Verizon and Motorola have officially taken the wraps off the Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX, the successors to last year's Droid RAZR HD and HD Maxx. As Motorola said at the event, the Ultra's main selling point is its thinness, while the Maxx yet again promises absurdly strong battery life — up to 48 hours. Despite the huge battery, the Maxx is still only 8.5mm thin, while the Ultra is even smaller at 7.2mm. The Ultra (and presumably the Maxx) feature a 10-megapixel camera with a f2.4 lens, and both phones feature the familiar Kevlar backing that Motorola introduced with the Droid RAZR nearly two years ago. Strangely enough, the new phones re-introduce capacitive buttons below the screen, rather than using the on-screen buttons found on last year's models. As for the displays, both devices feature 5-inch, 720p screens. We're a little disappointed with the resolution at that size, but on the plus side both screens use OLED technology and do not include the Pentile sub-pixel arrangement found on previous Droid RAZR devices.
Verizon and Motorola still haven't run out of Kevlar
Probably the biggest new software feature on board is the "touchless control" system we've heard about in various Moto X leaks — it lets you make calls, get directions and so on without needing to touch the phone. Users can just say "OK Google Now" to activate and then speak their commands to the phone. There's also an active display feature that just lights up a portion of the screen for certain features to conserve battery life. The last new software trick is a suite of new camera features that just leaked for the Moto X. Quick capture lets you flick the phone twice to open the camera app, and you can then tap anywhere on the screen to capture a photo.
Unfortunately, there's no word yet on exactly what version of Android is running here, but it looks to be a fairly current, nearly stock offering. Motorola says both phones feature a 24-percent increase in CPU speed and a 100-percent increase in GPU speed, thanks to the new Motorola X8 system-on-a-chip. It's an 8-core chip with two application processor cores, four graphics cores, a contextual computing core, and a natural language processing core, and it's based on Qualcomm technology.
The Ultra will cost $199 with a two-year contract, while the Maxx will run $299 on contract — the same prices as last year's models. As a bonus, anyone who buys between now and September 30th will get a free six-month subscription to Google Play Music All-Access. The Ultra will be available in a few color options, with a high-gloss black, white, and red, but the Maxx is only available in a "soft-touch" black. Pre-orders are open now, and the phones should be available on August 20th.