Verizon announces Motorola Droid smartphone, $199 with 2-year contract

The Motorola Droid, running Google Android, was announced today by Verizon. Available Nov. 6
The Motorola Droid, running Google Android, was announced today by Verizon. Available Nov. 6

Fans of smartphones, it’s time to Geek out! The much hyped, anticipated, talked about and rumored to death Motorola Droid was finally revealed today (Clint, strong contender on your short list for next smartphone!). Running Google’s Android mobile operating system it is an uber powerful phone with a long, long list of impressive specs.

Some of the most striking features include the brand new Google turn-by-turn navigation application, an accessory dock that turns the phone into a multimedia station and alarm clock, a stunning 16:9 3.7-inch screen with 480×854 resolution, the slimmest form factor built-in QWERTY keyboard and a 5MP camera.

Also, it is the only device to run the just released Android version 2.0 (Eclair) operating system which includes several bug fixes, and feature enhancements.

The best surprise is probably the price. At only $199 (with two year Verizon contract) it comes in around the same as existing devices with less power.

motorola-droid-preview-1-580x386The Motorola Droid is available for pre-order here, and will ship November 6.

Is it an iPhone killer? Probably not. But this is a much needed boost to Verizon’s smartphone arsenal and a nice flagship for Google’s mobile efforts. It will be interesting to see how the reviews shake out in the coming days. Meantime, here are some hands-on launch videos below. Nerd out!

 

Engadget Says

We’ve got the DROID in our hands… and it is sweet. Moto claims that this is the thinnest full QWERTY on the market, and we’re apt to believe it. The phone is incredibly slick and solid, and we’re definitely looking forward to putting it through its paces. We’ll have more photos, video, and a full review coming, so stay tuned!

Engadget with Motorola DroidSome quick observations on the phone:

  • That big screen is killer. Bright, crisp, and tons of room for your icons and widgets.
  • Speed is noticeably improved — particularly when moving from app to app. We did notice that some of the home screen scrolling looked laggy.
  • Android 2.0 is definitely cleaned up — but it’s most definitely still Android
  • The browser seems significantly improved — pages now load up in a fully zoomed-out mode, and the load times and scrolling are way snappier.
  • The keyboard takes some getting used to, and it suffers from a similar hand-position issue as the G1, but it’s fairly usable. We think it’ll be second nature once we spend some time with it.
  • Facebook is integrated into accounts, which means some of that BLUR functionality is here. We’re hoping they’ve figured out some way to keep contacts managed, though.
Verizon Press Release

Verizon Wireless DROID By Motorola: World’s First Smartphone with Android™ 2.0

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – High-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, customizable large screen, access to thousands of Android applications and hundreds of widgets and the best 3G mobile network in the country: DROID by Motorola arrives on Nov. 6.

Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation’s largest wireless 3G broadband network, and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), a pioneer in the mobile industry, today unveiled DROID by Motorola, the first smartphone powered by Android™ 2.0. DROID by Motorola features the brainpower and breakneck speed of a modern smartphone, designed to outperform where other smartphones fall short.

“We’re proud to work with Verizon Wireless and Google™ on the first smartphone to feature Android 2.0,” said Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices. “DROID by Motorola delivers a rich consumer experience with warp-speed Web browsing, a mammoth screen, and Motorola’s expertise in design and voice quality. Combined with Android’s open, flexible graphical user interface and the power of Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, DROID is a smartphone that simply doesn’t compromise.”

“This is an exciting announcement for Verizon Wireless, as the DROID by Motorola is the first device that we are bringing to market under our ground-breaking strategic partnership with Google,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “DROID by Motorola gives customers a lifestyle device with access to more than 12,000 applications that will help them stay in touch, up to date and entertained, using the best 3G network in the country.”

DROID by Motorola has a solid exterior, intelligent interior and is one of the thinnest full-QWERTY slider phones available. It is a no-fuss, high-tech, location-aware, voice-recognizing, over-the-air updating, multi-tasking machine – and it is available just in time for holiday wish lists.

With DROID by Motorola, you can:

· Zip through the Web: Access the Internet at 3G speeds via the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network or from any Wi-Fi hotspot. The multi-window HTML browser with a massive processor delivers the Web the way you expect.

· See it all in cinema-style: View the Web, e-mail, Google Maps™, videos and more in widescreen on a brilliant 3.7″ high-resolution screen. Boasting a width of 854 pixels to reduce the need for side-to-side panning and more than 400,000 pixels total, DROID has more than twice that of the leading competitor.

· Run multiple applications at once: Customize your DROID with thousands of applications and hundreds of widgets available on Android Market™. Toggle back and forth between up to six applications at a time to juggle the universe and your apps.

· Perform Google Search™ at the speed of sound: Simply tell DROID what you’re looking for using voice-activated search, and it will serve up Google search results based on your location. If you want more, simply type what you’re looking for into the search bar on the home screen and DROID will also search content on your phone, such as apps and contacts, and the Web.

· Capture moments: Snap digital camera-quality photos with a 5 megapixel camera loaded with the works, such as a dual-LED flash, AutoFocus and image stabilization, or capture your friend’s antics in 16 million colors with DVD-quality video capture and playback. Store it all on the included 16 GB memory card, so you always have it on hand.

· Multi-task like a master: Keep tabs on all your messages with integrated Gmail™ and Exchange e-mail pushed directly to you, but don’t let them get in your way. With the handy Android notification panel, go straight to the message or simply ignore it, and get back to the task at hand. And, a smart dictionary learns as you type and automatically includes your contacts.

· Get where you need to go with Google Maps Navigation (Beta): DROID is the first device with Google Maps Navigation, providing turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps. It’s powered by Google and connected to the Internet. Use voice shortcuts and simply say “Navigate to [your destination],” and you’ll be on your way. See live traffic, use Street View or satellite imagery to view your route, and get access to the most recent maps and business information from Google Maps without ever needing to update your device.

Pre-loaded Applications and Enhancements to Google Mobile Services:

· Google Maps: With layers in Google Maps, view geographic information, such as My Maps, Wikipedia, and transit lines, right on the map.

· Gmail: Multiple accounts support and undo for common operations.

· YouTube™: One-touch recording and playback from homescreen widget or app, one-touch sharing with friends, and the ability to view your own uploaded videos and high-resolution videos.

· Google Talk™: Easily switch between chats, search your chat history, and preview pictures and videos sent by links.

· Android Market: Browse and download applications created by third-party developers.

· Calendar: Ability to see who has R.S.V.P.’d to your meeting invitations.

· Amazon MP3 Store: Download the latest tracks over the air.

· Verizon Wireless Visual Voice Mail: Delete, reply and forward voice mail messages without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions.

Pricing and Availability:

· DROID by Motorola will be available in the United States exclusively at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online on Friday, Nov. 6, for $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement after a $100 mail-in rebate. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.

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  • dsi r4

    Its 16:9 high-resolution screen frame is ideal for watching clips or downloaded videos, and playback and YouTube upload over 3G Wi-Fi can be watched at DVD quality video. A built-in 5 megapixel camera provided with dual LED flash has the quality of a dedicated digital camera with auto focus and zoom. Users can store up to 16GB of content or insert a memory card up to 32GB.

  • dsi r4

    Its 16:9 high-resolution screen frame is ideal for watching clips or downloaded videos, and playback and YouTube upload over 3G Wi-Fi can be watched at DVD quality video. A built-in 5 megapixel camera provided with dual LED flash has the quality of a dedicated digital camera with auto focus and zoom. Users can store up to 16GB of content or insert a memory card up to 32GB.