Droid Razr Maxx Teardown: Impressive battery life in a sleek package

Offering 20 hours of talk time, Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx may be the answer for those who fear smartphones with non-removable batteries.

Just three months after releasing the Droid Razr, Motorola is back with a new model that offers significantly more battery life.

The new Razr has a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and a 4.3" Super AMOLED display (960x540 pixels). It measures 5.15" (H) x 2.71" (W) x 0.35" (D) and weighs 5.11 ounces.

The Droid Razr Maxx comes with Android 2.3.5 installed, and can be upgraded to Android 4.0. In the US, Verizon sells the Razr Maxx for $299.99 (with a two-year contract). I bought our test device (sans contract) from a local Best Buy Mobile location for $799.99 (plus tax).

In this week's episode of Cracking Open, I show you what's inside the Droid Razr Maxx, and discuss what I learned from my teardown.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx

Cracking Open observations

  • Same hardware specs as Droid Razr (sans battery): Like the original Droid Razr, the Maxx has a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, a 4.3" (960x540 pixels) qHD Super AMOLED display, and runs on Verizon's 4G/LTE network.
  • Upgraded battery: The Razr Maxx has a 3,200/3,300 mAh battery compared to the earlier Razr's 1,750/1,780 mAh battery. According to Motorola this beefed-up battery can provide 21.5 hours of talk time and last for about 16 days on standby. My friends over at CNET Labs put the Razr Maxx to the test and got pretty close to Motorola's talk-time numbers. They achieved 20 hours of continuous call time and 19 hours and 47 minutes of continuous video playback.
  • Thicker and heavier: The Razr Maxx's larger battery makes the phone slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor. But the difference isn't enough to make the phone uncomfortable or too heavy to hold.
  • More expensive: The Maxx is also more expensive than the original Droid Razr. As of publication, the Maxx is $299 (with a two-year Verizon contract) while the old Razr's price has dropped to $199.

Internal hardware

To avoid damaging our test device, I decided against desoldering all the EMI shields on the Razr Maxx's motherboard. Luckily, our friends over at iFixit did remove the shields on a Droid Razr produced in November and a more recently produced unit. The new Razr and Razr Maxx have the same basic specs as the older phone, but Motorola appears to have swapped a few chips.

  • 3.8V 3,300mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery
  • microSD and SIM card reader
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 Application Processor
  • Samsung K3PE7E700M-XGC1 4Gb LPDDR2 RAM
  • Elpida B8164B3PF-8D-F DDR2 mobile SDRAM (likely covers the TI OMAP 4430 processor)
  • Atmel MXT224E touchscreen controller
  • SanDisk SDIN5C1-16G flash memory chip
  • Qualcomm PM8028 power management chip
  • Qualcomm MDM6600 (provides GSM and CDMA connectivity also used on iPhone 4)
  • Motorola T6VP0XBG (LTE baseband processor)
  • Texas Instruments WL1285C (provides 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, FM and GPS support)
  • Toshiba Y9A0A111308LA Memory Stack
  • Bosch 2133 accelerometer
  • Infineon 5726
  • ST Ericsson CPCAP 6556002
  • Skyworks 77449 Power Amplifier Module
  • Avago ACPM-7868 quad-band power amplifier

For more information on the original Droid Razr, check out Deb Shinder's real-world review, "Motorola Droid Razr: Super model or serial killer?"


Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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