Motorola Droid smartphone
The first Android 2.0 phone impresses with a strong suite of Web features and a stunning 3.7-inch display, but some users might have trouble with the shallow keyboard.
- Snappy Web browsing, gorgeous 3.7-inch display
- Some camera images come out grainy, flat keyboard is difficult to type on
The Motorola Droid certainly stands out among the growing Android army due to its superior hardware and enhanced 2.0 software. But will the Android Marketplace catch up to the iPhone's App Store? Therein lies the key to success for the Droid.
Motorola is yet to reveal when — and, indeed, if — its Android-based Droid smartphone will reach Australia. It's been released in the US on the Verizon network, however, and below are the impressions of our North American colleagues at PCWorld.com.
The first time you pick up the Motorola Droid (US$200 with a two-year contract from Verizon), you'll notice its solid feel and heft--there's a lot going on behind the crisp, 3.7in touchscreen. Making good use of Android 2.0's new features, the Droid is a powerful Web surfing and communications tool that has a chance of living up to its hype. The Droid's biggest flaw, however, is in its hardware design: The keyboard is shallow and flat, which can make typing uncomfortable.
At 0.54in thick, the Droid is slightly beefier than the 0.48in-thick iPhone 3GS, but it still has room for a 40-key, slide-out QWERTY keypad. At just under 170g, it's heavier than the iPhone 3GS, which weighs 133g. When closed, the 4.56-by-2.36in Droid is almost the same size as the 4.5-by-2.4in iPhone 3GS.
Motorola is quick to point out that the Droid's 480-by-854-pixel display offers 409,920 pixels, more than double the 153,600 pixels that the 480-by-320-pixel, 3.5in screen on the iPhone 3GS offers. The Droid's resolution also compares well against that of Android 1.6-based phones such as T-Mobile's myTouch 3G, which has a 3.2in, 480-by-320-pixel display.
The Droid's keyboard doesn't occupy the full length of the phone; a four-way directional pad with a select button sits on the right side. The keys are backlit, but since they're mostly flat, you'll need to keep an eye on what you're typing until you get a feel for the phone. A small lower lip protrudes from the bottom when the phone is closed, revealing only the Verizon logo and the microphone. Like other Android phones, the Droid has an accelerometer and reorients quickly when you hold the display sideways.
Unfortunately, the handset has a few hardware-design quirks. The keyboard is so shallow--and the keys themselves are so flat--that our testers (with various hand sizes) had trouble using it. In addition, the top keys are very close to the ledge of the display, so your fingers are constantly knocking against it. The Droid is also missing physical Talk and End keys, which are pretty much standard on every other cell phone ever made. You must access these controls from the call application.
The Droid, which supports the 1900MHz and 800MHz CDMA EvDO bands on the Verizon Wireless network, comes with a 1,400-mAh battery rated at 270 hours of standby time and 385 minutes of talk time. It also has a pre-installed 16GB memory card and offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 support, which includes the use of stereo headsets and a Wi-Fi adapter.
The phone provided excellent call quality, even in a New York hotel lobby full of noisy Phillies fans headed to Yankee Stadium for the World Series. Parties on the other end of my calls reported no problems.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 3 TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
- 4 LG G3 review
- 5 Nokia Lumia 930 review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Startup develops optical zoom lens for smartphones
- Dyn sells Internet performance data via SaaS
- Showdown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
- Jive adds Office 365 connectors for its enterprise social suite
- IBM Watson Analytics preps the data so you don't have to
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.