Yep, it’s a guest review from my husband Tom. If you ever read his reviews on our old Tag Team Tech blog, you’ll recognize his writing style. 🙂
I love this phone.
There, I said it. Shortest guest review ever. (Yes? Carla? You’d like a few more details? OK. I guess that’s fair.)
So what makes it so good? This may sound odd, but it’s mostly because of the lack of drama. There’s another well-known phone manufacturer that makes a big deal out of its product’s ability “to just work,” but my time with this phone has pretty much had the same outcome. I’d want to do something. I’d touch the screen and, if necessary, enter information. Then the thing I wanted to have happen would … well … happen. No big deal.
While my everyday phone is an iPhone 5S, my everyday tablet of choice is a 2nd Generation Nexus 7. It’s what I read on at night in bed and the tablet that will go with me on trips. I have an iPad, but it’s pretty much used on the couch while watching TV. There’s an awful lot about the Android OS that I like over iOS, but I’ve been less enamored with the manufacturer specific customizations on other Android phones. That’s part of the appeal of the Nexus 7 tablet: pure Android as Google intended with no fluff added. The Droid Maxx can’t say the same about customizations, but Motorola is owned by Google now and they have used a pretty light hand with the Motorola-branded apps. One example, the Droid Zap app, is a photo-sharing app along the same lines of AirDrop on iOS that makes for a nice commercial, but might or might not have any real utility in real life. Two things to take into account about that last sentence: I’m not exactly in the demographic that worries a lot about sharing photos with people around me, and I say the exact same thing about AirDrop on iOS. On the other hand, the Droid Maxx features the ability to respond to voice commands simply by prefacing them with words “OK Google” (and not having to touch a button to wake up the phone first). Google’s overall voice integration is far superior to Siri on iOS. (You have to explicitly enable the “always on” voice feature, so you don’t have to use if it creeps you out).
I’ve already mentioned iOS more times than’s appropriate in a phone review at this point in the history of Android. I think we’re way past the point of arguing whether one platform is “better” than the other. You’ve got two different philosophies of how a mobile phone ought to be implemented, and the Droid Maxx is as fine an example of the Android philosophy as you’re going to find. It feels great in your hand. The screen is large and bright and gorgeous. The touch screen is responsive. There is no noticeable lag when you ask the phone to do something and it’s an LTE phone so the network response is fantastic. Motorola is claiming that you can get 48 hours of battery with normal usage and I’m leaning toward believing them on that. I didn’t formally time it or anything, but I used the phone hard and never had any trouble getting well into a second day of use before having to think about charging. One intangible is that this is a phone I don’t feel like I need to stick in a case. The back is grippy and is made of kevlar so it’s tough. It’s thin and weighs about 5 ounces, so not needing a case might be something that makes this an attractive choice for you.
By now this phone has been out for a while and there’s always something new and sexy coming along. Keep an eye on this phone. Any promotional offer you might find will make this phone a great deal.