Tag Archive | "motorola droid 3"

Motorola Droid 3 Official, Available July 14th–5-row QWERTY Keyboard Excites!

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Solana_FrontHorOpen_1, 3/9/11, 9:48 AM,  8C, 3900x3300 (1147+2393), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/15 s, R63.9, G48.0, B75.7 Though it showed up on the web back in March, the Droid 3 has finally received the official treatment. The phone will make it’s debut on July 14th on Verizon for $199 w/ contract or with an upgrade.

Let’s dig into the specs, shall we:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen (Gorilla Glass) ‘qHD’ display @ 960×540
  • Sliding 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Dual-core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 8MP rear-camera capable of 1080p record and playback (through HDMI-out)
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • MicroSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards
  • World Phone – WCDMA 850/1900/2100, CDMA 800/1900, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS & Magnetometer (compass)
  • 3G (HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps)
  • Micro HDMI-out
  • 1540 MAh battery
  • 184g
  • 64.1 x 123.3 x 12.9 mm

The processor is unspecified, but considering the dual-core nature and 1080p capture/output support, I think it’s safe to say that we’re looking at Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU.

droid 3 frontThe obvious omission here is 4G LTE which is a bit of a shame, but if you’re the internationally-traveled type, you’ll appreciate the inclusion of global bands.

I’m most excited about the phone’s 5-row QWERTY keyboard. While devices like the Nokia N900 had great keys, the keyboard had only 3 rows! With so few rows, using punctuation and symbols becomes incredibly hectic and really ruins (slows) the typing experience on what would otherwise be a great keyboard.

The Droid 3’s keyboard, on the other hand, has a dedicated number-row which will definitely reduce the amount of modifier-key usage and this will serve to increase the typing speed. I haven’t had a chance to use the keyboard just yet, but they keys are looking improved over the 4-row Motorola Droid 2 that came before it!

Leaked Droid 3 Photo Shows Improved Keyboard With Dedicated Number Row

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Looks like Motorola is working on the successor to their Droid # phones. A photo of the Droid 3 has been leaked over at Howard Forums (hat tip to GottaBeMobile for pointing it out) and in addition to a design that departs from the Droid 2 — and instead harkens back to the original Droid — we can see that the keyboard has received a lot of work.

droid 3 keyboardThe hardware keyboard on the original Droid was a major selling point for many people. Unfortunately, the keyboard really under-delivered. Motorola made progress with the Droid 2, but typing speed still suffered a lot when you wanted needed to punctuate. Here’s an excerpt about the keyboard from our Droid 2 review published last September:

droid 2

Typing alphabetical characters on the Droid 2’s keyboard is like cruising down the highway – using punctuation is like sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The keyboard is speedy thanks to fairly good tactical feedback, but lack of auto-correction that is commonly found on modern OSKs means that you end up having to do more work than you really should. Things get messy when one key is bound with both a shift- and alt-modifier punctuation. Not to mentioned that in order to access the extended symbols list, you have to press alt, space, then tap your selection from the popup menu (taking your fingers from the keyboard slows down the process even more)

Things are looking up for the Droid 3’s keyboard. The keys closely resemble those on the N900 [keyboard section of our review] (which had great feedback and were very easy to type with), but unlike the N900, the Droid 3 has a dedicated number-row (5 rows total) which is very important for speed. By moving the numbers to their own keys, they can free up some of the punctuation congestion that was an issue on the Droid 2 and N900.

Of course, adding an additional row to the keyboard means that you’ll either need to make the device larger, or shrink the keys. In the photo we have, the number-row keys on the Droid 3 are half the height as the others.

nokia n900 keyboardNokia decided to make nice large keys on the N900, and they felt excellent. Unfortunately, they could only fit three rows of keys on the device, and using symbols and punctuation really slowed things down.

Here’s to hoping that the Droid 3 keyboard will combine the strengths of the great key design on the N900 with the less congested punctuation typing that comes with a dedicated number row.

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