By JR Raphael
Verizon's shifting into high-gear this week with the launch of the HTC Thunderbolt, the carrier's first 4G phone. The Thunderbolt's an impressive device, with its Evo-like display, dual camera configuration, and 1GHz processor. But one thing is conspicuously missing from the Thunderbolt: the presence of Verizon's widely adored Droid branding.
The Droid brand helped push Android into mainstream territory, thanks to the massive marketing campaign that debuted with the original Motorola Droid device. Beyond that, the Droid moniker has given us some fantastic phones, ranging from the Droid Incredible to the Droid X and Droid 2 Global.
Aside from the business-aimed Motorola Droid Pro, though, it's been a while since we've seen a big focus on Verizon's Droid lineup. But it looks like that's about to change.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the Verizon Droid phones likely in the works for this year.
Verizon Droid: The Motorola Droid Bionic
Status: Confirmed; scheduled to launch sometime in the second quarter. Pricing not yet announced.
What we know: The Motorola Droid Bionic is a 4G phone with a dual-core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. It has a 4.3-inch, 540-by-960-pixel display; a rear-facing 8MP camera and front-facing 0.3MP camera; and 8GB of internal storage with support for up to 32GB of additional external storage. The Droid Bionic will ship with Android 2.2, though one would hope it'll be upgraded to Android Gingerbread soon after its release. The phone will have Motorola's Motoblur skin baked into the OS.
Verizon Droid: The HTC Droid Incredible 2
Status: Rumored; recently seen listed in a screenshot said to be from Verizon's internal computer system. Verizon also recently removed the original Droid Incredible from its DroidDoes.com Web site, heightening speculation that an updated model could be nearing its debut.
What we know: Purported photos and details about the HTC Droid Incredible 2 have been leaking around the Web for some time now. According to Android blog Android Spin, the phone has a 4-inch Super LCD display; a 1GHz processor with 768MB of RAM; an 8MP rear-facing camera and 1.3MP front-facing camera; and 4GB of internal storage. The Incredible 2 will have Gingerbread preinstalled at its launch, according to the latest rumors. All in all, the device appears to be similar (if not identical) to the Incredible S phone already shipping in the UK.
(Image courtesy AndroidSpin.com)
Verizon Droid: The Motorola Droid X 2
Status: Rumored; said to be scheduled for a second-quarter or early third-quarter launch.
What we know: There's been some conflicting information on the specs of the Droid X 2, or "Droid X Squared," over the past several weeks. Some reports suggest the phone will have a Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM; a 4.3-inch qHD LCD display with 540-by-960 resolution; and a single 8MP rear-facing camera. Other sources say the Droid X 2 will have the same 4.3-inch, 854-by-480 WVGA screen as its predecessor, along with a 1.2GHz single-core CPU, 768MB of RAM, and a front-facing camera. Others yet predict a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM. Translation: No one really knows exactly what this phone will be.
(Image courtesy HowardForums.com)
Verizon Droid: The Motorola Droid 3
Status: Rumored; said to be scheduled for possible third-quarter release.
What we know: An alleged photo of the Motorola Droid 3 first surfaced on HowardForums.com on Monday. A day later, a second photo showed up, apparently showing the same phone with its QWERTY keyboard slid out on-display. Android blog Android And Me believes the Droid 3 will feature a Texas Instruments dual-core 1GHz processor. The site -- which goes into no detail about the source of its information -- suggests the phone will have a 4-inch qHD display; rear- and front-facing cameras; and global roaming capabilities. Many original Droid owners (yours truly included) are hoping the Droid 3 will ship with stock Android, but at this point, it's anyone's guess.
Remember, Droid Bionic aside, the information we have so far is based on hearsay -- so take it with a grain of salt. However things shake out, though, it seems safe to say we'll be seeing more of that familiar red Droid eye over the coming months. Stay tuned.JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.
Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.