We've got the Verizon Motorola DROID here at Android Central Headquarters (thanks Verizon!) and it's just as we imagined--beautiful, fast, bold, and striking. Verizon, Motorola, and Google really did a masterful job in delivering a handset that will re-ignite the Android OS and re-introduce Android as one of the best smartphone platforms available.
Expect full coverage of the DROID in the days leading up to Droid Day (November 6th) and beyond. Hands-on pictures, quick thoughts, full in-depth reviews, and more to come. And if you want any specific coverage, be sure to let us know!
If you didn't think Verizon could get any more serious about the DROID, think again. After going after the iPhone in their first commercial teaser for the DROID, Big Red is back with 'Stealth'. 'Stealth' continues to tease about the most anticipated Android device to date while adding to the sci-fi lore of the DROID. The ad spot is as cinematic as commercials get, lulling readers into the mystery and next-gen nature of DROID. We're very impressed.
We're assuming that Verizon is calculating their move on when to show off the DROID to the general public and judging by the magnitude of their first two ad spots, it might be even bigger and bolder than ever.
What do you guys think of the new DROID commercial?
As the DROID prepares for launch, little details about Verizon and DROID are coming to light, here's the latest:
Is Verizon Charging $15/month for Exchange Support on DROID?
This isn't really news at all. Verizon has been charging different rates for Individual Data Plans and Business Data Plans for quite some time. It's not a matter of Exchange Support incurring the added cost but just the type of account you have (Individual or Exchange). Individual Data Plans will still have Exchange Support. If you buy your phone through your corporate account, you'll be charged $45. If you buy your phone like a normal person, $30 will still get you Exchange.
So no, Verizon isn't doing anything different and not charging anyone who uses Exchange an extra $15. The DROID uses regular Verizon smartphone plans, nothing to see here. [pcmag]
Verizon Opening Stores Early for DROID
In order to support the anticipated demand for DROID, Verizon Stores will open early on Friday, November 6th. According to Verizon, stores will open at 7AM or 8AM Local Time. Verizon suggests you contact your local Verizon store to see what time your store is opening but specifically states that Mall Stores will not open early (because the Mall won't be open!) [verizon]
DROID Will Tether in 2010
Verizon will release a tethering-plan, Verizon Broadband Access Connect, for the DROID in early 2010. Word on the street has it at $15 on top of your usual data plan, which isn't a half bad deal. Though we believe tethering should be free (you're already paying for 'unlimited' data!), at $15, we're sure those who need tethering can justify the cost and for those who think it's too expensive will find another way. [gizmodo]
Sony Ericsson is planning a whole line of these 'Rachael'-powered devices with the XPERIA X10 being the flagship device. The 'Rachael' UI might even pop up on other operating systems like Symbian and maybe even WinMob. All of these 'Rachael'-powered devices will likely show up in the first half of 2010 (so DROID, you have nothing to worry about...yet)
Sony Ericsson added their own touch to Android 1.6 and we're really impressed with some of their concepts. They're introducing Timescape, a MOTOBLUR-esque social networking integration that streamlines all of your social networks. Mediascape, which is the beautiful music application we saw yesterday. And face recognition, which will allow for automated photo tagging by recognizing your friends after they've been tagged by you and will even allow you to call friends when you tap on their face when viewing a picture (not entirely useful but amazingly cool nonetheless). Can we agree that this sounds amazing?
The only problem is that in its current stage, 'Rachael' seems to be more proof-of-concept than actually being ready for the primetime. Engadget had the opportunity to play with a pre-production X10 with a very early build of the 'Rachael' UI and simply couldn't get a real feel for the software (it's that far from being finished). But regardless, Sony Ericsson is taking a gigantic step in the right direction and could very well re-define how smart our smartphones can get.
Though we admit we wanted to hear an official release date, price, and carrier for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 today, we're still satisfied with what Sony Ericsson has done. If they deliver on their promises, we're certain that it'll be 'extraordinary and magical'.
What do you guys think?
Hit the jump to see more pictures and the promo video of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10!
The Samsung Behold II just showed its pretty face and we got the pictures to prove it. Though we'll never like the name of the device (why name a brand new Android phone after a dumbphone?), we're beginning to come around on the Behold II. We're big fans of Samsung devices and it looks like the Behold II will pack enough niceties (3.2 inch AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel camera) and uniqueness (TouchWiz UI) to hang with the big boys. It has an obvious 'Galaxy' design to it but differs in that it will run Samsung's TouchWiz UI that allows for sleek multitasking.
It's an interesting ad spot--Neil Patrick Harris and 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary even pop up for cameos--but we're going to bet that many folks might be left confused with Motorola's choice in branding. We all know that MOTOBLUR is the UI that powers the phone, the Motorola CLIQ, but we're almost certain many folks will watch the spot and think that BLUR is the phone they want and have no idea that the CLIQ exists.
How do you guys like the ad? Could it be confusing for users not familiar with Android?
One of the biggest selling points of the Acer Liquid, Acer's first Android phone, was the 1GHz Snapdragon Processor that would've powered the puppy. It would've been a first for Android phones and easily would have outpaced all other Android devices. Unfortunately, from this leaked slide detailing the Liquid, it looks like the Acer will underclock its Snapdragon processor and have it run at 768 MHz instead of the previously promised 1GHz. Does this mean the Liquid's performance will be dramatically different? We'll have no idea until we test it out.
But honestly, if Acer decided that underclocking the Snapdragon Processor to 768MHz was a good move, we have to trust that there were reasons to do so. From what we understand, the Snapdragon processor is a serious battery drain so perhaps the slight drop off in pure performance was worth a significant gain in battery life? Or maybe Acer felt that Android doesn't quite need a 1GHz processor yet?
The T-Mobile Motorola CLIQ is available today! We know those of you who have pre-ordered the CLIQ have already received your units, but for the rest of the general public, this will be their first experience with Motorola's first Android device and MOTOBLUR. The CLIQ is a QWERTY-slider device that has a heavy emphasis on social networking and also packs a 5 megapixel camera. It'll run you either $199 with new 2-year contract through T-Mobile or $449.99 off-contract on Amazon. Your choice!
The Samsung Moment, Samsung's first Android device in the states, is now available on Sprint for $179 with new 2-year contract. What makes the Moment special is that it packs a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen, a hardware keyboard, and an 800 MHz processor. For Sprint Users who are looking to jump onto Android but can't leave a hardware keyboard, the Moment looks like a great option. And like the HTC Hero, the Samsung Moment ships with Android 1.5.
Who's buying the Samsung Moment? Who's waiting for DROID?
As the world watched the DROID get its official treatment from Verizon, it cringed a little bit. Why? Because Verizon is a CDMA network while most of the rest of the world run GSM networks (like T-Mobile & AT&T). Meaning the Verizon DROID as we knew it, wouldn't be too useful outside of the US. Luckily, there is a GSM Version of the Motorola DROID ready to be released: It's called the Motorola Milestone and it's heading to Germany on O2 and Vodafone on November 9th.
And though we'll get the DROID first in the states, the GSM/European version one ups us by adding multitouch to its slew of features. Yep, pinch to zoom will be available on the Milestone. Start getting jealous.
Hit the jump for the video of multitouch on the Motorola Milestone aka DROID!
The Verizon Droid Eris, Big Red's version of the HTC Hero, has been captured again in live photos and though it's priced at the 'low-end' at $99, it has all the charm and appeal of a 'high-end' device. As you can see in the photo above, the Droid Eris will definitely run HTC Sense and pack all the niceties that comes along with Sense. We also have the first picture of the Droid Eris box (after the jump) which confirms the Droid Eris name and the 'Droid' brand that Verizon is pushing.
Also, the final details have leaked in regards to the Droid Eris and it's everything we expected, meaning it packs the exact same specs as the Sprint HTC Hero. Here's the rundown: 528 MHz processor, 3.2 inch, 320x480 screen, 5 megapixel camera, and Android 1.5 with HTC Sense. The only difference, other than the casing, is that the Droid Eris will be offered at $99 while the Sprint HTC Hero is being sold for $179. Does anyone hear a price drop?
As much as we all love Android, we can all agree that Android could use a better media player. Android's current media player has always been a little more utilitarian than anything and quickly showing its age. Thankfully, Sony Ericsson is looking to improve upon that in their upcoming Android phone, the 'Rachael' XPERIA X3. From the concept video above, they've made the media player look completely fresh and insanely drool-worthy, can we have it now?
The media player in the 'Rachael' UI looks a little bit like the Zune HD's (learn more at WMExperts) but still manages to come off as entirely its own. The 'Rachael's media player takes advantage of the large screen (480x854, same as the DROID) to offer an experience much more fluid than your regular boring lists of artists and albums. The page for artist's is an eye-catcher as well, with photos and cover art adding so much color to the page. Overall, it's seriously a huge upgrade to the stock Android media player and one that just might catapult it into a media powerhouse (better syncing software still needs to be included).
The above video serves as a teaser for the event and you can see the beautiful lines and lovely design of the 'Rachael'. We know you're excited about the Motorola DROID (we are too!), but we think that Sony Ericsson might sway you differently. We haven't heard of an official carrier attached yet but our eyes are wide open for November 3rd.
What do you guys think? Do you think it'll be able to compete with the DROID?
Hey, hey! Look at the video above, it's your friendly T-Mobile G1 running the brand spanking new Android 2.0 'Eclair'. It's not a final Android 2.0 build nor is it anywhere close to being an official release, but it's definitely still a sight to see. The amazing minds we have in the Android community decided to port over what they had in the Android 2.0 SDK (just released) to the Android device nearest and dearest to our heart, the T-Mobile G1. Good call.
As you'll see in the video, the 2.0 port on the G1 is very, very rough. It's sluggish and not really usable but hey, it's the proof-of-concept and effort that counts! The video goes through some new Android 2.0 features and while some stuff obviously doesn't work, you still get the overall feel. The T-Mobile G1 (and myTouch 3G) hasn't yet been confirmed to officially receive Android 2.0 but we're crossing our fingers it'll come soon. There's no doubt that running Android 2.0 will make them feel brand new all over again. Let's make it happen!
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