Verizon and Motorola are announcing the latest entries in their long-running DROID series in Chicago today. The DROID Turbo 2 is the new flagship, and its "shatter-proof" screen is the clear highlight, but the partners also announced an updated version of the popular DROID Maxx from 2013. The new DROID Maxx 2 is a mid-range device that shares a lot of design DNA with the Moto X Play revealed earlier this year.
When the economical and long-lasting Moto X Play was announced specifically without US availability, it raised a few eyebrows here at Android Police. Some of us speculated that Motorola's tight relationship with Verizon, which goes all the way back to an exclusive on the original QWERTY-packing DROID, might have something to do with it. According to a report from Phandroid, that may indeed be the case. The site is reporting that the American carrier will sell a customized version of the Moto X Play as a sequel to its 2013 flagship, the DROID Maxx.
That makes sense: the Verizon-exclusive (at least in the US) Maxx line has always highlighted huge batteries and long usage times, and the Moto X Play uses a 3630mAh battery, larger than either the flagship Moto X Style or the enormous Motorola-made Nexus 6.
I used the DROID MAXX for more than a year. It is, hands-down, one of my favorite Android devices. If you're looking for a good deal on a fantastic phone that's a little past its prime, you can't do better than Woot.com's current Electronics section promotion. The Amazon subsidiary is offering the Motorola DROID MAXX in refurbished form for $179.99, a little less than $500 off of the original retail price.
The description says that this is a "Droid Ultra Maxx," but based on the battery spec it's the higher-end DROID MAXX, not the DROID Ultra.
If it's been a while since you've looked at Motorola's 2013 line, then think of the DROID MAXX as a spruced-up version of the original Moto X.
Xperia Z3 Tablet owners with a custom ROM addiction may be happy to know that CyanogenMod now has the hook up. If you're excited by this news, you can head over to CyanogenMod's crib, knock on the door, and ask for scorpion_windy. Just be careful. Scorpion_windy might not be in the mood.
On your way out, tell any DROID Maxx owners you know that CyanogenMod may have someone in the back working on obake again, because there are two freshly zipped files currently up for grabs. Maxx owners were put through withdrawal last September when CyanogenMod announced that it no longer had a maintainer, but it seems like things have changed.
Last summer's trifecta of DROIDs are all getting hit by the same over-the-air update right about now. Verizon has announced a bump up to software version 23.1.12 that's going out to the DROID Maxx, Mini, and Ultra. The OTA prepares the devices to deliver better call quality through what the carrier has coined Advanced Calling 1.0.
This update also brings along improvements to the phones' messaging client and visual voicemail service. These touch-ups are joined by your usual vague set of bug fixes.
Carriers tend to push these updates out in waves these days, so try to sit tight until the notification arrives.
Motorola hasn't forgotten about those devices that aren't part of the "Moto" family. The Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini on Verizon are getting the Android 4.4.4 update starting today. Even the Moto X hasn't been given the go ahead yet.
If you've bought a DROID phone from Verizon and Motorola at some point in the last two generations, you've got an update coming soon. The carrier posted update materials for all 2012 and 2013 Motorola DROIDs: RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. The older phones are getting upgraded to Android 4.4.2, while the newer DROIDs just get a stability update.
Psst. Verizon. That's not a DROID RAZR HD.
This is the big one for the DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD, which should be updated all the way to Android 4.4.2.
Update: One commenter noticed that the new colors of the DROID MAXX have 16GB of storage, not 32GB like the original matte version. For shame, Verizon/Moto, especially since the MAXX has no microSD card slot. Thanks, Jason Stanton!
When Verizon launched the latest generation of Motorola DROID phones back in August, the long-lasting DROID MAXX was only offered in a matte black color. It seems a little belated, but as of today Verizon is selling the Moto flagship in two new color options: glossy red, and matte black with new silver trim on the speaker grille, Motorola badge, power button, and volume rocker.
The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
Here's an example of a single email:
The vocal response will adjust based on your notifications - for example, if you have more than one unread email, it will simply give you a number.