New Droid smartphones launched by Google, Verizon

Smartphones include flagship Droid Ultra, and will become available starting Aug 20.

Droid Ultra, Mini and Maxx pricing and availability

Droid Ultra, Mini and Maxx pricing and availability

Google's Motorola Mobility has upgraded its lineup of Droid smartphones, announcing three new models including the flagship Droid Ultra. The new phones will be available through Verizon Wireless.

The Droid Ultra has a 5-inch screen and at 7.18mm, is the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available, said Rick Osterloh, senior vice president at Motorola Mobility. The Ultra offers 24 hours of battery life.

Also announced at a New York Verizon event was Droid Maxx, which has a 5-inch screen and 48 hours battery life, significantly more than the 32 hours of battery life offered by its predecessor Razr Maxx. The Maxx is also 9 percent thinner than the Razr Maxx.

Motorola also announced the Droid Mini, which has a ultracompact design with a 4.3-inch screen. The Mini offers 24 hours of battery life on mixed usage. The device weighs 132 grams, and is for those who like small, highly portable devices.

The Mini will be available for $99, Ultra for $199 and Maxx for $299 via Verizon Wireless with contracts. The smartphones will be available for order for drioddoes.com, and will begin shipping on August 20.

The hardware features put the new smartphones at the top of Motorola's Droid lineup. The new smartphones have 24 percent faster CPU, 100 percent faster graphics processors and twice the RAM compared to predecessors.

The hardware also includes a new processor design that Motorola calls X8. The phones include eight CPUs, four graphics processors, contextual computing hardware for sensors, and natural language processing cores.

The smartphones are ready to respond to voice commands, and touchless control is "incredibly useful" when driving or when your hands are full, Osterloh said.

"We found there are countless opportunities where you want to use your phone and are not able to do so," Osterloh said.

For example, saying "OK Google Now" should initiate the Google Now app on smartphones, although the demonstration of the feature by Verizon and Motorola did not work. However, a request to call a person initiated the call.

Other features on the smartphone include 10-megapixel back cameras and 2-megapixel front cameras. Kevlar layers add a level of ruggedness to the smartphones, and the screens have Gorilla Glass screens which make them resistant to scratches and drops.

The announcement kicks off a new wave of smartphones being announced in the next few weeks. Motorola is also expected to share more details of the highly anticipated Moto X smartphone on August 1, while LG is holding an event where it is expected to launch its G2 device.

The new smartphones also comes as wireless companies roll out new data plans, no-contract smartphone plans, or plans in which smartphones can be quickly upgraded or paid for on an installment basis. Verizon's Edge program, introduced this month, allows users to pay the full retail price over a 24-month period in installments, or to upgrade to a new phone after six months if 50 percent of the retail cost has been paid.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonestelecommunicationconsumer electronicsCarriersVerizon Wireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?