I can't imagine a mild curve in the back of a phone would make all the difference in the world to someone. Remember when we were sold that bill of good on the Galaxy Nexus? Something BIG is coming with the side of the Nexus showing curved.
I was excited about that and bought into it as a big selling feature. After 20 months, meh . . . and . . ? I honestlyl have to say that my Maxx feels better in my hand. More solidly built and better quality.
It is a bit bigger. I'm 6'4" and have big hands. I can see how some people would think it was uncomfortable in their hands but honestly if it was "curved" however slightly, it wouldn't change anything for people with smaller hands.
Here's the truth, and what matters to MOST people when they are being honest:
(Listed in order of priority)
1. Functionality- Can the phone do all that I need it to do quickly and efficiently. Does it lag or do some apps simply not work properly because of lack of power?
2. Camera- Does it take "good enough" pictures that you don't have to carry your DSLR camera around with you. Most of the time a camera needs to load quickly and and take action shots and low light shots decently (subjective to each user).
3. Battery Life- The more the better. No one wants to worry about using their phone. No one wants to live on a charger or carry around an extra battery if they dont' have to. That's why rooting is so HUGE in the Android community. People always want to have more functionality but tweak every last option to conserve power. It's why Juice Defender exists. While I have even made the argument why Android is superior to Apple due to interchangeable batteries, the MOST ideal would be to NEVER have to change a battery or plug in your phone and you could use it as much as you wanted to each day.
4. Screen size, resolution and clarity. Too big, a no go for some. Too small, a no go for others. 99% of consumers believe whatever they are told on commercials and are not interested in looking into facts. The truth is, there is MUCH more to pixel density and definition than even I know. What I do know is when I hold phones side by side I don't have to expand the words so big that I can see individual pixels. All I have to do is pick it up and look at the hue and coloring side by side and I can see all that I need to see.
5. Price- The cost of the phones is paramount to some. I believe it's the #1 reason why the Maxx has faced so much venom. People want champaign but have beer pocketbooks. The truth is if the Maxx had been $199 instead of $299 the reviews would have likely been different for it. But, a 32GB iPhone 5 $299 and everyone is okay with that. I would take my Maxx over an iPhone 5 100 times out of 100 for every reason listed here. But then again, you already knew that because I bought it and not the 5
I realize that the reasons above MAY be shifted up or down for different people. Price may be #1 on some people's lists instead of 5 on mine, but the truth is all of those things are how people choose their smartphones.
Just my $.002