Droid X2 dual-core smartphone available Thursday from Verizon

The X2, at $200, has double the processor power of the Droid X

Verizon Wireless announced the Motorola Droid X2 smartphone, with a dual-core processor, will be available online Thursday for $199.99 and a two-year service agreement.

The first-generation Droid X was released amid heavy publicity last July, a day ahead of the iPhone 4. The Droid X sells on Verizon for $149.99, $50 less than the new Droid X2.

Both the Droid X and the second-generation Droid X2 boast a 4.3-in. touchscreen, still large by comparison to many smartphones on the market today. Both also have an 8 megapixel camera and the ability to capture HD video.

Both run Android 2.2, although the X2 will be updated to Android 2.3 at a later date. The Droid X first appeared with Android 2.1, and was later update to 2.2.

What's special about the Droid X2 is its dual-core 1 GHz processor, the first that Verizon has sold. Dual-core 1 GHz processors are available on several new smartphones, and when combined with the Adobe Flash Player, which is also used on the new Droid X2, they improve the Web browsing experience.

By comparison, the original Droid X had a single core 1 GHz processor, half the processor speed of the new device.

The Droid X2 will be available for online sales Thursday and will be in Verizon stores on May 26 at the same $199.99 price and a two-year service plan. Verizon service plans start at $39.99 for nationwide talk and $29.99 for unlimited smartphone data, both required.

The Droid X2 supports up to five Wi-Fi devices as a 3G hotspot. For its two recent LTE-ready Verizon phones, the Droid Charge and the HTC ThunderBolt, the hotspot capability has been free for a limited time, but Verizon will charge for Droid X2's hotspot service, starting at $20 per month for 2GB of service, a spokesman said. The Droid X2 runs over Verizon's 3G network, not its faster LTE network.

Droid X2 smartphone
The Motorola Droid X2 smartphone has a dual-core processor making it twice as powerful as its predecessor, the Droid X. It will run over Verizon's 3G network.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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