Is the Motorola Droid 3 a giant waste of time?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 31, 2011

As usual, we’re about to have a discussion about a phone that, at this exact moment, isn’t official. Sure, assumptions could have been made about its subsequent release, and considering the popularity of Motorola’s DROID line-up (can we include the Droid X lineage in there anymore?); the release of the Droid 3 was probably inexorable. So here we are, talking about the next device in that particular family, and the title suggests that it’s a big waste of time. But is it? Let’s figure it out together.

First, let’s go ahead and throw out there that this is just pure speculation. Again, we’re talking about a device that hasn’t been announced yet, so as of right now we have no idea what kind of specifications it will be packing when it finally does land in customer’s hands. With that in mind, let’s go over what we’ve already heard regarding the Droid 3, shall we? We’ve heard reported that the new device will feature a 4-inch qHD touchscreen display with a resolution of 960x540. There’s a front-facing camera and an 8MP camera around the back. And under the hood there’s a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor.

And it is right about here where I’d tell you which version of Android the latest and greatest device is running, but there seems to be some confusion regarding this point when it comes to the Droid 3. We know that both Motorola and Verizon take the Droid devices seriously, so the latest batch of news suggesting that the handset will launch with Android 2.2 is mind boggling, to say the least. It’s not like Android 2.3 is just a figment of manufacturer’s imaginations at this point. It’s ready to go, and it’s already available on several different handsets in the market (including handsets that are being upgraded).

So, would Verizon and Motorola really launch the Droid 3 with an out-dated version of Android? Of course they would. We just watched them launch the Droid X2 with Android 2.2, and there’s no reason why that device shouldn’t have launched with Android 2.3. So how can they get away with this? One way, is by Motorola promising an update sometime in the future. Anyone who owns a high-profile Android device just expects an update at this point, so promising an update for a device like the Droid X 2 (or even planning to promise an update to an already out-dated phone in general) is empty. We know it’s coming – it would have been better to give it to us right out of the box.

And then there’s the fact that the Droid 3 isn’t a 4G LTE device. This one, in my opinion, isn’t as important as having the latest version of Android running on your handset, but I can understand wholeheartedly why it would be a deal breaker to some people. After all, having the next-generation radio in your handset means that you’ve got faster speeds all around, and why wouldn’t you want that? Of course, 4G LTE isn’t available all over the nation quite yet, but obviously Verizon is working to fix that as quickly as they can.

The Droid 3 is packing that physical keyboard, and to some that’s what makes the original Droid devices so amazing, and it’s definitely one reason why they are so popular. However, if the device ships out-dated (especially considering no launch date has been confirmed yet) right out of the box, and there’s already no 4G LTE on board, then I think it’s up to Verizon to really consider whether the Droid 3 is ready for prime time. If it’s possible, I’d suggest they wait to make sure that Android 2.3 is on the handset before they release it to the public.

As of right now, with these rumors milling around regarding the Droid 3, what’s your take on the device? Is it going to be your next purchase? Or will the lack of 4G LTE keep your money away from the latest device in the Droid line-up? And if 4G isn’t a big deal, will the lack of Android 2.3 make you stay away? Let me know in the comments below.

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