Motorola DROID A855 Android Phone

  • Android 2.0-powered smartphone with 3.7-inch touchscreen and slide-out full QWERTY keyboard
  • Access a wealth of Google mobile services including Google Maps with Navigation for voice prompted turn-by-turn directions, Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar and more
  • GPS-enabled for location services; Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g); 5-megapixel camera/camcorder; Bluetooth stereo music; microSD expansion (16 GB card included)
  • Up to 6.4 hours of talk time, up to 270 hours (11.25 days) of standby time.Full manual available for download from www.verizonwireless.com or www.motorola.com.
  • What’s in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, 16 GB microSD card, quick start guide

Amazon. com Product Description
The first Android-powered phone for Verizon Wireless, the 3G-enabled Motorola DROID smartphone offers a full package of powerful mobile connectivity–from easy access to all your social networks and viewing of full Web sites to spoken turn-by-turn directions thanks to the new Google Maps with Navigation Beta app. One of the thinnest full-QWERTY slider phones available, the Motorola DROID also features a high-resolution 3. 7-inch touchscreen display and a virtual onscreen keyboard that auto-rotates depending on the phone’s orientation. And you’ll be able to capture high-resolution images and DVD-quality videos on the go with its 5-megapixel camera with flash.

The Motorola DROID offers the powerful Android 2. 0 operating system, fast and reliable Verizon Wireless 3G connectivity, and a wealth of Google Mobile services–including the new Google Maps with Navigation app. With integrated Google technology, the Motoro. . . More >>

Motorola DROID A855 Android Phone

5 thoughts on “Motorola DROID A855 Android Phone”

  1. I wanted an iPhone bad, and finally gave up waiting for it to come to Verizon. Got a Droid and am very happy with it.

    The screen is awesome – bigger than an iPhone’s and more dense with pixels, so images are very sharp. The colors are great, and the screen is nice and bright. I had a Samsung Rogue for about 10 days. Everyone raved about the Rogue’s screen. The Droid’s screen blows it away. The touch screen is accurate and responsive, and very intuitive to use. About as good as the iPhone but much better than every other touchscreen phone I’ve tried and better than a few cameras with touchscreen controls.

    The Droid’s display is sharp enough and wide enough to view most web pages – including those not specifically formatted for mobile phone browsers. Because of this screen and because of the way that the Android OS implements the browser, surfing the internet is very easy, intuitive, and pleasant. Much less horizontal scrolling/panning. Much better than most phones I’ve tried, including the Samsung Rogue and Blackberry. The iPhone’s browser is also a pleasure to use, but the Droid’s screen is better at displaying full web pages.

    Email is very well-implemented in the Droid. I was already a Gmail and Google calendar user before getting my Droid, and the level of integration is amazing, thanks to the Google Android OS. But any Android phone will also handle most other popular webmail, like hotmail, and also can sync with Microsoft Outlook and similar programs.

    The Droid’s call quality is good, and the speakerphone is loud and clear enough to be useful in most places. I get slightly better reception with the Droid than with my previous Verizon phones, especially in places with poor network coverage.

    The Droid’s built-in Facebook app is good, but is not as full-featured as the iPhone’s FB app, which has been around longer and had more time to be improved. Yet, the Droid’s FB app is as good as or better than FB access I’ve seen on most smartphones, including Blackberry and especially the new Samsung Rogue.

    One extremely cool thing is you can easily import the contact info from all your Facebook friends into the Droid’s contact manager, including their profile photo, email, phone, birthday, etc. Then, from your contact list, you can tap on any of their names and with one touch either call, email, or jump to their FB page. This is very well-implemented and easy to use, and makes the Droid’s contact manager highly useful.

    The Droid has pretty good voice recognition. I can tap the microphone icon in the upper right corner of the screen and say “Starbucks” and the Droid will show a list of the nearest Starbucks – and then I can pick one and either touch the phone number and Droid will call it, or I can touch the address and Droid will show its location on a map and give me driving directions.

    Droid like all Android phones has Google maps built in, including satellite view, and Droid can give you directions (from your current location or any location) just like Google maps on a computer.

    What’s more, Droid has built-in GPS functionality and can give spoken directions, just like a Garmin GPS. I tried it and it works pretty well.

    Loading music and photos onto the Droid is as easy as dragging and dropping files from your computer to a thumb drive. Droid’s music player is not as refined as iPod/iPhone, but it is easy to use and works great. If you have an iPod, you probably have lots of music tracks in AAC format. The Droid will play them no problem, as long as they don’t have DRM copy protection (and most don’t nowadays). The Droid also plays MP3 and other formats.

    The Droid has the standard 3. 5″ headphone jack so you can use it with any earphones, unlike some phones that have a non-standard jack. To judge the sound quality, I listened to the same track on the Droid and on an iPhone. Using $100+ headphones, the sound quality was better on the iPhone, but the difference was harder to notice with cheaper earphones or through my car stereo. Yet, the Droid’s sound quality is as good or better than other music-playing wireless phones, and I’ve tried quite a few.

    I have not yet loaded videos on the Droid. But I have watched streaming video, and it is very smooth, studder-free, and looks really great, best I’ve ever seen on any phone, including the iPhone and iPod touch.

    The Droid comes with a 16GB microSD card. These normally go for 40 to 50 bucks at least, so I’m really grateful that Verizon and Motorola included it with the phone. It can hold a ton of music, video, and photos. For comparison, the highest-capacity iPod Nano also has 16gb of storage.

    Plus, the Droid has internal memory for apps and its own operating system, so your phone will still work in the unlikely event the SD card ever fails. (My Droid worked fine even though the Verizon store guy didn’t insert the SD card correctly when he set up my phone and the phone didn’t recognize it. I reinserted it later and all was fine. )

    The Droid’s interface and OS (Android) is not quite as polished as the iPhone’s. But it is still excellent, VERY easy to learn, and very easy to navigate around and use. Like most phones, the Droid is highly customizable (ringtones, wallpapers, placement of your favorite widgets and icons on your home screens), and the Android OS makes it super easy to do so.

    The Droid has one-touch access to the Android app market, which has 10,000 apps so far. I’ve downloaded a couple dozen. There are lots of good ones, but overall the Android app market lags the iTunes app store in selection and quality, and specific apps available for both platforms tend to be a little better on the iPhone/iPod touch than on Android.

    However, the Android app market is much younger than iTunes app store and is growing very quickly. Until the Droid, there were only a few phones running Android. That number will at least double over the next few months, and the number of people who use phones running Android will more than double, according to industry projections, because of the increasing quality and selection of Android phones on most major carriers. All this will fuel even more rapid growth in the Android app market. But even in its present state, you can find a lot of really useful and fun apps for the Droid, many of which are free.

    The physical QWERTY keyboard is not as good as it could be. The keys are flat with no space between them. Still, I’m not a big texter and I find the keyboard fairly easy and pleasant to use. I also find the 5-way rocker button on the keyboard to be very useful. But if I were a big texter, I might not like the keyboard as much. So, my advice is to go to your local Verizon store and try out their demo unit.

    The 5 megapixel camera has a built-in LED flash. I have taken a couple dozen pictures inside and out, and find the photos to be acceptable, good for a camera phone, but nowhere near as good as a dedicated digital camera, and maybe slightly inferior to the iPhone’s picture quality. The flash is better than nothing, but causes the colors to be off. I have posted 6 pictures I took with the Droid to the “customer images” area so you can see for yourself the quality of photos you get with Droid. Once you snap a picture, you have to wait a couple seconds before Droid will let you take another; this lag is common on camera phones and cheap digital cameras, but seems slightly worse on the Droid.

    I have not yet shot any video clips with the Droid, so can’t comment on their quality.

    The Droid is 1. 5 to 2 ounces heavier than most other smart phones I’ve used or tried. Doesn’t sound like much, but you can definitely notice it. For me, having the bigger screen and keyboard easily justifies the weight, but for some folks, the weight could be an issue. This is another reason why I wouldn’t suggest ordering it online without first seeing it and holding it at your local retailer.

    Everyone has different tastes, but I think the Droid is not the most stylish phone. It has kind of a masculine, industrial look to it, which I can tolerate but I’m not crazy about it. But, it is easy to change the wallpaper, and there are a variety of cases for the Droid – more coming out every week – so you can customize the look any way you want.

    The only other thing I’m not crazy about is no physical dedicated call button. To use the phone, you have to press the phone icon on the home screen. This is a very minor inconvenience, and I got over it pretty quickly. But it’ll bug some people.

    I really like that the Droid has WiFi, and I’ve used it to connect to wireless networks at home, work and a Panera cafe. It’s easy and works great.

    If you’ve taken the time to read all this, then you’re probably interested enough to justify a trip to your local Verizon store or Best Buy and play with their demo unit. Try the keyboard, try the browser, play around with the pre-installed apps or maps. Take a picture or video clip. See how the weight feels in your hand. I think you’ll really like the Droid, especially if you’d been wanting an iPhone but didn’t want to leave Verizon to get one.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I’ve own many of the Verizon smart phones including the Treo, Moto Q, XV6700, Sage, Omnia, Touch Pro, Blackberry Curve, Storm1, etc. The Droid is the best VZW smart phone I’ve ever used.

    LIKES

    – Nice, big screen. The touch interface is will done.
    – Full exchange email support including calendar, contact sync, and email folders. Separate corporate calendar is cool too.
    – Voice search is the bomb. I searched “McDonalds”, “home depot”, and “gas station” and found the closest ones to my location. I searched on “Phone John Smith Mobile” and droid made the phone call. I even searched “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and got the wiki page. lol
    – The free GPS is excellent. The satellite layer is awesome. I was going to buy a GPS so the Droid saved me a couple bucks.
    – Facebook contact integration is nice.
    – Tethering is available via the PDANet app.
    – Battery life is surprisingly decent. I returned many good windows mobile phones simply because of the lack luster battery life.

    DISLIKES

    – No Send or End Buttons. I’d much prefer initiating and terminating a call with dedicated buttons
    – Flat keyboard causes some typos. The top row of keys are too close to the bottom of the screen.
    – I don’t like the window shade motion for notifications. I’d prefer a simple button press.
    – When viewing emails in landscape mode, the on-screen Delete button is right next to the back button. I deleted 2 emails already. 😛
    – I’ve observed some button press glitches when switching between landscape and portrait mode.
    – No pitch and zoom in the browser. Browser seems a bit slower than with the iPhone and the Palm Pre.
    – Many operations require a couple extra button presses compared to my old Blackberry.
    – Right now, I’d only recommend the Droid to people with a bit of geek in them.

    VS IPHONE

    The Droid is a worthy alternative but it doesn’t sniff the iPhone’s total user experience. Syncing media with your iPhone is much easier. The iPhones web browser is still the best on any phone. The Droid’s customization capability, voice search, awesome free gps, and comparable development platform does put it on the same playing field with the iphone. The Droid however still has to make the UI a little more polished and take steps to make syncing with your computer more seamless. Right now, I’d only recommend the Droid for people that have a slightly higher geek meter.

    VS BLACKBERRY

    Cha. . . I never asked my Blackberry to do much more than send messages and make calls. And to date, it still does it better than any other device I have ever used. The sleep case, keyboard, trackball, and typing short cuts makes the BB the most efficient device you will use for messaging. The Droid (and the iPhone) will require extra button presses to complete the same tasks. Heck, the sleep case alone allows you to check a message without pressing a button. 😉

    BOTTOM LINE

    This is a great Verizon smart phone, possibly the best. The voice search works brilliantly. It’s unbelievably good. The GPS is great. The Droid development platform seems decent. I especially like the Droid’s full exchange support. The Droid’s battery seems decent but I’ll find out for sure after a couple weeks at work. It’s certainly not as bad as the launch Palm Pre- the Pre’s battery life would count down in front of your eyes. 😛

    One major gripe I have with the device is the lack of Send and End buttons. I would never ship a phone that doesn’t have Send and End buttons. I prefer to locate these buttons by feel rather than locating them on the touch screen.

    Another gripe is that many functions on the Droid requires several extra button presses to accomplish the same task versus my old BlackBerry. I just have to wonder if phone manufacturers ever have business people test their phone. (I’m available, Motorola! 😉

    Should you try the Droid? Absolutely! BlackBerry users should hang on to their receipts however. You will give up some efficiencies in exchange for the Droid’s advanced features.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. **04/10/2010 Update Below**

    Is the Droid a phone? Computer? Personal media player? PDA? Navigation? It is all of the aforementioned. THE killer Verizon smart phone has landed with a resounding kaboom!

    PROS:
    – Gorgeous 3. 7-inch (480×854) screen
    – Tight Google application integration
    – Amazing HTML browser
    – Microsoft Exchange support
    – Good 5MP digicam
    – Surprisingly good camcorder
    – 802. 11b/g Wi-Fi
    – Google Maps Navigation makes standalone GPS units obsolete
    – Large selection of free and paid apps available
    – Slide-out full QWERTY keyboard

    CONS:
    – Power hungry device gulps battery life
    – Touch screen is extremely sensitive
    – Bluetooth/headset voice dialing unavailable
    – Heavy (5. 9 ounces)
    – Lacks physical direct dial/end buttons
    – Physical keyboard could use improvements
    – Short USB charging cable
    – Included microSD card is Class 2

    My two previous phones were the LG Dare and the Blackberry Curve. Without much research, I walked into a Verizon store on the Droid’s launch day and bought the Motorola Droid. Initial uneasiness turned into sheer joy. The Droid amazes me at every moment. Here’s why:

    SCREEN
    The 3. 7-inch, 480×854 resolution touch screen is stellar! Everything is crystal clear. I transferred Finding Nemo to it and wow! When I moved to the Blackberry from the Dare, the large screen real estate is what I missed most. I compared the screen with a friend’s iPhone and we both concluded that the Droid’s screen is better. My only gripe about the screen is that it is extremely sensitive. I put a snap-on cover on it as well as a screen protector and it has helped immensely. The snap-on cover surrounds the screen with a little extra space so your fingers don’t accidentally touch the screen. I originally used the Verizon screen protector, but recommend the ZAGG. The ZAGG feels more “tacky” so when I’m using the screen, I feel I can be more precise when typing or swiping. As far as I’m aware, there’s no setting to modify the screen’s sensitivity.

    KEYBOARD
    I have a hard time with touch screen keyboards, which is why the slide-out keyboard on the Droid was so important to me initially. The screen slides up about half way up to reveal the physical keyboard. The keys are flat, right next to each other, with limited key travel and backlit. It takes a little while to get used to but I’ve gotten good at it with practice. Still, I can type at least twice as fast on my Blackberry Curve. The touch screen keyboard is actually better than I expected. After a couple of months of use, I’ve essentially ignored the physical keyboard in favor of the touchscreen keyboard. A really nice feature when typing on the touch screen is autocomplete. For example, if I type “hel”, it will list “Hel, he’ll, help, held, hello. . . ” then you can just touch the word you want.

    CALLING
    The Droid has very good signal strength and the call quality is also excellent on both ends. Speakerphone is adequate as well. My first annoyance with making calls is that there are no dedicated dial/end buttons. In order to make a call, you must touch the “Phone” icon and dial the number or sort through contacts. I did find that you can create direct dial shortcuts on your screen. This allows you to dial a contact number with one touch of the icon. I have one of my 3 screens dedicated solely for direct dial shortcuts. The second annoyance is that you cannot initiate voice dialing via a Bluetooth headset! If you want to initiate a call, you have to use the phone interface. This is a major drawback as I always use headset voice dialing to place calls when I’m driving. You can still answer and end calls with a headset though.

    GOOGLE INTEGRATION
    If you’re already a heavy Google user, Android OS smart phones are almost a necessity. If you’re not yet a heavy Google user, the Droid will assimilate you. Gmail is such a joy to use I haven’t checked my e-mail on my computers since the Droid. Google Maps is easy and fun to use and includes Latitude. Google Talk couldn’t be simpler and heavy messaging sessions are fatigue-free with the slide-out physical keyboard. Swiping the chat screen left or right allows you to change chat sessions which lets you to carry on multiple chats with ease! Google Calendar is almost better on the Droid than on an actual browser.

    HTML BROWSER
    The Droid’s web browser puts Blackbery’s browser to shame, but that’s not hard to do. For kicks, I also installed Opera mini on the Droid and almost immediately uninstalled it. The Android browser is a superior browser to all others except for possibly Mobile Safari.

    CAMERA
    The Droid has a nice 5MP auto-focus digital camera with flash as well as a 720×480 @ 24fps camcorder. Both of them perform well. The still camera’s autofocus is buggy however. When I activate the camera, the area near the lens makes a peculiar noise and the autofocus doesn’t always work. Verizon is preparing an OTA update on 12/10/09 to address this and other bugs/enhancements. The camcorder is good enough that I’d have no problem leaving my Flip camcorder at home most of the time. Of course, both the still and video camera falter in low light so keep your real camera and camcorder for those really special events.

    MUSIC
    I plugged in my Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones and enjoyed listening to my MP3’s. The built-in speaker also sounds pretty good for a phone. The Droid comes with a 16GB microSD card for storage and supports up to 32GB but is a slow Class 2. It would have been nice to get at least a Class 4 for faster read/write performance. To get music onto the Droid, you just drag and drop or you can use a Motorola application called Media Link. You can also use your MP3’s as ringtones. I would recommend using Audacity to clip a song you like down to 30 seconds or less at 128kbps to save space.

    802. 11b/g Wi-Fi
    The Droid’s Wi-Fi connection is pretty good and I can take it all over my 2-story home and stay connected. It’s also picked up many of my neighbor’s wireless networks. When the phone goes to sleep, it will shut off the Wi-Fi service to save battery power. Interestingly, the Wi-Fi connection is only nominally faster than using the high speed 3G Verizon network. Next to the screen, I’ve found Wi-Fi to be the biggest battery drain.

    GOOGLE MAPS NAVIGATION
    Here’s something I did not expect. The Droid comes with a beta version of Google’s turn-by-turn voice navigation application that ties in directly with Google Maps. Search for a location then have the navi direct you there by voice. I tried it twice so far and it has been spot on! What am I going to do with my Garmin now?? For me, this app was the clincher. Just be sure to connect it to a power source for long trips because the navi will drain the battery mighty quick.

    MISC
    You can quickly browse thousands of Android apps and search for them by name. Must have apps include Advanced Task Killer, Movies (by Flixster), Pandora, WeatherBug, and Google Voice. On the down-side, the Droid is quite heavy. Having come from the Curve, it was very noticeable. Also, with heavy usage, the battery may not last an entire work day, so carry a charger with you.

    ACCESSORIES
    Accessories are still pretty thin for the Droid. A screen protector and case were a must for me. I got both from Verizon directly. I eventually tossed the silicone case from Verizon and picked up the perfect case by Seidio. Next, I needed a car mount but the Droid windshield mount would not work for me because I use a case and in California, I cannot mount it anywhere but the lower left corner. I prefer to mount it in the middle so I purchased a generic vent/adhesive mount from Verizon. I used the adhesive to stick it directly to my dash. It works fairly well except that when going over anything but smooth terrain, it wobbles a bit. I may decide to use the Bracketron Dash Pad in combination with Kensington Dash Car Mount for iPhone and iPod. This will allow me to mount the Droid in the center of my dash and swivel it from portrait to landscape as well as leave space to plug in a car charger. To complete the auto installation, I bought the Kensington Mini Car Charger for Mobile Devices with USB Port and plugged in the short USB cable that came with Droid. Voila! A Droid car kit for about $45.

    SUMMARY
    I could go on and on about the Droid but Amazon limits my reviews to 1000 or so words. Even with the minor drawbacks, the Droid is easily the best hand held device I have ever owned. It replaces so many of my other devices that I can overlook those minor drawbacks and enjoy using it every second of the day. It is probably the single best technology purchase I have ever made.

    **UPDATE 12/04/09**
    I had to exchange my Droid for another one because the case I was using snagged on one of the keys and ripped it right off. The new replacement Droid has been ROCK SOLID and uptime has been over 2 weeks! No reboots, no forced app closures. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the battery life seems to be better as I have gone at least 24 hours between chargings, except when I have used the GPS navigation. I’m still hoping Google provides an update in Android 2. 0. 1 for Bluetooth voice commands, though I didn’t see anything in the changelogs about it. I believe the OTA update is still due in a week or so. Also interesting to note is that a version of the Droid WITHOUT the slide out keyboard and a built-in FM tuner is rumored to be coming out, but no word if it’ll be available in the US or through Verizon.

    **UPDATE 12/10/09**
    I looked at my phone earlier and low and behold, I got a message that a software update was available. It downloaded and installed in less than 2 minutes and required a reboot. The first thing I noticed was that the unlock screen was different. The half circle swipe to unlock has been changed to just a left to right swipe while a right to left swipe will turn the sound on and off. Also, the font for the clock changed. Also, I swear there didn’t used to be a Verizon Wireless banner on the unlock screen before, but there is now.

    The big fix for version 2. 0. 1 was the camera’s autofocus. And what do you know. It’s fixed! I also noticed that the Power Control widget has gone through a face lift. I have not noticed any other changes really as I’ve yet to make a call on it since I only updated it 20 minutes ago. Call quality was supposed to have been improved as well. I am bummed they did not add Bluetooth voice dialing, but I didn’t expect it anyways. Maybe another update down the road, please!!

    **UPDATE 03/30/2010**
    Official Verizon info on the 2. 1 update has finally been released. Pinch-to-zoom is available in the gallery, browser, and Google maps. New weather & news widgets. New voice-to-text entry. New 3D gallery layout. Live wallpapers! Official support for Yahoo! Mail, finally. Night-mode screen in navigation for easier viewing. And a few other minor improvements. Not a bad update. After a couple of false starts over a couple of months, the latest rollout date is 3/30/10, today. 1000 users will receive the update notice at noon today with another 9000 around midnight. If all goes well, apparently the remaining users will get it on 4/1/10.

    **UPDATE 4/10/2010**
    It was taking forever to get the update on my Droid so I performed a manual update to 2. 1. While I do like it, it wasn’t as cool an update as I expected. My favorite part of the update was the new gallery. Now, I can view my photos full screen and swipe them to get to the next photo. Previously, I had to touch a directional arrow in order to navigate and swiping is just so much easier. The Live wallpapers were uninspiring and also slowed my phone down so I stopped using it. The weather and news widgets are just ok and I can get the same functionality in other apps so it’s not earth shattering by any means.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. I was so excited about this phone I bought it the first day it came out, even though I have 7 months left on my TMo BlackBerry 8900. It was everyting I’ve ever wanted in a smartphone, at least in theory. So, why do I say “ambivalent” in a 5 star review? Well, the only time I feel conflicted about it is when I am reading about it, or thinking about it. But when I have it in my hands, all that melts away.

    THE AWESOME:
    * The screen, the screen, the screen. Everyone raves about it for good reason. It’s just gorgeous.
    * No need to jailbreak if all you want to do is run non-Android Marketplace apps. There’s a switch for that, it’s under settings / applications. It’s the top option on that menu: “Allow install of non-market applications”. That’s it, just check a box.
    * The GPS – wow. Really glad I didn’t invest in a “real” GPS, which I’d been intending to do. The Droid’s voice navigation is everything you could ask for, without having to ever buy map updates. Ooh – and get the Google Sky app (it’s free) – awesomeness in stargazing.
    * Google! This, to me, is the biggest advantage — the power of Google’s development. This is the first few days with a major upgrade of an OS, so, everything that is “not quite there” yet about it will improve. People say it’s not as polished as the iPhone, but with an open development platform on Android as opposed to Apple’s walled-garden approach, it’s only a matter of time. This is the first Android-based phone that Google’s devs were closely involved in every step, and it’s a good partnership.
    * The network – again, wow. coming from TMo, where my area didn’t get 3G until a few months ago, and with dead zones galore, this is just such a relief.
    * Call quality – again, wow. I have never, ever experienced this sort of clarity, I was at a point where I liked smartphones mostly because I hated trying to hear & be heard on them, so it was easier to communicate via text, email, etc. Also, a very impressive speaker.
    * Tight integration with several of Google’s services, with more to come — how nice to set up my gmail ID, go to YouTube on the phone, and just be logged in. Expect good things with Google Docs and even Wave in the future.

    THE NOT-QUITE-THERE-YET
    * The camera takes awesome pictures in full daylight, but struggles with focus. Good news is, developers are aware of this, and a leaked memo indicates there will be an over-the-air update on or around 12/11 which will address the focus issues.
    * The apps — the reason there are not as many huge, shiny apps like some of the more elaborate iPhone games is that app executables can’t be stored on the memory card, just in the phone’s memory, so this severely limits the amount of space for larger, more elaborate apps[correction]. The good news this is also fixable by software, and you know Google will work towards this in order to compete. However there are still plenty of awesome apps, and considering how Apple tends to reject and censor apps while Google welcomes them, there will eventually be a much broader selection. (update: Facebook’s iPhone app developer just quit the project because he couldn’t deal with Apple’s controlling tendencies. )

    THE MEH
    * Well, the physical keyboard isn’t the greatest. A bit flat, not enough key travel. However it was so easy to get good at the onscreen keyboard that this doesn’t matter too much, and the real keyboard IS better (and quite adequate) for times you need to do more than a little typing.
    * It’s heavy! The night I got it, I played with it for like, 8 hours straight, and my hands were *sore*. Um, well, maybe just don’t play with a phone for 8 hours straight, your hands should be fine?
    * Battery life, what can you expect? A device of this magnitude needs power. I carry a charger & have a power inverter in my car, and I like powerful devices so I don’t mind, really.

    The other reviewers here have done a great job of going into deep detail on all the various features, these were just a couple things I wanted to point out, most especially, that almost everything brought up as a flaw is actually just an area in which Google’s Android shows much potential.

    I’ll be getting that media dock too, that seems like a wonderful addition. Also, I have the Motorola S805 Bluetooth 2. 0 (DJ Style) Stereo Headphones and they get along with the Droid very well. It’s really, really helpful to have bluetooth controls when listening to music, because it’s a pain in the rear when the screen goes to sleep and all you wanted to do was skip songs or pause.

    All in all, I’m thrilled with the Droid, not just for what it is, but for what it will be – I have gone through *so* many phones in the past few years, finagling upgrades approx. every 9 months, but I believe this one will last me until I qualify for “new every 2” with Verizon – and by then, they’ll have 4G. 4G!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Pros:

    * Physical Keyboard – Small and cramped, but perfect for someone who frequently hits the wrong keys with the on-screen one. It is also easier to hold the device when surfing the web. If you aren’t a fast typer (as I am on phones) the complaints against the keyboard are less important.

    * Weight – slightly heavier than an iPhone but it feels more solid and durable.

    * Easy to navigate – phone does not come with a user manual but one with average computer experience can pick it up quickly.

    * GPS – still in beta, but works well enough to get around NYC by car. (Buy the mount if it will be your primary GPS device).

    * Google Voice – integrated into phone – seamlessly integrated to allow it to call/answer phones based on a variety of scenarios rather than using Verizon minutes. (i. e. Automatically call using VOIP for international calls)

    * 5MP camera – it won’t take a picture worthy of a frame, but more than decent for web postings on the go.

    Cons:

    * Tacky default “Droid” settings – The phone starts up by saying “Droid”. Easy to turn it off though. The red eye reminds me of LOTR. I just wish that could be turned off too.

    * Web app is a little buggy going back and forth between web pages. Sometimes it skips one or two pages back.

    * Needs multi-touch (i. e. pinch-zoom) There have been countless times I tap to zoom in and click inadvertently on a link.

    * Application Marketplace is a mess – no sort capabilities (i. e. # downloads, rating), organized by 8 main categories. Few quality apps exist- but hopefully will take off soon. (Recommended – Pandora, last. fm, Weather Channel, TV. com)

    * Sharp corners – the iPhone is more comfortable to hold for extended periods of time when talking.

    * Sound quality on calls is average at best. By far the worst phone for wind noise. A slight breeze will render a conversation unintelligible.

    * Lack of music management software – Extreme default bare-bones app to listen to music by artist/album/song/playlist. No way to easily sort music. (something similar to iTunes would be ideal) Haven’t been able to find a 3rd party app to replace it yet. One plus – there are some 3rd party apps to connect remotely to your PC’s music collection (i. e. Gmote 2. 0) but they are still buggy.

    * Some websites are hard to click on intended links. (Not sure if it is the touchscreen or the website, but it is frustrating none the less)

    * There are the basic camera settings (i. e. Camera flash, scenes, etc. ) but they are frustrating to set. (The back button doesn’t work when navigating through the sub menus. Each time you want to go to another category you need to reopen the settings)

    Rating: 3 / 5

Leave a Reply to Knowledge Forest Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *