Next week the first Android 2.0 device—the Motorola Droid—will launch on Verizon Wireless. It'll cost $199 with contract and after rebate, with service plans starting around $70. It will also include Google's new turn-by-turn navigation app.
Motorola and Verizon announced today that the new Motorola Droid smartphone will be officially launching next week. It will be the first smartphone to feature Android 2.0, the latest version of Google's Linux-based smartphone OS, as well as the new Google Maps Navigation software. The handset will also be the first of the new crop of smartphones on Verizon's network that isn't one of RIM's Blackberry devices.
The Droid made its TV debut with an ad campaign that pokes fun at certain features that the iPhone lacks, like a removable battery and a more "open" development program. The device is also touted as the "thinnest full-QWERTY slider phones available." In addition to the keyboard, the phone includes a large 3.7", 854x480 touchscreen, 5MP autofocus camera with LED "flash" capable of "DVD-quality" video, GPS, WiFi, and voice control. Hardware-wise, Droid has the bases pretty well covered.
The phone runs Android 2.0, which brings a number of improvements to Google's smartphone OS. This includes features like multiple Gmail and Exchange accounts, SMS and MMS search, improved camera controls, improved soft keyboard, updated WebKit-based browser with HTML5 support, and more. Additionally, it will include the new Google Maps Navigation, a turn-by-turn-based GPS navigation app that includes all the standard features: 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. In addition, it also has a number of Google-enhanced features, including search by voice, live traffic view, satellite view, Street View, and searching along your current route.
"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, in a statement. "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."
The Motorola Droid will be an exclusive for Verizon for the time being, and availability both in store and online begins next Friday, November 6. The handset will cost $199 after signing up for a two-year contract—with voice and data plans together starting at about $70—and after a $100 mail-in rebate, which you only get in the form of a debit card.
Source: ars technica