Okay, I admit, I know the answer to this question.
Recently while using AT&T’s network, I received several important calls. During those calls, the caller sounded fine to me, but my voice was so broken up they had to anticipate my comments. I swapped my AT&T sim to a different phone. Problem persisted. Callers simply couldn’t make out what I was saying.
I realized my AT&T service had degraded. So, I decided to check out other carriers.
My previous experience with Verizon? Not good
My last experience with Verizon over a year ago had been disappointing. I had to use a network extender to make calls from home. Any calls I received while out walking the dog went directly to voicemail.
However, reconsidering cell phone service now in 2012, I recalled that Verizon prepositions generators at their cell towers prior to storms. In fact, Verizon was one of the few cellular carriers whose calls went through during Connecticut’s prolonged 2011 power outages. During one of those outages (the Snowtober storm aftermath), my home was without power for 5 days. (Snowtober storm was the real deal…. trees/limbs weighed down with wet snow brought down power lines, and many CT residents wound up living in shelters for several days when temperatures inside homes dropped to about 40 degrees.)
During that power outage, network support for most carriers’ cell phone calls was spotty. I used my Verizon iPad to read local news and help retiree neighbors stay informed. However, being able to also make cell phone calls while one’s home electricity & broadband internet are out would be priceless! Good reason to give Big Red another try.
Once I decided to retry Verizon, which phone? I briefly considered Galaxy Nexus but felt underwhelmed when I tried it hands on. I like the iPhone but prefer Android, and besides already have a Verizon LTE enabled iPad.
Oh wait, there’s a Razr with extended battery life?!
During my research, I stumbled across several excellent reviews for the Motorola Razr Maxx. I was fascinated by the phone’s amazing battery capacity (3300 mAh) and decided to visit a Verizon store to see it. For more interesting numbers, see Motorola’s Razr Maxx specs page for all the details.
My initial impressions of the Razr Maxx
- Surprisingly thin at 5.15″ x 2.71″ x 0.35″
- Nice clear, bright 4.3” screen
- Despite motoblur interface overlay, very fast UI response… No lag
- Superb call quality on both ends, even at home. (Verizon’s local LTE network upgrades clearly help here, as well)
- Good photo and video quality
- Blazing fast Verizon LTE speeds:
- At home, on average: 12,000 mbps down / 1000 mbps up
- In downtown Hartford: 23640 mbps down / 12379 mbps up
When I use a phone, my main interests:
- Does it do all I want / need it to do?
- Is it enjoyable to use?
- Will it last throughout the day or will I have to launch a 2nd career to keep it charged?
The Razr Maxx is one of few phones I’ve used that handily satisfies all these criteria. Interestingly enough, another phone I loved that met all these criteria: The Motorola StarTac.
I’d previously overlooked the Razr Maxx because Verizon network coverage at my home had been subpar. Recent Verizon network improvements resolved those issues, and I’m thrilled with both the Razr Maxx and Verizon’s LTE network.
Bonus tip for Verizon LTE phone owners
Verizon Wireless is currently offering a 2x LTE data promotion. If you have an LTE phone (whether you’re a new or existing customer), contact Verizon customer service to get this promo:
2x 2GB = 4GB LTE data plan for $30
2x 5GB = 10GB LTE data plan for $50
2x 10GB = 20GB LTE data plan for $80
If you have an employer/organization discount on your account, the 5/10 and 10/20 LTE plans may be discounted even further.
Bonus tip for new Razr Maxx users
By default, Motorola sets its social networking app to sync whether you’re on wifi or cellular data (you’ll see it listed in Settings > Applications > Running Services containing the word “friendfeed”). For me, that default setting initially caused incredibly disappointing battery life.
For phenomenal LTE network battery life, go to Settings > Data manager > Social applications and select (put a check mark by) “Set Social Networking applications to only sync when connected to a Wi-Fi network”
There you have it, my Razr Maxx review. While it’s not the newest phone out (was released a few months ago), if you have or are considering Verizon Wireless service, don’t overlook this phone like I did. It’s a keeper!