Verizon Motorola Droid 3 Release Date on July 14th; Priced as $200, Pre-order started now

Earlier this morning the Motorola Droid 3 quietly became available to order online from Verizon, shortly before it was officially announced. The Droid 3 is the successor to the popular Motorola Droid and the Motorola Droid 2. The Motorola Droid 3 made its debut today with very little fanfare–despite previous hubbub of rumors and leaks–and is available now online from Verizon Wireless for $199.99 with a two-year contract ($459.99 off contract) and in stores by July 14.

If you’re a new customer planning to switch to Verizon (or planning to add a line), it’s worth noting that you’ll be subject to Verizon’s new tiered data plans as of today. You can also buy it off contract, and it’s not too expensive, either – it’ll cost you $460 commitment-free.

We’ve finally gotten our hands on the official specs sheet, and just about everything we earlier reported is present and accounted for, and then some. That 4-inch qHD touchscreen boasts a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, and the phone itself measures in at 2.5in x 4.9in x .5in and weighs just 5.9oz. The Droid 3 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a dual-core 1GHz processor and comes loaded with the newest version of Motorola’s Blur UI, along with 16GB of internal storage.

The 5 row physical keyboard is the defining feature of the Motorola Droid 3. Physical keyboards, specifically sliding keyboards are the exception these days on Android devices, so we expect to see a heavy demand from users determined to have a hard keyboard on their Android smartphone. The 5 row keyboard includes a dedicated number key at the top of the device, arrow keys and a large enter key.

Interestingly enough, the 8-megapixel camera comes with an option to “select your masterpiece from multiple frames snapped within seconds.” That sounds a lot like the myTouch 4G Slide’s camera, which collects frames in a cache before the shutter button is ever pushed. That way, there is no lag between touching the button and snapping the shot. The Droid 3 camera may not have the same exact software or system in place, but that sentence leads me to believe that camera lag has at least been improved.

The camera’s Connected Gallery also hooks in to your favorite social networks, including Facebook, Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa, and others, so you can check out comments and aggregate all your pictures into one “connected” gallery.

The Droid 3 is global ready, so you can use it in more than 200 countries. It also comes equipped with a number of enterprise-level security options, as well as device and SD card encryption, remote wipe, and complex password support. In addition to this, the Droid 3 has access to the Android Market, which currently has over 200,000 apps.

We’re sure the lack of 4G will be a turn off for some, but there are plenty of people who still crave physical keyboards as well. We hope to get a review unit shortly so check back soon for our full review. If you do decide to get one now, remember that Verizon’s new tiered data and mobile hot-spot plans take effect today.