It’s been not quite two years since I moved from a Blackberry to a Droid X. The X turned out to be a good phone and a good device overall, and I enjoyed the large screen, a big change from the postage stamp display on the Blackberry. Other than wanting a phone with 4G I had no good reason for wanting a new/next phone.
But I did want 4G. Speed matters, especially when you tether frequently as I did using PDANet for Android. I started looking at phones early this year to see what was new and what was coming. The Droid Razr was one of those, thinner and lots of raves about how thin it was. Thinner is good, lighter is good, but not at the expense of battery life and that was the trade off they made. Then the Maxx came along with a larger battery and then it started to look interesting.
The other part I wanted was to see an upgrade to a newer version of Android. The Android phone OS ecosystem is a mess, in my opinion at least. Every phone manufacturer wants to tweak it, add a custom skin, and the result is that once you get the phone, you’re not likely to see many more updates. This is where both Apple and Microsoft do it better, at least so far. The Maxx comes with Android 2.3,with a public commitment (we’ll see!) to upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich (v4) soon. Originally soon was April,now it looks like May 21st as I write this.
So buy, or wait? I didn’t see anything else in the rumor mill that looked compelling, so it was a bet on the ICS upgrade. I hit Wirefly to see what the cost was, but it turned out that I could only get the early upgrade if I went through Verizon. Usually that means paying more, but in this case it worked out to be the same cost I would have paid via Wirefly. My guess is they are trying to capture some of the upgrade money and still keep the affiliate upgrade market going too.
Bottom line was $200 for the upgrade, so I ordered one that took a few days to arrive. It’s about the same size as the X, just thinner. The v2.3 OS is stable at least, and it’s nicer/smoother than the X, a result of accrued tweaks probably. For example, tethering on the Maxx is built in – just plug in the USB cable and enable, no third party software required. The camera response time is significantly better than the X, noticeably so.
It’s a bunch of little things, but overall I find it to be a better phone than I had, and that’s good.