When it comes to mobile devices I tend to be fairly platform agnostic, owning Android phones, iPod Touches (well, iPods since the original one in 2001), and both iPads and Android Tablets. But there is one place where I have clear bias (well, aside from gaming performance), and that is my preference for physical keyboards. Listing the smartphones I have used over the last few years, there is the original Droid, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, HTC Touch Pro 2, HTC 7 Pro, and Droid Pro.
What do all of those phones have in common? A physical keyboard. I even stuck with PDAs with keyboards to the end – the Palm Tungsten C and HP iPaq 4355. So … you might easily guess that I was thrilled to hear of the impending release of the Motorola Droid 4 on Verizon.
As you see at the top, the Droid 4 looks remarkably like the new Droid Razr – but it is somewhat thicker (~12mm rather than 7-9mm) and features a slide-out keyboard. It also features an illuminated keyboard with a 5th row for numbers and raised keys as shown above and below.
The specs for the phone are very much in line with the Droid Razr – dual core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB RAM to run apps and games, and 16GB of on-board storage. It also features a Micro-SD card slot for even more space (and with 16GB cards selling for less than $20, why not?), micro-HDMI to output video, and so on.
The screen is slightly smaller at 4″ similar to the Droid 3, but it includes a 8megapixel camera with full 1080p HD video recording capability and an unspecified ‘HD’ front-facing camera. Of course, it is also a 4G LTE phone, and I note that the battery is slightly higher capacity than the Droid Razr, which is certainly a good sign.
Finally, here is a graphic comparing the Droid 4 to the Droid 3 and the Droid Razr, showing just how much the slider has grown since the model released mere months ago.
Droid Life also got info on a number of accessories including a couple of Atrix-like keyboard docks.
The Droid 4 ships with Android Gingerbread (2.3.x), with no clear word on an Ice Cream Sandwich (4.x) update – though it is definitely expected to come early in 2012. The Droid 4 is currently anticipated to ship on December 8th – the same rumored date as the Galaxy Nexus, so I would expect that to shift a bit.
Whatever the release date, this is definitely a phone I am looking forward to checking out when it arrives!