Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Droid

I picked up a Droid last month and my buddy sent me an e-mail asking for my thoughts on it. Thought I might as well post them here as well:

I deliberated for a while over different phones and carriers. knew I wanted an android phone with a tactile keyboard, so it mainly came down to Samsung's moment (w/Sprint) or Motorola's droid (w/Verizon). I was already a Verizon customer so I got the phone at a discount since I was due for new hardware.

- On Verizon's (awesome) 3g network
- Screen is gorgeous
- Android! It doesn't have nearly as developed of an app store as iPhone (yet) but honestly a big thing for me was that I could download NES, SNES, and Genesis emulators (free lite versions, pay a few bucks for each if you want to be able to save your game). Played through the entirety of Shining Force 2 one train ride to work at a time.... and it was awesome
- Tactile keyboard. A lot of people complained about how flat it is, which worried me. But I got used to it almost immediately and I prefer it to a touch screen for just about everything (but, again, especially for emulators. the thing basically has a d-pad on the right hand side)
- Call quality is good, speaker is very loud

- On Verizon's (expensive) network
- Camera is weak. This one doesn't matter so much for me, but a lot of online reviewers are complaining about it and I can see why... it's pretty bad. 5 megapixel but terrible focus.
- Android still seems to be a work in progress. I love that it's open etc but the phone apps do crash once in a while
- The volume up/down button feels like its about to fall off (which is true for all droids)
- I actually didn't read this one anywhere else, but the screen gets dirty really easily/quickly from the oil on your fingers. I don't know if this is true with all phones, but my buddies with iphones and HTC Heroes never have this issue and noticed it immediately on the Droid.

Overall, I'm happy with it. Definitely not a perfect phone, but I knew that going into it and its a hell of a lot better than what I was using before (Blackberry Pearl). As Android develops (both the OS and the app store), this phone will only get better. However I'm sure bigger better things will also be coming out every few months.

UPDATE: It's been a couple weeks since I sent the previous e-mail, so there are a couple things to add:

- I dropped the phone onto a sidewalk an inch deep in slush, didn't realize I had dropped it for half a minute, and went back to find the phone drenched. I assumed the worst, but after shutting it off, taking out the battery, and letting it air out on the counter for a while, I was happy to see that it still works beautifully.

- No Flash 10, which severely limits the amount of media that can be viewed on the web. However...

- The web browser kicks ass and works beautifully with the hi-res screen. A lot of people are dismayed by the lack of pinch zoom (especially since the pinch functionality is built into Android 2.0, just not implemented in the browser). Doesn't really bother me, but it would be nice.