I read many good reviews about the Droid Razr Maxx which mainly focused on its large 3300 mA battery. All reviews brag about how long the phone lasts before running out of power.

Most reviews on Amazon speak highly of the phone too.

HOWEVER, I came across this blog Droid Razr Maxx – Broken Screen

Surprisingly, a LOT of people are complaining about having cracks in their screens. Some admit that their phone fell to the ground, but many others say the screen cracked without falling.

Does this have to do with the large 3300mA irremovable battery? I mean is this because of the battery heating up and expanding?

Is this a flaw in Motorola's version of Ginger Bread?

Note: AFAIK, the screen is made of Gorilla -unbreakable- glass, so I think most people mean the LCD screen cracked.


Here is another link from Verizon's forums about customers suffering from the same problem. Some of them say it wasn't dropped.

  • For some reason I'm doubtful that the battery would be the cause. I would bet in most cases, the phones were dropped. But this is simply speculation. Gingerbread (software) shouldn't be the cause of a hardware issue. – Bryan Denny Jun 5 '12 at 13:17
  • @BryanDenny I added a link to Verizon's forums where some people say the screen cracked after 24 hours of purchase! Some claim the screen cracked while they were bringing the phone out of their pocket!! – Songo Jun 5 '12 at 15:09

Short Answer

There's no such thing as "randomly break", phone owners tend to use or make up terms to disguise their ineffectiveness to explain what happened, or as an excuse to avoid saying "I broke my phone".

Common factors leading to the Glass or the display damage are, but not limited to:

  • Manufacturer fault, a damage batch;
  • Device falling or getting tossed;
  • User sat down with the device in his back pocket.

Keep reading as to better understand the misleading information found on the mentioned forums!

Clear some ideas

  1. Randomly break

    There's no such thing like "randomly break", every device that physically breaks has a cause behind.

  2. Faulty Software

    The software is not responsible for the device physical damage, the software interacts and allows the usage of the hardware. Every software that directly interacts with the hardware has built in fail-safes to prevent abuses. Take the example of a battery charge, when you are charging the system may present you with a message informing that the charge process was interrupted to prevent heat damage to the device.

  3. Glass or Display

    While users tend to call screen and say "my screen is broken", they should actually be specific enough as to clarify if the glass is broken or the display module is broken. The two are very distinct, carrying different reasons as to why they may have broken.

Why would a glass or display module break?

The Glass

The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx comes equipped with a GORILLA® GLASS. Despite the heavy promotion that its indestructible, there's no truth to that. This glass enables your device to resist damage like scrapes, bumps and drops, from the abuses that come with everyday use.

A small drop in the right angle can shred the glass due to the force propagation within the impact point to the remaining of the device:


Take a 22 inches fall, is just over 4 times the height of the phone. Comparing this to a Human been, could the average 6' tall person survive a fall of over 24' without breaking in some way?

On the other hand, a battery dilatation due to excessive heat will never cause the glass to break. Way before that, the plastic casing would crack, some components could even melt, and eventually the glass would fell off, lying on the floor shining like a brand new one :)



If subjected to enough abuse, Gorilla Glass can break. However, Gorilla Glass is better able to survive the real-world events that most commonly cause glass to scratch, chip, or break.

The display

AMOLED Schematics

Schematic of an active matrix OLED display

The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx comes equipped with Motorola's Super AMOLED Advanced. While the glass is designed and used with one specific purpose, the protection of the display from scrapes, bumps and drops, the display can be affected from other directions, not just by its front.

If a phone falls and hits the ground by its corner, the glass has no effect protecting the display. The phone casing may not be sufficient to absorve the impact, and the resulting force from the impact may damage or even crack the display.

The display is actually more sensitive than the remaining components of a mobile device.

Prevent damaging the display or glass

The best way to prevent damage to the device, either by accident or by careless handling during use are:

  • Avoid charging the device while exposed to heat or direct sunlight.
  • Protect it with an exterior rubber casing, to absorb the impact force generated when it falls.
  • If carried closely with hard objects, consider using a device casing, preferably made of leather or any other robust material to prevent damage from bumps.
  • Don't carry the phone inside tight jeans or in your back pocket. Your natural movements or if you sit down, may exercise overwhelming force into the device.
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