Droid 2 On Sale Tomorrow — R2-D2 Version Later

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Motorola and Verizon are opening up the hangar doors tomorrow for online sales of the Droid 2. The Droid 2 has a sliding QWERTY keyboard and is shipping with Android 2.2, aka Froyo. Verizon is rushing the Droid 2 into the sales channel to get it in front of customers in time for back-to-school.

The new phone expands on the form factor of the successful Droid, with a 3.7-inch screen and an improved sliding keyboard. It has 8 GB of internal storage, augmented by another 8 GB via a replaceable storage card (included). The 5 MP camera enables users to record both slow-motion and fast-motion video. Motorola has equipped the Droid 2 with an upgraded 1 GHz TI OMAP processor with a dedicated GPU for improved performance.

The inclusion of Froyo on the Droid 2 means Flash 10.1 is enabled for full web browsing. Motorola has pre-installed the Swype on-screen keyboard app for data entry for times when opening the QWERTY keyboard isn’t convenient.

The new Droid 2 will cost $199 with a 2-year contract after a $100 rebate, and will be available in Verizon stores on August 12. Buyers will need a data plan for the Droid 2, starting at $29.99 per month, and a Nationwide Talk plan, starting at $39.99 monthly. Those wishing to use the Droid 2 Mobile Hotspot feature, allowing five devices to connect to the web simultaneously, will need to activate the service for $20 per month. Verizon will allow any customer with contracts ending by the end of the year to upgrade to any smartphone without penalty.

Verizon will be offering a limited edition R2-D2 version of the Droid 2 in September. This special edition will only be available online, and will include Star Wars content and special themed hardware.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?

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