Verizon Wireless is preparing to launch the Motorola Droid X2, the successor to its super popular Android handset, with the latest Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" build for smartphones.
The original handset ran Android 2.1 (later upgrade to Android 2.2) and was fitted with a 1GHz processor, 4.3-inch screen, 8 megapixel rear camera, HD video recording at 720p HD and an HDMI out port to let people play their video shoots on a TV or computer screen.
The refresh boasts 4.3-inch qHD screen with a resolution of 960 by 540, is powered by a 1GHz, dual-core Tegra 2 processor, uses an 8 megapixel rear camera, and provides720p video capture and 1080p video output.
Update: The new Droid X2 will offer 8GB of internal storage, an 8GB preinstalled SD card and a 1540mAh battery. eWEEK originally reported a 16GB preinstalled SD card.
No pricing has been made available and Verizon has not confirmed the launch for eWEEK.
While the hardware and a lot of the utilities appear the same, the key difference is Gingerbread, which includes a new keyboard, faster performance, augmented text editing and NFC (near field communications) support.
Droid Life said the Droid X2 was due last week, but got pushed back after Verizon pushed back the Samsung Droid Charge, which launched May 14 for $299.99 on contract.
eWEEK has tested Gingerbread on both Google and T-Mobile's Samsung Nexus S and Sprint's Nexus S 4G and found the new OS to be an incremental improvement.
Whereas the speed bump from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 seemed great, the difference appears negligible in Gingerbread. Dual-core processors may buoy the operating system.
Gingerbread may be a nice draw for some, but it will be tough for the Droid X2 to enjoy the same success as its predecessor, which was a uniquely styled phone whose only comparable rival at that time was Sprint's HTC Evo 4G. The Droid X was sold out for weeks last summer.
Conversely, the Droid X2 will be competing with the HTC ThunderBolt 4G and Droid Charge on Verizon, not to mention the Nexus S 4G on Sprint. Since all of those are 4G-enabled, speed may win out over the traditional 3G in the Droid X2, unless Verizon sells it as a discount.
For $149 on contract, a Droid X2 could sell quite well against its speedier 4G rivals.