Verizon Wireless known for it’s service rather than selection of phones has just released the amazing Motorola Droid for just $199. That’s with a two-year contract ($299.99 up front with a $100 mail-in rebate) unless you buy it at Best Buy, who will credit the $100 rebate at time of purchase. Hello Best Buy! The Droid requires a Verizon voice plan which will cost you a minimum of $39.99 as well as an unlimited data plan, another $29.99. Text messaging will cost you even more. It’s gonna cost essentially the same as an iPhone 3GS.
With a 3.7-inch, 854-by-480 pixel touchscreen, a five megapixel flash camera claiming DVD-quality video recording, an adequately loud speaker, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Verizon and Motorola’s Droid are sure to see people lining up to purchase one this coming Friday. Droid is the first device to have Android 2.0 which means there’s more “under the hood” horsepower for more features than other smart phones out there. The Droid has an Arm Cortex 550mHz A8 processor with 256MB of built-in memory and has a 16GB microSD card which is expandable to 32GB. The usual add-ons are gone and V Cast is not there. It’s all-Google phone, baby with links to Gmail, Google Maps with turn-by-turn GPS navigation, Google Calendar and YouTube. Boy Genius Review states, “From what we’ve been told, Google had a direct hand in the Motorola Droid. Something to the point of almost dictating every move Motorola made when designing and making the phone.”
Competing head-to-head with T-Mobile’s G1, MyTouch 3g, and HTC’s Droid Eris, the Verizon Droid is a technical marvel with all those features listed previously and an actual keyboard. The Blackberry’s keyboard is better, but Droid is pretty good. Personally, I think keyboards are going the way of the dinosaur due to the fact that physical keyboards don’t offer on-screen automatic correction and they’re harder to use due to letters and numbers being combined an the same keys. Verizon also takes on the iPhone by emphasizing three key differences: the physical keyboard, ability to customize the main screen, and the ability to run more than one app at a time. You can listen to Pandora while you respond to your emails. It’s thinner than the iPhone 3GS, weighs just under 6 ounces, 14,000 apps (10,000 available on Google’s Droid Market) are currently available on the Droid.
Here’s what the early reviews are saying:
“Wins on phone network, customizability, GPS navigation, speaker, physical keyboard, removable battery and openness (free operating system and uncensored app store).” – New York Times
“If you don’t buy an iPhone, buy a Droid…It’s the second best phone around on the best network around.” – Gizmodo
“It’s the perfect storm between awesome hardware, great software, and a great network.” – Boy Genius Report
“The best Android device to date…” – SlashGear
Some think Droid will send the iPhone running for cover. Some say it’s just a temporary love affair with the latest and greatest. I think it’s gonna be tough to beat the iPhone on a level playing field. Given the recent problems with AT&T‘s network, I might just switch if they could combine Verizon‘s superb network with Apple’s iPhone.
If you’ve just gotta have a Droid, you’re gonna have to get there early – Verizon plans to open many of it’s stores early on Friday. Some locations will open as early as 7 a.m. Verizon‘s New York City store will be open from midnight until 2 a.m. Just to be sure, call ahead to your local Verizon store and ask about their hours.