Verizon Droid Targets iPhone - InformationWeek

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Government // Mobile & Wireless
01:40 PM

Verizon Droid Targets iPhone

The enterprise-friendly Motorola Droid smartphone, which runs on Google's Android OS, has built-in Microsoft Exchange support.

Motorola Droid
(click image for larger view)
Motorola Droid

After a series of teaser ads that attack Apple's iPhone, Verizon Wireless and Motorola officially unveiled Wednesday the Droid smartphone.

The Droid is the first product to spring forth from Verizon's partnership with Google, and the device appears to be a compelling alternative to Apple's touchscreen handset.

The Droid's 3.7-inch capacitive screen is larger than the iPhone's display, and it also feature a full slide-out keyboard. The physical keyboard doesn't add too much bulk though, as the Droid is only slightly thicker than the iPhone.

Verizon's flagship Android handset could be appealing to mobile professionals because it comes with Android 2.0, which features built-in Microsoft Exchange support. There's also a unified inbox that enables the user to manage multiple Exchange, Gmail, and other e-mail accounts in a single interface. Road warriors may also appreciate the Google Maps Navigator service that comes preloaded because it provides audible turn-by-turn directions, realtime traffic information, and the ability to search nearby locations by voice.

The Droid has the high-end features expected from a top-tier smartphone including Wi-Fi, 3G on Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network, assisted-GPS, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and video-recording capabilities. The Droid will come with a 16GB memory card, and users will be able to download new programs from the Android Market, as well as download music tracks over the air from Amazon's MP3 store.

Unlike devices such as the HTC Hero or Motorola's Cliq, the Droid will not feature a customized user interface on top of the Android platform. The Droid will be available Nov. 6 for $199 after rebates and a new two-year service contract with Verizon. The carrier also said it plans to have more Android handsets in the future, and these devices will have some variation of the "Droid" brand name.

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