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DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini Soak Test Set to Start Soon, Surprised If It Isn’t Kit Kat

Here it comes! At least we think it’s coming. That would be Kit Kat (Android 4.4) we’re referring to. According to the flood of emails from readers to our inbox, there is a soak test about to begin for the DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini. Motorola is sending out invites this evening, but would only say that members of the Motorola Feedback Network will have a chance to preview a “new software release.” 

With the Moto X seeing Kit Kat so early, what else could this update be? The new DROID family is essentially a tweaked version of the Moto X both in terms of hardware and software, so the update should be easy to do.

Motorola has also already confirmed that the update would arrive on all of these devices.

Typically, when we see a soak test start, the update rolls out to non-members within a week or two depending on the success of the test. Motorola has been pretty spot on with its updates lately. We’ll keep an eye out for other signs that all things are go.

Here is the email:


Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of Droid Ultra, Droid Mini or Droid Maxx on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid Mini, Ultra or Maxx, please excuse and ignore this email.

This is a confidential test under the terms of the Motorola Feedback Network. Please do not post any details or information about this on any public sites or report it to sites that cover our industry.

Click this link — — to take the enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners’ Forums to be included. The registration window could close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks — please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don’t hear from us right away.

Motorola Owners’ Forums
Motorola Feedback Network

DROID owners, you ready?

Cheers J, B, S, K, and C!
  • mcdonsco

    When is this thing going to begin? Jeez…

  • iaewedar

    So….I am new to the alleged soak test that I may or may not have completed the application for and was or was not approved. If anyone else has been or not been involved in these completely hypothetical tests, how long after applying might one expect before the test begins?

  • WIlsonoho62

    i’ve heard reports that some moto x users on kit kat have had their battery life diminished due to the update, should i be worried? im scared to update to 4.4

  • Rodney Banner

    MOTO X $150 off code H2DM-FSSX-D9FG-CFLH-7SVI Expires at 12/16/13 11:59PM EST.

  • mcdonsco

    Not sure what you’re referring to. I have the maxx and got a moto x on the cybver Monday thing…other than kitkat there was really no software differences at all that I noticed.

    Sending the moto x back though as ultimately the battery life of the maxx is what I really need (loved the x though, size / feel was great, but being practical won out in the end).

  • Hans Dirk Kwazneski

    I said YESSSSS, my wife looks over and asks, ARE THEY LITERALLY GONNA SOAK IT? I lubs my wifey <3

  • Blue Sun

    If Motorola continues on this trend of pushing 4.4 quicker than their competitors, I foresee a huge market increase for them.

    • Paul Hansen


  • Chad

    It’s really laughable how you guys don’t acknowledge the major issues in Kit Kat and are always praising it every time another device receives it. I own a vzw moto x and loved it when it was on 4.2.2. But since the kit kat update, it’s just another buggy android device. Kit kat also brought nothing new or innovative. THe active display, which was a great thing about the moto x is now just a laggy feature.

    • WIlsonoho62

      should i not update my phone, i recieved it just last week, for tmobile and … i’ve read reports that its affecting battery life, and so far with 4.2 i love my battery life been getting roughly 15 hours moderate to heavy useage, and about 20 hours or more light to moderate usage.
      *just dropped my vzn unlimited data, and comming from a gnex* hehe

      • Chad

        I wish I would have stayed on 4.2.2 and waited for 4.4.2 or 5.0. Battery life on 4.4.1 is much worse than it was on 4.2.2.

  • mcdonsco

    Forgot, how long usually between survey monkey email and roll out to testers?

  • kixofmyg0t

    Hmmm. i wonder if they changed the status bar colors to white or if it’s still blue like the other earlier Kk builds….

    • mcdonsco

      Moto x went from blue to white so I see no reason for it to not also happen on the droids (seriouslt doubt Verizon demanded it be left blue, if anything they may demand red).

  • Guest

    is it really true?

  • stabone

    Maybe this means that that M will get it soon!

  • Wow Motorola is still in bussiness!

  • mcdonsco

    Funny, just updated my MOF profile to include my maxx today (totally forgot about it)…and got the invite for the soak this afternoon.

    Kit Kat here I come!

  • bboyairwreck

    There is a Santa!!! ^_^ Ahhhh i love my Maxx!!!! PS quit whining about Moto X vs Droids. The one thing I hate more than ppl bickering about iPhone vs Android is when Android heads go at each other… Chill peoples.


    I’m receiving my MAXX this Tuesday too. Super excited!!!

  • Van Hicks

    Any word on the Razr M?

    • Sean Plantz

      The Razr M is slated to get Kit kat, but it will probably be a couple months before that happens. They will update the newest flagships first then go backwards.

      • Van Hicks

        I figured. I feel lucky that the M is even getting it. I have patience.

        • bionicwaffle

          Yeah, I have a Maxx HD. I’m just glad HD, Maxx HD, and M are supposed to get KitKat at all. KitKat it a real milestone to me since it has major memory optimizations to allow it to work on a device with 512MB of RAM. It should run very well on the HD, Maxx HD, or M with 1GB of RAM! I’m also looking forward to being able to hide to stupid on screen buttons for at least some content consumption, other than movies, and gaming.

  • Todd Bettenhausen

    Apparently, some peoples’ word doesn’t count for anything anymore. If I had employees disregarding confidentiality agreements that brazenly, I’d fire them in a heartbeat. Some people have a LOT of growing up to do.

    • JoshGroff

      The Motorola Feedback Network can be signed up for by any Motorola product owner, not just employees.

      • Todd Bettenhausen

        I meant my employees at my company.

        • JoshGroff

          I realized that part, I was just assuming you were under the assumption that these were Motorola employees breaking a confidentiality agreement.

          • Todd Bettenhausen

            No–I’m very well aware of MFN and how it works.

  • Elwin Gill

    It would be great if the Maxx would get the Augmented reality video player that the X has, I can’t think of the name off the top of my head, but my boy has it on his x and it’s pretty Damn cool. Both being Moto and having almost exactly the same hardware, it seems odd not to have it. Thoughts? Cheers

  • iPhonePWN’d

    Haha. You guys are funny. Us s3 Verizon guys have such a great version of 4.1.2 that we don’t even need no sticken updates for our phone.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Great? You S3 Verizon users are way behind. You’ll never get the new features us 4.4. users have. Why you so happy?

      • Paul Hansen

        Pretty sure he was being sarcastic

      • needa

        looking at my moto x on 4.4…. trying to figure out what these features are you are talking about.

  • Buckoman

    I really hope my Razr HD gets Kit Kat soon.

    It’s a slug at this point while I wait for a replacement GS4 and I’ve never wanted to throw a phone at a wall this hard.

    • Tyler Rynberg

      Um, are you stock non-rooted? The HD family still runs smooth and fast once you remove stock bloat…

    • Scott

      You should have unlocked the bootloader and installed CM11.

      • rodney11ride

        yep… had a 4.4 version running sweet. then my screen cracked and company got me a new one with a version not exploited so no unlock or root for me know…

  • Chris Bice

    Not sure I even want to update my phone yet… Heard they have pulled some very important security measures from kitkat … Anyone have any new info on what’s been going around the rumor mill?

    • 2Berad

      I think 4.4.2 fixed that…. could be wrong.

      • Chris Bice

        If so , I’m in !

    • Godzilla

      Quite the contrary. I was told it fixes the SMS security flaw and others.

      • Chris Bice

        I’m talking about the permissions issue in the play store

        • Matthew Merrick

          app ops was a lot of things, including an awesome power user utility. it is not and never was a security feature, ESPECIALLY an important one.

          • needa

            and the 4.2.2 he has doesnt even have the option.

        • Detonation

          App ops was never intended to be a public feature

  • Godzilla

    Hopefully the Nova will be updated just as quickly.

    • MichaelFranz

      did you see the trailer for your self titled Movie coming in may? lol

  • 2Berad

    What “Droid buiishit” do you refer? The 4 phones are almost exactly the same software and hardware. I like the form of the Moto X more then the Droid line and would agree that the Droid line could be one phone instead of 3, just make the Droid Maxx and the moto X. I own the Maxx and the battery life, wireless charging and 32 gig where the things that made me chose the Maxx over the X. No regrets here 52 hours of battery and wireless charging make the maxx a worry free phone to use.

    • Chris Bice

      Had my MAXX now for a few weeks , and its a great phone! I was torn between the two phones but storage and battery definitely won outright.

    • Paul Hansen

      Motorola owed VZW 3 more droid devices to fulfill thier pre-google obligations. That’s why there are so many worthless iterations this time around. You’ll likely never see so many again. Moto just wanted to be out from under VZW’s boot.

  • terry12s

    Can’t wait for KitKat on my Maxx! 🙂

  • Godzilla

    Now imagine when MOTO makes a pure beast phone.

  • Alexander Garcia

    Awwwwww… DAYUMN!!! =D

  • 2Berad

    The Maxx is the best phone on the planet ever. I hope KitKat is sweet and not bitter. I like this new era of quick updates, very nice coming from a GNEX.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Only because of the battery. It still isn’t as smooth and optimized as Moto X though.

      • FragDroid

        What in the hell? How do you figure?

        • AbbyZFresh

          Tried both phones in the Verizon store hundreds of times.

          • 2Berad

            you are up in the night, why so mad bro?

          • FragDroid


          • Adrynalyne

            100s of times?

            I’m sure you are exaggerating by about…99 times.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Hundreds of times? Bullsh*t. Absolute bullsh*t.

      • 2Berad

        I have had no problems with my Maxx it is liquid smooth and lightning fast. Moto X owners should be jealous of the Maxx battery as well as wireless charging. the only thing I do not like is the softkeys on the Maxx instead of on screen on the Moto X. the Moto X is a great phone but all 4 (droid ultra, maxx, mini and x) are nearly the same phone.

      • Sean Plantz

        Where do you get that from? My maxx is smooth as butter, my buddies X seems the same.. same phones pretty much.

      • steve

        I’ve owned both, and they are the same for the most part minus the battery life. Maybe someone downloaded something on the floor model that made it run different. Either way, mine are pretty much the same.

      • Paul Hansen

        You must be “special”. They’re exactly the same hardware in all performance aspects. It’s just got a larger screen, bigger battery, capacitive keys and an upgraded speaker. None of which would affect performance.

        • needa

          link to the speaker differences? my moto x picks up metal objects. and still has the same 9v amp in it as the maxx. i wonder if its that the maxx isnt muffled by the tiny holes the moto x has or is it really upgraded.

          also.. the software in the droid line is different. different launcher. plus the circles. and the swipe a pic deal. i dunno if it has more bloat on it also when compared to the verizon x. but the verizon x has more bloat than the others. etc etc.

          but i seriously would like to know more aboutt he speaker.

          • Paul Hansen

            And I forgot Wireless charging in my original post but most people aren’t going to use it anyway.

          • socarwolverine

            The launcher is not different between the VZW X and the Droids, one or two icons are different but that’s it. Circles and Droid Zap are added apps but other than that, there are no differences between the VZW X and Droids. This is why the Droid Ultra is considered pointless other than it’s larger screen.
            The speaker difference is not hardware, just in the implementation of the speaker grille. The Droids have a better setup for sound quality, but the hardware is the same.

          • needa

            Circles only works on the droid launchers. Which is why I say they are dif.

          • socarwolverine

            That’s like a single line of code that checks that it is a droid phone running the motorola launcher, that doesn’t make the launcher different. There is literally no significant difference in the two lauchers, you’re trying to make it seem like there is. Other than that one minor widget, the launchers are the exact same thing.

          • needa

            Ignorance is the reason. I only spew out what I have read around the web when trying to get the widget on my x. Not trying to argue it. Just seems that way. Thanks for the info.

          • socarwolverine

            Ah gotcha, sorry if I came off harsh. In regards to the Droids, you have to be careful with some sources on the web. Some have a pretty heavy anti-Droid bias because of the VZW exclusivity and general disgust for the industrial design thus their reviews come off very uneven and often spew misleading information.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Riiiight. You do know that they’re running almost the exact same builds….on the exact same hardware right? The only difference is the calls to hardware buttons and the DROID Zap apk.

        Hell even TWRP, root and RW protection mods for X work on Ultra. You can even flash a straight up fastboot img for ghost onto ultra(if you have eng bootloaders) and it will boot.

        You don’t like the Ultra we get it. But you’re just trolling now.

    • Neil Fujiwara

      Love my Maxx. I prefer the Kevlar feel compared to the plastic feel of the Moto X. Both are great phones. I think everyone would agree that the Droid Ultra is pointless.

      • mcdonsco

        I got the moto x on the cyber monday thing, really liked it over the maxx in terms of feel, size etc…but just couldn’t get over the battery life…even ran my own battery run down…moto x died when maxx still had 40% left.

        • MK17

          Considering they are essentially the same system with the Maxx having 59% more capacity than the Moto X wouldn’t you expect that?

          • mcdonsco

            I’m ocd…

    • LiterofCola

      Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m starting to notice that Motorola rolls out OS updates around Christmas time. I remember getting Jellybean on Christmas eve.

      • DT

        Best Corporate Xmas gift ever!

      • CHRIS42060

        I am thinking they might try to stick around holidays in general. I am pretty sure my old Droid X got Eclair or Gingerbread soak test around Memorial Day (if my memory is correct).

        • michael arazan

          I remember getting Froyo on the D1 in september 2010, and soon after learning that some nexus phone got it back in july. Then my curiosity peaked to what the heck a nexus device on t-mo was, I thought it was some type of sidekick variant back then.

    • MK17

      If I didn’t leave Verizon and if it wasn’t so expensive off contract I probably would have gotten one. I did like that it has wireless charging even though the adoption rate for it has been terrible. The only thing that worried me is the Moto X lasted 7 hr 14 min on the Verges Battery test and the Maxx lasted 8 hr 32 min. I think the verge uses wifi for this test so carrier shouldn’t make much of an effect. Doesn’t seem like much of an improvement for a device that SHOULD be the same and has 159% of the capacity of the Moto X.

    • kixofmyg0t

      I love my MAXX. I wish my N7 had some of it’s features.

      I recently borked my old Ultra and was forced to go back to scorpion mini(that’s a RAZR M) for a week and good god did I miss Ultra. Once you have Active Display and Touchless Control….and that battery life, it’s miserable going to something that doesn’t have those features. Oh god and the camera…if you think the x/ultra cameras were bad try going back to scorpion. You’ll pray you had the Clear Pixel camera back as even pre fix it’s light years ahead of the older cameras.

    • MikeKorby

      Anyone have a concrete answer on if the MAXX has 802.11 ac?
      Some sources say yes, others say only 802.11 n. It would be nice to hear from someone who may have tested it, although admittedly, there are so few ac networks that it shouldn’t really matter.

  • Godzilla

    Impressive. So what’s up Samsung?

    • AbbyZFresh

      The average consumer does not care about Android updates unlike here. Samsung know this and that why they will not waste their time updating their phones. Especially since they are still guaranteed to sell millions regardless of updates.

      • Godzilla

        I wouldn’t go that far. 4.3 came to the S4 very fast

        • RiotingPanda

          4.3 had to come quickly for the S4. Otherwise it couldn’t support the Galaxy Gear.

  • Joe Mantucca

    I just got mine as well. Signed up for it and will report back when I get the update.First time doing this so we’ll see!

  • Aaron Offenberger

    I really wish people would stop sending this stuff in to blogs. I know its going to happen no matter what but I’ve never reported any of the 5-6+ soak tests I’ve been involved in. The last one for my X got stopped because of leaks and jazz…at least Matt seemed pretty ticked off about it.

    • Godzilla

      Oh please. I leaked plenty of soaks and they never got delayed.

      • Aaron Offenberger

        Good for you! I’m so glad. I was talking about the Verizon X Kit Kat test. It was set to be released “very soon”, changelog was posted, then Moto took it all off DUE to the leaks (specifically stated) and Matt was extremely pissed and said it was not rolling out anymore that day. I don’t know if it was ever publicly stated that was why but its still stupid in principle to leak something they specifically ask you not to that you AGREED to. Seeing as how you do not seem to follow that concept, I imagine you don’t have a job in this industry as you would not be employed long. I know a software update is nothing THAT intense, I still think its idiotic to sign a “contract” knowing you know you’re going to break it. Maybe that’s just college getting to my head lol.

        • Godzilla


        • Godzilla

          And trust me. I’ve had plenty of conversations with Matt and he is fully aware that they will be leaked.

          • Aaron

            Well I’m sure he is. Its just the kit Kat thing was the first time I’ve ever seen a change log retracted “due to leaks” and him post about it. I think the main reason I’m pissed is because I had to read 100s of post/emails on the soak test forum of people talking about it saying that was why and having witch hunts… To get an email saying it isn’t coming that day. I’m crazy, I know.

          • Godzilla

            I understand your points.

          • needa

            it rolled out the next day. and rolled out to everyone at that. as stated above… it was probably the leak to the private forums that stopped the soak from rolling out for twelve hours. for years the emails have been leaked. along with the changelogs. although the logs arent leaked as often.

            i personally dont see the point in soaking anymore. if everyone else is going to get the update at the same time… and you get the week in advance warning from the blogs…. whats the point?

          • Billybob

            Wow are you the “personal Insider” that keeps leaking out info about my droid bionic on when it will get ICS 4.0.4 update?

          • mcdonsco

            Holy crap! Bionics still dont even have ics?

        • Megan1985

          From my understanding it was the severity of the leaks, they have never had anyone violate the NDA in that manner before. I’m quite positive they do expect the email leak but it was the leak of the private forums that I would personally think caused the mass upset. I agree with you, I wish people would not agree to something and then break it. If DL is going to post it, I get it, that’s business. People are hungry for information, but keep the contributors anonymous. It feels less insulting.

  • Elwin Gill

    Damn that was fast… I was just about to send a tip!!!! You guys ROCK!!!

  • tyguy829

    But the X doesn’t have droid zap!!!11oneone!!

  • Raikou

    Different Strokes for different folks, that’s the beauty of Android, not limited to one form factor


      But the only difference, as far as I’m aware, between the Droid ULTRA and the Moto X is more Verion bloatware. I understand options, but is that an option anyone wants?

      • Matthew Merrick

        the ultra also has a bigger screen, capacitive buttons vs onscreen, and cuts out the MHL and WiFi AC. o_O

  • “Please do not post any details or information about this on any public sites or report it to sites that cover our industry.”

    Aww yeah DL readers!

  • Nathan D

    Hopefully it fixes the wireless charging notification. Super annoying.

    • mcdonsco

      Gotta agree…HATE THAT…wakes up the mrs every time…only way to avoid is turn the volume all the way down, place it, then very delicately turn the volume back up without moving the phone and triggering that sound again.

  • Kellen, three weekend posts? O.o

    I must be dreaming or something.

    • Just kickin’ it, watching the Blazers steal one from Detroit. 🙂

      • RAZR_FANN

        Obviously was a close one, that Damian Lillard is a damn good player, clutch shot to win it.

    • Such

      Lol I was thinking the same thing

  • Richard Giordano

    Yea I’m ready to get my kit Kat on my DROID Maxx woo!!

  • Richard Giordano

    Kit Kat is tht u??

  • Sean Plantz

    Ohhhh boy, I hope it starts soon!

  • AbbyZFresh

    That took pretty long. I thought they were gonna get started right away on the Droids once they finished the X.

    • Jordan Webb

      Eh, they did just finish rolling out the Moto X stuff. It’s way behind the VZW X, but not far behind USC and Sprint.

    • Sean Walton

      Pretty long???? They just finished the X update and frankly Moto is working harder than Samsung and HTC.

  • Raikou

    Love the new Moto and my Maxx