Motorola Droid 2: Everything You Need to Know

verizon droid 2 pre sales start august 11 motorola  wireless

The Droid is reborn. Well, reborn again, we guess, since there have already been two other phones bearing the Droid moniker following the success of the original Droid last holiday season. The Droid 2 now joins the HTC Droid Incredible and fellow Motorola Droid X at the forefront of Verizon’s Droid lineup, replacing its predecessor. What does Motorola’s Droid 2 switch up? Take a look.

For more pictures, check out our Droid 2 photo gallery.

What does it improve over the original Droid?

Motorola Droid 2Let’s start with what’s not new. The Droid 2 has the same 3.7-inch LCD, 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 720 x 480 video capabilities as the original Droid. Even the phone’s outside dimensions and weight are identical.

However, processor speed leaps from 550MHz to 1GHz, which should make it much more competitive with the latest group of Android challengers, like Samsung’s Galaxy S. Internal storage shoots from 256MB to 8GB, while the size of the included microSD card shrinks from 16GB to 8GB, leaving them with about the same total storage capacity out of the box. Motorola has also managed to tweak the software enough to deliver significantly more battery life from the same size batter: 9.6 hours of talk time instead of 6.4, and 13.1 days of standby instead of 11.3. It will also run Android 2.2, also known as Froyo, right out of the box, though the Droid will get an update to 2.2 shortly. Motorola’s MotoBlur social networking software will also come standard.

Naturally, the new version is also a little bit more curvaceous, and wears silver instead of black.

Check out the launch announcement for full specs.

Why choose the Droid 2 over the Droid X or Droid Incredible?

Mostly the keyboard. Like the original Motorola Droid, the Droid 2 splits at the seams to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, while both the alternatives only offer virtual keyboards. In terms of screen size, processing power and even general appearance, it’s not much of a departure from the Droid X or Incredible.

Has the keyboard changed from the original Droid?

Yes, a little bit. The original Droid drew quite a bit of criticism for its flat keys and side directional pad, which shoved the rest of the keyboard off center. The Droid 2 leaves out the directional pad for a centered keyboard, although the keys appear to be just as flat as the first time around.

Motorola Droid 2What will Android 2.2 bring to the table?

Like all new versions of Android, 2.2 brings some important speed and stability increases, but also new features as well.

Perhaps most importantly, Adobe Flash 10.1 will come standard, allowing Froyo devices to run finally run Flash content. It also opens up Wi-Fi hotspot capability, so you can use an Android 2.2 device to share your 3G Internet connectivity out to Wi-Fi connected devices – provided you pay your ISP for the service.

Smaller changes include a handful of user interface tweaks, improved Microsoft Exchange support, the ability to install apps on an SD card, and massively improved JavaScript performance thanks to Google’s new V8 JavaScript engine.

When does the Droid 2 come out? How much?

Verizon has already opened preorders for the Motorola Droid 2 online, and the phones are slated to arrive August 12. Like every other phone in the Droid lineup, the Droid 2 costs $199.99 after discounts and a two-year contract.