The marketing tagline for this blockbuster Android phone is "Droid Does, iDont" -- squarely mocking the iPhone. So does it live up to expectations?
This aggressive attack on the Apple iPhone's shortcomings resulted in Motorola selling as many as 800,000 Droid handsets in the first week of US sales, according to one analyst's estimates, and they've followed on by launching a direct to retail GSM version of Droid in Europe branded as the Motorola Milestone.
The following review is based on this European Milestone 3G HSDPA version of the phone which will work with all Australian mobile frequencies except Telstra's NextG. Motorola Australia wouldn't tell us if or when it would be released in Australia, but it's a pretty sure bet it will be coming soon, given how dire Motorola's situation is in the mobile handset market -- it will want to get this product out to as many markets as possible to reinvigorate its ailing brand reputation.
As an interesting side note, Verizon/Motorola had to pay a licence fee to sell the phone as "Droid" in the USA because DROID is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm.
Much to the dismay of Australian Star Wars and Android fans, the high cost of licensing the name means it is unlikely a similar phone released in Australia will bear the Droid name.
Motorola's big bet on Android
Motorola, the company that invented mobile phones, hasn't released a cool new phone for so long that many people will have just about forgotten they still have a mobile division.
The Motorola logo displayed on screen when the Milestone is powered on is reminiscent of the Bat Sign displayed in the sky by Gotham City to signal an emergency that requires Batman's help. We're sure this similarity was unintended, but it reminded APC that this is probably the last roll of the dice for Motorola's stale mobile division.
Once the market leader with its RAZR phones, Motorola realised it had been usurped by the iPhone, Blackberry and other cool new smartphones, and decided to make a big bet on Android in 2008, dedicating hundreds of developers and a substantial financial investment in the hope that hitching its wagon to the nascent open source Google Android mobile operating system would be successful.
So is this the Droid you've been looking for? Keep reading our in-depth review to find out if this rebel alliance of Motorola and Google's Android 2.0 operating system will cause people to hesitate when they consider buying an iPhone.