Using your smartphone for business can drain your battery in a hurry. And a dead battery is a big deal, especially if you rely on your mobile device to stay connected throughout the workday. Motorola's Droid Maxx smartphone, which launched in the fall, isn't quite the longest-lasting smartphone on the market — LG's flagship G2 phone, and phablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, just barely beat it — but it still packs one of the best batteries on the market. And unlike those challengers, the Droid Maxx has all the handy software features that helped make Motorola's Moto X such a hit. That includes touchless controls and "active display" notification technology.
The Droid Maxx isn't for everyone. It's not as sleek or stylish as the Moto X and other top-tier Android phones. And the big 5-inch display, coupled with a large battery, makes the Droid Maxx a handful. But if you're a business user who demands excellent battery life without sacrificing performance, it's a solid pick — especially for anyone interested in the productivity-boosting features unique to Motorola's latest batch of smartphones.
Better battery life
Other Android phones can match or beat the Droid Maxx in terms of specs and hardware, but Motorola's handset still grabbed headlines this fall, thanks to its long battery life. With a large 3,500-mAh battery, the Droid Maxx runs for about 10 hours of continuous use. With average use, even demanding business users should never have to reach for the charger before bed time. Less-demanding users can expect the phone to run for up to two full days before it needs a recharge. That kind of longevity can provide a huge boost for business users who rely on their smartphone to stay busy while on the go; great hardware and software features don't mean much if your phone is always running out of juice. And unlike the Moto X, the Droid Maxx supports wireless charging when coupled with a charging pad, sold separately.
That said, smartphone fanatics can find slightly better battery life in a few other Android handsets. The Galaxy Note 3 will give you more than 11 hours of continuous use on a single charge, but not all users can handle its bulkiness. And the LG G2 runs for an eye-popping 13.5 hours but lacks Motorola's useful software features.
Unique software features are what really make Motorola phones shine. The Droid Maxx, Moto X, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini are the first phones to support true hands-free control options. Even when the Droid Maxx's screen is off, simply say, "OK Google" — you'll train the phone to recognize only your voice — and you can activate the full set of Android voice commands. There's no need to wake up your phone, unlock it or open any app; the Droid Maxx is always listening for your next voice command.
For business users, the feature is a nice productivity booster. Inputting an item onto your calendar or to-do list can be cumbersome on a small touch screen. Voice controls are a convenient solution, but they're less useful when you have to root through a menu to activate them. Those issues are remedied with touchless controls on the Droid Maxx. It also means quicker and easier access to GPS navigation, and is the first truly hands-free way to respond to an urgent text message on your smartphone while driving.
Motorola also packed in a unique and useful notification system that will help business users notice and respond to messages. The Droid Maxx's AMOLED display pulses notifications for emails, text messages or missed calls as they arrive, even when the phone is asleep. It helps conserve battery life because users don't have to activate the entire display each time a notification arrives. Place a finger on the screen to display more details about the alert, and then swipe up to jump straight to the corresponding email or text-messaging app for a quick reply, straight from the lock screen.
The Droid Maxx's unlocking system is another productivity booster. The phone uses its built-in accelerometer to activate the display anytime you pick it up or pull it from your pocket, so you can simply swipe to unlock, and get to work. It's a small but time-saving feature for business users who constantly lock and unlock their phones to act on incoming notifications.
The centerpiece of the Droid Maxx is its large, bright 5-inch display. In terms of screen real estate, it's a significant step up from the 4.7-inch display of the Moto X. That could benefit business users who want extra room for browsing the Web and running their favorite productivity apps. A big screen makes for a big device; business users in the market for a superportable smartphone should look elsewhere. The Droid Maxx also lacks some of the best productivity features found on large phones from Samsung and LG, such as side-by-side multitasking.
The Droid Maxx can't quite compete with other top-tier smartphones in terms of performance, either, but it's still a speedy device that delivers smooth, fluid performance. Under the hood, the phone packs the same capable quad-core processor found in the Moto X, another smartphone that boasts great performance despite lacking top-of-the-line specifications. The Droid Maxx should satisfy most business users looking for smooth multitasking on the go.
Motorola's Droid Maxx is a capable handset with a lot to offer the busy business user. It's a top-tier Android smartphone with a large screen, good performance and impressive battery life. Still, other smartphones manage to outshine the Droid Maxx with bigger, sharper displays; faster processors; and sleeker designs. But business users who want a long-lasting device, and can't live without touchless controls and other Motorola features, will find a lot to like in the Droid Maxx.