Verizon's DROID series: a historical perspective - PhoneArena

Verizon's DROID series: a historical perspective

Verizon's DROID series: a historical perspective Page One

They came, they saw and they conquered. The Motorola DROIDS' lives make an interesting story, not only because their existence gave hope to one of the fading giants of the mobile industry - Motorola - but also because the original DROID started the Android revolution which, in turn, changed the smartphone world. These historical facts aside, the thing that really matters are the DROIDS themselves and how much they altered the smartphone landscape.

Early Rumours

The original Motorola DROID has been one of the most leaked handsets in recent memory, since plenty of its specs, photos and hands-on reports were presented prior to its official announcement. Not only that, but the handset which ended as a "DROID" was quite schizophrenic in its infancy, being called "Calgary", "Sholes", "Shules" and "Tao" before Moto eventually settled with the DROID brand. The constant leaks, the impressive specs, the never-ending rumours, as well as the breathtaking photos all pointed that we're to see a monster of a phone - and some more hype was added with the now legendary "iDon't, the DROID DOES" ad that Motorola and Verizon ran at that time.

Common knowledge dictates that when something is so hyped up, it just can't live up to the expectations, but this is not your ordinary "something", so we can honestly say - the DROID DID and more than a year since its release, it still DOES.

The Launch

Almost all rumours concerned with the Motorola DROID proved to be correct and its release date was no exception. The handset was touted for a Q4 2009 release and sure enough it arrived on November 6 2009. To celebrate the launch of this quite special device, Verizon decided to open one of its stores in New York City on the above mentioned date in 00:00:01. It's a fact of life that we tend to see such events reserved for bestsellers - and the DROID didn't disappoint, selling 100 000 units in its first weekend. This feat aside, the DROID took its healthy dose of critical acclaim - the Time Magazine named it 2009 Gadget of the Year, while this phone is widely regarded as the device that started both the green robot revolution and the Verizon-Google love story. And like this is not enough, the DROID proved that it indeed DOES, when its processor was clocked to 1.3GHz (we don't advise anyone doing this one, though).

For more information, check our in-depth Motorola DROID review.


Simultaneously with the launch of the Motorola DROID, another Android-powered handset for Big Red was released, and once again it was a DROID. The HTC DROID ERIS is the only mid-range, budget-friendly DROID to date, but neverheless it packs a few nice features like the HTC Sense UI, a 3.2-inch capacitive screen, a 528MHz processor and a 5MP camera. This phone, which felt like a version of the HTC Hero, but for Big Red, didn't have the same impact as the Moto DROID, which is frequently credited as the gadget that started the green robot revolution, and yet it showed that the Verizon DROIDS are not only reserved for high-tech maniacs.

For more information, check our in-depth HTC DROID ERIS review.

The Incredible HTC Droid

It is easy to be hard on a mid-range handset like the HTC DROID ERIS and compare it with any high-end device, but the fact is that the Motorola DROID was the (DROID) phone everyone was talking about - a true standard to follow. Or, at least, this was what everybody thought at the time. But not HTC, which managed to do something incredible - to release a beast of a phone that was the next big thing in the Android world - the HTC Droid Incredible. This monstrous handset offered some specs that still sound pretty impressive today - like a 1GHz processor, an 8MP camera with a high definition video capture and a 3.7-inch AMOLED display, which was lated replaced with a Super LCD screen due to the shortage of AMOLED ones.

Somehow unfortunately for HTC, a few months after the release of the Droid Incredible, a new heavyweight DROID graced the Verizon scene, and it was none other than...

For more information, check our in-depth HTC Droid Incredible review.


It was a little more than a year ago when we told you for the first time that the original DROID is soon to be followed by another mighty handset, which was then called "Shadow"/"Mirage", and after that - the "Motorola Xtreme". Its specs were revealed in the (in)famous "Gym Accident" leak and they were every geek's dream - a 4.3-inch display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8MP camera, HD recording capabilities and the tasty Eclair running the show. Prior to its release, some photos were shown and the name was changed to the Motorola DROID X. The rest, as they say, is part of the history books and our in-depth Motorola DROID X review.

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