The Droid Ultra by Motorola is the middle child in Verizon's fall 2013 Moto Droid lineup. There's the Droid Mini with a 4.3" display, our $199 with contract Droid Ultra and the $299 Droid Ultra with double the battery and storage. The Ultra is very similar to the Moto X in terms of software and internals. The exterior is all Droid though, with its masculine, dark and imposing look. Though still clad in very durable Kevlar, the Ultra has sadly gone high gloss, so the Kevlar pattern is less apparent and the phone more slippery. As glossy phones go, it doesn't pick up fingerprints as readily as you'd expect. Verizon will offer the phone on the 27 of August in your choice of gloss black and gloss red.
Just like the Moto X, the Droid Ultra runs on a custom 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Pro (which usually has 4 cores). These are two Krait 300 cores with Adreno 320 graphics, so performance and benchmarks are actually very good even if they don't quite beat the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. In actual use, you won't feel the difference and the Droid Ultra plays 3D games like a champ. Motorola includes custom cores that handle the always-on voice recognition, and they call it their Moto X8 computing system. Yes, like the Moto X, the phone can listen for your commands even when sleeping and it can handle any command that Google Now supports (finding pizza, getting directions, launching an app and much more).
The phone has the same 10MP rear camera as the Moto X, and it can shoot 1080p video and 60 FPS slow motion video too. It's a decent camera but we've seen better. It has the shake to shoot feature where you snap your wrist twice to wake up the phone and launch the camera app. The phone works on Verizon's LTE network and it's a GSM world roamer too. It has dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and a GPS as well as the new Miracast wireless display feature.
The 5" AMOLED display is very colorful and sharp looking, though it's 1280 x 720 rather than full HD. Honestly, with a quality panel at 5", that's plenty enough resolution and pixel density for very sharp text and crisp images. Colors aren't terribly exaggerated and there's no noticeable color bias so whites look white.
Here's our Motorola Droid Ultra video review. Our full written review will follow.