On Friday, consumers in the US will finally be able to get their hands on the Verizon Droid, a smartphone built by Motorola, and powered by Google's Android 2.0 operating system. As we noted last week, early tests of the Droid have been enthusiastic – reviewers like the Droid’s navigation capabilities, the state-of-the-art OS, its full QWERTY keyboard, and its 3.7-inch display, which is said to be a major improvement on the resolution offered by the Apple iPhone.
Now, Motorola has announced the Droid will be the first Android 2.0 phone to arrive on European shores. The only catch: This Droid won't be called the Droid. Instead, in Europe, the Motorola smartphone will be known by the somewhat un-snazzier name of Milestone. Doesn't have that same ring to it. (Ahem.) Anyway, the Milestone will be supported by Vodafone and O2 in Germany, and on unspecified carriers in other countries.
Look for a release date of early November.
So what do the Droid and Milestone have in common? Just about everything. The Milestone has a different radio deck and no access to Google Maps – Google Maps Navigation hasn't yet crossed the pond – so the phone is getting a test version of Motonav, PC World reports. Other than that, the Droid and the Milestone are basically identical.
Since the middle of October, the tech world has been saturated with news of the Droid. Mostly, the buzz can be chalked up to a very successful marketing campaign run by Verizon. The carrier rolled out a series of adverts blasting Apple and the iPhone – see the video below – and touting the supremacy of the Motorola-built Droid.
Sprint, of course, once took similar aim at the iPhone, unveiling an advertisement targeting folks who bought an iPhone in June 2007. (We noted at the time, the ad seemed to hearken back to the ’80s Sega commercial “Genesis does what Nintendon’t.”) But while Sprint was quickly outpaced by Apple, the Droid seems to have some stopping power – the phone is well-built, well-accessorized, and well-reviewed.