The Iphone is an amazing piece of technology – so you would think finding 10 things that are better on the Motorola Droid is no easy task. But the Droid, which features Google’s latest version of Android OS, does make a strong argument as the better phone.
Although many Iphone users are extremely loyal and satisfied, plenty will concede the following short comings of the Iphone: integrated battery, limited memory, digital keyboard, digital rights management, and camera quality. The Droid attacks these features head on with the end-user in mind. The removable battery will set you free to use a backup/spare battery for a quick switch. The on board hearty 16GB micro SD card is more than enough to get you up and running with loads of storage to keep you happy. And knowing you can rotate and switch out SD cards is a big bonus, especially if you have a lot of music and videos you want to travel with. Although the Droid’s integrated qwerty keyboard has taken some knocks from some industry experts as just an average keyboard, it’s a big plus to have a slide out keyboard for quick emailing, texting, or browsing. Since the Droid is built on the Google Android operating system, you can count on the open source tradition that Google has grown it’s brand on. From easily sharing music and video files to a completely open source Apps store (www.android.com), there are very few limitations as to what can be done on this phone. The Droid’s app store currently features less apps (score one for the Iphone), but it’s only a matter of time before it catches up to the Apple store. Most camera enthusiasts would not be satisfied with any cell phone camera, but the Droid’s 5 megapixel camera with integrated flash and DVD quality video will keep many cameras in there cases.
After speaking with Iphone users and searching the blogosphere, the next 5 features are a little less of a deal breaker than the big five already mentioned, but some users would argue they are even more important. In no particular order, the final five features push the Droid over the top as King of the Cell Phones (a title that will only last until the next big phone launch). Using the integrated keyboard, cutting & pasting text on the Droid is easily achieved by pressing and holding the shift key and then pressing the left or right buttons on the 4-way D-Pad. Copying, pasting, and cutting simply is Menu+C, or V, or X. One of my favorite things about the Droid is the ability to easily and quickly switch between applications. From downloading a new app to reading a blog to checking email to receiving a call, you can quickly and easily jump back and forth without having to close down and reopen programs. The Droid is also built for the social media minded user. A quick click on Contacts and you can see all your options for communicating with a contact – whether you want to call, text, email, Facebook, or tweet them. However you’re connecting with them, you’ll be one click away from communicating. In addition, sharing photos is much the same. Right from the camera application or any photo, you can simply click the Share button and choose to email, text, or tweet your photo – or upload it to Facebook, photo-sharing websites like Picasa, or Flicker. Another benefit of having Google behind the operating system is the turn-by-turn navigation with satellite picture view. Not only do you get accurate street names and highways to follow, but an actual picture of where you are traveling. You can even use the satellite street view to see what your upcoming turn looks like. And last, but certainly not least is the Verizon Wireless network. The superior, far-reaching coverage makes for high quality calls no matter where you are.
Now a review wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t comment on some of the things where the Droid falls short. The flat keys on the keyboard may prove to be challenging for individuals with larger digits. The touch screens takes getting used to as well as the surface buttons which were purposefully designed to require a harder press to eliminate false entries. The Android Market Store will dazzle the new user, but for the savvy Apps person, you will find it limited and missing some of your favorites from the Iphone. Even at 5 megapixels, some of the photos are still grainy when using the digital zoom. Like many smart phones, the battery life is never enough. You will find yourself needing to charge it more frequently. The micro USB connector is great for charging and connecting the Droid to your computer, but it’s a custom jack and doesn’t play nicely with my other micro USB chargers. It would have been nice to be able to use some of the other USB cables for connecting it to my office computer, power outlet in the car, or not having to crawl around the floor to connect to the PC. Also the USB cable that comes with the Droid is too short.
All and all, the Droid stands up to the hype and delivers a great experience. Share your thoughts about what you like and don’t like about the Droid and Iphone.