Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX

One choice in materials can change the entire experience of a device

When we reviewed the Droid Ultra, we came away extremely impressed with its features and what it means for the direction of Droid devices going forward. But with all of the praise, we kept coming back to the very weird decision Motorola (and likely somewhat Verizon) made on the build materials for the device. While the Droid Ultra is extremely well built, the plastic material layered over the Kevlar construction makes the device slippery, smooth and generally a fantastic fingerprint magnet.

Making the decision even more puzzling is that the Droid MAXX, which is in all respects the same exact device as the Ultra but with a larger battery and 1.3mm thicker casing, has a delightful soft touch casing. Given the nearly identical dimensions and same base Kevlar construction, we're not entirely sure why Verizon and Motorola couldn't have put the same improved casing on both devices.

Sure the Droid Ultra's design is a little more subdued and may look fine when it is clean and sitting on a table unused, but the single poor choice of materials made it even harder to recommend as a device. Going with a slick and fingerprint-capturing plastic case seriously hurt usability of the device, and Motorola proved with the Droid MAXX that it had at least one other material option that would have been a better choice.

Hang around after the break for several comparison shots of the Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX — the difference in material quality is astounding.