Live blog: Verizon introduces new Motorola Droid devices

Verizon Droid devices NYC 7/13

Verizon’s latest devices in its long-running partnership with Motorola made their debut in New York City Tuesday and we were there to live blog the event.

The Droid Mini ($99), Droid Ultra ($199) and Droid Maxx ($299) were all unveiled during a short presentation Tuesday. The phones, which are basically refreshes to the existing Droid lineup, run Google’s Android and the Droid Maxx appears to have some sort of custom processor.

Verizon’s original Droid smartphone helped kickstart Android’s growth in the U.S. and the Droid line has been been a successful one for the carrier. We’ll follow up later with about the new devices and where they fit in with Verizon’s line up of smartphones.

Kevin C. Tofel 9:08:18 am

I’m going to get some hands on time now (which is boring for a live blog) and circle back with more details in a follow up a bit later. Thanks all for tuning in!

Kevin C. Tofel 9:06:37 am

Time to play with the devices at each table. That was quick!

Kevin C. Tofel 9:05:55 am

Pricing: $99 for the Mini; $199 for the Ultra; Maxx for $299. Pre-orders start now at Phones available on August 20th. Purchase by end of September and Moto throws in 6 months of Google Music service. Nice!

Kevin C. Tofel 9:04:51 am

Rich is done now, back to Jeff.

Kevin C. Tofel 9:04:29 am

Ingress is pre-loaded. The only phones with this. It’s an AR game that’s actually fun to play if you walk and travel a bunch.

Kevin C. Tofel 9:03:49 am

Droid Zap is a new sharing service and Miracast video streaming is included with all three phones. There are also some accessories: headphones, wireless charging options, etc..

Kevin C. Tofel 9:02:57 am

Touchless control is one key feature: Call, make directions or search through voice. Active display is another: important notifications appear on the screen when sleeping. Quick capture launches the camera and takes a picture. These all sound like features leaked for the Moto X, in which case, they may be part of Moto phone and *not* Android 4.3.

Kevin C. Tofel 9:01:12 am

All three phones have 24% faster CPU and 100% GPU plus 2x the RAM of last year’s models. This is because of the Motorola x8 mobile computing system. 2 app cores, 4 GPU cores, 1 contextual computing core and one natural language processing core. Did Moto create a custom chip?

Kevin C. Tofel 9:00:00 am

Battery life on the 8.5 mm Droid Maxx expected to be 48 hours. No details on what kind of usage that is.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:59:08 am

Droid Mini: “perfect who want power in a small form factor.” Let’s hear some deets, Rick! He’s already talking about the Droid Maxx.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:58:37 am

Droid Ultra up first: Glossy Kevlar cover. 7.81 mm thin; the thinnest 4G LTE phone available.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:57:36 am

Rick Osterloh, SVP of Product Management from Motorola is up next.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:57:11 am

3 phones today: The Droid Ultra is pictured. It’s all about thin. Droid Maxx is next: Longest lasting LTE phone. Droid mini: Compact without compromise. I hope they pull that off since most “mini” phones are mid-range and full of compromises.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:55:53 am

“Droid was designed as a platform to cut through the smartphone clutter” (And a smart marketing / branding move IMO)

Kevin C. Tofel 8:55:22 am

Jeff Dietel, VP of marketing for Verizon Wireless just stepped on stage.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:54:33 am

“The next chapter of Droid is here”

Kevin C. Tofel 8:54:26 am

We have a Moto rep at our table too. Just found out…. Now there’s a video showing off the original Droid and covering the Droid’s history.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:53:59 am

I’d guess there are about 150 press people here. And around 30 Verizon folks. There’s a stage with some signs that say “Strength matters”, “Endurance matters”, “Intellgence Matters”.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:52:18 am

No band though.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:52:09 am

Interesting setup. It’s like a wedding hall. There are about a dozen round tables and each has a Verizon rep that we sit with. And I didn’t even bring a gift….

Kevin C. Tofel 8:49:27 am

Finally! Doors are open!

Kevin C. Tofel 8:48:58 am

At least we have a nice view of Lincoln Center to watch while we wait.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:45:43 am

And we’re still waiting outside the event room. Not a big level of excitement here.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:43:15 am

Although it’s a safe bet we see some Moto Droids today, might there be one from HTC or Samsung? Crowd here thinks not likely.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:38:03 am

For those keeping track: Sascha Seegan of PC Mag is wearing the same fedora he donned at the T-Mobile event 2 weeks ago.

Kevin C. Tofel 8:36:07 am

So after wandering around Lincoln Center for 20 minutes, I found the Verizon event. We’re right next to Julliard so maybe there’s a show as part of the event?

Regardless, we’re all standing around waiting to get in.


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