Droid Ultra, Mini and Droid Maxx vs the competition: how do they stack up?

July 26, 2013
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Motorola Droid

Even though everyone is excited about the new Nexus 7 and all the other announcements made on Wednesday, Verizon and Motorola did have some awesome announcements of their own earlier this week. This included the official announcement of a new family of Motorola Droid phones. The announcement brought three brand new Droid phones to our eyeballs – the Droid Ultra, the Droid Maxx, and the Droid Mini. It’s the first complete family of phones released this year and the only one where they will be all released at the same time. We really like that out of Motorola.

As these things go, people are left to wonder how these phones stack up against the competition. That’s a good question and one we’re going to try to answer for you here today. One thing that will make this process so much more simple is all three Motorola Droid devices this year have completely identical specs. The only difference is the Motorola Droid Mini has a 4.3-inch screen and the Motorola Droid Maxx has a battery that can last for 48 hours. Otherwise, everything else is the same. For the complete specs, check out Chris Smith’s article about the announcement and specs. Also, if you want to see what the X8 computing system is all about, David Gonzales has you covered.

For this comparison we’ll be pinning the new Droids up against Verizon’s best and brightest. These include the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC Droid DNA, the Apple iPhone 5 to represent iOS, and the Nokia Lumia 928 to represent Windows Phone 8. We’ll be comparing the screen, battery, hardware specs, and price. Below the comparison, we’ll explain why we didn’t compare the software.

Lastly, before we get started, there may be people out there who think it’s unfair that we’re comparing the whole Droid family against single devices. This is the advantage an OEM gets when they release the whole family at once instead of one every four months until they’re all released. Let’s get started!

HTC One vs Motorola Droid

Droid vs the HTC One

Our first comparison will be a phone that Verizon doesn’t even have yet. Sorry, Verizon fans! The HTC One has been a fairly popular device for HTC. It sports some of the latest specs, a gorgeous display, and great build quality. So let’s get started.

  • Screen – The Motorola Droid family all sport 720p screens. The HTC One has a 1080p screen. It’s nearly unanimous that 1080p is better than 720p. Winner: HTC One.
  • Battery – The HTC One battery isn’t all that great, but the Motorola Droid family all have an “always-on” attitude. So we imagine that the battery between the One, the Ultra, and the Mini would be about the same. The Maxx reportedly lasts for 48 hours. Winner: Droid family.
  • Specs – The Motorola Droid family has the X8 Computing System whereas the HTC One sports a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600. The Snapdragon 600 is a proven performer and the HTC One does well with it. However, we imagine the Droid family probably won’t be lagging all that much either. Unless you’re a gamer who needs the best benchmarks, we can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with either phone’s performance. It’s a tie.
  • Price – We imagine that the HTC One, when released, will sport around the same price tag as the Galaxy S4, which is $199. This is right on pace with the Droid family average. The Mini being $99 is cheaper, the Maxx being $299 is more expensive and the Droid Ultra being $199, which is even. This is also a tie.

We know you don’t want to hear this and we’re sorry. However, this and the HTC One is a tie on paper. With similar performance and price, the HTC One wins the screen and the Droid family wins the battery with the Droid Maxx. So if you want something with a sharp, crisp screen, the HTC One is likely your choice. If you want awesome battery, the Maxx may be your device.

galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa s4 performance

Droid vs the Samsung Galaxy S4

Next up is the Samsung Galaxy S4. This is the highest selling Android phone so far this year with the last reported number being around 20 million units sold. It’s vastly popular, but how does it stack up against the Droid family?

  • Screen – Much like the HTC One, the Galaxy S4 has a 1080p screen. Experts agree that 1080p is better than 720p. 
  • Battery – While reports are that the Galaxy S4 is better than the HTC One, they both still fail in comparison to the Droid Maxx. Droid wins.
  • Specs – The specs for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is more or less the same as the HTC One. Same processor, same RAM, same GPU. However, we have heard people complain that Touchwiz actually lags the phone. Also, Samsung loses because their Mini is not very good. Winner: Droid.
  • Price – Exactly the same as the HTC One. It’s a tie!

Even though the Galaxy S4 has pretty much the same specs as the HTC One, the Droid actually wins this one. This is because of the lag issues caused by Samsung’s software. Flagship phones really shouldn’t be lagging much anymore. At least not often enough to be noticeable. Droid wins.

Sense 5

Droid vs the HTC Droid DNA

This shouldn’t take too long. Let’s begin!

  • Screen – Unless we missed something, 1080p on the Droid DNA still beats the 720p on the Droid family.
  • Battery – The Droid Maxx has a 3,500mAh battery. To save some time, that beats everything on the list. Droid wins.
  • Specs – The HTC Droid DNA has the best specs from last year. While last year’s specs are pretty impressive, the Droid family specs are still better. Droid wins.
  • Price – HTC Droid DNA is only $49.99 with a two-year contract. Winner here is HTC Droid DNA.

So it’s actually a tie here. Both devices have two victories here. However, since price is really just a one-time problem, we really give the win to the Droid family. Like the S4, it’s not a huge win and comes at the hand of a technicality, but it’s still a win!

iPhone 5

Droid vs the iPhone 5

Yes, we know it’s unfair to pit a phone that’s coming out very soon to a device that came out last year. However, until the iPhone 5S comes out, this is the only iOS device competing with the Droid family on Verizon. So let’s get started!

  • Screen – Who’s ready for the surprise of the day? The Droid family’s 720p display actually has a lesser pixel density than the Retina display on the iPhone 5. So the iPhone 5 comes away with a win.
  • Battery – Droid Maxx battery wins again. Hands down.
  • Specs – Motorola X8 computing system beats the tar out of the iPhone 5’s 1.3GHz dual-core.
  • Price – The iPhone 5, despite being a year old, still goes for $199. Considering it’s age, we have to give this to the Droid family. $200 for a phone that’s already a year old is kind of hard to justify.

This is the biggest victory for the Droid family yet. The iPhone 5 only won one category an that’s the screen resolution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for them to win.

nokia lumia 928

Droid vs the Nokia Lumia 928

It just wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t toss in Verizon’s best Windows Phone 8 offering in here. It may do better than one might think.

  • Screen – The Nokia Lumia 928 actually has the sharper screen. Not by much, though. Less than 30ppi, which most people probably won’t even notice. Even so, Nokia wins.
  • Battery – The Nokia Lumia 928 actually has the better battery. Just kidding, it’s the Maxx again. Droid family wins again.
  • Specs – Last year’s best dual core against this year’s best dual core. No contest, Droid family wins.
  • Price – The Nokia Lumia 928 costs $99.99 with a 2-year contract on Verizon. That’s the same as the Droid Mini as the Droid Maxx and Droid Ultra both cost more. Since the Droid Mini is about the same size as the Nokia Lumia 928, we’ll call it a draw.

So after it’s been compared, the Lumia only loses by a single category. So not too bad of a showing. If you like WP8 and own a Nokia Lumia 928, you should be proud that it competed this well.

Why not a software comparison?

Software comparisons are very difficult to do. Most of what people like and dislike about software are based on opinion. There are exceptions, like Touchwiz causing lag problems. However, what people like about iOS, WP8, and the various kinds of Android are things that other people may not like about them. So if you want to know which one is the best in terms of software, our recommendation is to watch review videos and go into the store to play with them. You’ll know which one feels right for you.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the Droid family is facing stiffer competition than one might expect. We knew they would go even, or at least really close to even, with the big flagships on Verizon. However, it’s still a pretty decent comparison between the Droid family and the current iOS and WP8 offerings.

On paper, the Droid family stacks up pretty much evenly with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. A little better against one, a little worse than the other, but more or less evenly. The Droid family does beat out iOS and WP8, but not by the wide margin that people would expect. Do remember that this is just a comparison on paper. Once these devices come out, we’ll be able to compare them more accurately.

Of course, we want to hear from you. Is the Droid X8 computing system worth investing in? Have these phones made you potentially change your mind about which flagship you’ll get? As always, if you want to talk about it, leave us a comment!

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