Motorola Sholes/Droid Headed To Europe?


Less than a month ago the Motorola Sholes passed through the FCC. Today, again, the Motorola Sholes passed through the FCC. Why twice you ask? Because the one that passed today is the GSM version of the Sholes/Droid!

This equipment is a GSM portable transceiver, which operates in the 850, 900,1800 and 1900 MHz PCS band. It also operates in WCDMA 900 and 2100 MHz and contains GPRS Class 12 and a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth function (Part 15.247). The unit may also be connected to a computer via a USB connection (Part 15 Class B Computing Device Peripheral).

Don’t get too excited Americans- the GSM frequencies don’t support AT&T or T-Mobile 3G bands and will more likely be used to launch on European networks. Perhaps Vodafone, whom owns half of Verizon Wireless, will get their exclusive shot at the Sholes much like the arrangement with the BlackBerry Storm.

The word “Sholes” is only mentioned once in the entire filling but that solitary inclusion is all folks digging deep needed. We were originally tipped by AndroPhones and the GSM info was pointed out by MobileCrunch – credit where credit is due!


So when and where do you think this GSM Droid will drop?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. It has long been known that the phone is available in two versions
    GSM and CDMA

  2. I’m not sure I understand this band issue. Will it run on Rogers wireless? Their wiki article mentions they have EDGE on the 850 and 1900 MHz bands and 3G on the 850 MHz band. If it does, doesn’t T-Mobile use the same bands?

  3. oh man, if this ran on t-mobile’s network, what with all the intrigue regaring “project dark” i would be tempted to get this phone + tmobile’s supposed 50$ AYCE plan. but realistically, looks like i’ll be getting the CLIQ for Tmo. it could be worse.

  4. @kBlack

    Interesting… I’m also wondering why they would bother seeking FCC approval for something they’re planning to sell overseas. I’ll be honest, I haven’t previously paid much attention to phones passing through FCC approval. Is it common or possibly required for some devices that will only be marketed overseas to go through the FCC paces?

  5. @Jason
    I’ve done a bit of research and I’m starting to see the picture here.
    Rogers wireless GSM 2.5g is on bands 850 and 1900 like I said.
    The catch is that 3G runs on HSPA band 850. HSPA is a WCDMA protocol, and as this article mentions, the phone only has 900 and 2100 WCDMA bands, which are indeed used in europe mostly.

    With that in mind, what does it mean for american (US and Canada) users? Would voice and 2.5G (EDGE) work, but not 3G? With no other high-end android hardware in sight, I guess I could settle for that.

  6. This is fantastic news! I am itching to get an Android handset here in the UK and the Droid is looking like the best option. Was a bit worried that it was going to be US only, but it seems Motorola have thought of everything – could the Droid be the phone that helps to bring them back in to the top division of handset makers?

  7. @KBlack

    If you take a look at Acer’s A1 specs it show that it is going to use the bands of 850/1900/2100 which is the bands of AT&T. That would be a nice phone to get.

  8. It’s a quad-band phone, which can make calls anywhere where the frequency bands are any of those four, 850/900/1800/1900. These bands are solely for making calls, and I believe Edge as well. The 900/1900 WCDMA bands are what give it 3G speeds, even HSPA if the phone is capable off. However, here in the US you need either 850/1900 WCDMA or 1700/2100 WCDMA for it to work on either AT&T’s or T-Mobile’s 3G. If you only want to make calls and Edge speeds you can import it unlocked and it would work on either AT&T and T-Mobile since both have GSM networks.
    GSM bands (make calls and edge): 850/900/1800/1900
    WCDMA / HSPA (for 3G to work): 850/1900 AT&T, 1700/2100 T-Mobile
    CDMA is for Verizon and Sprint networks.

  9. @ amu
    This so called european version of STD has wcdma 2100 but not 1700: does it need both to run tmobile usa ? Just curious.
    I want this phone in france yesterday ! By the looks of this article, sfr which is owned by vodafone will have the temporary exclusivity (which has been banned over here, but nevermind).

  10. I *saw* a Motorola Sholes phone *in the wild*, in Harvard Square tonight. I kid you not, I saw it from 3 feet away. The guy, 40s, business type with a receeding hairline, pulled it out of his pocket and was fiddling with it for a couple of minutes waiting for a pizza in Upper Crust while I tried not to look like I was staring. I finally asked him if it was the Motorola Sholes. “Probably not,” he replied, angling the screen away from me and putting it back in his pocket. “Are you serious? I know the model, you’re lying to me, right?” “Keep looking for it…” he said, grabbed his pizza and walked out.

  11. Now if they’d just make a US/NAM GSM version.

    (T-Mo or AT&T, either one)

  12. @Vincent: that’s the exact question I’ve been making a lot of people about the 1700 band. But so far we have heard that you do need both bands. 1700/2100, to work on t-mobile’s 3G network. The reason is because Europe uses a different 2100 frequency range than t-mobile does. This means that it may, slightly/possible, work. So far it is known that the 1700 band does the downloading while the 2100 does the uploading. However, I believe that there is a phone from t-mobile that only uses one band, 2100 I believe and not the 1700 band. But I will say from my opinion that yes you do need 1700 and 2100 for it to use t-mobile’s 3G. But if you only want to make calls and don’t take care about the internet speed then you could import it unlocked and it will work with t-mobile since it is gsm

  13. @johnkzin: you mean NAM 3G version right? Which may include HSPA…? Unless if you just want pure gsm (calls and no 3G) then you could important the gsm version heading to Europe.

  14. I think you can safely change the name to Droid everywhere – check this out:


  15. Oh yeah, and don’t forget:


  16. So what gives? I started my android obsession on androidguys.com. I left because they were always having website issues. Then phandroid started to experience them. Fine, I understand they weren’t prepared to scale to what they needed. But what about the lack of news recently. It seems all we get is 1-2 day old(or more) news. Come on phandroid! Don’t make me seek out yet another android blog!

  17. How about a US exclusive once in a while… no,, no,, Hope TMobile changes that…lol

    By the way Rob… Pics started working for me again last night… And now their gone again… Talking about the last 5 stories… Just a heads up…

  18. as someone who runs a HTC Dream on at&t’s network it really sucks and I wonder why at&t has waited so long to get android through the carrier on the 3g network. does anyone else wonder about this as well?

  19. Ooooh yes droid will be mine.
    /mode wayne’s world off
    by the way i would prefer it to be called sholes tao or even std than droid. But whateves.
    @ amu
    the frequencies are complicated in usa. Hope it becomes 2100mhz everywhere with 4G/LTE.

  20. i hope it becomes 700mhz everywhere with lte

    700mhz penetrates walls better so its easier to deploy (less costly)…europe should follow suit and free up that spectrum for lte

    what sucks is if tmo did roll out lte it would be on a different band then att and verizon and we would be back to square one

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