Verizon just unleashed two new Droid smartphones, each styled after Motorola’s latest. Where the burly Droid Turbo 2 falls more inline with the top-tier Moto X Pure Edition, the Droid Maxx 2 is a Verizon version of the Moto X Play, a phone that never actually came to the U.S. Under a slightly different guise, it’s now in the states.
If you want good battery life for cheap, well, that’s why the Droid Maxx 2 exists.
As Motorola intended, the Maxx 2 is intended for play (hence the name), specifically—playing media of any type. Where many phones try to be the “do everything” communication device, the Droid Maxx 2 can do one thing really well—consume multimedia. With a full HD display and a 3,630mAh battery, this thing should be able to keep ticking well-past most phones, especially with energy-hungry Quad HD displays.
Factor in the front-facing speaker that will actually throw the sound toward you when you’re without headphones, and you’ve got a little device equipped to be a pretty great consumption device at $20/month ($380ish).
The design also isn’t terrible either, with a kind of rubbery, soft-touch finish with aluminum siding. However, the bezels are a little thick on the back and don’t exactly scream high quality, but the sloped back makes it pretty comfortable to hold and without a physical home button, Motorola can pack in a lot of screen in a smaller package.
That’s not to say it can’t do all the other smartphone-y things you’d your phone to do, it can—but not quite as well as its older brother, the Droid Turbo 2. The Droid Maxx 2 comes with a Snapdragon 615 processor, which is a step down from Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line 800-series, which is a 64-bit quad-core processor. Not shabby, but nothing to write home about either.
The Droid Maxx 2 also comes with a 21-megapixel shooter but is a slightly downgraded lens since it can only capture video at 1080p.
The only downfall, which is also true for the Turbo 2, is the software. That’s not to say it’s bad, but the Maxx and Turbo come with Android Lollipop 5.1.1, so all those new additions in Marshmallow will have to wait for now. I also wish the bad news stopped there, but it gets worse. Verizon absolute loads this thing up with bloat, in the form of Verizon-specific apps, mobile games, every Amazon app imaginable, and lifestyle apps like NFL Mobile. Some of these are removable, like the mobile games, but the rest are not. Forcing NFL Mobile onto my smartphone without the option to delete it is just dumb. And I even like football!
The back is also removable, but don’t get too excited. You can’t remove the battery. You also don’t can’t access expandable memory either (that’s in the SIM tray), it’s only for taking off or replacing removable packs that come it a bunch of different colors. Cool, I guess, but also a small let down.
For “wows” per dollar, most will be interested in the mega-powerful Droid Turbo 2, but if you can get by with a little less but still don’t want to sacrifice anything in terms of battery life (Verizon promises 2 days, but we’ll see about that), then the Maxx 2 could be a consideration. But for the price, it’s almost impossible to not—at the very least—check out the same-priced Nexus 5X, which comes with latest Android and can travel to other carriers, including Google’s own Project Fi, if need be.
But compared to the spec’d out Turbo 2, the Maxx 2 gets a little lost in its shadow.
- Network: Verizon
- OS: Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with Moto Apps
- CPU: Snapdragon 615 processor
- Screen: 5.5-inch 1920x1080 AMOLED (403 PPI)
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB + MicroSD up to 128GB
- Camera: 21 megapixel rear camera / 5 megapixel front camera
- Battery: 3630 mAh
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.9 x 0.43 inches
- Weight: 5.96 ounces
- Price and Availability: $16 a month for 16GB; Available October 29