This is the Droid you’re looking for

Ryan Bailey

Today is the release date of Motorola’s Droid smart phone, a new rival to the iPhone.  Available through Verizon Wireless, it has so far been accepted as the iPhone’s most formidable contender.  Much like they did with RIM’s Blackberry Storm, Verizon Wireless stores opened early today in anticipation of a sudden influx of customers.

The Droid is the first phone to be released with Android 2.0, Google’s mobile OS, installed by default.  Building on Android 1.0, the Droid has access to the world’s 2nd largest app store.  The Droid ad campaign, revolving around the term "iDon’t," focuses on the open platform (common to most Google-related products) and other features that the iPhone will probably never have.  The Droid will cost you $200 when purchased along with a 2-year contract.

Featuring a slim profile, 5-megapixel camera, a 15GB flash card, swappable battery, and full QWERTY keyboard, the Droid gives the iPhone a run for its money.  Also of note is Google Nav, a turn-by-turn navigation system, which comes standard with Android 2.0.

So far, reviewers have had complaints in regard to the phone’s slow touch screen response time and inconsistent interface between phone rotations.  Even worse is the early termination fee imposed by Verizon Wireless: cancellation of your contract will set you back a mighty $350, almost twice the cost of the phone itself.

Overall, the Droid seems like a decent smart phone for the price.  The small size, keyboard, and app store are major selling points for me.

I’ll let you know if I ever buy one.