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
Verizon has announced the Razzle, a mobile phone with an intriguing control interface. The Razzle has a lower half that twists. On one side, you’ve got a QWERTY keyboard, and on the other, stereo speakers with music controls. As for the other features, it has a 2.2-inch display, 1.3 megapixel camera, GPS, and microSD expansion card. You can order it now from Verizon’s web store.
Read More | CNET
It looks like the HTC Touch Pro2 is now available for purchase from Sprint. Head on over to a Sprint store, or the Sprint online store, and be ready to drop $350 on their newest smartphone. Yes, that $350 is after both the carrier subsidy and rebate, but no one ever said that living on the cutting edge of mobile tech would be inexpensive, right? The HTC Touch Pro2 has a 3.6 WVGA display and an EVDO-Rev A connection that can be supplemented by WiFi where available.
Oh, and if you wanna save some money on this one, Verizon Wireless will be selling it for $199 after mail-in rebate, in just 3 days.
Verizon Wireless announced its long-awaited ZTE AD3700 USB modem on Friday. This modem plugs right in to the USB port of your laptop, and gives you EVDO in the United States and HSPA around the world with 3G service. It launched over the weekend with a price of $79.99, after $50 rebate.
Verizon Wireless announced this morning that their President and CEO, Lowell McAdam, has sent a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill announcing that “Effective immediately for small wireless carriers…any new exclusivity arrangement we enter with handset makers will last no longer than six months - for all manufacturers and all devices.” At first glance, that’s kind of a big deal. After all, handset exclusivity is something that can be very financially beneficial to a carrier (see AT&T and iPhone as one such example.) So here’s the thing, when you re-read that statement, you discover that this exclusivity thing will still be in effect as it pertains to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It’s only the small wireless carriers, those with 500,000 customers or less, that will be able to pick up handsets that are exclusive to Verizon Wireless after a six-month period. Still, it’s better than nothing, but the cast majority of non-Verizon Wireless mobile customers won’t benefit from this news.
In other words, this is a blatant attempt by Verizon Wireless to look like the nice guy while the FCC and congressional inquiries into exclusive handset deals proceed. This isn’t much progress at all. It’s just a political play that we can guarantee wouldn’t have happened if lawmakers weren’t taking a peek behind the curtain. What’s more, Verizon is hoping that other carriers will follow their lead with this move, specifically AT&T with the iPhone.
You can see the entire letter after the break.
Read More | Verizon Policy Blog
You know that Slacker streaming radio service that we’re so fond of in these parts? Well, BlackBerry Storm owners will be able to start enjoying Slacker directly on their phones, starting today. Verizon Wireless is pushing the Slacker Radio app to BlackBerry Storm phones, and the app will connect to V CAST as well. If you are listening to a track that is also available on V CAST, you’ll see an icon come up that will let you purchase and download it instantly, without interrupting your flow. If you’re on a BlackBerry Storm, check it out.
No shocker here. Wired.com did their own independent tests to determine the fastest and slowest average 3G network speeds in the US, and Verizon came out on top. The survey included 15,000 participants, with 12,000 of them reporting back with data that was valid and usable for the tests. Verizon clocked in with an average download speed of 1,940 kbps, T-Mobile dropped in at second at 1,793 kbps, Sprint took third at 1,598 kbps, and AT&T was way behind at just 901 kbps. That’s just sad, and very telling when you consider the complaints from many an iPhone user as it pertains to 3G speeds.
Granted, this wasn’t the most scientific of studies, as the test included 8153 AT&T users, compared to just 856 from Verizon, but hey, the info is still useful, right?
Read More | Wired
It looks like Verizon has decided to start offering the BlackBerry Tour to existing customers. Originally, Verizon planned to only offer the Blackberry Tour to new and qualified customers. However, due to all the negative press, it appears that they’ve changed their tune, as their BlackBerry Tour page now states that “existing customers will be able to upgrade or purchase the Blackberry Tour.” They haven’t given any further info on how existing customer upgrades will work, however they say interested customers should come back to the website tomorrow for more information. We are definitely liking the fact that mobile providers seem to finally started to be listening to their customers. As you recall, AT&T changed their iPhone 3GS upgrade policy due to heavy backlash from current iPhone 3G customers who wanted to upgrade immediately.
Writer David Weinberger payed attention to a pamphlet he received from Verizon that informed him that he has only 45 days to opt out of allowing the company to share his personal information. That would include “information created by virtue of your relationship with Verizon Wireless,” including “services purchased including specific calls you make and receive, billing info, technical info and location info.” They promise to only share this with “affiliates, agents and parent companies.”
You might want to check your latest accompanying paperwork from the company and call 1-800-333-9956 or check your status online. After being put on hold for doing just that, David was told to go to the My Profile tab in My Verizon, click Phone controls, and he would find the link.
Read More | JOHO
LG’s Versa will be available on Verizon Wireless as of March 1. It features an animated 3-inch touchscreen interface, an HTML browser with Flash and RSS feed support, a built-in accelerometer and the ability to keep open 3 windows at once. Best of all, the phone features a removable QWERTY keyboard. The Versa comes with V CAST Music with Rhapsody and V CAST Video and a USB cable to download content. You can pick one up for $199.99 after a $50.00 rebate and 2-year agreement.
Read More | MobileCrunch