updated 10:35 am EDT, Wed October 28, 2009
Moto Droid carries Android 2, ships soon
Motorola today officially took the wraps from the Droid, its flagship Android phone and Verizon's primary challenger to the iPhone. The touchscreen slider is the first Android phone anywhere to use Android 2.0 and carries its new web browser, Exchange mail and other boosts. Notably, it also introduces a beta version of Google Maps Navigation, Google's first turn-by-turn app: the service uses voice commands to provide constant, spoken driving directions.
The handset is also one of the most technically advanced Android phones to date with a 3.7-inch, 854x480 capacitive touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera that, again thanks to Android 2.0, now has a dual-LED flash as well as autofocusing and image stabilization. Its video capture gains extra relevance through 2.0's YouTube home screen widget that supports recording even at the top level of the OS. EVDO Rev A-based 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi are appropriately standard, though Motorola goes as far as to bundle a 16GB microSDHC card for a large amount of stock storage.
Verizon promises to leave Android 2.0 untouched and allows Android Market as the primary app portal, Amazon MP3 for music downloads and deep Facebook integration with contacts; its only main addition is its Visual Voice Mail service.
The carrier makes clear its intention to edge out the iPhone 3GS and is pricing the Droid at $200 when paired with at least $70 per month in voice and data plans, albeit with a $100 mail-in rebate when at retail. The phone should ship online and to stores on November 6th.