Introducing the DROID ULTRA, DROID MAXX and DROID MINI
Verizon and Motorola unveiled the refreshed Droid smartphone line at an event in New York City today. The three new devices focus on three different concepts: Thinness, battery life, and compactness.
While introducing the new smartphones, Rick Osterloch, Motorola Mobility's senior vice president of product management, emphasized that all three have significant upgrades over the last generation of Droid devices. He listed off a 24 percent faster CPU, a 100 percent faster GPU, and twice the RAM. All three have 2-megapixel cameras in the front and 10-megapixel cameras in the back.
The phones are being driven by a unique new octo-core processor, dubbed the Motorola X8 mobile computing system. The X8 splits processing power between GPU, application, contextual computing, and natural language processing. According to Motorola, the core split gives four cores to the GPU and two cores to application processing, leaving one for context and the other for listening and understanding you as you talk. As a result, the new Droid lineup features always listening command systems and a refreshed UI that very closely resembles the current Moto UI to handle the experience.
The new Droid phones will feature the voice control system seen recently in the Moto X video leaks, where you can wake the phone and give commands without ever having to touch the phone. The phone personalizes its responses to you, and in the demo the phone was aware of the name of the user. Also included from the Moto X leak is the active notification display, which only lights up a portion of the display with a simple notification as opposed to using a notification light to show you what you are missing on your phone. The new Droid lineup will also come with a quick capture feature that takes photos instantly, as well as a sharing tool labeled Droid Zap to push photos to friends nearby.
So, what is the difference between the three phones? Mostly screen and battery size.
The new Droid Ultra will be priced at $199. It will focus on thinness. It's a thin, tall, beast of a phone with which will be available in red or black with a 5" display. It has a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor with quad-core graphics, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. Unlike the MAXX and Mini, the Ultra does not support wireless charging most likely due to its thinness.
The new Droid MAXX also sports a 5" display and will be priced at $299 with its focus being on battery life (3500mAh). It is 9 percent thinner than last year's Droid MAXX model, measuring in at 8.5 millimeters. It has a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor with quad-core graphics, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. According to its spec sheet, it will handle up to 48 hours of use on a single charge.
The Droid Mini is priced at $99 and is "compact without compromise," the folks from Motorola explain. It has a 4.3-inch display and sits in one's hand as comfortably as an iPhone (which will make Android users who favor the smaller footprint quite happy, even if it isn't quite as slender). It has a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor with quad-core graphics 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage.
All the phones are available with Verizon LTE, are made out of a Kevlar fiber material and have a water-repellant coating.
All the phones are available today for pre-order, but won't ship until August. The Droid Ultra and Maxx will be out on August 20 and the Mini on August 29.