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One week with the RAZR MAXX


4ringsnbr
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I thought I would share my impressions of the Droid RAZR MAXX. Overall, I have no regrets with this phone whatsoever.

 

PROS:

Battery Life- I've charged this phone only 4 times now in a week. I leave it on 4G all the time with Bluetooth and WiFi on (even in my office with no WiFi for 12 hours a day). I've been downloading apps and using it pretty heavily and average about 44 hours per charge. It's weird not charging the phone every night, but it's not an issue at all. I have a screen pic of the battery usage curve I'd like to post if I could figure out how to upload a JPG...

 

Hardware - The build quality and materials are first rate. The Qualcomm CDMA baseband provides excellent voice calls even wondering around my house which strattles 3 Verizon sectors at the limit (-86 dBm) of their range-- at least that's Verizon's limit... LOL!

 

Data Speed - see below. easily pull 20-30 mbps on LTE all day long. Even last week during the 2 hour LTE nationwide outage (EHRPD was down too), failover to EVDO gave me consistent speeds of 1.7 - 2.1 mbps, faster in the very same sectors that I could get force roaming on my old Evo.

 

CONS:

Software -- I honestly miss Sense. Blur is a little buggy and nowhere near as polished. It's not bad, but there are a few issues-- hopefully ICS updates coming soon will clear up some of the problems, which are VERY minor; if not, I can always root.

 

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Thanks for the write up. There are a lot of people around S4GRU who would love to see this device come to Sprint. How is the display? I hope it's leaps and bounds better than the Photon. I know I could get addicted to that battery life!

 

- Robert

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Hardware - The build quality and materials are first rate. The Qualcomm CDMA baseband provides excellent voice calls even wondering around my house which strattles 3 Verizon sectors at the limit (-86 dBm) of their range-- at least that's Verizon's limit... LOL!

 

Under most circumstances, -86 dBm should be perfectly fine RSSI for CDMA1X. In fact, it should provide fully a 15-20 dB margin before CDMA1X generally tends to break down. So, if -86 dBm is "at the limit...of their range," your three sectors must be heavily loaded enough to really degrade Ec/Io and cause some definite CDMA "cell shrinkage."

 

 

AJ

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Under most circumstances, -86 dBm should be perfectly fine RSSI for CDMA1X. In fact, it should provide fully a 15-20 dB margin before CDMA1X generally tends to break down. So, if -86 dBm is "at the limit...of their range," your three sectors must be heavily loaded enough to really degrade Ec/Io and cause some definite CDMA "cell shrinkage."

 

 

AJ

 

Actually at my house, I'm very close to a Sprint tower and their signal is stronger here,, but I noted the difference because in this market, -86 is a good signal for Sprint, but Verizon doesn't really go below this here... At my office, VZW is -53 dBm in the morning-- and the cell breathes down to about -68 dBm late afternoons. One very, very interesting thing: my EVO (and every Sprint phone I've ever had) painted the signal bars based strictly upon the RSSI. This RAZR doesn't. I don't know if it's a moto thing or Verizon, but the bars are based upon the Ec/Io ratio as near as I can tell, which tell you that Sprint worries about you losing signal-- Verizon worries about you having too many signals-- carrier pollution.

Edited by 4ringsnbr
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Thanks for the write up. There are a lot of people around S4GRU who would love to see this device come to Sprint. How is the display? I hope it's leaps and bounds better than the Photon. I know I could get addicted to that battery life!

 

- Robert

 

I'm trying to upload a screen shot of my last charge cycle, but can't figure out how to do it...

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Thanks for the write up. There are a lot of people around S4GRU who would love to see this device come to Sprint. How is the display? I hope it's leaps and bounds better than the Photon. I know I could get addicted to that battery life!

 

- Robert

The display is very good; however, the Galaxy Nexus and the Rezound have better displays. Unfortunately, the GNex is a non-starter with that horrible CDMA baseband-- I still talk on the phone!

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The shrinkage Seinfeld episode just kills me. I remember my wife looking at me funny when we first saw it back in the 90's. She had this puzzled look on her face and asks, "It shrinks??? Holy crap!"

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Explain please... I have noticed zero problems with voice calls.

 

Then you live in a good signal area-- and most Verizon areas are; however, Sprint's signal is far weaker than Verizon's in most coverage areas, which is why it is a non-starter for them. A friend of mine is a performance engineer for Verizon-- I discussed this with him and he confirmed that their testing found the Nexus did have more trouble in marginal signal areas than the phones with Qualcomm basebands (Motos and HTCs). If you peruse various forums, you'll see many many posts related to the GNex's signal issues. The Via Telecom CBP 7.1 chip used by Samsung seems to have some issues in both the GNex and Droid Charge. I also listened to the difference in the CDMA/LTE GNex and RAZR voice recordings on the anandtech review (link below), which sealed the deal for me. I don't think I'll ever trust a non-Qualcomm baseband to handle my calls.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5310/samsung-galaxy-nexus-ice-cream-sandwich-review/12

Edited by 4ringsnbr
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That's funny, because at my work, you could consider it marginal coverage. I was in the middle of the woods plotting out a land nav course and I kept getting calls with no problems whatsoever.

 

Then you add on the fact that the speaker on the Nexus is nearly as loud as the speakerphone on most phones when turned up and the speaker on my wife's RAZR MAXX is so quiet that if there is any background noise, the phone speaker is completely washed out.

 

The OS difference is night and day. RAZR is buggy, laggy and laden with bloat, where the Nexus is slick and fast. The wife wants her Epic 4G Touch back in the worst way. She hates the RAZR MAXX. To be fair, I have only really played with her phone when it is not functioning well (she hands it to me to fix) but for a stock, non-rooted, phone to be acting this way less than a week after activation is unacceptable, especially for a "flagship" like the RAZR MAXX. And I have done a factory reset and that is not the problem.

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4ringsnbr, is your VZW signal CDMA1X 1900 or CDMA1X 850? Prior to the VZW-Alltel merger, VZW in Louisiana was solely former PrimeCo PCS 1900 MHz. But now VZW holds some Cellular 850 MHz properties (e.g. your Baton Rouge CMA Cellular A-side) that are former Alltel and/or former Radiofone.

 

AJ

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That's funny, because at my work, you could consider it marginal coverage. I was in the middle of the woods plotting out a land nav course and I kept getting calls with no problems whatsoever.

 

Then you add on the fact that the speaker on the Nexus is nearly as loud as the speakerphone on most phones when turned up and the speaker on my wife's RAZR MAXX is so quiet that if there is any background noise, the phone speaker is completely washed out.

 

The OS difference is night and day. RAZR is buggy, laggy and laden with bloat, where the Nexus is slick and fast. The wife wants her Epic 4G Touch back in the worst way. She hates the RAZR MAXX. To be fair, I have only really played with her phone when it is not functioning well (she hands it to me to fix) but for a stock, non-rooted, phone to be acting this way less than a week after activation is unacceptable, especially for a "flagship" like the RAZR MAXX. And I have done a factory reset and that is not the problem.

 

The software is a little buggy-- but I've had no major issues-- the hardware is top notch and the battery is the best... as far as speakerphone usage, I've never met a decent cell phone speakerphone-- so I refrain from putting my callers through that.

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4ringsnbr, is your VZW signal CDMA1X 1900 or CDMA1X 850? Prior to the VZW-Alltel merger, VZW in Louisiana was solely former PrimeCo PCS 1900 MHz. But now VZW holds some Cellular 850 MHz properties (e.g. your Baton Rouge CMA Cellular A-side) that are former Alltel and/or former Radiofone.

 

AJ

Pretty much all 850-- specifically, channel 242 is most often what I hit for 1x. 37, 78, 119, 160, & 201 are all EV carriers here. They also run Ev carriers in PCS-- more toward midcity areas of town that are more densely-populated. NOLA is still mostly PCS for Ev also.

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The software is a little buggy-- but I've had no major issues-- the hardware is top notch and the battery is the best... as far as speakerphone usage, I've never met a decent cell phone speakerphone-- so I refrain from putting my callers through that.

 

I'm talking about the regular speaker. The one that faces your ear. I don't use speakerphone either.

 

There have been several times where I was driving on post, see post security, and put the phone in my lap so I don't get busted talking on the phone while driving. I can still hear the earpiece and the people I am talking to can hear me as well.

 

Last I heard, ICS will be coming to the RAZR in Q3

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The software is a little buggy-- but I've had no major issues-- the hardware is top notch and the battery is the best... as far as speakerphone usage, I've never met a decent cell phone speakerphone-- so I refrain from putting my callers through that.

 

What kind of battery life do you get?

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I'm talking about the regular speaker. The one that faces your ear. I don't use speakerphone either.

 

There have been several times where I was driving on post, see post security, and put the phone in my lap so I don't get busted talking on the phone while driving. I can still hear the earpiece and the people I am talking to can hear me as well.

 

Last I heard, ICS will be coming to the RAZR in Q3

HMM-- I keep my volume mid-way-- like 5/7 and I don't have any issues hearing on the phone-- even with a good bit of background noise.

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I also listened to the difference in the CDMA/LTE GNex and RAZR voice recordings on the anandtech review (link below), which sealed the deal for me. I don't think I'll ever trust a non-Qualcomm baseband to handle my calls.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5310/samsung-galaxy-nexus-ice-cream-sandwich-review/12

 

Maybe I have had too many roadside bombs go off next to me, but I can't make out a difference between the two. Maybe the GNex sounds a bit tinnier.

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What kind of battery life do you get?

 

Last charge was just over 45h 26m-- and that was down to 7% when I put it on the charger. This one I've been on is right at 18 hours and battery is at 71%. That's one other thing: you have to run circle widget to see your exact charge-- Moto shows only every 10% down until the warning at 20%-- but at 20%, I can still run my phone another 8 or 9 hours!

 

It does take right at 4 hours to fully charge tho!

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Maybe I have had too many roadside bombs go off next to me, but I can't make out a difference between the two. Maybe the GNex sounds a bit tinnier.

 

To me is sounds robotic-- maybe it's my Qualcomm bias-- but at least it's not GSM-- that system should never be used for voice communication-- YUCH!

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Last charge was just over 45h 26m-- and that was down to 7% when I put it on the charger. This one I've been on is right at 18 hours and battery is at 71%. That's one other thing: you have to run circle widget to see your exact charge-- Moto shows only every 10% down until the warning at 20%-- but at 20%, I can still run my phone another 8 or 9 hours!

 

It does take right at 4 hours to fully charge tho!

 

What kind of use was the 45.5 hours? Heavy? Moderate?

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What kind of use was the 45.5 hours? Heavy? Moderate?

 

Well like I said, I leave it on 4G with BT and WiFi radios on too. I think on that cycle I spent about 3 1/2 hours total on the phone with a couple of calls-- maybe 100 texts or so. I play a few games and do some browsing-- usually about 15-20 minutes of heavy use at lunch-- and that charge had two working days on it. Probably about 14 1/2 hours of "active" versus idle / sleep time. I have a screenshot I can email you or anyone interested-- I just can't upload it here..

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Well like I said, I leave it on 4G with BT and WiFi radios on too. I think on that cycle I spent about 3 1/2 hours total on the phone with a couple of calls-- maybe 100 texts or so. I play a few games and do some browsing-- usually about 15-20 minutes of heavy use at lunch-- and that charge had two working days on it. Probably about 14 1/2 hours of "active" versus idle / sleep time. I have a screenshot I can email you or anyone interested-- I just can't upload it here..

 

4053d97b-b26a-3758.jpg

 

I don't get 45 hours and I was on WiFi for a good part of the 40 hours, but the nexus isn't too bad on the battery either. I upgraded to the 2100 mAh battery though.

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