The most highly anticipated Android Phone to date has caused quite a stir over the past several months. At first the commotion was caused by the community alone. Enter Verizon. With its DroidDoes campaign it quickly became the hype of the tech world. When the bar is set so high, usually you set yourself up for nothing but disappointment. Be warned – the ensuing Motorola Droid review is filled with its fair share of negativity – I owe you guys that honesty. But if you want to know by how much I think the positives overcome the negatives I can only tell you one thing… I’m buying it.
I’ve provided a summary of my thoughts on each area of the Motorola Droid, allowing you to click-through to read, watch and hear my more detailed review/analysis:
Motorola Droid Hardware
Simply put, this is the best Android Phone on the market in terms of hardware. The 3.7-inch screen is large and vibrant, making everything across the entire user experience enjoyable, entertaining and efficient. The hardware keyboard has its fair share of flaws but being no thicker than the iPhone 3GS and with an absolutely amazing landscape software keyboard, you won’t miss it if you don’t like it. The touch buttons aren’t exactly the jam diggity but they work fine in most cases. What you really need to know is that the huge and beautiful screen (combined with Android) is what really makes this phone shine brighter than the rest of the market, including other ‘droids.
[Read The Full Hardware Review]
Motorola Droid Software Review (Android 2.0)
Android 2.0 brings some sweeping changes to the scene including Google Navigator, Camera improvements and more. But the focus of this review is on the consolidation of contacts and communication, something previously reserved for custom builds of Android like HTC Sense and Motorola BLUR. It’s awesome that Google is taking a pro-active approach at improving the platform and the Facebook integration, along with opportunity to sync multiple Exchange and/or Google Accounts is fantastically. But what REALLY makes the software a complete win is something completely invisible – APIs. Google has added account/contact/sync APIs that will greatly improve the platform, and inherently the phone’s, capabilities over the coming months and years.
[Read The Full Software Review]
Motorola Droid: Google Navigation Review
This is the new “killer feature” when talking about both the Motorola Droid and Android 2.0 – and yes, it IS killer. Overall Google Navigation worked wonders, proving to provide turn-by-turn directions with the same accuracy and consistency as the big boys. While there was some melding between Google Maps 2D view and Google Navigation 3D view that I could have done without, Google Navigation did accomplished the task at hand and then some. Voice search, Layers and map panning made for a pretty cool experience. Google has some loose ends to tie up and a few questions remain unanswered, but its pretty clear that this is the real deal and will make a huge impact on the industry.
[Read The Full Google Navigation Review]
Motorola Droid Camera Review
To be honest, I was more disappointed in the camera than anything else on the phone. In some cases it performed incredibly well for both pictures and video. In other cases pictures were blurry, grainy or washed out. It was unpredictable – and sometimes that is more frustrating than having a crappy camera because you’re always expecting/hoping for a great pic. The flash served its purpose but wasn’t astounding and overall, the results were mixed at best. Pictures usually came out, just not with the quality we hoped. Although the new software features and UI were pretty sweet.
[Read The Full Camera Review]
Motorola Droid Browser and Media Review
The web browsing experience on the Motorola Droid is pretty close to pure win. Make no mistake about it – that can be attributed mostly to beautiful the 3.7-inch touchscreen. A few key downfalls prevent it from achieving elite “best in market” browsing performance, mostly: poor zooming and current lack of flash. But with Wi-Fi capabilities, Verizon’s fast data network and an awesome Voice Search feature, the Motorola Droid web browsing experience surpasses that of the vast majority of mobile phones available.
[Read The Full Web Browser Review]
Motorola Droid Battery Life Review
The goal here was to try and drain the battery rather quickly and see how it performed. So… I set the screen brightness as high as it would go, set the screen to never timeout, and played music on rotate from the MicroSD card while also spending an hour to use Google Navigator to drive somewhere. The results prove that the Motorola Droid is one of the better equipped Android Phones in terms of battery, despite having only a 1400 mAh capacity.
[Read The Full Battery Life Review]
The Wild Card
Don’t you get the sense that there is a certain “extra oomph” in the visibility, excitement and attention for the Motorola Droid? Yes, and rightfully so. Verizon Wireless is the largest mobile carrier in what is one of – if not the – most important/powerful economic markets in the entire world. Most said they would never jump on the Android bandwagon. Then they announced they would. Then most said they would “gimp” or “suffocate” it. Then they launched their first ever Android Phone with absolutely everything possible included. Not to mention they are widely considered the most reliable network in the United States. The Motorola Droid was at the top and then Verizon Wireless came and pushed this phone over the top of whatever’s-on-the-top.
I already told you I’m personally purchasing the Motorola Droid and I can’t give much more approval than that. My last Verizon phone was the LG Voyager and I’ve been waiting forever for SOMETHING worth picking up as my Voyager collected dust on a shelf since Android’s debut. Now, not only is Verizon getting a great phone – they’re getting what I think will launch as the best phone on the market.
The Motorola Droid screen is the ticket to an amazing experience on virtually every facet of this phone’s features. Whether you prefer a hardware keyboard or software keyboard, the Droid offers both in a compact frame that’s no bigger than the best full touchscreen phones out there. The addition of Google Navigation is mind blowing and large feature upgrades like improved camera options and consolidated contacts/communication take the Droid a step beyond other Androids out there. It isn’t a perfect phone, but it gets the important things right and has zero areas of total failure.
There is always something better around the corner, but here and now the Motorola Droid is the best… and at $199 on a 2-year contract its a heck of an option. The holiday season won’t see another phone that competes in its department
- YotaPhone 2 launches this Spring
- Lenovo Pocket Projector
- Alcatel Hero 2+ announced
- Hands-on: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
- Check out the Motorola Droid forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.