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Verizon Roadmap Refolded: 6 Great Devices, Intrigue, Mystery, Updates

October 1, 2010 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

This is a big one, folks.  Verizon Wireless has leaked yet another roadmap of six upcoming Android devices, and we’re happy to showcase them for you.  (Thank you, Engadget.)  We’ll also see how much this new installment lines up with the last big Verizon leak of their Android plans from six weeks ago.

This sixpack are all high-end devices, most clocked at 1 GHz.  Or more.  The only one I’m not sure about is the tablet, and it’s a big ten-incher.  But wait until you see what it’s packing under the hood.  These aren’t Android-on-the-cheap, so stick around while we take this one terrific item at a time.  Plus we’ll follow up on the August roadmap and see how that list of 12 devices fared.

Samsung Continuum (SCH-i400)

Known by the codename “Garnett,” all sorts of photos have been leaked on the Continuum (at right).  Originally suspected of landing in late October, Engadget has a source saying November will be the launch window.  Either way, this is a Galaxy S with dual Super AMOLED screens.  A small notification window sits below the four standard Android buttons, and flashes messaging updates on your email, IMs, RSS feeds, and social media.  This will save battery power since the main screen stays off while  you review what’s worth checking further.  Tap an item on the smaller screen and the main screen comes to life.

Then and Now: The old roadmap said that the Continuum would be a mid-range Android phone arriving in October.  Back then the model number was the i400, causing confusion with one of their old Symbian models called the I400.

Motorola Venus

Verizon decribes this Android device as having “Blackberry look and feel,” as in QWERTY keyboard buttons right under the screen.  Start thinking Moto Charm’s much bigger and older brother, as the Venus also has a 1 GHz TI OMAP3 processor, world-roaming capability (CDMA, GSM/HSPA), and of course, Android OS 2.2 (Froyo).  This Palm-Pre style handset is expected at Verizon stores and the website in October.

Then and Now: There was no mention of any Venus phone in the last roadmap, but there was a Motorola device due in October and featuring that Blackberry form factor.  Its rumored name was Motorola Sick, model number A957, and a blurry shot of what could be the Sick is what’s featured on the left.  For a while the A957 was supposed to be the DROID Pro (see right below and again at the bottom).  The leaked inventory shot from Verizon calls A957 simply “Motorola DROID.”  Thanks for the help, Big Red.

Want even more confusion?  There was a rumor going around that Moto’s upcoming dual-core smartphone was codenamed Venus.

Motorola Droid 2 Global (A956)

Here’s a phone that’s been called a lot of names.  It’s been known as the DROID Pro, the DROID 2 World Edition, and of very late, the DROID 2 Global.  A Verizon source tells DroidLife that Global is the way to go, and true to that name this phone has the radios to roam the globe.  The same source says the rumor that the Global is replacing the DROID 2 is very likely.

Like the Continuum, this smartphone is also expected in late October to early November.  Unlike it, you’ve already seen this phone design (right): DROID 2 body and probably DROID 2’s shelf space.  While it took the D2’s body and home, the DROID 2 Global has an improved heart: a 1.3 GHz CPU.  (Actually it was 1.2 GHz, which is what all the benchmark results stories say.)

The Global will be available in either black or white.

Then and Now: Quite a bit is still the same: the black or white choice, the global roaming, and that the Pro and the WE may be the same phone.  Even the dates are right, on average: the WE was due in September, and the Pro for the “holiday season.”  But the faster processor wasn’t even a glimmer.

The old roadmap really was fun trying to figure out which phone was the DROID Pro.  And that’s a question we still haven’t answered, because we’re still looking for that A957.  Plus, reports on an upcoming DROID Pro specifically mentioned 1.3 GHz, while similar DROID 2 World edition reporting stated, unequivocally, 1.2 GHz.

This DROID Pro mystery really needs to be straightened out, and we’ll return to it.

HTC Merge (ADR 6325)

The Merge was also known as the Lexikon or Lexicon (left) and is essentially a clone of the HTC Desire Z. (The Z has come to the US, where you may have heard of the T-Mobile G2.)  This Verizon model will have a Snapdragon chipset and global roaming ability.  While the roadmap says the CPU runs at 1 GHz, everyone agrees the Merge is clocked down to 800 MHz (as are the Desire Z and the G2).  The Scorpion CPU itself is capable of 1 GHz, it just isn’t running that speed on any of these phones.  Don’t worry too much about the speed, this phone should benchmark as well as its cousins due to the fast graphics processor.

Good news/bad news time.  The handset’s got Froyo, but it’s also been severely Binged.

The Merge also has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and HTC’s new Sense UI version 1.6.   Good things come in threes, right?  The Merge is also aiming for a Halloween due date, plus or minus a couple of weeks.

Then and Now:  While the previous roadmap expected a November launch as well, we didn’t have a photo and used another leaked QWERTY slider (in red!) that supposedly wasn’t coming out until 2011.  But details on the phone then were pretty thin other than the slider and global roaming.

LG enV Pro

This appears to be whate everyone called the LG enV Touch 2.  It will have the same form factor as LG’s other enV Touch phones (none of which ran Android before), and have a (surprise) 1 GHz processor and (surprise) global roaming.  Engadget thinks this is not only the best enV but the best Android phone from LG, anywhere.  They also had a source saying this phone (or the enV Touch 2, which should be the same thing) would have dual screens, one outside and one inside the clamshell.

The enV Pro should be arriving in November.  Supposedly it’s running Android 2.1 (Eclair) now, and not clear if it will launch with Froyo.  Think there’s any chance there’s a NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset here?  LG is using them for their high-end phones.

Then and Now: While there are a number of phones (see below) from the old roadmap that weren’t mentioned on Verizon’s new one, this is the only new arrival.  It was never mentioned in August.

Motorola Stingray Tablet (Z600)

This is the only tablet on the list, and also the only one with a 2011 launch date, namely first quarter.  And what a tablet!  The Stingray will be a full ten inches, running (are you ready?) Android OS 3.0 (Gingerbread).  Then again, nobody except Google is clear on whether Android’s tablet-optimized OS is going to be Gingerbread or Honeycomb, whether Gingerbread will be called Android 2.5 or 3.0, and Google isn’t telling.

Whichever OS gets the tablet worthiness is what’s going to be run on the Stingray, and supposedly the unclear launch date is due to waiting on the OS.  Plus DroidLife’s source says this tablet will have DROID as part of its name.  None of the other devices were mentioned as having DROID branding other than the Global, and that one is based on an existing DROID-branded product.

The Stingray also features a whopping 16 GB of internal memory and is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset, which has a Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU.  And that is capable up to 1 GHz, but the processor speed wasn’t mentioned.  (Remember the Merge!)  That chipset can also support some beautiful resolution, 1080p video and up to 1680×1050 for LCD display.

Here’s yet another delicious item for this device.  It’s “hardware upgradeable to LTE,” although it won’t launch with it.  LTE is Verizon’s 4G network, which is rolling out in late 2010 and should be nationwide by 2012.  Hardware upgradeable suggests the Stingray needs some kind of physical add-on to access the new LTE network.  Maybe Verizon will sell an LTE dongle.

The photo above is one of many Moto tablet pictures not clearly identified.

Then and Now: Conflicting rumors on the screen size (seven inches or ten) were there in August, and continued until the new roadmap release.  But the old map called the NVIDIA dual-core chipset correctly.  It also said the launch would be either November or January, but part of the confusion was due to Motorola releasing not one but two tablets.  Maybe the other one is the seven incher?  No mention of the small one in the new roadmap.  Plus, the Z600 model number was assigned then to a tablet known as the “Slab,” but current Verizon inventory now calls it Stingray.

Folding Up the Roadmap

Verizon has six exciting Android devices coming, including five smartphones arriving within the next 6 weeks.  And the tablet has a bunch of firsts, including dual-core CPU and the new OS.  So, let’s see who’s missing from the old map and what happened to them.

  • Motorola Citrus WX445 – A budget Android phone with 3 inch screen that we haven’t heard much about since August.  Supposedly it’s now being given to testers, and expected in October.
  • Samsung Fascinate – Verizon’s first Galaxy S phone, quietly released without the DROID branding but full of Bing.
  • Samsung Gem (I100) – Made its appearance right as a blog source said it was canceled.
  • Motorola XT610 – A crippled DROID X that we also haven’t heard much about since September, when this and the Citrus appeared in Verizon’s inventory system.  It was supposed to launch in October.
  • Motorola Sick – From the phone description, it’s probably the Motorola Venus above.  Then again,  Sick may have been a DROID Pro codename.  You know what the Sick’s model number was in the August roadmap?  You guessed it.  A957.  Finding that DROID Pro is the Android version of Where’s Waldo.
  • enTourage eDGe – A dual-screen Android e-reader, already available on the manufacturer’s website.  No word on whether Big Red is stocking this one.
  • enTourage Pocket – A mini version of the eDGe.  Both readers were supposed to debut in November.
  • Samsung I800 Tablet – Now clearly the Galaxy Tab, and supposedly due in November.  The model number is now SCH-I800.

And the two unmentioned items from August still aren’t spelled out in the new map:

  • Motorola DROID Pro A957 – Some say this the DROID 2 Global, but a number of phones have been accused of impersonating a DROID Pro. There are also many recent articles saying the DROID Pro is going to have some really impressive features such as Gingerbread and a front-facing camera, as well that 1.3 GHz processor.  Nothing in the new roadmap fits the DROID Pro descriptions that came out last week.  Reports suggested itwas going to be a much more impressive version of the DROID Global.  The model numbers are certainly close enough.
  • Mystery 2 GHz Android Phone – Suggested from comments made by Sanjay Jha, this was later clarified to refer to a dual-core phone, with each CPU running at 1 GHz.  This powerhouse, which will be the first phone to run Gingerbread, is supposed to be available “for the holidays.”  Hmmm.  Gingerbread.  Front-facing camera. Major, major phone release.  Could this be the DROID Pro?  That’s where I’m putting my money.

Big Red is indeed showing some very serious Android love.  What a nice assortment to choose from for a holiday gift!  I have my eye on the Stingray ten inch tablet, myself, so I guess I’ll be celebrating late.  What do you want, and why?  Do you have any idea which phone is the DROID Pro?  Let us know in the comments!

Sources: Engadget, DroidLife, Android Junkies