Droid Razr Maxx vs. Galaxy Nexus – Battery or Ice Cream Sandwich?

by: Derek ScottJanuary 27, 2012

droid razr maxx vs galaxy nexusI hope you guys are ready for a quick comparison of a couple of the most highly desired Android phones currently on the market. Let’s start off by introducing both the phones.


Droid Razr Maxx

In Corner 1 we have “the rookie” the freshly released Droid Razr Maxx who was released on the market on January 26 2012 by Verizon. The Razr Maxx was born from the brains of a Motorola engineer who thought of packaging a higher capacity battery onto the original Droid Razr by Verizon. The Razr Maxx almost never became as there was considerable hesitation from both Motorola and Verizon on launching a new version so soon after the release of the Droid Razr. The Droid Razr Maxx is the worlds first 4G smartphone to pack a high capacity 3300 mAh battery which overpowers the Galaxy Nexus’s measly 1750 mAh capacity battery.

We discussed the best feature about the Razr Maxx being the battery but we need to bring to light the negatives about the phone and its main neg is that it isn’t launching with Ice Cream Sandwich. The Maxx launches with just Android 2.3.5, a considerable blow to a phone packed with so many great features. I am sure you power users who are root masters don’t think this is a blow, but we have to remember the majority of people don’t root their phones, so they will be stuck on Android 2.3.5 till an official upgrade. If you goto Motorolas Droid Razr Maxx product page you’ll notice a deceptive marketing tactic with Ice Cream Sandwich clearly displayed, with the title: “ANDROID 4.0 (ICS) UPGRADEABLE: WE ALL SCREAM!” I mean duh of course it’s upgradeable, kind of a dirty move by Motorola in my eyes.

Galaxy Nexus

Galaxy Nexus vs. Droid Razr MaxxIn corner 2 we have “The Dude” the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich powered smartphone that packs just about everything you could ask for in a phone! The Galaxy Nexus was born on November 17  to the adoptive parents AT&T and Verizon, since it’s debut the Galaxy Nexus was dubbed by many “The best Android Phone” . It’s easy to understand why the Nexus was receiving such high accolades, it was the first smartphone to launch with Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. A new operating system changes your phone experience dramatically and with an estimated 4 Million+ Galaxy Nexus units sold in less than 2 months in 2011 I think the public agrees.


Lets take a quick look at who has some of the better specs and features.

Droid Razr Maxx

  • 8 megapixels Rear Camera Resolution. (5 megapixels on Nexus)
  • 3300 mAh Capacity Battery – Aprox 21.5 Hours of talk time (1750 mAh battery on the Nexus)

Galaxy Nexus

  • Height: 5.33 inches (Razr Maxx Height: 5.15 inches)
  • Screen size (diagonal): 4.65 inches (Razr Maxx: 4.3 inches)
  • Resolution: 1280×720 px (Razr Maxx: 960×540 px)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.1 Operating System (Razr Maxx: Android 2.3.5)
If you want a more detailed specs comparison of the Droid Razr Maxx vs. Galaxy Nexus, be sure to checkout our full spec comparison here. If you are looking for a review of the new Droid Razr Maxx the boys over at SlashGear just did an unboxing and review.


Both phones hold  powerful titles, the Razr Maxx (The longest lasting 4G Smartphone) and the Nexus (Worlds first Ice Cream Sandwich powered phone). So naturally this is likely what it comes down to when deciding on which phone is better. It’s also important to note that the nexus also boasts a larger higher resolution screen which is also a major factor to consider when comparing these 2 phones.

If I am buying one of these phones I’m buying the Galaxy Nexus, a longer battery just isn’t enough of a selling point for me. Some might argue, why not buy the Razr Maxx and root it to get Ice Cream Sandwich. Valid point. Even with rooting the Maxx with ICS I still would choose the Nexus because I prefer Samsung and the strong brand that we’ve come to expect from the Nexus.

Which phone do you like better? Droid Razr Maxx vs. Galaxy Nexus. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts…

[poll id=”74″]

  • guest

    the question is: when will Razr get ICS, and would you have changed your mind if it came with ICS already? I mean, if you just have to wait a month or maybe 2, I wouldn’t worry much about getting a RAZR, both phones will need an upgrade when Jello (or whatever) is released.

  • Guest

    Had a Galaxy Nexus for work. Returned it for Razr Maxx. Nexus signal strength was poor – consistently losing it while traveling – while an older HTC Incredible was still receiving. Sound quality was poor, especially from the speaker phone – not usable at all for business. The phone often wouldn’t accept a charge, using multiple outlets and chargers. ICS was very nice, but the phone was a failure overall for us.

  • Warnercb

    i got a galaxy nexus and returned it. Reception problems were the main reason (and batt life sux). beautiful screen but that was all i could see that was great. Ice cream sandwich is cool but the others will get upgraded too. Im going for a Maxx

  • Anonymous

    The beginning of this is extrememly misleading. The results you quoted from “Android N Me” regarding 6-8 hrs of life refer only to testing results from the ORIGINAL RAZR, NOT THE MAXX. Please correct your article to reflect that. Here is the actual text from that site.

    “Our very own Anthony Domanico wrote a review of the Motorola Droid RAZR. According to his experience, the device lasts from 6-8 hours under default settings. But once he started using Motorola’s Smart Actions, he managed to still have 30% of his juice after a 14-hour day. And yes, this included continuous 4G LTE usage.”

    Nothing in this paragraph refers to testing of the MAXX at all. This is a terribly written review and only an attempt to garner attention to this website. Garbage.

  • guest

    I tried the Galaxy Nexus but I had a terrible problem with dropped voice connections on the verizon system around Denver. I hated to let go of the lovely gnexus but sometimes a phone has got to be a phone. I switched to the razr and now can reliably make cell phone calls.

  • Fsdafsd

    Verizon’s Razr Maxx has a locked bootloader. You wont be able to get ICS until release date. Root or without root.

    • Posted a month ago- so I’ll update. RAZR MAXX you can fully root, but bootloader is still currently locked. You can flash ICS, but it has a few bugs that are getting worked out.

  • Itsmermf

    Razr Maxx build quality, stainless steel core, gorilla glass, kevlar back…is much more of a premium phone than the Galaxy Nexus, which feels cheap, it’s very plasticky. Having the better battery life and having to wait for a month or 2 for ICS is a no brainer, then you’d have the best of both worlds.

  • Ryan

    the maxx definitely makes the Razr a legitamit contender. but still can’t compete with the high res screen and the bigger screen. but you can’t go wrong with either phone. I do like the battery life. it would take a worry out of everyones mind daily.

    • Guest

      to be honest it really doesn’t matter to me that the screen is .3 inches smaller because i can be a pretty forgetful person and remembering to charge my phone every night can sometimes be a pain so i would definitely choose the Maxx

  • Korem

    did not go with eather cuz both were lacking. galaxy u cant add more storage yes 32gb is alot but at least let me add a sd cards to it. Razar the battery is big but not replace able. is it just a icant with android os.. i ended up going with the htc rezound with and extended battery bringing it to 2750mah had comparable featuers down the line better video captuer and 720p screen 2mp front faceing cam 16 gb built in and 16 gb card included upgradeable to 32gb

    • nathandaniels

      Clearly you are a well-read and intelligent fellow. I value your opinion.

      • Itsmermf

        Had the Rezound, returned it for the Razr Maxxx, can’t compare, 720P???, the razr screen still looks much better!! Rezound is just a larger version the the Droid Incredible, I liked HTC for many years, but over the past year, they just weren’t very innovative.

  • Schwentlaw

    I had the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for a few days but returned it when I found I had no cell reception in more rural areas. I now have the Motorola Razor Maxx and have 5 bars in the exact same physical locations I had no reception with the Galaxy Nexus.

  • Grumpy

    I am on my 3rd Galaxy Nexus. I love the OS but the phone has proved it is less than reliable in build quality. Each phone had a problem unique to itself and “unseen” by Verizon staff. Mysteriously each issue dead ended at “network” problems within the phone. I tried to love it but it wont let me. Returning it today for the MAXX. Some features to consider the Nexus lacks is and HDMI output which requires the purchase of an accessory to plug your phone into a tv. The battery is an 1850, not a 1750. Every site has it wrong. Either way, not enough battery for.the ginormous screen. Nexus lacks Gorilla Glass or a suficient bezel to protect the vunerable curved glass. Its plastic which isnt chesp, just not very protective. The only time you will make use of.the full screen in when viewing a vdeo or pix. Nexus often requires a gentle TAP to encourage the painful screen rotation. Browser windows frequently do not.display content in.full view(blank white) no matter your attempts. Closing.the window and opening a new one is the only.resolution. Dont even get me started on your Data connections. Awful. Its not worth ICS to deal with this hugely dissapointing POS Nexus.

  • Jack Ballurio

    Both phones are truly remarkable however I recently went with the Maxx.. the battery was one issue however the other is that the Nexus speaker just couldn’t meet my hearing needs. Too much rock n roll over the years.. I needed more volumn.

  • Jillianreager

    no comparo…had razr…returned it 4 nexus…never looked back! Soooo smooth! Great battery life…The one an only…SUPERPHONE! Lol

  • Califgirlk

    I have the nexus (for about a month now) and i loved it at first but i just cant seem to get a clear connection it is constantly droping calls and mobile networks. I had the droid razr first and i exchanged it for the nexus because of the battery life.. i am very excited about the maxx and i am going to return my phone today! The razr has a way better keyboard and i dont mind waitng for the ics..

  • Guest

    i think that a lot of people will agree when i say that the Galaxy Nexus was way over-hyped because if the ICS, would definitely choose the Razr Maxx

  • Mike

    Strong brand known as the Nexus? The Nexus S 4G was RIDDLED with issues and problems from day one. Bad signal, horrid wifi, speakerphone echo, etc…

  • RAZR MAXX is getting ICS. Samsung has nothing over it besides a slightly better screen and unlocked bootloader.

  • Ted

    I just purchased a samsung galaxy nexus and to be honest, I’m not impressed. Having to charge a phone every 8 hours at max is a pita. I’m not really tethered to my phone as I usually use it for calls, mail, and occasionally facebook checkins so for me battery life takes precedence over screen resolution. My older old samsung galaxy was just as good and had a long lasting battery to boot.

  • Manny

    I had the galaxy nexus. screen slow to rotate if it rotate at all. conectivity , what conectivity? battery ha. ha ? this phone will not last it gets way too hot. this heat will allow for poor battery life and vibrations with heated soldering joints will be vulnerable. okay now that you’ve heard the good here’s the
    bad. even if you don’t drop every other call. the phone has a tendency to mute about every other call. I had to galaxy nexus now I have a motorola razor max not 1 issue no dropped calls and with ice cream sandwich coming soon. this phone has a proven history think utilitarian. add otter box case this is as close to a ruggedized smartphone as you can get. did I mention verizon sent me too galaxy nexus. both of them or junk. I see it difficult for the current galaxy samsung nexus to compete in the real world applications head to head with a razor max or for that matter a string and 2 cups. test your nexus leave the city make sure you bring a friend with a motorola in case you break down and need to make a call this is not a joke if the nexus is your first verizon phone you will think verizon is crap do yourself a favor exchange it for a razor max or worst case scenario any basic phone without conectivity 3g 4 g no g. I have a network extender. and verizon boost to get to maximum strength. still that’s possible signal 120dbm asu2 this is not the bars, at the top of your phone but rather internal signal strength sold 2 numbers is all you need did I mention I have a network extender and that was the best verizon could do samsung put too much money and operating software and no money in the phone there’s my long winded fact don’t forget before you get pissed take your phone out of town and try it proof is in the pudding not the enclosed in virement that manufactures use for testing. try it yourself. good luck you’ll need it

  • Freddie

    Galaxy nexus is full of bugs. The phone is a lemon. The phone loses signal constantly, it restarts by itself, it is sluggish, and the list goes on and on and on. It need the ICS 4.05 to fix all the bugs. It is not worth the wait on a phone that was slapped together and put in the market without even testing. I changed 2 phones in two weeks until versizon gave me the maxx. Battery on the nexus is the worst there is. I don’t know how you did your reviews. Use it, then tell people what it is all about. you cannot beat the maxx.

    • Um, wow. None of this information is right. I’ve had a GNex for months.

  • Dobo122884

    I have had my nexus for 5 months now and I’m on my 4 the one. Not happy with the signal or call quality. I plan on exchanging to a razr just do to the constant issues and wait till the next iteration of nexus is released

  • Rolsen0528

    I got a nexus 3 weeks ago. It gets so hot on a regular basis I can’t even use it. Try plugging it into you car charger and talking at the same time. Make sure you can diall 911. I had to beg, but mine is going back!