Verizon & Motorola Unveil The Droid

After a series of teaser ads that attack Apple’s iPhone, Motorola and Verizon Wireless officially unveiled the Droid smartphone today. The Motorola Droid has a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen that is larger than the iPhone’s display and has a resolution of 480x854 pixels. The phone also offers a slide-out keyboard yet still manages to be only slightly thicker than the iPhone.

As the first device that Verizon is launching under its partnership with Google, the Droid will also feature Android 2.0 with built-in support for Microsoft Exchange. The phone also has a unified inbox feature that lets you manage multiple Exchange, Gmail, and other email accounts using a single interface.

Another cool feature of the Droid is the new Google Maps Navigation Beta service, which was also unveiled today. Google Maps Navigation provides free audible turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names, real time traffic information, and the ability to search nearby locations by voice. The phone’s voice-activated search feature also lets you search the phone or the Web.

In terms of applications, the phone comes with Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, Android Market, Calendar, Amazon MP3 Store, and Verizon Wireless Visual Voice Mail.

Other high-end features of the Droid include Wi-Fi, 3G using Verizon’s EVDO Rev. A network, assisted-GPS, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and the ability to record DVD-quality video. You’ll get a 16GB memory card with the Droid. Unlike some of the other Android devices we’ve seen to date, the Droid will not have a customized user interface on top of the Android platform.

In terms of specs, the Droid has a Webkit HTML 5 browser that supports double tapping to zoom, is powered by a TI OMAP 3430 processor that can run at up to 600MHz, and uses a 1,400mAh lithium ion battery that offers 6.4 hours of continuous talk time and up to 11 days of standby time. The device measures 6.6 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick and weighs 6 ounces. It also has a 5.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port.

Like other smartphones in its class, the Droid will cost $199 with a new two-year contract after a $100 mail-in-rebate. It will be available to customers starting November 6; preorders are currently being accepted.