Verizon Droid. Android 2.0 MIDPhone…with Google Maps Navigation Beta.

Posted on 28 October 2009 by

Encompassing much of what the MID market stands for and reaching out in terms of screen size and CPU power to become a very interesting contender in the ‘non-PC’ mobile computing space is the Verizon / Motorola Droid.

$300 + a 24 month commitment brings you the ‘phone’ and you’ll get $100 back if you remember to mail-in the coupon.


I’m going to quote SlashGear here and send you over there to wait for some live hands-on as they have a meeting with Verizon set-up. If that keyboard is good then wow! If the camera is good then double-wow. If you can fit this in your pocket, you’ve got yourself an incredible device.

The Verizon Droid will be the first smartphone to arrive with Android 2.0, the latest version of the open-source OS, with native Exchange support and Google Maps Navigation Beta.  The latter is Google’s new turn-by-turn directions app, which offers free verbal directions controlled by voice shortcuts.

There’s also Bluetooth, WiFi and USB 2.0 connectivity, and Verizon are bundling a 16GB microSD card.  The usual bevy of Google apps – including Google Talk, YouTube, Gmail and the Android Market – are also preloaded, and there’s a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash.  We’re catching up with Verizon later on today to grab some hands-on time with the Droid, so keep reading SlashGear for that!

Don’t miss that important news that Google is launching a turn-by-turn navigation applications. This is every PND manufacturers / map providers nightmare coming true.

Hoping this crops up in a GSM/UMTS version very soon. Looks like the U.S. beat Europe to it on this one!

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  • Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine

    New article: Verizon Droid. Android 2.0 MIDPhone…with Google Maps Navigation Beta.

  • Patrick

    If the keyboard would be a really usable one then i think i would become totally agnostic OS wise + i like some new features on Android 2.0 (contact integration, still Maemo has better integration 4 now).

  • Patrick

    Engadget has a preview

    Hmm those .2 inches really make some difference, i wonder how will other manufacturers respond. HTC has a good contender with therir 4.3″ HD2/Dragon device esp. if they could pack a good keyboard punch into sub 14 mm thick device.

  • scoobie

    Like some features here but disappointed in processor and lack of on board memory
    I am reading there is a limit of 256mb for apps. That isn’t enough. Most memory is on the micro sd card, which I gather you can’t use for apps.
    Iphone wins I think

    • zviera


  • TareX

    I am loving Android 2.0 now… the quality of the Navigation app is something I NEVER expected…

    About the phone, well here’s what I like:

    1) The docking station converting it into a bedsite MID/frame/alarm while charging.
    2) The car docking station converting into ONE HELL OF A NAVIGATION device. I didn’t expect them to actually best something expensive with a free service… crazy.

    What I don’t like:

    1) Processor will be outdated in weeks.
    2) Keyboard looks ugly. The entire phone isn’t as good looking as I had hoped.
    3) Battery life won’t be good… since Android is packing A LOT OF USABILITY with the Navigation software. Android 2.0 needs Tegra 2.

    So basically, I’ll wait for the first Tegra 2 phone with a decent looking keyboard… Hopefully NVIDIA keeps their promise and chips Tegra 2 in phone by April 2010 (Tegra 1 arrived in the Zune HD exactly 18 months after it was announced, just like they said)…

    • Chippy

      Why do you think Tegra will help battery life?
      It’s going to be a A8 core just as in the OMAP 3 which also has 2D and 3D acceleration. With Wifi, screen and 3G taking the lions share of the battery, the differences between Tegra 2 and OMAP will be minimal.

      Agree with the docking station thoughts. Agree with the looks thoughts. Agree with the navigation thoughts. That was a pleasant surprise!

      I’m expecting this to be a device that you’ll need a spare battery with. Much like the Nokia N900.

      • TareX

        Well Tegra would help battery life because, from what I understand, it shuts down certain parts of the CoC according to needs and usage. Even when comparing to the more power-optimized next-gen CPU of Snapdragon, the differences in power consumption are staggering… Not to mention smooth HD flash in the browser thanks to the Geforce GPU hardware accelerated flash content…

        Music playback:
        Tegra: 25 days; Snapdragon: 2.5 days.

        HD video
        Tegra: 30 hrs; Snapdragon: FAIL.

        Quake 3:
        Tegra: 30 fps; Snapdragon: 5 fps.

        Flash Acceleration:
        Tegra: Present; Snapdragon: Absent.

        • Patrick

          TareX you really know how to make me laugh. Chill out with Tegra, one thing is PR mumbo jumbo & other thing is called REALITY.

        • TareX

          Ok I know but even if 50% of NVIDIA’s claims are true, this is still an accomplishment worth the wait, wouldn’t you agree?

          The importance of battery life cannot be underestimated with a smartphone…

        • TareX

          In addition to Battery life being crucial to the smartphone experience, let’s not forget that Android OS is power hungry, AND in addition to that, it allows multitasking unlike the iPhone… I mean look at the miserable battery life of webOS, which isn’t even as power hungry as Android.

  • Bagam

    i find this device very uninspiring, it may be popular right now but it will be quickly forgotten. between Android & the hardware makers they just dont “get it”. every aspect of the OS & hardware is very PC-ish. they all lack the polish that WebOS/iPhone both offer.

    i have faith that someday Android will be acceptable, but they are a long way off. the hardware is even a LONGER way off, it still reeks of tacky PC maker design.

    HTC HD2 is the only hardware coming from a non-Apple/Palm company that is truly influencial. too bad its stuck with WinMo.

    • TareX

      If Android is PC-ish, then what about Windows Mobile?

      I agree that they are NO WHERE near the polish and grace of webOS and OSX…. I had high hopes for Eclair, but it didn’t live up to them. It still looks much better than the totally non-professional Android 1.0-1.6, but it’s still rather ugly… If only a patch could change the fonts and replace the horrible greyish menus and keyboard…

  • Alexander_james

    No need for the Snapdragon tag here Steve, it’s OMAP3430 all the way.

    • Chippy

      Yeah. Picked that up last night. Hadnt spotted the snapdragon tag here. Gone now. Thx!

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