The Motorola Droid 2 went on sale on the Verizon network Aug. 12-going head-to-head with the launch of the BlackBerry Torch on AT&T. The folks at iFixit immediately got their hands on the successor to Motorola's popular and accolade-winning Droid and performed a teardown to compare the two.
The verdict? Motorola knows its way around an update.
"Motorola certainly took the -if it ain't broke, don't fix it' route by keeping everything people didn't complain about exactly the same and upgrading the bits that mattered," iFixit said in an Aug. 12 statement. "Who wouldn't like smoother games and faster browsing?"
Motorola made "significant" internal evolutionary changes, the repair company reported-for example, giving the Droid 2 a 1GHz processor and 802.11n connectivity, compared to the Droid's 802.11g-which result in an "overall speedier experience." And still, the internal layouts of the two devices are so similar that, once apart, said iFixit, it's hard to tell one from the other.
Both Moto smartphones come with the same 3.7-inch full WVGA TFT LCD display, with a resolution of 854 by 480, and the same 2.7V, 1390 mAh lithium-ion polymar battery. On the Droid 2, however, Motorola made enough internal improvements that the battery now reportedly yields 575 minutes of usage time, versus the 385 advertised minutes it offered on the original Droid. Additionally, the battery (we're looking at you, iPhone) can easily be removed.
Also new is that the Droid 2's 5-megapixel rear-facing camera supports DVD-quality video recording at 30 frames per second, up from the Droid's 24. It also has a SanDisk 8GB NAND flash package soldered to it main board.
"This part wasn't included in the original Droid," wrote iFixit. "The Droid 2 only comes with [an] 8GB microSD card, so its storage capacity out of the box is the same as the original. We didn't investigate how Android handles the filesystem being split across two physical devices."
The Droid is priced at $199 with a two-year service contract, and like the original Droid it pairs its touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard, which Verizon already emphasized is also unique, as it's a "symmetrical keyboard with raised keys for more responsive typing to push out notes and status updates," the carrier said in a statement.
The Droid 2 also ships with Android 2.2 (versus the Droid's 2.0) as well as support for Microsoft Exchange, Adobe Flash 10.1 and various e-mail and messaging applications. There's quick access to Google services, as well as assisted and simultaneous GPS. The Droid 2 can also act as a hotspot for up to five WiFi-enabled devices.
In 22 steps, iFixit transformed the Droid 2 from a serious market competitor to a table of shiny bits. "Are you wondering if the Droid 2 has the capacity to reassemble itself?" the team joked. Despite Motorola's marketing slogan, it's likely not something Droid does.