Jul 07 AT 9:35 AM Alberto Vildosola 27 Comments

Verizon officially announces the Motorola Droid 3, available now for $199.99 (Update: videos)

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Motorola and Verizon announced the original Motorola Droid. But here we are today, witnessing the release of the third generation of Droids. Verizon and Motorola finally announced today the availability of the Motorola Droid 3. The device has been showing itself on camera and leaking its specs for a while, but it’s always nice to see a new Android phone officially announced.

Even though the original Droid will always have a place in our hearts, the Droid 3 is miles ahead of its grandfather in terms of hardware. The Droid 3 takes things up a notch with the following specifications:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 4-inch qHD screen
  • 8 MP back-facing camera with LED flash
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 1080p video recording
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • HDMI out
  • 1540 mAh battery

Not too shabby. In case you’re wondering, the Droid 3 is running the latest version of MOTOBLOAT. I have to say, it doesn’t look that bad. At least compared to previous versions of Motorola’s custom skin. Time will tell if people like it or not.

You can claim a Droid 3 as your own right now by going to Verizon’s website and sacrificing $199.99 and two years of your life. If you’d rather get the in-person experience, you’ll have to wait until July 14th to buy one at a Verizon store. So what say you? Is this the Droid you’re looking for?
Show Press Release

BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and LIBERTYVILLE, IL – Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today announced the new Androidâ„¢-powered DROID 3 by Motorola, a global smartphone that delivers power for work and play without making compromises.

DROID 3 by Motorola is the world’s thinnest full QWERTY smartphone, and still delivers the power of a dual-core 1 GHz processor for fast multi-tasking. Customers can take stunning photos with the 8-megapixel camera or capture the moment in 1080p HD video. Equipped with Android 2.3, the DROID 3 by Motorola features a brilliant 4-inch qHD display, a roomy 5-row QWERTY keyboard and 3G Mobile Hotspot capabilities, with the ability to connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. DROID 3 by Motorola delivers the power needed to conquer the day whether customers are at home, work or somewhere in between.

Additional features:

Powered by Androidâ„¢ 2.3 Gingerbread
Mirror mode allows you to view and share photos, videos and movies on a larger TV via HDMI output (requires HDMI cable)
Global ready, allowing customers to enjoy wireless voice and data service in more than 200 countries, including more than 125 with 3G speeds
Enterprise ready with advanced security policies, device and SD card encryption, complex password support, remote data wipe of device and SD card; document and presentation viewing and editing with Quickoffice®
Citrix® GoToMeeting® for Android, gives users the ability to attend online meetings while on-the-go, and Citrix Receiver® for Android, a universal software client that allows companies to deliver corporate apps, desktops and data to any corporate- or employee-owned device
ESP smart dock technology for a tailored experience based on whether DROID 3 is docked in home, office or car settings
Adobe® Flash® Player 10
Front-facing camera for still shots and video chat
Video playback in 1080p HD in mirror mode
Pricing and availability:

DROID 3 by Motorola is now available online at www.verizonwireless.com, and will be available in Verizon Wireless Communication Stores by July 14 for $199.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
Customers that purchase a DROID 3 will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a smartphone data package. New Verizon Wireless customers will have the option of smartphone plans starting at $30 for 2GB of data. Current Verizon Wireless smartphone customers who are upgrading their smartphone can keep their current data plan.
For more information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

Droid3_1 Droid3_2 Droid3_3 Droid3_4 Droid3_5

Source: Verizon

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    If this had LTE, they would have priced it at $299.

    The fact that big red is still releasing LTE-less phones is baffling.

    • http://www.kablowie.com Greg B

      “The fact that big red is still releasing LTE-less phones is baffling.”

      There’s a target market for this phone…

  • http://Website JVSEDI

    Right now, yes it is……still using my Original Droid and have been waiting for this to come out. Just ordered two….they’re on their way!! I’m not too concerned with lack of 4G right now so other than that it has everything I want!!! Hope it turns out to be as good a phone as my Original Droid has been…..never had any problems with it from day one.

  • http://Website GeauxLSU

    As an original droid owner, I’d be placing my order right now if it was 4g LTE.

  • http://Website Mark

    Not very different from the slew of current Android devices…

    • http://Website GeauxLSU

      The verry different part is the slide out keyboard that some people prefer.

      • http://www.kablowie.com Greg B

        I wish I could get the MyTouch 4G Slide’s LTE and high-end camera with the Droid 3′s keyboard.

      • http://Website Mark

        Talking about specs per say, it really isn’t. Hopefully, Nexus 3 will break this stagnant state like the N1 did.

  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    Just wait for the bionic.

  • http://Website GeauxLSU

    On a side note, Verizon’s tiered data plans went into effect today, and as I went through the upgrade process to test, I was still allowed unlimited data on both 3g and 4g phones.

    • AndroidFTW

      Thats what i like to hear!!

  • Mighty_O

    oh….no motocrap!!

  • LukeT32

    There is no 4G ETA in my area anyway. So LTE is of no concern to me…. any word on a locked bootloader?

  • http://Website riknos

    Only 512megs of ram? On my original droid, the largest factor that makes it outdated is that it only has 256megs of ram, If I enable swap it becomes MUCH more responsive. On a device with specs like this one, the ram will become a limiting factor, both for future os upgrades (especially with MOTOBLOAT) and ram intensive applications like browsing and gaming. I won’t but a phone with less than a gig of ram.

  • http://Website John

    Does anyone know / think if this will be compatible with the Droid 2 docks?? The car dock and the media dock?

    • http://Website MrCatPC

      Lengthy post with observations (see below from me), but short answer: no, sorry, John. There doesn’t seem to be any sharing of accessory docks for Droid 3 and other Moto products so far…

      At least without some creative modding.

  • http://www.geeknik.com/ geeknik

    My girlfriend has an OG Droid, which she has had since it’s launch day. She begged me for a Droid 3 since we’re at our upgrade date. So I ordered her one. It was only $169.99. I have a Droid X. I’m waiting on the Bionic. ;)

  • http://Website iPhone 5 worshipper

    This old phone is obsolete!

    • http://Website chris125

      Ha that’s right apple is playing catch up that’s why ios 5 is just now adding features that have been In android for awhile. Troll.

  • http://Website Adam

    512megs of ram and no LTE? That with motobloat and a locked bootloader have this D1 & D2G owner saying NO THANKS!

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com/ Max

    next comes gingerbread for droid 2

  • http://Website pax

    Locked bootloader!!!…Moto sucks.

  • http://Website teon

    Droid2 gingerbread I have it for a while now

  • http://Website M0nk

    512MB of RAM is killing this phone for next Android release. Seems that at least 1GB of RAM is needed for ICS. Im really sorry because the keyboard seems improved and overall seems solid.

  • http://Website MrCatPC

    @John: No I wouldn’t count on compatibility. Now, Droid vs Droid 2: there’s compability because ports line up and D2 cradles have a removable or replaceable backplane to accomodate the Droid. Droid X2 however, had me intrigued when I saw closeups of the Droid 3′s ports…

    From what I can see, as far as the docking accessory solutions go, eyeballing the port locations for micro USB and micro HDMI, and checking Verizon’s accesory list online, the D3 will have its own exclusive docks.

    I hoped that the existing DX2 docks would work because some can be found more cheaply than new proprietary accessories, but there isn’t a cross-compatibility listed on VZW for the DX2 and D3, although their USB+HDMI seem to line up closely, at least as far as YouTube or leaked photos on gadget sites have displayed.

    Additional forums are out there showing homemade car/media docks to add funcitonality, such as HDMI output for the DX2 in-car, so even if the original accessory doesn’t, “Droid Does!”

    I am a D2 R2D2 owner since February, and the feature I would love to have from this new D3 is the HDMI-out Mirror Mode. It looks to be an improvement on even other brands’ HDMI solutions since it senses the cable (whether that’s MotoBlur layer or Android OS, who knows?) and gives the Mirror Mode prompt for instant bigscreen viewing (according to demo shown above). I’ve seen on forums various complaints of not being able to just see whatever’s on the Android screen ported through HDMI to the TV (DRM or copyprotection factors, software driver disengaged, special apps to filter the output, etc.), so I am impressed from this HDMI demo so far (of course an in-person demo would sell me on the feature)…

    I use a ProClip mount with the Motorola T-prong dock adapter that snaps to the back of the original Droid or Droid 2 car home cradle (once the suction mount arm is detached), and I went with this solution for car mounting the R2D2 so I could reuse the mount with future Motorola docks, assuming they’ll continue to use that double-T-prong at the back.

    What I really want to know is if the HDMI output has passthrough with the Motorola D3 Car Dock, or if it’s just neglected while USB/charging passes through. Aftermarket car stereos can include an HDMI input now (wow, high-def on the small screen, I know) which can mean a single-stream audio/video connection with HDMI/HDCP, making a dock all the more tempting for those of us who play vids for the kids in-car (yup, Cartoon Network and FLV/MP4 downloads seem to do the trick). My guess is that HDCP (HDMI audio) is supported since the demo (above) shows a Music option upon connection of the micro-HDMI cable… so hoping it’s an all-inclusive dock for all media.

    REALISTICALLY, unless the R2D2 wears out before the Droid 3 becomes scarce, I’ll stick with this co-pilot for now, which is lightspeed compared to the old Samsung SCH-i760 WinMo I clung to for nearly 4 years. Of course, I had the fortune to upgrade to R2D2 for FREE when my Sammy760/Robin decided to quit reliably turning on (new battery, etc, it was the device). So I will still count my blessings and continue to drool over the Droid 3 for now.

    And just now went through steps to silence the R2D2 bootloader so I no longer have to silence my Droid2 with pillows/towels/armpits/etc on boot to spare all else within earshot the piercing gleeful squawk beep sputter during power-up. Now no complaints I’d care to mention.

    • http://Website MrCatPC

      The D3 car dock includes something listed as “custom USB and audio cable” in addtion to 3.5mm audio aux cable, would love to see a photo of this and see if it’s pulling audio from the single USB connection in the dock (no HDMI connector in the car dock mentioned so assuming it’s blocked/neglected here), or if it’s just a dual cable molded together with a 3.5mm aux audio alongside the USB rapid charger… Presumably would clean up the look and placement of having multiple tentacles branching off the side/back of the car dock (like my Droid2 car dock has now).

      Also curious about the dock identity/locale shown above, whether car docks will have certain personalities based on preference settings like the home/media/hd dock demonstrates (designation of home dock versus office dock, etc.)… Does this happen based on an ID chip inside the dock communicating through micro-USB when first cradled, or is it some other wizardry (proximity, passive bluetooth MAC address, voodoo, what?)?

      Still moot if I’m not willing to buy the device outright to testdrive the goodies. (:K

      BTW, 4G LTE just came to our city, waiting for real world results on how it works for my clients who’ve signed on with VZW and the new mifi 4G hotspot for home use. Up until this point I would have claimed 4G on the D3 would have been irrelevant feature for me, too. Now, however…

  • R2D2

    I had the original Droid and a dock for it. Upgraded to a Droid 3 and bought this dock for it. The dock for the original Droid was weighted. It was substantial and would not move around when you docked the phone. This one is a lightweight. What’s worse, the HDMI port is located beside the USB port on the phone. Most users like me need the USB to charge the phone. Not the HDMI. Having both ports together makes the phone MUCH harder to dock – even with two hands. You have to get it aligned just right whereas the Droid 1 just fell onto its dock and was just as easy to pull off. My solution – it works great! Take a pair of strong pliers and grasp the HDMI plug (not the USB!!!) then twist. Take a sharp flat blade screw driver and pry back and forth over the stub and wire that is the remainder of the HDMI plug. When it’s gone and smooth and only the USB plug remains in the dock, you can slip the Droid 3 into the dock with one hand and effortlessly pull it off after charging.