The smartphone enthusiasts must be quite excited: Motorola Droid 3, the latest member of Verizon’s Droid family, has officially entered the smartphone market and, on paper, it looks good enough to beat the gold standard of smartphones - iPhone.

Verizon Wireless announced, Thursday, the launch of Motorola Droid 3, which is being touted as the world’s thinnest QWERTY keyboard smartphone, at just a half-inch thick.

The Droid 3 is priced as $199.99 with a Verizon 2-year contract at Verizon stores or for the same price as the 16GB iPhone 4 (with 2-year contract).

In-store sales will begin on July 14.

Droid 3 is the first of the Droids to be sold on Verizon after the iPhone was released on Verizon network. Moreover, compared with Droid 2, it has numerous upgrades. Naturally, smartphone fans are wondering whether Droid 3 will emerge as the latest iPhone killer.

What makes Droid 3 a threat to iPhone? There are several reasons actually.

Click start on the slideshow to check them out.

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