Razr Maxx vs. Galaxy Nexus: GPS and outdoor visibility

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR' started by HankB, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. HankB
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    HankB New Member

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    I'm eligible to upgrade from my Droid X and am presently considering both the Razr Maxx and Galaxy Nexus. I've found a bunch of other threads and have perused those but I have seen no comments about either of these subjects, both of which relate to issues with my Droid X.

    When taking pictures out of doors in bright light, the screen on my Droid X is all but invisible. Actually it's not just when taking pictures, but those get recorded and taunt me forever with "can't you frame a decent picture!" Is visibility in bright ambient light different for either of these (and will I find it better than the Droid X?)

    Both my wife and I have Droid Xs and we both have difficulty with the GPS. I find that when I go to google navigation the phone will literally sit there forever "waiting for location." (OK, I haven't waited forever, but I have waited for ten or fifteen minutes.) OTOH my wife's phone doesn't have this problem. Instead hers seems incapable of recording a track and proper distance when running and using Cardio Trainer. (Mine does this fine.) I suppose we're both due for a factory reset. :( Is there any difference in GPS performence between these two phones?

    Are there any phones on the horizon that are likely to be significantly different beyond what these offer?

    I'm otherwise conflicted because I like the idea that the Google Nexus is going to be more modifiable and will likely be more up to date WRT official upgrades. I'm not thrilled that after 18 months of owning the DX I'm not going to see ICS from Moto/VZ. (And the locked boot loader makes it more difficult for third parties to provide this.) That steers me toward the GNex. OTOH, the better radio, call quality and HUGE battery make the Maxx attractive. No clear winner for me but scren visibility and GPS performance could sway me.

    thanks,
    hank
  2. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I can't comment on GPS as I haven't tested, but the Maxx is more visible outside. The Gnex screen is "better" (much nicer to look at), but it's dimmer. The Maxx is easier to see outside - contrasts are stronger.

    Historically I've had good GPS with Moto, but like I said, haven't tested that on the Gnex or Maxx currently.
  3. Zandar
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    Zandar New Member

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    I can't speak for the Galaxy Nexus (though I'm sure someone will), but the GPS on my RAZR has been awesome. GPS on my OG Droid was OK, but could take a while to get a lock. GPS on my Streak 7 sucked (10 minute locks), and on my Samsung Galaxy Tab was OK (quick to a couple of minutes); I have some basis for comparison, here. The RAZR gets a fast, very accurate lock just about every time. I never turn the GPS antenna off, FYI; I tried it for a bit, but found it didn't save any battery and it would take some time to get a lock when it would turn on "on demand."

    As for the screen, they'll be nearly identical. Same exact screen tech (sAMOLED pen-tile matrix), but the GNex is slightly more pixel dense. Anyone who says the screens are appreciably different is either completely biased or viewing static text from 2" away. I've heard the RAZR is a little brighter then the GNex, but I kind of doubt that.

    The updates and hackability are light years better on the GNex. If you will be sore for missing out on the latest OS or if you feel the need to ROM your device every couple of weeks, get the GNex. The RAZR will never come close to the dev support and ROM options. I used to ROM my OG Droid a bunch, but I have yet to even root my RAZR (haven't felt the need). The pros of the RAZR Maxx are battery life (without an extra battery, of course), form (far better looking than the GNex), splash proof, and radios. Pick your poison.
  4. LoneWolfArcher
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    LoneWolfArcher Well-Known Member

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    I can't see any screen in bright sunlight. I hate trying to use these things in bright sunlight.
  5. KGreis
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    KGreis New Member

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    I hate using my phone outside! Since i keep my screen at 0% i cant see anything :(

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
  6. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    I had a Droid X for 8 months, and it never had any problems with GPS. Like all Motorola phones I've had, reception (calls, data, GPS) were all rock solid. The screen was virtually impossible to see outside though.

    Right now, I have both the Galaxy Nexus and the RAZR MAXX.

    GPS: The MAXX gets a signal much faster with more satellite locks and maintains it far better than the Nexus. The Nexus does fine, but the MAXX does a better job. This holds true for all of the radios in the MAXX. The Nexus has a lot of reception issues (I've been through four of them, all with the same reception problems). I've not had any with the MAXX.

    Screen visibility outdoors: jntdroid is spot on. The Nexus has a better screen when you're inside, but outside, the MAXX is much more visible. Don't expect anything spectacular though as the technology used in all smartphone screens is the limiting factor here.

    For me, the MAXX is a much better phone on the whole. There are plenty of things the Nexus has over the MAXX, but the MAXX has even more on the Nexus in my opinion. Unlocked bootloaders and custom roms are things that I greatly enjoy, but if I have a lot of problems with the phone working as a phone due to poor radios and battery life, none of that really matters for me. Plus, I'm finding that I have less and less time to mess around with everything these days. Reception (for calls, data, and GPS) and battery life are the most important things to me now, and the MAXX blows the Nexus out of the water on both.
  7. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    The Razr / Razr Maxx is definitely brighter - I believe, if I remember right, it has something to do with the "plus" in Super AMOLED Plus. That said, it's not near as nice looking. (I could be wrong about that "plus" thing)

    But honestly, I think part of the Nexus' "problem" is the auto brightness really seems to favor a dim setting. It can be turned much brighter to make it pretty visible outside.

    If outdoor visibility is really important to you...

    *turns to run away as he says this*

    ... you should take a look at the Bionic. It (and the D3, DX2) has a screen that is incredibly visible outside.
  8. mattman5000
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    mattman5000 Member

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    I can't comment on the Nexus, but I've had the maxx for two weeks. So far GPS performance has been excellent. I've used it both for navigation while driving and for recording bike rides with Endomondo (app similar to Cardio Trainer). Finds location quickly every time. The big battery on the maxx is nice for using GPS on long bike rides. I used to have a Droid X. On the X the battery would be almost dead after a three hour ride using GPS and playing music. With the maxx, I've still got at least 50% left.
  9. RedTarget
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    RedTarget New Member

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    I have a OG Razr and a Gnex. For me it's pretty easy, as the Razr seems to be a better all around device. Like others have mentioned, it locks onto a GPS signal faster and has been much better to see outdoors. Also as others have mentioned the Gnex just seems to have a lower brightness level than most devices, so if you manually set your screen brightness this shouldn't be much of a factor.

    The standard gingerbread build currently out for the Razr is pretty smooth and honestly one of the better Stock OS's I've used. Though with a little digging you can get ICS on it pretty easily and so far has been pretty rock solid as well.

    As far as what's on the horizon? There are devices coming, though it's up to you if the wait is worth it. Both of these are good quality and have so much information available as to what they can and can't do that you really can't compare them to anything that isn't out yet. The next wave of phones could be full of bugs or be the next best thing... it's a gamble as to what could happen.

    My vote goes to the Maxx as out of the box it is one heck of a device! But if you like tinkering more and having more rom and kernel options, then the Gnex would be the way to go... just make sure you get some extra batteries!
  10. MysticalDreams
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    MysticalDreams Member

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    I can't really comment on the differences between the Maxx and the Gnex since I have not really even looked at the gnex for more than 30 seconds.

    I haven't had any problems with the GPS on the Maxx. I did notice on the DX that when I was using google navigation it too awhile to calculate my position but when I used CoPilot or Sygic Navigation it would lock onto my location faster.
  11. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator

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    That's because Google Navigation has to send, receive, and download information online from the Google servers in order to pull up the map after triangulating your position. CoPilot and Sygic Navigation store everything directly on the device, so both of those apps can pull up the required information quicker. A similar delay would be seen on pretty much any device (although LTE will definitely cut it way down).
  12. DJTaT2
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    DJTaT2 New Member

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    you can always get the anti-glare screen protector I've had it on my nexus since day 1 without any issues

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DroidForums
  13. Sydman
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    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    I have the MAXX with the Steinheil Ultra Fine screen protector, this one is anti-glare and anti-finger print. I keep my brightness down at 11% and have a Beautiful Widget Toggle for screen brightness that will up it to 100% with one push. So when I go outside I hit that, I don't use auto-dim on any phones. So with it at 100 it is "fairly" readable for the most part. Still not ideal but manageable, the sun is bright not much to be done about it.

    As far as the GPS on the MAXX, if you always keep it enabled it locks on pretty quick. I don't do that, I again have a Beautiful Widget Toggle that takes me to the GPS menu and turn it on from there. So when you do that it can take a few seconds to lock, but once it does you are good.

    I am sitting in my office spinning my phone around and the whole map is moving right along with me. Works great.
  14. wrich73
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    wrich73 New Member

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    New to forums :happy3: just got a Razr Maxx after having a Nexus for two weeks. I can say with complete unbiased honesty based on my real world use that, with the exception of the screen, the Nexus is absolute junk compared to the Maxx. To answer your question, the GPS would take up to 45 seconds to get a lock, regardless of which kernel or radio I was using, and if you were within pi$$ing distance of a building, forget about it.
  15. jroc
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    jroc Well-Known Member

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    I woulda never guessed the RAZR screen would be better outside since they're both Amoled. I know my RAZR is nice outside. I never really tested it on the G Nex I had. I do know my RAZR did seem brighter and had less blue tint than my G Nex. I stopped using auto brightness when I had my Droid X1 in 2010. So I compared both the RAZR and G Nex on max brightness.

    Maybe one day I can get the Maxx and participate in battery related topics...
  16. HankB
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    HankB New Member

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    Many thank for all of the informative replies! That's a huge help.

    best,
    hank
  17. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Now you know you have to report back what your final choice is. :)

    sent from my phone
  18. imconfused
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    imconfused New Member

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    exactly what i needed

    This post was EXACTLY what i needed to see. I'm in the exact same predicament (DroidX ready for upgrade) and was stuck between the MAXX & GNex. Thanks for all of the opinions on here I've finally made up my mind to go with the MAXX :biggrin:!! I wanted to wait until the new models come out in a few months but my battery is beat to hell (no more than 45 minutes on a charge :icon_evil:) thanks to all the streaming I do and overcharging as a result. I have to keep my juice pack on hand at all times in case of emergency, which really blows. I had already pretty much decided on the MAXX for battery life reasons obviously, but I can't in good conscience buy a new phone without looking at what other wonderful goodies are on the market ATM.

    My buddy has the RAZR and that seems to work pretty awesome, but I haven't had much playtime with it. Motorola's antennas have done me good in the past with this phone so the only things I was struggling with was the screen viewability and responsivness between processors which doesn't seem to be a large difference at all when looking at the battery length of the MAXX. I wish Moto would fix up their crappy MOTOBLUR UI though. I was hoping to go with an HTC this go around as I love Sense UI, but the Galaxy Nexus can't touch the battery life to make it worth it for me.

    Anyone have any good references for rooting my soon to be new toy? I haven't done much with my X because I was always worried about bricking it with Motorola's bootloader lockdown, but I'd like to dable just for experience unless it's advised against?

    Anyways, thanks for the help guys! After a night of countless video comparissons and spec sheets, i've come to the conclusion that the MAXX is right for me to replace my dying DroidX.
  19. Yo_Mama
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    Yo_Mama New Member

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    You may have just sold me upgrading from Thunderbolt to the maxx now that 1YR contract is expired. I was previously considering the Nexus but I need decent battery life in a small package. The TB is difficult at best to see outside, battery is almost dead after a 3 hour ride and GPS takes a minute or so to lock after it's switched on and starting Endomondo. Curious to know which case is good for riding placed in a handlebar mount. Currently Using Sedio rugged case rubber banded into the mount but thinking about Otterbox. Thanxx for the info!
  20. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    You will not be disappointed with the Maxx. I just heard another thumbs down for the Gnex. Friend got hers about a month ago after having the og Droid. She was in-love with it and showing off all the great things on her new Gnex when she first got it. Yesterday she was telling me how she hates it, the worst phone she's ever had, can't keep a phone call, gets dropped signal all the time, camera was horrible and now no longer works and has spent the last week arguing w Verizon to let her get a different phone. I told her to just keep getting refurbished Gnex-es until she gets one that works the way it is supposed to or until they give up and let her get a different phone. And to think I almost got a Gnex myself. Love my Maxx!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using DroidForums
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