We finally got our hands on the new DROID line from Motorola and Verizon. The “RAZR” name is officially gone so they are simply called the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX. It looks like these phones are going to be very similar to the Moto X in that it’s all about the features and ease of use rather than the specs. As to specs, we are looking at a display of 4.3-inches for the Mini at 720p (1280 x 720) and 5.0-inches for both the Ultra and MAXX, also at 720p (1280 x 720). All models feature the Motorola x8 mobile computing system that features 8 cores, but it’s not an octa-core. It has 2 app cores, 4 graphics cores, 1 contextual core, and 1 natural language core. Basically it’s a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. All models include 2GB of RAM and the Mini and Ultra get 16GB of storage, while the MAXX gets 32GB. You won’t find a microSD slot on any of the models. All three models will also feature a 10MP front camera and a 2MP front camera. The camera features clear pixel technology for faster processing and better low light performance. As to battery, the Mini has 2,000mAh, the Ultra has 2,130mAh, and the MAXX has 3,500mAh. You can expect 24 hours from both the Mini and the Ultra, while the MAXX will give you 48 hours.
This will come as no surprise at all if you’ve been following the site, but today, as expected, Verizon made their new line of DROIDs official. The DROID MAXX, DROID ULTRA, and DROID MINI were officially launched at an event today in New York City.
The MAXX and ULTRA both come with great specs, including a new in-house SoC, the “X8″ 8-core processor with a dual core CPU and quad-core GPU that was announced by Motorola today. The MAXX comes with a whopping 48 hours of battery life and wireless charging, however it’s about a millimeter thicker than the ULTRA, which Motorola hails as the “thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available.” The MINI comes with a compact 4.3 HD display, as well as wireless charging capabilities.
The ULTRA will run for $200 in your choice of red or black, the MAXX for $300, and the MINI will cost you $100, each with a 2-year contract, of course.The new phones will be available immediately to preorder from Verizon’s website. The Ultra and MAXX will go for sale on August 20, while the MINI will follow on August 29.
You can see the press release in full after the break for more information. Read more
Like all Marvel superhero movies, we can expect to get some kind of tie-in game, and as usual, it’s from Gameloft. Thor: The Dark World is no exception, as Gameloft has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming Thor game that’s slated for release to the Play Store sometime in the fall.
The game itself looks like a traditional top-down dungeon crawler, Diablo style, but that’s not a bad thing. Everything in the trailer looks like it’ll make a fun time-waster, and Gameloft hinted at having a few other playable characters alongside Thor. There will also supposedly be over 100 missions and will include enemies from the movie, so this might even be a game some of us are still playing even after Thor’s made his exit from the theater spotlight. I guess we’ll find out later this year. Hit the break below for the trailer (it’s really short, only about 40 seconds) and the press release from Gamestop. Read more
HTC made available a new entry level smartphone today, the HTC Desire 500, exclusivly through Taiwan Mobile. The 4.3-inch screen device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz and is equipped with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage expandable up to 64GB via microSD. The Desire 500 comes with an 8MP camera capable of capturing 720p video. HTC has their HTC Sense overlay installed on the phone along with BlinkFeed, HTC’s take on a constantly updating homescreen.
It appears the Desire 500 will only be available in the Taiwanese market, but it could expand to some other Asian countries. Reportedly the price point for the device is somewhere around $400 USD, which seems to be on the high side for such a low-powered device.
AT&T has added two new data tiers for customers on a Mobile Share plan, which now includes 300 MB and 2 GB options in addition to the other tiers that have previously been offered. The 300 MB plan is now the smallest available data package and runs $20 per month with a $50 charge per smartphone added. The 2 GB plan fits right in between the previous 1 GB and 4 GB plans and runs $40 per month with a $45 charge per smartphone.
The 300 MB tier doesn’t seem like a great fit for anyone with more than one smartphone on an account, but the 1 GB plan will be a nice addition for the extremely budget-minded consumers that don’t mind watching their data usage. Anybody planning on switching to one of these tiers on their accounts?
Samsung officially announced the newest version of their Exynos 5 Octa processor today with a heavy emphasis on the graphics capabilities. For the first time in the industry, graphics will be driven by a six-core chipset, the ARM Mali-T628 gpu to be specific. Samsung claims the new Mali chipset will boost 3D graphic processing capabilities more than two times over the current Exynos 5 Octa chip. The new technology will also enable the gpu to handle some computational operations through General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU). According to Samsung’s vice president of System LSI marketing, Taehoon Kim, “demand for richer graphic experiences is growing rapidly nowadays…in order to meet that demand from both OEMs and end users, we developed this processor which enables superb graphical performance without compromising power consumption.” Read more
We are expecting the Moto X to be available on all four major U.S. carriers, but there seems to be a hiccup with T-Mobile. For whatever reason they haven’t inked a deal with Motorola to carry the device. It could be because they carry the Nexus 4, but I am not sure why that would really be an issue. Right now the rumored unsubsidized price is $299, just like the Nexus 4. To be honest, I expect the actual price to be lower.
The Moto X should be at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint sometime in August. There is still time for T-Mobile, but it remains to be seen.
I wonder if there will be anything to learn about the Moto X when it’s officially unveiled on August 1st. Motorola’s interface has been the closest to stock Android when comparing to other manufacturers. However they have been adding their own tweaks. I wondered if they would just go all in with stock Android now that Google owns them, but it looks like they will continue the trend of subtle changes. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either better or worse.
The latest leak shows the Moto X’s camera interface, which differs from both Android 4.2 and 4.3. You can see a control wheel to the left that is activated by a swipe. If you swipe from the right, you will go to the Gallery app, which will start with the last photo or video taken with the camera.
Samsung has put up a registration page for their first developer conference that’s taking place later this year. Right now, all the site gives us is the date of the conference and the option to sign up for more information as it becomes available. It sounds promising, offering attendees the option to engage and collaborate with other developers and industry leaders and the chance to learn about Samsung’s latest tools and SDKs. As Samsung tries to distance their Galaxy brand from Android, getting developers on board to create software exclusive for Samsung devices is a major step in that direction.
It’s definitely going to be interesting to see what comes out of this conference, although it’s likely to cover more than just Samsung Android devices. Samsung has been testing Tizen devices, and they still make smart televisions, Windows PCs, Windows Phones, etc., so there’s bound to be a ton of different things going on at once. If you’re still interesting in getting in on some of the action, though, hit the link below to put your email in.