Motorola Droid Ultra Review: Ultra Thin LTE Smartphone - HotHardware

Motorola Droid Ultra Review: Ultra Thin LTE Smartphone

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The Droid Ultra features a Kevlar composite Unibody design with slightly rounded corners and edges. Because of its unibody design, you won’t be able to swap batteries or upgrade the storage of the Droid Ultra. For some users, the 16GB of onboard storage will be enough, but we imagine there will be plenty of users who exclude this phone from consideration because of this limitation.

Overall, the phone feels solid and well-built. Compared to other popular phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, the Droid Ultra has a similar footprint and fits equally well in one’s hand. Overall, there’s plenty to like about the size of the Droid Ultra.

A glossy finish covers the entire Droid Ultra, making it a fingerprint magnet. In a matter of minutes, our test unit was covered with fingerprints on the front, back, and sides of the device. During our time with the Droid Ultra, we found it to be nearly impossible to keep clean.

The Droid Ultra features a 5-inch edge–to–edge Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720. Although we are always attracted to higher resolution displays, the Droid Ultra is designed to be a mid-range device and the screen falls in line with its positioning in the market.

Below the display, you’ll find three capacitive hardware buttons: Back, Home, and Recent Apps. The front-facing 2 megapixel camera is located above the display to the right of the speaker.

The Droid Ultra’s micro USB port is located on the bottom edge of the phone. A 3.5mm headset jack is located on the top edge near the right corner. The power key and volume rocker are located on the right edge of the phone. These buttons protrude slightly from the edge of the phone.

When you flip the Droid Ultra over, you’ll notice the glossy finish with a textured design. The phone’s rear-facing 10 megapixel camera and flash is located near the top edge. DROID, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless logos can also be seen on the back of the Droid Ultra.

When looking at the Droid Ultra from either side of the phone, you’ll see that the bottom edge is noticeably thinner than the top edge. Although the top protrusion is much less noticeable than previous DROID smartphones, it’s still there.

The Droid Ultra comes with a near-stock version of Android, save for the typical Verizon Wireless additions and a few other customizations and add-ons. You’ll find Android 4.2 on the phone out of the box. Though, Motorola has assured users an update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) is coming at some point in the future.

Like the Moto X, the Droid Ultra comes with many of the same well-advertised features as the Moto X, including the ability to launch the camera with a double-flick of the wrist, “always on” hands-free controls with Google Now, active notifications, and more. The Droid Ultra’s touch less controls are the same as what we saw on the Moto X. After a simple set up process, you can say “Ok Google Now” and tell your phone what you want to do. 

   

You’ll also find DROID Command Center, Wireless Display capabilities, Active Display, an exclusive beta invite to Ingress, Droid Zap, Active display low–power notification system, and Motorola Assist. Since this is a Verizon Wireless device, you’ll also get some preloaded carrier apps including Back–up Assistant +, My Verizon Mobile, Verizon Tones, VZ Navigator, VZ Security, and Verizon.net.

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Overall a decent device, though I'm not sure there's enough to stand out in a crowded field. Lack of a microSD card slot is a bummer.

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The lack of MicroSD card slot on a bunch of high-end smartphones is really a dealbreaker for me. Some people just ain't about that streaming life.

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With a smartphone, for me anyway, it's not as big of a deal. On a tablet, it's a must have I think.

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Aesthetically not appealing to me. Moto X on the other hand..

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