I’ve had my new Motorola Droid from Verizon for about 24 hours and here is my initial review.
The sky is a little bluer, the sun feels a little warmer, the air smells a little cleaner. The romantic babble has almost reached peak nauseousness; “who’s the best phone, you’re the best phone, I love my new phone.” Yeah it’s a little sickening unless you’re a gadget geek.
A popular term with roots in athletics for when a critical play occurs that has the potential to effect the outcome of the game, like in last years Super Bowl when the Steeler’s Harrison ran a 100 yard interception return for a touchdown to close-out the first half. The term is now popular in the business world too. That is, in fact, what this phone is for me.
Being a fallen Apple fan boy, I never got an iPhone because I decided years ago to pay less for computers and I didn’t want to sign up with AT&T. Even though Verizon offers a variety of Blackberrys, I passed on all of them as well. For me, the Droid is a giant leap in a better direction. I am by no means a gadget expert, but I’ll share some of my initial thoughts.
I have several Gmail accounts; not @gmail mind you, but personal (at cherryred dot org) and professional (at seo dot com) emails that are run through Gmail. It is ridiculously easy to manage multiple emails on this phone. Tap the email icon, tap menu, tap accounts and all of your email accounts are listed along with the number of new, unread messages. Simply tap the account you wish to see the inbox for. The interface is extremely responsive, so we’re talking no time at all to toggle email accounts.
I can look at my Twitter stream in one tap. I can get to Facebook in one tap, but it takes a second to view the stream. I don’t think it could be faster unless it read my mind, which is probably Android 4.0.
Oh, that’s right, it’s a phone. Call quality is great. Voice activated dialing. Not a single complaint on the phone. Only minor issue I had was with my contact list. For some reason it imported some people “last name, first name” and others “first name, last name” so now I have to go in and edit a number of contacts.
I’ve already downloaded a few apps like Twidroid, Bank of America, and Weather Channel to name a few. All super fast downloads and installs. Nothing took more than seconds from tap to use.
Not much to say here without a picture, but the integrated Google Maps is brilliant and beautifully functional. You won’t need a separate GPS.
The video quality is great.
All the small things
There are too many to list. I know I haven’t found them all, but there are a lot of little things that just make the phone a pleasure to use. The on-screen keyboard is responsive and perhaps more accurate than my fingers would have thought. One push of a button on the top of the phone and you can instantly lock the screen and put it in sleep mode. One more click, then rotary style “swoosh” of your finger and it’s active again. I’ve gotten my share of pocket dials and sent plenty too. I don’t think I’ll be making any pocket dials this time. The main “back, menu, home, search” buttons at the bottom of the phone are pairs with a tenth of a second light vibration to confirm you pushed it. I like that kind of interface feedback. There is a screen for battery life that shows each line item and what percent of the battery it's consuming so you can fine-tune your usage. I digress.
This is a short list. I can’t tether it to my laptop yet. The camera software doesn’t seem to consistently focus, which combined with a bit of a delay made for several deleted pics already. However, it seems that if you use the on screen “take picture” icon instead of the button on the side of the phone, it’s noticeably more responsive. I haven’t had enough time to test this out completely. Not sure I like this hard, clear acrylic case accessory that doesn’t seem to get along 100% with the slide out keyboard. I may trade it in for the soft shell case. That might bother me the most since I’m always holding it. Only other issue is I haven’t figured out how to get my PC to recognize it*. All in all, nothing that can’t be fixed, or won’t be possible with future updates.
The new Droid is worth every penny and I suspect a few months from now I will still feel that way. I will now go back to ocean front beach chair, basking in the sun, sipping a fruity drink with an umbrella.
(* update – now that I’ve had 5 mins to try to get it connected to my computer, it is. Plug it in via the USB cable, drag down the notification bar on the phone, and click “mount”. Easy, but I have read of people with Vista 64-bit issues even though that’s what I have.)