Verizon has stopped teasing us about its upcoming Android-based Droid phone and made it official: The Motorola phone goes on sale a week from Friday. It runs Android 2.0, has a slide-out keyboard and a 5 megapixel camera with flash, and comes bundled with a 16GB MicroSD card. It also has a beta version of the first edition of Google Maps to do turn-by-turn navigation. (Imagine what’ll happen to the navigation industry if every phone version of Google Maps does that for free.)
Droid is $199 on a two-year contract after a $100 rebate, which is pretty much the price it needs to be to be competitive with the iPhone 3GS.
Here’s a video from Google on Android 2.0, which looks like it’ll be a significant advance on the nice-but-sorta-spartan first version of the OS:
I haven’t seen a Droid in the flesh yet, but early buzz on the phone is exceptional. The only truly great next-generation smartphones to come along so far are the iPhone and the Palm Pre; on paper, at least, it sounds like there’s a chance the Droid will join them.