Verizon Wireless will begin accepting preorders for the Motorola Droid Pro Nov. 9, before launching the Android 2.2-running smartphone in stores Nov. 18.
Pricing has been set at $180, after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a new two-year contract. Users will also need to subscribe to a Verizon Nationwide Talk plan, beginning at $40 a month, as well as a 3G Smartphone plan.
The first Android phone designed for enterprise users, as well as consumers, the Droid Pro features a 3.1-inch touch display over a four-row QWERTY keypad. Included are Adobe Flash Player 10, a 1GHz processor and support for full-push corporate e-mail, as well as access to corporate directories and calendar information. The Quickoffice Mobile Suite, Skype mobile, Mediashare, File Manager and an AuthenTech VPN client are all preloaded, there’s WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth connectivity, and it’s one of the first Android devices to offer Cisco IPsec VPN connectivity for enterprise-level security.
A world phone, the Droid Pro has quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band HSDPA/HSUPA radios for roaming, and according to Verizon can support voice service is more than 220 countries and data coverage in 200-at 3G speeds in 120-plus countries. In the United States, it can access Verizon’s EVDO 3G network, plus-for an extra fee-act as a hotspot for other WiFi-enabled devices.
There’s a music player that supports multiple file formats, and a 5-megapixel camera with image editing tools and video capabilities.
Motorola introduced the Droid Pro Oct. 5, along with the Citrus, an entry-level consumer handset also headed for Verizon, though arriving later in the quarter. The Verizon phones were two of six Android-running handsets that Motorola introduced at the CTIA Wireless 2010 event in San Francisco. The Motorola Flipout, Bravo and Flipside, all running Android 2.1, are headed for AT&T, while the sixth phone, the Spice, will most likely head to South American markets.
The fast-growing popularity of Android-running handsets has been a boon for both manufacturers and carriers. In a September report, Gartner analysts forecast that Android devices were likely to outnumber iPhones and BlackBerry smartphones by the end of the year, coming up behind Symbian as the second-largest operating system. And indeed, each carrier is expanding its Android portfolio and noting strong adoption among first-time smartphone users. Sprint, for example, which now offers the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, both 4G-enabled Android phones, posted a third quarter that showed the Sprint brand CDMA platform to be net positive for the first time on record-a feat executives largely credited to the Android handsets.
In time for the holidays, Verizon will soon also offer the Samsung Continuum, in addition to the Samsung Fascinate and Samsung Galaxy Tab. All three are part of the manufacturer’s Galaxy S line of Android-running devices.