It's been a long, winding road for Verizon's newest smartphone offering, the Motorola Droid. The Droid, which initially went by the name of Sholes, followed by Tao, is Motorola's answer to the iPhone. The struggling manufacturer has pinned all of its hope for recovery on the Android OS, and the Droid itself in particular.
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While the Motorola Cliq is a solid smartphone, it doesn't have the power or the hype behind it to become the hit Moto needs. The Droid, on the other hand, features a powerful 600 MHz ARM processor, a 5 MP camera, a 3.7" screen, plus a separate dedicated GPU and Image Signal processor. It's got at least as much 'oomph' behind it as the iPhone, and packs several features that Apple's smartphone can't yet compete with.
Like all Android smartphones, it has the iPhone beat on multi-tasking. Pretty much all Android apps have push support, and even the aging G1 can handle running multiple active apps with little to no issue. The fact that the Droid has a 600 MHz processor, plus a dedicated graphics processor and image signal processor means that it will be a far better multi-tasker than the iPhone. Or, for that matter, anything else currently on the market.
The real feather in the Droid's cap is the now-all-but-confirmed presence of Android 2.0. We'd been told that 2.0 was facing a delay. But, since the Droid is said to run Android 2.0 and will launch in November, this has to be incorrect. It's not too hard to fathom why. The Android 2.0 walkthrough showed an OS that looked close to ready for full release.
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It's a tad surprising that 2.0 is going to launch so quickly, but it's easy to understand why Moto pushed to get the Droid out this early. Both the Acer A1 Liquid and the Xperia X3 are rumored to be launching in the very near future. Both smartphones are powerful Android devices with the ability to offer up serious competition to the Droid. Moto is going to want as much time to sell as it can possibly get before these new competitors enter the ring.