Motorola Devours Verizon’s Droid Brand With New Motoblur Phone

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I’m glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t quite get Verizon’s Droid branding for handsets. There’s nothing wrong with the name, but it’s confusing to have a single handset share the name as a line of handsets. Perhaps that’s why the next Droid in line is simply called the Motorola Devour. Or maybe we’ll see more Droids out of the robot factory — who knows? I do know that the Devour looks a little more modern and polished than the original Droid and that Motorola also included its custom Motoblur interface for fast access to social networking. The Devour is the first Verizon phone with Motoblur.

The Devour might share styling cues from the Droid, but it falls short by comparison in a few areas. The smaller 3.1″ capacitive touchscreen is a lower 320 x 480 resolution, for example. And although updates are always possible in the future, the Devour sports Android 1.6, not 2.0 like the Droid. Other specification reductions include the 3 megapixel camera sensor and an 8 GB memory card — the Droid shoots 5 megapixels and comes with a 16 GB SD card. Also gone is the D-Pad — but that might make for a better keyboard experience since both phones are practically the same width in landscape. Verizon did include a touch sensitive navigation pad for faster movement through information.

Neither Motorola nor Verizon have announced any pricing, but with the decreased specifications, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this come in around $99 to $149. That range would help bring a QWERTY-based Android device to the masses if $199 is too much to spend on a Droid. Motorola expects availability this quarter, so we shouldn’t have to wait long on the price point.

It’s clear that Motorola is trying to position the integrated Motoblur interface as a competitive advantage, much like HTC does with the Sense UI. And having played with the feature, it’s not bad. But many, if not all, of the functions can be added through application widgets, so I’m not totally sold on the advantage. Of course, I don’t use a MOTOBLUR device in my daily routine, so if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the experience.

 

Related Research: “Marketing Handsets in the Superphone Era

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