Droid Phone

Michael Kwan
Droid Phone

Nearly everyone on the Verizon network got really excited when the Droid phone was officially revealed to the public. This powerful smartphone represented a major competitor to the Apple iPhone, offering all sorts of attractive features for the discerning cell phone user.

What Is the Droid Phone?

Ever since the Apple iPhone was released in 2007, it seems like every other manufacturer and wireless carrier has been trying to capture the same level of excitement. Consumers have been able to try other viable smartphones, like the BlackBerry Bold and the Nokia E71, but the general public seems to agree that the iPhone may be the best smartphone. The Motorola Droid phone could be the handset to dethrone Apple's entry.

The Droid phone is the result of three-way partnership. The hardware manufacturer is Motorola, the same company that sold the ubiquitous RAZR phone for a number of years. In fact, Motorola was the first company to sell a commercially-available cell phone, so the name comes with a long and well-respected pedigree.

The software comes from Google. Much like the T-Mobile myTouch 3G, the Motorola Droid is based on the Google Android smartphone platform. This phone is powered by a newer version of the operating system, called Android 2.0.

Thirdly, the network is provided by Verizon Wireless. This is CDMA-based network and is considerably different from the GSM-based AT&T network that the iPhone uses in the United States.

Droid Does What iPhone Doesn't

Many of the television commercials advertising the Droid phone exclaim several of the features available on the Motorola Droid that are not available on the iPhone. This direct comparison brings up several notable highlights that may entice some users over to Verizon and the Motorola Droid smartphone.

For instance, the Droid comes with an impressive five-megapixel camera. The camera comes with image stabilization, real-time color effects, location tagging, 4x digital zoom, automatic focus, and dual LED flash. The 5MP camera can be used to capture DVD-quality (720 x 480 pixel resolution) video as well.

In addition to the extra large 3.7-inch WVGA (480 x 854 pixel) touchscreen display, the Droid has a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard as well. This is similar to the HTC Touch Pro, giving users the best of both worlds. When you want to send an email, a tactile keyboard is available and the screen will automatically orient itself to landscape mode.

Unlike the iPhone with its set amount of internal memory, the Verizon Droid has a microSD expansion slot that allows for extra storage. A 16GB card comes preinstalled, but the expansion slot will support cards up to 32GB of capacity.

Other highlights include a Webkit-based Web browser, 3.5mm headset jack, unified contact list, Google Talk integration, Verizon Visual Voice mail, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS services, and built-in image editing tools.

Android Market

Just as the Apple iPhone grants users access to the App Store to download a wide range of mobile applications, the Motorola Droid allows for a similar functionality through the Android Market.

The marketplace operates much the same way as the App Store, allowing for free cell phone app development and distribution. The number of available Android apps for the Droid is not as impressive as the iPhone, but there is still plenty to enjoy. There are free mobile phone games, Twitter clients, stock tickers, tip calculators, and more.

Will the Droid Be Successful?

No one knew exactly what to expect when Steve Jobs and the rest of the Apple team announced that it would be entering the cell phone market. Apple was new to the cell phone game, but it has managed to make a major impact on the industry.

With the Droid phone, Motorola could be taking an increasingly popular platform in Google Android and elevating it to a mainstream level by adding all sorts of valuable features. Some iPhone users have complained by the performance of the AT&T network, so the increased reliability of the Verizon network could be a major selling point as well.

It's hard to say whether the Droid will be quite as popular as the iPhone, but it's clear that this is one of the most powerful efforts to date.

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Droid Phone