A Verizon Wireless advertisement spotted in a newspaper over the weekend claims that the Motorola Droid 2, which hasn't been announced yet, is "coming soon."
The advertisement's headline reads "Rule Your Empire With Iron Thumbs. Introducing Droid 2 -- with a NEW advanced keyboard." Is this how Verizon Wireless plans to make information about the Droid 2 public? To-date, it has ignored pretty much every report, rumor, and hint that the Droid 2 is an actual device launching on its network.
According to everything that's been reported so far, the Droid 2 is nearly identical to the original mega-hit Motorola Droid. As Sunday's ad calls out, the most obvious difference is the brand new keyboard. The keyboard of the Motorola Droid was my only complaint about the device when it launched in November 2009. It just isn't that good.
The Droid 2's keyboard does away with the five-way directional pad, which was to the right of the keyboard on the original Droid. I find this curious. The D-pad was actually a nice tool to have, which allowed users to fine-tune text entry. Its absence should allow Motorola to expand the size of the keyboard, however, which could also help make it more usable for typing. We can probably count on improved usability given the language in Verizon's ad.
Though the skin looks almost identical, there are more changes under the hood. The Droid 2 will be powered by a 750MHz OMAP processor. That's a 25% improvement over the Droid's current ability to "scale up to 600MHz." Wi-Fi tethering software is said to be included, as is 8GB of internal storage with an 8GB microSD card preinstalled. The camera stays at 5 megapixels, and the display stays at 3.7 inches.
What's lacking from the redesign? Well, there's no HDMI port, there's no front-facing camera. That means no video chatting, and no DLNA-based content sharing.
Wondering about the price? Thanks to the folks over at Best Buy, it will be priced at $199 with a new contract, and $599 with no contract obligation. Best Buy also confirms that the Droid 2 will run Android 2.2 out of the box.
Though Verizon Wireless has yet to acknowledge the existence of this handset, it is widely believed to be launching Thursday, August 12. That qualifies as "soon" in my book.
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