Pros Almost every part of the Droid is customizable. The screen is gorgeous. Creates a nice uninterrupted workflow.
Cons The amount of freedom this phone gives you is very overwhelming at first. I'd rather have the trackball than the directional pad. Some of the current apps don't scale to the size of the screen. Facebook app needs some work.
Summary I was an Apple iPhone user for about six months. Then the day I decided I wanted to use Google Voice came the same day Apple yanked that app out of their store. I was furious and decided I was a 38 year old man who should be able to make decisions as to which Apps I want to purchase. Then Apple lied, and AT&T lied to the FCC... add those things with the dropped calls I kept getting from AT&T. I was ready to return to Verizon...and then the Droid appeared and I had a great reason to go back. I didn't care about the $135 I had to pay to break my contract...in the long run, my sanity and my freedom was much more important.I started a bit torrent on my PC at home remotely using an app I found in the Market. It texted me to let me know the torrent was finished.
After using the Droid for about four days, I'm happy to say...farewell APPLE!
I'm going to go into some features a lot of people haven't talked about...and this is from the perspective of a former iPhone user.
The fact that I can go to any of the songs on my phone, open a menu and select, "Make into Ringtone" says it all. There are no walls. There is no big-brother telling you what you can or cannot do on your smart phone. I have different notification tones for my two email accounts, my voice mail and have my favorite Stereolab song as my main ring tone. I didn't have to buy anything from the iTunes store in order to have a song as my ringtone.
The Market has this great feature where you can try any app you want for a limited time...if you don't like it, you can just uninstall it and get a refund. No hassles, no risk...no reason to wait for a lite version. The Market also contains applications such as emulators and other things I know that Apple would lose sleep over having in their app store.
The phone dialer has some nice features such as being able to have the phone not ring for certain numbers, or sending certain contacts directly to voice mail.
I am using Winamp to synchronize my music to my Droid and it works flawlessly. Goodbye iTunes! Hello being able to listen to music at work without having to synchonize my device to my work computer, accidentally losing all the music on my device in the process.
FOLDERS! The droid lets you create folders! Freedom to organize your apps! What a concept! No more page after page of square icons that you needed a special application in iTunes to organize.
With the Better Keyboard application, I was allowed to choose from a variety of on-screen keyboards and I didn't need a permission slip from Verizon to do it!
Voice search! It works extremely well and is great for those quick look-ups while you're out and about.
When someone messages you and you're watching the latest TED talk, it doesn't suddenly stop your video to throw a huge message up and stop your video. It will politely notify you via the tone you've assigned and place the notification at the top of the notifications bar. This bar can then be pulled down from almost any app so you can then do a quick email/voicemail/IM check before going back to whatever you were doing. You wont realize how great this is until you start using it.
Then there is the built in GPS, multi-tasking, Google Voice with transcribed voice mails, a voice dialer, a decent physical keyboard, and eventual Flash 10 support.
...all this freedom and you don't have to worry about someone taking it away with their next software update...and then waiting for some hackers to release the next jailbreak to get your freedom back.
As I said, I don't need some authoritarian telling me what I can or cannot have or do on my smart phone. Verizon has definitely taken the right approach when it comes to marketing the Droid against the iPhone. Add this with the gorgeous screen and a very fast and snappy Android 2.0 operating system...and you definitely have a winner.
Updated on Nov 19, 2009
I also edited a song I downloaded from Amazon.com into a ringtone via RingDroid...another app in the Android Market.
Does Apple have an app for either of these things? I didn't think so. (unless you Jailbreak)
Two weeks with the Droid and I'm not missing my iPhone one bit. In fact, the Droid is much more useful to me than the iPhone ever was because the developers for the Android are allowed to make useful apps without them being rejected because they provide too much functionality.
Pros Call Quality
There are too many pros to list honestly
Cons None so far
Summary 1st off I want to say that i'm not some anti-apple idiot. I like the iPhone, I always have but i've never wanted one because I use to have ATT and know how bad it can be. I have never OWNED an iPhone but I have used an iPhone 3GS when my buddy went to England for 4 days. as far as I know, it was NOT jailbroken and seemed to work fine.
That being said, it's a lot better than the iPhone I used. Both screens are great, both phones are nice and thin and feel like they are quality devices. Battery life is about the same from my experience as well. A lot of people are trying to bash the Droid's keyboard but honestly, it's not that bad. It's a pretty good keyboard. You do have to get use to it but once you do, it's fine. It's not a GREAT keyboard like the Samsung Rogue's for example, but it gets the job done. The camera is fantastic. The flash works well but it's not meant for pictures in pitch black. The screen is very responsive and the customizable screens are great. The battery charges from 0% to 100% in about 2 full hours which is reasonable.
Now for the Apps.
The Apps store looks great and is easy to use just like the iPhone. There isn't as many apps as the iPhone but honestly, I found every app I could think of wanting and they were all free. Weather, Sports, News, Calculators, games, fart noises, soundboards, magic 8 balls, dice.. basically anything you can imagine seems to be available for free. All the Apps seem to work great too. I'd like to know what kind of Apps the iPhone has that Android doesn't because like I said... I found everything I wanted.
My favorite part of the phone is the multitasking. I like surfing the web, which is VERY fast by the way, while listening to Pandora radio and checking my e-mail and text messages all the same time. It's a nice feature.
The iPhone is great and all but there are a few key features this phone has that make this better. The Camera and flash, multitasking, keyboard and the network make it better. I don't care wether the battery is removable or stupid things like that. Verizon is a lot better than ATT and that's a huge factor.
If I had an iPhone, would I sell it and move over to Verizon and the Droid? maybe... it depends. If your in a great ATT 3G area like San Francisco for example, then your iPhone wont drop calls and the internet will be fast so it depends how much you value a better camera, a real keyboard and multitasking. Overall, i'd still switch but it's debatable. On the other hand, if you have "spotty" ATT coverage and drop calls sometimes and have little to no 3G coverage.. yes it's definitely worth switching. You dont have to worry about calls dropping or slow internet with Verizon. That and you get a few key features that are important.. to me anyways.
EDIT: The free Google GPS is great too... im glad verizon isnt charging extra for that.
Pros Google Navigation, unbelievably incredible touch-screen with fantastic responsiveness, super-fast CPU, multitasking, physical and virtual keyboards, the Verizon network, 5MP camera with LED flash, Android 2.0.
Cons Physical keyboard is small so it's something you have to get used to (if you can), no physical talk button, no voice-dialing thru Bluetooth. On my particular unit, the USB cable will be "disconnected" if you twist the phone at a certain angle.
Summary One other thing I disliked about this phone is the fact that I couldn't figure out a way to automatically transfer my contacts from my old phone (Motorola KRZR K1m) to the Droid. The Verizon Backup Assistant wouldn't work on the Droid to assist me in the transfer... So I had to manually type in all my contacts yesterday -- perhaps a full instruction manual (not included in the box) would've given me some hints on how to transfer my contacts...UPDATE: My comment about the USB cable becomming "disconnected" when I turned the phone to a particular angle -- well, it turns out the cable itself was defective, not the phone. So if you're having that problem -- get a new cable first!
All that manual typing did have one advantage (if you want to see it that way) -- it got me used to that keyboard very quickly. I must say the keyboard is not THAT bad. I have fairly large thumbs, and I had no problems typing on it after a few minutes of getting used to it. The Virtual Keyboard in Landscape mode is better, however. But, if you absolutely must have a physical keyboard (like me) then you'll be satisfied with this one (not super-happy with it, but satisfied.)
One thing that CNet noted, that I didn't have a problem with on my phone, is the slider. It's not as stiff as they made it out to be, and it DOES lock in place in both the open and closed positions. Perhaps their review-unit had a faulty slider.
The call quality has been fantastic so far. When I used the speakerphone, people could tell I was talking to them on a speakerphone, but they could hear me just fine, and I could hear them. My Jawbone-II Bluetooth headset paired up with the phone easily, and works very well with the phone. My only real complaint is the lack of Bluetooth-activated voice dialing. You have to press a "Voice Dial" button on the home screen (after you create a shortcut to it from the Apps Menu) in order to activate Voice Dialing. To get to the home screen when the phone is idle requires pressing the Power/Unlock button on the top of the phone, then unlocking it by sliding the "unlocker" on the touch-screen in just the right manner -- then you're finally at the home screen and you can press the Voice Dial button. That's NOT a good thing when you're driving. Having said all that -- I'm quite certain that it's a relatively easy software fix to correct that problem, and hopefully Verizon/Google/Motorola will listen.
The music and video quality are excellent. Having no software on your PC that will automatically sync your music to the phone is a bit of a drawback -- and is the main reason that this phone is not an "iPhone killer." iTunes (despite their godawful DRM) is still the best music store-and-software combo out there, and this phone doesn't change that. But once you've gotten your music onto the Droid, playing it is quite easy, creating playlists is no problem at all, the sound-quality is great, and it will play in the background while you browse the web, or update your Facebook page, or whatever you want to do. Video playback is also extremely good -- I was able to browse YouTube with absolutely no problems whatsoever, and had no issues with the quality of the video streamed to my Droid in either 3G mode or WiFi mode.
The built-in camera is excellent (for a phone). You can't compare the built-in camera to a "real" camera, but when comparing it to other smartphone cameras, it's the equal of any of them, and better than many of them. The video-recording is also very good for a smartphone -- definitely not DVD-quality; but very good for a phone. Since you'll probably always have the phone with you, and not necessarily a separate camera with you, it will perform nicely when you need to record video or snap a quick picture. The still-photo function is slower than a "real" camera as well -- but I think that's probably just a matter of a couple of software tweaks to make it better. Overall, for a smartphone-camera, I'm quite happy with it.
Attaching it to my WiFi wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done, either, because there was no way (that I could figure out) to cut-and-copy my WPA2-PSK key from my Laptop to my Droid, so I had to type it in manually. Got it wrong the first time, and there was no way to edit the key after I'd tried to connect, so I had to re-type the whole key again (being MUCH more careful this time to get it right.) But once the key-issues were worked out, WiFi worked perfectly.
Battery life is not better and not worse than other smartphones. I played with it for MANY hours yesterday, and it was just fine. If you're constantly pushing it to the max, keep a charger handy. If you use it like a normal person (not pushing it to its maximum potential all the time) you'll easily get a full day's use out of the battery without needing a recharge. Plus, you can always buy a spare battery...
Overall, I'm very happy with this phone. It's about time Verizon customers got a good smartphone, and they gave us a great one! If you could finally use an iPhone on Verizon's network, then I would probably still pick the iPhone. But with iPhones being stuck on AT&T's network, there's no contest -- Droid is the best choice, hands-down.
Updated on Nov 11, 2009
Updated on Nov 16, 2009The lack of Bluetooth-activated Voice-Dialing is an issue listed on Google's site. Please go to http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1181 and click on the star to the left of the issue title. The more people who do this, the more likely it is that Google will bump it up to a High Priority issue -- it's currently listed as a Medium Priority issue. This is truly something that needs to be fixed, and soon. But it's not a deal-breaker for me -- I still love my Droid, I just wish it had the Bluetooth-activated Voice-Dialing.
Updated on Nov 16, 2009I've purchased the Multimedia Dock since I wrote this review, and I must say that it really adds a new dimension to this phone, that I don't think is available on any other smartphone anywhere. My Droid has replaced the clock-radio on my bedside table. Plus the Dock charges the phone, so when I wake up in the morning, the phone is ready to go for the whole day. It was $30, and was worth every penny. Very cool device!
One more note -- if you have a Mini-USB charger for an old phone (like, say, a car-charger) you do NOT need to buy a new car-charger for your new Droid. Just purchase a MiniUSB-to-MicroUSB adapter plug (available for about $5) and your old Mini-USB charger should work perfectly well to charge your new Droid.
Updated on Nov 18, 2009User Manual: The full user-manual can be downloaded online from Motorola's website. Here's a link: http://*******.com/yh759yc
Updated on Nov 23, 2009Still lovin' my Droid! A new comment on the Battery Life: I've noticed that the battery life when you're using it as a phone only -- not browing the web or playing games, etc. -- is actually VERY good! Even better than my old Motorola KRZR K1m. When you add web-browsing and game-playing to the mix, however, the battery life becomes about average, like I said in my review.
Updated on Dec 21, 2009The 2.0.1 update (issued Dec. 11th) for the Droid has fixed several problems, including the Camera's slow-speed and lack-of-focus problems. It also improved battery life when the phone is idle -- I had one 17-hour period where I made about 30 minutes of calls, and the phone was idle for the rest of the time. It used only 30% of its battery over that 17-hour period! Another update (v 2.1) is *rumored* to be coming on Jan 22nd, which will greatly improve the multimedia functions of the Droid -- I've seen a video of the Beta-version of that 2.1 update, and it's very cool. So the Droid just keeps getting better and better. There's been no word, yet, on when they'll be adding a Bluetooth-activated voice-dialing feature, but I can't imagine they'd let it go too much longer. Gotta be sometime in the next 3 to 6 months that they'd fix that, I'd imagine... But overall, it gives me a great deal of confidence that they're issuing updates on a regular basis. Still lovin' my Droid!
Updated on Dec 24, 2010Still loving the Droid after more than a year. As of this update, it's currently running Android 2.2.1 update from Verizon, and it's doing great - it now has Bluetooth Voice dialing (which needs a bit more work, but it's a step in the right direction.)
I've rooted the phone, but am still running the stock Verizon 2.2.1 kernel -- I rooted it solely for the ability to run the SetCPU app, which allows you to over-clock the CPU from 550MHz to 800MHz. That made a big difference in the overall responsiveness of the phone, and really helps when playing games. Didn't do much for the battery-life though. But, you can get the BP7X extended-life battery pack from Verizon. They claim it will only work for the Droid 2, but it DOES fit the original Droid - I've been using this BP7X battery for about a month now, with no problems at all, and I can now go through two average days without recharging! It makes the fit into the Multimedia-dock a but snug, but it will fit in there decently well.
Pros Droid has a quick, well-polished, clear web browser. The screen is absolutely brilliant. Despite other reviews that I had heard, I have no problems typing with either the physical/virtual keyboard. The Google Maps application is astoundingly good.
Cons The music/media syncing and loading is not great. It would be nice if there was a way to not just drag and drop music onto the phone. The camera is ok, but not great, although the problems could be solved with a firmware update.
Summary I presently live in Southwestern Minnesota. I am a dedicated Mac user (I was turned in the days of the Intel Chipset switch) and have always wanted an iPhone. Of course, AT&T's network doesn't extend all the way here and into South Dakota, where I primarily work. I had always hoped that Verizon would eventually get something like the iPhone, or that AT&T would extend it's service.
I tried out the BB Storm and Storm2, but I did not have a good experience typing, using the browser, or even using the general e-mail functions on either of these devices. Of course, then I saw the iDon't commercials, and started hearing about the Droid on CNET.
After checking things out online, watching unboxings, previews, and getting all the other information, I finally decided that I would give the Droid a chance, and hope that it might be a smartphone that I would enjoy as much as my toying of the iPhone in the Apple Stores.
It was worth it.
I have had this phone for two days so far, and so far, I have had nothing but fantastic things to say about it. The screen looks fantastic, clear, and well-polished. The browser is quick and snappy. The whole operating system is easy to use.
While many people did not like the flush angle of the keys of the physical keyboard, I had no problems using it, or typing some quick e-mails. The virtual keyboard was just as responsive as the iPhone 3GS, and to me seemed to be as accurate when typing.
My favorite part was the App Store and the Google Maps Navigation in the phone. I finally have access to a decent App store, and downloaded about 6 apps in just a few minutes. On my way home, I tried out the GPS/Google Maps system while streaming music from Pandora. Even in the low reception area of Southwest Minnesota that I live, I was able to stream music, while getting turn-by-turn directions from my phone. Fantastic.
There are a few things that keep it from getting the full five stars in my opinion. First, the camera is pretty good, but doesn't seem like it is 5.0MP or as fast as I had seen. All of that could be fixed in a update however, so I won't judge harshly on that. The other thing I wish could be a little bit better is the syncing of my music to the phone. Right now, I have to drag and drop the music that I want onto the phone, and it gets a little annoying at times, given the ease of my syncing with my iPod. Maybe that is something they can fix, but right now, it's lacking just a little behind.
All-in-all, both the iPhone and the Droid have their strong suits. I really like having an actual physical keyboard on my phone. And the turn-by-turn Google maps is stellar. The Android Marketplace offers a great number of apps, and I look forward to using my phone all the time.
The iPhone strengths lie in it's media syncing and huge App store. It really will just depend on your personal experience with the phones and the networks that they are on.
I already have friends who are giving me a hard time, saying "The iPhone is still way better," or that the Droid is just a "copy" of the iPhone. However, for a guy who gets no AT&T coverage, this is a great, if not better option than the iPhone. I love this phone and would recommend it to anyone looking for an iPhone replacement/alternative.
And besides, how can you hate a green little robot?
Pros Screen is Unreal, Wi-Fi, 3G, Operating System is Cutting Edge, Customizeable, Virtual Keyboard is fantastic, Surprising size for capabilities, Apps are solid
Cons Physical keyboard is medicore, Styling may not please everyone, no multitouch yet
Summary I am new to the Android OS, and so far, I am very surprised and happy with it. I owned an Apple 3GS, and jumped AT&T's ship after numerous dropped calls and customer service issues for Verizon. Before the Droid, the phone selection for Verizon was slim at best. I had the Storm (horrible), Tour (not much better) and the Storm2 which was an improvement, but still far from great. The DROID reminded me of what I missed about my iPhone and it corrected a lot of issues that I remember about the iPhone as well as other smartphones on the market.
1) Droid truly allows for customization. Yes, i know you can jailbreak your iPhone and go nuts. But you also void your warranty in doing so and risk bricking your phone. Android "allows" people to do what they want and that is truly refreshing.
2) Widgets are fantastic and could become a game changer. To be able to view weather conditions, Facebook status', and scores without having to open an application or leave the home screen is awesome.
3) Phone is fast. Faster than an iPhone 3GS, maybe not. But then again, maybe so. The iPhone purposely does not allow for multitasking so it can appear to be moving at lightening speed. How would it do if it truly supported multitasking with 3rd party apps? Who knows. I have seen some web browser rendering comparisons, but I am not sure if they are comparable as Java may or may not be enabled and can slow down performance. In my experience, the phone is fast.
The biggest issue I see out there is the physical keyboard. Yes, it is average, but atleast it is a physical keyboard for those that need and want it. For me, I use the virtual keyboard as it works perfectly fine for me. The second dislike is the lack of multitouch capability (yet). The Euro version has it, so my hope is that a software update corrects the issue.
Overall, I think the Droid truly is a game changer and could possibly cut into Apple's marketshare and possibly make Apple change its strategy. If you are on Verizon, and are thinking about a smartphone, you would be crazy not to look at this phone. If you are trying to decide between the iPhone and Droid, the decision is very difficult. For me, I don't like dropped calls so I am with Verizon and I like to customize and tweek things, so the Andorid platform makes a lot of sense.