. Also, use the stock Swype keyboard. It had the arrow keys and hard press for symbols. You don't have to use it as Swype if you prefer the traditional type one key at a time. These may solve your problems for you.

    I am speculating here, but I wonder if Motorola kept their stock apps very simplified because they felt that people would prefer to choose an alternative instead.
     
  6. 06M6TorridGTO

    06M6TorridGTO Member

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    I thought about using the stock swype but I'm afraid I might type too fast and happen to skim over keys causing it to swype. I haven't tried it yet so I dont know but I really should. I have decided that i am going to at least keep it for right now. If absolutely necessary in the next two weeks that I want a different phone, I will have the option to get it but I wont be able to change after that. But I am thinking that this is the phone I want. At least it has the hardware that I want and that cannot be changed (except for that one-time exchange) but the OS can be changed so I will just stick with it for now and try other apps over the next two weeks.
     
  7. JiveRooster

    JiveRooster New Member

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    I have a Droid X and love the phone. But i am looking to upgrade. I tried out the Maxx HD and the GS3 at a verizon store. Tee wife wants the the GS3. I really like the Motorolas. But for those that have the GS3. How often do you use the Feature where you tap to transfer pictures and music? Is it really worth it. That is my only question before making my decision
     
  8. SynysterBurns91

    SynysterBurns91 Member

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    My girlfriend and I use that feature all the time :) it's great for sharing playlists of whatever we're interested in...pictures and whatnot too :)
     
  9. JiveRooster

    JiveRooster New Member

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    Thanks. My wife takes lots of pictures of our kid and likes to steal the ones i take from my phone. It seems like that would definitely make it easier for her to take. Better than texting her the pictures. Plus it sounds like it has a great camera.
     
  10. joshxdroid

    joshxdroid Senior Member

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    The Razr hd has that feature too I believe

    Sent from my XT912 running Scalpel CM10 jelly bean
     
  11. joshxdroid

    joshxdroid Senior Member

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    Yep, just googled it. The m, hd, and maxx hd all have nfc (near field communication)

    Sent from my XT912 running Scalpel CM10 jelly bean
     
  12. SynysterBurns91

    SynysterBurns91 Member

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    From what I experienced, the GS3 has the second best camera out there. Second to the iPhone 5, the one feature about it I liked (LOL). I've taken hundreds of pictures in the last month alone. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the pictures this takes are better than real life :) haha.

    I had the MAXX HD and GS3 for a week each, and decided on the GS3. Reception was pretty equal for me (and I live way outside of town), and for me, the only plus was the battery. The GS3 is just an amazing phone :) Though, the MAXX HD is also a fantastic phone.
     
  13. JiveRooster

    JiveRooster New Member

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    Oh ok. Thanks. Just made the decision a little harder. LOL
     
  14. joshxdroid

    joshxdroid Senior Member

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    Wasn't trying to Make it harder, just wanted you to be informed. They are both great phones. So it's a win win for you. I happen to prefer the Razr hd myself. But that's just personal preference. I am a Razr fanatic, my original Razr has been the best devise. Motorola has me for life, or until I get a bad devise from them lol

    Sent from my XT912 running Scalpel CM10 jelly bean
     
  15. Raw Dodge

    Raw Dodge Member

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    My brother and son now have s3s, we use the feature quite a bit, it's especially handy for large videos over 100mb that are way too big to email and its much faster than using drop box..


    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
     
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