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Verizon launches Motorola DROID Android 2.0 phone with Google Maps Navigation

Snapshot by Brian James Kirk on Wednesday October 28, 2009.

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Verizon Wireless has officially announced the Motorola DROID, its anticipated and powerful Android-powered smartphone and the company's first handset to come from a partnership with Google. DROID features 3G and WiFi data connectivity, a massive 3.7-inch WVGA (480x854 pixels) capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display, a 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera, and a ton of Google applications, both new and old.

The device is the first to launch with Google's updated Android 2.0 smartphone OS, which includes new functionality and an improved interface over the 1.6 version that launched in the beginning of October. With DROID's powerful processor, users can multitask easily and can switch between six applications at a time. Of course, users will have access to the Android Market for downloading third-party applications. DROID features voice-activated search for web queries, but users can still utilize the DROID's slide-out full-QWERTY keyboard with the universal search application to look up contacts, apps, and other information on the phone. With 3G and WiFi data connectivity, web pages viewed in the multi-window browser should load quickly, and zooming is never more than a double-tap away.

A 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash will let users take photos and shoot video to share with friends. Media taken with the phone's camera, along with a wide array of video and audio files, can be saved on the device's 16GB microSD(INFO) card, which comes bundled with the phone. Listen to music or watch videos for extended periods of time with the DROID's 1400mAh battery, and utilize your Bluetooth headset and headphones with the device for wireless listening or jack in a traditional pair of 3.5mm headphones, as you choose.

As rumored earlier today, Google has indeed been working on a free turn-by-turn navigation service called Google Maps Navigation that is launching first with DROID. Users can tell the phone where they want to navigate to and follow voice-guided directions using Google Maps and the device's aGPS functionality. The DROID also has Gmail Sync and Exchange support out-of-box, and Google applications like Maps, Talk and Calendar are also available.

The MOTO DROID will be available November 6 at Verizon Wireless for $199.99 after a two-year customer agreement and mail-in rebate.

Specifications for the Motorola DROID
Operating System Android 2.0
Band CDMA 800/1900MHz
Data 1xRTT/EV-DO/WiFi
Size 115.8mm x 60mm x 13.7mm (4.6in x 2.4in x 0.5in)
Weight 169g (6.0oz)
Battery Life 6.4 hours estimated talk time
11.25 days estimated standby time
Display 3.7-inch WVGA (480 x 854 pixel) capacitive touchscreen
Camera 5 megapixel autofocus w/dual-LED flash
Video Record/Playback
Messaging SMS/MMS/IM
Email Gmail/IMAP/POP/Exchange
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR with A2DP stereo
Memory microSD card slot (16GB included)
Other aGPS navigation, 3.5mm headphone jack, HTML5 browser, Facebook integration
Availability November 6, 2009 (manufacturer's estimate)


Link @ 4:26:19AM EST on Thursday November 26, 2009

I had the Motorola Droid for 2 weeks and found it to be terrific with FAST internet search and some trick apps. The reason I said "had" is that after 2 weeks of being unable to voice dial via bluetooth I'd had enough! I searched and searched for an app that would enable BT voice dial, but alas, none available. Also, it seems that Google doesn't think this is an important enough feature to give it a high priority for a fix. From what I have gleaned from my reading of user reviews, the Android OS has been out for 1-1/2 yrs and Google has not "listened" to user complaints about this and has done nothing to fix it. This is a HUGE deal for those of us who want to drive safely and legally while placing phone calls. Also, with Google Nav, it does not "talk' to you thru your bluetooth device, so if you are listening to the radio you cannot hear the direction prompts coming from the Droid speaker. Then there's the auto focus which would not work making it impossible to take really sharp pics. What good is a 5 Mega Pixel camera if it won't focus?? So sadly, since there doesn't seem to be any fixes for the BT voice dial coming anytime soon, I took the phone back and went back to my LG Dare. I hope that enough folks do the same so that Google will wake up, smell the coffee and come up with a fix. Once they do that I'll be all over that Droid again.

About the author

Brian James Kirk
Brian is a former news editor on MobileBurn.com that freelances in Philadelphia. You can follow him on Twitter as @BrianJamesKirk.

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