Liveblog: Verizon unveils the Droid X

June 23, 2010, 3:58 PM UTC

After weeks of speculation, teasers and leaks, the day many Android aficionados have been antsy about has arrived: the unveiling of Verizon’s Droid X and Droid 2.

Thanks to a recent “pre-review,” we have a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of features, at least as far the Motorola (MOT) Droid x, including a new 45 nm 1GHz TI OMAP processor that’s almost double the raw speed of the 550MHz 65nm TI OMAP processor in the first Droid, and a PowerVR SGX530 graphics processor, 4.3-inch display and 720P recording and HDMI out.

Also to be expected, some news from Adobe which probably includes Flash 10.1 on the new Droids at launch.  The fun starts at 1PM Eastern.  Check below for updates.

12:30 PM  We’re on the scene at the Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle. Fancy!

1:00  Verizon has informed us that they are running a little late.  Stay tuned.

1:15  They’re making people wait to complete some CNBC interview…

1:20  All four are on stage: Andy Rubin, Sanjay Jha, Shantanu Narayan, and Verizon’s John J. Stratton, from Verizon… and a surprise cameo by Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Photo Credit: JP Mangalindan

1:25  They’re showing off the device: 4.3-inch screen. Full HD playback. It’s very thin, very lightweight, “certainly streams video.”

1:27  “We’ve done a deal with Blockbuster.” The impending app will feature embedded movies, and TV shows. You can rent or buy films and consume them on any number of screens.

1:28  Jha’s stepping in to discuss the evolution from the Droid to the Droid X: “We’re going to deliver an unparalleled experience. This is the device that’s with you at all times that you rely on. You go back home to pick up this device.”

1:30  “There is this convergence that is making the experience much more personal.” He predicts by 2011, 50% of all devices will be smartphones. “Smartphones will be the converged device that fits in your pocket.”

1:31  “This is the largest opportunity in technology today. If you think about the Internet, more people access the internet via their mobile devices than their PC.” He predicts 28 nanometer production will really come into its own by end of this year. Running a video showing features of the Droid x. (Looks pretty sweet.)  The video has some Black Eyed Peas-like soundtrack going… Can’t place it.

1:32  They’re playing up the Hot Spot feature.

1:32  1 GHz processor end of video.  Now Jha’s talking about the 8 MP camera. Captures HD 720. PHDML and DLNA hook up.  Camera is really second to none.  1 GHz processor, 8 GB memory, 16 GB card…

1:36  Swipe made at AT&T about how the phones are first and foremost used by people as phones, as in to actually make calls. (People in audience chuckle.)”We understand that.” Business Support for Exchange and Gmail enterprise. Push delivery of email. Corporate directory Security protocols.

1:37  Talking about their being eco-friendly, PVC-free handset, bromine-free printed circuit boards, Mercury-free LCD display. Next!

1:38  Rubin’s turn. He’s talking about how everyone came together to make this product. (He also makes another crack abut that rocking soundtrack.) In May, Google had announced 100,000 Android devices everyday.

1:39  Rubin now says that Google is activating 160,000 Android devices per day!!! (That’s up from 100,000/day a few months ago.  Whoa.)

1:42  Narayan: “People want unfettered access and they want it where ever they want.” “Where Adobe comes in is enabling that web content onto those devices with the power and creativity that they want.” “Some of you may have heard about us in the news with regards to Flash. But we have 3.5 million developers and we’re able to bring their creativity.  70% of casual games are Flash-based.  All of the next-gen enterprise apps are being built for these engaging experiences.

1:44  Shipping Droid x on July 15 for $199.99 after a $100 rebate $29.99 smartphone data service for “unlimited” access Mobile HOtspot feature is $20 additional to connect to 5 devices via WiFi.

1:45   They’re plugging an upgrade policy similar to Apple’s. Any Verizon customer who’s contract is up for renewal in 2010 is eligible to upgrade (Woot!!)

1:46   Onto the Q&A portion…

Q: When you say that people can get an extra 2GB for $20 a month, is that over the existing 5 GB?
A: For $29.99 a month, the customer will get an unlimited access to our EDVO network. If they want to use the mobile hot spot capability, that’s $20 for 2 GB.

Q: Is there MotoBlur on this device?
A: Device ships with 2.1.  There will be MotoBlur UI but startup and setup is modified so it’s “dramatically different.”

Q: What’s the battery life like?
A: Battery life is comparable to battery life of Droid 1 even with the bigger display
1 mm extra battery pack will offer undisclosed, but much more battery life.

Q: How unlimited is the unlimited data plan?
“You can start using it on the first day of the month and keep using it until the last day of the month.” (chuckles around the room)

Q: Someone’s asking about that 160,000 phones-a-day announcement from Rubin. “I think there are a lot of phones based on Android.”
A: That’s the charm. It’s an OS for everyone… Having the technology to be able to go wide with an open-source model allows this sort of viral adoption.”

Q:  Will there be a delay on Froyo updates thanks to the MotoBlur UI?
A: We will upgrade this version of Froyo towards the late summer. “We are being diligent about that.”
Rubin: They’re open-sourcing Froyo today.

Q: Moto Global?
A: Phone is only available to Verizon customers in the United States.

Q: Tethering option?
A: Yep!

That’s it from us. Look for some follow-up news throughout the day.

Photo Credit: JP Mangalindan