Take a look at any phone from Motorola's RAZR line-up, from the to the , and you'll see the basic design of the MAXX. More than two years since the RAZR form factor first appeared, Motorola is still clinging to the now iconic look, with just a few tweaks to the surfaces and specs.
The MAXX sees the addition of three touch-sensitive music keys beneath the external display that light up when pressed. The materialising keys are eerily similar to the song navigation keys that appear on the glassy black surface of the clamshell LG U830. Let's not cry copycat though -- LG's buttons are red while the MAXX's are electric blue. (If you take a look at, you'll also see the same external button line-up, this time rendered in white.)
At 53mm by 104.5mm by 15.5mm and weighing 105g, the MAXX is thinner and lighter than Motorola's 3G, but a few millimetres thicker than the . The internal display is bright and built for Web browsing, with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels.
There's just one port on the MAXX: a mini USB jack that accepts an AC charger, USB cable or headset. Simplicity can be a virtue, but the single socket doesn't allow for multitasking while you're powering up. The microSD slot is also not accessible without opening the back cover -- it's hidden underneath the battery.
In comparing Moto's recent models with the phones released by the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson, we can't help but observe that Motorola seems to be doing a bit of laurel-resting. While the original RAZR represented a smoking-hot shake-up of the mobile market, it was released over two years ago. It's fine to bask in the glow that a hugely successful product brings, but if Motorola is going to keep releasing phones that are near-identical in design, we'd like to at least see an interface overhaul -- those menu graphics are beginning to look pretty dated.
As with the , many of the MAXX's noteworthy features come from the Telstra Next G network rather than the phone itself. Due to the higher downloads speeds possible on HSDPA, video has been given star billing, with Telstra offering news services and Foxtel on Next G handsets.
The music player can handle a variety of formats including MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC files, but you'll need to shell out for a microSD card if you want to build up a formidable playlist: the internal memory is 50MB.
A 2-megapixel camera above the external display and a VGA version on the inside of the clamshell hinge round out the photo- and video-capture facilities.