Motorola unveiled three new Android smartphones at an event in New York yesterday, its first major product launches since the completion of the vendor's US$12.5 billion acquisition by Google.
Google also used the event to update on the latest Android activation figures. According to Eric Schmidt, the firm’s chairman and former CEO who made a surprise appearance, Google is now activating 1.3 million Android devices a day, of which 70,000 are tablets. The figure marks a 30 percent increase on the 1 million-a-day milestone reached in June this year and brings the total installed Android base to 480 million worldwide.
"That’s why Google needed to have Motorola Mobility,” said Schmidt. “We have to play in this ecosystem too.”
The new devices launched yesterday all form part of Motorola’s existing DROID line designed for Verizon Wireless, running on the US operator’s LTE network. Surprisingly, the devices will not be upgradable to the latest version of Android (4.1 – Jelly Bean) until year end, running 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the meantime.
The DROID RAZR M (pictured) will be available from 13 September costing US$99.99 on a two year contract and after a US$50 mail-in rebate. It features an “edge-to-edge” display, which Motorola claims it is the most “compact 4.3-inch 4G LTE smartphone” to date but sporting “40 percent more screen” than the iPhone.
The DROID RAZR HD sports a 4.7-inch HD display, while the key feature of the DROID RAZR MAXX HD is the battery, which boasts enough life for 21 hours of continuous talk time. The last two phones will be available by the end of the year, though pricing has not yet been disclosed.
The devices were announced on the same day (and in the same city) as Nokia took the wraps off its new Lumia Windows Phones, and a week ahead of the anticipated launch of the new iPhone.