Print 34 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Oct 29 at 3:57 PM

Motorola Droid  (Source: Motorola)

Google Maps Navigation  (Source: Gizmodo)
Motorola unveils DROID smartphone and Google Maps Navigation ships with the handset

The smartphone market is hot right now with smartphones growing rapidly while other segments of the mobile phone market shrink. Among the hottest smartphones are those running the Google open source OS Android.

Android is quickly becoming the OS of choice for many mobile phone makers and after much mudslinging at the iPhone in a series of ad campaigns, Motorola and Verizon have gone official with the DROID. The handset is set to hit on November 6 on Verizon for $199 with a new contract after a $100 mail-in rebate.

DROID will run Android 2.0, which has been widely anticipated for a while. Other features of the handset include Visual Voicemail, a 3.7-inch 854 x 480 resolution display, 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, and a 16GB memory card bundled in the box. The handset will also ship with a beta version of Google Maps Navigation. The DROID has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, WiFi, voice-activated search, and Amazon MP3 download capability over-the-air.

Google Maps Navigation turns GPS smartphones into full turn-by-turn navigation systems. Gizmodo offers more details on the free Google Maps Navigation app that Google is offering on the DROID. The app has street and satellite view and voice controls for search. The app will work with Android 2.0 only for now.

Addresses can be entered by typing or by voice commands. The app can also reportedly work with soft commands like "that museum that has the king tut exhibit" reports Gizmodo. The Maps are cached along the way so if you lose connectivity you can keep navigating. Street View images are also featured to give you a look at the actual street on which you are driving.

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iPhone Killer?
By ImSpartacus on 10/28/2009 12:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
Boy, I was a touch critical of Droid when it was first announced, but this puppy is shaping up to be a serious competitor to the iPhone and all smartphones in general.

And now we get free navigation? I think I know which phone I'm getting after my contract expires...

RE: iPhone Killer?
By Mitch101 on 10/28/2009 12:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Caught the Verizon commercial the other day and it pokes fun at the iPhone just enough to make its point. Doesn't go overboard except when Verizon mocks AT&T's 3G coverage. You can tell Verizon might be holding back somewhat in case they get an iPhone deal with Apple.

RE: iPhone Killer?
By The0ne on 10/28/2009 12:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
no doubt. Verizon definitely wants iphone to increase or rather bring back it's customer base :)

RE: iPhone Killer?
By Omega215D on 10/29/2009 9:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
Cnet just posted a review of this phone and it did really well. Not an iPhone killer but really close. They also confirm that it is 100% open and not locked down (Verizon hadn't really locked down phones in a while anyway).

I did agree with parts of their review about the flat keyboard as I see it would be easier to type on with slightly raised keys (enV Touch) and that it would do well to support GSM as well for overseas use.

RE: iPhone Killer?
By Motoman on 10/29/2009 3:57:01 PM , Rating: 1
It has a keyboard...therefore iPhone killer.

All the other stuff is icing on the cake.

RE: iPhone Killer?
By Hare on 10/28/2009 3:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think I know which phone I'm getting after my contract expires...

The Nokia N900? ;)

RE: iPhone Killer?
By quiksilvr on 10/28/2009 11:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
Or the Samsung Moment? That has free navigation as well.

RE: iPhone Killer?
By Bateluer on 10/28/2009 4:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
So long as Verizon doesn't lock the phone down to prevent all the useful apps and things, then I'll get it too.

RE: iPhone Killer?
By ImSpartacus on 10/29/2009 7:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
They still claim its "wide open," but I agree with you. Until I see it, I'm not 100% sold. Let's hope big red doesn't trip and fall trying to run back to home plate.

Probably stupid question, but...
By stugatz on 10/28/2009 12:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
Does it actually make phone calls? What network type? (3G?) Also, any info on expandability of the memory?

RE: Probably stupid question, but...
By Titanius on 10/28/2009 12:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does make phone calls. Its network type is CDMA 1x EVDO (3G CDMA). And its memory is expandable up to 32GB using a microSD card of that capacity (so far).

RE: Probably stupid question, but...
By stugatz on 10/28/2009 12:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yay! Now comes the hard part, waiting 8 more days for it!

By Mojo the Monkey on 10/28/2009 3:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on the processor? I like that it has the features of the G1 (physical keyboard), but appears to be slicker. If it has a next gen cpu, it could be golden.

RE: Probably stupid question, but...
By ebakke on 10/28/09, Rating: 0
By allometry on 10/28/2009 1:15:29 PM , Rating: 1
Let's help a friend out...

By aapocketz on 10/28/2009 1:32:22 PM , Rating: 1
generally I am not one to criticize the way something is styled, but what is with the gold trim? The 80's called and betamax wants its design back -

And why put the d-pad on the right side? Its on the left with the motorola CLIQ (another motorola android phone), which makes more sense to me because its like a d-pad on a game controller. I wish they would just stay consistent at least.

RE: style
By aapocketz on 10/28/2009 1:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
seriously, the betamax photo I posted above reminds me of it, but I had a old VCR or some Receiver in the 80's that had a square piece of circular polished gold trim. it looked the same as the dpad on the droid, though I don't recall it did anything, it may have been just for looks. It was a while ago.

RE: style
By acase on 10/28/2009 1:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't think the looks are that bad...I would agree on the d-pad. Mostly because there is already a decent size gap you have to reach over for the right thumb, and next to nothing on the left. If you moved it the keyboard would be almost centered. I believe one of the biggest complaints on the G1 was having to stretch so far with one thumb, IIRC.

RE: style
By aapocketz on 10/28/2009 3:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, the style isn't that bad really, but something about that d-pad. The gold looks odd to me. It is kinda spaced out from everything else, like you said.

Whats with the blank buttons next to the 2 alt buttons? Do they do anything? I cant say I love the keyboard buttons but if it keeps the phone thin I can accept it.

RE: style
By mcnabney on 10/28/2009 10:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
It might make more sense if you think of the Dpad as the equivalent to the arrow keys on a standard keyboard.

By icanhascpu on 10/28/2009 11:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hay, where did the Google OS article go? Put that back up! I want to try that beotch.

By Yawgm0th on 10/28/2009 12:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
They pulled it because it was inaccurate. It was not Google's OS. It was Chrome OS by SUSE. If it's even newsworthy at all, it will have to be re-posted with correct facts.

By acase on 10/28/2009 1:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
...never stopped them before.

By itbj2 on 10/28/2009 4:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
I guess google is turning into a monopoly very quickly and will push most companies out of business. It is very hard to compete with someone that is giving away most of their stuff because they make a bunch of money off of search. This is what Microsoft was doing through out most of the 1990s.

RE: Monopoly
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2009 7:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
How is this phone putting anyone out of business? Or even the Android OS.

RE: Monopoly
By The0ne on 10/28/2009 7:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Simple business really. Hook as many users as you can with your product, free if possible, and then when you have a good size market charge them since most are already "hooked."

They got maps and everything associated with it, they got books and/or will get many more, they got free apps (which I'm using now hehe), they got search, etc.

It's only a matter of time when someone, ahem...greedy, comes along and wants to "integrate" the feature with something else, in this case a phone, and get a bit of money for it. Sure it's nice for the consumer but it leaves little room for competition when you already have all the maps, search, books, etc etc. Sorry for long sentence lol.

I like "free" but I also like to be reassure that there's competition to make sure this "free" doesn't turn into a pay or you're SOoL. You know, a monopoly company :D Can never trust companies, they are there for business.

iPhone Killer?
By ImSpartacus on 10/28/2009 12:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Boy, I was a touch critical of Droid when it was first announced, but this puppy is shaping up to be a serious competitor to the iPhone and all smartphones in general.

And now we get free navigation? I think I know which phone I'm getting after my contract expires...

RE: iPhone Killer?
By The0ne on 10/28/2009 1:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
I like the design myself. Definitely have to check it out when it arrives.

By FITCamaro on 10/28/2009 7:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Makes me not have to pay for GPS directions through Verizon. Just won my business over the Storm 2.

RE: Sold
By Motoman on 10/29/2009 3:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. My wife uses the Verizon Navigator service all the time...but the service plan to get it is way expensive. Even if we have to cough up another $200 for the phone itself, it wouldn't take long to make up for that with a cheaper plan...

By DotNetGuru on 10/28/2009 6:51:49 PM , Rating: 3
This is definitely the droid I've been looking for.
Move along.

By KingstonU on 10/28/2009 11:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
In Canada we just now got the G1, finally. I hope this app will work on Android 1.X devices cause a proper GPS is one of the major things I wish for on this phone. I have no idea when we will get Android 2.0 devices and even then I am stuck with a 3-year contract :(

Video Calling
By mavricxx on 10/29/2009 2:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
When are these carriers in the states gonna start supporting video calls! In europe and other parts of the world they been had that capability for years and we the UNITED STATES still don't. This phone sounds great though, I am definitely looking forward to it...

By DLeRium on 10/29/2009 3:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? Have you guys been out of touch?

HTC Touch HD1, now HD2? Samsung Omnia II? Samsung Omnia i8910? Acer's whatever that thing is called? Toshiba G01?

Come on. There's tons of phones that have features similar. But to the American consumer there's only one phone that comes to mind. The iPhone.

3.7" Screen - Well the HD2 has a 4.2" screen? Omnia II has a 3.7" and so does the i8910. Big deal.

Cortex A8 processor - Well all new phones have this anyway? The iPhone was the one that pasted it in everyone's face with the 3G[b]S[/b]. But it's not like the rest of the world doesn't have Cortex A8 phones. I guess the US is really behind.

5MP Camera with Dual LED Flash - You mean something the N95 had in 2007? Big whoop dee do. I guess iPhone users are like OMG 3MP => 5MP is a huge jump. Meanwhile the Sony Satio gets booed for being so late on its 12MP cameraphone + XENON flash. It's like the US is celebrating the arrival of Windows XP whereas the rest of the world is celebrating Windows 7.


THIS IS THE BIGGIE. Where have you guys been? Google maps only? AT&T or Verizon's navigation crap?

Navigation by itself is not a COSTLY service. It SHOULD be free and is free in the rest of the world. In the US, people are dumb enough to pay ATT $10 a month which adds up quickly for navigation service. Why? Because you don't get all the maps at once.

Garmin Mobile XT and Tom Tom Mobile have been out for ages. You can use your phones like your Garmin GPSes already. Plus, Navteq is really better than Tele Atlas especially in the US. This is why Garmin wins in the US while TomTom rules Europe. Google Maps unfortunately uses Tele Atlas, but we can't doubt the ease of use Google Maps provides us.

So everyone is shocked Google is providing free turn by turn. Nothing special. It's the maps you have to pay for anyway, but it's easy to make it free because Google Maps is already a free service out there. So yeah I guess it's semi revolutionary but many phones come with GPSes already. Well I guess not in the US, and even if they do, it's bundled with AT&T and Verizon's service so you get screwed and have to pay up the ASS.

Great work Google. Free turn by turn is great. Makes you wonder why $99 Garmin is worth it, but this isn't the end of all GPSes. Phones have cameras and MP3 players while iPod touch sales are through the roof. Canon's still making money and if anything has expanded its SD### camera lineup since the inception of cameraphones.

Meanwhile I'll stick to Garmin Mobile XT. I get the same quality of navigation as any Garmin device right now. Ok, I miss out on that lane merge feature but everything else is still there.

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