Verizon and Motorola officially announced the debut of the Droid 2 Tuesday morning. Pretty much everything appears to be in line with what we've heard about the phone so far:
The Droid 2 has the same 3.7-inch screen and basic structure as the original Motorola Droid.
It features a redesigned QWERTY keyboard with larger, raised keys and no directional pad.
No need to wait on an Android 2.2 upgrade: The latest Droid comes with Froyo already installed.
The Droid 2 has a silver lining -- literally -- and a blueish hue on its back side. You can see the phone in all of its 360-degree glory at Verizon's Droid 2 demo page, discovered online yesterday.
Verizon will offer mobile hotspot functionality with the new Moto Droid 2. The service runs an additional $20 per month. Of course, you can still tether a single PC via USB or Bluetooth without paying a dime, if you know how.
The Droid 2 should be considerably faster than its predecessor, with a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. For the full scoop on tech specs and some important software changes, check out my previous story: "Motorola Droid 2: Your guide to Verizon's next Android phone." You'll also find more there on how the phone stacks up next to other Verizon Android devices, including Motorola's original Droid.
Verizon will start selling the Motorola Droid 2 via a nationwide presale on Wednesday, August 11. The phone actually becomes available a day later, August 12, for $199.99 with a new two-year contract. And sorry, original Droid owners: Thus far, no early upgrade deals have been announced for those of us with the first incarnation of the phone.
For the truly geeky among us, however, Verizon is planning a special limited-edition R2-D2 version of the new Droid. It'll be available online during the month of September. The R2-D2 Droid 2 will have an exterior designed to look like you-know-who, along with "exclusive Star Wars content" on the device itself.
Verizon's "Droid Does" Web site should be updated any minute with all the official details.
Now, time to start thinking about that Motorola Droid Pro...JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. He's on both Twitter and Facebook; come say hello.