By DONOVAN QUEK
Surf, watch movies and play games without worrying about this Android running out of power.
HOW often do you buy an expensive smartphone that comes packed with an arsenal of mind-blowing functions, only to have the battery die on you when you really need to use it?
Motorola's latest offering, the Razr Maxx, is the company's solution to such a problem.
The successor to Motorola's flagship Razr has a humongous 3,300mAh battery that powers it up - this is a huge upgrade from its predecessor's 1,780mAh.
On the exterior, the design isn't the most inspiring but still looks pretty decent. It feels nice and sturdy in the palm although those with smaller hands might find it a little overwhelming because of its big build.
One gripe we have with the design is that the power button is placed a little too high on the right side of the phone, making it cumbersome to unlock the phone because there isn't a physical home button.
This is the direction that most Android phones are heading - with the new OS, there isn't a need for a physical home button.
We just wish the power button was placed in a more convenient position, as we kept hitting the volume button instead when trying to unlock the phone with our thumbs.
The phone comes with an impressive 4.3in Super AMOLED Advanced touchscreen that looks impressive even in broad daylight. This makes it ideal for viewing pictures and videos as the screen's colours are very vibrant.
In terms of storage space, the device has 16GB built-in, which should be sufficient for most users. If you think that isn't enough to suit your needs, fret not as there's a microSD slot to expand that to up to 32GB.
The phone requires a microSIM to operate, so chances are, you will need to get a new sim card or get your old one cut if you are planning to get this phone.
The main selling point of the Maxx is its battery life. With a capacity that is miles ahead of its competitors, it's great to take note that it doesn't disappoint in terms of performance.
On average usage with 3G switched on, the phone managed to last close to two full days, which is impressive considering the same usage pattern gets only around a day's worth when using most other smartphones.
This dual-core phone is smooth to use with very little occurrences of any lag. It comes stocked with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but can be upgraded to Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Sadly, it might seem outdated because Android 4.1 (Jellybean) has already been released for some Android devices. Still, the phone works like a charm on both of the available operating systems.
Internet browsing and messaging is a breeze with the phone's large screen. The phone comes built in with Swype, a messaging feature whereby you just have to swipe your fingers on the keyboard to type instead of having to touch letter by letter.
It is a common feature in most Android phones but we found the Maxx's version smoother and more accurate in getting us the words that we wanted.
We tested graphics-intensive apps such as Temple Run and Samurai Vengeance 2, both of which performed smoothly.
One interesting app that came pre-installed with the phone is the Smart Actions app. With this app, you can automate regular changes in settings, such as getting the phone to switch on WiFi when at home, Bluetooth and Driving Mode in the car, and going into silent mode at the office.
It takes a little bit of time to set up and get used to, but once you manage to master it, your phone will become smarter.
We found the 8-megapixel camera a bit of a letdown, especially since it doesn't do the beautiful screen any justice.
Images capture appeared a little washed out and soft. The colours were not very natural and seemed uninteresting, especially under artificial lighting.
This can be corrected to a certain extent by playing with the white balance but most will not want be bothered with having to do that.
The video camera is capable of recording in HD, which is the norm for high-end Android devices. The videos played back smoothly but suffered the same problem - dull colours.
The picture gallery and video player are combined and presented as just Gallery. It incorporates not only your visual media stored on your phone but is also capable of fetching public photo albums from your social networking contacts.
The interface might not be the prettiest around but it gets the job done.
The device is ideal to be used for watching videos because it has such a long battery life. However, there was a noticeable lag while playing some HD movies.
A neat feature that Motorola has included in the user interface is the ability to access shortcuts from the lock screen. Users can easily access the camera without having to unlock the phone first, and if you have upgraded to ICS, you will have additional shortcuts for your phonebook and messaging inbox as well.
The problem with this heavy-duty battery phone is that it isn't a big upgrade from the Razr. The specs are still high-end but it would have made more buzz if it was released a year earlier.
With the release of quad-core Android beasts this year, it is hard to feel happy with a dual-core phone, even though it's a case of wanting something that you don't actually need yet since there are hardly any applications available that will push the phone to use all four cores.
The Razr Maxx is a commendable effort by Motorola. It does everything a smartphone should do for you and with enough juice to get you through the day and then some.
Sadly, it doesn't come with over-the-top specifications like some of the new Android models in the market. Had the Maxx been released last year, it would have made a lot more buzz than it is making now.
Despite all that, the Maxx is still a very handy phone to have for users who want the most out of their smartphone and are always on the go.
Pros: A battery that lasts more than a day of heavy usage; smooth interface; Smart Actions feature makes life easier.
Cons: Camera could be better; power button a little hard to reach.
Razr Maxx (XT910)
NETWORK: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgradable to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
DISPLAY: 4.3in AMOLED (540 x 960-pixels)
CAMERA: 8-megapixels (rear) with autofocus, LED flash; 1.3-megapixel (front)
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, WiFi, DLNA, micro USB
PROCESSOR: Dual-core 1.2GHz
EXPANSION SLOT: MicroSD (up to 32GB)
STANDBY/TALK TIME: 607 hours/17 hours 40 minutes
OTHER FEATURES: A-GPS, HDMI port, Smart Actions, 1080p HD video recording at 30fps
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 130.7 x 68.9 x 9mm
Review unit courtesy of Motorola Mobility. Distributed by Brightstar Malaysia, 1-300-88-2744, www.brightstarcorp.com.my.