At an event in Lincoln Center, New York City, Verizon unveiled a new line-up of Droid smartphones – Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini. The new line-up, developed closely with Motorola, remain amazingly thin, although they have dropped the ‘RAZR’ moniker.
The Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx both come with identical 5-inch 720p OLED displays. Motorola claims the Droid Ultra is the “thinnest 4G LTE smartphone” on the market, and at a mere 7.1mm thick, it’s hard to argue.
The Droid Maxx is essentially a Droid Ultra with a bigger battery (rated at 3,500mAH), which is claimed to last up to 48 hours. We believe those claims whole-heartedly, if our experience with the previous Droid RAZR MAXX were to be a benchmark. Amazing battery life.
The Droid Mini has similar specs to the other two, except with a smaller 4.3-inch TFT display running at similar resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
It’s interesting to note that Motorola has not skimped on specs, and the trio sport very identical specs indeed. Firstly, the phones feature the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System, a new custom 8-core system-on-chip (SoC) based on Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The X8 brings several innovations including touchless control for hands-free operation.
Next, the trio feature a generous 2GB RAM, run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and do not possess a microSD slot.
If that’s not good news, the new Droids run pretty much plain vanilla Android, aside from a few new widgets and tweaks. Certainly not missing the dreaded MotoBlur UI layer, which in our opinion, is one of the worst UI layers sitting on top of Android. So, rejoice!
While the new Droids prove they are no slouches in terms of hardware, Motorola are bent to tout the user experience of the new devices. From Touchless Control voice commands (similar to Google Glass), to Active Notifications that appear on the display when the Droid is in sleep mode, Motorola wants users to ‘use the phone.’
The Droid Ultra costs $199, Droid Maxx $299 and Droid Mini $99. Prices quoted are bundled with a Verizon contract. The phones are available for pre-order at www.droiddoes.com and available on the market starting August 20, 2013.
Looking good, Motorola. But all eyes are on the coming Moto X flagship on August 1!