"Truly amazing phone. Incredibly FAST!"4.5 starson by LMacNeill
Pros: Verizon's amazing 4G network -- if you're in a place where you can get it. When on 4G, you can talk and surf at the same time - FINALLY! Dual-core CPU is BLAZINGLY fast - makes task-switching a breeze. Tons of built-in storage and RAM, so you won't have
Cons: qHD display is not *quite* as nice as an AmoLED would've been -- but I'm not seeing the pixellation that some people have complained about. No physical slide-out keyboard like my original-generation Moto Droid. With Verizon's amazing 4G network, if you d
Summary: I've had this phone for about 2 days now, and overall I'm extremely happy with my purchase. It is SO much faster than my original-generation Motorola Droid -- zips right through menus and switches tasks with no delay whatsoever.
The screen-quality is extremely good -- definitely wouldn't say it's the best available today, but it's far better than some people are saying in their reviews here. I'm not seeing the pixellation that a few others have complained about -- the display is quite clear and sharp. Would've been nice to get an AmoLED display instead of qHD -- but I'm very pleased with the display's quality and sharpness nonetheless.
The phone is advertised as having 16GB of built-in storage plus a 16GB SD-card -- however, you DO NOT have access to all 16GB of the built-in storage. Seems like the phone itself reserves 8GB for system-stuff and application storage, and you get to use the other 8GB for your own stuff (the phone calls this the "Media Area"). But you do have access to 100% of the available space on the pre-installed 16GB SD-card, and that SD-card can be upgraded to 32GB if you want, so you can have 40GB of user-controlled storage, which (let's be honest here) is a LOT of space for a smart-phone.
The main thing you'll notice about this phone at first, however, is its INCREDIBLE SPEED! This will be especially true if you've currently got a 3G single-core Android-based phone right now. This phone is, so far, the absolute best marriage of 4G technology and CPU technology -- the 4G can serve the data as fast as the CPU can take it, and the CPU never gets bogged down waiting for something in the background to finish, because it's got two cores -- one core can pretty much always be dedicated to running whatever app you have in the foreground, while the other one takes care of other system business (if there is any). And it's totally seamless, just like in a multi-core PC. It just plain works, and works very well.
I will warn you about one thing, though -- if you're not an existing Verizon Wireless customer with an existing unlimited data-plan, you're going to have to purchase one of Verizon's limited data-plans. The most common would be (I'm sure) the 2GB plan for $30 per month. Now, this phone is new to me, and I've been playing with it a LOT in the past two days -- but I've already used 1.4GB of data during that time (you can REALLY suck down the data with the Netflix-streaming app, which is available to download on the marketplace). Luckily, I upgraded from an original-generation Motorola Droid with an existing unlimited data-plan that I was allowed to keep. So I don't have to worry about the amount of data I use -- but you might, if you're not in the same situation I am. So that's not really a complaint about the phone itself, but a complaint about Verizon's new policies... It's something you DEFINITELY need to consider before buying this (or any other) Verizon 4G phone. That amazingly fast 4G network makes it amazingly EASY to download TONS of data, without even realizing it. (Luckily, one of the pieces of "bloatware" that Verizon pre-installs on the phone is a data-usage meter that you can put right on your home page -- I highly recommend keeping that visible at all times if you're not on the unlimited data-plan.)
Another complaint here, albeit an extremely minor one -- even with all this CPU power, scrolling through my contacts-list is still not *qute* as smooth as I was expecting. The iPhone definitely has every Android phone beaten in that department. The other animations (swiping from one home-screen to another, for example) is far smoother than I've yet seen on any other Android phone, and when you rotate the screen it's extremely smooth... It's just the contact's list (or any other very long list of stuff you'd need to scroll through) in which Android shows itself to be a slight underdog to Apple's iOS. But, this is, overall, a VERY minor thing and will not detract much (if at all) from your enjoyment of this phone.
I love the fact that there is a Motorola-designed-and-approved extended-life battery available, right from the beginning. They designed all the accessories to fit the phone, both with and without the extended-life battery -- very forward thinking, and something I wish they had done with my original Droid. Thanks, Motorola for listening to our previous complaints! I purchased the extended-life battery, the standard desktop-dock, the car-dock, and the car-charger. They all fit the phone perfectly, there's no "squeezing" the phone into the docks, like I had to with my original Droid when it had it's extended-life battery in there -- everything has been designed very well, and it shows. Very happy with everything about the accessories I purchased -- except for the price (wish they were a bit cheaper). I did NOT buy the "laptop dock" that turns the phone into a Netbook-like device, although I was sorely tempted... And still am... Might re-consider that next month, in which case I'll update this review...
Everything that you've come to expect from an Android phone -- Google Talk, gMail, Google Maps & Navigation, etc. -- are all included for free on this phone of course. Only difference is, it runs all that stuff FAR faster and smoother than you've ever seen on any other Android phone to date. Maps and Navigation, especially (if you're in an area with 4G coverage, of course) are so much smoother than before, it's almost like you bought a dedicated GPS device. If you like the Android OS's Google-based services, you're going to LOVE them on this phone. Very well done.
A few folks have complained about the MotoBlur intrerface -- but frankly, I don't find it to be all that bad. I ditched their built-in Facebook for the Facebook For Android app on the marketplace, and I'm totally happy now. Everything that MotoBlur does, if you don't like it, you can find a replacement for it on the marketplace, so the fact that this phone uses a subset of MotoBlur features really shouldn't affect your decision to purchase or not purchase this phone...
That's about all I can think of right now -- I'm absolutely happy with the purchase of this phone, it's an absolutely excellent replacement for my original Motorola Droid, and other than the few flaws I've mentioned herein, I think just about anyone (other than an iPhone Fanboi) would be extremely happy with this phone as well.