As Motorola rings in the new year, it can look back on 2009 as arguably the best year its formerly struggling handset division has seen since 2005 when it began selling its iconic blockbuster flip phone — the Motorola RAZR. It may only be icing on the cake, but the Motorola Droid is TIME Magazine’s pick for the best gadget of 2009, edging out fierce competition from other compelling candidates including Apple’s iPhone 3GS.
“Everybody likes Android, Google’s open-source smartphone operating system. But a smartphone operating system isn’t all that satisfying without an actual kick-ass smartphone wrapped around it,” read TIME’s top spot blurb.
To be sure, 2009 has seen a flurry of impressive Android-powered devices, including Motorola’s own T-Mobile Cliq. The Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid, however, has been the first Android phone to win wide acclaim from reviewers and inspire lust in the hearts and minds of gadget lovers the world over. It also didn’t hurt that Motorola’s latest was the first Android device to secure a spot in the relatively sparse smartphone lineup of the nation’s largest wireless carrier.
“The Droid’s touchscreen is phenomenally sharp and vivid, it has an actual physical (not great, but good enough) keyboard, and best of all, the Droid is on Verizon’s best-of-breed 3G network. It’s Android’s first credible challenge to the iPhone.”
Other notable gadget picks making TIME’s Top Ten Everything of 2009 include Apple’s iPhone 3GS, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook e-reader, the HD video-capable Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, and the super-thin Dell Adamo XPS.