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Motorola DROID Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S4


Call Quality

Motorola DROID Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S4
One area that Motorola always seems to out-perform the competition is with its call quality, and the same could be said here, as voices through the DROID Ultra sound more realistic and natural on both ends of the conversation. Calls on the Galaxy S4 aren’t bad by any means, but have a bit more of a “robotic” tone to them; though the earpiece volume can get much louder on the Galaxy S4 when it’s turned up all the way.

Signal reception is nearly identical between them, with -98dBm for voice and -101dBm for 4G LTE.


When it comes to battery capacity, the DROID Ultra is equipped with an internal 2130mAh non-removable battery, while the Galaxy S4 has a removable 2600mAh battery, meaning you can swap it out for another one – or even use a larger extended battery. While testing the continuous talk time, the DROID Ultra lasted for 13 hours straight, while the Galaxy S4 was a bit longer at 15 hours. But for mixed usage, both phones were able to last between 1.5-2 days, depending on the usage, but again you have the option of having a spare battery to use with the Galaxy S4. Another choice you should make note of is the Motorola DROID MAXX, which has a massive 3500mAh internal battery, allowing for even more talk and usage time.


Now we get to the hard part – which smartphone is better? It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want a device that is running close-to-stock Android simple and sweet, with the added bonus of the Motorola extras (active display, touchless controls, droid zap), with excellent call quality, and being constructed out Kevlar, than the Motorola DROID Ultra may be for you. But if you want a device that has a full 1080p display, true quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, higher quality camera, microSD memory card slot, and replaceable battery, then you’ll probably be more content with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Since both come in at the same $199.99 price with a 2-year Verizon contract, we believe that the Galaxy S4 brings more to the table and has the the most bang-for-the-buck right now.


  • Options

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 05:39 7

1. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Both are good devices but S4 is better because of Software and all other extra features.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 06:07 3

4. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

High end vs Mid-range? This is a no brainer! I'd go for MOTO! :D

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 11:46 2

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Beg to differ. S4 is in my opinion better all around.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 22:31 1

19. iushnt (Posts: 2272; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

s4 better for me as well

posted on 09 Oct 2013, 15:24

29. n1naz (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)

The S4 does not support texting over Blue tooth, along with the fact that you
cant change the blue tooth ID.
When used with the hands free system on my vehicle the Motorola Droid Ultra sends and receives text messages through blue tooth, the S4 does not. The Ultra displays as Ultra on the cars display the S4 shows SCH-I545 very cryptic.
I understand this is a very isolated issue but...

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 05:55 8

2. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

Im sorry no competition...S4 wins

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 05:55 6

3. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Galaxy S3 vs Droid Ultra would have been a better comparison !

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 15:06 1

15. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)

LoL that was a good one!

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 06:23

5. mottykels (Posts: 387; Member since: 15 May 2013)

P.A should do a demo of each features not just discussing it :/

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 06:36 3

6. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

S4 anyday.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 07:51 1

7. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

I'll never use cdma again.
Outside of that, I'd rock the Moto if it twas gsm.
It's ok to be a bit behind when you got your own thing going on.

posted on 30 Aug 2013, 16:49

26. rabidhunter (Posts: 90; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)

Reports show that you can trim down the SIM card from AT&T or T-Mo and it works just fine in the DROID Ultra. AT&T gets HSPA+ connectivity, T-Mo gets 4G connectivity. Yes, the Ultra is Global GSM compliant.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 08:24 2

8. newbey123 (Posts: 639; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)

Between those, would have to go with the Droid, hands down.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 09:10 1

9. bodzio1809 (Posts: 370; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

S4 look so ugly and so boring. I hope that Samsung will change design next year. I got S3 now and definetly I want to change it to something from other company like HTC ONE, Sony Z1/ZL1 or LG G2.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 22:32 1

20. iushnt (Posts: 2272; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

why u buy a phone for its design? don't judge a book by its cover

posted on 29 Aug 2013, 02:21

22. bodzio1809 (Posts: 370; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

Not only design. Also I want well-optimized software and Samsung has some problems with it. Maybe software is better optimized on S4, but on S3 I had to change launcher thanks to a lot of lags. For my opinion Samsung done just one thing really good, Amoled screens. This is the future. In addition if u are benchmark or spec guy after release LG G2, Sony Z1 and Note 3, S4 won't be the best device on the market. I preffer smooth experience on device and well-optimized software so I am waiting for next Nexus device and I hope it will be hight end even with "hight end" price. Also I want to write about a lot of additional features that Samsung offer. I don't use any of them :).

Sorry for my english. I am still learning.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 09:44

10. joey_sfb (Posts: 6624; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

I hoping to see qwerty keyboard on droid without it no competition to s4. Which already sold tens of millions...despite Samsung regular trolls best effort. Samsung trolls, You have Fail!

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 10:10

11. Lboogey6 (Posts: 281; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)

To each his own I understand for those voting for the droid but.... There's literally nothing about the phone that's impassive at all

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 12:13 2

13. chazking99 (Posts: 12; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)

I have actually used both phones and prefer the ultra over the S4. The biggest thing for me is usability and the phone does not overheat like the S4. Both are nice phones just enjoy the ultra more

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 14:37 5

14. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

This comparison was a hard biased read, I swear all they could come up with was 1080P screen...forget the bloody Quad-Core Snapdragon 600 as you can see it means nothing since it gives no advantages over the dual core cpu of the Moto offering. This is the crap I do not understand, we have one phone which actually bucks the trend of just shoving moar powah under the hood and actually utilizing a weaker and older design CPU and it runs just the same as the big bad new processor.
What does the S4 bring to the table? Not much considering that it not much of a step above the S3 and not worth ditching your S3 over. Droid Ultra like the Moto X actually does things that no other device can do to the same level. Giving it a technological edge, now if this idea pays off, we'll see a lot more incredible devices that utilize unused cores...since we know that the S4 won't actually be using 2 of it's four CPU core 99% of the time. Cut the bull, you can only enjoy touting numbers, which is why Apple laughs all this talk of power and you wield it like a careless kid with his first sports car.
Both phones are High End devices, but only one actually steps out and does something different to see what gains can be made, no it's not Samsung, they are just bringing the same thing they bring every year, bigger and with more powah. Check out the battery life, same thing 2600mAh battery and S4 gets 2 more hours versus the Droids 2130mAh battery. Carrying a spare battery, how many people do you know have spare batteries for every device they purchase? GTFO! Trying to give Samsung props over the decidely better overall put together and performing Droid is ridiculous.
I have a Droid DNA and 1080p is great for bragging rights but little else since it drains the battery like hell. I want to see what other advances Motorola can make. I'm tired of the I got the bigger e-peen these manufacturers keep going head to head with it's boring as hell. I want some more adaptive software, I want a phone that can charge my phone only when I want it to charge when it's plugged in and also I want it to turn switch from battery power to ac power when plugged in so I won't destroy my battery when gaming or have it connected to the dock.Perhaps ability to make a copy of states so if I accidentally unplug while running on ac power I can get back to that last state. Come on do something better you lazy bastards.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 19:00 1

17. joey_sfb (Posts: 6624; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Good effort in trying to slam S4. I really don't understand why one would bother. Most android user jump from brands to brands anyway.

That the advantage of having an android and a google account. I think the primary reason for Samsung to develop Tizen to lock their fans in. Samsung might compete fiercely with Apple but they really admire Apple position now, once the user is in for awhile its hard for a Apple user to leave the iOS ecosystem.

posted on 29 Aug 2013, 12:19 1

23. SupermanayrB (Posts: 1101; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)

Not this android user; more specifically, not this DROID user. I've had the DROID, DROID 2, DROID X2 & the DROID RAZR Maxx. The DROID MAXX will be my next phone. Compared it with my AT&T (work phone) S4 & I was in love. Didn't see any difference between the 720 vs 1080 using Chrome & testing picture messages. Couldn't really test the camera since it was on the alarm thing but IMO the DROID MAXX works better for ME, damn what Phone Arena thinks.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 22:38 2

21. iushnt (Posts: 2272; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

too long comment, didn't read all but i got your point that you don't prefer s4. If you think that s4 is no major improvement to s3 then how is droid ultra different better than last years s3? and yes you say apple laughs..so you think moto will laugh as well? apple and Samsung are big boys. Moto is just a small player, why comparing them. I think Samsung is laughing over moto because moto don't sell.

posted on 29 Aug 2013, 13:38 1

25. SupermanayrB (Posts: 1101; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)

how is droid ultra different better than last years s3?

Battery, display, camera & features.

apple and Samsung are big boys. Moto is just a small player,

Okay, guy. Motorola has been making phones light years before these guys. Truth is, within the last few years Apple & Samsung finally caught up to Motorola. Nice try though.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 21:02

31. HatefulxxDesign (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)

This guy has it right. Motorola is a phone-production giant and has been in the game much longer than most of the others. And in my personal opinion, they have only gotten better since Google took over.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:58

30. HatefulxxDesign (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)

I completely agree with you. Not to mention that everyone seems to forget that the Ultra has a 400MHz quad-core GPU that you can actually feel the power of while playing higher end games. Both phones will do just about anything you need them to, but I believe the Ultra ultizes what it has in it much better than the S4. Many people I know who own the S4 say that it is pretty much just an S3 with extra crap slapped on. (Such as the "quad-core" and higher definition screen) As well as the fact that not too many things on android use full 1080p anyhow. It boils down to things like some youtube videos which arent true 1080p in the first place, and video content that you put onto the phone yourself. The Ultra, and all newer droids, have features like Droid Zap and Touchless Control, which I find quite useful and worth the choice.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 15:11 1

16. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)

I love my Droid Ultra and will take functionality over Samsung's Galaxy S3S(S4) any day. And Samsung Fan boys have the balls to say that Apple people are buying the same product year after year. Not to mention the feel of the Samsungs screams "cheap plastic crap" to me.

posted on 28 Aug 2013, 22:25 1

18. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)

the only knock against the Droid Ultra is the lack of a microSD slot. i understand there's Google Drive but i'd much rather monitor my storage locally. other than that, i'd say Ultra over S4. seems like Motorola approached their new line up focusing on the quality of their hardware/software instead of trying to play the spec numbers game. fresh look, fresh internals, fresh UI (in terms of what Moto normally does), fresh features. Can't say the same for S3 to S4 transition.

posted on 29 Aug 2013, 12:22

24. SupermanayrB (Posts: 1101; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)

I agree. I wish it still had an SD slot, but I guess that's what my RAZR Maxx will be for.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 01:57

27. logdz00 (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)

I work at a store that sells both. I've helped customers over the past few weeks that have bought droid over s4 pretty much every single time. I've done 15 s4 returns in the past 10 days alone due to battery issues or other complaints and problems having to do with all the new "super cool Samsung features" its all a crock of crap. I'd rather have A. Phone that's cheaper. B. Phone thats reliable that will last longer with battery life. And C. A phone that won't have a flop rate that almost surpassed HTC evo 3d. S4=overated, over priced, and leaving people unsatisfied. All the companies are screwed once the BOX phone comes out anyway... look it up. Insane concept

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