If you’re looking for the true Google experience, obviously you can’t look past a Nexus device. While Google allows any manufacturer eligibility to produce each Nexus, the ultimate goal is pure Google and pure power. While I’ve never had anything against any prior Nexus device, Samsung has done the Galaxy Nexus oh so right. Obviously, the ability to uninstall or disable almost every application is a huge plus. The Galaxy Nexus offers this whereas the Razr Maxx comes with quite a bit of bloatware that you cannot uninstall (without the aid of root).
Responsiveness and overall speed between the two devices is very similar. The touch screen and interaction with the OS and applications is very smooth and immediate. The Galaxy Nexus launched with Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest version of Android, so the interface looks more modern. The Razr Maxx will be getting this update though, so don’t let that sway your decision. Even if a little bit of wait is involved, ICS is well worth it.
Battery Life and Feel
The Razr Maxx’s top selling point is the battery life, and for good reason. With moderate use, I saw right around 16 hours of battery life. My Galaxy Nexus is lucky to see 6 hours with similar use. Heavier use on the Maxx taxed the battery a bit more; a lot of web browsing, music/video streaming, and GPS usage brought it down to around 10 hours. Still, nothing to laugh at, especially compared to my Nexus which lasts around 3 hours under such usage.
Not to throw another phone into the mix (but I will!), the battery upgrade given to the Razr Maxx gives it a much better feel than the original Droid Razr as well. Gone is the feeling of a cheap, thin remote; present is the feeling of a smartphone. As much as they advertise how durable the Razr and Razr Maxx are, though, I wouldn’t dare carry them (or the Galaxy Nexus) around naked. Seidio is still my protective case of choice, and I was sure to have one for my Nexus.
The Little Things
In the category of “things that are cool, but don’t really matter” the Nexus has the sweetest stock bootup animation I’ve seen on any device. The scrolling colors truly show off this screen’s range and depth. The Razr Maxx does offer a removable microSD card, where the GNex does not. As long as you’ve got a data connection of some sort or just a USB cable, you should be fine without it. The GNex also uses a micro SIM whereas the Maxx uses its bigger brother. Again, not an issue, unless you plan on taking your SIM out often to play with its shiny backside.
The best suggestion that I can offer to everyone is to get thee to a Verizon store and check out both devices. Feel them in your hands, experience their abilities, and decide for yourself which device is best for you. I can’t make this decision for you because they’re both great devices… just know that I went with the Galaxy Nexus, even when swapping from another Motorola device.