Motorola Droid Maxx

Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

Verizon has been pushing its three-tiered Droid strategy for a couple generations now, and the highest-end phone of the group has always sported a gigantic battery. The case is no different with the latest roundup of Droids — the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx — where the $299 on-contract Maxx has a substantially larger battery than the other two.

At 3500mAh it is over 64 percent more capacity than the Droid Ultra and 75 percent more than the Mini, while still fitting into a casing that is only 8.5mm thick. While Motorola claims an already high (but higher than we've experienced) 28 hours of "mixed usage" on the Droid Ultra, it claims an absurd 48 hours on the Maxx variant.

Throughout our time with the Droid Maxx, however, we found you can actually push closer to that 48 hour claim than you may think.

More: Materials matter: Why is the Droid Ultra so slimy?

Droid Maxx battery lifeWe consider ourselves pretty "regular" users when it comes to our app and service usage on smart phones, and we certainly don't go out of our way to prolong battery life outside of turning off the screen when we're not using it. With the same regular usage that gave us somewhere in the realm of 15-18 hours of battery out of the Droid Ultra (maybe over 20 if we had a really long day), we were able to push the Droid Maxx to about 40 hours of usage.

Now it should be said that in order to test how long the battery would last the Droid Maxx sat idle, simply pulling down updates and email with the screen off, while we slept for about 8 hours over night. That alone is going to bump up the total number of hours of use we are showing here. But that being said, it helps us further our explanation of how great battery life is on this handset — you can easily use the Droid Maxx from when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed the next night without charging it in between.

Droid Maxx battery lifeAs our own Phil Nickinson is one to remind us, why not just plug your phone in at night? Well most of us will plug it in, or drop the Droid Maxx on a Qi charging pad, but even those who are diligent about charging their phone every night can still see value in the battery life here. There's something extremely liberating about carrying a phone that you are 100 percent not at all worried about dying, no matter what you use the phone for.

Watch a 2-hour movie from Google Play in the middle of the day? Hotspot for your computer and tablet for a couple hours? Take dozens of photos and videos? It literally does not matter what you do, the battery just doesn't die on this device.

Better yet, aside from a larger battery the Droid Maxx has more storage (32GB) and wireless charging when compared to the Droid Ultra, but is identical to it in every other way. You're getting the same great software experience and performance as the slightly more svelte sibling, with all of Motorola's newest features and a battery that will stand up to you using them for hours on end every day.

Droid Maxx and Droid Ultra

When you add up all of the improvements, its hard not to recommend spending the extra $100 on the Maxx over the Ultra. If you're a power user, traveler or just want a phone you never have to worry about the battery on, the Droid Maxx really is the phone to look at.

 
There are 95 comments

GoGetemB says:

I don't understand why Samsung has not yet took on the challenge for the most optimized battery life for their android devices.

geoff5093 says:

I'd say the Samsung Note line is pretty close, packing in what, a 3100mAh battery on the Note 2?

Plesman says:

That's just because the screen is large. It's easy to fit a big battery behind a big screen.

I don't get the minimal differences between the 2 Motorola phones though. Droid Ultra = 7.18mm. Droid Maxx is 8.5mm. Why don't make it 10-11 mm thick an fit in a 4000-5000mAh or more battery? + Plus maybe different battery technology, Li-ion pro or Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery.

masterpfa says:

Now that would be awesome
If too thick for some, they would just go and buy one of the many existing slim models. I can remember the times when 9mm was considered slim on a phone. Oh how times have changed

Considering that the average person can easily get 1.5 - 2 days of usage out of the Droid Maxx, I see no reason why they need to make it any thicker or put any bigger battery in this thing. Once you go much larger, weight starts to become a factor. The Maxx is already dozens of grabs heavier than the Ultra and Moto X, anything heavier starts to hurt usability.

They released a 3000 mah battery for the s3.

jshamoon says:

Love the phone, wish it was on Tmobile.

movielover76 says:

Agreed, I wish they offered it on GSM period, it's pretty much the only top line phone you can't get on GSM, I think Verizon must pay quite a bit for their maxx exclusive.

GoBigRed79 says:

SIM is unlocked. Somebody in the forums has put an AT&T sim in it. Everything works fine, just no LTE. Does have HSPA+

MERCDROID says:

Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!

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jlczl says:

Wonder if it would work on T-Mobile. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if it did. Nothing like unlimited data with a battery than can match it. For now I simply use a Power Bank case for my Xperia Z that gives me an extra 2800 mAh. Bulky but necessary for my extensive use and hatred of being tethered to a charger.

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pirarre says:

Yes it works on t-mobile and gets LTE. But on Att it only gets hspa+ and it's still great speeds.

Blurted and sent handsfree from my Droid Maxx via AndroidCentral App

But does it only get HSPDA on the re-farmed networks?

mwara244 says:

Right now the Droid Ultra line will work with hspa network, but not the hspa+ I think I read over at Driod-Life, and has been proven to work on ATT's network by cutting down the sim card to a micro size and putting it inside the Droid Ulta and maxx. Not sure why a Verizon phone has this option because no othe verizon phone has been able to do this

sforsyth01 says:

That's interesting because you would have to take the phone apart to do that. It is an NFC embedded sim. Not an easy way to remove it.

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gbrinkman says:

Really? Cause on my Maxx if I pull out the volume buttons I have access to the sim card.

sforsyth01 says:

Can't get to mine at all....

-Shawn
Posted via Android Central App
From my Droid MAXX that NEVER dies!!!

Alcarnor14 says:

The SIM tray is behind the volume buttons. Carefully pull out the volume button (after turning off the phone) and there's the nano SIM.

mwara244 says:

Motorola included a tool to open the tray up in the volume rocker, I'd read the manual that came with it and use the tool just because you never know how flimsy it may be

Rob Salamone says:

what was the screen on time?

Somewhere in the 3-4 hour range for 40 hours of usage. About what I tend to do per hour on any given device.

But as we keep hammering home, with these new Motorola devices the "Screen on" time doesn't tell the whole story. You're simply not turning on the screen as often to check notifications and things as you would with another device because of Active Display.

Channan says:

Is that with tethering? If so, how much time?

Can't recall on both of these battery cycles posted above, but if I had to guess I'd say 30-60 minutes each day.

mwara244 says:

Did it include watching videos or uploading any files. I found the fastest way to burn through my battery power was uploading videos from my camera to my Drive account over vzw lte. I can eat through 50% of the battery just uploading a couple gb's of 1080 videos

Krouget says:

I'm a bit curious as to if you do this on a regular basis, and provided you do, why a phone?

Honest question, as I can think of a few other devices which have more storage and are better dedicated tools. Just seems like very unique usage.

MrBucket85 says:

My screen on time (plus call time) is usually a pretty good estimate of how long I'm actually using my phone. I wear a watch and don't check the time on my phone. I'll occasionally check to make sure I didn't miss a message but I don't find myself firing up the screen to check notifications often enough to see a night and day difference.

If a phone is on pulling down data and performing tasks all day long without user interaction that only tells me half the battery life story. If I can't have it in my hands actually using it for 4-5 hours AND get 16-18 hours out of a charge it fails my "does it last the whole day?" test. It's not that we want to know how long the battery can power the screen - it's just that "screen on" time is one of the easiest ways to approximate how long a device was actually used for throughout the day. You, Phil, et al. have done a great job of explaining the benefits of active display and why users will be firing up the screen a little less to check for notifications but we want to know about real usage. If you have a better metric to approximate actual usage it would be really handy if that were shown in reviews.

I hope that makes as much sense to everyone else as it does to me. Thanks!

JimBen73 says:

I get 17 he's + with screen on time of 5-6 hours. I'd say that's a very good day. I have GPS on, notifications on, screen on high, connected to the net work. Stream music off and on throughout the day and the occasional Netflix show.

Posted via my awesome, longer lasting phone than yours aka droid MAXX

punman says:

Obviously you didn't have Google Now turned on. Correct?

nullqwerty says:

Wife got one the other day. I had to charge my S4 three times before she had to plug her Maxx back in.

Great article! I just picked my droid Maxx up on Monday. My previous phone was a Galaxy Nexus, I would go to three batteries in a day. I'm really enjoying spending the day with heavy usage still having 25 percent battery left on my droid Maxx.

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p08757 says:

I agree 100%. Battery life will never be a concern for the day with this device in my pocket!!!

krauseke says:

Got my Maxx this past Sunday - love it. First charge was 1d 16hours before it died. I have noticed though that when I have an item in the Active Notifications, the screen turns on about every 5 seconds or so until I clear the message - seems to be a bit of a waster. I like the notifications, but once or twice seems enough

The Motorola Connect as well as the Migration tool was a life/time saver too as I moved from my Razr to this without loss of data

Curious about your settings were you were pushing the 48 hour mark. Can you share? And if you're using the Active

As we said, we didn't do anything special or tweak any settings from default to push that battery life. We left Active Display on the entire time, although Motorola Assist turns it off over night when you're in "sleeping" mode.

The whole idea of Active Display w/ an AMOLED display panel is that it doesn't drain hardly any power to flash on screen for just a moment every handful of seconds. Flashing a notification on the screen dozens and dozens of times still uses less power than turning the entire screen on once for just a second.

DCABuckeye says:

Thanks Andrew and Phil for giving this phone a fair chance and not just casting it off because of the Ultra. There is simply not a thing I don't love about this phone, and i don't think I could ever go back to a phone without active display now that I'm totally crushing on it. You are 100% spot on about the battery life. Few, if any, are true Verizon fans, but it's nice to not have the phone bashed simply because it says Droid on the back and is exclusive to Verizon.

Agreed. I've got the Maxx and an HTC one.

I love the One, but if I had to give up a phone, it probably wouldn't be the Maxx.

NoNexus says:

You never answered your own question

Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

You guess is just as good as mine. I posed the question and answered that at least one manufacturer, Motorola, is capable of doing it.

NoNexus says:

Gotcha, more of a rhetorical thing.

I figured after the original Maxx there would be more focus, maybe for a year it would be special then everyone else would catch up... So much for that theory

Posted via Android Central App

As others have noted the fact that this is only available on Verizon means that other manufacturers really don't have to worry about it as competition. They've been playing to their other strengths instead of battery.

I agree with Andrew about its limited availability bring a big reason but I think a lot of it may also be something a lot more simple. When you switch have such fantastic battery life you aren't going to sell as many extra charges and batteries for phones that still have removable ones.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver the DROID MAX

Rruz07 says:

For those that have the droid maxx...how long does it take for the battery to charge up to 100% when you have finally drained it?

DCABuckeye says:

I've had my Maxx for over a week now and my answer to your question will satisfy and not at the same time. I simply don't know because I've not gotten anywhere near draining the battery even in extremely heavy use during those first couple days. The lowest I got in a day was 23%; however, most nights when I place it on the charging pad it's around 50-60%. I consider myself a moderate to heavy user most normal days, but I haven't had a normal day yet because no matter what that idiot at Verge says, this is my favorite phone I've ever owned, and that includes my GNex. I did a test this morning after a couple hours of pretty heavy use I was at 92% and I got in the car for a ten minute trip. I plugged it in and by the time I got back home it was back to 100%. I see no need to ever do that unless I'm traveling through the mountains and the phone is constantly in search of a signal. That's a long answer, but the one I can offer you.

GoBigRed79 says:

I picked up a wireless charging pad and last night I put it on at 11:30 with about 20% left. Woke up about 3:00AM to use the restroom and it was fully charged. I did not think that was bad for wireless charging. I assume that the regular power adapter charging would be faster.

p08757 says:

On my QI charger my Maxx charges at about 18% to 20% per hour. Faster on USB plug.

Felt like it charged pretty quick on USB to me. Not drastically longer than any other phone.

Synycalwon says:

Not bad. I can do the same with my Note 2, but with the added benefit of having a fully charged spare (or spares for endless capacity) to get back to a full charge in minutes. My phone never sees that charging cable or an external battery pack, it's always untethered and unencumbered. But different strokes for different folks. :)

Except the Note 2 is taller, wider, thicker and has a smaller battery than the Droid Maxx does. Sure, it's removable, but it's still a huge device that doesn't offer the same battery life as the Maxx. I used a Note 2 regularly for some time and never pushed upwards of 40 hours on it like I did with the Maxx.

+1 exactly. The Note 2 is awesome but this is better.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver the DROID MAX

Note II has way more screen time (Maxx 5-6 hours, I read here) and Note II 7-10 hours on WiFi.

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NoNexus says:

Apple, meet orange.
Orange, apple

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briankariu says:

If they had put that massive battery inside the moto x, no one, and I mean no one would have complained. Oh well.

andrewh says:

I wonder if they'll come out with a "maxx" version of the X. The battery life is the only reason I'm getting the maxx next week. Although the form factor and customization of the moto X has made the decision very difficult.

The customization options are cool but thus far exclusive to AT&T. The "in the coming weeks " will end up being just before Christmas for the Verizon availability. Mark my words.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver the DROID MAX

They wanted a smaller phone for the mass appeal and I suspect that keeping manufacturing costs down was also a factor.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver the DROID MAX

briankariu says:

Keeping manufacturing cost down and still charge a premium!!? If they had stuck this battery in the moto x, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.
And no, there will be no moto x maxx

Sent from the heartland of Africa

Krouget says:

Most definitely the truth. Heck, I was hoping it would be available as an option, given they work the same concept with three 'variations' of the Moto X under the Droid label.

Also, I'd be highly upset if they release a Moto X Maxx, after I purchase mine. Highly.

VMdoug says:

I'm loving my MAXX, switched from Nexus 4 on Sunday. I now have all day battery and LTE

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The_Engine says:

Maybe an unrelated question, but how does active notifications work with music playing? I tend to turn my screen on a lot just to forward a track while listening to music. Right now the lock screen widget helps that be a simple task. My fear is that with Active notifications I would have to turn on screen, unlock device and then open music app or find the widget to do the same. Is there a music control that shows up in Active Notifications if you have music playing?

So even with Active Notifications, you can always just hit the power button and go straight to the lock screen. The Active Display pulsing can only be interacted with when it is displaying something (when it pulses or you pick the phone up).

So in the end, nothing changes for you. You still get lock screen widgets, and you still access them with a single tap of the power button.

Also, you can change the Active Display settings to restrict which apps show up as notifications on the Active Notifications screen. You can exclude your music or podcast app so that your phone doesn't keep lightning up while you're playing music/podcasts.

Biggnaa20 says:

You guys have me intrigued. I'd definitely buy a device that I wouldn't need to swap batteries in...but until then, I guess I'll walk with a few spares in my pocket.

nb

stevovr says:

Would love to see this come to the UK

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snowdroid83 says:

Me too, just not a huge fan of Amoled screens. I find them hard to read when the sun is out and I've got my polarised shades on. I'd buy it anyway though ;)

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 4

icu says:

Wish an extended "MAXX" battery was part of the Motomaker options for the Moto X.

I'll keep my eye on this phone - see how well it is supported. It may be in my short list when it's nearly free for an upgrade (I'm a cheap SOB).

sforsyth01 says:

Closest the RAZR MAXX HD ever got to free was $149 and that was when the Droid MAXX came out. So I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to be free.

-Shawn
Posted via Android Central App
From my Droid MAXX that NEVER dies!!!

JimBen73 says:

The phone is awesome, the battery life is amazing, the ability to do anything, anywhere all day long without any worries of plugging in...that freedom is priceless...

Posted via my awesome, longer lasting phone than yours aka droid MAXX

TGadgets504 says:

I'm stuck between this and the note 3. I went to the Verizon store to test this phone out and fell in love with it. The Kevlar finish on the back is nice also.

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obidos says:

For those that have the Maxx, are you leaving your screen on 'automatic' brightness? I wish the HTC One and LG G2 had a battery this good.

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GoBigRed79 says:

Yup, I run on Auto brightness all day. No issues.

I don't really care for how the screen looks at lower brightness, so for my usage I was at ~75% brightness when indoors and 100% when outdoors the whole time.

obidos says:

I would love a phone that would look good in any light on auto-brightness without killing the battery.

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Its mostly AMOLED displays that deteriorate in picture quality at lower brightness levels. LCDs do a better job of looking the same no matter the brightness. My issue with auto-brightness is that it is usually weighted really low, meaning its always too dark for the situation. I end up keeping most of my phones around 75% brightness all the time.

Has there ever been a side poll about brightness settings?

Sent from my 2012 EVO via Android Central App

JimBen73 says:

I have it at full brightness

Posted via my awesome, longer lasting phone than yours aka droid MAXX

Qwkslvrmz says:

As much as I like my nexus 4, I would trade up for this any day!!! That battery life has got me drooling from the mouth Lol!!

Posted via my "precious"

Man imagine this type of battery on the HTC One.... Goosebumps

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Mes3 says:

I've always been impressed with the battery life on my Optimus G (ATT version). I can easily get 24hrs+ with around 3.5hrs screen time (a mixture of WiFi and strong LTE signal). Of course it goes down the drain when I'm at work. Stupid concrete building!

I might switch to Verizon next year and I'm hoping Moto still pumps these big battery phones out then.

regateir says:

They will still make them. They signed as the exclusive droid manufacturer. Verizon is not letting the maxx go away.

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xweb10 says:

This phone is great and I am loving it so far. It is the Moto X + Battery + great feel + wireless charging.

bboyairwreck says:

Can this thing be rooted? Thats all I need xD

dovlek says:

Now if this would be GSM unlocked I would buy right now!

ssl0408 says:

Verizon smartphones are SIM unlocked and can be used on a GSM carrier, but you won't get LTE on AT&T or T-Mobile.

sforsyth01 says:

Yes but you can't access the sim on the MAXX.

-Shawn
Posted via Android Central App
From my Droid MAXX that NEVER dies!!!

glenn9643 says:

The sim on the MAXX is removed by pulling the volume rocker keys from the phone.

regateir says:

Thanks for a balanced review. I have the phone and love it. I don't understand some other sites hate of this phone. This phone balances stock with nice customizations and the battery is icing on the cake.

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318sugarhill says:

I can't buy Moto for 2 reasons.....1st has always been build quality. Countless OG droid and Droid 2 problems. My wife went through so many replacements for warranty, and insurance.....and she is easy on phones. I'm tough on them and have yet to have a problem with my HTC's or Samsung. I know 3 people with droid MAXX's with speaker, charging port, and screen issues....all replaced by warranty, only to develop the same problems over again. Until I can get a Moto with a PROVEN track record on reliability, I stay away. It's not just one or two phones here.....it's many I've seen issues with over the years.

2) is their bootloader issue (although VZW seems to be locking everything down lately) I get it they are making Developer models, but I have never done damage to a phone, or asked for a replacement device due to rooting/roming/hacking. It's my device, and if I want to mess with it I take the warranty issue serious. I have voided it. I shouldn't have to spend $600 or more the same thing. I speak with my wallet, and won't buy a locked down phone.

tdizzel says:

After reading this column I only have 1 question...how's the battery life?

Paul D Troy says:

Ive been complaining about battery life ever since I've had mobile phones.. But smart phones have been notorious .
In am ranting i know, but why haven't manufacturers given us options for bigger batteries.. ?
Surely it's good business to supply to demand?

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mattbrich says:

Anybody using the maxx with minimal signal all day? What was your battery life like? --sent from one of the many wireless black holes in the Atlanta metro area.

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egeorgia#AC says:

I just went camping the past few days and the battery life was horrible. I didn't even get 24 hours out of the Maxx. I have had it a week and not seeing anything better than my Iphone 5. 5% an hour drain. Not sure what's up???

markbc says:

Enjoyed the review of the Maxx

That battery life truly is exceptional. Two days, 20 minutes, one day 20 hours -very good!. . .[Makes my S4 usage: with 33% battery remaining after 1d 4h 37m 29s (with 3h 5m 6s screen use) seem plain old average. :-) ]

Which reminds me -I wish you could publish your screen times as well. It looks like there might not have been that high screen use since screen does not occupy the highest place in either of the usage charts, but this is relative over two days so it would be good if you tell us.

One more thing -I noticed that both charts show some positive slope or charge periods during usage. (The first chart seems to have two and the second chart seems to have a few more than that).

While I suspect those were usb plug-ins since the phone was not charged very much (at least in the first chart) they still were restore periods for the battery.

What was going on then?

Thanks!

My s4 gets 3 full days of usage with the 2 extra batteries that I have. It takes 15 seconds to pull the battery, replace it and power the phone on. I would rather have a removable battery than one that lasts 48 hours. This is only my opinion though, I know everyone won't agree and thats fine. This is why android is so great, we have choice.

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biggbrother2 says:

The Droid Max is "only" $649.99 full price, which is only $50.00 more than the Droid Ultra. Seems like a no-brainer to me....

Equates to $27 per month in the infamous Edge Program if if you don't want to extend your contract and may it monthly...

gamefreak715 says:

So looking forward to ditching my 4-hour-life gnex today. And that's a good day when I'm tethered and on one bar of 3g, its barely an hour. It'll be different holding a bigger phone but I can manage. I don't like the Verizon bloatwate but hope it can be hidden or removed somehow?

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regateir says:

Pretty much all but a couple can be hidden

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egeorgia#AC says:

Not getting the battery life claimed here. Have yet to get over 24 hours.