Verizon Droid 4 by Motorola pictures and hands-on

The Droid range in the US on Verizon has always had a special place in many people's hearts. It might be big, it might be a tad on the ugly side, but it has a full QWERTY keyboard for those that still have a love for the hard button rather than touch button experience.

Pocket-lint got to experience the Droid 4 at the company's booth at this year's CES in Las Vegas to see whether it is still worth the fuss four versions, or should that be verizons, on.

The original Droid was the phone that changed Android's fortunes in the US. Now, Verizon is hoping that it will get people excited about 4G and the fourth iteration lands in the US.

Here you get a Motorola RAZR design but with the added extra of that slide out QWERTY keyboard. Thanks to efforts made with the RAZR, the Droid 4 claims to be the slimmest 4G slider phone yet, even though it comes with an edge-lit QWERTY keyboard that is comfortable, if not a little spongy to type on.

Those edge lit keys will help if you like typing in the dark. It's like typing on a backlit keyboard on a laptop; you'll notice it only when you turn it off and can't see the keys and then never be able to live without it.

Under all that external goodness, there's a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB or RAM and an 8-megapixel camera that can record 1080p video as well.

An HDMI output means that you can also hook the phone up to your TV, and enjoy videos on the big screen if the built-in 4-inch qHD screen isn't enough for you.

There will also be a Lapdock available, as with other recent Motorola handsets. However, we didn't get a chance to see that in action.

4G on Verizon is fast and the phone had no problem loading up the websites we asked of it at the show, even though we suspect with so many people mopping around it was working flat out behind the scenes to prove its worth. 

The phone also has a nano-coating which will repel water and make it resistant to those little water-based mishaps that befall us all from time-to-time. Sadly Verizon didn't let us pour our beer on it. We did ask though. 

Internal storage, for your stuff, is 16GB and there's support for microSD cards with capacities up to 32GB. 

As usual, and a currently annoying theme with new phones at CES this year, the Droid 4 will come with Gingerbread on launch but will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich later in 2012. Even though Google (nearly) owns Motorola - the company that has made the hardware here - the phone isn't getting any special privileges just yet.

If you are looking to upgrade from the Droid 2 because your contract is about to be ready for renewal and still want that QWERTY keyboard, this is still likely to be the phone for you. Touchscreen only fans won't be tempted though.

The Droid 4 on Verizon is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks.