Verizon Wireless will launch its newest Android smartphone, the Motorola Droid 4, on Feb. 10 for $200 with a new two-year contract. If nothing says love like 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) speeds and a 4-inch quarter-high-defintion (qHD) display with scratch-resistant glass, your Valentine is in luck.
The Droid 4 measures "less than half an inch thin," features a dual-core, 1.2GHz processor, and an on-screen five-row QWERTY keyboard said to have a very PC-like layout and edge-lit keys for easy typing in low light. There's a front-facing camera for video calls, an 8-megapixel camera for photo snapping on the back and the ability to act as a Mobile Hotspot for up to eight devices.
It runs Gingerbread, Android 2.3.5, but will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, the slowly rolling-out 4.0 version of Android. And, like the Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid 4 features "Smart Actions," everyday rules that users can apply for everything from automatically dimming the display when the battery life gets low to launching Google Maps upon entering a car.
The Droid 4 is definitely also intended for work use, and so there are government-grade encryptions for things like email, calendar and contacts. Citrix Receiver for Android, for desktop virtualization and access, comes preloaded on the device.
Verizon paints the picture further, suggesting: "Professionals can impress their audience by presenting to a conference room full of potential customers in a snap by plugging the DROID 4 into an HDTV and presenting directly from the phone."
The Droid 4 can also play nicely with Motorola's Lapdock 500, which Verizon sells separately for $299.97. The idea debuted with the Motorola Atrix 4Ga lightweight laptop complement that the smartphone can connect to, offering users a larger screen, a 14-incher in the case of the Lapdock 500, for easier document editing, among other things.
The Laptop 500 features a Webcam, an Ethernet connection, a VGA output, the Firefox Web browser, two USB ports, the MotoPrint app for connecting to a printer, and PC-like File Manger that simplifies the process of managing documents on the phone or its Secure Digital (SD) card.
Droid 4 buyers will need also to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan, which begins at $40 month, and a smartphone data plan, with starts at $30 a month for 2GB of data.
Given the tremendous number of new Android smartphones launched each yearand even each quarterand the expense of promoting them, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has said the company wants to make fewer, more differentiated devices. There's no viable profit, he told The Verge, in devices that aren't differentiated.
In addition to the Droid 4 and the Razr Maxx, Motorola's recent device introductions have included a purple Droid Razr, the Droid Bionic, Droid Xyboard tablets, a Spice XT handset and the rugged, Android-running Motorola Defy.
The global mobile phone market saw shipments of 427.4 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011, for a year-on-year growth of 6.1 percent, according to IDC.
Smartphone shipments, according to Canalys, rose to 158.5 million during the quarterup 62.7 percentbesting sales of PCs, even with tablet sales included in PC totals.