Ina Fried

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Verizon Wireless Teams Up With Motorola to Revive Droid Brand With Trio of New Devices

Verizon is updating its Droid line with three new devices, the Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini, all made by Google’s Motorola unit.

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The launch aims to reinvigorate one of the most venerable brands in the smartphone market, and a moniker that helped put Android on the map.

The Droid Ultra is noteworthy for its five-inch, 1,280 by 720-pixel touchscreen and for being just 7.18mm thin, while the Maxx packs a huge 3,500mAH battery that Verizon says allows it to run for two days on a single battery charge.

Meanwhile, the Droid Mini has a 4.3-inch, 1,280 by 720-pixel display and packs wireless charging abilities. The phone is part of the company’s efforts to offer its customers a choice in design said Brian Mehta, head of North American marketing for Motorola.

All three phones offer rear 10-megapixel cameras and front-facing two-megapixel cameras, with a new feature that lets you activate the main camera from any screen simply by twisting your wrist twice. All are wrapped with Kevlar and run Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

More interesting than the hardware, though, is the unique software functions. The new Droid models offer such features as touchless voice controls and an Active Display, which shows you important details like time and new messages on your lock screen using less battery power than a fully lit display. Behta said you can expect to see these functions on future Motorola handsets, which could include the upcoming Motorola X.

While much of the attention might be on the Moto X, the company is still committed to Verizon’s Droid line and is now the exclusive handset maker for the brand. Previously, Verizon offered Droid models made by HTC.

The Droid Ultra and Maxx will be available starting Aug. 20, with the Ultra selling for $199.99 and the Maxx for $299.99, both with a two-year contract.

The Droid Mini will sell for $99.99 with a two-year contract, and will be available starting Aug. 29.


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