This site is no stranger to the Motorola Sholes, which ended up launching as the Verizon Droid. We had a handful of reliable sources that provided us with inside information that we leaked over and over and over and over. Not every single prediction came true (because many of them fell victim to delays), but the majority were spot on. Some people were not happy with our Sholes coverage, but it created huge buzz across the Internet and the Droid went on to become the best selling Android device.
We reported back in August that Motorola was working on a “trimmed down version of Sholes” without the physical keyboard and it was headed to a U.S. GSM carrier in early 2010. This device became to be known as the Sholes Tablet when it was spotted on a leaked Motorola roadmap.
We got our first preview of the phone earlier this month when Motorola officially announced the Motoroi for Korea.
The Sholes Tablet is essentially the same internals of the Motorola Droid with a few improvements. The main additions over the Droid are a higher megapixel camera with xenon flash (8MP vs 5MP), HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (vs 7.2 Mbps), a mini HDMI port, and Motoblur.
I’m really pleased to see the inclusion of HSDPA 10.2 Mbps. This will pair nicely with T-Mobile’s 3G network upgrade to HSPA+ which supports speeds up to 21 Mbps.
The Droid shipped with stock Android, but that was because Google was in charge of the software for that phone. Our old reliable sources tell us Motorola has complete control over the U.S. Sholes Tablet and intends to include their Motoblur customizations. Yes, this does mean that the U.S. version will support multitouch implementations like pinch zoom.
- Display: 3.7 inch capacitive touch FWVGA (480×854)
- Dimensions: 60.9 mm x 115.95 mm x 10.9 mm, Weight: 140 g
- Processor: TI OMAP3430 (550 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU)
- Memory: 512 MB Flash ROM, 256 MB RAM
- Camera: 8 megapixel autofocus with xenon flash. 720p HD video recording.
- 3G Network support: HSDPA 10.2 Mbps, HSUPA 5.6 Mbps
- Wireless: WiFi 802.11 b/g with DLNA support
- Operating System: Andorid 2.1 with Motorblur
- Other: 720P HD video out via HDMI port
We have speculated for a long time that this phone was headed to T-Mobile so it doesn’t come as a surprise to see Engadget and TmoNews report the device passed through the FCC with T-Mobile 3G bands. I’ve heard T-Mobile is a huge fan of Motoblur and the Sholes Tablet could be their next flagship device for retail stores.
The first launch date we ever heard was early 2010. This was narrowed down to Q1 2010 in the leaked roadmap and now TmoNews is reporting T-Mobile will launch a Motorola phone on March 10, 2010. Some have speculated this could be the Motorola Zeppelin (low-end Android phone) which was also on the leaked roadmap, but the Sholes Tablet was planned to launch first.
Upcoming Android events where Motorola could announce the phone include Mobile World Congress (2/15), Game Developers Conference (3/9) and CTIA (3/29). If the phone is revealed at MWC then I think the device could hit the March 10 target. Look to CTIA for a big announcement if Motorola remains quiet in Barcelnoa (we don’t think they will).
The price points remain unknown, but expect it to land somewhere close to the Droid and Nexus One. That means $179-199 with 2 year contract and $500+ full price.
Given what we know about the Motorola Sholes Tablet, how many of you would choose it over the Nexus One? The Droid has a better camera and flash, HDMI, faster 3G, faster GPU, and Motoblur while the Nexus One has a faster processor, more memory, a trackball, and stock Android.
Bonus: Video of the Motorola Motoroi headed for Korea.