The Motorola Droid 3 has been available on Verizon for about a week now (just hitting stores proper today), and us Canadians will soon be able to pick it up on Bell. The funny thing is, at least Verizon’s honest in calling it a 3G device, but Bell is pushing the HSPA+ connectivity as 4G. In a more aggressive move to seduce uninformed shoppers, they’ve also launched a dedicated section in their online store for “superphones”, separate from their smartphones. Currently occupying the spot is the Motorola Atrix and HTC Sensation, but it’s probably safe to say the new XT860 will also be counted among them. What differentiates them from the Desire Z or Incredible S is anybody’s guess.
The Motorola XT860 is a high-end Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone with a landscape-oriented slide-out keyboard. Packing a 4-inch 960 x 540 touchscreen, dual-core 1 GHz processor, 8 megapixel camera with duel LED flash and 1080p video recording, it’s one tough customer. Just keep in mind that the bootloader will probably be locked, so no funny business. Most upper-tier Android handsets available right now stick with the touchscreen slate form factor, but it’s good to see Motorola bringing something for folks who need a real keyboard to pump out texts and e-mails. More features and details on the XT860 can be found over here.
Now, if Bell just named this phone with an awkward model number, I could let it slide. If they just tacked on 4G to the name in order to puff out their chest at Rogers’ recently-launched LTE network, I could understand. If they just wanted to toss around the word “superphone” in a press release as if it actually meant anything, fine. But the fact that they’ve done all three at once has left this launch with a very sour taste in my mouth, even if it’s only because of the marketing. So here’s my challenge to anyone defending the “superphone” nonsense: give me a clear definition of the word, and illustrate the difference between a supposedly regular ol’ smartphone and one of these super-duper toys. Right now, it feels like the word is only getting any traction because Mossberg uses it to make out-of-touch middle-aged people feel like they’re connected with what’s going on in the wireless world.
ANYway. No pricing or dates for the Motorola XT860 on Bell just yet, but it should be landing this summer.