November 6 2009|12.17 AM UTC

Jonathan Rivers

Droid Launch: Is This The Start of The Android Revolution?

Category: UncategorizedTags: , , , ,

With its large, vibrant 3.7 inch WVGA (854 x 480 pixels), the Motorola Droid hits the shelves today, ready for the Android-hungry masses. Beyond its sharp display, the Droid comes with free turn-by-turn GPS, a fast Web browser, 5.0 megapixel camera — the Droid may just yet live up to its buzz and hype.

Motorola Droid Specifications:

Appearance and Size:

Phone style: Slider
Antenna: Internal
Color: Licorice

Height: 2.36 inches
Width: 4.53 inches
Depth: 0.54 inches

(Slightly taller than an iPhone 3GS and slightly thicker. One of the thinnest QWERTY-slider out there).

Display

Display Color support: 16,777,216 colors
Display resolution: 854 x 480 pixel
Display screen size: 3.7 inches
Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, LCD TFT

Camera

Integrated 5.0 Megapixel Camera, Auto-focus support with Camera Flash and Video Capture
Camera Features: Real-time color effects, scene modes, location tagging, and image stabilization

Power & Connectivity

Li-ion battery with 270 hours standby time and 385 minutes talk time.
Bluetooth v2.1 support, Wi-Fi 802.11g and 802.11b
Cellular band & frequency support: EVDO, CDMA 1900, CDMA 800

Motorola Droid back lookMemory, RAM, CPU & GPU

256 MB RAM, 512 ROM
Included 16 GB MicroSD (up to 32 GB)
550 MHz ARM Cortext A8 CPU
PowerVR SGX 530 GPU

Audio & Video Support

Integrated audio player supporting:
AMR-NB, AMR-WB, OGG, AAC, MP3, eAAC+, MIDI, WAV, AAC Plus

Integrated video player supporting:
H.263, H.264, WMV, MPEG4

Ringtone support: AAC Plus, eAAC+, MP3, AAC

Other Functionality

Android 2.0 mobile operating system
Calling features: Call barring, call divert, call hold, call timer, call waiting, caller ID
Messaging support: SMS, EMS, MMS, and IM
Input type: Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with slide out QWERTY keyboard

Previously under the codename Sholes, the Motorola Droid is being launched with better hardware support and implementation of Google’s Android operating system. One of the major improvement to Android 2.0 would be its support and presentation of multiple emails accounts, across Gmail, POP, IMAP, Exchange accounts making it much easier for users to see all their email accounts in one place (Blackberry users will be familiar with this). For the Facebook crowds, Facebook account integration is now built into Android 2.0.

Accessory lovers can rejoice as the Motorola Droid has two available extras that are definitely worthwhile to look at (if not cheap on the wallet): a multimedia docking station for $30, and a GPS car-mount that will also run you $30 — (then again, when compared to the TomTom $100 iPhone app + $120 car kit, the Droid’s $30 car-kit will seem like a steal).

Motorola Droid Front            Motorola Droid Front

If you’ve been following the Android operating system for awhile now, you’ve no doubt already read about the bombshell Google dropped on the consumer-GPS industry, offering free turn-by-turn GPS navigation map on the Motorola Droid and future supported Android-device. Though the offering may not completely destroy the standalone consumer GPS device market , this offering certainly made a disruption and is a clear showcase on the type of features Google will continuously update and offer for the Android platform.

Motorola Droid Front            Motorola Droid back shot

As one of the first device to be designed for the new Android 2.0 operating system, the Motorola Droid is definitely THE Android device to beat. Are you a current fan of the Android lines of smartphones and will you be picking up a Motorola Droid? For other smartphone users, is the current offering from Motorola enough to entice you to switch?

In months, as the dust settle and sales report comes rolling in, will the Motorola Droid emerge as a steady stepping stone to consistent Android improvement, or will it be a clear sign to the beginning of a heated battle between smartphone devices and platforms?

If you love the Droid and Android platform, here are some other Android devices:

Sprint HTC Hero / Verizon Droid Eris

Sprint HTC HeroTouchscreen: 3.2″ / 320×480 HVGA resolution; Touchscreen TFT-LCD
Dimensions: 4.40″ x 2.21″ x 0.56″ mm & 4.76 oz
Camera: 5 MP with AutoFocus
Standby Time: Up to 440 hours
Talk Time: Up to 470 minutes
Processor: Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz
Battery: 1350 mAh Lithium-ion battery
Internal/External Memory: 288MB / MicroSD 2.0
Other Features: 3.5mm Headset jack, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled
Price: $99 (Eris) 179.99 (Hero)

T-Mobile MyTouch 3G

T-Mobile MyTouch 3GTouchscreen: 3.2″ /320 x 480 HVGA Touchscreen TFT, TFD, LCD
Dimensions: 4.45″ x 2.19″ x 0.54″ & 4.13 oz
Camera: 3.2 MP, AutoFocus
Standby Time: 420 hours
Talk Time:7.5 Hours
Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201a, 528 MHz
Battery: 1340 mAh Lithium-ion battery
Internal/External Memory: 192 / 288 MB / MicroSD up to 32GB
Other Features: HTC ExtUSB Headset Jack, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled
More Specifications: T-Mobile MyTouch 3G
Price: $149.99

Dell mini 3i

Dell mini 3iTouchscreen: 3.5″ / 640 x 360 resolution
Dimensions:4.49″ x 2.28″ x 0.61″ & 5.75 oz
Camera: 3.2 MP, Flash & AutoFocus
Standby Time: Unknown
Talk Time:Unknown
Processor: Unknown
Battery
: 950mAh Li-ion
Internal/External Memory: Unknown/microSD card slot
Other Features: No Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled
Price: Unannounced

Can’t get enough of the Droid? Check out our Droid vs iPhone Comparison chart for more!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kendall November 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Are you sure the car mounts are so comparable?

The Tom Tom car mount for the iPhone includes its own GPS that provides stronger in-car reception (probably only with the TomTom app). It also includes a dial on the side to adjust volume, and a dock with power feed so you can permanently have the dock wired into power (and the stereo) so you just plug in the phone and go.

The Droid dock, from the looks of the images at your link, doesn’t in fact dock to the Droid at all – I remember reading the Droid knew it was in the car dock because of a magnetic plate (or RFID?) built into the Droid, but the dock doesn’t look like it would enhance GPS at all and the cables would be hanging out a bit more with you having to plug both power and stereo into the device every time.

Also, the iPhone dock somehow helps with hands-free calling but I don’t know if that’s a custom bluetooth thing or what, I’m not sure why it has to do anything when you can already use a Bluetooth headset with the phone.

The iPhone dock still strikes me as kind of expensive, but it’s worth more than $30 if it improves on the somewhat weak GPS reception of mobile devices.

Reply

David McElroy November 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

There AREN’T any “Android-hungry masses.” There are some geeks who think that Android is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the masses don’t know what Android is — and don’t care. Since each manufacturer’s version of an Android phone is a little different, it’s going to be VERY hard to build a unified brand for Android. The differences between the different shipping versions (different hardware, different UIs, etc.) means that there isn’t one Android experience — and that’s going to make it a difficult sell to normal people. People know that when they get an iPhone, they get THE iPhone experience. They don’t have to learn which of half a dozen choices to make to get the right one. The splintering of Android will be its downfall, IMO.

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Carlos November 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

tom tom kit costs $119 (http://store.apple.com/us/product/TX672LL/A) and does not include the tom tom app $99 (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tomtom-u-s-canada/id326075661?mt=8). droid mount costs $29 (http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/accessory?action=accessoryDetails&archetypeId=11654&page=1) and is just an accessory, a piece of plastic that automatically launches Car Home app on the Droid phone. The Google Navigation is free and works phenomenally with voice, having the ability to use Google’s service to find destinations to locations that you can name by event (for example, Jazz concert or Indiana Jones exhibit). Google Navigation uses street view, which i know the Tom Tom can’t compare with. I know I am praising Google, but they have done an awesome job with this. Now you tell me what’s so great about the Tom Tom, which is just another navigation system that’s as expensive as any other.

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Anonymous November 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm

lol @ comment. defend iphone to the death right?

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SAL November 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

could possibly be a “revolution” (sarcastic, but i just think that companies think it will “help” sales (strictly because its something new)) but not comparable to the ipod touch and iphone which completely surpass in customizable options. . .if you know what i mean. .

Reply

ryanwc November 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

No, its not the start of an android revolution. At most this will get a few eye brows lifting. Until the general public begins to understand tech, the same ” windows” monopoly of dumb phones will dominate.

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Halvor November 7, 2009 at 12:19 am

Checked it out today. Kind of clunky. Reminded me of the brick cell phones of the 80s. Plus verizon is just as dumb as AT&T or any of the other carriers. Sales guy says, “I’m sorry but your plan isn’t eligible for an upgrade until 2011. You’ll have to pay full retail for the phone.” Uh, or I could pay you nothing and keep my $9.95 a month service instead of paying you at least $100 a month for the Droid service. Brilliant!

Reply

Jason November 7, 2009 at 8:05 am

“Splintering of Android will be it’s downfall”. Kind of like how the myriad of PC makes and models were crushed by the Mac juggernaut? Mac has always been less than 10% of the market.

And AT&T’s network just plain sucks- I dropped them for a BB Tour and Verizon, after too many dropped calls and stalled browser sessions. Verizon is way ahead on connectivity.

In my opinion, the diversity and rapid innovation of the Android phones will be the platform’s strength.

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heretic November 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

ryanwc and Halvor are spot on.

Smart phones hold a very small portion of the cell phone market due to the outrageous price of the phones and the services.

The Android based phones will take their share of the smart phone market but due to pricing there still will be no revolution.

The hyperbole from the media and Apple fans is bizarre considering Apple’s iPhone is 3rd in smart phone market share and based on Q3 shipments their market share growth has stalled at around 18% while RIM and now Android are growing.

There was a recent article on Apple Insider that makes me laugh as the only way they could show significant year over year growth in iPhone smart phone market share was to combine iPhone and RIM market share so as to ride on the coat tails of RIM’s 5.8% increase in share from Q3 2008 to Q3 2009 versus the iPhone’s pathetic 0.7% increase. And the Android based phones have already moved from 0% to 3.5% share of the smart phone market.

Apple likes to kick their customers in the balls and their rabid fans always come back for more. The smart phone market is getting more competitive and Apple’s grabbing of share has stalled. The new Android phones will only make it worse.

Don’t wait for any revolution but you can sit back and enjoy the frenzy that is about to ensue from Apple marketing and their rabid fans. :)

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Paul November 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

The Droid does not have Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen. It’s a single touch touchscreen.

Here’s the link (http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/05/iphone-vs-droid-multitouch-keyboard-showdown-video/)

Reply

theIDEAshop November 18, 2009 at 8:31 am

Last week, I bought both the wife and I droids. The wife was super skeptical and has wanted an iphone for a year. We stayed with Verizon b/c I get a good corporate discount, I wanted a real keyboard and the phones look to be near equals to the iphone when you lay it all out. It helped that service is better and less expensive than AT&T and the purchase of an iphone.

After a week of finding apps, getting all my emails combined and sync’ed, using the features AND having the car dock arrive – this thing rocks. To anyone wondering whether it does all Motorola is touting, it does and to anyone doubting that car dock – it does exactly what GPS units do (voice command driections, turn by turn guidance, satellite or map display, finds places of interest, etc.

The UI is VERY well designed and the OS, UI and apps are playing well together.

Sorry Apple, we don’t need an iphone anymore.

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martin January 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Simply the Droid is the iPhone killer. This is yet another Motorola hit.
It is outmarking the iPhone by 1000′s and seems people are still not taking it as truth. I had the phone for over a month and it is all what you can wish from a smart phone/mp player navigating system etc. iPhone will need to bread the dust of the Droid. I cant even put a comparison here, may be i hate the apps iPhone is using and for the good apps u have to pay all the time. Here on the other hand almost all is free.
Apple may have slick outside design but that is ALL, the ingenuity of Motorola and Google trash all Apple lovers.
Sorry Apple

Reply

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