Motorola Droid Pro: Available from Verizon first week of November
Motorola Droid Pro: Available from Verizon first week of November

  • Motorola announced the Droid Pro, available on Verizon first week of November (price not available).
  • Droid Pro features a BlackBerry form factor including a hardware keyboard with chiclet keys suitable for thumb typing.
  • Smartphone market share (based on subscribers, comScore end July): RIM 39%, Apple 24%, Google 12%.
Review by Clinton Stark

The first words out of Motorola’s new baby, the Droid Pro, could very well be “I, BlackBerry!” Announced yesterday the new Google Android (2.2) powered smartphone, you wouldn’t be the first to mistaken it for a slick RIM BlackBerry; most notable is the physical keyboard at the bottom. Droid Pro eschews the now common virtual onscreen offerings (or a slider) in favor of the thumb-tested and approved chiclet keys.

No doubt, Motorola (like Apple) wants a piece of the corporate action currently dominate by RIM. So the thinking must be if the suits love BlackBerry then they ought to also love Android — if at least it’s dressed for business.

Aside the hardware keyboard and BlackBerry inspired form, the specs are pretty much contemporary Android, that is: 1 gigahertz processor, Android 2.2 with Blur, 5-megapixel camera, 4GB memory, 3G hotspot support and a 3.1-inch screen (320×480).

Another nod to the corporate world, Droid Pro will also include global roaming support in over 220 countries thanks to its dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip, which can hop across different cellular networks.

In its initial hands-on test, PC World came away impressed.

“The first thing I noticed about the Droid Pro is its BlackBerry-esque design. The first Droid to sport a vertical physical keyboard, the Pro is made for one-handed texting. I was able to quickly bang out a few messages and was pleased with how comfortable the keyboard felt in hand … The Droid Pro is likely to convert a lot of business users who were skeptical about Android as an enterprise platform.”

Verizon announced that the Droid Pro will be available the first week of November, but did not release a price. With current Droids available for about $199 with contract I wouldn’t be surprised if this one came in at about $249 — it is a “pro” model and targets corporate buyers with sizable budgets.

Lead photo: courtesy Engadget.