Verizon launches new smartphone Droid

LOS ANGELES Cost is a factor with any smartphone these days. But consumers who use a smartphone simply can't live without it.

Now the Droid is giving consumers a new phone to adore. That is, until something better comes along.

Commercials for the new Droid smartphone are definite attention getters.

Touted as the answer to the very popular Apple iPhone, the Droid is very similar but with features Verizon believes are better.

"It has double the brain power, you can say, than all of its competitors," said Verizon spokesperson Ken Muche. "It has two processors instead of one, so it's able to divide the workload and be really quick and responsive. It also has a bigger screen than any of its competitors and twice the resolution on the screen."

Like many smartphones, such as the BlackBerry, the Droid has a physical QWERTY keyboard, but like the iPhone, it has a virtual keyboard too.

One of the apps that come loaded on the Droid is turn-by-turn audible navigation, and the best part of this navigation is it's free. You can have navigation in your car without spending an extra dime, except for the phone of course.

The phone will cost you $199 after a $100 rebate plus a two-year activation contract. You don't want to cancel your contract early as starting Nov. 15 Verizon will double its early termination fee for smartphones to $350.

"We're really in a place where we're in a competitive industry. You want to give consumers a great experience at a great price," said Muche.

Another cost with all smartphones is the data package you will need in order to access the Internet. At Verizon, that's another $29.99 a month in addition to your calling plan.

The word is that the Droid has motivated Apple to come up with a bargain basement priced iPhone that could very well cut into the sales of the Droid.

Of course, there have also been plenty of rumors that Verizon would sell the iPhone. When asked about these rumors, Muche shied away from a direct answer and didn't say much. Stay tuned.

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