Well it’s not exactly free, it will cost 1€ with a 2 year-contract (20€ per month only) on O2 in Germany & the device is not even sim-locked! Google Navigation is replaced by a 60-days trial of MotoNAV and you’ll get Multi-Touch enabled unlike the Motorola Droid on Verizon.
Source: O2 Germany thanks for the tip Ugo
Droid Does right? Well it sure does what the HTC HD2 does, after the HD2 teardown we had the Droid teardown and today we get a scratch test of the Droid’s capacitive screen two days after the HTC HD2 scratch test:
Source: YouTube thanks for the tip Marc
Verizon’s Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris Android phones are now officially on sale on the carriers website for $199 & $99 respectively. Those prices are obviously associated with a 2 year contract. Head over here for the Motorola Droid and here for the Droid Eris.
Engadget just posted the first Motorola Droid review. I can’t say I agree with everything they said though, especially when with their cons. The camera plain sucks (according to pictures & video samples in the review) but :
First off, the camera is painfully slow to focus and snap pictures — and when it does, the results can be unpredictable. Strangely, the lens seems to be able to take pretty sharp macro photos (it’s even a setting in the camera app), but it struggled with getting adjusted to close subjects, even in broad daylight. Sometimes we got lucky and cranked out a decent pic, but the process was frustrating. Furthermore, the new settings Google has added to 2.0 are contained in a hard to get to and counterintuitive menu which sits to the left of your viewing area. Trying to make changes on the fly was a hassle. If this is the best the engineers at Google can do, they need to outsource this work.
Video, on the other hand, was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. The DROID is capable of shooting at a 720 x 480 resolution, and in our tests, produced watchable — if not totally shake-free — video. The phone definitely fares better in this department than with stills, and we could easily see using the DROID as a stand-in for a flip cam. You can check out a little of the action in the video below (with a surprise cameo from !!!’s Nic Offer).
In my opinion the video sample looks horrible. Why don’t they just tell it like it is ? It’s not good it’s bad.
In our tests, the nav worked excellently for the most part, though as you can see in the video above, we did run into some minor issues on our hunt for cannoli. It’s not uncommon for a GPS unit to send you the wrong way down a one way street, and maybe it was just unlucky coincidence that it happened on our first outing, but being told to turn left where you can’t — then being sent in a loop — doesn’t fill us with warm, fuzzy sensations. Still, the navigation is super intuitive and cleanly laid out, and even if there were major issues (which there really aren’t), it’s hard to knock a service that is completely free. We think a little more time and some longer trips will help put it in better perspective, but we like what we’ve seen so far.
Minor issues? The software told you “to turn left where you can’t — then being sent in a loop –” and this is just a minor issue? Oh yeah It’s Google, it’s beta, it’s free so it’s good enough..sure. Oh Well.
What I got from the review is:
-The hardware is solid and feels good in the hand
-The camera sucks
-The device is faster that previous Android phones (normal given the chipset used)
-Android 2.0 added some nice features that were already available in previous Android phones like the HTC Hero (Social media integration, Exchange support..)
-The Android 2.0 UI still looks old but gets a pass because it’s Google (if it was Symbian or WinMo it would get panned…)
- The only “new” feature in Android 2.0 is Google Navigation, it doesn’t always work right but gets a free pass because it’s Google, it’s Beta and free…
- Still no multi-touch support
Here’s something that will make all you Motorola Droid fans happy, the user guide (user manual) just leaked and is available for our viewing pleasure. Nothing really new in here, but if you want to get yourself familiarized with the device & Google Android 2.0 before getting it Just hit the download link here.
A couple of days ago I speculated that the Motorola Droid was originally a Windows Mobile 7 device before becoming an Android phone. Today I’m going to lay down some of the facts we know thanks to an article posted by the NYtimes a couple of hours ago which sort of confirms what I was thinking:
He wanted to simplify product development to standardize on one or two core systems. It came down to a Microsoft Windows mobile operating system and Android. When Microsoft said that a crucial release of its mobile operating system would be delayed, Mr. Jha gave Microsoft the stiff arm and bet on Android.
Sanjay Jha was actually the first person in the world to publicaly talk about the Windows Mobile 7 delay and mention Windows Mobile 6.5 during a conference call exactly one year ago on November 29 2008:
“Windows Mobile 6 has not delivered the experience that I think Apple has been able to deliver, but as you look at the plan that is Windows Mobile 7 and even 6.5, I think there are significant new added features which will help the platform,” Jha said. “We have now targeted new teams which are focused – in California and Seattle – to deliver experiences. That is where we have to differentiate.”
Motorola was expecting to release a phone based on Windows Mobile 6.5 in the second half of 2009, and an Android-based device for the 2009 holiday season.
At the same time, Mr. Jha had to pick which microprocessors and radio chips would be at the core of its new line. This forced him to choose between chips made by the division he had run at Qualcomm and a custom design Motorola had been developing with Texas Instruments.
“This was very hard for me,” Mr. Jha said. “I was very strongly associated with the Qualcomm chip.” He spurned his former employer.
Motorola Software Engineers were already working on the TI OMAP3430 for Windows Mobile 7 in 2007/2008 as seen in the following LinkedIn profiles:
“Responsible for the integration of BCM4325 wlan chip on Caesar Platform (OMAP3430) on WM7 as a native host driver.” Source (WM7 has been recently edited to WM)
“Windows Mobile 7 integration on TI chipset platform.” Source
There’s couple more similar LinkedIn profiles but they have since been edited to erase any mention of WM7 (after they were discovered a few weeks ago I guess).
Seeing that Windows Mobile 7 was really late & that WM6.5 wasn’t all that hot, Android was obviously the only way to go for Motorola in regards to marketing and hype (technically nothing was stopping them from releasing it as a WM6.5 phone, same as what HTC is doing with the HD2).
“Sanjay said ‘Burn the ships and focus on Android,’ ” Mr. Arshad recalled. That meant rearranging the existing, tightly packed interior to accommodate the larger chips needed to connect to Verizon’s network.
This is how what was probably meant to be one of the first WM7 device is now the most powerful Android phone in the market. The latest news from Motorola is that they are still waiting for WM7….Microsoft is the only one to blame IMO.
There’s obviously a whole lot of Motoroal Droid and Android coverage thanks to the Droid launch and Google Maps Navigation announcement today. Here are acouple of pictures and videos of the device in action:
Motorola Droid walk-through:
Motorola Droid vs iPhone 3GS:
Some live pictures:
And finally a video of the GSM version:
Notice that the browser does support multi-touch zooming!
Here’s Engadget’s first impressions:
- That big screen is killer. Bright, crisp, and tons of room for your icons and widgets.
- Speed is noticeably improved — particularly when moving from app to app. We did notice that some of the home screen scrolling looked laggy.
- Android 2.0 is definitely cleaned up — but it’s most definitely still Android
- The browser seems significantly improved — pages now load up in a fully zoomed-out mode, and the load times and scrolling are way snappier.
- The keyboard takes some getting used to, and it suffers from a similar hand-position issue as the G1, but it’s fairly usable. We think it’ll be second nature once we spend some time with it.
- Facebook is integrated into accounts, which means some of that BLUR functionality is here (though now it’s part of Android 2.0 natively). The good news is that when you add a Facebook account you can choose to pull all Facebook info and contacts, or just info related to your existing contacts — a real clutter buster.
I’ll post my thoughts regarding the Droid and the new Google Navigation later on so stay tuned…
Source: Engadget & Youtube
It’s finally here, Verizon has officially anounced the Motorola Droid,the first Android 2.0 smartphone. The device will be availalble on November 6 for $199 with a 2year contract.
BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and LIBERTYVILLE, IL — High-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, customizable large screen, access to thousands of Android applications and hundreds of widgets and the best 3G mobile network in the country: DROID by Motorola arrives on Nov. 6.
Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation’s largest wireless 3G broadband network, and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), a pioneer in the mobile industry, today unveiled DROID by Motorola, the first smartphone powered by Android™ 2.0. DROID by Motorola features the brainpower and breakneck speed of a modern smartphone, designed to outperform where other smartphones fall short.
“We’re proud to work with Verizon Wireless and Google™ on the first smartphone to feature Android 2.0,” said Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices. “DROID by Motorola delivers a rich consumer experience with warp-speed Web browsing, a mammoth screen, and Motorola’s expertise in design and voice quality. Combined with Android’s open, flexible graphical user interface and the power of Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, DROID is a smartphone that simply doesn’t compromise.”
“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. “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.”
DROID by Motorola has a solid exterior, intelligent interior and is one of the thinnest full-QWERTY slider phones available. It is a no-fuss, high-tech, location-aware, voice-recognizing, over-the-air updating, multi-tasking machine – and it is available just in time for holiday wish lists.
With DROID by Motorola, you can:
•Zip through the Web: Access the Internet at 3G speeds via the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network or from any Wi-Fi hotspot. The multi-window HTML browser with a massive processor delivers the Web the way you expect.
•See it all in cinema-style: View the Web, e-mail, Google Maps™, videos and more in widescreen on a brilliant 3.7” high-resolution screen. Boasting a width of 854 pixels to reduce the need for side-to-side panning and more than 400,000 pixels total, DROID has more than twice that of the leading competitor.
•Run multiple applications at once: Customize your DROID with thousands of applications and hundreds of widgets available on Android Market™. Toggle back and forth between up to six applications at a time to juggle the universe and your apps.
•Perform Google Search™ at the speed of sound: Simply tell DROID what you’re looking for using voice-activated search, and it will serve up Google search results based on your location. If you want more, simply type what you’re looking for into the search bar on the home screen and DROID will also search content on your phone, such as apps and contacts, and the Web.
•Capture moments: Snap digital camera-quality photos with a 5 megapixel camera loaded with the works, such as a dual-LED flash, AutoFocus and image stabilization, or capture your friend’s antics in 16 million colors with DVD-quality video capture and playback. Store it all on the included 16 GB memory card, so you always have it on hand.
•Multi-task like a master: Keep tabs on all your messages with integrated Gmail™ and Exchange e-mail pushed directly to you, but don’t let them get in your way. With the handy Android notification panel, go straight to the message or simply ignore it, and get back to the task at hand. And, a smart dictionary learns as you type and automatically includes your contacts.
•Get where you need to go with Google Maps Navigation (Beta): DROID is the first device with Google Maps Navigation, providing turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps. It’s powered by Google and connected to the Internet. Use voice shortcuts and simply say “Navigate to [your destination],” and you’ll be on your way. See live traffic, use Street View or satellite imagery to view your route, and get access to the most recent maps and business information from Google Maps without ever needing to update your device.
Pre-loaded Applications and Enhancements to Google Mobile Services:
•Google Maps: With layers in Google Maps, view geographic information, such as My Maps, Wikipedia, and transit lines, right on the map.
•Gmail: Multiple accounts support and undo for common operations.
•YouTube™: One-touch recording and playback from homescreen widget or app, one-touch sharing with friends, and the ability to view your own uploaded videos and high-resolution videos.
•Google Talk™: Easily switch between chats, search your chat history, and preview pictures and videos sent by links.
•Android Market: Browse and download applications created by third-party developers.
•Calendar: Ability to see who has R.S.V.P.’d to your meeting invitations.
•Amazon MP3 Store: Download the latest tracks over the air.
•Verizon Wireless Visual Voice Mail: Delete, reply and forward voice mail messages without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions.
Engadget got a nice tip regarding Verizon’s upcoming Android devices. According to the tipster the Droid name isn’t exclusive to the Motorla Droid and will be used on all Verizon Android based phones. For example the HTC Desire which we have seen here is going to be the Droid Eris. This phone is rumored to be announced on November 6th. Looks like this is the year of Android in terms of releases, thanks to the major screw up in the developement of Windows Mobile 7.
So it begins.. The first Motorola Droid preview was posted a couple of minutes ago on BGR. The Android phone that everybody has been dreaming of is finally real. Awesome specs (just hoped the CPU would be clocked higher..) and updated OS with Android 2.0 on board. The device is also said to feel really solid (its mainly metal). Here’s a short snippet from the preview:
Hardware / Build quality:
When the Motorola Droid is released in the coming couple weeks, it will be the most advanced Android device on the market as far as specifications go. Software too, as it’s the only one said to be running Android 2.0 until months from now, but that’s for another section. There’s a 550MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3430 processor, separate PowerVR GPU, 256MB of RAM, CDMA Rev A., Wi-Fi, GPS, a digital magnetometer, accelerometer, proximity sensors, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, notification LED, four touch-sensitive navigation buttons, a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port — jesus. In the last year or two, spec sheets really haven’t meant all that much to people. Rational people, that is. What means a lot more is the OS your phone is running since that’s what going to enable you to take bad ass pictures and immediately share them with a close group of friends, or edit work documents on your phone while conducting an online presentation, and so on. But what’s actually pretty funny is, Android devices have been a little underpowered, so the spec sheets do matter, and the Motorola Droid absolutely topples every single Android device ever release as far as the hardware specifications are concerned.
We love the build quality of this phone. It’s mostly metal, and while it’s heavy, it gives you a reassuring quality feel that you just don’t find much nowadays as handsets get thinner, lighter, smaller, and cheaper. It’s practically the opposite of the Motorola CLIQ as far as the physical attributes of the device goes. Really solid and it seems to be manufactured very well. The slider is not spring-assisted, but when you push the metal bezel around the gorgeous display upwards, you get a satisfying click. It does the same when you slide it closed as well.
As I said earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Droid was originally supposed to run Windows Mobile 7.
Check the whole preview here
Looks like Motorola is a bit early on this one (the official announced will only take place on October 28th). Good for us though, as we now have the official specs of the Motorola Droid, and let me tell you, they are mighty impressive:
ANDROID OPERATING SYSTEM
Android 2.0 (Eclair)
CDMA 1X 800/1900, EVDO rev. A
CDMA 1X 800/1900, EVDO rev A
16 GB microSD pre-installed; supports up to 32 GB microSD expandable
Proximity and ambient light
Licorice w/brown sugar accents
3.7″; WVGA (480 x 854 pixels); 16:9 widescreen; PPI 267
6 oz.; 169 g
SIZE (H X W X D)
2.4 x 4.6 x .5 in.; 60.00 x 115.80 x 13.70 mm
with Image stabilization
AAC, H.263, H.264, MP3, MPEG-4, WAV, WMA, eAAC+, AMR WB, MIDI, AMR NB, AAC+
VIDEO CAPTURE RATE
DVD quality up 24 fps; D1 (720×480) resolution
1400 mAh Li Ion
up to 270 hrs.
USAGE TIME (CONTINUOUS)
up to 385 min.
IMAP, POP3, Exchange.
MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING (MMS)3
TEXT MESSAGING (SMS)3
INSTANT MESSAGING (IM)3
IMAGE FILE FORMATS
BMP, PNG, GIF, JPEG
Standard voice mail, Verizon Visual Voice Mail™ (capable)
Stereo Bluetooth® technology v2.1 + EDR
Support for MS Exchange, GMail, Corporate Calendar (supports Exchange 2003 and 2007 protocol)” and Google Calendar
DATA TRANSMISSION RATE5
USB 2.0 High Speed
GPS AND LOCATION SERVICES1
Check out whole specs here
The screen resolution (854×480) is a good surprise. On the other hand the CPU speed seems low (only 550Mhz? It’s a Cortex8 tough IIRC). But you know what’s even more interesting ? The Droid has the same required specs as the WM7 Chassis 1, also remember that Motorola was deeply involved in the developement of Windows Mobile 7. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Droid was originaly meant to run WM7 instead of Android (2.0) (like a couple of other Motorola phones that got canceled a few months ago..).
Update: More thoughts about the Droid and Windows Mobile 7
Source: Motorola via BGR
According to an invitation sent by Verizon to the press, a Motorola Droid event is said to take place on October 28th. So it’s looking like the device is probably going to be officially announced there and be available shortly after (sometime in November).
just posted some high qualitiy shots nd first impressions of the Motorola Droid
they currently have in hands.
- It’s running Android 2.0. Duh.
- It’s thin. Just slightly thicker than an iPhone 3GS and the thinnest QWERTY-slider we’ve ever seen.
- It is the fastest Android device we’ve ever used. (It’s running a TI OMAP3430 processor)
- The feel of the device is very reminiscent of the OQO 02 model computer. Just smaller. It’s metal with a non-spring-assisted slide, very sturdy, and half soft-touch plastic.
- Awesome capacitive display. Plus it’s huge. Easily the best screen we’ve ever seen on an Android handset, and an amazing screen overall.
- The QWERTY keyboard is actually pretty usable and has a soft-touch rubberized finish. We’ve been told the keyboard design isn’t final on this unit, thus the two no-shows.
- Have we mentioned this phone flies? It’s the Android device to beat, and easily the most impressive. 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. Interesting, huh?
- There’s a desktop cradle/charger that will ship with the Motorola Droid that we’ve been playing around with. It turns your Droid into a “multimedia station” and displays local weather, the time, etc.
- No one wants to listen, but it makes the CLIQ looks like a child’s toy (partly because it is, and partly because the Droid, even in its non-final form, is the most impressive phone we’ve used since the iPhone. It’s positively amazing).
Just keep in mind that BGR is always a little biased towards Verizon products…