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Massive Motorola Droid Razr Maxx battery a 'Eureka' moment

Two almost-identical superphones launched just a few months apart made it look like Motorola held out on us. But the Droid Razr Maxx was more of a happy accident than a plan.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx's 3,300mAh battery (top) was a happy accident.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon and Motorola may boast that the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, on sale beginning today, has a boosted battery capable of lasting a full day and night. What they won't tell you is that the Razr Maxx was an accident.

A Motorola engineer was playing with the idea of packing on a higher capacity battery onto the original Motorola Droid Razr, CEO Sanjay Jha told CNET at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, when Jha got his hands on it.

While the Razr Maxx is slightly thicker than the Droid Razr (0.35-inch at its middle versus 0.28-inch thick), he found its more rounded back easier to hold.

Jha was so impressed with the feel of the device, he said, that he pitched the phone to Verizon Wireless. It turns out that there such a thing as "too thin" after all.

Still, there was some reluctance by both Jha and Verizon Wireless to sell the device, especially so soon after the Droid Razr had launched, Jha said.

Verizon had thrown considerable resources behind the Droid Razr, often referring to it as the carrier's flagship smartphone for the holiday period--one that included the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first phone with Android's latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

Jha agreed to knock the original Droid Razr down from $299.99 to $199.99 and swap in the Razr Maxx in as the new flagship phone at the $300 mark. He hoped that the longer battery life would appeal to power users willing to spend a little more for a phone that could go the distance.

The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has a 3,300mAH battery compared to the original Droid Razr's 1,780mAh battery. Both batteries are embedded into the device, and are not removable, a fact that helps keep the device profiles slim.

The Razr Maxx situation isn't likely to see a rerun any time soon. Jha has said he plans on scaling back the number of smartphones that Motorola releases next year, focusing the company's resources behind a fewer number of higher quality phones.