Well, gang, it’s official: The next Droid is almost here.
Verizon confirmed the existence of a new Motorola-made Android phone called the Droid X on Thursday. A newly launched section of Verizon’s Web site teases the device, showing an image of the phone along with the caption: “The Next Generation of Does: Droid Does.”
Verizon’s site says the Droid X has a 4.3-inch display, HDMI output, and the ability to capture 720-pixel video. (The site originally said “720p screen” but was later changed, presumably as a clarification, to say “captures 720p.”)
The new info falls in line with a Verizon Wireless media event scheduled for next Wednesday, June 23 — yes, the day before that other high-profile smartphone will be released. Executives from Verizon, Google, Motorola, and Adobe are all slated to speak at the invitation-only affair, entitled “Unleashing the Next Generation of Droid.”
Officially, that’s all we know. Unofficially, there’s a whole other world of information.
Verizon’s Droid X: The Rumors
Photos and specs of the Droid X have been floating around the blogosphere for some time. Previously referred to as the “Droid Xtreme” and “Droid Shadow,” the phone is rumored to have a 1GHz processor along with either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage and an 8-megapixel camera.
As for software, the Droid X is believed to run Android 2.2, the newest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Android 2.2 has yet to become widely available on existing Android devices, though numerous phones are expected to receive the upgrade soon (see my Android 2.2 upgrade list to check your phone’s status).
Unlike AT&T’s “modified” Android devices, it’s probably safe to assume the Droid X won’t give you a locked-down, limited version of the Android experience — in fact, it looks like it might even present functionality not previously seen on the platform. Multiple leaks suggest the Droid X boasts a modified version of Motorola’s Motoblur Android interface. The Web site droid-life.com published what appear to be outlines for a series of Verizon Droid X commercials detailing new multimedia features built into the interface. One feature, apparently called “EyeCon,” would let you watch multimedia files from the phone on any device in your home.
The info keeps on comin’: The crew from Engadget allegedly got their hands on a Droid X handset earlier this week. They didn’t say how they got it, but if past events are any indication, I’m guessing it was found in a bar, a gym, or somewhere in Lady Gaga’s hair.
In their preview, the Engadget guys say the Droid X is longer and wider than HTC’s EVO 4G Android phone, with four physical buttons on its face (as opposed to the EVO’s touch-sensitive alternatives). Engadget reports that the phone has no physical keyboard but does come preloaded with the Swype virtual-typing utility as well as a new “multitouch typing” option for its onscreen keyboard.
According to droid-life.com, the Droid X will go on sale July 19. The site says Verizon stores were recently notified they’d be opening early on that day.
Another New Verizon Droid?
So far, Verizon’s made no mention of any other new Droids aside from the Droid X. Amidst the blog-driven leaks, however, there’s word of a possible second Droid on the way, too.
The other device, generally called the “Droid 2” (although also referred to as the “Droid Shadow” at times — confused yet?), has popped up in newly vivid pictures over the past several days. Unlike the Droid X, this device appears to have a slideout keyboard and look a bit more like the original Motorola Droid phone.
The Droid 2 is rumored to have a 3.7-inch screen and a 750MHz or 1GHz processor, along with either 8GB or 2GB of internal storage. The phone is also believed to have a 5-megapixel camera, though it’s not expected to have an HDMI port.
Remember: Aside from the first few paragraphs at the top of this story, all this info is still technically rumor and speculation. We’ll see next week what really pans out.
Finally, if all of these specs excite rather than overwhelm or bore you, congratulations: You may be a certified Android fanboy. You’d have to take the official Android fanboy quiz to know for sure, of course, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Contributing Editor JR Raphael writes the new Android Power blog at Computerworld. You can find him on Facebook or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.