Verizon today officially unveiled the Droid X, confirming details pre-delivered on a teaser web site, while revealing some new ones that include a pact with Adobe around Flash Player 10.1, plus a new mobile 3G Wi-Fi Hotspot for connecting the Droid X to up to five PCs and other devices.
Outfitted with a Texas Instruments OMAP processor with 1 GHz processing ability, the Motorola-built Droid X – the latest in a series of Android phones from Verizon – will ship on July 15, officials of Verizon, Motorola, Google, and Adobe said in a press conference today.
The device will be priced at $200 by Verizon, after a $100 rebate and with a two-year contract.
More Hardware Details
As promised by a video on the teaser web site, the device will also sport an 8 megapixel camera, an improvement over the 5 megapixel camera on the original Droid, along with a 4.3-inch screen, as large the the biggest display of any smartphone existing today. Screen resolution is going to be 960-by-640 pixels.
The Droid X will also offer 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory, but the storage capacity will be expandable to 40 GB through use of a removable storage card.
In presentations and a press Q&A, executives from the four companies – jokingly dubbed a new “rock band” by Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin – also answered rumors which have swirled around the new smartphone.
As widely reported through unofficial channels, the Droid X’s 8 MP camera will be capable of capturing 720p HD video content, with HD playback via HDMI. The new phone will also offer the Swype text-entry system along with MotoBlur, Motorola’s software for bringing together social networking services, text messages and e-mail into a universal inbox.
The Droid X will ship initially running Google’s Android OS 2.1. However, Rubin also announced today that Android OS 2.2 – a major update which adds support for Adobe FlashPlayer – is being released to open source developers today. Android OS 2.2 – and applications built on the new release – will be ready later in the summer, Rubin said during the press conference.
Less anticipated features emerged, too. The Droid X will come with three mikes, for example. Motorola has found that “people still use phones as phones,” quipped Sanjay, co-chief executive officer of Motorola “They like having conversations where two people can understand each other.”
The Droid X will also come with DLNA support, for video home networking applications.
Battery life on the Droid X is about comparable to that of the original Droid, the officials said. John Stratton, Verizon’s chief marketing officer, told reporters that he’s been trying out the Droid X, and that he’s able to get through an entire day of “pounding on it” on a single charge.
Adobe Flash Capable
Through other capabilities, Verizon is clearly differentiating the Droid X in the two direction of business apps and multimedia entertainment and gaming.
Adobe has rewritten iits Flash Player 10.1 to take advantage of mobile hardware, said Snantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe. Flash Player 10.1 is expected to be ready for both the Droid X and the original Droid later this summer.
The company first began supporting Android phones with Flash Player 10. Flash Player 10.1 will work hand-in-hand with Android 2.2. New capabilities in the latest version include sleep mode; an out-of-memory feature for lowering an app’s memory footprint when it’s not in use; and accelerometer support, for reorienting Flash content to either portrait or landscape mode, for example. Adobe is also supporting BlackBerry and WebOS with 10.1, and future versions of Windows Phone, LiMo, MeeGo, and Symbian OS.
Flash mobile applications for the Droid X will “not just be available for consumers, but also for enterprises,” Narayen said.
Droid X Hits Business Sweet Spot
Other business-oriented features in the Droid X will include support for both Microsoft Exchange and G-mail; remote password control and wipe through Exchange server; push delivery of e-mail; filter widgets for differentiating work and home -mail; corporate directory and global look-up; a unified calendar for enterprises, and sync with Google Calendar.
The Droid X will also ship with an enhanced edition of Verizon’s existing VCast Video, along with a Blockbuster on Demand app for downloading and viewing movies; an NFL (National Football League) video app, and a Skype mobile app for videoconferencing.
Verizon’s Nationwide Talk plans start at $39.99 per month. Smartphone plans begin at $29.99 with unlimited access. The optional 3G Mobile HotSpot service will cost another $20 per month. Verizon Wireless customers with contracts ending by the end of this year will be able to upgrade to the Droid X or any other Verizon smartphone without penalty, Stratton said.