Motorola Droid Renamed Milestone for Europe, South America

The Motorola Droid, much hyped and soon to debut on the Verizon Wireless network in the U.S., will also be introduced in Argentina, Italy and Germany, though under the name Milestone and with a few changes, including a radio switch. The Milestone still runs Google's Android operating system.

Under the name Milestone, the Motorola Droid-which will arrive in the United States on the Verizon Wireless network Nov. 6-will also be introduced to markets in Argentina, Italy and Germany.

Both run Google's Android 2.0 operating system, but the Milestone replaces the Droid's CDMA 1x 800/1900 EVDO Rev. A connectivity with support for WCDMA/900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and HSDPA and GPRS networks. Both additionally offer connectivity over Wi-Fi.

The list of Google services for the Milestone is a bit shortened, compared with the Droid, with Milestone featuring only Google Talk, Google Mail, Google Search and access to the Android Market app store. Mapping has been relegated to a Motonav trial version from Motorola. Droid's list of included Google mobile services, on the other hand, includes Google Calendar, Contact Sync, Latitude, Maps Street View, Maps, Navigation, Search Box, Search By Voice and YouTube.

There are a few other small differences. While the Droid comes with a 16GB microSD card preinstalled, the Milestone comes with an 8GB microSD-though both are expandable up to 32GB. And with the Milestone, users will get up to 390 minutes of continuous talk time and 350 hours of standby time, while on the Droid they'll get 385 minutes to talk and 270 hours of standby.

The bulk of the goodies are still the same, however, with both Droid and Milestone slider phones featuring a 3.7-inch, 480-by-854-pixel, 16:9 touch-screen display plus an advanced Google browser. Both include voice recognition for voice searching and commands for navigation, an accelerometer and a 5-megapixel camera with flash, DVD-quality video capture and image-editing tools.

Both weigh 6 ounces, measure 2.4 by 4.6 by 0.5 inches and include 550MHz processors.

Some analysts believe the Droid may be the first smartphone to truly offer the iPhone a bit of competition, particularly as the number of applications in Google's Android Market grows. Other early testers, however, are saying otherwise. Analyst Charles Govin, with Forrester Research, told eWEEK, "Characterizing anything today as an iPhone killer these days ... you might as well stick a fork in it and say it's done because it's not going to happen ..."

Verizon Wireless invited the comparison with a television ad that touts everything the Droid is by pointing out everything the iPhone isn't-namely, a device with a keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera and the ability to run multiple applications at once.

On the accessories front, Milestone will also be available with a Multimedia Station dock. In the car, it can prop up the Milestone while it navigates a route; on a bedside table it can prop up the Milestone as an alarm clock or music player; and on a desk it can turn the smartphone into a digital picture frame.

When the Milestone will ship, and at what price, is for now unclear. Verizon Wireless, however, will be offering the Droid for $199 after rebate and with a two-year service contract.