Limited edition Droid R2-D2 smartphone goes on sale Thursday

Sold through Verizon, it has the same basics as the Droid 2 slider with physical keyboard

R2-D2 Droid
While it has the same specs as the Droid 2, this special edition model features unique R2-D2 styling and comes with a Stars Wars media dock.

In a galaxy far, far away, or maybe at your nearest Verizon Wireless store, the Droid R2-D2, a special edition of the Droid 2 smartphone from Motorola, will be for sale Thursday for $249 after rebate.

The price is $49 more than that of the Droid 2, which went on sale Aug. 11. The R2-D2 has a graphic design to convey the Astromech droid from the Star Wars movie saga. It has a light-gray case with R2-D2-related etchings, while the Droid 2 has a dark case. Both are slider devices with QWERTY keyboards and run the Android 2.2 operating system, called Froyo. The device will also be for sale online starting Thursday.

The R2-D2 has the same device specifications as the Droid 2, based on a spec sheet on Verizon's Web site. However, the R2-D2 also comes with a custom box, a Stars Wars media dock and a wired stereo headset, Verizon said.

Content loaded exclusively on the R2-D2 edition includes special notification sounds and ring tones, four wallpapers, an R2-D2 clock widget, a "Best of R2-D2" video, and an exclusive binoculars app, which a spokeswoman said shows a 360-degree view of the battle for Hoth, a major battle in the Galactic Civil War from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Droid R2-D2 smartphone
The special edition Droid R2-D2 smartphone goes on sale Thursday.

In addition, Verizon said its Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back app will soon be available on the Android Market for $2.99. It will allow a user to browse, preview and download Star Wars content related to Episode V, including wallpaper showing Luke Skywalker balancing Yoda.

As with other phones, Verizon won't say how many of the Star Wars devices it expects to sell or has in its supply. "It's a limited edition with some promotions in some stores, but there aren't that many to go around," a spokeswoman said.

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.

Download the 2018 Best Places to Work in IT special report
  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon