Friday, April 09, 2010

Motorola Droid Review

So I've had my Motorola Droid for a few weeks now and thought this would be a good time to write a quick review.

Hardware Pros:
  • Two words: GORILLA GLASS! Wow is that stuff amazing. I never tired of amazing family, friends and random strangers that I can take a utility knife blade to my screen and it not even a mark. I wish the rest of the phone was as sturdy.
  • The screen's resolution and color depth is AMAZING. This is by far the best screen of this size that I've seen yet.
  • The slide action has the perfect amount of friction and a very satisfying final "lock" when fully out.
  • I like the sort of rubbery coating on parts of the phone to keep it from being so slippery, yet not too "sticky" you cant jam it in your pocket, etc.
  • External audio is loud and very clear and doesnt sound too bad for a cell phone.
  • Great CPU and Memory.
  • Good size overall.
  • Playing with the dock and the magnets is neat.

Hardware Cons:
  • The BIGGEST issue is the physical keyboard. It is barely usable and is just horrible. I had an issue with the G1's keyboard being so off-centered and this one is just as bad. The D-Pad and the "Verizon" overhang on the phone take too much room and push your thumbs unnaturally off-center. The tips of each thumb should be able to touch the F and J keys naturally. The buttons could also be a bit more raised and "clickier" when pushed.
  • The outside speaker is too hampered by the phone laying flat and muffling the sound. Put it on a couch or in a case and you really reduce the volume this thing can get to and trust me this little speaker can be LOUD.
  • The metal that the screen bezel is made out of is WAY too soft and dents and nicks and chips paint WAY too easy. Next time just make the whole phone out of Gorilla Glass. You could get a nice case though for it.
  •  The "Verizon" overhang bit is just ugly and really useless.
  • The overall design reminds me of a VCR from the heady days of VHS. It's not entirely ugly, but it's not pretty either. Thank the gods the screen is so big and can distract you from how clunky the design of the phone is.
  • The power button is aimed backwards a bit too much and can be hard to easily reach around press sometimes in certain positions.
Software Pros:
  • The Android OS is amazingly mature for as new as it is. I love this OS, but coming from Windows Mobile anything would be an improvement. Using Windows Mobile devices compared to this seems a bit like self-flagellation.
  • This phone is snappy, yes that's partly hardware, but also this OS can handle memory and app usage fantastic.
  • Easy, consistent and great design. I love how a lot of the default phone features or the official Google apps have an extra little button here or there that just make sense. You really get the feel that there was a person or a team saying, "Ya know, it's annoying when X happens, so this phone should do Y."
  • Lots of great apps and more and more coming. Over 70% of all current mobile app developers are now working on Android apps. Not to belabor the apps too much here, as this is a phone review, but I havent found a situation yet that I couldnt find an app for to help. And of course there are lots of GREAT time wasting ones :)
Software Cons:
  • I'm putting this in the software section, but I dont know if it's more hardware, but man is it hard to move a cursor to a specific location with a big old finger instead of a small stylus. I really wish these phones supported a stylus option and e-ink. Would be handy to sign things or tap VERY small areas when needed.
  • Long Press to select text, cut, copy, paste, whatever gets a little weird sometimes. Sometimes you think it copied everything and it doesnt (try to copy out a phone number from a txt message to manually do something with).
  • There needs to be a way to view currently open apps to move between them easier.
  • Um, Google, you're rich - make your own damn file manager.
Okay I'm bored with this post now. Final score A. Go buy a phone powered by Android 2+ and you'll be g2g.