Google’s hardware division, otherwise known as Motorola, has just introduced three new Droid smartphones to the market – and none of them are the heavily-rumored Moto X.
Instead, we’re getting the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. Actually, that should be ordered Maxx, Ultra, and Mini, by price. The first two are about 5”, while the Mini takes it down to about 4.3”. Interestingly, all three will be powered by the same thing – Motorola’s eight core X8 Mobile Computing System. The main benefit there is that these will all be low-power phones – the Maxx is slated to last up to 48 hours on one charge. The Ultra won’t last as long, but it will be much thinner, at a little over 7 mm.
Also, the backs of these phones are made from glossy Kevlar composite, in a unibody design. And like with their predecessors, we’re not sure if that means that your phone can stop bullets, but we guess you know for sure it won’t crack when you drop it.
One cool bonus is that you can use Google Now, among other things, using voice commands even when the phone is asleep. This will be handy if you’ve misplaced your phone – you can shout into the void for Google Now to call your phone, and Google Now will do so. Quick Capture will allow you to activate the camera instantly with a flick of the wrist, then touch anywhere on the screen to take a photo. Active Display is a power-saving feature that displays time, date, and notifications in a small section of the screen, without lighting up the entire screen. And then there is the included Droid Zap app which lets you instantly send videos and photos to other Droid Zap users that are within 300 feet of you.
Our first impressions of the new line-up is that these handsets offer a fine evolution over last year’s Droid releases, with a fine set of software tweaks and hardware improvements. Even the camera which was perhaps the weakest part of the Droid series until now, has been improved. That said, during our hands-on time with the phones, we were especially drawn to the Droid Ultra’s red color option, but we also liked how the smaller sized Droid Mini was more comfortable to grip in our hands.
All three new Droids will be Verizon exclusives, and can be pre-ordered right now, ahead of their August 20 release. The Droid Mini will be $100, while the Ultra and Maxx will be $200 and $300, respectively. Along with the phones, there will be swaths of branded accessories that you can see below, including cases, SOL Republic headphones and a new SOL Republic wireless speaker that can instantly pair with the Droids via NFC.