Phone is hard to lose, easy to love [The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.]
(Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 31--Amazing Maxx, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now it's found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Thank you, Motorola. The price tag of $299 with a two-year contract is steep, but the new Verizon Wireless Droid Maxx might be the best smartphone I've ever reviewed.
Foremost among the Android 4.2 Jellybean Droid Maxx's lifesaver features is the 3500mAh battery that gave me nearly two days of battery life on a single charge. Verizon Wireless says it's the longest-lasting 4G LTE smartphone, and I don't doubt it. I love my iPhone 5, but I'm losing patience with the need to keep stretching its feeble battery life by plugging it in every time I get in the car.
The Droid Maxx has a big, brilliant and vividly colorful screen. It's a solid 5.41 by 2.80 by 0.33 inches, 5.9-ounce build with a Kevlar back and a quality feel. Motorola's new eight-core X8 Mobile Computing System with a 1.7GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro chip provides both high performance and low energy consumption.
And the Touchless Control feature currently available on only the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini and Droid Ultra will spare space cases like me a lot of stress.
When lost, users can find them simply by saying "Google Now, call my Droid," thanks to Touchless Control. The phone begins making a ruckus. It works even when the screen is locked.
Touchless Control learns to recognize your voice.
When the new Maxx came in the mail, I excitedly began sticking it under sofa cushions and pillows. Every time I'd affectionately say "Google Now " my wife Lisa would say "What? Excuse me? Are you talking to me?" from the other room. Of course, calling out to your phone in a public place may cause people to cross the room to avoid eye contact with you. But that may already be happening.
You can use Touchless Control for other functions like making calls, sending texts, getting directions, checking your calendar, getting the weather forecast or setting a time for the phone to wake you up in the morning.
Of course, people are saying that Touchless Control is an invitation to Big Brother to eavesdrop. But for me, the chance to find my phone overrides the chance that it's squealing on me and telling The Man I lost it.
A new app, Open Mic+, brings something like the poor man's version of Touchless Control to any Android phone. It's free. But it sucks battery life. And it doesn't work as seamlessly as Touchless Control does.
The iPhone's Siri requires a press before she springs to life. One drawback is that Touchless Control can't talk back like Siri. And, for some, one plus is that Touchless Control can't talk back like Siri. There's no sassy attitude.
Active Display provides alerts and notifications on the home screen when locked. They don't pop up, though, when the phone is face down or in your pocket or purse.
Assist allows users to set the phone to automatically go into silent mode whenever their calendars show they're in a meeting and to send messages saying they're busy.
A feature I particularly like in the Droid Maxx, Mini, Ultra and Moto X is Quick Capture, which allows users to grab a photo much faster than with other phones. Just shake the phone and tap the screen. It has a 10-megapixel camera that takes good pictures even in low light.
And Wireless Display allows users to play games, surf the Web and share photos on compatible big screen HDTVs.
I've loved and lost more than one phone, but always recovered by quickly jumping into a relationship with a new one.
The Droid Maxx is one phone I'd hate to lose.
(c)2013 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)
Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at www.fredericksburg.com/flshome
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