Verizon and Motorola Debut Droid Ultra
Android minded users on Verizon now have a new smartphone designed to deliver the latest in top-of-the-line Android hardware, the Motorola Droid Ultra.
As expected, the Droid Ultra, which will cost $199 with a two-year service contract, keeps the Kevlar shell of its predecessors. However, unlike some recent Droid devices, users will find that the Droid Ultra is seriously thin, measuring about 7mm in-depth. The Droid Ultra will also use capacitive buttons instead of the on-screen Back, Home and Menu keys of last year’s Droid line-up. The device will ship in both black and red.
Powering the Droid Ultra is a new Motorola X8 processor. Instead of relying on chips and processors available to other manufacturers like the Snapdragon CPU that is featured in nearly every flagship smartphone, Motorola has designed its own processor.
According to a press release by Verizon, the result is a smartphone that is 24% faster and graphics processing that has doubled in speed. Theoretically, these specifications will translate to a device that’s faster at multi-tasking and running graphically intensive games and applications
The Droid Ultra’s Motorola X8 8-core chip includes two processors dedicated to running applications, four graphics processing cores and one core dedicated to processing “natural language,” according to The Verge.
It’s likely that natural language processor that will allow users to use the device without having to touch it. Recent leaks had indicated that users would be able to call contacts and use the device’s built-in navigation features without having to physically put a finger on the device at all.
The Droid Ultra’s also uses 5″ inch screen users an Active Display technology to conserve battery power by only turning on the portions of the screen that are relevant for the application that is open.
Motorola and Verizon are also talking up a few native software features on the device. In addition to shipping with Command Center, an exclusive widget that displays the latest text messages, emails and news alerts, users will be able to share their pictures and videos with other Android users over the internet via a feature called Droid ZAP.
The device is now available for pre-order and will ship to users on August 20th. Those who buy the phone between now and September 30th will get six months of Google Play Music All Access, Google’s subscription music service, free of charge. Normally the service costs users $9.99 a month.
Motorola also announced the Droid Ultra MAXX onstage. For $299 and a two-year service agreement, users of that device get all the same features as the Droid Ultra with a battery that the company says will last up to 48 hours.