Motorola DROID Review - One month post usage
Since the G1 first appeared on the T-Mobile network in late 2008 I was optimistic that there would soon be Android based mobile phones everywhere. And I kept waiting and waiting until finally the Motorola DROID came out on the Verizon network last month, they are my carrier. I had my very first smart phone in my hand a few days later. Now, almost a month later I give you my review from a first time smart phone user.
I have had a simple flip phone and an LG enV with a QWERTY keyboard along with a simple calling and texting plan. The Motorola DROID is certainly a big step up from my previous phones and the unlimited web access that I’ve added makes it an indispensible info machine. As for the keyboard on the DROID, for me this would be the perfect phone if it had incorporated an LG enV style keyboard. For texting and writing emails there is not a better keyboard. When using the DROID keyboard my initial messages resembled something akin to words which Bart Simpson might play in a game of Scrabble. However, as I’ve gotten more comfortable using it, my texting messages, emails and Facebook posts are much more coherent.
Yes, Facebook and email from a smart phone! I know, I know some phones have already had these features but for someone who has just started experiencing their own smart phone this is really cool stuff, and I like cool stuff. I have a friend who purchased one of the first iPhones but because it did not have an actual hard QWERTY keyboard it did not garner much of my attention. The touch screen on the iPhone didn’t seem as responsive as my DROID touch screen.
The DROID comes with a 16GB memory card which can be expanded to a 32GB memory card. That is great because earlier this year my iPod was stolen and I didn’t have a portable device to store my tunes on, now I do. After I put all of my tunes on it I still have more than enough storage space left. The volume on this thing gets pretty loud for a portable device but if you’re at risk of possibly alienating someone with the DROID being so loud you can plug in a pair of stereo headphones, the DROID has a 3.5mm jack. Of course if you’d rather alienate someone then keep the headphones unplugged.
I didn’t realize how heavy the DROID was until after using it for several weeks I picked up my old phone and thought, “Wow, that is light!” My old phone was, well, a featherweight compared to the 6oz. of DROID that I’m lugging around. Actually, it is not really much of a chore, it was just surprising the difference in the weight. Of course Motorola did cram a lot of stuff into this thing so that is that. How much does a byte weigh anyhow?
I can’t really say much about the Android Market as I haven’t found an application that I’m willing to fork over money for yet but I’m sure that will come. I have downloaded and installed a few of the free apps and like the ones that I do use. One of the coolest things is that there are several apps that can be downloaded which will allow the built-in 5MP camera to act as a barcode scanner. Once you scan the barcode there are programs which will search the Internet and locations in your GPS vicinity to find the best price on the item that was just scanned. That is a really cool feature especially if you’re trying to save some greenbacks during the holiday season.
The built-in GPS navigation works great but just make sure that you have the address accurate, if not you could end up on Dane Street instead of Main Street. It is not a pretty sight seeing someone running from a big dog and trying to use their GPS enabled smart phone. “Come on Dog Whistle app, download, download!”
As for the quality of the phone calls, sweet would be my answer. I can hear my friends and family much better on this phone that I could with my previous phones. I am not one who normally likes using a speaker phone but on the DROID the conversations are crystal clear.
All in all, I have to say that Motorola did an excellent job of coming up with an Android based phone that works well and one that I really enjoy. Perhaps they will have a better keyboard on their next iteration. However, the one thing that I do not like about this phone is the scratch on my screen from when I let someone look at it as we were gathered together on Thanksgiving Day. Guess who the next person will be who borrows my phone?