Meet the DROID, the Latest Chance For Verizon Owners To Express Their iPhone Envy

Motorola and Verizon revealed the mystery device behind its iCan’t ad campaign — the DROID, a 3G phone with a 5 megapixel camera, its own app store, a 16gb memory card packed in and a QWERTY keyboard.

Here’s a list of bullet points from the Motorola press release:

� World’s thinnest slide-out QWERTY keyboard

� 3G Web and full HTML browser

� Cinematic 3.7″ high-resolution display with more than 400,000 pixels

� Powerful and fast Google voice-activated search

� Run up to 6 apps simultaneously and customize the homescreen with thousands of apps and hundreds widgets from the Android Market

� 5 megapixel camera with flash, DVD-quality video capture and 16GB memory card included

� Integrated work and personal email pushed right to you

� Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with free turn-by-turn directions

The phone is out Nov. 6 and costs $199 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract. Verizon owners, are you gonna go for this? iPhone owners, have you stopped laughing yet?

Comments

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  1. bloggerX says:

    Free turn-by-turn GPS…wow…

  2. igoooorrrr says:

    Android is the only real competitor to the iPhone software, but the phones that Android is released on so far have been lacking in the hardware department (that’s what she said), this phone is exciting because 1) it’s the first one with Android 2.0, which has significant improvements and looks to be really nice and 2) it has excellent hardware not only in terms of capabilities but also build quality, and it’s the first Android phone to come out for Verizon.

    • subtlefrog says:

      @igoooorrrr: My question is – will it blend?

      Really, that is, how tough is this phone? I’ve said before, one of the main reasons I don’t have an iPhone is that I drop & kick my phone at least once a week, so I go for the free phone always. Is this resilient?

  3. downwithmonstercable says:

    Can someone explain how a 3.7″ screen can have 400,000 pixels? That’s more than half of what a standard 1024*768 resolution has. The fineness of the graphics must be incredible.

  4. dragonfire81 says:

    This is not the Droid I’m looking for…

  5. DD_838 says:

    PUSH OVER iPhone!!!! It’s ANDROIDS time to shine!!

    • dantsea says:

      @DD_838: And thanks for that demonstration as to why it won’t, at least not just yet. Get iPhone out of your vocabulary when talking about Android gadgets, until then, all you’re doing is helping Apple by mentioning their product every ten seconds.

  6. dbshaw says:

    Given that a significant percentage of the iphone’s draw is based on branding (i.e. people who put up with AT&T to have one) I don’t see how the droid can compete. One is a device, one is a social trend.

  7. FatLynn says:

    What’s a Verizon owner?

  8. amberlink says:

    I’m not at all sure why the writer thinks this is a laughable product. The icrap doesn’t have a removable battery, doesn’t have any of the things that the Android product DOES have.

    It is also customizable, and not manufactured by a totalitarian company hell-bent on controlling all aspects of what a user can do/see.

    HOW exactly is the statement, “iPhone owners, have you stopped laughing yet?” valid?

    The real question is icrap owners have you gotten tired yet of having a phone that is otherwise crippled but well, it’s nothing more than a status symbol? The icrap is an MP3 player that also has bad reception on a bad network as a phone.

    Come on, it’s on AT&T.

    • lolan64 says:

      @amberlink: Agree with you there. Why is the Droid laughable? I am an iPhone owner, and while I do love it, there are so many things I wish I could improve, and it looks like the Droid might do that for me. Aside from the new features, the actual speaking-on-a-phone part working would be key. I have been keeping track of how many times I am trying to call someone with full bars and the 3G signal showing but it simply won’t connect (“call failed”) and it happens on average about twice a call. Twice a call! That’s not even counting all the dropped calls (roughly 30% in my area from what I’ve read and experienced). I live in NYC so how is it possible that my phone rarely works here? I am getting tired of my iPhone failing me (and I am a huge Apple fangirl) so will seriously consider switching to Verizon for the Droid.

    • Rachacha says:

      @amberlink: You are correct, but most people never remove the battery from their phones (the battery usually lasts 2 years, at which point people are jonesin for a new phone)and for most people, a charge will last 1 day or more. Personally, I don’t care about the quality of the camera or the openness of the platform (provided that a closed platform delivers a very stable environment that does not crash)

      Where I live, AT&T is fine. I have been an ATT (Well actually Cellular One, Cingular then ATT) customer for 13 years and am generally happy with the network.

      The iPhone for most people is the perfect phone, or at least as close to perfect as we can get. My only wish for the iPhone would be support for Flash. It is no longer a status symbol (hello, they sell the phones for $100, in the general price range of many “dumb” phones.

      The Android OS is very interesting, and the Moto and new HTC handset will hopefully propel Android forward, as the G1 was simply underpowered and in my opinion, on a terrible network.

      (Note, the only Apple product that I own is an iPhone and the 1st gen iPod nano that it replaced.)

      • WorldHarmony says:

        @Rachacha: Not sure where you get the “most people” idea. I, and others I know, have removed the battery from our phones to replace them with new ones. You can also replace a battery with a larger capacity one.

    • kiltman says:

      @amberlink: I believe you are misinterpreting the laughing comment. Phil asked if the iphone owners were “still” laughing. I would take that as they were laughing because they “had” the best phone out there. But now…..who knows.

  9. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    That thing looks pretty sexy. The QWERTY doesn’t look as easy to maneuver as the one of my enV2 (I really like the rounded button edges). I’ll probably be sticking with my current phone for quite some time. I get a $100 credit towards a new phone early next year.

  10. Cupajo says:

    iPhone don’t laugh. They snap their fingers over and over while a cigarette dangles precariously from their lips and they wear black berets and dark sunglasses in a smoke filled basement night-club that nobody else has heard of.

    • Cupajo says:

      iP@Cupajo: iPhone *owners*

      • philipbarrett says:

        @Cupajo: @pot_roast: Interesting, an opinion on the Android from somebody who actually owns one. A pretty rare sighting in the Consumerist comments column. What next, a real Palm Pre owner chiming in?

        • Cupajo says:

          @philipbarrett: For your information, I’ve actually had both as well. The iPhone is a perfectly fine piece of equipment that is (unfortunately) exclusive to a FisherPrice wireless network. As nice a computing platform as the iPhone is, it fails in its basic function because of the AT&T network. Unfortunately, that basic function is indicated in the devices name. The iPHONE is a terrible PHONE. Great at everything else, but no good if you want to make PHONE calls on it.
          But by far, the worst thing about the iPhone is the smug (and, frankly, undeserved) sense of superiority of those that are devotees of it. It’s the same smug (and, frankly, undeserved) sense of superiority that is exhibited by users of Mac computers.

          • Cupajo says:

            @Cupajo: And if you are looking for concrete examples of that smug (and, frankly, undeserved) sense of superiority, allow me to present exhibit A:

            “Verizon owners, are you gonna go for this? iPhone owners, have you stopped laughing yet?”

          • Orv says:

            @Cupajo: That part all depends on where you use your phone. Where I live AT&T’s coverage is some of the best there is.

    • samandiriel says:

      @Cupajo: Bwahahaha! Sorry, wouldn’t normally post a reply to a comment like this, but that one deserves some kudos!

  11. TheOrtega says:

    What kind of legit software is available for droid? The reason the Iphone to me is so good is the software available on the market place, I like being able to check movie times or my bank balance by simply clicking a app. My other concern is the security of the information on my phone and how it’s shared with applications, while it sucks that apple drags it’s feet on apps sometimes, I know that they at least check the applications available and it’s not a free for all.

    • c_c says:

      @TheOrtega: Lots. Android Marketplace has 14,000+ apps. Not nearly as many as iPhone, but a lot of useful ones still. Bank of America has an official app, not sure about other banks. There are good movie apps (flixster). The marketplace is managed, so it’s not just a free for all. Plus Android supports widgets, so you can view your calendar, email, weather, etc. with out having to actually open the application.

      With more phones out, the # of apps is likely to grow as developers see a larger customer base.

      • rickhamilton620 says:

        @cc82: ya, it’s also about quality, not quantity. Like sure iPhone has a gazillion apps, but think of how many of those are shitty “fart/burp/belch” apps…

      • Chimp101 says:

        @cc82:

        The key difference with Android is that you can build, download, and install your own programs, for free. You’re not locked into Google’s Market. In fact, there are other markets available. Alternatively, you can download programs directly from the internet.

  12. SOhp101 says:

    You know, not EVERYONE wants an iPhone. When I was first shopping for a smartphone I thought that’s what I wanted but then I quickly realized that most blackberry users get ~1-2 days of use w/o charging and a physical keyboard is easier to type with (I have fatter fingers).

    I’m not saying that the iPhone is terrible but it does have its shortcomings that makes it unsuitable for a lot of people.

    • rocketbear79 says:

      @SOhp101: I wouldn’t get an iPhone even if I could use it on my preferred carrier, which is Verizon. The iPhone to me is a toy.

      • Rachacha says:

        @rocketbear79: Just curious why you feel that way? The iPhone interfaces easily with most corporate E-mail systems as well as and sometimes better than a blackberry. The ability to view and edit documents on the fly is also available. The one negative in comparing an iPhone to a BB is the lack of a keyboard. For some, the touchscreen works well, for others, it doesn’t.

        • rocketbear79 says:

          @Rachacha: The touchscreen is why I don’t like it. I don’t want anything with a touchscreen that is smaller than the rumored “apple tablet” is expected to be. I’ve got big mitts.

          As for it being a toy, I admit a lot of that is probably marketing-based bias. Even though there might be a BB app for making fart noises, I don’t hear about it. It also does not look professional to me. The first thing that goes through my mind when I see somebody at work pull out an iPhone is whether or not they are looking at their Facespace.

          Let me be clear though, calling it a toy isn’t really meant to be a put down. I’m a gadget hound and I like shiny new toys like everybody else, I plan to get either the apple tablet or microsoft courier when they come out regardless of if they are marketed as a toy or not.

  13. bwildrick says:

    At least I can code something for this phone without paying yet another premium for the SDK.

  14. Gorphlog says:

    Why do they have to ruin it by putting a physical keyboard on it. All phones should have large screens and on screen keyboards like the Iphone. Real keyboards like this phone has have keys that are too small for anyone other than a child or anorexic person to use so you always end up pressing 2 or more keys. The Palm Pre is even worse in this aspect

    • rocketbear79 says:

      @Gorphlog: I hate touchscreens. But I do agree, I made a comment like this over on Gizmodo about the size of those keys after seeing a shot of the phone held up against some common items. I have big mitts and those keys are the only thing stopping me from getting this phone for my new every 2.

    • nocturnal99 says:

      @Gorphlog: Can’t speak for this one, but I can touch-type on my blackberry without looking at the keys. Hard to say that for a touchscreen phone, no matter how intelligent the software is.

    • c_c says:

      @Gorphlog: Android has an on-screen keyboard (portrait and landscape), so you don’t ever need to open the keyboard if you don’t want to. Some people like the option. Also, this screen is bigger than the iPhone’s… (3.7″ 854×480 vs. 3.5″ 480×320)

    • iConsumer says:

      @Gorphlog: I believe it has both – physical and touch-screen keyboards. If you’re not happy with one, just use the other. Options are nice…

    • rickhamilton620 says:

      @Gorphlog: One huge reason I didnt think about until now. I have a Omnia that uses an onscreen keyboard, but came from a Treo 700w that obviously has a dedicated physical one. I realize that one of the big reasons a physical keyboard is awesome is because all of the screen “real estate” is devoted to your content, even when typing. I can’t run Windows Live Messenger in landscape mode on my Omnia, soley because I can’t see anything but the IM entry box, maybe a line of IM convo above it but that’s it. On the Treo, using the same app, I could follow the convo as I type.

      One of the cool things about Android is that you’ll always have a choice, as a great onscreen keyboard is baked into the OS, so if you’ll never slide the slider open, so be it.

    • Orv says:

      @Gorphlog: I know people who gave up on the iPhone specifically because of the on-screen keyboard. A physical keyboard gives tactile feedback when you press a key, so it’s much easier to type on than a virtual one.

      • 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

        @Orv: Thats one of my biggest issues with the iPhone. I could type very quickly on my Blackberry, without looking at the keys. The iPhone requres looking at your phone screen and is a huge distraction.

        If BB would come out with a new Pearl, with all the new “standards” (gps, wifi, 3g, etc), I would buy one in a heartbeat…

  15. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    But does it work with iTunes?

    • synergy says:

      @segfault: Now and then. They’re in a pissing match with Apple about who’s doing something illegal: Verizon/Motorola when they update software to emulate the Apple vendor ID or Apple when they update their iTunes software so Verizon/Motorola can’t do that.

  16. pot_roast says:

    I have an Android phone right now, and it’s made me wish that I had an iPhone. (I had the original iPhone but sold it when work cut the cell phone plan out) I have the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G with the “Donut” (1.6) version of Android.
    The thing is slow. The music player sucks. The email application is horrible. The third party email apps that I’ve installed are better but still severely lacking. While you can run multiple apps, they still stomp on each other and slow everything down to the point where your phone is unusable and incoming calls will go to voicemail. The IM apps suck (except Google Talk) and if you get a call, you get dropped offline. Dialing a simple contact is a multi-touch process. No multi-touch. The keyboard is dirt slow. The camera app is so slow. There’s no desktop sync, which sounds great but then you realize you’re completely relying “on the cloud.”
    Sadly these are things that the open source nature has not managed to overcome. We just wind up with more “sexy girl screensaver” apps than actual useful applications. I thought Android was going to be a serious iPhone competitor, but it’s made me want to sell the phone and go to AT&T. (They’re rolling out 7.2 HSPA here within the next 2 months) The folks I know here with iPhones have no coverage issues since we’re out in the cow fields and are well covered.

    I’ll give Android 2.0 a try, whenever it’s pushed to T-Mobile.

    • WeAre138 says:

      @pot_roast:Same story for me. I went back to iPhone 3gs and I am extremely happy. As a bonus, AT&T service is way better than tmobile where I happen to live.

    • c_c says:

      @pot_roast: I have the Sprint Hero and it doesn’t have most of the problems you list (no lag, multitouch, good keyboard, sync software). HTC put a lot into optomizing and prettying up Android, and are working on incorporating 2.0 into their Sense UI.

      The Droid has better hardware, so it should be even faster. Hopefully for you T-Mobile will get a better Android phone soon…

    • rickhamilton620 says:

      @pot_roast: The processor behind the Droid makes it a lot more speedy than the My Touch 3G, which is nice because for the most part Android phones used the same, kinda sluggish performing processor.

    • samandiriel says:

      @pot_roast: Hm. I don’t find slowness to be a problem on my G1 – maybe you’ve installed too many apps running in the background all the time? As an IT person, Android is my platform of choice for a phone. I’ve tried the iPhone, and it’s not very good for us multitasking. Plus, I hate onscreen keyboards!

    • Chimp101 says:

      @pot_roast: Most of the problems you’d mention are fixed in Cyanogen’s mod. I would highly recommend checking it out.

  17. morganlh85 says:

    I must say I like the commercials.

  18. Kevin Kuzia says:

    I am between mobile companies right now and just have a Blackberry through work with AT&T. The reception on it at my house is awful and drops calls constantly. Never had that problem when I had a personal phone with Verizon.

    I plan on getting this phone when it comes out. I think the iPhone is a great device and set a standard others are reaching for. I think the Droid is an extremely worthy competitor and is a different kind of device (albeit with many similarities). I like the physical keyboard, Android 2.0 and all of that other jazz (and especially the Google Maps Navigation program), so for me, this is a perfect fit.

  19. el_smurfo says:

    Android is just a little behind the iPhone OS…Root it and install Cyanogenmod and you’ll see the performance you are looking for even thought the MyTouch hardware is a bit lacking.

  20. evilmregg says:

    It all will come down to what apps are available for Android. It will have a lot of catching up to do to even come close to Apple’s app store, but stuff like Google’s new turn-by-turn directions are a start in the right direction.

    • subtlefrog says:

      @evilmregg: For me it would come down to durability (mentioned above) and cost. What’s the monthly plan? Cheaper than the iPhone? Because no way am I paying that much for my cell phone bill. I’m fine going without the iPhone.

    • sandynlos says:

      Android market has over 10k apps already, I’m sure there are several useful ones out there. I have a Pre myself and the webOS is very new so there are only 300 apps so far, but the market is growing. It’s all a matter of personal preference, some carriers work with in some areas, others not so much. I love my Pre because it has the physical keyboard. I wouldn’t get an iPhone because I don’t like the virtual keyboard and get crappy AT&T service in my area. I had Verizon before but switch to Sprint for the Pre and now I’m paying less and still have good service. I think Android will be my next OS choice for a phone. More OS/phones = more competition = good thing IMO. @evilmregg:

  21. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    First, my name is AustinTXProgrammer, and I am an iPhone owner. The Driod looks sweet enough to lure me away, but I’m stuck with AT&T because no CDMA carrier has coverage at my inlaw’s house. I had my eyes on the new Touch Pro 2, but after too many frustrating experiences with HTC windows mobile devices I caved and went with an iPhone.

    I have jailbroken it and run my apps in the background and have free turn by turn GPS using xGPS and google maps.

    I still don’t have a removable battery (nice, but don’t need, I haven’t bought additional phone batteries in 6 years), a real keyboard (thought this would bother me more than it does), or a 5 megapixel camera (but all the phone cameras I have used suck, and the higher the resolution the more noise.)

  22. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Nothing has ever been attractive to me about the iPhone. As far as I’m concerned, devices like the LG Envy line have always been superior.

    The Droid looks like a good upgrade from those devices, with it’s bigger screen and really nice looking keyboard. I would be tempted to buy a Droid, while nothing could ever tempt me to buy an iPhone.

  23. johnarlington says:

    Until verizon sells a product with built in WiFi, I’m not buying jack from them. It cheeses me off that they don’t. I get horrible cell reception where I live making the 3G only useful at work or around town. When I get home, its nice to be able to swithc off the 3G and use my home router. Until Verizon figures this out, I stick with my el cheapo flip phone and carry an itouch.

  24. Rask says:

    I’m just trying to put together how this post is representative of Consumer Reports?

    You’re bashing Verizon for no particular reason and you’re bashing the Driod line of devices for not being the iPhone.

    No companies are mis-behaving here and no consumers were wronged. The blogger here is editorializing his personal preferences and this is highly un-professional for this particular blog.

    Phil: You may be aiming for a job at Gizmodo or Engadget but you’re not.. How’s about sticking to what you’re supposed to do.

  25. brandihendrix says:

    “iPhone owners, have you stopped laughing yet?”

    Kind of an elitist thing to say, don’t you think?

    I have a G1 and I love it. I don’t care whether it is an iPhone or not. Actually, I don’t want an iPhone. Everyone who gets an Android phone isn’t just “settling” for something other than an iPhone, and they certainly don’t deserve to be mocked.

    Oh how funny!! Look at all the little people pretending that they have such a cool phone as we do! Ha ha ha. sarcasm.

  26. Powerlurker says:

    My dad is looking forward to getting one of these to finally replace his falling-apart Treo.

  27. pr0k says:

    I guess I am confused on why the writer here is so obviously against anything not Iphone. Even if the Droid isn’t quite what you are looking for in a smart phone, how can you hate on it so much?

    It’s a brand of product competing with Apple by bringing new features to smart phones that quite a few people have asked for. Isn’t that the sort of competition that can only make both products better for consumers in the long run?

    Ease off the spite there, Consumerist.

  28. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Sorry Phil, as an iPhone owner, I can’t wait for this phone to come out so I can drop AT&T and the iPhone, for this phone. I’ve been unhappy with the iPhone and AT&T service (which is ridiculous since AT&T Wireless is based here in Atlanta) for quite a while, and am looking forward to this.

  29. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Denigrating and self-righteous comments from Apple fanboys and Steve Jobs acolytes in 3…2…1…

  30. crichton007 says:

    Laughing? This is a serious competitor to the iPhone that is getting good (p)reviews. Apple/AT&T have painted themselves into a corner in many ways and Google is going to exploit that.

  31. theSuperman says:

    I like my Blackberry, and I dont think I would want a non-blackberry phone. Droid does look neat, especially with the higher resolution camera and the turn by turn navigation. I donlt think an application like that could be developed to run on my Curve 8330 because of the slow processor speed (and also the lack of touchscreen, but that’s a given).

  32. cytoman says:

    I have an unlocked Hero running on the AT&T network and it is awesome. I can’t wait for Android 2.0. The lack of a consumer replaceable battery on the iPhone is a huge issue. And having free navigation and traffic on the phone is gravy. The iPhone had its 15 minutes and now the world will be moving to Android. Let’s see, iPhone = one handset and one company innovating and Android is 15 companies with new ideas, new handsets and new features competing to be the best. The outcome is not even a guess.

  33. frogman31680 says:

    I like on lifehacker the smartphone comparison chart they had.

    Iphone apps available… 98,000+

    Android apps available… 10,000+

    but they fail to mention the 88,000+ apps that the Iphone have over android actually cost money…

    God I love shoving that in people’s faces when I sell phones. And I sell At+T.

    I just cant wait for a phone that can play Divx files smoothly.

  34. asten77 says:

    Okay, some of us don’t have iPhone envy. It’s okay, but not running more than one thing at a time – heck, my 3G RAZR 3.5 years ago did that. I hated it then, and I hate it now. I also refuse to buy into the closed ecosystem of apple.

    Droid looks awesome – the first Android phone I’ve seriously considered, and I’m frankly amazed Verizon didn’t screw it up with their crap.

    As for the number of apps… there’s a ridiculous amount in the iTunes store that are complete garbage. There’s certainly garbage in the Android Market, but the point is that the number is just a number, not a real indicator of if useful apps exist.

  35. cassiopia1177 says:

    @golddog: Actually, Verizon has a ‘strategic partnership’ with Google, so the phone isn’t crippled. It’s a real departure from their standard relationship with phone makers. Besides, Android is OPEN SOURCE. How could they cripple it? Patch it yourself if you don’t like it.

  36. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    @golddog: Verizon isn’t cripling this phone; using Android kind of stops that. Plus, Verizon has been moving away from locking up their phones, especially the smartphones. What I’d like to know is how much? How much a month? If it isn’t less than a comparable plan from ATT for the iPhone or Sprint for the Pre, then why switch?

  37. DavidRHall says:

    For every smug silverlake hipster I see with an iPhone, I pray to a god i don’t believe in that the Droid will be a working alternative.

  38. wezelboy says:

    I was excited about this until I discovered that it costs as much as an iPhone. Screw that. When the phone gets down to $120 I’ll think about it.

  39. sonneillon says:

    @wallspray: I use it as a function of my job, and I don’t have a mount so sometimes when I hit the breaks real hard or do a U-turn it takes a leap of faith.

  40. DaBull says:

    @Nigromancer: “Verizon cripples its phones” is not the same as “Verizon cripples the Motorola Droid”.

    I was not aware that Verizon offered an unlimited data plan for smartphones, so that is worth noting. However it is still $15 more than AT&T. I think Verizon has the best service around, but unfortunately they charge more money for less flexibility.

  41. littlemisslondon says:

    That thing looks more like a Cylon to me.