Motorola Droid Ultra

Verizon's Motorola Droid Ultra hits stores tomorrow, August 20th, and we've got our hands on the device a little early for you guys to look at. For all intents and purposes, the Droid Ultra is a larger, more plasticky and generally more Verizon-ized version of the Moto X with most of the same DNA (no, not that other phone) inside.

In general, you're getting the same software experience as the Moto X — plus some extra Verizon bloat — wrapped in a different shell, hitting the same price point to boot. Hang on after the break for a few more impressions, hands-on video and several pictures of the middle entry into the latest Droid lineup on Verizon.

Official Droid Ultra specs

We haven't had a whole lot of time with the Droid Ultra just yet, but first impressions are important when looking at a device. Unfortunately our out-of-the-box reaction to the hardware isn't the best. We're torn, really, because the Droid Ultra seems to be very well made in terms of fit-and-finish but we just can't get past the material choices.

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In stark contrast to the soft touch "woven" material of the Moto X, we're looking at extremely (and we mean extremely) glossy plastic all around on the Droid Ultra. You have a honeycomb-like pattern on the back plate, but this surely isn't the kevlar we know from other Droids. Additionally, Motorola has dropped the on-screen buttons found on the Moto X and even last year's Droid RAZR line for capacitive buttons again, which is puzzling.

On the software side we're much more impressed with what we have to look at. To our eyes we're looking at 100 percent the same experience as the Moto X, with a relatively "Stock" feel alongside several Motorola improvements like Active Notifications and Touchless Control. Just as you'd expect, Verizon is still loading quite a bit of its own bloatware — from a handful of Verizon-branded apps to several more Amazon installments — on the phone, which can and will be swiftly disabled when you first set it up.

Overall we have to say that we're looking forward to putting the Droid Ultra through its paces in the coming days. There's a lot to like here, and we plan on having our full review up soon.