Motorola RAZR MAXX pictures and hands-on

Just how important is a good battery life on a smartphone to you? Very according to Motorola. With that in mind its been busy working away at its Motorola RAZR MAXX, a smartphone that doesn’t skimp on features, but most importantly won’t die on you before the day’s out.

The Motorola RAZR MAXX is no shrinking violet. It’s got a huge 4.3-inch display with a thick border surrounding it, meaning you almost have to stretch you hand around the device when making a call and you’ll certainly be aware of it while it’s in your pocket.

Yet Moto has managed to keep the waistline down to an impressive 8.99mm, which helps explain why it feels far lighter than it looks – 145g.

There’s a slight chin at the top of the rear of the phone in order to accommodate the 8-megapixel camera and LED flash. The power button is located on the right hand side of the phone - as you look at the display - just around the point your forefinger would rest when taking a call in your left hand. Perhaps we’re being pernickety but we have concerns that we might inadvertently switch the phone off mid-conversation.

There’s no removable back cover with the SIM, micro at that, being inserted in the bottom left side of the phone. The protective door, which also leads to the microSD card slot, felt a little flimsy especially as you need to pull it right back to access either port.

Found on the top of the phone is an HDMI, microUSB and 3.5mm headset jack neither of which comes with cumbersome pullout door, so despite Motorola protecting the phone with a splashguard coating we wouldn't recommend putting it in too much proximity to any fluid.

A headset jack positioned at the top of the phone is always preferable because it makes it easier to take the phone out of your pocket without damaging your plugged in headphones.

Fire up the phone and an impressively vibrant Super AMOLED Advanced display greets you. It’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and has a resolution of 540x960 pixels. It really is quite stunning, especially when you turn the brightness to full, which you can afford to do thanks to the mammoth battery life, right?

So far so good. Now for the not so good. Once switched on it’s immediately apparent that this is no Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone. Well not yet anyway. Running on Gingerbread 2.3 from launch, Moto hopes to upgrade the phone to ICS by the end of Q2 2012.

The processor is also only dual-core 1.2GHz. It seems ridiculous to baulk at a processor of this magnitude, but the truth is with more and more smartphones featuring quad-core processors the bar has been raised. To be fair when playing with the phone it was a far from lethargic experience, though it did take a while for images to appear on any shortcuts we set.

Motorola has also included its innovative "Smart Actions" feature, also found on the previous RAZR. You can set the RAZR MAXX to administer specific functions depending on where you are and what you’re doing.

For example, have a meeting scheduled in your Google Calendar and the RAZR MAXX will automatically put itself in silent mode. What’s more should you have... erm…. a wife who’s about to go into labour for example, you can set a VIP number (ie, your wife’s) which will overrule the Smart Action and ring as normal. There are plenty of other actions to have a play with, such as automatically firing up the music player as soon as a pair of headphones are inserted.

The MotoCast app is also on board which enables you to access music, documents and photos from a remote computer either by streaming or downloading it to the Motorola RAZR MAXX. The files will then be stored locally on the phone, meaning you can access them even when offline. The remote computer will have to be switched on in order to access the files originally, but it makes for a useful alternative to cloud storage.

In terms of memory we’re looking at 1GB RAM and 16GB ROM, with a 16GB microSD card also included, though it can support cards of up to 32GB, which we’d recommend investing in especially if you plan to use the MotoCast app.

Yet, as Motorola kept telling us, the Motorola RAZR MAXX is all about a long battery life. So all that’s left to say, according to the manufacturer, is that the 3300 mAh capacity battery should provide up to 1,056 minutes talktime, the "longest of any smartphone" according to Moto, and over 25 days standby.

We’ll be bringing you a full in-depth review of the Motorola RAZR MAXX before you have time to run one out of juice.

The Motorola RAZR MAXX is available now from Clove, Expansys and Amazon.

What are your first impressions of the Motorola RAZR MAXX? Let us know.



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