Traded my Maxx HD for an S3. So far, so good.

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR MAXX HD' started by supermandrew, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. supermandrew
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    supermandrew New Member

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    I really liked the Maxx so I upgraded to the Maxx HD. I liked the HD, except for one very glaring feature which drove me away from the device entirely.

    Pros:
    -Love the form factor. Felt very solid to hold on to.

    -Really liked the interface. Quick menus were functional, I liked the quick contacts widget in particular. The overall android experience the Maxx HD provides was good in my opinion. The stock keyboard works really well, and autocorrect on the Maxx HD is pretty darn great.

    -Reception and call quality was fantastic. No issues whatsoever on either end when talking to someone.

    -Speed/data connectivity was much better compared to the Maxx. The Maxx would drop my 4G signal more often than I would have preferred.

    -Multitasking and switching between menus, homepages, etc... was awesome. The snapdragon processor in the HD compared to the Maxx was the right choice. I experienced little to no lag.

    -Battery life. Averaged around 28 hours per charge with moderate to heavy usage. A LOT of streaming. You cannot touch the battery life on this phone compared to others.

    Cons:

    -CAMERA. Motorola actually managed to take a step back with the Maxx HD. I took some photos on my regular Maxx in comparison and got noticeably better shots. I describe the HD's camera as simply inconsistent. Predominantly the Maxx HD suffers in low light situations. Heck, it even suffers in slightly less light, and in many cases would suffer in good light. It was all over the place. Looking at the list above it seems silly that I would trade the phone for 1 peripheral feature, but I did. That peripheral feature is actually important to me based off what I use my phone for, and certain environments I am in. I ran this camera through the ringer and found that the main issue was that the flash did not stay on long enough to properly expose the photos in low light conditions. Furthermore, the flash, in my opinion, is not bright enough. Also, autofocus would misfire, or not fire at all, most of the time. I downloaded approximately 15 different camera apps (Camera+, Vignette, Camera 360, Pudding Camera, you name it, I tried it). Nothing really fixed the camera. Pudding camera had probably the best overall results, but even still, about 60 percent of the photos still came out a blurry mess. One thing I figured out on the camera that helped was, if you turn flash to "on" (not auto) you could double tap the screen and it would keep the flash on for as long as you held your finger on the screen. What I would do is let the flash stay on for approximately 4-5 seconds. This would allow for the phone to dial in better lighting, and further clarity. However, even with this manipulation photos still came out in different colors, exposures, and saturations. At the end of the day there is no reason you should have to do all of this to still end up rolling the dice on a somewhat useable photo.

    Galaxy S3:

    Pros:
    -The camera is second to none. Photos on this phone are simply awesome, consistent, and feature rich. The Maxx HD had very minimal photo options. The S3 allows you to manually control ISO, Exposure, and various other shooting modes along with the option to customize shortcuts. Low light photos are phenomenal for a phone camera (even at a distance). I honestly think the FRONT camera on the S3 is nearly better than the rear camera on the Maxx HD. Not kidding.

    -Reception/call quality is great so far. I was pretty nervous going to Samsung from Motorola, knowing Motorola generally performs well in this category. So far I have had no issues. People say they hear me fine, as I do them. In fact, the S3 has a built in equalizer to adjust incoming audio to your preference.

    -Media interface. Access to photos is about the same as the Maxx HD, but the music player and music widgets have a slight advantage on the S3. Access to music just seems to be easier on the S3.

    -Sound quality. The sound quality of audio produced on the S3 is better than the Maxx HD. At least, I think so. This is somewhat of a subjective category. I had a few different equalizer apps running on the Maxx HD which helped the audio a little, but the built in equalizer on the S3 is more well rounded and easy to access. I have confirmed this by running both phones on a Jambox, Big Jambox, my car bluetooth, the Motorola stereo SF600 headphones, iPhone headset, Beats audio headset, stock headset with the S3, in ear and over the ear headphones, the Motorola elite sliver. You name the headset I've tried it on both. I stream a lot of Spotify and local audio. The S3 produces better quality overall.

    -Touchwiz. Honestly, I am kind of "meh" about Touchwiz. But I have found some rather useful features in it that give it a slight advantage over the Maxx HD. The way you uninstall apps on this phone should be a standard for ALL android phones. The same goes for how you can hide applications.

    -Battery life. Well, its not the Maxx HD, but it is definitely good enough. With heavy usage throughout the day I am getting down to 20% after 18 hours or so. Thats not bad for a 4G phone and 2100 MaH battery.

    -Screen quality on the S3 is awesome. I would say it looks better (better colors) than the Maxx HD's.

    Cons:

    -Form factor. The form factor is not necessarily bad and this is personal preference, but I much prefer the feel of the Maxx HD. The S3 had nearly slipped out of my hand multiple times due to a combination of where the lock button is place, the slick-plastic back of the phone, and how far the screen extends to the edges of the phone (your fingers can easily wrap around to touch items on the screen you do not wish to). I find myself changing the volume on accident all of the time. All in all, if I ever drop this phone, or should I say WHEN I drop this phone, I will be worried. The Maxx HD almost felt like you could drop a brick on it and have it be okay. Also, I was not looking forward to the form factor of this phone because it was over the boundaries of what I considered "too big". The Maxx HD was just big enough. However, that being said, I am quickly coming around to it and it is looking smaller every day (so to speak).

    -Some of the wireless connectivity like wi-fi or P2P sharing can bog the phone down a little.

    -Compared to the Maxx HD, speakerphone is not terribly impressive. The Maxx HD had an awesome speakerphone, however, this is a feature I rarely, rarely use. But I do notice the difference in quality.

    -Some of the Touchwiz stuff is annoying. Creating folders is a 2-3 step process, whereas, the maxx HD you simply drag one app over another and its done. I do use folders a lot. Again, not a terribly big deal but is noticeable. I have most of the motion controls off. They seem like they would be more of a battery drain than anything else. One more thing, the whole "nature" theme of Touchwiz is dumb. The lock and unlock sounds, which I do feel I need to use, are cheesy (this is a little nit-picky).

    -Speed. Moving between menus and the interface in general is fast. But the Maxx HD simply felt faster. One quick tip: The home button has a noticeable delay from when you press it, to when it goes back to the home screen. Turn off the "double press to engage S-voice" feature, and its fixed. Also, the photo gallery has a slight delay discrepancy between the speed your finger pushes and the actual movement of the photo tiles. Download "Gallery ICS" and the issue is solved.

    -S voice. Honestly, S voice gets a lot of flack, but I don't think its THAT bad. Its not up to par with Siri, but I think it is as good, if not better, than Vlingo. S voice still has a ways to go. I am using it, and getting decent results out of it, but it fails to connect to the server more often than it should. The "wake up command" feature only works half the time.

    - Probably the worst feature on the S3 is Samsung's patented auto-correct/keyboard software. I don't even mind the look or size of the stock keyboard on the S3, but the autocorrect is horrible. Absolutely horrible. I downloaded "Jelly Bean Keyboard" and it makes text entry nearly identical to the Maxx HD. Also, I use Swype most of the time anyways so this "Con" is easily rectified (the new Swype Beta is fantastic). However, going off of stock principles the S3 loses big time in this category.


    Overall I am very happy with my exchange. I tried to be as fair as possible in this assessment. The reason I posted this is to help anyone who might be in a similar predicament, or assessing which of these phones to pick up. Feel free to ask me any additional questions. I'd be more than happy to help or advise.
     
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  2. PowrDroid
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    PowrDroid Member

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    I appreciate your detailed information. I use speaker phone a lot so your input is noted. Sounds to me like the main factors in your liking the S3 over the Maxx HD is the camera, sound quality via earphones, and screen quality. Would those be the big three in favor of the S3 over the Maxx HD? Also, what do you prefer: Google Voice or S-Voice? I ask because I really like Google Voice on my D2G.
     
  3. supermandrew
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    supermandrew New Member

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    Had the camera quality on the HD been better I would have stuck with it for sure. However, now that I have the S3 I am glad to finally have an awesome camera, and audio quality is definitely a plus through "whatever-phones". I honestly did not notice a lack of sound quality when I had the HD, but switching over I definitely hear the difference now (but this facet was not a front-running factor to influence my exchange). Also, I didn't necessarily have an issue with the Maxx HD's screen, but again, like the sound, having the S3 I see the difference and prefer the S3 in this regard. The color saturation, and overall vibrance of the HD's screen is not quite as "alive" as the S3. Whites looked a little "yellowish" is the best way I can explain it.

    In terms of speech to text. So far, S-voice has been able to do everything and more that Google voice can do. In fact, I find the accuracy of S-voice to be slightly better. Plus, there are multiple options for the speech recognizer. Meaning, you can select Google voice, or Samsung powered by Vlingo. I have played with both options and so far cannot tell a difference.

    One more note. The speaker phone on the S3, from what I can tell, will get the job done. People I have talked to can hear me, but once background noise picks up I need to switch to the earpiece. I never really had any issue hearing things on my end. With the Maxx HD, I could let the background noise ride a little and maintain more clarity. On my end, it was loud as hell without distorting.

    I hope this clarifies things a little more.
     
  4. AlexSB
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    AlexSB Member

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    Thank you for the reviews and opinions man. I'm actually due for an upgrade in a month, and I'm still deciding whether I should choose between the two you compared, or wait a bit more and see if something new comes along during that time

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. supermandrew
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    supermandrew New Member

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    Here is one thing to think about. The S3 has been out since what...July? It has been out this long, and so far, is still getting pretty solid reviews. This is what made me consider, and move to it because it has enough time in the general public to show most its real issues. In a month the reviews will still probably hold up, and the phone will be closer to Jelly Bean. It might even have it in a month.

    If you read most of the reviews on the Maxx HD, most people rave about it, but do point out the camera faults. Other than that the Maxx HD seems to be doing pretty well. I guess the way you might frame it is that if you want a smartphone that is better at the "phone" part...go with the Maxx HD. If you want something that gets the "smart" part/media part better...take the S3. Those are kind of extreme generalizations, but that is sort of the theme in a nutshell.
     
  6. xmguy
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    xmguy Active Member

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    Let me throw my 2 cents in too. As someone who had the S3 AND the Maxx HD. I will point out my PROS and CONS.

    Starting with the Maxx HD.

    PROS

    Top notch battery life. I am able to get though a full day of HEAVY use and still have enough power to get me though have the next day.

    Sound quality on the rear speaker is the best I've heard in a while. Sounds and volume are crisp and clear and LOUD.
    I can play music or use the speakerphone and easily hear the other person or the music I have playing.

    Signal strength... This phone is a signal hound! Able to (literally) get and keep a signal in a deep river valley.

    CONS

    The camera. I don't have to be a photography guru to tell you the camera on the Maxx HD is kind of hit and miss.
    If I'm outdoors and mess around with HDR and move the focus box to get the light right in with the focus I can get good pictures.
    If not it's a mess. However even in great settings details seems to lack a crisp element and seem soft.

    The screen although have rich colors seems to be a tad on the warmer side of the spectrum. Whites are not as cool as other phones.

    On screen keys. Some may like this. I don't I perfer either physical buttons or touch keys.


    Now for the S3

    PROS

    GREAT GREAT camera. Colors look rich and lighting was always on point. The camera gave many settings. HOWEVER since it is a phone. Images from a distance or not close tend to look pixelated. But I'd still put this as the best camera phone around.

    Display looked cool and vibrant.

    CONS

    The REAR speaker. Not loud enough by a long shot. Plus I noticed an issue where sounds produced by the speaker would reverberate though the body of the phone.

    Battery life, I didn't have the S3 long enough to test this.But one has to assume it isn't going to be the best.

    With me personally it's a mixed bag. Each phone had pros and cons either of which if had been corrected would have made the phone my choice. So ended up keeping the Maxx HD. Deciding a poor camera is better than a issue with the speaker and battery life.
     
  7. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Get Swype..
     
  8. supermandrew
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    supermandrew New Member

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    Yes. Swype. That is what I wrote in my post.
     
  9. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes was just reconfirming :)
     
  10. boundlesswater
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    boundlesswater Member

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    Very good and thorough post.

    In my own opinion though, camera quality isn't a trade-off for the battery life on the MAXX HD. As long as you don't use task killer apps, this phone can easily last 2-3 days on a single charge. If I wanted to take awesome pictures on my phone, I would probably go buy a decent camera whose job is to take good pictures.
     
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  11. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    I can get 3-4 days with minimal use,,
     
  12. Black05Hemi
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    Black05Hemi New Member

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    I had the S3. Sold it and bought the Maxx HD. I don't miss my S3. The camera is not as good, but it's fine for what I need it to do. I'm relatively happy, and will not go back.
     
  13. gottcha
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    gottcha Member

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    I would like to put my experience in about the S3. I had the phone for almost two weeks and while the camera is great it was a horrible phone! I dropped 7 phone calls in known good signal areas and even lost signal altogether. It was so bad I had to exchanges it for a new S3 thinking mine was defective but it was not any better. I now have the Razor HD and it's camera is no where near the quality of the S3 but at least it works as a phone!
     
  14. supermandrew
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    supermandrew New Member

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    Having the phone another week now I am still happy with my trade. I know the experience is not going to be the same for every user, and the phone is only one part of the equation in terms of phone quality and signal. So far I haven't had one dropped call or poor reception in the mountains of Colorado. I never did with the Maxx HD, but that is to be expected of Motorola.

    As far as battery life, my best length with moderate usage was about 30 hours on a single charge. That is more than I need.

    One other note, I got an iSkin Aura case for the phone. That is a dope case and adds hardly any bulk to the device.
     
  15. dan.dar
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    dan.dar Member

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    Be careful of the cases that are only protecting the phone from the sides and back. My friend only dropped his S3 once but it was enough to shatter his glass.

    S3 is a great choice seeing as its an international hit, but so is the Razr (without the popularity thing). Different strokes... I couldn't handle another touchwiz phone after my fascinate and I just hate that physical button. I could live with how DNA has it, but not with the S3.

    Sent from my MAXX HD.
     
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