DROID 2 [Verizon] preview and initial thoughts

As the rumored DROID 2 launch date drew closer, I knew I’d eventually get the standard issue DM of “come get a phone”. Like clockwork, I received said DM yesterday morning.

I said it on twitter, and I’ll say it again; If the DROID X and the original DROID made a baby, it’s name would be DROID 2.  This is the first Android phone to be a true successor.  Sure the myTouch Slide took over QWERTY duties for the G1, but it wasn’t a direct descendant.  If you like the original DROID, you will like this phone.

The good…

The keyboard has been redesigned, in a very good way.  The keys are raised a little bit more, are now offset and wider.  They ditched the original D-pad for up/down/left/right arrows, and an OK button.

The guts have been refreshed a bit.  It rocks a 1GHz processor and 8GB of internal storage.  Like the X, the storage is only for apps and app data.  It can’t be mounted for file storage.

It comes with Android 2.2 fresh out of the box.  No upgrading.  No manual installs.  No hassle.

The Bad…

The camera is only 5MP and doesn’t record HD video.  I suppose this is to help differentiate it from the X and Incredible.  However, the price is $199.99 (new line, contracts, etc, etc).  If this is intended to be a mid-grade phone, it needs to have a mid-grade price…or…if it’s going to cost as much as the top of the line phones, it needs to include top of the line features.

Some folks are DROID diehards.  Part of the reason is that it used to run 100% stock vanillandroid.  There wasn’t an additional layer plastered on top of it.  Well, if you’re one of those folks, and were thinking the DROID 2 was going to be the same, you’re out of luck.  The deuce runs the same version of Android that the X has.  It’s very Motorola and very Verizon.  But that’s ok.  It comes with all of the same Moto widgets that the X has, which are cool, and includes the Verizon goodies like Mobile Hotspot.

The Ugly…

I’m happy to report, that I have yet to find any “ugly”.  The Market was a bit wonky, but it always is with new phones.  Someone must have flipped a switch last night, because the Market issues that I was having disappeared.

The DROID 2 is available now for $199.99 (contracts, rebates, what-not) at your local Verizon Wireless store, or your favorite electronics retailer.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth review.  If you have any specific questions, comment here or tweet at me (@breon).

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