Motorola's new Droid 3 smartphone is now available for purchase from Verizon Wireless online and will begin selling in retail outlets nationwide on July 14. Powered by Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, the Droid 3 is priced at $199.99 for customers signing up for two-year service contracts with Verizon.
Over the years Verizon has been the biggest U.S. reseller of Motorola's Droid devices, but wireless carrier's launch of the iPhone 4 earlier this year undoubted contributed to Motorola's one percent decline in the U.S. market from March through May, according to comScore. The new Droid 3 should give new customers -- as well as current subscribers pondering a smartphone upgrade -- plenty of reasons to give the new device serious consideration.
Exclusively designed for Verizon, Motorola's Droid 3 is the world's thinnest smartphone to feature a miniature Qwerty keyboard that slides out from the bottom of the handset. Moreover, the new 3G smartphone features a 4-inch qHD display, which is one quarter of a full HD 1080p high-definition video frame and equivalent to three quarters of a 720p frame.
Under the hood, Motorola's Droid 3 packs an eight-megapixel camera for shooting 1080p HD video clips and a dual-core, one-gigahertz OMAP 4 processor from Texas Instruments for enabling fast multi-tasking. Compatible with Adobe Flash Player 10, Droid 3 also sports a second camera for enabling video chat sessions.
The global-ready Droid 3's radio capabilities include the ability to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices while users are on the go. And the new smartphone ESP smart dock technology, which offers a unique user-defined experience for the docks, based on location and predefined user settings, noted Motorola spokesperson Danielle McNally.
"As users transition from docks in the home, office, or , Droid 3 adapts its features automatically based on the dock it's connected to and users' pre-defined settings, giving them the experience they want most as they move throughout the day," McNally said in an email.
Droid 3 provides IT administrators an arsenal of advanced security capabilities, such as device and SD card encryption, complex password support and remote data wipe of the device and its accompanying SD card. Also on tap is Citrix Receiver -- a software client for delivering corporate apps, desktops and data to any employee's device -- as well as a fully integrated videoconferencing software platform called Citrix GoToMeeting.
Data Monitoring Tools
Verizon also rolled out a set of new tools Thursday for enabling new Droid 3 customers as well as the company's other smartphone newcomers to track their personal data usage to keep from exceeding Verizon's new capped data plans. For example, handset users will be able to dial #DATA and press send from Verizon's phones to retrieve their current data usage status.
Users also can download a new data widget to most Android and BlackBerry devices that displays the subscriber's personal data usage on the handset's screen. Smartphone users also will be able to monitor personal data usage through their My Verizon Mobile accounts.
However, the problem with Verizon's new tools is that they all require smartphone and tablet users to perform new behaviors -- which people typically do not like to do, said Lisa Pierce, an independent wireless analyst at the Strategic Networks Group.
"What Verizon Wireless is doing is like the TSA's approach to airline security, which nobody likes," Pierce said. "But unlike the TSA, mobile customers can loudly complain, which they will do, and have other provider choices, which at least some will prefer."