Motorola Droid Takes Aim at iPhone with Google Mobile Services

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Motorola Droid Takes Aim at iPhone with Google Mobile Services

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Packaging for the Motorola Droid and the Droid Eris by HTC demonstrates how those manufacturers, along with Verizon, are trying to create a brand to compete with the iPhone.

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The box for the Droid looks like a friendlier version of the packaging that the HAL 9000 from "2001" might have come in.

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The Droid features a 3.7-inch touch screen. The phone is weighty at 6 ounces, and large at 2.4 by 4.6 by 0.5 inches.

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The Droid's sliding form factor includes a physical QWERTY keyboard. For those who prefer to tap a screen, it also includes a virtual keyboard.

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The Droid has a standard-issue 3.5-millimeter headset jack.

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The Droid's 5-megapixel camera (with 4x digital zoom and dual-LED flash) includes automatic focus and image-editing tools such as cropping, rotating and geotagging.

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Motorola boasts that the Droid offers up to 385 minutes of continuous usage time thanks to its lithium-ion battery, and up to 270 hours of standby time.

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The Droid runs Google Android 2.0 as its operating system. This home screen is customizable.

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With Google Maps Navigation (still a beta) the Droid uses GPS to provide users with voice-guided navigation.

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The Droid connects to the Web via either Wi-Fi (802.11 b,g) or 3G connectivity.

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When it comes to making calls, the Droid offers a variety of options, including speakerphone, advanced speech recognition, conference calling and phone book.

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The Droid is backed by Google Mobile Services, which include Gmail, Android Marketplace, Google Calendar, Google Contact Sync, Google Latitude and Google Talk.

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Given that YouTube is a Google property, it's natural that the Droid would include a widget for one-tap connection to that site's videos. For those who want to download songs, the Droid has a widget that connects to Amazon.com's MP3 Store.

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The Droid allows users to search for nearby locations, such as gas stations, through voice commands.

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In a bid to appeal to the enterprise, the Droid syncs with Exchange 2003 and 2007. The device will also display Microsoft Office and PDF documents.

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The Droid says it's time to wake up.

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The Droid allows users to dial a contact by voice command.

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The Droid also lets users search the Web via voice commands. Here, the device is processing the spoken word, "eWEEK."

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The Droid interpreted the spoken term "eWEEK" as "a week," producing this screen of search results.

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The Droid's dedicated keys include volume control, camera, back, search, menu, power/lock and home.

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