The Motorola DROID is a symbol of change, for a bunch of different reasons. The fact is, the DROID is a Motorola phone, exclusive to Verizon Wireless, and runs Android 2.0. There is major significance for each of those three bullet points, and that’s not even getting into the actual device. In many ways, the DROID is something new for all three companies involved, which is likely why the three worked to closely together on getting the device just right. So the question is, did they succeed? We’ve had the device for about a week now, and we’ve been playing with it non-stop for the most part. We know what you’re probably wondering—how does the DROID stand up to the iPhone? Is Android 2.0 actually better than what we’ve seen from the platform on other devices? Does the Verizon network really make a difference?
We’ve got all the answers for you in our Motorola DROID review, so sit back, and read on for our take.
We were able to get our hands on the Motorola DROID a few days early, and we’ve got to say, this thing is a beauty. Android 2.0 is responsive and crisp, especially on the fantastic DROID display. We are going to be diving into the DROID a bit more in-depth in our full review, and we’ll have a few videos up as well, but in the meantime, please enjoy our Motorola DROID unboxing gallery. We’ve got a bunch of pictures up that’ll give you a nice look at the device.
Read More | Motorola DROID unboxing
Gallery: We open up Verizon’s Motorola DROID
One of the nicest features in Android 2.0 is Google Maps Navigation. In a nutshell, it’s Google Maps with turn-by-turn GPS navigation, and voice guidance. Google has put together a video that introduces Google Maps Navigation, which we’ve embedded above, but there are some of the features that stand out to us:
- Live traffic: Since Google Maps can show you traffic info, it’s obviously built-in to Google Maps Navigation, at no extra cost.
- Routes always current: When you search for directions, Google Maps Navigation searches the cloud, and gives you the best current route based on the most recent data
- Layers: You can overlay different types on data over your maps, like restaurants, gas stations, and more.
- Live street view: This is just awesome. You can use the Google Street View feature to get a fantastic visual of your surroundings while driving
- FREE!: Google Maps Navigation is free. That includes the GPS, the live traffic data, and the always updated maps. That is a big deal.
- Android 2.0 can pull in contacts from multiple sources, and supports two-way syncing. There is a new feature called Quick Contact, that shows you just about every way you can possibly contact someone when you tap their user icon.
- Apps will now be able to turn on Bluetooth to set up connections with other devices
- Android 2.0 supports multiple screen resolutions. In the video, we see an application running at 800x480 and 854x480, as an example
Definitely some good stuff here. Color us excited.
The wait for the Motorola Droid to go official is finally over, as Verizon has announced all the details on the drool-worthy handset, highlighted by the fact that the Droid launches exclusively on Verizon Wireless on November 6th (yes, just over a week from now,) and will sell for $200 after mail-in rebate with two-year contract.
We know what many of you are thinking - $200 will get you an iPhone 3GS, so this thing better bring the pain. Well, my friends, it certainly does. The Droid is a top-notch phone, boasting a 3.7-inch 480x854 display, Cortex A8 processor, Bluetooth, GPS, 5-megapixel camera (with dual-LED flash,) slide-out QWERTY keyboard with d-pad. 3G, Wi-Fi, over-the-air Amazon MP3 downloads, and voice-activated search are also present. Included in the box is a 16GB SD card, as well as a dock for the phone. That’s just the hardware. Equally important is the software running on the device, and the Droid is the first handset to feature Android 2.0. That’s a big deal, as no other phone on the horizon seems to be shipping with 2.0. This also means that Droid picks up the new Google Maps Navigation feature, which essentially turns the phone into a fully-functional GPS, using Google Maps, at no extra cost.
We’ll obviously be bringing you more details as we get them, but expect to hear a lot, a lot about this phone over the coming weeks.
Read More | Verizon Wireless
LG has announced that their GW620 phone will be their first smartphone powered by Google Android. As you can see the picture, the GW620 is a smartphone with a slide-out keyboard as well as a 3-inch touchscreen keyboard. The LG GW620 will also have a social networking flair, which obviously means that sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like, will all be fully represented. By the way, LG is planning on unveiling three new Windows Mobile smartphones in the next few weeks.
Read More | CNET
Motorola has unveiled their smartphone strategy going forward, and it all begins with the Motorola CLIQ, The CLIQ is an Android-powered smartphone that will be available on T-Mobile later this fall. The CLIQ packs in 3G, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, GPS, and a tie-in to social networking contacts that they’ve named MOTOBLUR.
MOTOBLUR is interesting. The CLIQ logs in to your various social networks and points of communication - things like email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Picasa, Photobucket, RSS, and more. It takes all the activity in all these services, and shows you content in a single feed on the main screen, and you can respond to any of these by tapping on them.
On the hardware side, the Motorola CLIQ has a 320x480 3.1-inch display, along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that also has a D-pad, so you know you can even get your gaming on with this phone. The 5 megapixel camera has autofocus, and records video at 24 and 30 frames per second. There’s also a headphone jack, GPS, and 3G, as previously mentioned. As far as wireless goes, the CLIQ packs in Wi-Fi, alongside Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. You’ll be able to get your hands on a Motorola CLIQ later this fall.
If you’re on a budget, but want to get in on the hot Android action, pay attention to the HTC Tattoo. Not only does it run on Google Android’s operating system with the Sense UI, but it also packs in a Qualcomm MSM7225 528MHz processor, 256MB RAM, and Quad-band GSM/EDGE. It also has a 2.8 inch touchscreen LCD display, Bluetooth 2.0, a microSD slot, GPS, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity. To us, that’s one of the most feature-packed phones we’ve seen for the budget market. The HTC Tattoo will be available in Europe at the beginning of next month, and will come to the US soon thereafter.
Read More | Press Release
Sorry to all you hopefuls out there, but Nokia won’t be releasing an Android-based smartphone later this year. Where would such a thought come from, you ask? Well, earlier this morning, The Guardian said it would happen, and that a Nokia Android phone would be announced in September. Seemed odd, since Nokia is the full owner of the Symbian OS, but stranger things have happened. However, soon after the article was posted, Nokia show it down anywhere they could, including on Twitter:
“re: Nokia’s rumored Android phone and you can quote me on this: We (Nokia) are NOT making an Android smartphone. Symbian is our platform…”
While we take most denials with a grain of salt, we believe them. At ease, Symbian fanatics.
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We guess we were correct yesterday. Samsung has announced that its first Android-powered smartphone, the I7500, will be released in Europe in June. The phone has a 3.2-inch HVGA AMOLED full touchscreen, a 7.2Mbps 3G HSDPA, a 5-megapixel cam, 8GB of internal memory and up to 32 GB of external memory. It is also packed with Google mobile services and a WiFi connectivity. No price has been announced as yet.
Read More | Digital Tech News