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Video: DROID MAXX and ULTRA Hands-on and Overview

DROID MAXX

After waiting a good amount of time in line to get ours hands on the new DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX, here is our hands-on video and overview of the phones. The MAXX is the largest of the three newly announced DROID devices, coming in at 8.5mm thick. It has a 5″ OLED 720p display (non PenTile), a Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and 2GB of RAM. 

For the most part, the MAXX is running a stock version of Android 4.2.2, but throughout the device’s software you will see certain Moto touches that help bring some of this device’s features to fruition. The phone’s main selling feature is its massive 3,500mAh battery, capable of 48 hours of talk time according to Motorola. On the back side, you will find a 10MP camera and a 2MP camera on the front.

As for the ULTRA, think of it as the same exact device as the MAXX, but without the 3,500mAh battery. Instead, the ULTRA features a smaller 2,130mAh battery, capable of up to 28 hours of talk time. Besides the battery, it has the same display, same processor, same amount of RAM, same camera, same software and same everything else.

Have a look below and check out our full walkthrough videos.

DROID MAXX

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DROID ULTRA

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Click here for additional DROID ULTRA and MAXX coverage.

  • Chris Tangredi

    Doesn’t appear to have a sim card slot? possibly internal sim card?

  • Anon

    My biggest question: Will the new Motorola be building car and bedside docks for these phones?

    If they will, the Maxx is probably for me. If not, I may need to seek alternatives.

    • ROB

      Wireless charging and i havent read anything about them. This was always what got me to buy moto over the koreans.

  • flosserelli

    Meh. I’ll wait for the Note 3.

  • Justin W

    So, since this is global device, would I be able to purchase it and use it on another carrier (as long as the bands are supported) if I could get it unlocked?

  • Total_telecom

    removable battery or storage?

  • yummy

    So…………..
    $100 to get a larger battery?
    Did I miss something?
    That seems like a lot.

    • duke69111

      and 16 gb’s more storage.

      • LiterofCola

        And wireless charging

  • jnt

    Maybe I’ve just gotten too used to having an IPS display, but man the colors look saturated on these things…

  • Killer4247

    I can only imagine the pentile 720p screen blown up to 5 inches. I had the galaxy nexus with a 4.65 inch screen and that screen wasn’t the sharpest. At 5 inches I can only imagine how bad this will look. Why didn’t moto go with the 1080p screens. My S4 that I have now is a huge step up from the 720p OLED screens. Maybe moto isn’t using pentile this time around like the amoled + from my old droid charge?

  • DJ SPY

    Where are the speakers? To hear music.

    • steve

      around the camera

  • Scott Kart

    Why hasn’t anyone addressed the fact that these phones(moto x included) are going to have outdated software by time they become available?..you know with the new nexus 7 and 4.3 coming out

  • jnt

    @kellex:disqus can you comment any more on the camera? Given that it’s typically a weak point for Moto, are you seeing much in terms of improvement in the photo quality / speed?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Speed…it seemed a tad slow to me, not going to lie. Picture quality was impossible to tell. We’ll know more when we can blow up photos on a big display.

  • James Hill

    Is it really an ultra Hands-on?

  • Lloyd BrokenMachines Jones

    Ugh! Yup, the hTc DNA is the last DROID device i will own. Nothing to see here folks. On to the nex…….t.

    • LiterofCola

      That’s right move along

  • Ground Level

    Is anyone even sure why the Ultra exists? I’m thinking Verizon just wanted to name something “ULTRA” and have the Droid voice say “Ultra” on the commercials.

    These phones feel like contract fillers to me. Much more could’ve been done to make these top of the line. Maybe Google wanted to hold back a bit so they don’t overshadow the Moto X too much.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      They had left-over glossy gross material from the Mini? That’s all I can think of.

  • Silver Veloz

    Do any of these Droid Phones or even the upcoming Moto X have HDMI output??

  • Tyler James Edward Hills

    Seems to me that the Moto X and the Ultra are almost identical in terms of specs. Yet it’s priced at $199 on contract. Does this mean the Moto X will drop at the same price point?

  • T4rd

    According to your other specs page; the Ultra and Maxx are different other than the battery in one other catagory; internal storage.
    The Maxx has 32GBs of internal storage and the Ultra has 16 GB internal storage. Since they don’t have SD card slots (from what I’ve seen so far), this is a pretty considerable difference for a lot of people.

    • LiterofCola

      Doesn’t the Maxx and Mini support wireless charing as well? The Ultra does not.

  • Carlos Danger

    This doesnt really seem like a huge upgrade from my OG Razor Maxx. I dont really feel the need to get a new phone

    • William_Morris

      Extra credit for the name drop. Are you a congressman looking for a new phone camera to celebrate your mayoral run?

    • LiterofCola

      Uh, this is a HUGE upgrade from the Razr Maxx.

  • EC8CH

    I see an amazon widget… I assume that is non unistallable preloaded bloat?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Assuming so.

      Funny story – another press person sitting next to me actually asked them straight up how much bloatware was going to be on there. We all chuckled, but one of the Moto reps actually answered him and said “it’s not finalized.” I about spit up with laughter.

  • iYokleezy

    I think Droid-Life should change their name to Nexus-Life because of how bad Verizon is making the name Droid look.

  • 18footJ

    Due to the 1080p screen shortages, Moto had no choice but to settle for 720p.

    With that said, I still think 1080p HD versions will be released later this year.

    • Bionic

      That’s total bull and you know it.

      • EC8CH

        wouldn’t be the first time screen shortages forced manufactures into design choices… ala OG Droid Incredible switching from amoled to slcd screens.

    • azndan4

      Yeah except HTC, Samsung, and LG all have sold tons of phones with 1080p screens. Typical Motorola garbage: late to market and priced to fail. Let’s see… Samsung S4 or HTC One with 32gb storage, Snapdragon 600 quad core and 1080p screens? Or Motorola Maxx with last generation Snapdragon pro dual core, 16gb, and 720p screens?

      • MyStroPro

        Wrong storage size on the Maxx. It has 32Gb as well.

  • Bionic

    How many of you, after waiting to see these phones, are getting an S4 tomorrow?

    I know I’m not regretting mine at all.

    • droidrazredge

      These phones look and seem to behave similar to the Moto X, What is the difference between these phones and the Moto X besides the price ? Is there really anything more the Moto X will do that these phones can’t ?

      • Render

        I have a feeling that the biggest surprise with the Moto X will be a low off-contract price (ie. Nexus 4 like pricing)…but it does have its own launch event, so there are likely a few other surprises. Today the processor confusion was finally cleaned up (Moto X will likely have the X8 as well)

    • LionStone

      The S4 has nothing on my DNA, however, if I was in the market right now, I’d get the Maxx w/ built-in wireless charging, without question.

    • Render

      How about the Moto X? I am sure it will have even more surprises since it has its own launch event…

      Oh and….I guess that I was right about that CPU! What they have done makes a lot of sense, and benchmarks won’t necessarily reflect the improvements by adding those two other cores. The Moto X likely has the same CPU. By offloading information to lower power cores it allows for the main cores to more efficiently manage applications, and also prevents the phone from “locking up” if a sensor is slow to response.

      I am not giving Motorola props for this design though, its got GOOGLE written all over it.

    • jh123416

      Are we allowed to see the Moto X? Sweet jesus…

    • LiterofCola

      Nope, getting a Maxx

    • RoadsterHD1

      No. getting me a Droid MAXX. and keeping my unlimited plan. Setting up my cloud now….

      • skinnchico

        you’re going to pay full price? or did you find a way to get it discounted and keep your unlimited plan

        • RoadsterHD1

          Discount price would be great but No I have to pay full price. The nice thing about payments is it would take me at least 4 to 5 months to save 699.99 so by doing the payment plan its the same thing, I save 140.00 a month for payment and get the phone right away.

    • ROB

      Waiting for the Moto X and paying out right and then getting the AT&T $60 prepaid plan and saying bye bye to big red. There coverage is nice but AT&T has caught up in my area…

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    Guys, I think you should all see these as a trio of Verizon phones, not Motorola phones. I bet that Motorola will be spending next to nothing to promote them.

    • Ian

      umm yea…., because they already announced they were spending $500M to promote just the X.

    • Lucky Armpit

      Don’t understand why that matters? Minimal Blur skin and Motorola’s superior hardware is all that matters. Don’t care who is promoting them.

  • Feed Jake

    Anybody else notice that photosphere wasn’t in the camera settings? Panorama was, but not photosphere. I like the settings panel, but the 4.3 camera seems it’d be easier. It’s not like Samsung’s, it seems they just moved stuff around without adding anything.

    • DJ SPY

      Photo sphere is a gimmick that didn’t work right.

      • tomn1ce

        I use photo sphere and it works fine. All you need is to practice…

      • Feed Jake

        Then so is panorama or any other camera filter. I’ve had good luck with photosphere. I don’t use it a whole lot, but it’s cool to use in certain places. I used it in Nashville at the Country Hall of Fame in the hall of fame plaque room and it’s a cool pic to show iPhone lovers who think of android as it was in 2.2.

  • duke69111

    Is it me or does the Ultra seams more snappy than the Maxx

  • disastrousrainbow

    Go home, Verizon/Motorola. If these phones are truly representing the best of what Android has to offer, as has been the tagline of the Droid label, you haven’t done your homework right.

  • abhele

    when i heard 5 inch and 720p i left the video.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    Is there any setting or mention of HDMI/MHL in there? I don’t care about Miracast – it’s useless to me…

  • Jeremy Gross

    how did they not put in sd card…..

  • schwartzman93

    I can live with capacitive buttons if the multitask button also functions as a menu button…please tell me it does

    • MikeCiggy

      Android design guidelines require developers to have their own menu button. No need for it on capactive, hardware, or on screen.

      • schwartzman93

        Yes there is…because the fact of the matter is, there are still legacy apps that havent updated

        • Adam Truelove

          Those legacy apps should evolve or die.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Let’s do a screen comparison between the GS4 and the Droid MAXX

    • Futbolrunner

      +1

      I’d like to see a camera comparison

    • Tyler Durden

      and it gets blown away from the GS4

      • RoadsterHD1

        The Snapdragon 800 version, yes but what about the 600 version?

        • William Kister

          1.9 Ghz for S4 with SD 600. Isn’t the specs for these Motorola 1.5 GHz? I think the ppi for the S4 is higher too.

          • RoadsterHD1

            The screen on the S4 is a fail if you ask me. The Droid has to look better than this. HTC One looks great….

          • William Kister

            That has to be the stupidest comparison I have ever seen, You can obviously tell it’s not even the same resolution. Here is a better picture or few. Seems the HTC because it has slightly smaller screen is crisper and the screen itself is more vibrant. Yet the S4 renders slighty more detail and shows a higher range of colors although not as saturated. They are both very good.

    • Bionic

      LMAO

      • RoadsterHD1

        WHAT?.

        • Bionic

          S4 would win, easily.

          • RoadsterHD1

            Resolution yes but what about color. I’m not sure but is the S4 a pentile screen?

          • Eric

            S4 would win no matter what.

          • RoadsterHD1

            That proves and means nothing. Show me. A no pentile, OLED screen looks real nice……

          • Eric

            Buy me both phones and I will.

          • RoadsterHD1

            Really…. thats your answer.

          • LiterofCola

            He’s an idiot

          • RoadsterHD1

            He sure is.

          • LiterofCola

            No wonder people don’t like you.

  • Charlie R.

    These are Verizon’s X Phones.

    • William_Morris

      It is absolutely my hope that you are wrong on this… and yet I feel that it may be the truth. :(

  • Vitala

    where is the SIM? how to use it with another carrier?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      SIM is under the volume rocker. Weird, but it is.

      • Vitala

        thanks!

      • EC8CH

        Interesting way to get a clean exterior design and yet still have access to the sim card without a removable back. In theory I like the idea.

      • LionStone

        wow, stealthy!

      • zurginator

        God damnit, I came up with that idea 2 years ago and put it in one of my designs.

  • TMKvamme

    Does anyone else think we should change from the standard battery measurements of “standby” and “talk” time to “standby” and “screen on full bright” time.

    • Butters619

      75% Brightness sounds more reasonable to me. The difference between 75% and 100% brightness is insane and you shouldn’t be at 100% brightness unless you are outside.

      • Heather Mines

        Brightness level in general is irrelevant. It should be based off lumen. If you just set it at a percentage a screen with a 400 nit screen will be tested significantly brighter than one with only a 220 nit screen. Unfortunately, most sites other than Anandatech don’t understand this.

        • Butters619

          I’ll agree with that.

    • duke69111

      Screen on time using 4G LTE is what i care about.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        No one would put that up for the moment because the number will be so low that it will scare off a lot of people.

      • Leif Sikorski

        The problem is that it depends so much on the signal strength. There is no good way to measure or compare battery life beside testing it yourself in my opinion.

      • dark_funk

        Anandtech runs a web browsing battery life test using LTE (unless the phone can only access 3G), which is basically what you’re talking about. They also run the same test on wi-fi for comparison. Some other sites probably run similar tests.

    • T4rd

      I would like to see a “screen on full brightness while navigating and streaming HQ media over LTE to a BT device, tethering to 8 laptops playing BF3 and playing Minecraft in multiwindow mode” time.

      • Danny J

        That’s like 5 minutes battery life :^]

    • j__h

      You should not use full brightness but use a set illumination level, so that phones with highest brightness are not penalized for it.

    • michael arazan

      I think their needs to be a “Heavy Usage” time.

      the one thing that eats my battery the fastest is uploading HD videos I captured on my phone to the cloud over LTE

  • RoadsterHD1

    Give us some benchmarks please. AnTuTu and Quadrant please Kellex

  • Shane Redman

    well done…hopefully the last of the DROID line. But show me a MotoMaxX

  • wagner

    32 vs 16 storage.

  • RoadsterHD1

    32 storage for me

    • LiterofCola

      There with you

  • RobotiX

    How does the 720p screen look in person?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Looks fine in person. The ULTRA and MAXX have really nice looking displays, I think. At least the reds pop. :P

      • droidrazredge

        These phones seem to behave similar to the Moto X, What is the
        difference between these phones and the Moto X besides the price ? Is
        there really anything more the Moto X will do that these phones can’t that we know so far?

  • s23

    please talk about your opinion on the hardware, good or bad