Today Verizon unveiled three new Droid smartphones for its 2013 lineup to replace the RAZR line from previous years.
The new range of Droid smartphones from Verizon and Motorola include the 4.3-inch Droid Mini, the 5-inch Droid Ultra and 5-inch Droid MAXX. The phones are very similar to last year’s RAZR line, as each phone takes the place of a similarly-sized device. The Droid Mini replaces the RAZR M, The Droid Ultra replaced the RAZR HD and the Droid MAXX replaces the RAZR MAXX HD.
All of the phones have familiar Kevlar backs, but their designs are much less angular. The new Droids all have rounded corners that are more comfortable to hold than the cut corners of the RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD.
Droid Ultra Hands On Video
The new phones also use capacitive buttons that aren’t a part of the touchscreen, a change from last year’s phones which used software buttons.
One of the big features of the Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX is the new Touchless Controls of the phones. Users can interact with their phones using voice commands. Both phones are always listening for their owner’s voice to say “OK Google Now,” at which point the user can ask the phone for directions, for example. The phones will even learn their owner’s voice over time so friends or strangers can’t turn on the feature.
The phones also have a new Active Display feature which will show notifications on the screen as they come in. The feature will show what has the notification and give a preview of the notification so users can choose to respond or ignore it.
All three Droid phones also include a new camera app that users can access with the flick of a wrist. It takes some getting used to, but by performing the motion users can launch directly into the camera app for instant photos. The motion is theoretically easier than swiping an icon the lockscreen like the iPhone or other Android smartphone.