Apple iPhone 5 vs Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx

by: Bams SadewoSeptember 12, 2012

[Updated] This article was modified to be more balanced. The previous version declared the Razr Maxx HD the clear winner.

ZOMG! So like, has the iPhone 5 finally arrived!? Forgive us for not sharing the seemingly blind enthusiasms that many are feeling, but it comes with the territory when you’ve been spoiled with such a diverse and impressive Android lineup this year. A 4-inch display? Welcome to 2010, Apple.

It doesn’t mean that we’re dismissing the wide appeal of Apple’s latest phone — specs, features, and what it can bring to the smartphone table, no siri siree! Here at Android Authority, we’d like to lay bare the cold, hard unadulterated facts. Rest assured that we will be reasonably objective when we lower the iPhone 5 and the Droid Razr Maxx HD into the fight cage for their duel.

Let’s first meet the two participants in this edition of VS.

Apple iPhone 5

Ah, the iPhone 5. We can’t say that we’re not entirely pleased to see you arrive — if only to give a jolt to Android phone makers to push the envelope some more. People were expecting the iPhone 5 to come out last year, but what they got instead was the iPhone 4S and Siri. So it’s understandable that the expectation this time around is higher and that much more intense.

The numerical jump, and not just an added alphabet on the back, traditionally signifies big changes for Apple’s iDevices. Will the iPhone 5 successfully please those on the other side? Quite likely. The more pressing question is whether or not it proves that Apple still has what it takes to innovate — something we haven’t seen in a long time. Is the iPhone 5 a Droid Razr HD Maxx killer? Now let’s not get too hasty. We have yet to properly introduce the competition.

Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx

As one of most prestigious members of the Android family, the Droid brand has successfully emerged from a slump with the release of the Razr series. The new Droid Razr HD Maxx built upon that fine reputation and took it a few notches further. Meanwhile, seeing the Maxx on the back of the name brings great pleasure to those who need their phone to come with nuclear-like power source. OK, maybe it won’t last for eons, but it still has the biggest built-in battery (capacity-wise) on a smartphone.

Now that you know a bit about the contestants, better get the aprons ready. The battle between the iPhone 5 and Droid Razr Maxx HD is likely to get messy. And it starts, NOW!


Apple has released some pretty iPhones in the past. The iPhone 5 continues the rounded-corner theme, minimalistic look and hardware home button tradition of past iterations. We’re not going to say it’s getting boring, but it wouldn’t hurt for Apple to shake things up a bit on this front.

Apple is using an aluminum and glass combo for the next generation iPhone. This time around, however, you’ll find that the back comes in two-tone colors – possibly an homage to the original iPhone. Kudos for making the iPhone 5 thinner than ever, as it measures just 7.6mm. It has also lost some body weight, and is now only 112 grams.

The Droid Razr HD Maxx has a highly distinctive design that makes it stand out from its peers. Some may say that the Razr looks more well-balanced compared to the rather awkwardly tall iPhone 5, but that’s not something that really pops. The Razr Maxx HD features a distinctive Kevlar backing, which now envelopes the side of the phone as well, not just the rear. If you dislike the hump that the previous iteration sports, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s now gone.

The phone packs monstrous battery and screen, surely it will be thick as a brick? Not really. The Droid Razr HD Maxx weighs a hefty 157 grams and is 9.3mm in thickness.  As handsome as the device and its edge-to-edge screen is, the Verizon logo on the front rather ruins it and we so wish that it’s not there. Maybe we’ll get our wish when and if Motorola decides to release an international version of the phone.

iphone 5 vs droid razr maxx hd

For inquiring minds, here are the dimensions for the two phones:

  • Apple iPhone 5: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
  • Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx: 131.9 x 67.9 x 9.3mm

Winner:  iPhone 5. Apple has always led the industry in terms of design and the iPhone 5 continues the tradition. The phone just screams high quality, and aluminum beats Kevlar in terms of appearance. Plus, the iPhone 5 is way lighter and thinner than the Razr Maxx HD.


The iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen (1136 x 640 resolution) is a welcome and long overdue addition, but it pales in comparison to the Razr HD Maxx’s gargantuan 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD display, despite the slight pixel density advantage of the former (326 vs 312 ppi). In reality, the pixel density difference won’t be that noticeable if at all.

Running the show on the latest iPhone is the new A6 SoC, which provides 2x faster CPU and graphics, or so Apple claims. Anandtech believes the A6 is based on the ARM Cortex A15 of the dual-core variety. Other notable features include an 8MP rear camera with f/2.4 aperture and backside illumination sensor, as well as a 720p HD front-facing camera.

All the hoopla about the phone sporting a 4G radio materialized on September 12, but as per the company’s habit, it’ll be known as Ultrafast Wireless. Check out the full specs of the phone right here.

The Droid Razr HD Maxx boasts the tried and tested Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, which is clocked at 1.5GHz. It also comes with 1GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage,  microSD slot, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi a/b/g/n, and GPS. Similar to its predecessor, the Razr HD Maxx has a 3,300mAh battery to power the phone for days.

Winner: Droid Razr HD Maxx. Given the similarity between the two SoCs, we can expect the phones to perform similarly in terms of raw speed. But the Razr HD Maxx powers through thanks to its NFC chip, expandable storage, and of course, amazing battery life.


The iPhone 5 ships with the equally brand new iOS 6, which was already previewed earlier in the year. Some fresh features that the new OS brings include an improved Siri (can now launch apps by voice, gives sports updates, hands-free usage while driving, etc), FaceTime over cellular network, turn-by-turn navigations, and a better Facebook integration.

Another feature that’s being touted by Apple is Passbook, which lets you store and access digital copies of movie tickets, airlines tickets, boarding passes, vouchers, coupons, and the likes.

We’re glad that the features above are finally arriving on the iPhone, because let’s face it – some have been available on Android for as long as we can remember, either through third-party or Google’s homegrown apps.

The audience may have gasped when the Do Not Disturb feature was introduced for the iOS6, which lets users put the phone on silent mode and stop notifications from coming in according to a set schedule, but Moto’s Smart Actions does that and so much more.

UI-wise, it’s still pretty much the same experience on the iPhone 5. The rows of icons and folders on the home screens are as simple as they come, but they get the job done. As you’d expect, everything is polished and intuitive.

Razr Maxx HD runs a light skin on top of Android OS. It’s one that doesn’t distract users from enjoying a wholesome Android experience, but rather enhances it.  There’s a slight disappointment in learning that it will only ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich outright, but an upgrade to the buttery Android 4.1 is promised soon.

Google’s influence on the Razr HD Maxx is pretty obvious, as it – along with the other two new Razr phones – comes preloaded with Chrome browser. It’s very comforting to know that the phone will not be left in the cold from getting timely updates in the future, though it remains to be seen how Moto and Google will walk the walk.

Winner: Tie. For most users, the polished experience provided by iOS is superior to the more complex Android. If the Motorola Razr HD Maxx had come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, we might gave it the first place. Truth is both OS are highly attractive and choosing between them is a matter of taste and personal preferences.


Moving on to content and service that the two camps provide, Apple clearly has set a high standard with its ecosystem, one that happens to pre-date the iPhone. But Apple also has no problem locking down its users, which would make them think twice about jumping on to another platform. Except for songs bought on the iTunes, most purchased digital contents (TV shows and movies come to mind) won’t run on non-iOS devices.

We’d like to think that Google has been doing a better job as of late in making its Google Play Store more desirable by providing a steady stream of multimedia content. The recent introduction of Google Play voucher is also a step in the right direction; one that will make it easier for customers to purchase digital goods, and subsequently create a more conducive environment for developers and content providers. All in all, we’re in for a good ride.

Winner: Tie.  Apple has the slight upper hand, but Google is fast catching up with no signs of slowing down.

Wrap Up

This piece isn’t meant to persuade Apple fans to climb over the picket fence and change allegiance, but we’re merely showing how the two phones differ. While simplicity seems to be Apple’s mantra, the same experience can be had on Android if one desires. That’s one of the best things about Android, as the overall user experience can be made as simple or as complex as the users like it to be.

Aside from the obvious hardware advantages, this is what the Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx offers. However, we understand that not everyone wants a big phone (even one that comes with a huge battery). Also, the classy design of the iPhone 5 is a major attraction point for many people.

So, is the iPhone 5 a Droid Razr Maxx HD killer. Or the other way around. Difficult to tell. We’ll call it a tie and let you decide. You want simplicity, elegant design, and ease of use? Get the iPhone 5. Do you want a large display, a modern design, and extra long battery life? Get the Razr Maxx HD.

Leave your comments and thoughts below.

[Updated] This article was modified to be more balanced and objective. The previous version called the Razr Maxx HD the clear winner.

  • Forrest Johnson

    RAZR HD maxx all the way! Love my of RAZR!

  • Random

    Common guys. This article is completely biased towards to the Droid RAZR Maxx. You can’t say that you are “indifferent” thinner and lighter and declare the RAZR the winner. Regardless of the name of the website, you need not be so partisan to one side. We want the facts, not the opinions.

    • Dave

      I don’t think people really want an impartial verdict otherwise just read the specs and make up your own mind.. I would rather they present it this way.. However I think they should remove the comment about them being impartial as I doubt they can manage it :)

  • John

    This is bullshit all the way through. Who is paying this guy to write this? Come on AA! You can do better. Just remove this article, fire the author, and pretend it never happened.

  • Yamsen

    Seeing as this is an android site, I’m not surprised by the outcome of this so called review. I may agree with you, but you are definitely biased.

  • james1972

    Comparing any other handset let alone the iPhone on a website called AndroidAuthority is pretty ludicrous. This article is so bias it’s not even funny.

    • Stian French

      So what. And the apple fanboy websites that compare the iphone to android devices aren’t biased? Spec wise, the RAZR HD Maxx has more features. As an android fan, this author is going to shove that in the iphone 5’s face because apple is just playing catchup now. And based on what I’ve seen, if apple doesn’t come out with another phone within a year, then other OEM’s are going to bring new features that apple is just going to have to catch up to again in the next rendition of the iphone.

      • Alex Cordova

        well lets hope and I pray that all these OEM’s patent everything they come out with on phones, to the detail. That way whenever we see iPhone 5s or Maybe even wait till iPhone 6, come out with a new innovation called “Widgets” on their screens :-) they can be sued. The same way they have sued over rounder corners on a flat touch screen surface.

        Im actually glad that the new iPhone 5 doesn’t have alot of new features you know because it show’s you how dumbed down we are willing to want our products. Just simple and yes it makes sense, my wife will definitely get one of these because she doesn’t mess with her phone. I on the other hand, I’m a Tech myself no way in hell am I going to choose this piece of crap iPhone 5 that still has 1 gb of RAM, 4″ Screen, and A6 Processor. Over the new GALAXY NOTE 2 with Quad-Core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 5.5″ Screen. Enough said. I also do understand power is not what everyone seeks here.

        Put it this way if I’m sold a car that a has a decent engine and the outside looks nice, for the same price of a fast car with a faster engine and it still looks nice on the outside, Ill get the fast one. But as a working tech, I see a lot of frustration in technology and understanding it with regular everyday users, and thats where APPLE comes to the rescue. Selling customer’s a product that has been “Dumbed Down” to make it as simple as possible. I’m a man of taste though, I enjoy new and better things. :)

  • arabsrulechina

    Droid RAZR Maxx thinnest? Not if you include the Hump at 10.8mm! hahaha

  • the24thfret

    you “forgot” to mention the fat camera which makes the droid razr pretty bulky.

  • MIBLegend

    I like both android and iOS devices but this article is unacceptable. The winner is base on the number not base on the opinion. All phone companies are making a device to serve their customer’s need, not to kill other product as it will never happen. If you really want to post a comparison between 2 devices, wait until you have hand on it and run full test. For now, seriously why would an android user post a good topic about iOS device on an android page? Meaning your post is total biased.

  • Xia

    Piece of biased bullshit!
    The name of the website says it all.. what was it again?

    Iphone is thinner and lighter but who cares? Droid is the winner because we are fags and want to do the lamest review ever!

    • John

      Your bigotry and use of vulgar and offensive language should make any decent person less inclined to side with you. You’re allowed to disagree with a person. But that does not mean you get to be an asshole about it. Someone as obnoxious as your being an iphone user certainly will not convince me to stop using Android.

  • RAZR all the way. Twice the battery, twice the fun. It sucks that Iphone lovers just pass on better phones just because they love Apple products. A real shame, especially since this time Apple didn’t even try to lead the market. They made a phone that already has representatives in the market.

  • Mobile Litteral

    obviously, this review is full of bull shit. Motorola Droid Razr HD maxx is just a rubbish btw.

  • Mobile Litteral

    After read this review, I know android authority is not reliable at all now. I won’t read android authority anymore.

    • Did you secretly want iphone 5 to be ahead?

  • Kevin

    This is such a stupid review. I’m an iPhone owner and really want to see the benefits and drawbacks of both phones. This is too biased to see how my needs will best be suited.

    Stupid review.

    • Joe Young

      I agree that it might be biased,therefore it cant be relied on…But every point they make is completely true! Apple needed to do something be if they want to stay ahead of the game and they didnt. The battery life on this phone is not improved, the camera is not improved and the screen has a lot of room for improvement. Battery life is HUGE! when you have 4G and the maxx battery is almost 2 times bigger and overall the phone is only 2mm thicker whcih is irrelevant

  • Androids are much better. Soz.

  • sandy

    woww no one can go more biased than this…B.T.W If driod is such an amazing piece i doubt why the andriod fans are more inclined towards galaxy s versions and not the motorola driod’ for thought :)

    • Manjit

      We are inclined more towards the Android…

      and you are here on Android page…

      See to it

  • RyanW

    All you butt hurt iPhail fans are hilarious. You read reviews trying to find leverage proving your Apple junk is superior, only to find out that android is still superior. Then out of sheer anger you claim a review is biased? Its pure fact that the new iOS has VERY few new features. Its pure fact they are selling dated hardware.

    If you don’t see the contradiction between smartphone and a simple smartphone, you shouldn’t even post here. This review was obviously done by techies, we aren’t going to say the iPhone is better to appease Apple fanboys. Techies know the facts cause we actually USE the features that come on our phones.

    If you’re an Apple fan boy and you’re here at Android Authority. You’re already showing interest in Android. Drop the fake ass status symbol of carrying an iPhone and move on!!

    • RichG

      I own a droid razr, previously had a thunderbolt, a droid X, a storm 2, and a storm. Never once owned any iDevice. I feel the review was quite one-sided. That said I still think the Razr HD is the better phone, but the review was biased.

      • luke

        Yup and I’m getting one as soon as it hits the stores :))))

    • There is some serious jadedness in your comment.

      I am an iPhone user and I really want to switch to a Droid. The one thing holding me back is the camera. I have compared droid pictures side by side with an iPhone 4s (identical pictures, lighting and monitor settings) on a dual monitor system and the Droid’s are never as good. (See Cnet and PC Mag reviews as well).

      The other drawback (and this goes with both platforms), once you start in one ecosystem, the cost of switching is more than just the handset. You have to factor in the cost of apps, accessories (micro usb vs Apple proprietary). That likely fuels the bias on both sides of the Android vs iOS debate.

      • polly

        I have a MacBook Air and now a new Droid Razr. Using the micro usb that came with my phone and it doesn’t show up on macbook. ?????

        Am IT stoopid….this is my first smart phone

    • Shawn M

      over 200 new features, look on apple. but Iphones really are better, literally look at facts. The a6 chip with 2.4 GHz isn’t dated neither is the IOS 6. i’m here from i didn’t know android authority was a website. apple is really advanced, yeah droids are keeping up but if you noticed they’re always behind. By the time droids get up to par with apple, apple releases some way better then it takes awhile for droids to keep up and once droid gets there apple releases something else better. I’m and Iphone fanboy and i admit it i favor apple products doesn’t change the fact apple is better at least i’m a fanboy of something in the lead instead of you fandroid

  • gareth jones

    “Seeing as this is an android site, I’m not surprised by the outcome of this so called review. I may agree with you, but you are definitely biased. ”

    “This article is completely biased towards to the Droid RAZR ”

    “woww no one can go more biased than this”

    “Piece of biased bullshit!”


    From Wikipedia:

    Hostile media effect

    The hostile media effect, sometimes called the hostile media phenomenon, refers to the finding that people with strong biases toward an issue (partisans) perceive media coverage as biased against their opinions, regardless of the reality. The phenomenon was first proposed and studied experimentally by Robert Vallone, Lee Ross and Mark Lepper.

    In the first major study of this phenomenon,pro-Palestinian students and pro-Israeli students at Stanford University were shown the same news filmstrips pertaining to the then-recent (1982) Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinian refugees by Christian Lebanese militia fighters in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. On a number of objective measures, both sides found that these identical news clips were slanted in favor of the other side. Pro-Israeli students reported seeing more anti-Israel references and fewer favorable references to Israel in the news report and pro-Palestinian students reported seeing more anti-Palestinian references, and so on. Both sides said a neutral observer would have a more negative view of their side from viewing the clips, and that the media would have excused the other side where it blamed their side.

  • tyler

    wow i love how pissy iphone fanboys get, lol

  • Darren

    OK, so I will start by saying I own an iPhone, I have done for the past 2 years, however, the rest of my family own Samsung Android phones so I do have some insight.
    I want to say that this article is downright biased, seriously, The droid RAZR, with a Kevlar back? That does not make it bulletproof, so why should your statements be aimed that way.
    Yes, I was a little disappointed the iPhone 5 does not have NFC, that doesn’t really matter though, I am in the UK and we have barely took off with 3G let alone 4G or NFC :L.
    Maybe your reviews should be a little more fair, possibly wait until the Apple device actually is for sale then compare, I can nearly bet if you compare the things both devices that that the iPhone will win.
    I don’t need to say any more

  • Linda

    I wouldn’t use an Iphone if it was given to me. Android users are smart enough to use their phone without Siree!

  • Ralph G

    Apples Tactic of having a big media event is really the only news with it’s brand. They use the same platform for everything and they are behind on the curve. The normal Apple customers are followers to Apple no matter what Apple tells them they think its the best because thats all they know They have become complacent with what they are sold.

  • Alan

    Like many, I’m a bit dissapointed Apple didn’t increase the size of the iPhone screen appart from making it longer. (note to Apple: some of us have bigger hands and thumbs than others.)
    I’m also not a fan of 16:9 screens… What’s with the current obsession with viewing the digital world through a letterbox? Does IMAX really have it completely wrong?

    Having said that, I don’t agree with the premise that Apple should redesign the iPhone just for the sake of change. If something is designed well in the first place there is little need to change it, (think Porsche 911). Do you redesign the wheel just because people are bored with it being round?

  • Josh

    Stupid review!

  • fan-boys… ive owned a 3g, 3gs, and an iphone 4. Also, ive owned an Evo, Droid 1 and a Droid X2. Plain and simple,iOS is easier. Android is also crash-prone. Ive owned and operated my fair share of smartphones, and iOS is it.

  • I’m a Droid RAZR MAXX owner and have no intention of getting an iPhone. But seriously, this is not a review or comparison. Droid Life, Android Authority, Phandroid, etc all the same poor quality overly biased articles. Is there any website out there that does not seem like it written by 15 year old kids taking a break from playing Call of Duty?

  • The name of the site is android authority, why not just do your comparison across your sickass platform and leave Apple products outta it, cos no matter what, you’re gonna give those stupid and bulky phoneblets the crown. Droid morons!

  • bill

    good review. I’m ready to trade my Galaxy S3 for a Razr MAXX HD!

  • I remember back when Jonathan Ive came out with splendid designs of the iMacs, the MacBook Pro, the iPhone, the MacBook Air which was the worlds Lightest and Thinest laptop, the iPad, the entire tech industry was inspired by the look and feel of each of these iproducts, and they had their version or a piece of Jony’s design idea, they were waiting for another superb Design to copy, no fools, think again! Apple is upgrading, just like they did to the New iPad and MacBooks with Retina Display. UPGRADE!!! Unlike Samsucks with their bulky GSIII, probably should just build a tablets and forget smart phones, I like to use phone with one hand and tablets with both hands…. Think Again!!!!!!!!!!

  • Woody Anderson

    I really appreciate your analysis. I’m an old guy (70). I’ll buy my first smart phone in October; Lord willing. I was intending to get the Razr. This has given me reason to study further. Thanks again. In Him, Woody

  • shyam

    I love razr

  • Eric

    iphone user here, was hoping for an informative article comparing the two, but when it ends in a tie, the review is no longer worthwhile.

    • Aaron585

      When it ends in a tie or you decide the winner, it usually means the reviewer/site doesn’t want to piss off it’s advertisers and suppliers. Cnet is a perfect example of this.

  • koldmeat

    Razr Maxx HD rocks. The other 1 is a crap…

  • Mark

    I like Iphone but andriod is a bit better. Iphones are for teeny bopers who just want to fit in with the crowd.

  • baldy54

    I had two versions of the iphone my two daughter,their husbands, and my two grandaughters have iphones, I switched to verizon a little under a year ago due to frustration with service availability and went with a droid bionic to carry me over till the iphone 5 came out. there is no way on this earth i would go back to iphone now the single most important reason is the call quality of the droid FAR outperforms the iphone, {As the kids still do i used to rely on text and blip}. but in all fairness they are still AT&T and never I tested call quality on verizon market.

  • rondo

    Razr HD maxx blows the Iphone out the water.

  • Shawn M

    if you like the speed,power, and simplicity get iphone 5
    if you like durability and toughness while still maintaining an overall good speed get droid razr maxx HD
    to be honest im pretty sure the iphone is faster and the camera is better with the retina display and the panorama and improved anti camera shake and the rest of the specs but droid in general is doing alright at keeping up with the 4.7 super amoled display in facts its 326 to 312 iphone wins but droids are keeping up with it. droids definitely win in battery life but u gotta remember its hard to make a long lasting battery life with all the features and iphone has that other phones don’t. so Durability and Battery Life- Droid Raw PowerSpeed and Features(like camera, ect.) -Iphone

  • Anne

    Droid for sure. I actually pre-ordered the iphone 5 and owned it for 2 days and heck I hated it to the gutt! I had to rush myself to Verizon to return it and got the Droid instead. I am much happier with the Droid. I thought I was going to die when I had iphone in my possession. HATE IT!!

  • Cardog

    I own and use both iPhone 5 and Razar hd the razors so much better in so many ways battery life even on the Hd has gottobe over 70 hours. On stsnd bye the phone gos 7 dsys easy. IPhone 5 battery is dead after 1 day.
    Screen is much brighter on Razor. And Droid is so much better then ios 6.Application work faster smoother in everyway

    • Cardog

      Both phones are very well built. AND HAVE GREAT LOOK AND FEEL.