QWERTY Dream Phone – the Dual Core Motorola Droid 3 / Solana Specs Revealed!

by: Darcy LaCouveeMarch 18, 2011

We have some fantastic news for QWERTY Android lovers, courtesy of an Industry insider kbman at Howard’s Forums! Finally, it looks like someone is stepping up to the dual-core QWERTY Android plate. While it’s not quite as substantial as our dream 4.3 inch dual core QWERTY Android Slider, it’s certainly looking to be an incredible device, with a hugely improved keyboard, and substantial performance upgrades. Enter the Motorola Droid 3, aka the Motorola Solana. Check out the details below.

Thankfully, other specs have been revealed about the Motorola Droid 3, codenamed “Solana“. At Howard’s Forums, details of a newly positioned microphone from the back to the front of the phone will, in all likelihood, improve call quality substantially. As an owner of both the Droid 1 and Droid 2, I can certainly attest to this, and welcome the change. While the network engineers are working on the device, it has Android 2.2, but is expected to be upgraded to Android 2.4 to take advantage of the integrated OMAP 4 dual core processor. This processor bump represents a substantial performance gain for the Droid series, and will blow away the benchmarks. The performance of this particular processor, the OMAP 4, was recently benchmarked by Anandtech, and looks to be the fastest mobile processor out yet today, besting even the famed Samsung Exynos and the Tegra 2.

Other goodies include an 8 megapixel camera, HDMI, DLNA, and, what looks to be an amazing five row keyboard, with raised keys, and dedicated number keys, sans d-pad.

Specs & Rumors

  • 1Ghz OMAP 4 Processor
  • HDMI
  • 16GB of Memory
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8 Megapixel Camera (Some reports are suggesting its 5, but we have good reason to believe its 8, as the firmware indicates it is a possible capable resolution)
  • 5 Row QWERTY Keyboard
  • 4 Inch Screen
  • Slimmer profile than the Droid 1 or Droid 2

The original Motorola / Verizon Droid is one of the best selling Android phones of all time, and is considered by some to be the phone that started off the Android revolution. If the iPhone can have 3,4,5 and more iterations, than why can’t the Droid? Either way, this latest series of pics, and reliably sourced insider information leaves us seriously lusting for this Android QWERTY dual-core HDMI beast right now. It’s slated to be launching after the Droid Bionic, sometime in June or July. Stay tuned for more! Will you be picking one up? What changes would you make to make it the perfect QWERTY Android phone?


  • Alicia

    Make it 4G please!

    • level380

      4G is just a marketing term. Look outside the usa and no other Telco calls what the usa call 4g, 4G.

  • level380

    Let it be quad band 3g!!!

  • Sitting in Sweden with my Droid 1/Milestone. Been looking for a new phone fpr 6 month but not been pleased. I do think that this IS the Droid Im looking for :). Hopefully it will come to Europe! PS will be sharing this news to my swedish website with a link to this post, thank you!

  • Yojimbo

    Speaking of dream Android qwerty phones, what ever happened to the rumors from mid-2010 about a Sony-Ericsson model with a rumored 5.5 inch display? I don’t care how many pixels you squeeze in for crystal clarity/sharpness, if the text is teeny-tiny, it’s still going to be hard to read. I want that giant display! As long as it still fits in my pants pocket, I don’t care how large it is. And I’m sure femals care even less, since they have a purse to carry things around in.

    • Yojimbo

      BTW, another big advantage of a larger screen should be longer battery life. What?! “How so?!”, you ask? Well, consider this… Let’s say a hypothetical phone is 4 inches long. Besides the thickness of the screen and keyboard, which run pretty much the full length of the phone, most of the rest of the thickness is typically occupied by the digital and RF components on a circuit board, and the rest by the battery. Let’s say 2 inches occupied by the circuit board, and 2 inches occupied by the battery. Say that in order to provide a larger screen and keyboard, you increase the phone to 6 inches overall length, and keep the phone thickness the same. The circuit board remains the same (don’t need different/larger CPU, WiFi, Bluetooth, display chip, etc. just because the screen and keyboard got larger), so the additional phone length can be occupied by a larger battery. The battery just grew frow 2″ to 4″ long. So the screen grew from 4″ long to 6″ long — a 50% increase in length, and presumably uses 50% more power. However, the battery grew from 2″ to 4″, a *100%* increase in capacity. So I contend that the larger phone will actually have a longer battery life. Does this make sense? It seems like it does…

      So there you have another argument in favor of a larger screen on a phone.

  • Luke

    Droid 3 comes after the thunderbolt and bionic. To be less than 4G would be a huge marketing mistake. From the looks of all the great specs on this phone, Verizon and Motorola appear too smart to put this in 3G. All things considered, with 4G speed, this is the phone I’ve been wanting. I predict it will set the standard on what makes a smart phone smart. They should call it the Droid Yoda phone. The force is definitely in it and it appears to kick some serious specs…..Luke Q.

    • Darcy Alexander


      I agree completely. There is no way they will release this phone with 3G connectivity. That being said, don’t you think it would be nice if they could squeeze in a 4.3 inch qHD display somehow? Too me, that would make it the perfect QWERTY phone. Either way, the specs we have uncovered indicate a significant upgrade. I read and breathe Android all day long – and i’m getting the sense that the market doesn’t care for QWERTY’s the way it once did. I think people just like having the option. Of course, QWERTY’s will never be as slim as their sole touchscreen counterparts, but I think they are here to stay. It’s the phone I am waiting for too!

      • Luke

        Hi Darcy,

        You are insightful, no doubt. My gut tells me that the qwerty keyboard has the stronger future. This has not yet revealed itself because Big Red (Verizon) has not yet come out with a phone that has an outstanding keyboard, but the Droid 3 could be a huge leap in that direction. You are correct in that people will want the choice, and that is what will win the market. Thin phones will rule (you state it well), and I will guess that qwerty smart phones will continue to get thinner. I believe though that the Droid 3 has one huge leap to make, and my guess is that Motorola is up to the task. The Droid 3 Yoda (my name for it) with all its power will frustrate the user if it only has a 1450 mAh battery power supply. I recommend that they make a 3550 mAh battery or higher, even if only an option with the phone at purchase. But, if they do, its going to take some creative brain-power from Motorola to come up with a way to keep the phone thin, and light weight. All things considered, the Droid 3 won’t be perfect, but it will be close enough for me to buy it on day one! Like you, I owned a Droid 1 and 2, and the third time is gonna be a charm….Luke Q.

        • Darcy Alexander


          Thanks for the praise. I consider your comment to be insightful as well. If you look at the teardown of the Atrix, it’s pretty amazing that they were able to pack a 1930mAh battery in their. Given the existing pace of technological development in battery tech, it’s likely that they could fit a similarly sized battery in the Droid 3 (Yoda) too. That being said, manufacturers have to always make the difficult choice of making a product a better value for consumers, or preserving their relatively low profit margins. To further compound the difficulty of speculation, we know that Motorola Mobility is having a difficult time achieving profitability.

          Either way, the market most definitely wants a QWERTY Superphone. The real question is – how super will it be? It’s looking like the Droid 3 will have a 4 inch screen, so it’s likely that it could be of the qHD 960×540 variety.

          In terms of creating a tight, light weight form factor – well that might simply (but not necessarily ) be too good to be true, but we can always hope. Still, like you aptly say my well informed friend, It seems like Motorola is up to the task. We are likely to see a response from HTC (and potentially Samsung) in this area, but not for another 4-6 months at least. As competition further intensifies, and economies of scale are achieved even further from a hardware perspective, we are likely to see the ultimate QWERTY dream phone emerge.

          And on that day, I will be a very happy man.

          • Luke


            I like the way you think. You are quite the intellectual deep thinker. You definitely know what you are talking about and I will add that I agree with everything that you’ve said. Verizon should hire you. Luke

  • jason taylor

    I’ve been looking for a qwerty phone to replace my trusty N97 for the last year, i wanted to move over to android, but as i travel 5 months of the year i need a phone with lots of internal mass memory and the ability to upgrade via micro sd(N97 32gb and potentially as we speak 32gb via micro sd respectively). this gives me the ability to store a fair amount of music files without having to drag along my ipod, save a lot of photo`s and video footage( basically do without the added weight of a netbook).
    Given the higher specs, processing speeds this phone appears to meet me half way there but sadly not all, even the camara`s rumoured 8mp is`nt confirmed(N97 has 5mp and a Carl zeiss at that).
    potentially great but doe`nt go far enough for me.

  • Steven

    I’d like to see a front facing camera on it as well.

  • ninjakamster

    I am anxiously holding out for this phone to upgrade from my Thunderbolt, I miss the keyboard from my Sprint Epic 4G. I am excited to hear it’ll have a qHD screen, dual core, HDMI, etc. But I heard some rumors say it’ll lack LTE. If it has it, I will ditch my TB in a heartbeat!!!!

  • Rudy

    This Droid 3 seems to have everything that I’ve been looking for, and worth waiting a little while longer on the sidelines before upgrading. I was considering the new Droid Incredile 2, but I’ll continue to wait for now in light of this great article.
    By the way, any idea if it will be global ready or have a front facing camera too?

    Thanks for this post!

    • Darcy Alexander

      Hi Rudy,

      Thanks for the kind words. I am so passionate about mobile tech, Android, and the latest developments that it’s great to hear people appreciate it!

      So, to answer your questions regarding the ‘global readiness’ of the unit – it’s yet to be fully determined. What we are looking at most likely is a unit (the Droid 3) specifically for the US and Canada, and a different model for Europe. It will have a front facing camera too. I can’t wait to get one. Plus, it’s likely to have the TI OMAP 4 processor which is a true mobile powerhouse, with 1080p video capabilities, and will no doubt play flash in the browser quite well.

      I’m hounding Motorola for more information, but they don’t like to comment on “unreleased” technology. Either way, they can’t hide all their juicy secrets forever haha!

      Thanks again and good luck on your quest to find the perfect QWERTY Ultraphone! It’s coming sooner then you think :)

  • Troubled Tom

    Yeah i have been waiting for a keyboarded version of my droid x. Looks like this is even better than simply slapping a keyboard on an x and calling it something new. I have always loved keyboards that actually click, and a large number of megapixels for the camera. The othe essential is that it have something fast running it. 4G wasn’t really on my list but it would make a great addition only if there were 4G in my area. Last I heard (mind you this was quite a while ago) was Baltimore.

  • Sly

    Well from numerous sites I’ve heard discussion that this phone will have global capabilities as well. I hope there’s a way to have the light for the qwerty keyboard changed to blue, yeah sounds petty, but I spend alot of time on my droid2global and the blue hue makes it easier for my astigmatism from blurring my focal view when in use. Again, I know it sounds petty but it where I’m at. Also a ‘Verizon Rep’ said that this device during their training meeting won’t unfortunately be 4g but 3g and honestly with the problems they’re having with devices like the Thunderbolt because Verizon hasn’t been able to figure LTE out yet and its drain on battery life and that the radio won’t play nice with the CDMA radio. I live in a 4g area, but I have to have a physical keyboard, not only because of my big hands, but also because I want to enjoy the entire screen, which I’m sure most everyone here gets. So I would rather use a great 3g device that has all these great improvements and hopefully it will already have GB on it, I don’t know why they would even think of using Froyo and sell them anywhere here in the US. But more rumors are now saying that Ice Cream Sandwich will be ready when this beast comes out and now that the DX2 is already available online as of today that this will be out by mid June.

  • rs

    Reallllly desperate for a Verizon landscapte qwerty w/4G. The qwerty for me & 4G so I can travel w/a GPS & take calls at the same time. Also, voice commands for handsfree dialing, while driving would be essential. Been waiting since ’09 & just about to bail and go to Sprint for the Epic 4G. Please hurry Verizon, hurry!!

  • UV

    Seen how crappy the Droid/Milestone 2 was and how bad was the support.
    IT has more bugs in it than a street whores groin and it more unstable than the shoreline of Japan.
    The phone has several well known bugs since the release but not a single SW update so far.
    Those phones are released so frequent that they never test the software well enough or if they do they look past some so called minor defects.

    But to think of it why buy a ~500€ phone which does not work 100%.
    Wifi loses connection
    Touchscreen randomly stops working
    contacts and their pictures, names are mixed up
    random restarts.
    awful lag
    keyboard on typing does double or tripple letters.
    I could go on… but if to google the sypmtoms.. alot of users have the same problems.

    PS. as the Motorola bootloader is locked there are no custom roms available or there are very few.

  • Pnnagendra

    I have this this one but the problem in the battery is toooo low it will get dried by 4 pm daily, but the performance is excellent except the battery, can any one suggest me which battery can i replace with the existence one