The Droid, which I’ve been waiting for, officially arrives in Verizon stores on Nov 6. I know, that Droid Does countdown clock was counting down to today, which is the day of the big PR push.
It’s a really big PR push, actually, as I have in my hands a Droid that arrived on my doorstep at 8 am. I’ve been playing with it non-stop since I opened it. I’m also impressed – this phone is everything I want it to be.
My quick first impressions:
- It was amazingly easy to set up. This is primarily because all of my data is in the cloud. Google owns me. But because I use Google Calendar and Contacts, they were instantly added to the Droid. It was also easy to add my multiple Gmail accounts – including my Google Apps for Your Domain account.
- My non-Gmail IMAP accounts were set up quickly as well. I wish I could view all of my mail – including the Gmail – in one integrated Inbox. That is something I always loved about the Blackberry. I suppose I could if I set up the Gmail accounts as regular IMAP instead of through the Gmail application. Hmm …
- The form factor is nice. I haven’t compared it in size to my iPhone just yet, but even with the slide out keyboard, it’s not very chunky. The keys are really flat, which takes a little getting used to (especially if you’re used to the slightly raised, curved format of the Blackberry).
- It’s amazingly customizable. With the help of a couple of key management apps, like Linda File Manager, I was quickly able to organize all my files, including my non-Market applications.
- The haptic feedback can be turned off and on and, happily, isn’t annoying. I’ve found it to be a nuisance on several of the WinMo phones I tested, so I like that I have more control on the Droid.
- I’m really impressed with Android 2.0 as an OS. It’s quick and it’s pretty. I had struggled when I played with earlier releases, so I’m glad to see it’s easier to use. It is the OS for everyone? No. It’s still a little techie, I think.
- Google Navigation (Beta) is a full-on GPS replacement. It includes layers of views, such as satellite, traffic, and more, as well as turn-by-turn voice directions.
I should have the Droid for a few more days, so I’ll make sure to update the blog with a more in-depth review. In the meantime, you can follow some of my thoughts on Twitter via #droiddoescincy. I’ve also included the press release from Verizon after the jump.
HELLO HUMANS: DROID BY MOTOROLA ARRIVES NEXT WEEK
Verizon Wireless DROID By Motorola: World’s First Smartphone with Android™ 2.0
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – 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.
Pricing and Availability:
- DROID by Motorola will be available in the United States exclusively at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online on Friday, Nov. 6, for $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement after a $100 mail-in rebate. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.
- Experience the all-new DROID by Motorola at www.droiddoes.com.
- To get the most from DROID by Motorola smartphone, customers will need to subscribe to a Nationwide voice plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide voice plans begin at $39.99 for monthly access for 450 minutes and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan is $29.99 for monthly access.
- For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.