updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon October 19, 2009
Droid "most impressive" since iPhone
The Motorola Droid may have been designed by Google itself in what could be its best attempt to rival the iPhone, an early hands-on with the phone reveals. While Google has been known to provide input on Android devices like the T-Mobile G1, BGR now says the company had a "direct hand" in the Droid and virtually told Motorola what to build. The move suggests Google now wants a "halo" Android phone and is interested in competing more closely with Apple rather than relying on the platform alone.
The handset itself reflects this and is considered the "Android device to beat" with a genuinely fast, ARM-based Texas Instruments OMAP processor, a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen that feels "huge," and an extremely thin design which is only slightly thicker than an iPhone 3GS despite including a sliding QWERTY keyboard. In a unique spin, the Droid will reportedly come with a special docking station that turns the phone into a mini data station.
An initial test claims the device is the "most impressive" seen yet since any version of the iPhone with a significantly more upscale design than the Motorola Cliq, which just became available to existing T-Mobile subscribers as of today and is seen as the more frugal, Motorola-only design of the two.
The Droid is known to be a showcase for Android 2.0 and features like Facebook integration as well as a much improved web browser. Verizon has also hinted that it has all but dropped the BlackBerry Storm2 as its flagship phone and has launched a major teaser campaign for the Droid ahead of its release in November. So far, the carrier has had little success in offering a strong-selling alternative to the iPhone that would lure customers away from AT&T.