Verizon's 2013 Motorola Droid lineup

Verizon has unwrapped it's new Motorola Droid line, bringing the US the first Motorola Droids of 2013. They look to be real winners, sporting thin bodies, new designs, and an all-new Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System. Think of the eight cores on the device -- two for apps, four for graphics, one contextual and one for natural language -- working together to bring us an all-new experience.

First up, the Droid Ultra. Built with a Kevlar body and 3D design, it's the thinnest smartphone available. Following is the Droid MAXX, also built of Kevlar and 9-percent thinner than last year's model yet still delivers 48-hours of battery life (up from last years 32 hours). The Droid Mini offers the same great software in a more compact size.

All three phones offer some interesting software enhancements, including an Active Display that keeps notifications on the screen without turning everything on, Quick Capture to take fast pictures, Droid Zap -- share photos with anyone within 300 feet of you with a two-finger gesture, and the Droid Command center for Miracast support.

Pricing is as follows: The Mini checks in at $99, the Ultra at $199, and the MAXX at $299. These prices are with a new agreement, of course. The devices will be available on August 20, and pre-orders start now today at 1PM ET at droiddoes.com.

Purchasers will also receive an Ingress invite, and six months of free Google Play Music All Access.

We're heading over to the devices to have a good look -- keep an eye out. In the meantime, a gallery of pictures of the event and the official press release is past the break.

Trio of New DROID Smartphones Coming to Verizon Wireless

MINI, ULTRA and MAXX: Cutting-edge design meets strength and agility.

A new family of exclusive DROID smartphones is coming soon to Verizon Wireless: DROID MINI, DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX by Motorola. Keeping up with the DROID tradition, these devices give users what’s expected from a DROID on Verizon – intelligence, strength and endurance.

It starts with DROID Command Center, an exclusive homescreen widget for users to easily access notifications for text messages, missed calls, battery level and weather. It also serves as the gateway to new features including Wireless Display to mirror what’s on the screen onto a compatible HDTV to play games, browse the web and share pictures on a big screen.

Taking a picture and sharing it is now as easy as shake, tap and swipe. Quick Capture lets users access the 10-megapixel camera by shaking the phone twice, then tapping anywhere on the screen to snap a pic or a selfie. Sharing with a friend or a group of friends nearby is simple with the DROID Zap feature. Swiping up on a picture instantly shares it with fellow new DROID owners nearby, all they need to do is swipe down on their screen to receive it.

Hands are full or messy? Wake up the DROID by saying “Ok Google Now” and then tell it what you want to do. And for those users who constantly lose their phone under the couch or around the house, they can simply say “Ok Google Now, call my DROID” and it will start ringing. And Active Notifications lets users preview messages and app alerts without waking their phone.

These Touchless Controls and Active Display let users make calls, send texts, get directions, play music, set a reminder and preview notifications hands-free without having to unlock the phone, giving DROID users a whole new way of interacting with their phones.

The first DROID launched in November 2009 and included features new at the time such as Google Maps Navigation. It was also the first smartphone to feature Android 2.0. The new trio of DROID devices continues to give innovative features.

DROID MINI: A compact design with an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch HD display and wireless charging capabilities.

DROID ULTRA: The thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available, measuring 7.18mm, and with a 5-inch HD display. The ULTRA will be available in Black and Red models.

DROID MAXX: Features wireless charging and a 3500mAh battery that gives users nearly two days of battery life on a single charge, making it the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone available.

These DROID smartphones are made with DuPont Kevlar fiber unibody design and will be available for pre-order online starting today, July 23, at 1 p.m. ET. The DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX will be available for purchase starting Aug. 20 and the DROID MINI will be available starting Aug. 29. The DROID MINI will be $99.99, the DROID ULTRA will be $199.99 and the DROID MAXX will be $299.99, all with a new two-year customer agreement.

Tags: DROID MINI, DROID MAXX, DROID ULTRA, Verizon Wireless DROID MINI, Verizon Wireless DROID MAXX, Verizon Wireless DROID ULTRA



Reader comments

Verizon makes the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini official


After getting screwed over on the X2 I don't think I am ready to open my heart up again to Moto just yet but the Maxx is nice and the eight core SoC is intriguing. I am VERY interested to see what that means for performance.

These DROIDs are pretty awesome. I'm very interested in the Mini. I need to do a size comparison with the MOTO X.

The mini seemed perfect until... only 16gb with no micro sd???? Why do they do this? My 2.5 year old Incredible has 8gb + 32gb sd.

Count on VZW to be good at something; pre-orders aren't up.

Otherwise, interested in seeing the specs, mainly the screen size.

And what's up with the month pre-order? What's even the point? People might forget about it as time in this digital age moves extremely quick.

Well, they know how impatient people can be. If there's no pre-ordering, then people will complain.

Plus, this gives them the opportunity to start locking people in before the One and the X are announced.

that's true. BUT, then why not announce it a week or 2 ahead of release to keep it on people's minds. Wasn't Samsung's S4 announcement made a relatively short time before release? And Apple manages to keep it at a week which keeps interest high when the device releases (obviously the media plays a part in this as well, but that's neither here nor there). in a month, 2 to 3 devices could be announced AND released and almost all interest will be killed for this phone. (given the 8/1 announcement of the Moto X. and maybe the Note 3 sometime in there?)

I have always wondered why OEMs do that they announce a phone and release it a month later, that is if everything goes as planned. I have always like that about apple, they announce their device today and next week it'll be out for people to buy it and pre-orders start on the same day.

From the Press Release in the article:
"available for pre-order online starting today, July 23, at 1 p.m. ET." It's not 1PM ET yet....

There may have been some engineering or design changes that needed to be made to accommodate the larger battery. You might be paying for more than just the battery.

Also that's subsidized price so its not necessarily the case that it is $100 more.

And its the type of feature they know people will pay for. You're more paying for the ability to have longer battery life than for the battery itself, and many people will pay $100 more for that.

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"You're more paying for the ability to have longer battery life than for the battery itself, and many people will pay $100 more for that."

Have you ever considered a career in politics? You're good ... real good. LOL.

In addition to the larger battery you also get wireless charging and 32GB of memory with a kevlar back instead of glossy plastic, well worth it IMO.

I absolutely hate the new design. I am getting tired of manufactures putting physical buttons on the devices. Android was made for the on screen buttons.. why go backwards moto. You were doing so well there. I have the razr m.. unlocked boot loader and running eclipse which is based on AOSP. I will stick with this for a while. Until the next nexus is announced.

The fact that moto is a google company should have resolved this issue.. unless the moto X is the first device to actually be designed/made by the big G. The internals sound intriguing but I can't let the original design go though.

You make a good point about the buttons. It really would be nice to not have them on the device and let the OS display them as it should. That said, I don't think it ruins the devices completely, but definitely puts a check mark on the cons side for me.

How on earth is this a con? Why should they be on the screen? Because Google says so? I have a Maxx HD. I know that it's completely stupid to have them on screen. Why? Because then you can't use for full display size!!! I can't view 16:9 photos full screen, even with other photo viewers, not just stock. Games can't use that space, I can't use it when reading books or web pages...it's really dumb. If you're going to have buttons that are always there they shouldn't take up dynamic screen real-estate. For a tablet, ok, maybe then, but on a phone when space is completely at a premium it's just a bad idea. I figure I'd give it a try and now I know for sure. The only thing that can actually use that space is the full screen playback of some/most, but not even all, video. I really don't care if I would have to double-tap home to open Google now. I really wish my buttons were off-screen. Thankfully, the people at HTC, Samsung, and now Moto, figured all this out.

Lol... don't get your hopes up about moto, this was probably the last phones you'll see without on-screens. And if the bezels are small enough (such that you cannot fit off-screen buttons) then I'm all for on-screens. However, that's not the case with these phones, so I agree with you.

This is exactly the point. I have the GalNex and it grieves me to see my sons ancient 4.3" HTC have just as much screen real estate as mine. Only in video playback is it a 4.65" screen. Otherwise it's 4.2" with a huge lower bezel.
Google seriously needs a way to get all the screen and use on screen buttons.

I def agree with the no on-screen buttons point. at first glance, i thought they were. But these "physical" buttons on the DNA are not cutting it. How to vzw ALWAYS manage to screw up a good thing? the Razr M has on screen buttons...

I really am getting sick of this button vs no button argument. I think it's a personal preference. I like the buttons not being part of the screen. In the Google camera app, with on-screen buttons, I have to hit things twice to bring the interface buttons back and interact with them. With non-screen buttons, I only have to tap once.
Yes, I know Google has stated on-screen is the preferred way to go. That's the beauty of Android. OEMs can make some decisions on their own to differentiate their products. If you hate the buttons, buy something that has on-screen buttons. If you love the buttons, avoid the phones that waste screen real estate with on-screen buttons. Easy decision. :)

IMHO you are half right. There are advantages and disadvantages to having on screen buttons vs capacitative and that is your preference

BUT if you are going to have capacitative buttons one of them needs to be the menu button not the multitask button. Many android apps still need a menu button and all of the work arounds for this when you don't have the ability to dynamically change your button layout are clunky as HTC has shown us.

So yes every OEM should decide for themselves onscreen vs not (although it's really annoying that we have fragmentation even in button layout) but pick a physical menu button OR onscreen buttons. You need one or the other.

BUT that is not HTC's fault. If app developers would update their apps to the new guidelines their would not be a con to capacitive buttons

More phones have buttons than don't

Android was originally made with buttons in mind, they only decided they wanted to change that a few years (maybe 2) ago

It isn't backwards, it is steady.

The Moto X is supposed to be the first Googlrola phone but it is neither made nor totally designed by Google. Google is a software company, not hardware. Moto is still its own company.

you'll get over it, not buy it, or whatever. Either way it doesnt matter.

Google ownes Motorola Mobility, not Motorola. For their numerous patents to stave off litigation, I might add. Android is a small portion of Google, certainly in terms of revenue. Google is an advertising company. Android is software. Just some things I feel you should probably understand. Yes, I strongly dislike the term Googlrola that you are the only person throwing aroud : )

People use the term Motorola when referring Google's ownership stake in them, not Motorola Mobility. In this context, I am using what is acceptable.

No, Google is a software company. They wrote the software for the search engine that powers (and funnels) the advertising money in. Not to mention all the web based apps. You are right, android itself is a small portion but then again, it is as important as IE is to Microsoft at this point. It would be a hindrance for either to live without the other

I dislike the term googlrola, barely use it (unless again it is in context) and I am nowhere near the only person throwing it around, you must be thinking of someone else. Either that or I wrote 59K articles in my sleep (google it)

@Usman you plan on leaving Verizon? Because the next nexus won't be on Verizon either.

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Android was meant to be open. OEMs have the choice on how to do buttons, unlike Windows Phone and iOS.

So far so good. That said, I will wait until I get a little more information on the devices before passing judgement. I really would like to see the camera performance in low light as well. I pray that the bootloader will be unlockable, but I am pretty sure that won't be the case. If not, then at least I am hoping for the Moto interface to not bog down the OS like TW does on my S3.

I know you could get unlocked gsm versions of the older models overseas. are they doing the same with these? wouldn't mind the ultra on tmo...

Since the iPhone 5, VZW has been selling their 4G phones unlocked cause of a FCC rule. So it's probably the same with these.

They may be "unlocked" or "unlockable," but good luck, getting them to work on AT&T or T-Mobile, here, in the US.

If they do "work," Voice will be functional and data will be of the Edge variety. Sadly..

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It is entirely possible to get them to work well on a gsm carrier. I got the vzw note II to work great on tmo.

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Not a big Verizon fan...but at least this will partially fill the hole left by no HTC One.

I was hoping that would confirm the August 1 date today, nothing. Very disappoinying. I actually own the DROID RAZR, but think the ONE is way superior to the new DROID series

I want to see the full specs but they look nice.

Not paying verizon prices nice, but still very nice.

i wonder how long Verizon has Moto by the short hairs on these being exclusive. It would be nice to see them on other networks instead of things like the X

It's confirmed, Superman has a problem, with neither virgins nor bootloaders.

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Writing this from past experience. I have the original Maxx, and it is worth it to go for the bigger battery, but wait a bit if you can. The $300 price will drop after a bit, because it did with the original Maxx and the Maxx HD. There isn't really a way to have two phones with just one difference (bigger battery) so they use price skimming. It will lower in time.

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This. I waited a month to buy my maxx hd and picked it up for less than 200 on amazon. Pices will drop sooner than you think. And the maxx is so worth it.

Looks like these will have similar software to the Moto X with the active display and touchless controls. Definitely interesting...

I'm really liking Moto's software enhancements. I like that their UI is basically stock Android with a few modifications. It keeps the look of the OS fluid unlike TouchWiz or Sense (even though Sense is miles better than TouchWiz). I would definitely consider a high end Moto device with the specs of the One or S4. The Moto X looks interesting, but I doubt it will be a high end.

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Sorry you had problems with Motorola. I have had my best luck with Motorola devices. I am going to try HTC if Verizon ever releases the One but if not I would definitely go with the MAXX. The worse device I have ever owned was the Samsung Nexus so I would not go that route.

I feel your pain however, you have to know that this isnt the same moto. They are owned by google now and i can pretty much guarantee that they will be the OEM that we have been waiting for... just give it some time and watch.

well this was the final blow to microsoft and windows phone

both in terms of hardware and software

and i know the lumia 1020 is a feature phone nothing more running on low end dual core chip from 2010

google is the winner,, her look at the price point

google make it happen all over the world , and moto give us back the amiga 68000 cpu with at new updated version for smart phones and tablets

So funny seeing all the blogs comment on the '3D design' of the 'kevlar' on the back. This is what kevlar weave looks like. It's 3D because it is actually 3D, not perfectly flat. Did you all really think real kevlar weave looked like the back of the original RAZR line of phones?

this is bullshit. how could you make the same mistake HTC did? now there's going to be an ugly menu button

So, you decided, to make a useless comment, in response to a useless article. Shows how much you value your time.

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My Maxx HD is good for a couple of more years. This is a great run of phones I hope they sell a lot of them. The battery life and tough packaging are a great reason to pick the Maxx up.

Its a custom SOC with 8 cores - 2 for app processing 4 for graphics, 1 for contextual computing and 1 for voice processing... sounds like a pretty bad ass chip...

But lets see who the first is to start bitching cause its DUAL CORE (for apps).

IMO, moto just threw down the gauntlet (but we will have to wait for the reviews)

Bleh, I was hoping for some stock Android goodness on these or at least the bare minimum. Plus the bootloaders will more then likely be locked like crazy. Love the look but going to have to wait for the HTC One if it ever hits VZW.

Wait. Is Samsung the current gen phones with removable battery AND SD slot? I think I can forgo removable battery. SD card is something I need though.

Pretty much but the GPE version of the Galaxy S4 doesn't use as much space. Same thing for those with regular S4's using an AOSP ROM.

BS. The main reason for SD is no one builds a phone with more than 32GB.

The 2nd main reason is: when your phone dies for whatever reason - all data on the SD is still there - even when you drop the phone in water (because most cards today are water proof).

3rd reason: much easier and saver if you flash a lot.

4th reason: data survives a factory reset

And and and....

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Yea, my GNEX has no SD. Main reason I need it is I have a ton of music. No streaming or cloud option entices me to go that route. Ever since going away from a dedicated MP3 player, I haven't heard so much of my favorite music in awhile. Next phone will need a SD slot.

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Two biggest questions for me (right now):
- Do the cameras take better photos than past Moto phones?
- Is SmartActions included)

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I have nothing good to say, but I'm gonna say it anyway...

IMO, those are some fugly phones (typical Motorola, they need to update their designs)! And the sealed/embedded battery = fail!

/Now you kids get off my lawn! ;P

If they use the same chip in the Moto X that might explain why is "only" dual core and gets such good GPU benchmarks: they're not doing all that extra stuff on the main cores.

A further thought, doesn't this just make the Moto X on Verizon redundant? I will still probably be getting it over the Droid line just because I don't like their look but...

I'm thinking the Moto X may NOT come to Verizon and will be GSM only but that the Maxx is essentially the same device. This way VZW can market the X as a "Droid". But what do I know?

Good battery life. Some interesting features. 720p is little sad on the Ultra and Maxx. Sorry the Droid DNA and Galaxy S 4 have spoiled me. The SOC utilization is intereasting I wonder how the SOC works. I wonder how the CPU's for voice and contextual are dedicated, software, architecture. hmm. I think we have reached a saturation point where OEM's will have to do more then pour spec's in to devices just for spec's sake. They will have to up there software and experience game. Something that appears to be happening.

It does, but I'm sure something had to suffer to keep the price point on par with the competition and screens are a HUGE part of device cost. Motorola really did pack a lot into these devices. I love being able to get a huge battery and 32GB of storage along with 2GB of ram. I'm still a GNex user but the Maxx might be enough for me to give up a Nexus experience. A lack of onboard storage has been a huge hang up. Right now, I have 20GBZ of music on my device and a Hyperion battery hanging off the back. I'm a road warrior and I need my devices to be one too.

This thing will be a HUGE upgrade to you in respect of battery life. The Google Nexus never had great battery life. I would upgrade and never look back.

Also, any word on charging rate? That huge battery will be on the charger for a while if we're talking GNex charging rates.

Last year's specs for this year's price, oh boy, that's just want I wanted in a new cell phone!

/end sarcasm

They seem to be following Samsung's table plan for over priced under speced devices, I can't think of any reason to buy any of these when you can get an LG optimus G pro for $99 and a Galaxy S4 for $199, both of which have superior specs.

Moto / Google will NEVER get one more dime from me.

I'm still waiting on the XOOM O/S upgrade. REMEMBER us? We're the ones who bought your tablet marketing...only to be shunned.


Oh, my bad, you guys were expecting 8 cores, 4GB Ram, 128GB storage and a 50MP camera to be on par with everything else out there...

Funny how that "superior spec'd" S4 lags to hell and back. How about waiting to see how it actually performs before completely chastising it.

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Oh, my bad, you guys were expecting 8 cores, 4GB Ram, 128GB storage and a 50MP camera to be on par with everything else out there...

Funny how that "superior spec'd" S4 lags to hell and back. How about waiting to see how it actually performs before completely chastising it.

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I'm more concerned about the incredible amount, and depth of integration, of Verizon's bloat in these phones, coupled with a locked bootloader. And they're fugly.

No thanks, Verizon.

Posted from the (4.2 updated) redheaded stepchild of the Nexii

Have you forgotten your hacking ways,good friend.All of the things you have mentioned here can be hacked away,you know that just as well as i do.:)

Why can't Samsung, HTC, and Sony put a 3,500mAh battery in their phone, like this MAXX ? And still keep it thin at 8.5mm too. My Nexus 4 is 9.1mm thick, with only 2,300mAh battery, would love a thinner phone with 50% larger battery, who wouldn't.

It is all a matter of cost.

It costs more to design and engineer a phone to make room for a larger batter. The smaller components cost more as does the larger battery. Motorola (Verizon really) decided to spend the needed money to product the MAXX phones. Other manf. and carriers choose not to.

For me, it is money well spend and I am happy to pay a premium for a phone that is high power, slim, well made, and can actually last all day and night without having to hunt for a charger.

Am I the only one that thinks this whole "Kevlar" weave looks ugly on a phone? Sorry but it just makes these phones look really cheap.

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Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Stalin. How does Verizon charge $299 for a phone on a 2 year contract on top of their already ridiculous monthly bills??

On a positive note, this DROID series does seem very promising. It had great benchmark scores when compared to the S4 from what I read. If this phone actually lives up to its own hype, that would be awesome. I think 48 hours of battery would seal the deal for most people.

I'm no fan of a locked bootloader either, but if the software runs awesome, then it may be a fair trade off for me personally. It certainly puts me on the fence, but it's all in what you value. I value a fast device that can handle my day to day tasks (not a gamer) that will last in the battery department. As much as I love my Nexus, I'm very tempted by something like the Maxx. Luckily, no one has to make a decision today, or even August 20th. My Galaxy Nexus has served me relatively well for two years so there's no real need to upgrade immediately and waiting has it's perks. Between the new Droid lineup, the S4 and the One most likely coming in August there are plenty of solid devices to choose from, unless you're a spec sheet whore.

Verizon customers should know that the device selection is always lacking. If you're expecting the same stuff as ATT and T-Mobile then swap your service if you can. Personally, I came to Verizon when they got the GNex because I wanted a Google Experience on Verizon's network. I did it knowing that VZW may never see another Nexus device.

I don't find the need to whine and complain about device selection. It is what it is. If I feel that the Maxx can't serve me for the next 2 years then maybe I'll take my business elsewhere.

The Mini is 4.2oz, The Ultra is 4.94oz and the Maxx is 5.86oz. Google will help you convert those numbers to grams. Don't be lazy, now. ;)

These phones are awesome especially the ultra and maxx. I don't know why everyone is complaining about the screen definition, it's plenty good enough. I honestly do not care at all if it has 1080 or not. The human eye can hardly differentiate the difference between 720 and 1080, if at all. I am completely happy with my s3s screen. Also the processors sound very intriguing, hopefully they are the same that will be on the xphone. I'm very confused though, a lot of people are saying that the Droid phones are pretty much how the X phone will be so why are they so expensive where as the X phone is supposed to be "cheap".? From everything I have read it's supposed to be around $300 off contract where as the maxx is to be $299 on contract and the only difference really is the internal storage and a slightly larger screen?? I'm referring to specs by the way. Off contract I assume the new Droid maxx to be around $700 so why is the X phone which is supposed to have almost the same specs so much cheaper but it's being heralded as the phone to end all phones?

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