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Droid X: The newest Verizon Android phone is a shot across Apple's bow

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(Read caption) Droid X, Verizon's answer to the Apple iPhone 4, is expected to be announced next week in New York City. An early review suggests that the Droid X is a powerhouse.

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Let the next-gen smartphone wars begin. Days after Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 4, Verizon began advertising for the Droid X, the latest installment in Motorola's top-selling Droid line. Details are still fuzzy on the Droid X hardware, but early reports say the phone is a "snappy," sleek performer, and a worthy challenger to the iPhone 4 and HTC EVO 4G.

Earlier today, Verizon launched a spot for the Droid X, under a simple headline: "The next generation of does." The headline is a nod to the original Droid, which was marketed as a "bare-knuckled bucket of does," and touted by Verizon as the phone that knock the mighty iPhone off its perch. But the market has changed in recent months: The HTC EVO 4G and Apple iPhone 4 are in many ways better machines than the original Droid.

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So it's not exactly a huge surprise that Motorola is readying a next-gen Droid – one that can compete with similar units from Apple and HTC.

Anticipation is high. In a short review posted on the Engadget site a couple of days ago, Joanna Stern praised the hardware on the Droid X – including the 8-megapixel camera – and the operating system, which Stern says is Android 2.1, possibly coupled with a new Motoblur skin. The blogosphere has lit up today with gossip about the Droid's screen, rumored to be among the sharpest on the smartphone market.