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Best phones of 2013General


  1. Razrwire

    Razrwire Active Member

    I can't believe this phone doesn't get more headlines. I think it has pretty damn good features. There are some pretty good phones out there right now but I feel this phone has the right features for me. The only other phone I truly considered as a rival was the S4 but did not like touchwiz. I am a fan of the stock android look with some added functionality. Obviously the battery was a huge plus but touchless control and the active notifications have been great. Just my opionion. Also, when I see the moto g on the list of best phones of 2013, I can't believe it. Oh well...

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  2. Cincybearcatfan

    Cincybearcatfan Well-Known Member

    It's a Verizon only phone. If it had a broader base to sell to then it would get more love. It's okay with me. I don't need others to recognize the Maxx to know it's the best phone for me. :)
  3. Thom

    Thom Premium Guide Member Guide

    Simply the best phone I ever used.

    ... Thom
    dhbuckley likes this.
  4. LizMac

    LizMac Well-Known Member

    I agree, this is the best phone I've had. And, I was thrilled with the Droid Razr HD before it. I personally don't get what the big deal of the Moto g is either. For me I want functionality and equal toughness. I loved my Casio G'zone Commando phone (chatting on the phone while in the shower was always fun) but it's downfall, among other things, was no front camera. !!
  5. Razrwire

    Razrwire Active Member

    I agree 100% about the moto g.
  6. speede541

    speede541 Well-Known Member

    I can tell you where it fell off those lists.

    1. Poor camera at launch. Huge screw up by Moto, especially for a flagship device with a flagship price tag attached to it.

    2. High price tag. See #1. Reviewers were willing to trade the solid-performance-yet-not-top-of-the-line-spec for extended battery life, but couldn't overlook the top-of-the-line-price. Never mind the 32GB of memory, wireless charging, or novel voice controls.

    3. The Ultra. In just about every Maxx review, it was either casted as the also-mentioned second player to the Ultra, or the Ultra was heavily referenced as the base model. Regardless, the general contempt the Ultra received cast a long shadow over the Maxx, when instead the comparisons should have been to the Moto X, and the and the Maxx should have otherwise stood alone.

    Like it or not, the initial reviews crippled the Maxx as a serious contender for many potential purchasers, something no product can be expected to recover from.

    I'm with you guys and the handful of people I've turned on to the Maxx -- Best Phone Ever (of 2013, that is).
  7. mrdrh99

    mrdrh99 Well-Known Member

    I think it purely because of the specs list on paper, not proper user reviews. This phone performs 10x better than you would think just reading the specs
  8. Whatstreet

    Whatstreet Well-Known Member

    I am delighted with the Maxx running JellyBean. I am concerned about what will happen when it is running KittKatt. I suppose they will eventually get KK straightened out.

    My last phone started out running FroYo and had some issues right from launch. It worked great after receiving GingerBread. However, the phones performance was destroyed by IceCreamSandwich. The battery was coming up on three years old anyway so I have the Maxx now. Performance issues solved and a lot of great new features.
  9. speede541

    speede541 Well-Known Member

    OT, but I think we're alright. Everything I'm heading is KitKat is Jellybean optimized to lower the system overhead, making it more efficient on lower-spec devices. Of course, re same ought to hold true on HTC, Samsung, and LG devices, so there's really no advantage to us.
  10. capulinflicker

    capulinflicker Active Member

    I've only had the Maxx for a couple days now (lost my phone on New Year's, oops) but I'm pretty pleased with it so far.

    My only complaint on the phone would be the camera. I take a lot of pictures with my phone and this is a pretty big hang up for me. I do a lot of hiking and camping and I do a lot of outdoor photography on the way, so it's nice to be able to take decent pictures with something I keep in my pocket rather than lug up a full DSLR up the mountain. I'm surprised at how minimalist the camera is on the phone and I really hate that I can't adjust the camera settings pre shot. The whole tap to shoot thing really bugs me since I'm used being able to pre-focus and pre-meter. The tap to focus setting doesn't quite cut it since it still takes a shot at the end of the focus plus I hate relying on the phone to do the correct metering. Granted, I haven't had a whole lot of time to fully test it out since it's been so cold and I haven't had a chance to get outside, but in the little bit that I've played with it I've been pretty disappointed with it's performance. Before on my GNex people would always comment that the pictures didn't look like they came from a smartphone, but now with the Maxx it's hard to dispute that fact. For having a 10MP sensor this phone's camera is seriously lacking.

    I'm still within the 15 day trial period from Best Buy, but I am considering taking it back for something else. Thing is I do really like the phone otherwise. Anyone have any suggestions for getting past Motorola's decision to nerf this phone with such a bad camera?
  11. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    With KitKat the camera is a little bit better. If you have tap to focus turned on, with KitKat you now have a control that you can drag to focus and spot meter, so controlling exposure and focus is a little better and more reliable.

    Still, I don't love the camera. It takes serviceable photos, and occasionally some good ones, but I've seen a lot of crappy photos. It's funny, if you look at the Moto X community on Google+ there are plenty of people posting what they think are great photos and they are just not great. (The Moto X and Droid Maxx cameras are the same.)

    I've attached a screenshot to show the control that I am talking about... (the screenshot is blurry because I shook the phone when taking the screenshot.)

    Attached Files:

  12. capulinflicker

    capulinflicker Active Member

    Yeah the photo samples I've seen have largely been pretty bad, bleh.

    But that's good to know that they'll be bringing that sort of camera control back with the update, thing is I have no idea when my phone will get upgraded to KitKat. Any experience with 3-party camera apps on the Maxx? Any recommendations? I never bothered to get any other camera apps on my GNex (other than an HDR app) since the stock camera was so good.
  13. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    I'd be awfully surprised if everybody did not have KitKat by the end of the month. It's pretty well-reported that the last update had issues for some people, but I think that fix for that was delayed by the holidays. I'm sure that not many people were working at Motorola and Verizon the last week of 2013 and perhaps the first week of this year.

    I've used only the stock camera app. Ive heard good things about Camera Awesome from SmugMug, and have used Camera Zoom FX and ProCapture on other phones. (I can't recall if they cost anything. When I look on the play store it just tells me that they are already installed...)
    LizMac likes this.
  14. Whatstreet

    Whatstreet Well-Known Member

    You may be right about the camera when compared to other smartphones available now. I did an in store comparison of the Maxx camera to the phone I was carrying et the time and found the Maxx to be much better so it was an improvement for me.

    In my opinion, ideally I will use a DSLR when serious about photography regardless of the smartphone I might own at the time. The lens on smartphones is so lacking.

    The feature of interest for my smartphone selection was battery time and the Maxx is one of the best if not the best for this feature.

    I am curious as to which Verizon smartphone has the best camera however. This might be a topic for a different thread somewhere.
  15. Razrwire

    Razrwire Active Member

    When I compared cameras @ Verizon, I found that the Lg G2 and the SG4 were awesome cameras. Obviously the Iphone is one of the best but I wasn't going there.
  16. Razrwire

    Razrwire Active Member

    I also recommend the Focal camera app. There are tons of options that the stock camera app just doesn't have currently on Jelly Bean. The ability to adjust color/white balance for example.
    doogald likes this.
  17. SNeitzel

    SNeitzel Well-Known Member

    I like that app a lot. But, it seems to rotate pictures the incorrect way when I view them in QuickPic every time. ie, a picture taken portrait will show in landscape by default and vice versa. Doesn't do that in the stock gallery app and the stock camera doesn't have that issue with QuickPic.

    Strange...

    EDIT:
    Vignette also does not have that issue.
  18. Razrwire

    Razrwire Active Member

    I have only had the issue of portrait coming out as landscape, not vice versa. However, the app works pretty well now that I have it dialed in and I like it enough to be patient with the updates. Let the developer know your issues so he can fix them. Also I get a "no memory" message when taking a pic using the auto awesome feature. I've been meaning to let him know about these bugs but haven't had time.
  19. jkmasi

    jkmasi Well-Known Member

    I too like my smartphone camera to substitute for a separate camera (DSLR or point & shoot) when hiking, backpacking, etc. I find that the Droid Maxx does best outdoors, so at least you have that going for you. it's the indoor, poorly lit pics that come out the worst. Also, the camera improvements with KitKat do help.
  20. mrdrh99

    mrdrh99 Well-Known Member

    OK... My thing is that it's no secret that Motorola has crap cameras right? And Motorola knows this. Why the hell don't they change that?! Almost every other manufacturer has better cameras and prices are similar so why haven't they changed this?!
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