Motorola Droid 4

The Motorola Droid 4 is now available from Verizon's website (and will be in stores in just a few short hours) for $199 on contract. As the name implies, this is the fourth phone in the line that for all intents and purposes put Android on the map.

As you'll recall from our hands-on at CES, the Droid 4 takes the classic Droid stylings -- a larger screen and a physical keyboard -- and refines them even further. From the front, it looks like a cousin to the new Droid RAZR MAXX, albeit a tad smaller with a 4-inch display at qHD (540x960) resolution. Slide open that 4-inch display and you've got what might well be the best physical keyboard on any smartphone. The keys are backlit and laser-cut and are extremely easy to navigate. 

One odd feature of the Droid 4 is on the backside. You can remove the battery cover -- and must do so if you want to get to the microSIM card (which is what provides the 4G LTE data) and microSD card. But it takes a weird little unlocking tool (included with the phone) to do so. But even then you can't actually remove the 1785 mAh battery -- at least not without likely breaking anything. That could be a deal-breaker for many. Check out our Droid 4 walkthrough video for more on that.

The phone's running Android 2.3.6, and Verizon is already promising to update it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Other specs of note:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camerea
  • Serve as a 4G LTE hot spot for up to eight other devices.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Look for our full Droid 4 review in the coming days.

Source: Verizon Wireless

More: Droid 4 specs, Droid 4 forums

 

Reader comments

Motorola Droid 4 available now on Verizon for $199 on contract

18 Comments

"...promising to update it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich." Yet another phone that promises to update to ICS. Why not just release the phone with ICS now. I mean, ICS has been out for a while. I don't understand all the future promises to update.

$199 looks like a good price for this phone. $200 seems to be my upper limit on how much I'll spend for a phone. If I was due for an upgrade now I would get this phone.

Good point.
Just a guess (based on past history) that they are certain people will still buy regardless of ICS.
My other assumption is that ICS is not ready for the D4 and Verizon wants the money now....

Go on Early Adopters,buy it right now. I'm sure there's no chance of Moto releasing a Droid 4 "MAXX" right after your return period ends...Seriously,Motorola needs to give these non-removable battery powered LTE devices a bigger battery than even 1785 mAh the first time around.

Could not agree more; the original Razr came with the same battery and we saw what happened there. I am guessing the additional hardware (keyboard, etc.) will pull more from the anemic battery.
Can't say for sure but history says that a D4 Maxx will be available just after the return period expires.

Agreed. I Am against non removable batteries, but if said battery is 3000mh or larger I forget my position.

Hopefully the Maxx version will be out before my upgrade is available next month. I am liking everything about this, except the smallish non-removeable battery.

Does Moto not get it? They lose 50% of their possible customer base just because they don't have REMOVABLE/REPLACEABLE BATTERIES!

Get it Moto?

50%, eh? Is that based on your rigorous scientific study of potential new phone buyers, or are you pulling that out of your ass?

Because honestly, the overwhelming majority of phone buyers probably won't even know that the battery isn't removable, let alone how small it is.

Yah well if we knew how many phones are going to be returned we could give you a better idea if its 50%, 20%, 5%, etc. But we will never know will we?
While 50% may be high I can guarantee you there will be a % that will return it because after two weeks on LTE and horrid battery life, users are going to think they have a defective device.

I'm sorry but I don't need to guess. I KNOW that a 1785 mAh battery + LTE is going to get crap battery life. While your MMV depending on how hard you hit the network, even with Google Music its going to hit LTE hard.

If they keep pumping out the MAXX battery in phones then I don't care if it's removable or not. At 3300 mAh, I shouldn't have to carry around an extra battery anyways. But with a 1785 mAh battery, you know I'll burn through that juice on LTE and won't be able to pop in a spare, or even pick up an extended battery to replace the stock one.

Non-removable batteries should be at minimum 2500 to 3000 mAh.

Definitely. I'm sure that ups the cost to the manufacturer incrementally anyway, but it's worth it. The only real business justification I could think of for having smaller batteries with any phone is so that you could later sell an "extended battery" or spare batteries to users. But if it's not removable then you have already chosen to forego that market, so you might as well make the battery big enough that people will be able to last all day.

I agree that most phone buyers don't care about removable batteries, however I have to think VZW is going to get more than a few returns from customers who can't understand why their phone won't last them through the day. Others will keep the phone and be unhappy and blame android. Others will be fine with it. (yes, this is via me bum)

I'm excited to hear that the keyboard is finally good. I wonder how much thickness they shave off from doing this? Can anyone more knowledgeable of hardware explain the benefits of a non-removable battery? Why does it take up more space?

I will guess. The removable battery on the RAZR has two issues:
1. They made this phone more water repellent/resistant and a battery door would present a problem in keeping moisture out.
2. Because they had to mash so much hardware into the narrow device it is not possible to shape the phone and battery to make it readily removable to the end user without re-engineering the phone and the battery. This would likely and add thickness, heft and hardware to support the removable door and battery.

Pardon my snarkiness but oh no it adds two quarters put together thickness to the device. How will we ever cope? *rolls eyes*

I'm REALLY getting sick of this thin over features culture everyone is so into. there is a certain point that a device gets too thin. I'm sorry but I watch the average person pull a phone out of their pocket and those pockets aren't from pants that are skin tight. We aren't talking massive bulk here. Hell people's wallets are thick and yet they carry them. we are talking devices that are easily pocketable and still have the capability of going over a day or more on a single charge.

I have an EVO 4G with an extended 3500 battery. It adds some bulk to it. But I've NEVER had anyone come up and go ooooo that is so chunky. Nor have I had problems pocketing it. IMHO those complaining about thickness are basically looking for a status symbol. Not a robust, communication device. If people want a status symbol that is fine. But manufacturers should damn well realize there is room for both in this world. which they don't because it is obvious that Moto is the only one left who even bothers to put out even a remotely decent QWERTY slide phone.

I'm going to disagree on your assertion that Moto is the only manufacturer putting out decent QWERTY slide phones. The Samsung Stratosphere, released late last year, was the first 4G LTE slider phone and it sold like crazy. I work for a Verizon retailer and we sold them like hotcakes. My roommate was one of the ones I sold one to, and she absolutely adores it. Even living in a 4G LTE area, she still gets a solid day out of it. The device is attractive, the screen is beautiful, and the keyboard is solid and perfectly built for her small hands. The phone itself has rounded edges, so it fits perfectly into her pocket if she isn't carrying her purse. As nice as her device is, I would never trade it for my Bionic, but to each their own. The point is that Samsung released a wonderful QWERTY slide phone.

This pisses me off to no end. I absolutely adore this phone. I'd even be willing to spend the $200 ETF on Sprint for this....IF it wasn't for the god damn non replaceable battery. with tethering and LTE that is an absolute, hits the steel wall and stops flat deal killer.

As I said on engadget: I want to kick someone at Moto so hard in the butt for this decision people think they are Gene Simmons with my foot hanging out their mouth.

You definitely win for the last part of that comment, just because it made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. I still love my Bionic, but Motorola is beginning to lose some luster with me.