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Summary:

Verizon Wireless launches the Motorola Droid this Friday (as if you hadn’t heard), and the carrier is opening “many” of its 2,000 retail outlets early (7 a.m. or 8 a.m. local time) to accommodate what it hopes is a rush of new customers. Call your local […]

droid-by-motorola-front-open-vzw-eye1Verizon Wireless launches the Motorola Droid this Friday (as if you hadn’t heard), and the carrier is opening “many” of its 2,000 retail outlets early (7 a.m. or 8 a.m. local time) to accommodate what it hopes is a rush of new customers. Call your local store for hours if you’re interested in being among the first to get your hands on the gadget. Meanwhile, here are a few other things you should keep in mind if you’re considering going Droid:

  • The phone will sell for $199 with a two-year agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate. Users who don’t want to wait until Friday or deal with the hassle of mailing in for a rebate can pre-order the device at Best Buy, where the rebate will be applied instantly.
  • As our friends at BillShrink have illustrated, expect to pay $110 a month for a mid-range plan with 450 900 minutes of talk time for the Droid, or $150 for an unlimited plan. Both rates match AT&T’s offerings for iPhone service.
  • The Droid comes with a 16GB SD card to help offset its meager 256 MB of on-board memory. For more memory you’ll need to pick up a 32GB SD card.
  • Android Market’s inventory of 10,000+ apps pales compared to Apple’s (a aapl) 100,000-title-plus App Store, but it’s a solid start for the year-old storefront.
  • Google apps such as Maps, Latitude, Voice Search, Gmail and Calendar are included, and Droid is the first phone to feature the impressive new Google Maps Navigation.
  • The Droid is the first handset to run Android 2.0 (dubbed “Eclair”), which includes new features such as a combined inbox for multiple email accounts, a virtual keyboard with improved layout and word completion, and “Quick Contact,” which enables a user to call, email or send an SMS simply by clicking on a contact or photo.

Whether the Cupertino gang has anything to fear in the Droid is a matter of some debate. But Motorola’s handset clearly has the firepower to move the needle in the fast-moving smartphone world, and I expect the gadget to sell very well this holiday season in the wake of Verizon’s marketing blitz.

  1. You should correct the pricing for average plan – $110 is for 900 minutes (not 450)

    Does the Droid sync with Outlook on the PC or the Mac (iCal, Contacts)?

    What media sync does it use?

    The website is ridiculously annoying / useless. The website is (trying to) sell Cool instead of show the product – a very bad sign.

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  2. My local Verizon store said they were opening at 6am. In Philadelphia, next to Penn’s campus.

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  3. Here is what you really need to know.

    Cannot use more than 256MB for applications.
    Terrible physical and on screen keyboard.
    No multi-touch.
    Cannot do voice and data at the same time
    Slow
    Not a great UI
    Touch buttons work sometimes.
    Web browser not ACID compliant like iPhones.
    OS/App fragmentation.

    Does that sound like an iPhone killer to you? Doesn’t to me. Not even close.

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    1. Thanks! I don’t understand why people have to market as iPhone Killer when internally they know it is not even close. Verizon’s reputation is at stake…

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  4. [...] What You Need to Know About the Droid (GigaOm) T-Mobile’s CTO Talks Up Android — Going Forward, Apps Are Key (GigaOm) The New New Carrier Deck (GigaOm) BlackBerry Bold 9700 Impressions: Small and Chirpy, Like a Black Hummingbird (Gizmodo) Dialed In 103: Android highs and lows (Cnet) Share and Enjoy: [...]

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  5. any news of when it is launching in other countries….specially Asia???

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    1. has no voice dialing with bluetooth.not good for a hansfree phone

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  6. [...] Open Source Program Manager at Google and one of the overseers of Android, what he thought of the new Droid phone during a casual, non-interview conversation. He immediately answered that he really liked the new, [...]

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  7. [...] best hope for webOS appeared to be an upcoming launch with Verizon Wireless early next year. But as Verizon’s Droid initiative demonstrates, the Google OS has captured the attention of the nation’s largest carrier. If it overlooks [...]

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  8. [...] works to about $100 per customer in acquisition costs for Motorola and Verizon. (Related posts: “What You Need to Know About the Droid” and “What Are the Downsides to [...]

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  9. [...] OS, because they’ll be missing out on some pretty cool features: Android 2.0, which first came to market with the Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless just two months after the Galaxy appeared, includes a [...]

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  10. [...] Galaxy have learned that they’re not in line for an upgrade to Android 2.0, which first came to market with the Droid a mere two months after the Galaxy became available. The revelation highlights the double-edged [...]

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