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First Look: Motorola Droid Maxx, the multiday smartphone

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First Look: Motorola Droid Maxx, the multiday smartphone

3:55 /

Equipped with advanced electronics and a massive battery, the $299.99 Motorola Droid Maxx is built to run for two days straight.

Hi. This is Brian Bennett for CNET.com. And right now, we're taking a first look at the Motorola Droid Maxx. What you see before you is the top dog in Motorola's legendary Droid Smartphone line-up for 2013. Shipping now on Verizon for $299.99 with two-year contract, this gadget doesn't come cheap. So what does the Droid Maxx offer to justify its steep sticker price, quite a big at least on paper? First off, the new Maxx sports are huge 5-inch 720p HD OLED screen, the same display you'll find on its less expensive sibling, the Droid Ultra. It may not have the full HD resolution of the Samsung Galaxy S4 of HTC One. That said, the Maxx's screen is big, produces vivid colors and has high contrast and deep blacks. The phone runs Android Jellybean version 4.2.2, not the freshest iteration Android 4.3. Even so, just like the Droid Ultra, the Maxx's software is close to stock. Of course, Motorola frozen some wild Droid-themed wallpapers and ringtones. I especially like this one that looks like Skynet's global control center or something. You might expect the Droid Maxx to use a high-octane quad-core processor like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, not so. The Maxx relies on Motorola's new X8 mobile computing platform that's built around a dual-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon CPU, that doesn't mean the Maxx is under powered. The system boasts discreet quad-core Adreno Graphics along with a processor for interpreting natural language and one for contextual computing. It's the same technology Motorola integrates into its flagship, the Moto X, and the other new Verizon Droids, the Droid Mini and Droid Ultra. As a result, the Droid Maxx feels nimble and responsive. And thanks to Motorola officially becoming a Google-owned company, the Maxx enjoys tight integration with the Google Now Advanced Search application. Call touch-less control speaking of the phrase, "Okay, Google Now" at the phone will cause it to wake up from slumber, ready to leap into action. You can ask for directions, look up fax or set a reminder, just to name a few options. An active display feature uses only part of the screen to show notifications and alerts. Touched items to see more details or dismiss them. The idea here is to fire up the phone less and save battery life. Above the screen is a 2-megapixel front camera, while below it sits 3 capacity buttons for basic Android control. Around back is the Droid Maxx's 10-megapixel main camera and LED flash. There's a big speaker here too, which pumps out a huge amount of volume. Motorola simplify the camera app for greater speed so you can spend more time taking photos and less time messing around with the camera settings. You can also activate the camera by picking up the phone and twisting it in your wrist, while you can't adjust image size, you can toggle modes for HDR and Panorama on or off. I also like the Droid Maxx's traditional Kevlar fiber coating on back, which resist both scratches and fingerprints. At 0.34-inch thick, the Maxx is remarkably trimmed especially considering it packs a ridiculously high capacity 3500 mAh battery tipping the scale at almost 6 ounces however, the Maxx is hefty. Motorola says, the Maxx's enhanced battery provides a long 48 hours of mixed usage. It is not removable though so you can't swap in a fresh battery in the gym. The Maxx also comes with 32 gigabytes of internal memory. Unfortunately, the phone lacks an SD card slot to add additional storage and like all the new Droids, the Droid Maxx links to Verizon's 4G LTE network for fast data. I'm Brian Bennett for CNET.com and this has been a first look at the Motorola Droid Maxx.

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