Skip to main content

Droid invasion: comparing Verizon's new flagships against the competition

Droid invasion: comparing Verizon's new flagships against the competition

Share this story

Gallery Photo: Motorola Droid Ultra, Maxx, Mini hands-on pictures
Gallery Photo: Motorola Droid Ultra, Maxx, Mini hands-on pictures

Motorola just unveiled its latest lineup of Droid smartphones, and like usual, they're poised to give consumers more choice — and not just an easy decision. The $99 Droid Mini, as Motorola puts it, is "compact without compromise;" the $199 Droid Ultra is supposedly the thinnest smartphone ever; and the $299 Droid Maxx includes a massive battery that’s meant to last through two full days. That’s plenty of options within Motorola’s selection alone, but we're taking a look at how they stand up to other flagship devices on Verizon, as well as their miniature counterparts.

Droidbig

720p isn't stellar on the Maxx and Ultra

One major way in which all of the Droids are alike is their shared 720p resolution. That makes the Droid Mini’s 4.3-inch display better than the Galaxy S4 mini's and right on par with that of the HTC One mini. But it’s bad news for Motorola’s two larger devices: Both the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 have incredibly pixel dense 1080p displays — both measuring in at over 400 pixels per inch (PPI). Because the Ultra and Maxx spread their 720p resolutions across 5-inch displays, their PPIs fall just below 300 — lower than even the Droid Mini. The Lumia 928 and iPhone 5 top the larger Droids as well, though only modestly so.

But where the Ultra and Maxx really make up for it is with each of their specific strengths. Though it isn’t drastic, the .28-inch deep Droid Ultra is thinner than both the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5, which come in at around .3-inches thick. Even the Droid Maxx stands up on size: at .33-inches thick, it’s actually a bit trimmer than both the HTC One and Nokia’s Lumia 928.

And if the Maxx is anything like its previous incarnation, its battery life is likely to be as impressive as Motorola claims. Last year’s Droid RAZR Maxx HD already lasted nearly two days in real-world use, and Motorola says that its newest Maxx is meant to last even longer than its predecessor. Even though the battery hasn't increased much in size, the company is claiming around a 33 percent improvement in battery life.

Mini3

The new Droids also all include a 10-megapixel camera. In terms of sheer pixel quantity, that sits above the iPhone 5 and the Lumia 928, but below the Galaxy S4 — though all three of those have fairly good cameras in actual use. It also puts the Droid mini above both of its miniaturized competitors, though it’s worth noting that the One mini is using larger megapixels to help capture more light.

Of course, we may not have seen the best yet from Motorola. The company is set to reveal its much-teased Moto X smartphone next week, and Google may be announcing a new version of Android as soon as this Wednesday, which could put the latest Droids slightly behind the curve. If you want to see how any other devices stack up to the new Droids, you can use our database tool to make your own comparisons — and every device discussed above can be easily found through the box below.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Better on the inside

R
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
The sincerest form of flattery.

I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.

Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).


DynamicSpot app on Android shown expanding music player, in the style of Apple’s Dynamic Island in iOS 16.
DynamicSpot in action on a Google Pixel 6
Image: Richard Lawler
R
TikTok
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
TikTok politics.

Ahead of the midterm elections, TikTok made big changes to its rules for politicians and political fundraising on the platform, as Makena Kelly explains... on TikTok.


R
External Link
Richard LawlerSep 22
The Twitter employee who testified about Trump and the January 6th attack has come forward.

This summer, a former Twitter employee who worked on platform and content moderation policies testified anonymously before the congressional committee investigating the violence at the US Capitol on January 6th.

While she remains under NDA and much of her testimony is still sealed,  Anika Collier Navaroli has identified herself, explaining a little about why she’s telling Congress her story of what happened inside Twitter — both before the attack, and after, when it banned Donald Trump.


R
Instagram
Richard LawlerSep 22
But how does it sound?

Our review of Apple’s new AirPods Pro can tell you everything about the second-generation buds. To find out how you’ll sound talking to other people through them, just listen to Verge senior video producer Becca Farsace.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 22
Our list of the best entertainment of 2022 keeps getting bigger.

We just added some notable entries to our running list highlighting the best games, movies, and TV shows of the year, including Return to Monkey Island, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Sorry in advance for your free time.


The best entertainment of 2022

Everything to play and watch this year

Andrew WebsterSep 22

The best instant cameras you can buy right now

We found the best cameras for your budget and needs

Sheena VasaniSep 22

Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
R
The Verge
Richard LawlerSep 22
The Bootleg Ratio.

Policy Editor Russell Brandom digs into a phenomenon we’ve all seen on social media before:

I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post.

And now it’s coming for TikTok.


R
Twitter
Russell BrandomSep 22
The latest Alex Jones defamation hearing is not going well for Alex Jones.

The Infowars host has already been hit with millions of dollars in damages for spreading lies about Sandy Hook — but today’s hearing suggests he could be on the hook for even more.


D
Youtube
Dan SeifertSep 22
Here’s a look at a few Pixel Watch watchfaces.

Google is ramping up the marketing machine ahead of next month’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event and has released a short video (via 9to5Google) highlighting the design and showcasing some of the watchfaces it will have. Most of them are quite simple, with just the time being displayed.

These videos always look great from a marketing perspective, but I think they poorly reflect how I actually use a smartwatch. I want the computer on my wrist to show me useful information like weather, calendar appointments, timers, etc, which means it’s never as sparse or simple looking as it is in these ads.


A
External Link
Please stop trying to order the Hummer EV.

GMC is closing the order books for the Hummer EV truck and SUV after receiving 90,000 reservations for the controversial electric vehicle, according to the Detroit Free Press. It just can’t seem to keep up with demand, so the GM-owned company has decided to stop taking orders until production picks up. Maybe if the Hummer’s battery wasn’t the same weight as a whole-ass Honda Civic, it would be easier to manufacture, but I digress.

GMC is the latest automaker to run into the problem of EV demand far outstripping supply. Ford also is having difficulty making enough F-150 Lightnings and Mustang Mach-Es to fill all its orders. Waitlists for most available EVs are longer than my arm. Things are going to be tight until the auto industry is able to bring more battery factories and assembly plants online, and unfortunately that could take a while.


A
Tesla recalls 1.1 million vehicles to prevent drivers from getting pinched by the windows.

The issue is that the windows would not recognize certain objects while closing, which could result in “a pinching injury to the occupant.” It’s a pretty enormous recall, covering some 2017-2022 Model 3, 2020-2021 Model Y, and 2021-2022 Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said it would issue a fix via an over-the-air software update. Notably, nobody has been been injured or killed by Tesla’s ravenous windows, but I wouldn’t recommend sticking your fingers in there just to see what happens.


A
External Link
Adi RobertsonSep 22
Congress is trying to make Google pay news outlets for links again.

The controversial Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — which would let news publishers negotiate payments for being linked by sites like Google — suffered a setback earlier this month thanks to a surprise Ted Cruz amendment trying to limit the platforms’ moderation options. After some negotiations between Cruz and sponsor Amy Klobuchar, it’s back for markup today, and it’s got critics even more worried than before.


A
External Link
Adi RobertsonSep 22
Twitter asks a court to make its whistleblower reveal if he contacted Elon Musk.

The Delaware Court of Chancery has issued another couple decisions in the fast-upcoming Twitter v. Musk trial. It’s letting Musk add allegations that Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko received a $7.75 million payout from the company. Meanwhile, it punted on a Twitter request for details about whether Musk or his associates knew about Zatko’s whistleblower claims before he took them public — Twitter and Musk’s lawyers will fight that out in a September 27th hearing.