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DROID ULTRA vs. Moto X: Specs, Software, and Design

droid ultra vs moto x

If you are considering a new phone on Verizon, you’ll have so many good options to choose from over the next couple of months. From the new DROIDs to the LG G2 to the Note 3, it’s going to a painful yet exciting decision to have to make. Two of them that we have in house to compare for you today are made by Motorola, though they’ll eventually have four of their own for you to consider. Our unboxing of the recently-acquired DROID ULTRA is already done, so that means it’s time for the heavy lifting to take place, which includes a battle between the newest DROID and Motorola’s other flagship, the Moto X

I’ll leave most of the comparison talk for the video below, since it’s a solid 15 minutes long and covers it all from the build and design to the software enhancements shared by each. But when you look at these two side-by-side, it’s pretty clear that the differences are dramatic in terms of appearance. The ULTRA is a big phone, thanks to its 5-inch display and capacitive touch buttons. The Moto X is a compact phone that preaches minimalism over shiny gloss and “DROID” branding. If you didn’t know that they were both made by Motorola, I don’t think you’d guess that they were.

So, how to do they compare? I think you’ll be surprised at how closely the ULTRA matches up. In some aspects, it even bests the Moto X, assuming you are a fan of the design.

Video

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droid ultra vs moto xdroid ultra vs moto xdroid ultra vs moto xdroid ultra vs moto x

Other links:  Spec comparison | Verizon sales approach to the ULTRA vs the Moto X

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  • banli962

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt

  • mcdonsco

    Does mobile hotspot actually work on these now? Didn’t on any of the RAZR line…so thought I would ask.

    • JolleyMan

      I don’t understand. It works fine on my OG RAZR. Of course, you have to pay for it or enable it via some other method.

      • mcdonsco

        Maybe I’m just incredibly unlucky, but on every moto device I’ve had recently it rarely works. Devices can always connect to the mobile hotspot, but they could only connect to the internet and actually transfer data about 25% of the time; otherwise they just show no internet connection at all.

        I’ve experienced this on the RAZR, RAZR Maxx and RAZR Maxx HD. Also, I have friends/family with all of these phones and I tried it on all of theirs and experienced the same thing (Mom has OG RAZR, buddy has the Maxx and ex-wife has the Maxx HD – none of theirs worked right either).

        It’s the primary reason I have a samsung phone now; on the samsung it works perfectly every time; but I really want to go back to motorola on the Maxx…Regardless, I’ll be buying a Maxx in store tomorrow morning; if it doesn’t work I’ll stick with Samsung I guess, but here’s to hoping (crossing fingers now!).

        I don’t see how it could work on ANY of them when I’ve owned and tested out as many as I have and not one worked properly; though I suppose I could just be THAT unlucky.

        • JolleyMan

          That’s unfortunate. I have not had any issues with mine at all. Works on stock ROM with root, and on CM10.1. That’s crazy that it won’t work for your friends and family, either. I’ve used it for tethering a tablet and a laptop. I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem, even when I’ve been working from my car from the nether regions of the Carolinas and Georgia. Go figure. I’ll be in Portland, OR, soon. Perhaps I’ll try it while I’m out there. :-)

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  • darren

    802.11ac on the moto x and not on the ultra!!!!

    • sandbag747

      What does 802.11ac mean?

    • mcdonsco

      Honestly, I see no need/reason for ac on a phone quite yet…Only thing that could be more useful is if ac involved better range, but from what I’ve seen of my current ac router and ac notebook, it doesn’t.

  • wolfedude88

    Why is the phone icon not blue on the ultra? Stock is blue, and even the moto x has blue, what gives?

  • AHoL2206

    one big issue i have with the Droids will be the updates. if the moto x is motorola’s flagship, the updates will get pushed much more quickly than to the VZW Droid StepChildren. The MAXX could’ve been special, but i think 5″ might just be too big for a 720p phone….

    • sandbag747

      Well do remember that the updates need the approval of the carrier too and there isn’t a huge difference between the Droids and the X so there wouldn’t be too huge of a difference especially is VZW got annoyed at their flagship updates being delayed and created a buffer for them to be even at least on VZW X’s

  • InvaderDJ

    Ugh. This is what Verizon is calling their flagship? This ugly, glossy, bloated up POS? I really think Verizon just straight up hates their customers. They have an awesome network, but everything else, including their phone selection and policies is just…bad.

    • Mike

      I would forgive them if they would just carry a unhindered Nexus phone. I left for att because of vzws crap phone selection.

      • InvaderDJ

        I’m tempted to do the same once my contract is up at the end of this year. I got over the loss of umlimited data, I made peace with the idea of Verizon likely never getting a good Nexus/Android phone that was updated in a reasonable amount of time with minimal BS but this…this is just awful.

        It helps also that I think I’ll be getting a better price on at&t through my job but the price isn’t the biggest issue since the difference will be minimal. Verizon’s network is the best, but it isn’t good enough to put up with all this and not even have a decent phone.

  • joejoe5709

    Well… not a lot of difference is there? I guess it all comes down to personal preference. I never realized until you made this comparo, but this is almost a perfect showcase of two schools of thought within the Android community. 5″ racy monster with hardware nav vs. slightly smaller, more mature chassis with on-screen nav. Very interesting to see how this plays out because this appeals to two different people.

    And then there’s the Maxx but that’s a different story…

  • Bill Hill

    Droid Life needs to post more pictures of the Moto X, I never see any in their articles

  • Wagner

    Moto Maker needs an extended battery option.
    who doesn’t want a Moto X Maxx?

    • Mike

      That my friend id buy full retail

  • bionicwaffle

    I would take the Ultra, the display is much larger since it doesn’t have the persistent buttons taking up space at the bottom of the screen. Well, I would take the Maxx really.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    I’d be all over the Maxx if it had on-screen buttons. I don’t know why Motorola got rid of these.

    • Mike

      Why the issue with capacitive buttons? More screen all the time rather than certain apps is win in my book. I’m just wondering?

      • joejoe5709

        Well for a 4.7″ screen, it’s not the awesomest thing, but for me on screen buttons means less bezel. Look at the new G2. It’s 5.2″ but the buttons take up the .2″ which makes it about the same as the GS4. But then you watch a video or install a ROM with the option to have PIE controls. Then those buttons disappear. And. It’s. Gorgeous. Capacitive buttons have their own pros/cons but I like the flexibility and the super clean looking face.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Because enough people out there like capacitive buttons.

      See the DNA, One, all Samsung’s etc.

  • RoadsterHD1

    The new Droids are the way to go. They do more than the X, and look better. The X to me looks like a typical smart phone.

    • Mike

      How does the X look like a typical phone? Its completely customizable. I do agree that the Maxx is better than the X for sure though.

      • RoadsterHD1

        I mean the ROUNDED corners and hump back. Plain Jane lens for camera and tiny flash. Small grill for speaker, very simple look. Not elegant and professional like the Droid Maxx and Ultra.

        • Mike

          The glossy ultra isn’t what id call elegant but hey to each their own

        • Franklin Ramsey

          The Droid Maxx and Ultra are elegant and professional? I hope that is sarcasm.

          • RoadsterHD1

            Not sarcasm. The Moto X looks like a kids phone. And the more people color them up the more it looks like a kids phone. My opinion. If its not yours then agree to disagree.

          • sandbag747

            The Maxx looks a lot better without the glossy coating, and I agree with HD1, they are thinner, relatively flat, no dumb colors. They are much more mature and elegant

    • MacNificent

      The droids look like typical ugly verizon phones

      • RoadsterHD1

        Take it easy “killer”

  • Bigwavedave25

    Kellex, what’s up with the header pic man? I see the massive contrast with the phones, but this is not your normal lighting quality… :)

    • ToddAwesome

      The videos today could have definitely used more lighting.

  • ToddAwesome

    I’d kill for an extra 3mm.

  • calum wilper

    so… does verizon want this to sell? or the moto x?

    • Philip A. Kaiser

      This…. Because they are paying for the licensing rights to use the name “droid.” The X is just another phone to them. This lineup costs them some bucks out of pocket.

      • calum wilper

        it just seems to me, with similarly huge ad campaigns and not a lot to distinguish them specs-wise, it may be hard for verizon to convince people to buy this instead of a moto x, not that at it really matters anyway considering their money is made on contracts. just usually it seems as though carriers like to push specific phones

  • Jeremy B.

    Motorola Should just make Maxx phones and sell them $199 or $249.99 on contract forget all this in-between spec phones (DROID Ultra) or less then in-between phones (DROID Mini).

    • Mike

      I agree on the Ultra but the Mini has a market. A lot of people don’t want large phones 4.5″ and above.

    • Jordan Webb

      Strongly disagree with you on the Mini. The Mini is awesome – all the power of the big boys, but in a small form factor for people that don’t want megaphones. I know quite a few people interested in the new Mini.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Wirefly is selling the Ultra for $149 and the MAXX for $199.

      • Jeremy B.

        ive never ordered from wirefly and im a little skeptical about it so i just ordered from verizon. $358 after $30 upgrade fee and taxes :(((((

        • Robert Macri

          I’ve always ordered from wirefly and never had a problem… still need to pay the $30 upgrade fee.

  • tvBilly

    Looks like your Ultra screen has a lit pixel, maybe two.

  • crazed_z06

    I see Motorola has. All but conceded the android crown to Samsung. The Gs4 and Note 3 smash these new motos

    • Mike

      As far as sales go Samsung has smashed everyone. But I think Motorola is on a upward trend with these new devices. I won’t be buying one simply because I am on ATT and I just bought a GS4. Reason why I mentioned att is because I’d buy the Maxx. The X and other droids are lackluster to say the least

  • chris420o

    I wish the moto x was flat…honestly i want as close to stock android and google phone as possible…so x it still might be come november when u can customize one…i hate the chin and hardware buttons i wish they didnt do that i wish they stuck with the droid hd design but made it more narrow n thinner…whats this love for 5″ screens jesus…and im not sure why they put a 5″ screen and no 1080p…smh

  • http://www.betheunchurch.blogspot.com maisonpulaski

    I have the GS4 and what I absolutely cannot stand about it is the buttons. Next in line would be that I was on this kick where, “Ah – who needs custom roms?” So I took the update that locked the bootloader and now I am crying for some CM on this TouchWiz infeasted monster. I think I am going to pony up for the Developer Edition MotoX. As close as it is to stock AOSP hopefully it will get a much less buggy AOSP then some of the other devices I have had recently (Note2 and GS4). I actually miss my GNex (gave it to my dad).

    • http://www.betheunchurch.blogspot.com maisonpulaski

      I am thinking it is going to be the only option for those of us on VZW that want a stock android experience.

    • joejoe5709

      I don’t think there will be a developer edition. At least last I heard, they haven’t confirmed it. Keep an eye out for the new Nexus phones – granted they may never come to Verizon. In which case the Moto X’s value skyrockets.

      • http://www.betheunchurch.blogspot.com maisonpulaski

        I will have to do some digging but this is what I heard… There will not be a Google Play Edition of the MotoX. But that is not the same as a developer edition from Verizon. For example the GS4 has the carrier editions, the international unlocked edition, the Google Play Edition, and then there is also the Developer Edition for Verizon. I thought that I heard that although there was no Google Play Edition coming – there was going to be a Developer Edition from Verizon that would allow for a bootloader unlock. They did it with the GS4 so I am hoping they’ll do it with the MotoX.

      • Maison Pulaski

        I found the link I was looking for…

        “Here is Punit’s note over at Google+:

        Perhaps this got missed in the launch hullabaloo …

        Moto X on the Sprint, US Cellular, Rogers and T-Mobile networks will have an unlockable bootloader, and in addition, we will be offering a Verizon Wireless Developer Edition and a general North American Developer Edition.

        Hope that clarifies some of the questions out there.”

        http://www.droid-life.com/2013/08/02/moto-x-bootloader-developer-edition/

  • MichaelFranz

    Good video. Its so hard not to want this phone over (maxx version of course) over Moto X. Since they are technically the same software versions wouldnt that mean that they probably would get software updates in and around the same time?

    The battery and display size of the maxx is he deal maker for me. I actually like the carbon fiber look. But on the other hand i would love to eventually make my own moto x through motomaker. I think either way my next phone is one of these 2. unless the HTC One Max gives us more then we ask

    • Mike

      Only reason to get the X over the Maxx would be customization, but that’s negated with cases

      • Jordan Webb

        Or 802.11ac, if that happens to matter.

      • MichaelFranz

        im not even bother anymore by the soft keys. the layout is stock google, im completely fine with it

        • Jordan Webb

          I’m with you here. As long as it’s a standard layout, I’m all good.

  • Chris Szczesniak

    …And all the ladies will prefer the full 5 inch experience with the Droid Ultra.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I see what you did there… but actually they will probably prefer the Mini. Smaller hands.

  • RaptorOO7

    I am sending my GS4 back (no bootloader no interest) and will wait to see what the GN2 announcement yields and the G2 looks like in person.

  • Sequence of Sound…

    why did they chose to use different icons for some of the apps and the little gear for the settings? I know this can be easily changed.

  • Jackski

    lets get those stock wallpapers up please! I love that red cube one!

  • Charlie R.

    So, what are some options if we move from a phone with a microSD card to one of these phones?? The only thing I have on my microSD now are pictures, but around 18gb worth. Does anyone have suggestions on what they use where I could still access my pictures on the go without using my internal storage up?

    • Jordan Webb

      Moto X comes with 50gb of Drive storage paid for two years, and the new G+ update lets you access your Drive photos in the G+ gallery. Does that work for ya?

      • T4rd

        Beat me to it. But the Moto X will have a 32GB option, which is usually adequate for people. It’s either that or the Droid Maxx which is 32GBs too.

        • Jordan Webb

          Also true. I was answering based off the “without using my internal storage” bit?

          • Weber

            He’ll just have to upload when on WiFi if data is an issue.

          • Jordan Webb

            Which is way easier on battery, too.

    • Philip A. Kaiser

      25Gigs of Google Drive is only like $2.50/mo. Less than the price of a energy drink.

    • King Lo

      I’m curious (not trolling), why do you need access to 18 gb worth of pictures at once?

      • Charlie R.

        Actually, I probably don’t, but I’ve always had access to them via my microSD card so it will be different not having them there. It’s pretty much every picture I’ve taken since I’ve had a smartphone with the same SD card. Believe it or not, I do look through them from time to time.

        • LionStone

          G+ Auto Upload, access from your laptop, tablet, phone…in full resolution and enhancements too.

  • jbdan

    LOL providence! hilarious :D

    edit: thanks for the review K

  • Jordan Webb

    What about speaker quality (earpiece and speakerphone)? Speaker looks like it has more space to work than the Motox, does that make a difference?

  • Dan

    I’m not a fan of burying the actual content of an article in a video (Really? 15 minutes — no way I’m watching that). Videos should be for showing things where a picture is really worth 1k words, not for reading me an article that I could read faster and better for myself.

    • Dlang123

      ^What he said. Anyone want to summarize for us? I can read at work, but watching videos bleh.

      • Moeyknight

        That’s my problem with the videos. Can’t watch at work. By the time I get home I’m either over it or I’ve forgotten.

      • Jordan Webb

        Display is less sharp thanks to same resolution on a higher size
        More useful screen real estate on the Ultra thanks to capacitive buttons
        Design is different.
        Slightly more bloatware on the Droid.
        Software and performance are identical. They both misinterpreted his Google Now request the same way.
        Droid Command Center and Zap are only on the Ultra.

        Basically confirming what we already knew for the most part. I wanted to hear a mention of the speaker quality/loudness.

        • Dlang123

          Thanks a ton. Really curious if cameras are the same quality as well, should be same sensors but there is a lot in play there with lenses and possible colors of the housing etc. Otherwise same thing I said since day 1.. aren’t they basically the same phone.

          • Jordan Webb

            Yeah, they’re the same guts in different wrappers. Just have to decide which wrapper you like better.

          • tomn1ce

            Just for the battery itself I would choose the Maxx over the Moto X…

        • T4rd

          I wonder if you can easily port the Command Center over to the X since they’re both using the same launcher (or just port the whole launcher over).

          • Jordan Webb

            Should really just be an app, so I don’t see why not.

          • T4rd

            Yeah, same here. It just sucks you have to use Moto’s launcher to use it. If I could use it on Nova, it would be awesome. If Moto was smart, they would sell a universal version in the Play Store.

        • Lucky Armpit

          When you say display is “less sharp” is that technically-speaking but you really can’t see it? Or is it a noticeable difference? I ask because I’m wondering if that’s comparable to the 1080p vs. 720p display debate (in other words, it’s a spec with no real difference visually between the two). ANYTHING should be an upgrade from my Razr Maxx’s horrible display.

          • Jordan Webb

            I was summarizing the video. He said that the settings page looks slightly less sharp on the Ultra than on the X.

            Coming from a Gnex (me) or a OG Razr (you), the screen will probably look wonderful. I’d bet it’s only noticeable to people who have used the 1080p monsters for extended periods already (reviewers and people who replace often) or when it’s next to a higher PPI screen (reviewers only, like this video).

          • LiterofCola

            Hmm, interesting that the X has a regular AMOLED screen and the Droids have a SAMOLED screen and the X has the crisper screen.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            SuperAMOLED is a trademark of Samsung. They’re all Samsung AMOLED displays though, so they’re basically identical without the branding.

          • T4rd

            I’m sure the difference between 317 and 294 PPI is negligble considering they’re both the exact same type of display.

          • bionicwaffle

            It’s more important to note that the Droids and Moto X are all non-Pentile now. Since they’re RGB you can expect a brighter display than Pentile displays and whiter whites as well. I’d take that over a pentile 1080p display like Samsung uses any day on a 5″ or less screen.

          • lss

            I agree, the difference shouldn’t be that much.
            After all, the original Nexus 7 was 216 ppi (even though it was an IPS LCD screen)

        • 655321

          Watching videos is blocked here where I work. Does he mention if the ULTRA camera stacks up to the Clear Pixel camera in the Moto X?

          • kixofmyg0t

            It’s the same camera. Like literally the same camera module itself.

          • Jordan Webb

            Same sensor, but he didn’t take any pictures to compare.

    • Alex

      I’m actually a fan of the videos, I feel like they give you a much better “picture” of the device than a photo does. The Moto X looks way sexier on video than it does in photos b/c you get to see it from all angles.

      • Mark Mann

        and the reason it takes 15 minutes to show it from all angles is…what?

  • EC8CH

    On screen buttons and NOT the phone Verizon is pushing….

    Moto X wins!

    • Charlie R.

      Not the phone Verizon is pushing is exactly right, and is going to be a big problem too. Forget rooting and installing ROM’s, the Droid phones will always get top priority for updates than the X. More than likely weeks in advance of the X.

      • EC8CH

        Great… it will give me another reason to bitch about Verizon!

        My favorite thing to do :-P

        • Charlie R.

          Seems like we all live for it. Ha! Hopefully, I’m wrong, but it is Verizon.

          • EC8CH

            It will be an interesting to test to see how evil Verizon is. Will they delay X updates more compared to Droid updates?

          • T4rd

            Lol, I didn’t even think about that. That would royally piss a lot of people off, including Google/Moto, I would think.
            It’s going to be the Gnex all over again.

          • EC8CH

            Who waits for OTAs anyways?

          • T4rd

            Yeah, but I’m sure the Verizon/AT&T Moto Bootloaders will be impossible to crack unless we luck out and find an exploit like they did with the Razr’s. That kinda makes development a PITA. The Gnex didn’t have this issue.

          • Lucky Armpit

            I do – you have to remember that the rooting/ROM part of the Android community is only a very tiny slice of the smartphone pie. The vast majority of smartphone users get their updates via OTA. And I bet the vast majority of that majority (lol) don’t even know what an update is… their device tells them one is available, and they install it. Aside from that, they would be oblivious that one even existed. That’s not picking on anyone of course; just the way tech works nowadays.

          • tomn1ce

            I have some people ask me if they should install the OTA when ever they get one and whenever they happen to see me. I have a couple of people just sitting on the update and not updating their phone…While people here are desparetly waiting for it to give their device a breath of fresh air. O_O

          • Lucky Armpit

            That’s exactly what I said in another article. Totally agree. I’ve got nothing against the Moto X, but it feels like the Galaxy Nexus all over again. Hotly anticipated, then a major disappointment by all but a small fraction of the Android community, then all but forgotten by Verizon.

          • Justin Barrett

            Wouldn’t call the GNex community small.

      • King Lo

        More than likely they’ll all be updated at the same time. only difference between them is screen resolution.

    • rossguy

      Alright, I have been so confused by people’s take on this for a long time. Why does everyone favor on screen buttons with the current design of phones? I had a Nexus and have Razr Maxx HD and hate the on screen buttons. That’s actually one of my big reasons for upgrading to the Maxx.

      I would understand 100% the hate of physical buttons if the screen went all the way to the bottom bezel of the phone. Then, I would LOVE the on-screen buttons. However on my maxx hd there is a good 1/2″ of bezel on the bottom of the phone and then another 1/2″ of on screen buttons. That’s and inch of wasted space! Why not put physical buttons on the bottom bezel of the phone and not waste the screen space? I think the S4 did an awesome job with this because there is hardly any bezel at the bottom of the phone and the Nav buttons are squeezed into what little there is.

      Like I said if the screen went to the bottom of the phone I would be all for on screen buttons and understand the hate of physical buttons. However, I believe I have only seen one phone (that may not be out yet can’t remember) where the screen went to the bottom of the phone. Also, everyone seems to be trying to make on screen buttons smaller and disappear (pie navigation) in a lot of the custom ROMs. I also feel the on screen buttons are less responsive than the physical nav buttons.

      Anyone agree? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

      • Jordan Webb

        It lets the phone be smaller while certain applications still get a big screen. I’ve had a Nexus for 18 months now and honestly kind of want capacitive again. Waste of screen space for 99% of my time spent looking at it (reddit+browser+maps).

      • kixofmyg0t

        I disagree with you. But what I hate is apparently enough people out there are like you, and hated the on screen buttons. Enough people complained so they went with off screen buttons.

        I want that as a option in Motomaker in the future.

      • Mike

        I do prefer on screen buttons but I have no issue with soft keys, I’m at a loss why people whine about soft keys, you get more screen with them.

        • Jordan Webb

          “Soft” = “Software” = on-screen keys.

          • Mike

            Yeah my bad I meant capacitive

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Relatively speaking your argument is true, but compare the size of an HTC one with the Moto X. You can fit the same size screen in a smaller overall space, and as an end user, you can still make the on screen buttons go away giving you the same amount of space.

      • C-Law

        it doesn’t feel like wasted space to me with on screen buttons. I don’t stick but one row of icons on my home screen and a widget at the top like cLock, plus with displays this big I just don’t think it really makes much of a difference. I’ve compared browsing side by side with and without on screen buttons and the difference wasn’t noticable to me. Plus with all the customization that can come with them, I definitely prefer on screen keys

      • tomn1ce

        I prefer onscreen buttons to make them disappear and use LMT Launcher to be able to use the entire screen. Just swipe up whenever I need the buttons. Besides with LMT Launcher instead of having the regular 3 buttons (back, home and multitask) you can customize it to have 10 buttons (including making some of those buttons shortcuts for apps).

      • Steve B

        On screen keys make the device sexier. Hardware keys are janky and ghetto.

        • Mike

          Capacitive buttons janky? Lol what? I’ve never once had problems with them. Ghetto? Well that’s a matter of opinion

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I think he means Janky as in not a clean look. Take a look at the front of a Gnex compared to a phone with any type of physical buttons. On Screen just allows for a cleaner look, if the MFG and carrier keep logos off it.

      • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

        I’m with you. Take a look at the LG G2 for a great example of a laughable bezel that could work much better with keys in place of that doofy LG logo.

        Seriously, if the bezel is big enough to have buttons (GNex, N4, Moto X, etc.) why not put them there to free up screen space?

        Also, if your answer is “I like on screen keys because it frees up screen space” you sound like an idiot. :P

        • joejoe5709

          I like to use the bezel for the my thumbs, not buttons.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          I think people forget there are sensors and cabling that have to be put somewhere. That is why there is bezel space. I prefer on screen. If I want the buttons gone, I can remove them, re-size them, whatever I prefer. Get rid of the physical buttons and you can have a much cleaner look to the front of the phone, less bezel, or space to hold the phone by a bezel depending on design. You have to be able to hold the phone somehow.

      • beat it kook

        I like on screen keys because you can completely customize them if you want. With capacitive keys you are completely stuck with what the manufacturer decided (HTC I’m looking at you). I constantly switch between using pie and thus having full screen real estate or use regular on screen keys set at 50% of normal size. Like that you barely notice them and as another person said, they disappear with certain apps.

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        I like on screen nav buttons because it makes the device smaller and goes full screen when needed. I do wish they had an auto hide option for games.

      • Dannyboy

        I can’t say I prefer one or the other. Onscreen buttons look cleaner, but I tend to hit them when I’m typing and they take up space. Hardware buttons look uglier, but they’re a bit more practical in my opinion.

      • Higher_Ground

        When you really need screen space, such as watching a video, it goes full screen. Personally I never really miss the .3″ of screen space. I can understand why people hide the status bar and lose the dock but it’s just personal preference, not extra utility to me. I like the ability to customize the onscreen keys (right now mine are just colored, but you can add functions). It also ensures there’s a recent apps button for phones that don’t come with one (well unless you’re the G2). Likewise you can get rid of them altogether if you decide you really need the extra screen realestate.

    • LiterofCola

      Who honestly chooses or dismisses a phone based on which the carrier “prefers.” If you decide to pay that carrier at the end of the month, guess what… you’re choosing that carrier.

      • EC8CH

        Don’t judge me!

        • LiterofCola

          lol

  • skubadoo

    If only the Ultra came with finger condoms to prevent it from being a fingerprint magnet…

    • Philip A. Kaiser

      This photo is kind of disturbing. Not fully sure why but the combo of the finger condoms and that charm bracelet have me running for the hills.

      • Ronh95

        I hope those aren’t edible charms…

    • Robert Macri

      That’s my doctor… I know that look well.

      • RoadsterHD1

        LOL :0

        • michael arazan

          Fletch; MOOOoooonnRiveeeerrrr
          Fletch: Are you using the whole fist doc?

    • chaoslimits

      Let’s fingering… indeed!

    • Dave

      2 fingers for beginners….

    • a good kid

      this is bad to talk about…. you should only talk about phones

  • possomcrast1

    I have a DNA, I’d really like to buy a new phone if only out of boredom. The problem is nothing seems to be a big enough upgrade to spend 600 dollars (off contract) on, especially on Verizon. I really wish Verizon wasn’t terrible at getting new phones…

    • Mike

      I’d wait until after holiday season. The DNA is a great phone might as well use it. Maybe after the holidays there will be a few more options

      • possomcrast1

        I’m hoping. I’d probably buy the HTC One at some point if it wasn’t so late on Verizon.

        • hkklife

          Note 3 or bust, at least for me personally. But the battery life has gotta be solid and if it comes to VZW with only 16GB internal storage (with <9GB free) I'll scream.

          • Mike

            I would love the Note 3. I just bought the Galaxy S4 so I can’t justify spending that kind of money. ..yet. ha

          • hkklife

            It’s down to the Note 3, G2, 32GB GS4 or Droid MAXX for me this holiday season (in that order, unless something drastic changes).

          • Mike

            Sounds like a good line up to choose from. Hell maybe even the next Nexus. I might fork the cash over for that on AT&T

          • cheese

            the Note 3 is going to have a removable SD slot so what gives?

          • possomcrast1

            That’s the only problem I have with the DNA.

          • T4rd

            Samsung/TW lets you install apps to the SD card now. So unless 80 GBs isn’t enough for you, I wouldn’t have a prob with 16GBs. It hasn’t been an issue for me on my Note 2 anyways. I have around 200 apps installed and have plenty of storage left since I keep everything else on my SD card.

          • hkklife

            A. I have a 32GB GS3 now. I ain’t regressing on storage space. Have you installed a modern 3D game lately from Gameloft or EA? Those suckers are huge. It would be a waste to not be able to use the Note to its full beastly potential. For those who aren’t gamers then I agree that it’s overkill for most.

            B. Apps running from SD is a kludge/hack and comes with a huge performance hit inherent to the microSD card and not all apps & games are compatible. Furthermore, many apps that can be moved leave the bulk of their assets in the primary storage partition.

            C. In late 2013, there is simply no excuse for not having 3at lesst a 32GB internal storage option on a flagship device. I am *only* interested in the external expansion card for media and document storage, nothing more.

          • T4rd

            Well get ready to regress. I highly doubt there will be any 32/64GB versions available on US carriers since they’ll be selling the 16GB version at $300 and no carrier wants to sell a phone higher than that on contract (though I don’t see why not; options are always good) for some reason. At least that’s how the Note 2 was sold, I would assume the new one would use the same pricing.

    • Dominick White

      I am in the same boat, nothing seems like a big enough upgrade over my DNA. But the LG G2 does look nice

  • Mike

    Ultra is essentially pointless. Get the Maxx, no logical reason for this phone to exist

    • Jeremy B.

      Alredy Pre-ordered the Maxx! Check mate! :D

      • LiterofCola

        Can’t wait for the 20th (or sooner)

        • Sam

          I’m on an employee account, so i unfortunately have to wait exactly one week (two days to be shipped).

          • Jeremy B.

            dude that sux, u would think that as an employee u would get it sooner so u can sell the phone to consumers……stupid verizon dosn’t take care of their employees……:(

          • schlanz

            Well I’m getting my Maxx this Friday, for my work phone ;)

      • kixofmyg0t
        • djh36

          Notice how the MSRP on Wirefly is $999? I bet they’re going to base the tax on that even though Verizon has it at $699.

          • tomn1ce

            If you choose to just replace your device they price it at $709.99…that’s $10 more then what vzw has them for…and probably free shipping.

        • bionicwaffle

          I got my Maxx HD on launch day from WireFly for $200 when Verizon had it for $300. Later in the day Amazon started offering it for $200 as well.

    • jt O’Brien

      The Ultra is there to make the Maxx look like a better deal. The same reason movie theaters have small, medium and large. No one ever buys medium but it’s there to make the large look like a better deal. Say the small is 3.25 the medium is 5 and the large is 5.25, people think, “Oh wow the large is only 25 cents extra I’ll get that”. It’s a marketing technique. I can guarantee Motorola does not expect to sell very many Ultras. The point of it is to push consumers into thinking the Maxx is a good deal and the Mini is a great one.

      • Jeremy B.

        Well said sir, well said…..

      • Dave

        That’s called perceived value I think.

      • Mike

        I suppose idiots would fall for this.

      • Spider210

        Except think of it this way with the iphone… free, $99, or 199 we sell way more 4s because its ‘only’ 100 bucks

        i think they will sell plenty of ultras

    • Jay Leno

      I would really like to get either one but the chin kills the phone’s design. I can handle the shiny cover…but not dat chin.

      • Mike

        I’m not a fan of that big ol chin either.

      • Weber

        You’ve got some nerve talking about big chins.

    • dizel123

      I want a 5″ screen but I have a $200 budget. So why don’t you give me the other $100 so I can make the only logical decision

      • Mike

        I take it saving up money is an idea you can’t fathom?

        • dizel123

          I don’t still live in my parents basement like you do. I have actual bills to pay. But since it’s an idea that you apparently can fathom, why don’t you just give me the whole $299 so I can buy a MAXX

          • Mike

            Lol I don’t live with my parents, based on your mature responses id say you are the one living with the parents

          • dizel123

            Did you really just go with “I know you are but what am I?”
            Wow!

          • Mike

            Alright kid, I’ll be the one that ends this , really don’t know why you were running your mouth to begin with but oh well. All I was saying is if you can’t save the $ theres something wrong.

          • dizel123

            And if you can’t see that there are different options and situations for different people then i pity the sad pathetic life you must live. I was running my mouth because of your obnoxious, condescending tone in the comment that the phone is pointlless when it fits perfectly for myself and many people like me. I don’t care very much for narrow minded buffoons like you.

          • Mike

            Narrow minded? LoL Buying a new phone is a luxury, so why not save money a few more days/weeks to buy a way better phone? And pathetic? I’m not the one tossing insults around like a small child throwing a tantrum.

          • dizel123

            Yes, saying a phone is pointless just because its not the one you want is pretty much the definition of narrow minded. And you have no idea what my situation is and how much i’d be able to save for a phone that i don’t think is way better and if i’m in a situation to wait much longer to get a phone. And based on your narrow-minded, know-it-all tones, i don’t think you could understand anything above a child’s level, so I’ll keep talking to you like you’re one

          • Weber

            Take it easy, kid. Sheez.

          • dizel123

            Yes mommy. Sorry ma’am.

          • Ej McCarty

            I think you should reconsider your life decisions if you can’t save up 100 dollars. I mean honestly. I know working at mcdonald’s is hard, but you get free lunch bro.

          • dizel123

            Actually I have a real job. I also have a house to pay for. And a wife and kids to support, which I’m sure you can’t imagine since you’ve probably never touched a woman before.

          • trumpet444

            If you are that tight on money then maybe a brand new phone isn’t a good idea. Believe me I know the feeling

    • Kanaga Deepan N

      Yes… Especially at extra 1mm thickness, we get JUMBO 3500mAh battery with wireless charging…

      Even Mini is coming with wireless charging… Ultra is there for name sake to push people to MAXX and Mini…

      • Mike

        Exactly, No real point to the phone. People with a smaller budget should either save up or get the X.

  • jnt

    @kellex:disqus camera act the same in both? I’ve seen so many mixed reviews on the camera on the X it’s made me think it’s mediocre yet again, but good enough for people to defend it. Forgive me, no sound at work so I can’t watch until later!

    • Travillion

      Also curious about the camera. Pretty much made up my mind on getting the X, except for concern about the camera quality. Currently have a GNex and hate taking pictures with it. I generally use a DSLR for planned outings, but have a baby on the way and anticipate the need for more “spontaneous” picture taking ;)

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

      Same exact camera to my knowledge. Only differences would be in software tweaks. I’ll do some test shots between the two and see what happens.

      • Jared

        Do you think there is any hope for Moto to push out a software update to handle the over processed images? Or will they just deny that they exist?

  • chaoslimits

    I could get over the design if the dev community gets on board with the Droids… Doubt it cos of the bootloader issue though.

    • kixofmyg0t

      didn’t stop the Bionic.. Which has tons of dev support, even official CM and AOKP support.

      • Jordan Webb

        Yeah, but the Bionic was the best thing on the market when it released. These…maybe not so much. Especially with the cross-carrier attitude we’ve seen HTC, Samsung, and Moto adopt since then. Why would a dev pick this over the X when he could access work being done by ATT, Sprint, Tmo, USC, and international X devs too?

        • kixofmyg0t

          Oh it wasn’t even close to the best thing on the market when it was released. With that being said, i bought one on launch day and i still love it to this day.

          Why would a dev pick this over X? they don’t have to. Work done for any works on all. Meaning that X development is a build.prop entry away from working on Ultra, Mini or MAXX. You’ll see shortly.

          • Jordan Webb

            How so? First dual-core LTE phone to hit the West, wasn’t it?

          • kixofmyg0t

            Yep. and none of that mattered. You missed the shockwave of hate for the phone that lasted until a few months ago I guess.

            Just because it was “first” doesn’t mean it was best. Not by a long shot.

          • Jordan Webb

            Oh, no, I had one. I didn’t miss a damned thing. Sold it on Craigslist after three months and bought a Gnex because it just didn’t work.

            Issues aside, though, it was a super attractive phone to everyone, especially with Moto’s promises to get ICS to it by January (lol) and to unlock the bootloader (lol). Lots of devs bought it. Then everyone got screwed…that’s why the hate was there.

            I heard that it got much better after the update, but it screwed me over on a business trip with a hardlock, so I had to let it go.

          • kixofmyg0t

            They never promised ICS by January. they said by the end of Q2. i remember. They also never specifically said they were going to unlock Targa(Bionic) by name. where you got that idea from IDK.

            Either way its running 4.1 Jelly Bean OTA now. Mine is on CM10.1.2

            The hate was there simply because of the pentile screen(see how Kellen still mentions it even today in the video) and Gingerbread skin it was running, that’s where the hate came from.

          • Jordan Webb

            Maybe my memory’s bad then, but I remember them screwing up their initial promises pretty hard.

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

    Video still processing – quality will improve shortly.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Quick correction, it’s kevlar not plastic.

      Hope you’re enjoying Ultra.

      • Yay Kevlar

        Thank you! Finally someone that got that right. Seems like no one knows what laminated synthetic fibers look like since they’re all used to the original unlaminated Droids. Kellex said “plastic” a billion times for the Ultra.

        Everyone keeps calling it a printed pattern on the plastic. The pattern is the actual Kevlar weave. The 3D visual is how you can tell the difference between actual composite weaves (Droid Ultra) and a cheap printed 2D plastic pattern (Samsung).

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          To his credit, it is technically coated in a thermoset plastic, which all you can physically touch. However, as you stated, it is much more accurate to call it a fiber composite shell, similar to fiberglass or carbon fiber panels.

          Personally I would want the Maxx, with dat sexy pure kevlar fiber backing like the previous-gen Razrs. It really is a fantastic material for the outer covering of a smartphone.

    • Philip A. Kaiser

      When you get a chance, can you compare the battery life of the two. I am curious how much life you can get out of these new guys with a day’s regular use. Also, heard a request for you to compare speakers. I know you will be doing a full review eventually, but I know the battery life would be a good side by side comparision.

    • MacNificent

      can you put 4.3 camera on the moto x and let us know what you think? For example; does it improve the quality of the pictures at all? Because that’ll probably be my my apk download once it arrives with motomaker on verizon.