Droid 2 stealthily goes on sale in 2 days

After Verizon seemingly stopped acknowledging the existence of the Droid 2, the wireless provider today finally provided some concrete details of the device, saying it would go on sale this Thursday.

Perhaps it was part of a brilliant marketing campaign, but Verizon has remained curiously silent about the Droid 2. Instead, “leaks” about the phone showed up here and there to the point where everything about the newest Android handset was known before any “official” details were revealed.

One surprise that no one leaked until today is the fact that there will also be a special edition R2D2-themed Droid 2, which will quite possibly be the most amazing thing ever done to a phone. Motorola actually has to pay George Lucas movie studio for the right to use the word “Droid,” which was trademarked for use in the Star Wars films. Hey, as long as you’re paying money to the Star Wars guys, you may as well flaunt it!

Shipping with Flash Mobile 10.1 and Android 2.2, it is the first phone in the US to go on sales with the newest version of Android pre-installed. It packs in a 3.7-inch display and looks a lot more like the original Droid than the recent Droid X, which continues to sell like hotcakes at Verizon and mobile retailers across the country.

The Droid 2 features a horizontal-sliding Qwerty keyboard as well as the now universally recognized Swype software for virtual on-screen keyboard input. The physical keypad has also been given an overhaul from the original Droid, which many users complained as being too flat and for some even unusable.

The $199.99 price that showed up at Best Buy stores over the last few days is accurate, after customers sign up for a new 2-year agreement.

The Droid 2 wil also be able to take advantage of Android 2.2’s mobile Wi-Fi hotspot feature, allowing users to easily connect to the Internet from a laptop or any other enabled device through their phone’s mobile connection. However, Verizon will charge users an extra $20 a month to tap into this feature.

Verizon will actually open up pre-orders for the device tomorrow, even though it will go on sale outright beginning the next day. But I guess there are some people that just can’t wait to be able to say they placed their order, so, more power to them.