Inside the Droid 2 lurks a Droid X

The Motorola Droid 2 is like the Droid X in a number of important ways, largely due to the Texas Instruments' chips used in both phones.

Inside, the Droid 2 has some striking similarities to the Droid X--which isn't a bad thing.

Motorola's Droid 2 packs  Texas Instruments' silicon that's the spitting image of the Droid X.
Motorola's Droid 2 packs Texas Instruments' silicon that's the spitting image of the Droid X. Motorola

Motorola's Droid 2 will be in stores Thursday for $199.99 with a two-year contract, after a $100 mail-in rebate (like the Droid X). The phone packs the Android 2.2 operating system, which has support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. (The Droid X shipped with Android 2.1.)

Though the two phones differ physically--the Droid 2 is a slider smartphone, the Droid X eschews the physical keyboard--there's a lot inside that's the same, if not identical. (And note that the Droid 2 is quite similar to the original Droid physically, with the exception of relatively minor tweaks such as changes to the keyboard, as this animation shows.)

Processor: So, what's inside the newest high-end offering from Motorola and Verizon? Like the Droid X, it uses Texas Instruments' OMAP 3630 1GHz processor. This is a step up from TI's OMAP 3430 processor inside the original Droid, which ran at 550MHz .

Wi-Fi hot spot: And the Droid 2 sports the TI chip that supports a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot , a nifty feature also on the Droid X. TI's WiLink chip allows a user to create a hot spot similar to the access point in a Starbucks. Except, of course, that it's not as fast as a typical hot spot since it's 3G--not a DSL, cable, or T1 connection--and limited to five devices. (The hot spot costs an extra $20 per month.)

Digital Living Network Alliance: The similarities don't stop there. Both phones support DLNA, or Digital Living Network Alliance, which enables them to stream video to a home consumer electronics device, such as a TV. This is also integrated into TI chips.

RAM and flash: The Droid 2 also comes with 512MB of RAM, like the Droid X. As to flash memory-based storage, on the Droid 2, a 32 GB microSD option is listed. Like the Droid X, it comes with 8GB on board.

Despite all of these chip-based similarities, there are some differences. The Droid X is spec'd with an 8-megapixel camera, while the Droid 2 has a 5-megapixel camera. And the Droid 2's display is smaller at 3.7 inches versus 4.3 inches on the Droid X.

What's next for high-end smartphones like the Droid 2 and Droid X? Dual-core processors, which would boost multitasking capabilities (not to mention performance) are coming in 2011. TI, for its part, plans to begin shipping a dual-core OMAP 4430 chip in the fourth quarter, which should make its way into phones in the first half of 2011.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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