Motorola Droid 2: What We Know (Off the Record) So Far

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Motorola Droid 2: What We Know (Off the Record) So Far

Keyboard aside, the Droid 2 does appear to have some subtle physical differences from its predecessor. The bezel around the display, for example, looks like it'll be silver instead of black. The sliding top portion of the phone also extends all the way down to the bottom of the device, eliminating the small ridge present on the original Motorola Droid. You can see the changes in this side-by-side snapshot taken by the gang at AndroidAndMe.com.

Motorola Droid 2: Under the Hood

Beneath its exterior, the new Droid 2 sports some serious improvements. Apparent training materials leaked from Verizon Wireless indicate the phone will have a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, compared to the original Droid's 550MHz processor and 256MB of RAM. With that beefed-up hardware in place, the materials suggest the new Droid will load Web pages 40 percent faster than the first-generation device.

As for storage, the Droid 2 looks like it'll ship with 8GB of internal memory. It'll also come with an 8GB microSD card, expandable up to 32GB.

Like the Droid X, Motorola's Droid 2 should support 3G mobile hotspot functionality. The phone does not, however, appear to have an HDMI-out port.

Motorola Droid 2: Software Changes

As Verizon works to wrap up its Android 2.2 upgrade for the original Motorola Droid, all signs point to the Droid 2 shipping with Froyo already preloaded. While the first Droid featured an unmodified version of the Android OS, though, the Droid 2 will likely be running a custom user interface similar to what's found on the Droid X. It isn't exactly full-blown Motoblur, but it isn't quite stock Android, either.

Case in point: The Droid 2, according to the aforementioned training materials, will offer "integrated social networking" capabilities -- aka those Motoblur-like widgets. Per the documents:

Enjoy Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in real-time without logging into and updating multiple applications. Updates synced and streamed to one screen waiting for you to view it when you want.

The Droid 2 will apparently also ship with several preloaded applications, including Swype, V CAST Media Manager, NFL Mobile, and Blockbuster's new streaming software.

[Related: When's your phone getting Froyo? Check our Android 2.2 upgrade list for all the latest info.]

Droid 2 Pricing and Availability

There's no official word yet on pricing for the Droid 2, but Best Buy may have accidentally let the cat out of the bag. A sharp-eyed Android fan noticed a Droid 2 display at his local store. He snapped a photo and fired it off to the gang at Engadget.

According to the display, the Droid 2 will sell for $199 with a new two-year contract, or for $599 unsubsidized.

The Future of Droid

So with the Droid 2 almost out of the gate, is Verizon's Android line set to stay still for a while? Don't count on it. Rumors published by tech blog Boy Genius Report just this morning predict yet another new Droid before the end of 2010. Citing a leaked company roadmap, the boys at BGR claim Verizon will introduce a phone called the "Motorola Droid Pro" sometime around November. The phone, the site says, will feature a 1.3GHz processor, a 4-inch screen, and global roaming capabilities.

BGR's documents also suggest the possibility of global Android devices from Samsung and HTC -- along with launches of a Motorola "slab form-factor" device and Android tablets from both Samsung and Motorola -- all within the remaining months of 2010.

If there's one thing we've learned with Android's unstoppable growth, it's that there's rarely a dull moment. So keep your seatbelts fastened, amigos: This train isn't slowing down anytime soon.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. He's on both Twitter and Facebook; come say hello.

This story, "Motorola Droid 2: What We Know (Off the Record) So Far" was originally published by Computerworld.

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