Motorola Droid Maxx Promises Up to 48 Hours of ‘Typical’ Use Before Needing Recharged

Believe it or believe it, there are some people out there who care more about smartphone battery life than any other feature.

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Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

The Droid Maxx is seen during the Verizon Wireless media event in New York on July 23, 2013.

Believe it or believe it, there are some people out there who couldn’t care less about the speed of a phone’s processor, the resolution of its screen or – perhaps to a lesser extent — its operating system. Today’s smartphones are basically all rectangular slabs with enough computing power to run apps, right? But ask smartphone owners how they feel about the battery life of their phones and you’ll likely hear that it’s either just okay or it never seems to be enough.

Back in January of 2012, Motorola – still trying to re-find its way as a dominant phone maker – trotted out the Droid Razr Maxx. It was a smartphone in a time when the then-newfangled 4G LTE networks were sapping smartphone battery life before lunchtime.

Motorola’s claim was that the Droid Razr Maxx, which had a giant battery the company had managed to stuff in a smartphone without making it look like a brick, would be able to stream video over LTE for up to six hours or provide up to 21 hours of talk time. Our own Jared Newman tested those claims and found the Razr Maxx’s battery life to fall short of the “up-to” times, but concluded that the phone’s battery life was mighty impressive nonetheless. Its screen and software didn’t fare as well, though.

Fast forward to today, and we have the latest in Motorola’s long-battery smartphones: the Droid Maxx. This time around, Motorola is promising “up to 48 hours of use based on typical usage patterns,” according to Verizon’s product page. The fine print reads: “Based on an average user profile that includes both usage and standby. Actual battery performance will vary and depends on signal strength, network configuration, features selected, and voice, data and other application usage patterns.”

So obviously that’s a best-case scenario, but even if the phone is able to manage anywhere north of 36 hours untethered, it has the potential to be a hit with long-talkers, charger-forgetters and anyone else who dreads when the battery icon shows a little red sliver.

Though some high-end Android phones today feature full-HD (1920×1080) screens, the Maxx has a 5-inch screen with a 720p (1280×720) resolution; Motorola almost certainly held back in the interest of maximizing battery life. And as far as thickness goes, we’re looking at about a third of an inch thick – that’s not too bad considering the big 3,500mAh battery. You’re paying a premium for the battery life, though: The phone is priced at $300 with a two-year contract through Verizon. It will be available August 20.

Verizon trotted out two other new Droids made by Motorola today: the $200 Droid Ultra and the $100 Droid Mini. The Ultra features specs similar to the Maxx (albeit with a smaller battery and half the on-board storage), but sports a thickness of just north of a quarter of an inch – Verizon is marketing it as “the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone.” Like the Maxx, it’ll be available August 20. The Mini sports a 4.3-inch 720p display and will be available August 29. All three phones can be pre-ordered today.