My Semi-Professional Motorola DROID Review - gisean Blog -
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

My Semi-Professional Motorola DROID Review

I love it.  But wait, there's more!

I'm going to try to be as succinct and to the point as possible, so don't be surprised if I don't elaborate more on some points.  Plus, I've only had the thing for 9 hours, so don't be surprised if you see an edit or two to this blog going forward.

Initial Impressions:

Setting up this device was very easy, I suppose due to the fact that I've been a Google fan all along and I have a lot of information ready to go in my Gmail account (which it syncs to when you first sign in to Android).  Within minutes I was on the network (or as Verizon would say, The Network), and enjoying some surprisingly fast downloads of random test (and admitted guilty pleasures like Dilbert and Calvin & Hobbes) applications from the Android Market.

The Android Market is scarce compared to the iPhone App Store, which I have used extensively on my iPod Touch.  The navigation is similar (although I found it actually easier and faster to find apps in Android), layout is similar, and some of the big names (i.e. MySpace, Facebook, Pandora) are there, which made me happy.  Having Pandora at my side always is definitely a perk, but not an exclusive one to the DROID.

The physical keyboard is a phone keyboard, it won't win any ergonomics awards, but it is there to punch in alphanumerics, so one can't really call that a gripe.  Having a d-pad of sorts right next to it is a nice touch.

The layout, design, and heft of the hardware are all second to none.  I feel like this was worth the money and a 2-year commitment.  I just traded in the HTC Imagio and happily kissed Windows Mobile good-bye (forever!).

What DROID does well, it does VERY well.


Daily Use (So Far)

I like the decision to go with the semi-universal micro-USB attachment (like the mini-USB old Motorola phones rolled out with), meaning I can use USB cables that are easily found and work with other devices (like my stolen Kindle - which I for some reason still have the cable for).  Using that to sync with my PC was almost too easy (no missing drivers, no wasted time, and everything is there in the notification panel).

About that notification panel, that is probably the best innovation for the DROID.  Makes my life simple without interfering with my current tasks.  For more on it, check out the Message & Alerts section of the Guided Tour video, found here.

The phone sounds crystal clear in both speaker and regular headset (and headphone) usage.  It uses my work's wi-fi network like a champ, and it looks great doing it.  I haven't seen a single thing wrong with the display using it on the web or in the OS.  The car features, stellar Google apps (especially this Maps stuff) is great.  The camera is a phone camera, it doesn't focus great, but that's not what I'm going to be using this thing for. 


My Verdict


  • Looks and sounds top notch
  • This baby is super fast and super smart for a phone
  • Google apps impress
  • The Network is actually pretty powerful
  • It is WIDE open
  • Widgets?! 
  • HaHa - I can set up a contact to just go straight to voice mail
  • Battery life


  • No multi-touch apps
  • Keyboard is the only piece of this that feels cheap
  • Camera itself not bad, but the software that controls it (and the focus) need work
  • Won't dethrone the iPhone and there will likely be better hardware in just a few months
  • Initial learning curve for navigation and setup (a minor hurdle)

Let me sum up: The best smart phone for technophiles on the largest network that feels like it is merely setting up a new round of amazing devices (not unlike Motorola's last hit, the RAZR).


Hit me up with your questions about the device.  And keep in mind, this is by no means an official review, just my first-day impressions.

  • did you try the i phone to or just verizon phones?i don't have either i'm just curius if you had much does it cost without the contract?i have a samsung blackjack 2 its pretty good online but i never had anything else so i don't know if there faster

  • I have heard very good things about the Droid. I'm not in the market for a smartphone at the moment, but in the future, I may end up picking an Android phone over the competition if they continue to improve.

  • I have a friend who works for Verizon who won't shut up about it.  I'm thinking of getting it for my wife for her birthday which is coming up soon.  Thanks for the review.

  • I have an LG Dare with Verizon and would love to switch to the Droid

  • So would you say it's worth it? Because I know my brother has been wanting one since his Storm was disconnected.

  • I have an LG ENV3 and love it but i was wondering if this should be a future purchase.

  • As awesome as that looks, and as fast as it may be, I still think the best layout design has got to be the first ENV, because I've had it for 2 years, and it's simple to open up, text away, flip back, and it's automatically sent.

  • My contract is up in December and was thinking about going with the Droid. I'm still undecided about if it is worth it or not.

  • i have verison :[ i have no good phones to chose from

  • In response to everyone at once:

    - Yes, I think it is worth it.  It costs as much as other smart phones on the market, and for Verizon it is the best available.

    - I have tested the iPhone indirectly, meaning everyone at the office has one and I have had an iPod Touch since they launched.  It is still king for a reason, but if you're in the areas that AT&T doesn't have 3G coverage, then this is a better choice.  The App Store has much better selection and product, but I detest iTunes and closed development, so I prefer this OS and Google v. Apple.

    The more time I spend with this device, the more I like it.  I wouldn't fret if you can't get one right away for two reasons: 1) high stock, and 2) this is just a pioneer that proves to other hardware/software companies that there is no reason they can't compete with the iPhone.  This is just the beginning of a very cool new generation of devices.

  • Staff

    Wait a minute, so what are you saying Sean? You love it?

  • I need multi touch sorry

  • I have no clue about the phone, looks interesting, but the commercial to me was unoriginal.... It reminded me of halo ODST with the dropping pods...... anyways back to the phone...looks nice, has cool features. I might want to check into it at the store.

  • @Andre - has a multi-touch screen and Android 2.0 uses multi-touch, and there are now some apps "in the wild" that use it.  It is just not an out-of-the-box feature.

  • yay

  • Thansk for the review!