Can Verizon's Motorola 'Droid' Live Up to the Hype?

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Verizon cranked up its hype machine this weekend, preparing the launch of the Droid, Motorola's Android-powered competitor to the iPhone. But will it be good enough to trump the iPhone?

Verizon's Droid is not a surprise by far. The Droid is actually the Google Android-powered Motorola Sholes, which we first heard of in July (see leaked pics and specifications). Only this time, Verizon is ready to show off its flagship smartphone, which is set to go head to head with the iPhone when it launches next month.

What's interesting is the way Verizon decided to market the Droid. The iDon't campaign basically bashes the iPhone, highlighting some of the shortcoming of Apple's popular smartphone, such as the lack of a physical keyboard, camera flash, multitasking or lack of widgets and customization -- which, of course, Droid does.

To recap the key specs of the Motorola Droid (aka Sholes) leaked in August, you can expect a 3.7-inch capacitive display (854 by 480 pixels resolution); 5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus and video recorder; GPS; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.0; and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Droid is reportedly a three-way effort between Verizon, Motorola, and Google.

We are yet to see official pictures of the Droid, or anything except a Novemeber release date (known since July), but the guys over at Boy Genius Report managed to get a hands-on with the Droid (courtesy of the picture above). They note that it is running Android 2.0, it's thin and very fast, and the keyboard is "pretty usable."

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington is already calling the Droid "the real deal," saying that the device "poses a different and more significant challenge to the iPhone than any other phone to date." And it makes sense: a great Google Android device on Verizon's top network could make a dent in the iPhone sales this holiday season, especially as the hardware capabilities of the Droid are superior in some cases.

However, many vendors have claimed to have iPhone-killer devices, but Apple continues to reign with a loyal following and the 75,000+ strong app store. So it's good to see the Verizon Droid as a serious Android-threat to the iPhone, which would force Apple to upgrade and open up its smartphone in the long run.

You can follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

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