Update: We still believe the Motorola Tegra 2 phone will be the first dual-core phone with Gingerbread, but we have now learned it will be coming to multiple carriers. I no longer believe the Motorola Olympus (Terminator) will be the first phone with Gingerbread, but it could still be the first dual-core phone to receive it.
Just like last year, Motorola and Verizon will launch a Droid phone for the holiday shopping season that will be the first device to feature a new version of Android.
Motorola is ultra secretive when it comes to big product launches so I might have a few details that are slightly off, but they have left clues all over the place and I’m just fitting the pieces together using my Android-powered brain and intel I’ve gathered from my growing team of ninjas.
This superphone, which I’m calling the Droid T2, will be the first to ship with Gingerbread (most likely Android 2.5), the first to feature NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 platform, and the first to offer 1080p video encode/decode. Users should also expect all the high end features found in the Droid X with the addition of a front-facing camera.
Some of you may remember that Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha boasted about delivering a 2 GHz phone in time for Christmas, but we recently discovered that was a slip of the tongue and he was actually referring to the two cores (clocked at 1 GHz each) found inside the Tegra 2 platform.
We also know that Motorola and NVIDIA are feverishly working on the next Android kernel. At first I thought this was for a tablet project, but we now know that the real Android tablets (those with Honeycomb) will not appear till 2011.
Google traditionally targets a specific product launch for new releases of Android because it is easier to develop for a single device (then they release the source code so other hardware partners can port it to their devices). Verizon is the largest U.S. carrier and Motorola knows how to execute a big launch, so Google has chosen them to deliver Gingerbread to the masses.
Little is known about Gingerbread at this point, but we expect it will feature a refined user interface and some of the features we saw demonstrated at Google I/O such as Google Music and the online Android Market. Other possible additions could be the rumored services like Google Games and Google Me.
Overall, I think Gingerbread will be a minor update (although still exciting) and this is why it will be branded Android 2.5, while Android 3.0 is being reserved for the full tablet experience coming next year.
Other than Motorola, we only know that LG is planning a Tegra 2 smartphone, but I don’t think they will deliver it this year. HTC was also rumored to be going dual-core with the myTouch HD, but it’s looking more and more like that was a typo and it will feature the same 2nd-gen Snapdragon found in the Desire HD.
If you want the best dual-core smartphone with the latest version of Android, then keep an eye on Motorola. They have a press event scheduled for October 5th at CTIA, but that is likely too soon to announce their Tegra 2 phone. It is more likely we will hear solid info around mid-November.
Does it sound a little far fetched or do you believe Sanjay Jha and Motorola will deliver the premier Android experience this Christmas?