Verizon showed off a whole slew of new Droid smartphones today—the Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini. And with all three smartphones the keyword is battery life. Update: Hands on!
First up is the Droid MAXX. It's thinner than last year's model but with even more battery life. It's $300. Last year's model got 32 hours of use but this year's is up to 48 hours. It feels comfortable to hold with a soft touch finish on the back. It's snappy and smooth, and responds quickly to touch.
The MAXX takes really nice photos, and quickly. It performs especially well in low light.
The Droid Ultra is a 4G LTE smartphone. It's $200, has a five-inch HD display, a 10-megapixel camera on the back and a high-gloss sports car-like red or black finish. It's 7.18 mm thin, making it the thinnest Droid smartphone available. It's thin and light and very similar to the MAXX in feel as well as performance, but it has 2150 mAh battery.
Then there's the Mini. It's basically Honey I Shrunk the Droid Ultra—it's a very similar phone in a smaller package, with the same high-gloss back. The low-end 4.3-inch edge-to-edge display device is $100 and it affords you all the power of a more expensive Droid, only smaller. Extra appealing if you have smaller hands.
All of the new Droids are 24 percent faster, have wideband audio, a faster GPU and have twice the RAM as last year's versions. How is it possible? Thanks to Motorola's eight-processor X8 computing system. It has two application processors, four GPUs, a natural language processor, and a contextual engine processor. This is what helps the phone run things like active notifications and Touchless Control, which we'll talk more about in a bit. Basically X8 lets the phone run on low power, which responding to very slight gestures. So that's how you get really snappy features on a phone that has amazing battery life.
Here's the fancy feature lineup you get with all these new Droids. First is Touchless Control, which is basically a hands-free way to use your phone with your voice. You can wake up features like Google Now, just using the sound of your voice. For example, if you lose your phone, you can say "Okay Google Now, call my Droid." And your phone will light up and make noise so you can find it.
There's also Quick Draw, which lets you take photos in a snap by simply flicking your wrist to shake the phone. We tried it out and it wakes the phone up in a split second. Then if you want to see your photos, you swipe right. If you want to see the settings, just swipe left. It's a really convenient way to use your camera.
Also notable is Droid Zap, which lets you share photos and videos with anyone who's within 300 feet of you. Take a photo and swipe up with two fingers, and it'll send the photo over to a friend. It worked in less than 10 seconds, and if privacy is a concern, you can protect the stuff you're sending with a PIN.
Each phone has a Droid command center, from which you can access all your apps, control Miracast devices, and wireless headsets and speakers. Press to expand the command center, and you'll see a quick summary of the weather and how much battery you have left.
Motorola Connect is another nice feature that these smartphones have that syncs your phone up with your Chrome browser. So if you're phone is in your bag, and you get a call or a text, you'll get a notification on your desktop.
The new line also has a new game called Ingress pre-loaded. It's basically an augmented reality game that lets you combine real-life landmarks with virtual images. Here's a video of Ingress in action:
Additionally, with a purchase of a new Droid, you get a six month subscription to Google Play music for free.
It's worth mentioning that the upcoming Motorola phone that's gotten the most buzz, the Moto X, hasn't made an appearance today. We should see that device revealed in a press event on August 1.