A rush to market
Little things added up. For example, to wake the Droid from sleep, you have to either hit the button on the top (11), or open the keyboard. Neither action is particularly obvious. So why is it designed that way? The buttons on the front of the Droid (12) are actually part of the touch screen, and the screen shuts off when idle to save power. That means those buttons are inoperative until the phone is re-awakened. There's a technical logic to this, but it's hardly as intuitive as, say, hitting one button smack in the front of the screen, as on the iPhone. Striking the right balance between power optimization and user experience is a struggle that requires time and iteration to get right.
There's also a glitch in the design of the battery cover: It slides off rather easily, and you tend to open it naturally with your fingers as you seek leverage to open the screen.
These issues are indicative of a first-generation product. Now that the product has shipped successfully, Motorola has time to refine and iterate. There's a lot to like about the Droid's design, but I suspect there will be much, much more to like about the Droid 2.0.
Got a comment? Leave it in the Design Review blog post.
Text: Gregor Berkowitz/MOTO Development
February 2, 2010 11:15 AM PST
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
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