How does the Droid 2 stack up against the Droid X?

Droid 2 is set for launch on Thursday – almost exactly a month after the launch of the Droid X.

Droid 2 gets an improved keyboard and a faster processor, as well as the latest Android operating system.

Droid 2 is a go. As we reported yesterday, the Droid 2 is an upgraded version of the Droid, the Motorola handset released by Verizon Wireless late last year. Droid 2 retains the slide-out keyboard and touch screen, but adds the Android 2.2 Froyo OS, Adobe Flash 10.1, and a much-improved processor. Verizon says the newest Droid smartphone, which retails for $200 after a $100 rebate, will be in stores by Thursday.

So far, so good. But how does the Droid 2 stack up against the Droid X? Well, if you're a tech aficionado, you know that the Droid X, which was released in July, is a monster of a phone. Not just snappy and full-featured – although it is that, too – but downright big. The Droid X is equipped with a huge 4.3-inch high-resolution display, which doubles as a touch screen. There is no physical keyboard on the Droid X.

By comparison, the Droid 2 is relatively svelte. It's packing a 3.7-inch display and the blocky lines of the Droid X are here replaced by soft, curved edges. And then there's the multiple typing interfaces: Users can send messages or emails with the slide-out keyboard or the touchscreen. Verizon says that the Droid 2 will come equipped with Swype technology, an input method that lets you write words without lifting your finger.

On to the camera: The 5-megapixel camera on the Droid 2 is smaller than the 8-megapixel number on the Droid X, but we've said it once, and we've said it before: More megapixels doesn't necessarily mean a better photo.

One of the biggest differences between Droid 2 and Droid X is the operating system. Droid X shipped with Android 2.1, and an update to 2.2 is expected to become available by September. (Originally, Verizon has set the date for August.) But the Droid 2 arrives with the much-hyped Android 2.2 Froyo operating system preinstalled – and also includes the latest iteration of Adobe's mobile flash player.

For some users, that might be worth the price of admission alone.

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