on March 18, 2012
For the most part, I am comparing this to official Motorola car dock for my Droid 1. This car dock for the MAXX is a GREAT improvement and shows Motorola can actually incorporate some good ideas.
First, I made sure to research docks before getting one. Which can be hard since this one didn't have a ton of user reviews right away. Quickly I did learn that what Verizon was pushing in their stores was not the same as could be ordered from Motorola and elsewhere. My biggest draw was the integrated audio. This is a great idea and, in my opinion, worth the premium over the Verizon (which doesn't have the integrated audio cable). My old Droid dock was just a holder for the phone. I had to supply the charging cord and the aux cable (which went to the 3.5mm jack in the phone). It got cluttered, but hey, that's the way is was 2 years ago.
This dock for the MAXX has the connector that slides in to lock the phone in place, charge it, and place audio. Only one cable that goes into the back of the dock. Very clean. 2nd USB port is also a plus. The "horn" that comes with this dock has the same size ball as my old Droid dock, as well as my old Garmin, so use which ever you like. I like my old Garmin because it is more compact and uses a smaller disk. I haven't had any issue with this dock losing suction, so I'm happy there. Also, just pressing the phone into the dock without inserting the USB/audio connector is easy and seems to keep the phone in there pretty well. It isn't to hard to pull it out, just watch for where the volume buttons are so you don't change them accidentally.
I have one gripe. I use a bluetooth device to [sometimes] talk when I'm driving. This device is also capable of playing music from my phone. With my old setup (Droid,dock), I would have BT broadcast enabled on the device, the music to BT option enabled, and a cable in the headphone jack going to my car stereo. I'm listening to something from my phone and it plays on the car stereo. When I get a call, it pauses the music on the phone, answers the call via BT device, I talk, hang up, music resumes over car stereo. Perfect. With the MAXX and its dock, I no longer need to plug anything into the 3.5mm jack while I'm in the car. The problem is when I have BT function enabled, music to BT option enable, and the integrated USB/audio connect inserted everything is pushed to the BT device. If I turn off the BT device or disable the BT function on the phone, then music plays through the car stereo. If I forego the dock and just use an aux cable going to the 3.5mm jack on the phone, then everything works great (as it did w/ the Droid). This seems like a major oversight and I would think that it is just a software issue (but hey, I didn't design this thing). Now, this is probably more a flaw of the phone than of the dock, but since Motorola makes both the phone and the dock and both of the items work exclusively with each other, I think people need to know about it. There is no reason the integrated USB/audio connector should affect the transfer of functions to the BT any differently than the 3.5mm jack.
I'll gladly edit if I find out anything new on the BT issue or if an update fixes it. Overal, great product at an acceptable price, with one oversight.
I've noticed that over the past month the audio crackles when going over bumps and rough roads. It is the micro USB connection of the cable to the dock that is failing. When I hold the connection rigid or switch to using the 3.5mm jack then there are no issues. After looking at the micro USB side of the cable under magnification I can see that several of the metal prongs are flatter than others.
Now, I first have to admit that I do not drive on the smoothest roads, and even for Wisconsin I think these are some of the worst roads around. I would still expect better performance than lasting 3 months. I have taken the review down from 4 stars to 2 because of this. And to think that I was disappointed with getting only 1 year out of the bad retaining tab on the original Droid.... I expected better from Motorola. I don't think that expecting this to last more than 3 months was too high.
on March 12, 2012
Dock arrived in "non retail packaging" as described, which means it comes in a plastic bag instead of a box (still includes directions, individually packaged cords, etc.) It works perfect. When I plug my phone in, launches the custom navigation mode. This mode is customizable.
Construction of the mount is solid as well. Cords are quality.
I will be updating after a few uses.
After using this dock numerous times in the past few weeks, I'm still pleased with it. Motorola also has a car finder app that when you unplug your phone from the dock, it automatically launches to save your location for easy car location. This app must be downloaded separately from the Google Play Android Market.
Dock Plug cord: definitely worth the extra cash. The dock plug integrates an MP3 cable INTO THE USB. It works flawlessly. This makes it so instead of having a cord plugged into the phone's headphone jack as well as a usb cord plugged into the dock, there is only one cord, the usb cord, plugged into the dock. Instead, your headphone/mp3/auxiliary cable plugs into the usb cable at the other end near your cigarette lighter. Very convenient. This allows for easy phone removal with NO CORDS unplugging from phone.
Stability: I have had no app stability problems during the several hours of use. App launches when phone is docked and closes when phone is un-docked.
Features: Features are simple (navigation, podcasts, music, internet radio). Outside of these, not much here. HOWEVER, this makes it easier to use with less complication.
Voice Features: a little lacking here; only allows you to say "read message" when receiving a text or "make call" in response to receiving a message. These features work and both reads and makes calls to voice commands: however, these features are only activated when receiving messages/calls. I wish they would be available outside these situations. Perhaps a future update will provide more.
*More to come
on June 3, 2012
I won't reiterate what has already been said about the actual product, but I would like to discuss fit. Please be aware that this navigation dock only fits the Maxx WITHOUT a case. I have a hard plastic case on my Maxx, and it does not fit into the dock unless I remove it. Having to remove the case every time I want to use the dock is quite the nuisance and I wish the dock would've been designed to allow for some adjustments. If anyone has input on alternative docks or a way to manipulate the Maxx dock to fit with a case, please share.
on June 3, 2012
OK, so I bought this for traveling to use the navigation and it works well. The only thing that doesn't really work for me is the charging. It works to a degree, but not as I had hoped. So to explain a little further, when I use the navigation, and the battery was charged down to say 40 or 50 %, I have it plugged into the lighter socket and the battery doesn't deplete, but it doesn't increase either. I used to to drive about 2.5 hours and it stayed at 50% the whole trip. On the way home, I used the navigation and radio app at the same time, and the battery actually drained as I used it. I was hopeful that the charging would be better. Still haven't decided if I want to keep it or no because of that.
Please note that the audio on mine playing thru the provided jack and into the Aux in of my car works flawlessly. The sound is awesome. Maybe I got a bad charger part and other got a bad audio jack.
The suction works perfectly for me. Didn't fall off once.
Also, sometime when I dock the phone and try to lock in the charger part, it doesn't go in easily. I have to carefully press, release, press, etc, until it goes in.
And, no, for those asking, you cannot use any case when using this. You must remove it from the case. I have a few easy ones to remove, so that isn't a problem for me.
I know that using navigation, especially in junction with i heart radio or Pandora, will use more battery life, but I thought since it was plugged in to charge, and yes the charge icon is showing charging, I figured it would still charge somewhat.
I will try to use the phone by itself without any apps or anything running, to see if this charger does work. But I haven't traveled anywhere since that trip other than a short trip to work and back. Last time I tried this, for about a half an hour, it went from 20% to 21% in 30 minutes. My standalone charger was much quicker than that. Just mentioning this so you know.
I still recommend this, but if it isn't to your satisfaction, you can always return it.
on October 6, 2012
Unfortunately, the USB cable that was included in the packaging was NOT the USB cable pictured in the description. The CORRECT USB cable has an additional dongle with a 3.5mm audio jack, so only one cable is connected to the dock itself and both audio and 750Ma of charge are carried by it. The cable that was included in the sealed box was the run-of-the-mill motorola USB cable that would only carry charge (and probably was a data cable limited to 500Ma, although I don't know that for sure).
I contacted Amazon Customer Service to see if the correct cable could be exchanged, however the ONLY remedy was to return the entire item and re-order. Customer Service was unable to assure that the next item shipped to me would not have the same issue, so now I play the waiting game to see if this was a simple packaging oversight or a systemic issue. Based upon my reading of recent reviews, it looks like others are receiving the correct USB cable, so here's hoping!
Oh, and the price jumped $12 since I ordered it... Fortunately I noticed while still in live chat with customer service and they issued me a credit to make up the difference.
If the next box arrives with an incorrect cable, I will NOT be a happy camper. However, if the next box arrives with the proper cables, I will revise this review and rate as appropriate, although I will still knock off one star for the hassle.
EDIT 10/09/2012 - Received new shipment of this product, the correct cable WAS in the box this time! Will further update once installed.
EDIT 10/14/2012 - Installed, works quite well. I have love/hate relationship with Motorola... I dislike how they have handled software issues (Motoblur, Music Player on DroidX2, Bionic/Atrix upgrade fiasco, locked bootloaders, etc.), but I have to say from a hardware perspective their stuff is first rate. The ability to have a single cable to the car dock with audio and charge carried by it is great! Motorola has clearly put a lot of thought into accessories for their phones.
on July 10, 2012
Bought this for my new Razr Maxx for a long road trip. I like the design concepts compared to my old Droid dock. This one uses a single cable design and has a hole pre-cut for the camera. I had to drill a camera hole on the old Droid dock, so I'm glad Motorola finally woke up and included it in the design.
Unfortunately, this dock has a LOT of problems.
Problem 1: Cheap cable connections. My dock lasted about 10 hours before having cable connection problems between the USB cable and the dock AND between the dock's sliding USB connector and the phone. You constantly have to press and fiddle with it to make the audio portion stay connected, which isn't safe while driving and is incredibly annoying. Unacceptable at any price, let alone $60.
Problem 2: Low volume output. The line-out audio output that is part of this dock (your phone's volume control does not alter the output level) is significantly lower than a regular line-out. That means you'll need to turn your stereo up full blast if you want to hear an audiobook, and woe to the poor soul who switches to another audio input without turning the volume back down to a normal level first. What the hell were you thinking, Motorola? A line-out should have regular line-out levels. Unacceptable.
Problem 3: Weak charger. For nearly $60, why does the included charger put out LESS amps than a $1 USB changer from Monoprice? 850ma is NOT enough to maintain the charge of this phone when in use, much less actually charge it. On a day-long drive starting with a full battery, my Razr Maxx died before the drive was over, despite "charging" off this puny charger the entire time. All I used the phone for was Google Maps and playing MP3's. Completely unacceptable.
Problem 4: Inadequate mount articulation. The old Droid mount was very flexible, which allowed you to alter the height of the phone on the dashboard. The new Razr Maxx car mount has a one-piece suction cup mount that does not allow for any alteration of height from the base, meaning the phone sticks up way too high into the windshield field of vision. Unacceptable.
I'm simply shocked at the lack of thought Motorola put into the details and construction quality of this dock.
UPDATE: Amazon replaced my dock, but the new one had the same problems within a month. Pure junk.
on May 16, 2012
I found this dock advertised on Amazon first, but was initially put off by the "non-retail packaging" notation. I then went directly to the Motorola site and bought it there - at the same price - only to have that order cancelled after the fact by Motorola without an explanation of any type, not even an email notification!
In frustration, I came back to Amazon and ordered it here. It arrived quickly and as advertised, in a plastic bag. The unit installed fine, except that the glue on the disk they give you for dashboard installation isn't holding up to the Arizona heat. I suppose I can fix that later or mount it farther away, on the windshield. The unit works well, and I really like:
(a) that there is only one connector; and
(b) that the cable stays connected to the dock at all times. Makes getting underway a little easier each time I get in the car.
What frustrated me immediately, though, is that while media sound (music, my recorded books, etc.) is transmitted through the USB connection and media cable to my car's speakers, the audio for phone calls isn't. For phone calls, the phone's standard, tinnny speaker is used. How wierd is that?
Is there a flaw in the engineering of this device? Is that why Motorola won't ship it?
I'll keep this thing for now, because I haven't found a viable alternative, and I really got used to having a dock with my old Droid I. But I'm not a happy camper.
on June 13, 2012
I'm happy with this unit, but still in the first month so I cannot comment on the complaints of failure that others report.
It's simple to use (one hand insertion) and combined with the Smart Actions app you can automate settings and launching of your dock app when inserted.
The Razr Maxx does suffer from overheating when run on full brightness (my battery temperature goes from 85 degrees to 115 degrees), so I suggest you run it on 0-15% brightness to keep the temp down, prolong your battery life and improve the rate of charge while operating in the car. This is especially important if mounted in the sun. Leaving the phone in the hot car will shorten the battery life, even when powered off.
The suction mount is excellent, as is the mechanism for securing the arm position/angle.
Updated October 14, 2012:
Developed the same cable connection issues that others have written about. Now it works fine most but not all of them time.
on January 5, 2013
So far, this product works impressively for the most part. Unlike the Car Dock for my Droid X2, this unit's suction cup seems to have a bit more "suction" to it. It holds to the window longer and better. In addition, the insert (female side) for the USB charge wire makes for a much more secure charge. For the Droid X2 dock, the wire would have to hang and potentially become subject to getting bent. For this RAZR/RAZR MAXX dock, the USB is inserted behind the unit, near it's center and parallel to the horizontal (long) of the unit.
My main complaint is that this new design now requires the audio output cable to be inserted in the location that is opposite-facing of the direction of the USB charge cable! So, while the charge cable is inserted from the left, the sound cable is inserted from the right!
In California, there are laws about where these units can be positioned. I position my unit toward the top-left of my windshield. I zip-tie the two cables from the center console up to where I plug them into the dock. With my Droid X2 dock, they were together practically through to the point where they are plugged into the dock. For this new unit, however, I have to unwed them a bit before and leave extra slack for the audio jack. Not to mention, due to this all, the audio wire now obscures my view (albeit to e negligible extent).
One other complaint is that, unlike the Droid X2 dock, this dock will not support a RAZR device that has a skin installed on it!!!!
Good performance and stylistic design; bad layout design. It's like those otherwise good laptops that have your power plug-in on one side and your Ethernet jack on the other!
on June 16, 2012
I am very happy with this dock. The integrated audio/power cord makes this a sweet deal for me. With my old Droid X car dock, I would always have to plug in the audio cable. It was a minor annoyance but this cable that comes with the dock solves that problem.
Currently when you answer a phone call while it's in the dock, the audio defaults to the speakerphone on the phone itself. To resolve this you have to push the speakerphone to turn it off and then the audio is routed to your stereo speakers.
As mentioned in other reviews, this audio/power cable is not available if you purchase this car dock at Verizon. You can purchase the missing cable directly through Motorola, but I have heard that they are charging customers around $20 for each cable.