Remembering the other Razr Maxx

Before Motorola and Verizon Wireless introduced the Droid Razr Maxx, the companies rolled out the much simpler Razr Maxx Ve.

Motorola Razr Maxx Ve
Before there was the Droid Razr Maxx, there was the Razr Maxx Ve. Corinne Schulze/CNET

Thank to a well-timed Verizon Wireless announcement just two weeks after the phone's unveiling , we now know that Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx will arrive in stores this Thursday, January 26.

The new handset has all the powerful features of the well-received Droid Razr while almost doubling the battery to an impressive 21 hours of talk time. I won't refuse more juice in a smartphone, particularly one that's just 0.28 inches thick, but there's no escaping that the Droid Razr Maxx is a recycled version of an existing device. And while that's a bit disappointing, it's also fitting when you consider the handset's name.

Indeed, it was almost five years ago when Moto and Verizon introduced the Razr Maxx Ve. Yes, the "Droid" name was still a few years off, but this Razr Maxx was another child in the very large Razr V3 family.

Though it kept the ultratrim profile that made its parent so famous, the Razr Maxx's design had an improved design and upgraded features like a 2-megapixel camera and support for Big Red's 3G network (remember that this was 2007). It also had the useful external music controls that first appeared on the really original Razr Maxx in 2006.

Reading the Razr Maxx Ve review that I wrote five years ago, I marvel at how much the cell phone world has changed since then. At the time I chided Motorola for continuing to ride the Razr train almost three years after the first V3 went on sale to long lines at Cingular Wireless, I still found a lot to like with the handset's now pedestrian feature set.

Most amusing is that I complimented Verizon for including Bluetooth stereo headset and object exchange profiles. As longtime cell phone geeks may recall, Verizon severely limited Bluetooth functionality for a few years following its first phone with the feature, the Motorola V710 . Big Red shrugged off the criticism then, but I'd bet such a move would cause riots today.

On the downside, I wasn't impressed with the speakerphone and streaming video quality (yes, they had the latter back then!) and I knocked the Razr Maxx Ve for not being able to take photos when the flip was closed (something that would be unthinkable now). And in a forecast of things come, I complained that the handset's glass surfaces attracted too many fingerprints and smudges.

Motorola Razr Maxx Ve review bottom line: The Motorola Razr Maxx Ve includes a couple of improvements to the Razr line that make it the most satisfying CDMA Razr to date.

In the end, the Razr Maxx Ve never amounted to much. It was only two months later, after all, that the the original iPhone went on sale and changed the mobile world forever. The Razr train was finally stopped in its tracks before being reborn as part of the more powerful Droid family. The more things change...well, you know the rest.

 

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