Motorola Droid Steals BlackBerry's Limelight

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Motorola's upcoming Droid smartphone is grabbing plenty of attention--so much attention, in fact, that news of two new BlackBerry devices is getting lost in the shuffle. In recent weeks, Research In Motion announced two new smartphones, the revamped BlackBerry Storm 2, and the Bold 9700. Both are impressive phones in their own right, but neither is garnering the buzz that surrounds the Motorola Droid.

With its high-end features, including a speedy processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and a big, high-resolution screen, the Motorola Droid is already widely seen as the second best to the Apple iPhone by a vast majority of reviews (a place which was previously occupied by the Palm Pre).

However, the beefy specifications of the Motorola Droid are only a part of the hype surrounding the device. The 2.0 version of Android shipping with the Droid is also building up anticipation among consumers, especially as the phone features an exclusive free turn-by-turn GPS navigation application from Google.

With some much hype around the Motorola Droid, it couldn't have been a worse time for BlackBerry maker RIM to introduce two of its flagship devices, the Storm 2 and the Bold 9700. Why? Because everybody is now in the queue for a Droid.

To do a quick recap, the BlackBerry Storm 2, the second iteration of RIM's only touchscreen device is actually what the smartphone should have been from the start. The Storm 2 can finally connect via Wi-Fi, and it's lost the clicky screen and features a slimmed-down design, but the touchscreen-inadequate software and not-so-brilliant browser on the Storm 2 has failed to impress many reviewers. The Storm 2 is out now for $180 with a 2-year Verizon contract.

The second BlackBerry smartphone to be overshadowed by the Motorola Droid is the new Bold. The Bold 9700 comes for $200 with a 2-year T-Mobile contract, and like the Storm 2, it is slimmer than its predecessor. It replaces the trackball with a touchpad. The new Bold also features a 3.2-megapixel camera (so does the Storm 2) and a refreshed Blackberry OS 5. The Bold however, has the same browser shortcomings as the Storm 2.

For many, the choice is quite clear. If you haven't succumbed to buying an iPhone and you have $200 to spend on a smartphone this season, the best investment for a two-year contract would be the Motorola Droid, which tops the offerings from both the BlackBerry Storm 2 and Bold 9700. For the same price the Droid has a better camera, better browser, runs on a modern touchscreen OS (Google Android) and sports the second largest app store after Apple's 100,000 apps-strong App Store.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

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