Motorola's impressive new smartphones

Motorola's fresh handsets are innovative and uniquely compelling.

The new Motorola Moto X is compact and has a comfy grip. Sarah Tew/CNET

From the beautifully crafted and compact Moto X to the phenomenally long-lasting Droid Maxx with its ridiculously high-capacity battery, Motorola's new Android smartphones for 2013 have a lot to offer. And thanks to Motorola Mobility's recent acquisition by Google, its latest mobile phones flaunt some truly innovative Android features.

Equipped with what Motorola calls the X8 Mobile Computing System, all of the company's phones are nimble performers, have excellent battery life, and can perform slick tricks never before seen on a smartphone. The most notable is Touchless Control, a skill that enables these gadgets to constantly keep one virtual ear trained in your direction ready to leap into action and carry out your verbal commands.

Motorola has also taken steps to improve its phones' digital picture-taking abilities. Unlike previous generations of Moto handsets that were photographically challenged, this refreshed lineup sports a completely revamped camera app and 10-megapixel imaging system. The result: you can actually snap some pleasing photos and video with Motorola's new devices. Read on to see what these very capable mobile products can do.


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You may think it's odd that Motorola's current flagship smartphone, the $199.99 Moto X , isn't the biggest, baddest mobile device money can buy. Once you pick it up though we guarantee the company's strategy will become immediately clear. Sporting a handsome design and a curved chassis that's extremely comfortable to cradle in your palm, this phone hits the sweet spot between screen size and other types of usability. The Moto X also squeezes a great camera and futuristic voice command capabilities, not to mention great battery life, into an endless variety of customized designs. Read our full review of the Motorola Moto X .


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Who says good things only come in small packages. The new $299.99 Droid Maxx certainly bucks that convention. The Maxx, the third in Motorola's Verizon Droid Maxx product line, sports a massive 3,500mAh battery that delivers astonishingly long run time. It also has a big, colorful 5-inch AMOLED screen and a durable, attractive design. The camera takes pleasing pictures too, and performs inventive tricks such as voice commands, screen-based notifications, and quick-launching its camera. Read our full review of the Motorola Droid Maxx .


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Occupying the middle rung of Motorola's new Droid handsets on Verizon, the $199.99 Droid Ultra is one of the thinnest smartphones on the planet. If that floats your boat, you'll certainly find a friend in the Ultra. The handset also features the same 5-inch AMOLED screen you'll find on the Droid Maxx and uses an identical digital camera. The phone has long battery life as well, and supports Motorola's slick Android tricks such as advanced voice commands and screen-based notifications. Read our full review of the Motorola Droid Ultra .


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If you really crave a Droid-style smartphone but want it shoehorned into a tiny, pocket-friendly chassis, the $99.99 Droid Mini could be the ticket. The lowest-priced device in Verizon and Motorola's new Droid 2013 lineup, the Mini still packs Moto's X8 chip, fancy Touchless Control, the Quick Capture 10MP camera, and 4G LTE data. It also makes rock-solid phone calls and delivers impressively long battery life. Read our full review of the Motorola Droid Mini .

About the author

Brian Bennett is senior editor for appliances at CNET and reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from microwave ovens, blenders, ranges and coffee makers to personal weather stations. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he dreams of someday owning the sparkling house of the future.

 

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