Android's Budget Future, Now: Droid Eris Free On Contract

Illustration for article titled Android's Budget Future, Now: Droid Eris Free On Contract

Super-spec'd premium phones like the Droid and Nexus One are only part of Google's long term plan for Android. What we have here is a glimpse of Android's other future: Free. Android handsets are the new flip-phones! Sort of!

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Today's Motorola Devour launch at Best Buy Mobile brought some extra goodies, including an awkwardly priced Droid, which seems to render its new stablemate kind of unbuyable, and this little surprise: A Droid Eris, which is Verizon's version of the Sprint Hero, priced for free on contract. Not a single dollar! (Except for the 60 of them you'll have to pay out for two years, but who's counting that money, right? Right.)

Point is, budget Android phones are a verifiable thing right now, and even if they're sometimes loaded with out of date version of Google's OS or terrible custom interfaces, they are categorically better than virtually any feature phone. And as data plans become more ubiquitous and (dear god please) cheaper, always-connected, internet savvy smartphones will graduate from the massive trend to the status quo.* And Android, without any licensing fees for carriers or handset manufacturers, will play a huge part in this.

*Welcome, everyone, to the least glamorous kind of futurism!

DISCUSSION

D-LYTE
Carcharodon Carcharias

As an Alltel current subscriber, I walked into a Verizon store the other day asking about Droid plans and pricing details. The counter clerk asked me which type of Droid I wanted since they were out of the Droid Eris. He said the Eris was actually more popular simply because it was cheaper. I had been set on the Moto Droid, but this has me wondering...

Another question for the masses: Which Droid should I want? Texting on a virtual keyboard doesn't bother me; I came from iPhone world.