"Video review fix"on by petriljoe
Pros Camera turns on from outside
Cons Cool (+) Focus button
Summary The so-called "repetitive camera button" is really a FOCUS button. If the reviewer played around with the phone a little longer that would be easily figured out. You push it once, like a digital camera, to FOCUS, and press it a second time to snap a picture.
The next thing is, the incorrect con that the camera may not be turned on while the phone is closed is another sure sign of writing a review way too fast. Push the PLUS sign button. That's why the reviewer didn't know why the PLUS sign focus button was there or what it was for, because when you close the phone, it is still accessible from the back when you close the flip phone. Hold it down a few seconds to get the camera to come up, and press it again to take a self-portrait using the outside display.
Pros Thin, fast, easy to use. Looks fantastic
Cons Camera while fast isn't up to par, Some glaring design flaws.
Summary I just opened the box and activated the phone. Comparing it to an LG VX8300. I took a few pictures and noticed how much brighter the pictures from the LG 8300VX are. Much brighter. I thought this might be attributed to taking a higher resolution pic with the Maxx but that wasn't it as I changed it to be the same. The LG is simply a clearer and brighter picture.
Now for the kicker. You can't take pictures with the phone closed. With the much less expensive LG 8300VX you just push the camera button on the side and take pictures. No such thing with the Motorola Maxx VE. You have to open the phone. How could Motorola put music buttons on the outside but no button for the camera? Huge mistake.
I bought this phone with the hopes that for routine pics, I could just use the phone. The pictures are very good, don't get me wrong but they aren't up to the quality of the LG and not being able to take a picture without opening the phone just makes everything not worth while.
The other serious design flaw is the little cover for the charger/USB slot. It's very flimsy and will easily get pulled off. Furthermore, it's on the side near the bottom and has sharp edges. What were they thinking? Put the thing on the bottom and then it won't snag on clothing. Men might not care but I bet women will quickly find this a problem.
The overall design is nice and this phone looks as good as anything out there and better than most but these design flaws keep it from being a keeper.
The call quality is good and connecting to a Plantronics Bluetooth headset went smoothly. The sound is very clear.
The menus have been given a slight revamp fro the standard VZW modes, nice. The camera menus are very easy to use and eliminate most redundant button presses. The features of the camera modes work very well.
The phone has lots of capacity for storing pictures and videos so that is a real plus. That gets us to expansion memory. To access the memory slot you must turn off the phone, remove the cover and battery. This makes absolutely no sense. Unless you can very quickly and easily transfer pictures to your PC wirelessly, then you should be able to just pop the memory card out of a slot and do it that way. This starts to show that Motorola just rested on it's laurels instead of really taking some time to make the phone easy to use.
I don't mean to complain here too much but it does seem like form over function took all the design resources.
This is a usable phone but much less expensive phones are much easier to use. If Motorola just paid a little attention to some very glaring design flaws, this would have been a near perfect phone. As it is, while being a good phone, I'd have to rate it as a basic model, not a high end product. For the money, you have a right to expect some very simple consideration to how people actually use a phone as opposed to just making it look good.Updated
Okay, the camera's indoor performance is much less in quality than even medium priced LG phones. This is common with Motorola phones though. While the 2 megapixels is nice, the indoor shots are not all that clear and get grainy if there isn't a lot of light, even with the flash on. The flash BTW is about the brightest I ever seen on a mobile phone.
A real nice feature is the flashing Bluetooth indicator light on the closed face of the phone. The problem with it is that it flashes for just a few seconds and then goes off. A very small flashing BT indicator can't use that much power, keep it flashing or don't put it there!
Before all the comments come in, I did try the various brightness settings for the display, the photo quality just isn't as good as an LG 8300VX and that is the way it is.
I do have to say that the keypad is a joy to use. Very tactile and fast. This is one of the better keypads made; like IBM keyboards, there probably isn't much better.
In summary, if you want looks and don't care much about the camera functions, this might be a good choice but why buy a 2 megapixel phone if not to make use of the camera?Updated
Those nice music player buttons at the top of the outside of the display (rear of the hinge at the top?) Well every time you go to pull this out of a pocket guess what button is going to get pressed? Now this usually wouldn't be an issue except for one thing. If you are using a Bluetooth headset, every time you hit that button you get a tone in your ear. Annoying for sure.
There really is no way not to hit that button if you try to take the phone out of a pocket; you reach in and grab the phone and that button gets pressed. I tried in a shirt pocket, front pocket and then in a side pocket of a pair of carpenter style jeans. You know, the small pocket that is on the side? Putting it in or taking it out, that button gets pressed.
This might be nit-picking but this is not a 50 or 100 dollar phone. Did Motorola do any usability testing on this before just shoving it out the door?
The buttons you need most it doesn't have (external for the camera) and the buttons it has get pressed when you don't need them (external hinge music buttons). That button would have been perfect for operating the camera and at first that is what I thougt is was.
How about a firmware fix that lets the user map the buttons to a function? At least that way you'll get easier access to the camera although pictures from the inside of your pocket might not be what you had in mind.
I tried to connect the MAXX VE to a laptop using a USB cable but without buying additional software from Verizon, there is no way to make the connection. You can connect via Bluetooth but if you are away from that computer and just want to off-load some pictures with a cable, forget it. Dumb, very dumb. If you need that software, it should at least be included right?
So, sorry to say, this phone goes back. For all it's great looks, it just doesn't live up to the promise and that is Motorola's fault. You can only squeeze so much customer loyalty out of the Razr design. Just a few things which could easily have been taken care of at design time and this phone would have no equal.
Like the american auto industry, you have to ask why they can't seem to stop running downhill. It's almost as if they want to fail.
"This is a RAZR?"on by yattaboy
Pros Build quality, nice screen, flash, music player
Cons only 2Mpix, Verizon ringers, auto-focus sound
Summary This is a slightly less conventional revue to give you an idea of some of my own likes and dislikes. Several things which weren't mentioned in the Cnet review...or reviews anywhere else:
* Fingerprints - I think if you Google "fingerprints", the first search result will be the Ve Maxx. We all know this. However, all you have to do is go "HaHHHH" (exhale out) on the hardened glass surface (not plastic) and wipe it across your jeans/shirt/friend's arm sleeve and voila!...its clean again. Stop complaining about this. Or get the leather case. Or get a life.
* The reason the auto-focus button is placed where it is -- something that almost every review of this phone seems to question -- is because it's directly opposite the camera module mounted within the phone. Auto-focus mechanisms are part of the camera sensor itself, so it really has to be there. Pressing this button is optional...you can take a picture just with the "take photo" center menu button, but AF takes a much sharper picture. You can actually press the AF button and not wait for the auto-focus to correct, and the subsequent pictures taken with the menu button are usually in good focus. I do not like the beep tone when pressing the AF button however, which you cannot disable, unlike other photo shutter sounds.
* The flash isn't just a flash...it is a veritable headlamp. If you need a flashlight, take out your camera phone, enable the flash, and press and hold the shutter button. Very effective. I'm surprised Motorola didn't design in a flashlight function for this very bright light.
* 2.0 Mpix was the reason I got this phone. I don't know why Verizon only seems to think we all want 1.3Mpix. I really wanted 3 or 5 Mpix like some of Nokia's phones offer, but those phones are on GSM and GSM does not work well where I live, so I'm stuck with Verizon and their 3-year old technology. When using the auto-focus as described, pictures are very good. Without using AF, pictures usually work fairly well, but some can turn out blurry.
* This phone is made of rubber-coated metal and scratch resistant glass, not black and clear plastic. Wow, you mean there's something made in our modern world that's not plastic??
* The phone seems to go to sleep, something that Motorola processors sometimes do. When I first bought it, I kept missing calls because the phone seemed to be so busy in 'idle mode' that it couldn't wake up in time for a 4 to 5 ring cycle. After missing the call, it would then wake up in time to beep with a message waiting indicator, and indicate a "missed call". Signal strength is around 5-7 out of 10 in my home...that should be enough to ring right away...it always has been with 5 other cell phones used in this house over the last 5 years. It rarely does this problem now...though sometimes it still does. Sometimes it remains asleep for a few seconds when I pick it up to make a call...unless you open the flip, pressing any button on the outside does nothing for about 10-15 seconds. This phone does so much else well that I've learned to live with this occasional problem, but of course you may not like this. I had another early version Ve Maxx that failed to focus at all and returned it...got the one I have now, whose serial number is only 8 counts off that original phone. Maybe I got stuck with a bad batch (bought the phone in May 2007 right after it became available).
* I disagree with the speakerphone complaints. I can hear it just fine and others say they can hear me just fine. I do not use a headset. It is true that on maximun volume, distortion becomes noticeable.
* Ring volume is good, but not the loudest I've heard.
* I have inadvertently pressed the capacitance-sensitive music buttons on the front a few times, starting up the music player when the phone is in my pocket. I stopped wearing phones on my belt because I didn't want to look like the 40 year man I am, but rather like a 20 year old dude I feel like. If you wear it on your belt, you probably won't run into this as much.
* Some people in reviews elsewhere complained about the screen size, and 64K of colors (not 256K). Trust your eyes. I went from the venerable LG VX8000 and its huge screen to this phone. Guess what?? They are almost identical in size (like, 1 mm off in one height if I recall). And "only" 64K colors? Folks, I've taken a lot of pictures on this and my last phone, and it's color is FAR superior. If you don't like the phone for other reasons, well, OK. But don't make your buying decision because it only has 64,000 colors. I mean, geez, if this stuff worries you, you've got more problems than picking the right phone.
* I love the music player, even if it does occasionally start on its own when its in my pocket. It's not the same capacity as an iPod, but it works for me. I did not at all like the headphones the Motorola/Verizon packages in the media kit. They fit poorly, falling out of your ears, and the slack in the wire slaps against your face whether you walk or jog. The plastic clip is on the headphone wire is useless. Buying yourself good headphones is an option, but then you'll need the headphone adapter (included with the phone, but a bit clunky).
* Yes you CAN use Motorola Phone Tools to download your own ring tones...you just need to accidently not upgrade beyond version 4.3.6.
* The battery is pretty decent...I get away with charging every 2-3 days, although music player and long talk time would need charging daily.
"I really like it."on by The Rever
Pros Camera, screens, keypad, call quality, reception, looks.
Cons Battery life, access and connections.
Summary While Verizon recently added a new tower to my home area that greatly improved reception, it has greatly diminished transmission. They're working on the problem...
Using our LG VX8300s (my wife and I had them) became intolerable, but because we wanted to stay with Verizon, we decided to try phones by other manufacturers to see if transmission was any better. The manager at our local Verizon store agreed to swap our 8300s for a Motorola KRZR (wife) and a Motorola Maxx Ve (me). I added $100 to make up the cost difference.
While the transmission problem is not completely gone, call quality on both new phones is significantly better. We're keeping the KRZR and Maxx.
And here is what I have also learned:
The LG has better access points for head phones (at the top of the phone), charging (at the bottom of the phone), and MicroSD card (side mount), as well as longer battery life.
The Moto Maxx has a considerably better camera that takes terrific, print-worthy pictures (no way on the LG), has no external antenna, has much better screens, a better keypad, better call quality, better reception, and is better looking.
The call quality on the Maxx (and on the KRZR, for that matter) is outstanding. I have had five phones before this, and the reception, transmission and sound quality surpasses them all.
There is one port on the Maxx which doubles as a headphone jack and charger. While the connection is more secure than on the LG, it is at an awkward location on the side.
To access the microSD card slot, you must remove the battery cover. Contrary to some reports, you do not need to turn off the phone or remove the battery in order to access it.
The camera takes outstanding pictures, and the flash makes it very usable indoors. And, like a real camera, you can play with settings and focus and such in order to get the best picture possible. Or, you can simply use automatic. I like it.
The outside and inside screens are superb, the interface is quick, the mp3 player is about the same as the LG (good), if a little louder thru the headphones, but not as loud thru the speaker. I also like the external music controls better on the Maxx than on the LG. I occasionally bumped a button on the LG when in use, but because there is a lock on the Maxx, that doesn't happen.
The speakerphone has excellent sound quality and is significantly better than the LG. I don't know what to say about CNETs comment, other than I strongly disagree. The usability of the keypad is great and easier to use than the LG (it's bigger), and the feel of the phone is somewhat better in my hand. Without faulting the LG (its size makes it a great fit in my palm), the Maxx is very solid and has a sort of rubberized back that provides a great grip.
Battery life is approximately a little better than half that of the LG—it’s the one thing that bothers me. I’m certain the two vibrant screens eat it up. I’ve never had a phone with the battery life of the LG VX8300, so having to be aware of the need to charge the Maxx more often is a new bother. The duration of the battery has noticeably improved after having it for three weeks, and it’s something I’ll get used to.
If you're looking for value alone, I recommend the LG VX8300. I've had three of them (510, 4400, 8300) and they work well—they’re bullet proof. If you're looking for the features I've listed above and can justify the added expense, the Maxx is terrific.
"I love this phone"on by scotiez
Pros Solid build, Reception is excellent, Nice big Screens, Easily customized for everyones liking, Nice Camera for on a phone, Style, charging port, and good battery life
Cons Ummmm can't really think of any
Summary I upgraded from my E815 to the Moto Razr Maxx Ve. I loved my e815 but it was time for a change. It now fits in my pocket very easily. I get excellent reception, the Camera is really good on this, I never bought it for the camera but it is very good quality. The sound is nice and loud. I like the large screen for viewing vcast videos. Battery life is good for being a thin phone, I get 3 or 4 days out of it before charging. The Key pad is good for sending text messages. Many people complain about verizons UI disabling many features on this phone. I don't see it, the phone does exactly what i want a cell phone to do. Also there are many ways to customize the display themes, wallpaper, screensavers and more. I know this phone has the capabilitys to play MP3s and such music but i never bought it for that. Someone else will have to review that feature. Motorola has come out with another great product. Way to go Moto and Verizon.