27
Oct
droid4-1

When Motorola announced the Droid 3, there was a lot of negative energy directed at the device for its lack of an LTE radio. Of course, it was still better than its predecessors in every way -- larger, more vibrant screen, better keyboard, less intrusive Blur -- it was an all around nice piece of kit. Moving forward, Moto knew that it had to one-up the D3 with the newest iteration of the iconic Droid series, and, according to these leaked images, it looks to have hit that nail on the head with the Droid 4.

droid4-1

droid4-2 droid4-5

droid4-3 droid4-4

So, did they get it right this time? You be the judge:

  • 4-inch display (possibly Super AMOLED Advanced)
  • Five-row illuminated keyboard
  • RAZR syling
  • 4G LTE
  • Non-removable battery
  • Android 2.3.5
  • 1080p video capture
  • HDMI Out
  • MotoACTV sync

Right off the bat there are a couple of things worth noting. Firstly, it looks like this beasty will have an LTE radio, a definite win for keyboard-loving speed demons. Second, it has a non-removable battery -- most likely to make the device even thinner (though, looking at the images, it doesn't seen to be that thin). Third, and probably the most important, it's running Android 2.3.5 and it has capacitive navigation keys below the screen, just like current phones. While I'm absolutely certain that this device will get Android 4.0 eventually, I would've liked for it to be designed with ICS in mind.

All things considered, this still looks like a mighty sexy device -- I love the rounded edges of the most recent Moto devices.

Unfortunately, there is no word on a possibly launch date at this point, but, judging by the images, the device looks to be near completion.

[via Droid Life]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Roph

    The display looks pentile. NO.

    • Brandon

      So I guess you wont be getting the nexus either then?

    • BobbyPhoenix

      Yep. Pass on it, and the Galaxy Nexus too. Actually all phones with pentile. The screen is the most important part. And it is an ugly looking phone too. What's up with those angled corners? Blah!

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

    First locked bootloaders, now locked batteries. Moto seems more and more like Apple every day. I was hoping the Google purchase of Moto would make things more open. Apparently not.

    Samsung, here I come.

    • Zack

      Completely agree. When I heard non-removable battery I totally said pass. Why would Moto go that route at all? Id rather the battery be removable then have it slimmer...

  • Chris

    I wish people would stop with the physical keyboards, makes phones clunky IMO. They were fine when they were for horizontal flip phones but the things are just antiquated.

    • http://verb0ze.net verboze

      +1. But I guess freedom of choice is what android is all about, and they are still making them because the demand still exists for them. Personally, I'll trade off the keyboard for a slimmer device. Also, that's one less thing likely to break :)

    • Tarukai

      I like the feel of a mechanical keyboard, plus that's a defining feature for the Droid line. I'm excited about the LTE, not about the non-removable battery.

    • ocdtrekkie

      Physical keyboard is a must on my phone. The whole benefit of Android is that you can pick the style you like best, be in a slate, a slider, or a candybar.

      Don't hate on Android's strongest point.

    • brgulker

      I disagree completely. My mom needs a smartphone but insists on a physical keyboard. I was going to recommend the Droid3, but I want her to have 4G.

      This might be her perfect device.

    • http://youtube.com/nerdydesi nerdydesi

      Yeah, uh NO. Android is all about choice.

      Would you want to use "Swype" on a desktop/laptop or only have touch controls for console games, ala the iPad?

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

    Physical keyboards make typing easier. I could never get used to using an on-screen keyboard.

  • Physman

    Well to be fair, they've probably been working on this phone for a while. At least since before the purchase of Motorola by Google. Also the deal hasn't be finalized yet, has it?

  • Miann

    "So did they* get it right" not trying to be nit picky just to help :)

    Not sure how I feel about keyboards anymore. It was anazing on my x1... but then I didnt miss it in my x10.

    • Shawn

      Since we are correcting people:

      "It was amazing* on my. . . "

      :)

      • Miann

        :P I cant type and IE8 has no auto spell check :( wish I could install chrome at work...

  • Raven

    Glad to finally see another decent looking keyboard phone. I won't even look at a new phone without one. It is the only way to do any serious typing on a mobile device. The Droid3 wasn't enough of a step up from my Droid2, but this may finally be my next phone. Me and my 3 spare batteries for my Droid2 are not happy about the non-removable battery though.

  • http://facebook.com/lazeraxelman Lazer

    No removable batteries? NO. This seems to be becoming a trend. The two things that originally sold me on Android 18 months ago were removable battery and storage. Now both seem to be on the way out. If this catches on, I'll just keep my current HTC forever.

    • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

      I know what you mean about the battery, but what about the storage? The newer phones can accept 64 GB microSD cards.

      At any rate, I'll probably get the Samsung Stratosphere. The specs aren't impressive, but at least it's open.

  • JimJam

    I think Moto seriously need to go back to the drawing board and stop with these iterative designs they are pushing out. For one the Bionic should never have come out. You don't show off a device at a show at the beginning of the year and then not release it for 9 months only to announce the Razr 2 weeks later.

    Either get the Bionic out in the public hands WAY earlier or have the balls to just cut it loose cos having 2 near identical devices launch to close to each other is dumb! And don't give me the choices crap.

    What they need is to take a step back, access the situation, make a killer device and have it actually be a flagship device.

    At the moment they are releasing what seems to be almost-flagship devices cos the specs are all so close together.

  • http://tantrajnaan.com Robert

    So a restyled Droid 3 with LTE. Talk about your incremental upgrades. This is what the Droid 3 should have been.
    The Droid RAZR is what the Bionic should have been. The Bionic is what the X2 should have been. The Atrix 2 is what the Atrix should have been. You're killing me Motorola.

    • Richard Hauser

      No LTE will kill the battery. The Bionic is better than the RAZR because it has a replaceable battery. I might give you the Bionic over the X2, as the replaceable makes 4G usable, but for my people I'd rather a X2. With the oversized battery it can go hard for 8 hours. The Bionic only can with an expert tweak of the power settings.
      I will resend some of these statements if the new process controller in the RAZR is a miracle worker or good enough that when ported to the Bionic it simplifies all the required power tweaking.

      • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

        I think that's by design. LTE kills the battery, which cannot be user replaced, thus forcing the user to either pay to have it replaced, or purchase another phone.

        Moto and Verizon, 1. The consumer, 0.

  • ocdtrekkie

    I'm kinda glad now I got the DROID BIONIC and DROID 3. Seems like they're the last two devices with removable batteries from Moto.

    Given that almost every Moto phone I've gotten has had to have it's battery swapped out by Verizon shortly after purchase, making the battery non-removable sounds pretty dumb.

  • http://www.podoco.net Zach

    I love the keyboard on the droid and droid 3. however, they aren't designing this device for ICS. they are messing up big time

  • savedR

    Actually, as far as I can tell the button graphics are almost identical to the actual ICE icons. Plus I have heard that phones getting ICS that have physical buttons just won't show the onscreen ones, so that should be fine.

  • Richard Hauser

    Get real. Virtual keyboards are passable at best, but power users need real keyboards. I run Citrix and a remote desktop app. A virtual keyboard cuts the screen in half and makes it all but unusable. My Droid3 replaced my tablet. Power users also need to enter complex and accurate passwords which is nearly impossible on a virtual keyboard. Android exists today because of the throngs who bought Droid1s because they wanted real keyboards also.
    But as for this phone, the combination of a non-replaceable battery and 4G is a deathblow. If I need 4G I turn on my MiFi. This is Moto straying from their core which is good hardware (except the cameras) and trying to court the 4s crowd and that isn't going to happen.
    Google should tell them to kill Blur and turn webtop into Chomium and offer it across the top of the line. Then throw every asset they have at pushing ICS across all their phones. It will pay off in the end.

  • http://youtube.com/nerdydesi nerdydesi

    Argh, I'll never be able to find a perfect high-end slider. Moto crapped this by giving it a non-removable battery. Dang it!

  • https://plus.google.com/115272110932716198370/posts Jenny

    ok ya I do not like the pull out keyboard, too clunky for sure, and non removable battery??!!! I definitely do not like that! What do I do when the durned thing takes a crap on me??!! I am not buying another phone and I certainly am not paying to have some techy fix it! It sounds nice but those couple things do not turn me on in thee slightest!

  • BlackOmega

    For those complaining about physical Keyboards... You don't know what you are talking about.

    I'm still hanging to my milestone1 because of the keyboard, even If I have swype instaled, I still prefer, by far, using the physical keys to type.

    Plus, it's PERFECT for playing emulators, simply perfect.

    I just hope this devie has AT LEAST 1gb of RAM, I skipped both droid2 and 3 because they only have 512megs of ram.

    Plus this new droid looks to be compatible with motorola's docks, It's like the perfect combination of the Atrix and the milestone (except for the screen and the non removable battery.

  • http://tantrajnaan.com Robert Dunn

    Why can't we all get along? To each their own.

    • Richard Hauser

      Yup, that is what Android is all about, choices. Some will want thin phones, some will want physical keyboards, some will want profession grade cameras, some will want tiny screens with voice control, some will want huge screens or multiple screens or 3D screens or E-Ink or PixelQi or AMOLED.
      My dream phone at the moment is a 4.3" slider with two screens. An E-ink screen on top and then an AMOLED underneith. When you open the slider the E-Ink screen becomes the keyboard, but most of the time the slider would be closed and the battery would last forever.
      So yes, to each his own, but don't expect me to stand by when someone says the feature I want is antiquated. Sadly people still see the iPhone as a goal to reach, as oppose to just one man's vision and people like me who want more than Steve wanted to give me have to speak up. So if there are any decision makers out there, don't take my keyboard! I have work to do and the Droid3 is my companies new standard phone. Oh and give me ICS and fix the camera.

  • GraveUypo

    damn internal battery messed this up for me.
    i didn't care for physical keyboards until recently. recently i noticed one of the reasons i don't browse a lot on my phone is because any onscreen keyboard SUCK. they just don't work well, specially when you speak more than one language.

    a physical keyboard helps you type faster, with more accuracy and saves screen space. right now i wouldn't give a damn to an extra 4mm on my phone's thickness, and my phone ain't even thin at all as it is.

  • http://tantrajnaan.com Robert Dunn

    I wrote this: http://tantrajnaan.com/2011/10/11/i-still-hate-software-keyboards/
    and I still don't want a phone with a keyboard.

  • jemolian

    finally one in the series that doesn't look like the others and i like the look better... love the 5 rows qwerty as well...

  • Denis

    oh you've got to be kidding me.. i just decided i'm gonna get the RAZR making myself forget about something with a keyboard.. and that was a tough one since i never had anything without a hw keyboard. damn, now what.

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