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Motorola Droid

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Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid/Milestone
Manufacturer Motorola
Series Droid
Compatible networks US Version: dual band CDMA2000/EV-DO Rev. A 800/1900 MHz
European version quad band GSM, UMTS @ 900/2100MHz
N.A. GSM version quad band GSM, UMTS @ 850/1900 MHz
Availability by country US October 17, 2009 (2009-10-17)
Successor Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Droid 3
Droid 4
Type Slate slider smartphone
Dimensions 115.8 mm (4.56 in) H
60 mm (2.4 in) W
13.7 mm (0.54 in) D
Weight 169 g (6.0 oz)
Operating system Android 2.0[1]
2.0.1 with over-air update (Droid, Milestone) December 2009
2.1 with over-air update (Droid, Milestone) March 2010
2.2 with over-air update September 2010
2.2.1 (FRG83D) 6 December 2010
2.2.2 (FRG83G) 14 March 2011
2.2.3 (FRK76) 21 November 2011 2.3-4.1.1 via unofficial ROMs

TI OMAP 3430:[2]
Arm Cortex A8 600 MHz underclocked to 550 MHz [1]

430MHz TMS320 C64x DSP (digital signal processor) + ISP (image signal processor)
GPU PowerVR SGX 530
Memory 256 MB Mobile DDR SDRAM
Storage 512 MB flash memory
Removable storage 16 GB Class2 microSDHC included (8 GB Milestone); expandable up to 64 GB[1][3]
Battery 1400 mAh
Internal rechargeable removable lithium-ion polymer battery, talk time 385 minutes, standby time: 270 hours
Data inputs Capacitive touchscreen display, multitouch, proximity and ambient light sensors, QWERTY keyboard (approx. 7mm per key), 3-axis accelerometer, digital compass, dual microphone
Display 854 × 480 pixel FWVGA, (0.41 megapixels) TFT LCD, 3.7 in (94 mm), 16:9 aspect ratio, 265 pixels per inch (ppi)
Rear camera 5.0 megapixel with video (720 × 480 pixel at 30 fps or higher), geotagging, dual LED flash, autofocus
Connectivity 3.5 mm TRRS
USB Micro-B
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR,
Hearing aid compatibility M3/T3 [1]

The Motorola Droid (GSM/UMTS version: Motorola Milestone) is an Internet and multimedia enabled smartphone designed by Motorola, which runs Google's Android operating system. The Droid had been publicized under the codenames Sholes and Tao[4][5] and the model number A855.[6] In Latin America and Europe, the model number is A853 (Milestone), and in Mexico, the model number is A854 (Motoroi).[7] Due to the ambiguity with newer phones with similar names, it is also commonly known as the DROID 1.[8] The brand name Droid is a trademark of Lucasfilm licensed to Verizon Wireless.[9]

Features of the phone include Wi-Fi networking, a 5-megapixel low light capable digital camera, a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, interchangeable battery, 3.7-inch 854×480 touchscreen display. It also includes microSDHC support with bundled 16 GB card,[3] free turn-by-turn navigation from Google Maps, sliding QWERTY keyboard, and Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 processor.[2] The Motorola Droid runs Android version 2.2.[10]

The phone does not, however, run the re-branded Motoblur interface for Android, instead providing the Google Experience skin and application stack.[4][11]

The Droid has a hearing aid compatibility (hac) rating of M3/T3.[1] The phone was the first to ship with free Google Maps Navigation (beta) installed.[12]


United States

Verizon explicitly promoted the Droid as an Apple iPhone alternative. Launched on October 17, 2009, TV spots and an associated website made "entertainingly combative" claims[13] listing features then lacking on the iPhone, e.g. "iDon't multitask", only mentioning the name of the Droid in the final frame, reading "Droid Does".[5] At the official launch event on October 28, 2009, Verizon's Chief Marketing Officer John Stratton described the campaign as a spoof of Apple's iPhone ads, intended to "wake up the market."[14]

The marketing for the American launch included "Droid Does Times Square."[15] This was a program (billed as an "interactive experience") in which Verizon connected the Nasdaq and Reuters electronic billboards in Times Square to its systems such that people were able to control the electronic displays by using voice commands (illustrating the voice search function that is a primary Android feature). Control of the billboards was available in Times Square or via the "Droid Does" website.[16]

The November 6, 2009, release date of the Droid came just under a month after Verizon and Google announced that they had entered into an agreement[17] to jointly develop wireless devices based on the Android mobile platform. Verizon said at the time that it planned to have two Android-based handsets on the market by year-end with more to come in 2010. The other handset is the HTC Droid Eris, a modification to the HTC Hero, seen in shots of Google CEO Eric Schmidt holding one in a Verizon/Google press conference.[18]

American exclusive software for the Droid includes Google Maps Navigation, an Amazon MP3 Store applet, and Verizon Wireless Visual Voice Mail management.[19]

Analytics firm Flurry estimated that 250,000 Motorola Droid phones were sold in the United States during the phone's first week in stores.[20] Flurry also estimated that 1.05 million Motorola Droids were sold in first 74 days of the launch. This number is greater than that of the original iPhone which sold one million units through day 74.[21]


This section applies to the Verizon-branded Motorola device in the US. Droid versions in foreign markets (Milestone) may be crippled or have some features disabled due to restrictions enforced by retailer agreements, carrier agreements, manufacturer agreements, or local laws and should be addressed in the appropriate section above.

The Linux kernel used in the 2.0.1 OTA release is 2.6.29, Android build.[22]

Android 2.1 update

On February 8, 2010, Motorola announced via Facebook that the Droid update would begin rolling out later that same week.[23] Details were later released via Motorola's official forums.[24] However, the details about the update were later retracted, and unclear information from Motorola and Verizon Wireless caused confusion among many, and technology news websites speculated the update would happen even later in 2010.[25] As an attempt to clear confusion, Motorola released a chart of dates stating when each of their Android devices would be updated to Android 2.1, but this only added to the issues because they said the update would happen "soon", rather than offering a concrete time frame.

However, on March 17, 2010, Verizon Wireless announced that they would issue the Android 2.1 "ESE53" update over-the-air, beginning March 18 to a small test group, and more users would see the update later, into the following week. But screenshots from Verizon Wireless documents showed that a last minute software bug was found, and the update was delayed once again, with no new roll out date determined.

The new news from Verizon Wireless provided official information about the update and what it entailed, including "Pinch-to-zoom...available when using the browser, Gallery, and Google Maps", a weather and news app/widget including "information you want from the Web...weekly and hourly weather forecasts based on your location, and news headlines", voice-to-text wherever there are text boxes, "New Gallery application with 3D layout", and Live Wallpapers "offer[ing] richer animated, interactive backgrounds on the home screen", as well as other, more minor upgrades. However, the update did not include the addition of two more home screens currently available on the Nexus One, another Android 2.1 device.

The 2.1 update roll out began on March 30, 2010.[26]

Android 2.2 update

After some apparent discussion by Motorola over whether they would provide an Android 2.2 Froyo upgrade for the Droid and Milestone, it was confirmed that the Droid would get the upgrade, and a staggered roll out began.[27] This roll out began on August 3, 2010 and updates the phone to Android 2.2 build number FRG01B. Another update for the Droid began on August 24, 2010, and it included some minor bug fixes. This update's build number is FRG22D.[28] A third update was released on December 6, 2010, with a version number of 2.2.1 and a build of FRG83D. A fourth update was released on March 9, 2011, with a version number of 2.2.2 and a build of FRG83G.[29] The Motorola support page reported the Milestone version would get an update to Android 2.2 in the Q1 2011, and indeed on March 15 an update was made available.[30]

Root access and unsupported Android releases

The Motorola Droid was successfully "rooted" (manipulated to provide superuser access) on December 8, 2009.[31] This allowed removing sponsored/pay-to-use applets (Amazon, Verizon Visual Voice Mail, etc.), installing and launching custom software, and root access on the phone using a terminal emulator. On June 5, 2010, a leaked Android 2.2 ROM was given to the public for those with superuser access. It includes a new home launcher, Flash 10.1 support, new homescreen widgets, an updated Market, a JIT compiler for a faster system, as well as new aesthetic changes.[32]

As of July 13, 2011, the DROID is able to be updated to the Android 2.3.4 ROM, but with many small updates and edits to the base code in order to properly run.[33]

On July 26, 2011, an Android 2.3.5 ROM was made available for the DROID[34] that, like the Android 2.3.4 ROM, has been modified to improve performance on the smart phone.

Work is currently underway at xda-developers to bring Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, to the Motorola Droid/Milestone,[35] although CyanogenMod has stated it will drop support for the Droid/Milestone in ICS-based CyanogenMod 9.[36]

As of July 17, 2012, the DROID is able to be updated to the Android 4.0.4 ROM. Similar to previous Gingerbread ROMs, this ROM has been tweaked to properly run.[35]

As of August 27, 2012, the Droid is able to be updated to the Android 4.1.1 Rom. This rom is currently being worked on and tweaked to properly run.[37]

Motorola Milestone

The quad-band[38] GSM/UMTS version of the Droid is the Motorola A853 (Milestone).[39] While the phone's internal hardware (besides cellular) is the same, differences include out-of-the-box multi-touch support enabled, a trial version of Motorola's MOTONAV service (instead of Droid's US-only[40] Google Maps Navigation) and an 8 GB microSDHC Card, instead of the Droid's 16 GB microSDHC card.[41]

Geographic launch information

The launch countries for the Motorola Milestone included Germany, Italy and Argentina on November 9, 2009.[42] Other European countries soon followed.

Joining this trend, a new, North American, version of the Motorola Milestone was released in Canada in February 2010. This new version supports 3G bands II and V instead of bands I and VIII so it is compatible with Rogers, Bell, and Telus in Canada, and with AT&T and T-Mobile (2G Only) in the US. At this time, Motorola Milestone is only available from Telus.[43] The Milestone is also available in the U.S. from several regional GSM carriers, like Cincinnati Bell.

United Kingdom

The phone was launched in the United Kingdom on Thursday December 10, 2009, as the Motorola Milestone. The exclusive sales outlet for the phone, eXpansys, reported that all stocks of the phone had completely sold out within 3 hours of its debut. The sell-out was considered a major victory for Motorola, which has had little success with its prior Windows Mobile-based phones, and had been counting on Android-based phones for future growth.[44]

Middle East

The phone was launched in the Middle East in 2010, however it included a serious limitation as Google prohibited access to its Android Market application for most of Middle Eastern countries. No reasonable alternative was provided by Google.

Asia, India

The Milestone was launched in Hong Kong on December 21, 2009,[45] as the sixth Android device in the region for HKD 4,680 with an 8 GB microSDHC card included. This version is in English but supports Chinese hand writing that originated from the Motorola MING and pinyin input method. While MOTONAV is included, it does not work and is not officially supported. The phone can be updated to Android 2.1 since Q1 2010, the update features a Chinese user interface and more Chinese input methods such as Changjie. The Milestone launched in India on 30 March 2010, priced at 32,000 INR, approximately US$680.

Locked bootloader

Unlike the DROID, the Milestone has a bootloader that only allows signed firmware to load. This creates difficulties for users who wish to boot custom ROM images not signed by Motorola that have become popular in the Droid modding community. This has caused discontent in the Droid community in markets foreign to the US, with numerous petitions being created.[46][47][48] Whether the disabling of custom boot loaders is due to retailer, carrier, manufacturer, or legal restrictions is unknown.

Early in 2011 the community around Milestone ROM-Development and the Polish National BOINC Team initiated AndrOINC[49] to decipher the RSA 1024-bit signature and make customizing possible. The project has been down since April 2011 because the German police confiscated the server on suspicion it was involved with an illegal P2P service.[50]

In June 2011, Motorola committed to delivering an unlockable/relockable bootloader solution for phones receiving updates later that year.[51] This will likely not include the Milestone as Motorola has not indicated it will update the Milestone past Android 2.2/Froyo.

Root access

Despite the locked bootloader, the Motorola Milestone has been successfully rooted. Several step-by-step guides are available on the web.[52][53]

Software releases

2.0.1 update

Two months after Motorola Droid received the update, the 2.0.1 update was released to fix a bug with the camera autofocus.[54][55]

2.1 update

The Motorola Milestone update rolled out in the beginning of May 2010, five months after the introduction of Android 2.1.[56] After the update several problems were discovered,[57] but since then firmware 2.1 update 1 has been released,[58] which fixes some of the issues. Although Motorola claimed,[59] that they have fixed the random MP3 player start problems, they still occur. It is worth noting that these problems affect only some users.

2.2 update

The official Android 2.2 Froyo update was released on March 16, 2011, for UK users with a slow roll out to the rest of Europe. As of March 20, the update was still being rolled out was not available in all countries. Community created ROMs of Android 2.2 (Froyo), Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) have existed for some time, typically based on kernels from leaked updates.

The continued postponing of Milestone updates has become known under the term "Motofail" in Central and South America.

Motorola Motoroi

In July 2010, Motorola launched the phone for Mexico as the Motorola A854 (MOTOROI) and became exclusive to CDMA network carrier Iusacell. Its history is similar to the Motorola Droid and Motorola Milestone.[60]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "DROID by Motorola: Android phone". Motorola USA. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  2. ^ a b Sherwood, James (2009-10-19). "Moto Android 2.0 smartphone revealed". Register Hardware. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  3. ^ a b Cha, Bonnie. "Motorola Droid specs get posted then pulled | Android Atlas - CNET Blogs". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Motorola Droid Is the First Android Phone from Verizon; Motoblur Not Included! - Specs, reviews and prices". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  5. ^ a b "'"Verizon's anti-iPhone gets its first commercial: 'Droid Does. Engadget Mobile. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  6. ^ "Motorola Sholes (Motorola Tao?) Slides Through FCC | Android Phone Fans". 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  7. ^ "Motorola Milestone launches in Mexico, renamed as Motorola Motoroi". 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  8. ^ "Android Central: og droid". Android Central. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  9. ^ Motorola Mobility. "Hello Humans: DROID by Motorola Arrives Next Week". Retrieved 16/9/11. 
  10. ^ "Motorola DROID review". Engadget. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  11. ^ "Verizon Motorola Sholes not running Motoblur?". Engadget. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  12. ^ Arrington, Michael (2009-10-28). "Google Redefines GPS Navigation Landscape: Google Maps Navigation For Android 2.0". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  13. ^ McCracken, Harry (18 Oct 2009). "Verizon's Droid Targets iPhone".  
  14. ^ Reardon, Marguerite (2009-10-28). "Verizon, Motorola unveil the Droid | Signal Strength - CNET News". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  15. ^ Genius, Boy (2009-10-28). "Verizon Wireless to take over Times Square with the Motorola DROID « Boy Genius Report". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  16. ^ "Droid from Verizon Wireless - Times Square". 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  17. ^ "Google, Verizon teaming to develop Android devices". Network World. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  18. ^ "Verizon Motorola Android Live Picture! | Android Phone Fans". 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  19. ^ "The Droid: Best iPhone competitor to date | PC Mike - Tech News and Reviews". PC Mike. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  20. ^ "Droid Sales and the Android Explosion".  
  21. ^ "Day 74 Sales: Apple iPhone vs. Google Nexus One vs. Motorola Droid". 
  22. ^ "Android 3.0 Release (Gingerbread)". Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  23. ^ "Motorola: Droid update to Android 2.1 'will start to roll out this week". 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  24. ^ "Motorola details Android 2.1 update for Droid". 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  25. ^ "Motorola: Motorola 'jumped the gun' with details of Droid's Android 2.1 update". 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  26. ^ "Get the Most Out of Your DROID by Motorola « Verizon Wireless". 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  27. ^ "Motorola Droid getting Android 2.2 next week"
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Pandey, Rajesh (9 March 2011). "Motorola Droid Android 2.2.2 Update Rolling Out Today!". Techie Buzz. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "The Droid Has Been Rooted". AndroidGuys. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  32. ^ "Download Froyo 2.2 for Your Motorola Droid". MyDroidWorld. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  33. ^ "Download: Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4) ROM Update GPA16". Peter Alfonso. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  34. ^ "Android 2.3.5 Released for the Original DROID by Peter Alfonso". Droid Life: A Droid Community Blog. 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  35. ^ a b Droid A855 ICS Build Attempt
  36. ^ CM9 Progress Update
  37. ^ [2]
  38. ^ "Motorola Droid "Milestone" Gets European Specs, Adds MultiTouch". 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  39. ^ "Android phone: Motorola Milestone". Motorola USA. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  40. ^ "Google Maps for mobile announce Navigation Beta for Android 2.0 - news". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  41. ^ Webster, Scott. "Motorola Milestone is GSM Droid". CNET Blogs: Android Atlas. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  42. ^ "Motorola Droid going global as Motorola Milestone in 3 countries - International Business Times". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  43. ^ "Motorola Milestone coming to Canada on the 9 February 2010, Exclusive to Telus | PMP Today". 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  44. ^ "Moto Milestone's UK launch sells out in 3 hours". Electronista. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  45. ^ ‘Stone IP’ (19 December 2009). "[香港] Motorola Milestone 香港發佈開放發問" [Motorola Milestone Question in HK] (in Chinese).  
  46. ^ "Motorola Locked/Encrypted Bootloader Policy". petition website. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  47. ^ "Unlock Motorola Facebook page". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  48. ^ "Wake Up Moto!!". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  49. ^ AndrOINC
  50. ^ Sabroe SMC (08.04.2011). "androinc down ?". Planet 3DNow! Forum. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  51. ^ "An update on Motorola’s locked boot-loader situation". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  52. ^ "(GUIDE) Root + Nandroid Backup/Restore with Open Recovery". xda-developers. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  53. ^ "MILESTONE 2.1 update and root guide". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  54. ^ Ziegler, Chris (2009-12-07). "Motorola Droid getting 2.0.1 now, Verizon posts details". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  55. ^ Savov, Vlad (2009-11-07). "Motorola Droid camera autofocus fixed in secrecy? (Update: it's a date-related self-correction)". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ "Software Update for Motorola MILESTONE (MR2.5)" ( 
  60. ^ Iusacell brings Motorola Motoroi Android handset to Mexico, Telecom Paper, 2010-07-20, retrieved 2014-04-26 

External links

  • Official website
  • Droid from Verizon Wireless
  • Motorola Droid at DMOZ
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