New Droid

In the wake of the iPhone 4 frenzy, you may have missed a pretty significant smartphone launch from Motorola and Verizon Wireless: The Droid X.

The two companies recently introduced the second in what appears to be a series of Droids. The first Droid, released last year, helped Motorola get its groove back and indicated Verizon’s desire to offer phones that compete with the iPhone, which is available exclusively through AT&T.

Unlike the first version, the Droid X does not include a slide-out keyboard. Instead, you chose two methods of touch-typing your messages: by tapping the touch-screen keys on the display, or using a function called “Swype” and sliding your fingers across the keyboard to connect letters. Swype seems bizarre at first, but I got the hang of it after about five minutes. In fact, I think it’s a breakthrough that could greatly improve the speed of phone-based messaging.

The other key difference on the Droid X is its wonderful 4.3-inch screen. It’s huge, compared to the 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4. The phone also features a camera that shoots 720p HD video, and software for corporate e-mail and mobile security, which means a lost or stolen phone can be remotely wiped to remove (and retrieve) sensitive information, as well as your contact list.

The Droid X is the latest in a string of Android-based smartphones designed to rival the iPhone. If you have iPhone envy but don’t want to use AT&T, you may want to consider it—or Sprint’s HTC Evo (the nation’s first 4G phone) or Verizon’s other Android offering, the HTC Incredible. The Droid X goes on sale July 15 for about $200.



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