Verizon's Droid 3 available online today, in stores July 14

It's official: the Motorola Droid 3 is available on Verizon today (though only online) but won't hit stores until July 14, so no need to rush out to try out that slide-out QWERTY just yet.

It's official: the Motorola Droid 3 is available from Verizon today (though only on VerizonWireless.com) but won't hit stores until July 14, so no need to rush out to try out that slide-out QWERTY just yet.

It turns out the leaked specs sheet of the Droid 3 I wrote about last week was the real thing, so there are not many surprises about the just released phone, other than Verizon's pricing for the Droid 3.

Of course, on the first day Verizon's new tiered data service kicks in, the Droid 3 goes on sale for $199.99 on a 2-year contract with the new voice and data plans (starts at $30 for 2 GB), but existing customers will be grandfathered into their unlimited data plans as promised.

While the Droid 3 may very well be the world's thinnest smartphone with a full QWERTY at just 0.5" thick as Verizon claims, the fact that it is only 3G may be a turn off for customers who are increasingly holding out for 4G/LTE devices. That said, the fact that the Droid 3 is a dual-mode world phone that comes preloaded with a SIM card so it can work on both GSM and CDMA bands, may score some points with frequent flyers. Some of you wondered whether that means the phone can be hijacked to Verizon's GSM rivals AT&T and T-Mobile, but it doesn't seem likely according to the phone's leaked user manual:

Note: GSM and UMTS-based global services work only with a SIM card supplied by Verizon Wireless®. When you set your phone to use a GSM 900/1800 or UMTS 2100 network (see “Select a network” on page 13), you may be prompted to enter a subsidy code. To get this code, contact Verizon Wireless.

With a full QWERTY slider and running Gingerbread out-of-box, the Droid 3 would make a great phone for those craving a physical keyboard on an up-to-date Android phone. I can't wait to see how much quicker I can type on a slider rather than my on-screen keyboard when the Droid 3 lands in my local Verizon store. What about you?

Here are the confirmed specs of the Droid 3 by Motorola:

  • CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz processor
  • Cameras/Camorder: 8-megapixel rear camera and camcorder capable of 1080p HD video. front-facing camera
  • OS: Android Gingerbread (2.3)
  • Display: 4" qHD display
  • Input: 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Connectivity: 3G Mobile Hotspot capabilities, with the ability to connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • Supports Flash Player 10
  • Dimensions: 2.5(w) x 4.9(h) x 0.5 (d) inches
  • Weight: 5.9oz
  • Mirror mode: Connect to a HDTV via HDMI to view and share photos, videos and movies
  • Enterprise ready: Advanced security policies, device and SD card encryption, complex password support, remote data wipe of device and SD card; document and presentation viewing and editing with Quickoffice

[Source: Verizon Wireless press release via ThisIsMyNext]

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