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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Motorola Droid Ultra 4G LTE on Verizon


Just another Droid-looking phone. I don't think so. I think it's so much more. Read past the break to see why!



Score: 9 out of 10.
Great:  
  • 10MP Camera - For once, a camera on a Motorola phone is awesome!
  • Fantastic battery life. 
  • Touchless control availability by saying "Ok Google Now"
  • Active display prevents me from wearing out the standby button

 Not So Great: 
  • Non-Removable Battery - Apple?
  • Slippery backing - I miss the more rubbery backing like on the Droid Razr Maxx

Hardware – What We're Working With



The Droid Ultra comes with a Dual core, 1700 MHz Processor that feels like it doesn't choke out, no matter which task I threw at it. A big, and I mean BIG feature about this processor is that there is a "custom core" or this processor that handles the always-on voice command capability. This is huge news that I think many people could potentially overlook.

For more detail on how these multiple processing cores work so perfect together, please check out this awesome link.

The back side of the Verizon Droid Ultra is a Kevlar backing (I know, it's hard to believe seeing such a glossy finish). I'm not crazy about the glossy finish, but it's still kevlar and this means durability.


Display

The screen on the Ultra is a 5.0” edge–to–edge Super AMOLED display with a 1280 x 720 resolution.
For my big thumbs, it's so easy to type out emails, texts, IM's super-fast. And the always-on technology really help not having to flip a bigger phone around, side-to-side to find the standby button in order to wake the phone, let me further explain:


Again, an area I think could be overlooked is yet another processing perk! The always-on technology is integrated the display. Having a smartphone that can have an always-on active display, and still maintain normal battery life is almost Magic to me. Apple should have thought of this feature - additionally, maybe they could stop using the word Magic, too :)

The viewing angle of this screen, in my opinion, is totally perfect. At times, it's hard to see the screen in sunlight - but it wasn't enough of a problem to deduct points in my rating.

Camera



Lets face it, Motorola used to always have terrible cameras on their phones and smartphones - just terrible. I have to say that my opinion on Motorola cameras, after reviewing the Ultra, pulled a complete 180. The camera has no problem snapping photos without blur, and recording video at full 1080P - and it's not just the 1080P Number - It looks like high-quality 1080P!

Sorry about the random, creepy elephant human, but I thought it looked cool, and I snapped a photo.
The two top-most photos are from a derby I went to at a local fairground. It was a fair day, with on and off rain, and very cloudy. Still, the Ultra captured some excellent video:


Software


See what I mean? Motorola is starting to use the word "magic" - I make fun of Apple for using this word. On a serious note, the Touchless Control features of the Ultra are really neat because the processor is made to perform it - no worries of extra drain on your battery. 

I think Motorola really hit a home run here because the Touchless Control could be further integrated to work with the fast-growing, popular Google Now. As of this writing, the Droid Ultra already allows you to opt in for activating Google Now by saying "Ok Google Now".


I've attached a few screenshots of menu items that stood out as new to me. I always love seeing new goodies baked directly into the Android user experience - reminds me of a good ROM.


Droid Zap, although it's a Motorola feature, you can still download an Android app for your device. Droid Zap is a feature that allows your device, based on GPS and WiFi location, to "zap" data to another device. What's cool about this, is it seemingly would require NFC or Bluetooth, but it doesn't - just data.

Conclusions

I did not have the Droid Ultra in my hands for a long time, being that it's still a hot item. By my rating alone, you probably already guessed that this is a device that I would highly recommend. As of this writing, the Droid Ultra can be purchased directly from Verizon for $199.99 with a 2-year contract.
Thank you for reading my review and for Getting Android!

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