Print 43 comment(s) - last by Mojo the Monke.. on Aug 11 at 8:38 PM

Star Wars' R2-D2  (Source: Lucasfilm/Pixel Tale)

The Motorola Droid 2 has been officially announced.  (Source: Verizon via Engadget)
Verizon's gets another super-powered smart phone

T-Mobile has the Samsung Vibrant smartphone (granted, soon all carriers will).  Sprint has the HTC EVO 4G.  Now Verizon is keeping up with the Jones and unleashing another high end Android 2.2 smartphone to the masses.

The new phone is the Droid 2 from Motorola.  It's pretty much been the worst kept secret in the world, as smartphones often are.  To recap what was previously known and now confirmed, the phone packs a 3.7-inch color touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, 3G hotspot/tethering capability, 8 GB of build in flash memory, an SD expansion capable of holding up to a 32 GB card, a 5 MP camera capable of "DVD-quality" video, and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) connectivity to share pics and movies.

The phone runs on Android 2.2, which features a Davlik JIT compiler and Flash 10.1, among other improvements.

A handful of details remain unconfirmed -- processor speed (rumored to be 1 GHz) and the amount of memory (rumored to be 512 MB).

The phone goes on pre-order tomorrow, August 11 for $199.99 for customers with new contracts or full upgrade privileges.  It will hit stores August 12 -- this Thursday.  Customers can opt to purchase Verizon's 3G Mobile HotSpot service for $20/month.  The service allows up to 5 devices to connect via Wi-Fi to the phone's hotspot.  Just beware -- Verizon has a 5 GB monthly data cap and tethering will rapidly drain your battery.

Talk/text plans for the phone start at $39.99 and the email/web data plans start at $29.99, so you will pay a base rate of at least $69.98 monthly with the Droid 2, before taxes and fees are tacked on.

Some may not know it but Verizon licenses the "Droid" trademark from George Lucas's production company Lucasfilm.  Verizon officially embraced that tie for the first time, announcing a limited edition R2-D2 phone.

Verizon writes in the press release:

In honor of the iconic Astromech Droid from the Star Wars™ Saga, Verizon Wireless will offer a limited-edition R2-D2 version of the DROID 2, available only online in September. The special version of the phone will feature exclusive Star Wars content and external hardware designed to look like the trusty Droid from the film saga. Visitors to the upcoming Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Fla., can see a preview of the limited edition phone and sign up to receive alerts when the phone is ready for sale.

Features-wise the phone seems to fall a bit short of the $199.99 (with contract) Droid X, also by Motorola, which packs a 8 MP camera, 4.3-inch screen, and otherwise similar stats.  The only downsides are that the Droid X is keyboard-less and won't get Android 2.2 until September

The HTC Incredible also seemingly packs a superior camera to the Droid 2, weighing in at 8 MP (it has a similar 3.7-inch screen size).  Of course, as the iPhone 4 shows, the megapixel count isn't always telling of image quality, a lot of it is the image processing hardware and physical size of the sensor.  And the HTC phone's 1 GHz Snapdragon processor is generally slower than the 1 GHz OMAP processor the Droid 2 is rumored to have.

Regardless of the outstanding details -- the camera, the processor, and the memory -- the Droid 2 seems destined to be among Verizon's high end Android handsets.  It cements the company's firm commitment to Android as the smartphone leader of the future.

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Droid X
By Wolfpup on 8/10/2010 11:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not that it's not good they're updating it for people who want a keyboard (hopefully a much better keyboard), but it sounds like the Droid X has the same hardware except a nice larger screen. Personally I'd go for the X if I were buying an Android phone on Verizon (wish the X was available on every carrier...I'll take Motorola over HTC or Samsung any day).

RE: Droid X
By Aloonatic on 8/10/2010 11:11:40 AM , Rating: 2
I must admit, I used to question people on here who used to say that they needed a keyboard, but after using my Desire I'd defiantly go for a Droid like, keyboard wielding device next time. The number of times when the on screen keyboard has covered up most of the screen, making it hard to see what you've typed even on a facebook comment or text message is just so irritating.

If it comes to sacrificing an extra .3" or even.5" inch of screen size in order to get a good keyboard (I've never used a droid so can't comment) then I'd probably go that way now, but that's just me :o)

RE: Droid X
By Souka on 8/11/2010 2:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
I miss my Blackberry keyboard...but that's about it...

The Droid1 keyboard SUCKED....hope they fixed this one.

But then again my DroidX is doing fine (upgraded from an droid ERIS, from Samsun Omnia)

RE: Droid X
By Sazabi19 on 8/11/2010 7:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
My buddy and i both have Droids but we got them at different times, i got mine after he did and his keys are pretty much flat, mine are raised slightly so you can feel each different key on your fingertip. I think the whole "bad keyboard" thing has gone on a bad rampage with the Droid, sure the 1st gen of the phone did have a pretty crummy keyboard, but in all fairness they did fix it a few months later. I love my droid and hate on-screen keyboards, so I'm pretty sure I will go with the Droid 2, not the X. And yes, I'm running 2.2 on my Droid right now :)

RE: Droid X
By Souka on 8/11/2010 3:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
good to know they updated the keyboard, thank yuo.

I gave my "old" droid to a coworker...maybe I'll have him RMA it as he doesn't care fot the keyboard design.

Far as physical keyboard.... with the predictive/corrective typying, I'm pretty good on it... but probably should start using the swype keyboard function and be better still :)

RE: Droid X
By OnyxNite on 8/10/2010 11:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I prefer the smaller screen if both have the same resolution. I want this thing to fit comfortable in my pants pocket and the Droid X is just a little to big without a higher resolution to make it worthwhile. The Droid X does have a superior camera though (for both stills and video) so for me it comes down to camera vs. keyboard and in that the keyboard wins.

RE: Droid X
By retrospooty on 8/10/2010 3:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Personally I'd go for the X if I were buying an Android phone on Verizon"

Not me. My co-worker has an X. Its nice, and the screen is great, but just too big. It works for her, becasue she carries it in her purse, but I want mine to fit in my pocket, but the X (and EVO) are just too big for that. Plus, nothing beats a built in keyboard.

My ideal phone would bea Droid or Droid2 hardware with Palm's Web OS - its just ... better than iPhone or Android.

RE: Droid X
By bodar on 8/10/2010 11:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
but the X (and EVO) are just too big for that

Do you wear tight pants or something? I carry my EVO quite comfortably in dress slacks, with the Seidio Active Limited case on it too. I never wear jeans though, so I can't say how it would fit in there, TBH. Really, the EVO is not that much larger than the Droid 2, from the specs I've seen.

EVO Dimensions: 4.8? x 2.6? x .5? (LxWxT)
Droid 2 Dimensions: 4.5" x 2.38" x .54" (LxWxT)

If that makes a huge difference in comfort, you may want to re-evaluate your pants a bit.

RE: Droid X
By SSDMaster on 8/11/2010 1:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
I hardly notice when its in my pocket. The Droid 2 is going to be thicker, and you'll notice that more than the X. Also, since the screen is so big, typing on it is very fast and accurate.

I love my Droid X. Already rooted, and Birdman has already booted a custom ROM on it :)

RE: Droid X
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/11/2010 8:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you have allegiance to Motorola vs. HTC or Samsung? They all have varying levels of quality, from device to device, some hit and some miss. HTC has had great customer focus and build quality. Samsung has some amazing hardware with their new Galaxy S line (which, arguably, crushed Droid X in most areas).

I would say that each carrier has high end phones that are easily as good as, or better than, the Droid X, should you need a high end android. Quit whining.

And personally, I cant stand non-Swype interface (standard single touch keyboard) phones unless they have a physical keyboard that I can slide out and use to type something longer than 10 letters.

The irony
By T3rrahawk on 8/11/2010 1:45:59 AM , Rating: 4
R2-D2 is not an android.

RE: The irony
By Sazabi19 on 8/11/2010 8:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
I lol'ed

And don't forget...
By Shadowself on 8/10/2010 2:06:50 PM , Rating: 3
Of course, as the iPhone 4 shows, the megapixel count isn't always telling of image quality, a lot of it is the image processing hardware and physical size of the sensor.

While it is true that physical pixel size is important...

It also has a LOT to do with the lens used. A crappy lens can make even a 12MP sensor produce poorer images than a great lense with a 3MP sensor. While lenses in cell phones are getting better. A lot of the higher pixel count phones are just upgrading the sensor and not dealing with upgrading the lens too.

Apple chose to compensate for an "OK" lens (better than average, but NOT great) with larger physical pixels. The better (but clearly more expensive) approach is to use both top of the line lenses and top of the line sensors.

Clown me...go on..
By Smilin on 8/10/2010 11:01:53 AM , Rating: 2
Go ahead and poke fun... I'm holding out for a WP7 phone.

RE: Clown me...go on..
By superflex on 8/10/10, Rating: 0
By TomZ on 8/10/2010 5:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
By jbwhite99 on 8/11/2010 11:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
this is not the Droid I'm looking for. But it sounds like they have addressed what I would call issues:

1. Bad keyboard
2. Battery life at times

Hopefully this one will last another 15 months, then we'll see what the Droid 4 looks like (if they refresh every 9 months).

Geek alert
By superflex on 8/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: Geek alert
By Proxes on 8/10/2010 11:03:24 AM , Rating: 5
No, but I have Kenny Baker's autograph on my SW:TCG foil R2-D2 card.

RE: Geek alert
By superflex on 8/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: Geek alert
By jackstar7 on 8/10/2010 11:32:02 AM , Rating: 4
Why knock a fellow geek on his stuff?

No one wins when geeks fight, except the jocks.

RE: Geek alert
By Dabruuzer on 8/10/2010 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 4
I'm actually kind of saddened that you don't know who that is.

RE: Geek alert
By Flunk on 8/10/2010 12:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know who it is either but by context I can guess it's the guy who used to play the little trashcan before CG. You don't have to be a jerk for no reason.

RE: Geek alert
By acer905 on 8/10/2010 12:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually he was R2 in all 6 movies.

RE: Geek alert
By Reflex on 8/10/2010 12:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
There were only three movies. And some lame fan fiction in the late 90's and early 2000's.

RE: Geek alert
By acer905 on 8/10/2010 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 4
I tend to not bury my head in the sand. Like it or hate it, Lucas is responsible for all 6. Also, the Matrix does have sequels.

RE: Geek alert
By mcnabney on 8/10/2010 1:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
When Matrix and Star Wars sequels are concerned, keeping your head in the sand might actually be a good thing.

RE: Geek alert
By Reflex on 8/10/2010 2:49:46 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. I'm not aware of any Matrix sequels either. Its not burying my head in the sand, its refusing to allow garbage to ruin something I enjoyed. I have no obligation to acknowledge movies I dislike.

Heck, Quantum of Solace never happened either. Stricken from the record as it should be. Makes my movie collection much better.

RE: Geek alert
By Whedonic on 8/10/2010 5:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
No! That's not true! That's impossible! *Throws self down airshaft*

RE: Geek alert
By Smilin on 8/10/2010 2:01:36 PM , Rating: 3
The whole story is R2D2s. He's the one telling it. He's the only character in all 6.

RE: Geek alert
By Proxes on 8/10/2010 3:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
And C-3PO.

RE: Geek alert
By Smilin on 8/10/2010 3:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
True but he wasn't assembled in ep1.

RE: Geek alert
By troysavary on 8/10/2010 5:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. Anakin is in all 6, he's just Vader in 3 of them. Obi-Wan is also in all 6, but is a ghost in two movies.

RE: Geek alert
By bodar on 8/11/2010 12:02:38 AM , Rating: 3
George Lucas has acknowledged the influence of The Hidden Fortress on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, particularly in the technique of telling the story from the points of view of the film's lowliest characters, C-3PO and R2-D2.[2] Kurosawa's use of frame wipes (sometimes cleverly hidden by motion within the frame) as a transition device also influenced Star Wars.

Actually, he's got something there. I saw it in a "making of" special for the Star Wars 30th anniversary or something. Lucas is on video saying this.

RE: Geek alert
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2010 12:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
The whole story is R2D2s. He's the one telling it. He's the only character in all 6.

Sorry but R2D2 is most certainly NOT the protagonist in any of the movies. Especially 1-3, where the biggest problem is the lack of any protagonists the audience can identify with. But that's just one of many problems the ill-fated prequels had. Truth be told, it was utterly ridiculous even having R2 and C3PO in the prequels. There was no reason for it, and like most things in the prequels, makes absolutely no sense. It was just more stupid fan service with totally NO payoff. There is ZERO indication in the orgiginal trillogy that those droids were part of a bigger story in the past. Vader clearly would remember them, but it's pretty obvious he's never seen them before in his life.

You would think that as much as C3PO runs his mouth, he would have mentioned SOMETHING about the past in the original trilogy as well. Like "oh yeah, Vader, that guy built me!!" Something? Anything? Once again Lucas seems to think he can stupidly "tie in" everything together into the original. No matter how poorly the pieces fit, how illogical it is, and how much suspension of disbelief is required from the audience.

Also having young Anakin building them himself presents another plot hole. So a slave kid built his slave mom a freaking protocol droid!? Yeah no doubt a droid who translates languages would be a HUGE help in doing backbreaking slave labor..ummm, right.

To say the whole "story" is R2D2, who has NO internal conflicts what-so-ever because he's a droid, shows a serious lack of understanding story structure and plots. R2D2 is there to provide comedic relief, and also help with plot supposition. Because when you have to explain things to a droid, you are really explaining them to the audience without being overly obvious.

RE: Geek alert
By bodar on 8/11/2010 3:23:47 PM , Rating: 3
Their memories were wiped at the end of Ep 3, so they didn't know jack about Vader. The part of the retcon that doesn't fit with the original trilogy is that Obiwan doesn't seem to recognize them in Ep 4. I don't recall Vader ever meeting the droids in person for him to "remember" them. Would be great though:

"No. I am your Maker."

The story is told through the droids perspective, but yeah, the movies are ultimately the story of the fall and redemption of Anakin.

RE: Geek alert
By superflex on 8/11/2010 10:13:45 AM , Rating: 2
Good thing I didn't make fun of his foil Pokemon cards.
I'd be downrated even more.
Sheesh, you geeks are a sensitive bunch.
Try leaving your mom's basement once in a while for some UV-B exposure.

RE: Geek alert
By angryplayer on 8/11/2010 8:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
You are on dailytech, a site for geeks. How ape are you to not notice this. Now shoo, before you burn in awe of my mastery of fire.

RE: Geek alert
By mckinney on 8/10/2010 12:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
Just be sure to put the potatoe in the front.

RE: Geek alert
By Creig on 8/10/2010 2:42:10 PM , Rating: 1
I guess these aren't the Droids you're looking for.

RE: Geek alert
By Paj on 8/10/2010 5:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
We don't serve their kind here

RE: Geek alert
By Omega215D on 8/11/2010 2:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
We're the Cantina Band and if you have any requests just shout them out. *play the same song*

Okay same song, here we go...

RE: Geek alert
By Omega215D on 8/11/2010 2:03:18 AM , Rating: 2
Unless of course it comes with the R2D2 whistling chirp as a ring tone or power on sound. Or a gold C-3PO droid that says "we're doomed" when you power it on.

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