Motorola's flagship Droid RAZR Maxx has been updated and reissued as the Droid RAZR Maxx HD, and the company continues to aim for the iPhone's soft spots.
At the top of the list is battery life. The RAZR Maxx HD claims the same 21 hours of talk time as the prior model. That's an estimated 32 hours of "mixed use," a formula based on a study of how people use their phones. As a very light user, I found it lasted several days without a charge.
The Maxx HD also has the Google goodies that were banished from the iPhone, like Google Maps and Google Talk, and it uses the speedy Google Chrome as its default browser. It also has the latest YouTube app, which you won't find on the iPhone.
While the Maxx HD comes with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, it will be among the first to upgrade to the Jelly Bean operating system at the end of the year. Jelly Bean will add Google Now, an app that learns how a phone is used and provides alerts based on where the user is and what that person is doing; voice search, which is Google's version of Siri; and actionable notifications, which build in shortcuts for dealing with alerts.
The phone comes with 32 gigabytes of built-in storage, and a slot that will accommodate an additional 32 gigabytes in a microSD card.
The Maxx HD has a slightly faster processor than the older Maxx, at 1.5 gigahertz versus 1.2 gigahertz for the prior phone.
It also has a slightly larger Amoled screen than the old Maxx, 4.7-inch, 720p to the old version's 4.3-inch screen. Video played smoothly, clearly and without interruption.
The main camera is eight-megapixel, with an LED flash; the front-facing camera is a 1.3-megapixel.
It is 4G LTE compatible and works with 3G, 2G and many overseas networks.
It has a comfortable heft and and the Kevlar back is coated with a soft material.
Also unlike the iPhone, it's available only at Verizon, for $300 with a two-year contract.