Motorola DROID Does? A Deep Dive Look

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There's no denying that the Motorola DROID is receiving a lot of hype. Not only is this phone a big deal for Motorola, who has struggled to produce widely successful handsets since the famous RAZR flip phone, but the DROID is also the first handset that will be released as part of a partnership between Google and Verizon Wireless. Combine this with the fact that the Motorola DROID has been called Verizon Wireless' "iPhone killer" and you can see why there's so much buzz surrounding this smartphone.

The Motorola DROID has a lot of interesting and cool features that will make it a <HOT> item, including Android 2.0, the latest version of the open-source Google operating system. The DROID also has a high-resolution screen, plenty of customization options, and a thin design along with a full QWERTY keyboard.


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For some users, the fact that the DROID is on Verizon Wireless's network will also be a key factor to consider. Depending on where you live, Verizon Wireless may provide some of the best coverage available. Since Verizon Wireless' entire network offers 3G coverage, one definite benefit is that whenever you're in a covered area, you'll also have a high-speed data connection. As Verizon Wireless has pointed out in recent commercials, AT&T hasn't fully upgraded its network to 3G.


Given that Verizon Wireless has already gone head-to-head with the iPhone in its DROID commercials, it's hard not to make direct comparisons between these two phones. For starters, they're both relatively equal in size—the DROID is just a hair thicker than the iPhone 3GS (13.7mm vs. 12.33mm) with a body that's narrower than the iPhone. On the inside, the DROID uses an Arm Cortex A8 processor clocked at 550 MHz. This CPU is similar to the chip inside of the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre.


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In addition, as Verizon Wireless commercials point out, the DROID offers some features and functionality that the iPhone does not, including the ability to take pictures in the dark, a hardware keyboard, the ability to run simultaneous applications, a 5-megapixel camera, the ability to run widgets, interchangeable batteries, and the fact that the Android platform allows for open development. While these all sound like cool features to have, are they enough to convince users the DROID is better than the iPhone or any other smartphone on the market today?  Read on in the following pages as we take a closer look at the Motorola DROID.

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realneil 5 years ago

I'd love to have one of these but Sprint has the only decent service in my area so far and they know it. They treat people like little children here and basically do what they want to because they are the only game in town. If there ever IS a viable alternative, I'll drop them like the scurvy dogs they are.

This phone looks like it's gonna be a hit.

rapid1 4 years ago

Hey realneil I thought Sprint had the Droid Eris I know they have the Touch pro 2. It may not be a Droid, but from what I have heard it is comparable. The Eris on the other hand does not have the pull out keyboard. However, from what I've heard the on screen keyboard is the best anyway, and I know from several comparison test it has a more exact screen (alignment wise etc) to.

realneil 4 years ago

[quote user="rapid1"]Hey realneil I thought Sprint had the Droid Eris I know they have the Touch pro 2.[/quote]

It doesn't matter what they have to offer. My point is that Sprint is the ONLY carrier around with decent reception in this area. As such, if you buy a plan from them in THIS area, they have the price jacked way up because of their captive audience. They charge more for data, texting, and regular service too. I went out of plan with them over a year ago and I'm now on a month to month basis with them. I'd prefer to keep it that way until someone else arrives on the scene and I can drop them. I'd love to drop them, but there is no alternative yet.

Sprint SUX.

rapid1 4 years ago

I believe it, but I thought they had the $69.99 all access account option nationwide? As far as Sprint sucking I agree because they misrepresented there coverage to me, and then refused to give me a household signal carrier (without me paying them another $99.00 anyway for it). There map was represented as being 4G/Wimax at my house which it is a 1/2 mile up the street in either direction. However; at my house it is non-existent coverage. Plus al we use at my house is cellular phones so no coverage at home good bye carrier. I went back to Verizon, and am now on a open contract. At least Verizon is supposed to have there true 4g (LTE) coverage here very soon. So maybe I will upgrade to one of there smart phones. There equipment market is supposed to be receiving a large refresh in late November early December which may even include the iPhone 4. I personally refuse to use an iPhone, but it does expand there market so hopefully it will also forbear some better data rates as well which is rumored. I don't mind the tiered data set up as it is generally cheaper as long as you don't go very high which will be where I will use as I have wireless at home so I can grab my data that way instead of through the 4G connection which would only be used for communication transmission rather in phone calls or app usage.

I will say one thing though for sure it sucks you only have 1 choice realneil. I live North of Atlanta about 20-25 minutes we have coverage with all large providers as well as most second tier cellular providers here. I will say one other thing about Sprint I drove all over the Southern and SW USA and was actually surprised ta Sprints coverage. I bought the phone in Illinois (Lower farm;and area of the state then drove to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and California) I dropped maybe 4-6 calls total over about 3 weeks. So with there pricing if they would have covered my house I would have actually kept them. They are the cheapest full provider nationwide when you get all services (IE: Voice, Data, Messaging) by far. If I had those services on Verizon data alone would add 30 per phone monthly, and texting another 10 on top of my standard service, and At&t is worse or the same with less coverage nationwide. I really wish we had the all carriers option like Europe does, but here's to wishes right.

realneil 4 years ago

[quote user="rapid1"] I thought they had the $69.99 all access account option nationwide?[/quote]

There's a cap on calling other phones (land lines) with that account, (450 minutes only)

True unlimited costs $99.00 in my neck of the woods. That's a rip off. (don't forget to add all of the extra taxes and charges to the total too)

Think about something for a moment, The cell phone industry is making totally unheard of profits every year. They earn more and more every year too. I recently read an article here on HotHardware.com about those profits, but I can't remember the actual figures. It was in the Hundreds of Billions of dollars every year.

                       Many Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars Profits Per Year!

They're in a business that has low overhead and huge profits and they could, if they had any decency at all, give us unlimited everything for $30.00 per month and still make a crapload of profit.

It will never happen though. They'll fight it tooth and nail first.

Jeremy 5 years ago

Tough to believe this review is entirely impartial while it's surrounded on multiple sides by paid advertising for the device, including spots where there normally aren't ads. Motorola's really putting a big push behind this, aren't they?

gibbersome 5 years ago

I'm not surprised. Verizon's decision to pass on the Iphone, while smart at the time, has robbed the consumer of a great partnership.

About time they delivered their Iphone killer, lol.

Dave_HH 5 years ago

Jeremy,

Your question is fair. The ad campaign that Verizon actually had running here that day is now done but I can see your concern with respect to objectivity. That's a natural concern but it's honestly not much different than a commercial you might hear on the radio, see on TV or read in a magazine or newspaper. Granted, we're offering product evaluations here and it's more a kin to reading something like say Car and Driver and seeing a Ford ad on the pages of the magazine. The fact of the matter is, advertising pays the bills here. It keeps the lights on and keeps people employed doing the work they do.

That said, HotHardware.com has been on the internet for 10 years+ now. It's safe to say we wouldn't be in business very long if we allowed advertising dollars to affect our objectivity in any product evaluation. If you take time to read Jen's article, you'll see where she points out the high points and low points of the product. Ultimately she was impressed. Beyond that, you'll have to be the judge as to whether you think our evaluation here was fair and unbiased.

I can assure you though, we're keenly focused on ensuring proper "separation of church and state", as they say in the industry.

Thanks,

Dave Altavilla

Editor In Chief

eunoia 5 years ago

.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="eunoia"]

Try to find somewhere they didn't advertise, I read they even placed an ad on google.com.

[/quote]

They did. Everyone seemed to be up in arms about it.

Look's like a cool phone. I still wanna wait a bit longer and let the phone field calm down some before I decide on a new phone. Been without one since my AT&T contract ran out a few months ago. I honestly don't miss having a phone one bit.

digitaldd 5 years ago

I think the interesting thing to note is if this phone or any other new Verizon phones take off will Verizon's great network begin to suffer? I mean AT&T's network really wasn't that bad before iPhone. Verizon has the best network because they lock down their phones or chage you extra for everything keeping the network safe.

rapid1 5 years ago

     I will be upgrading all 3 users on my family share Verizon account as upgrades become available to a Droid I am thinking. I have also thought of flipping to Sprint for a palm, but I like the droid better. There also does not seem to be much price difference when you have 3 phones on sprint. It is 10 bucks a phone basically on Verizon, where Sprint the first 2 phones are discounted heavily, then the third phone is full price which makes no sense (and is more expensive). Either way I refuse to use At&t because of some past experiences and of course there wonderful coverage.

     One more thing I of course like this phone in all aspects, hopefully prices will drop to (the first available upgrade is in December, but the other 2 are in April and May), so the price should drop. I also from what I understand see one other very positive point the I-phone does not update from what I understand they force you to upgrade to a new phone. While as hardware functionality may wear out with a android phone it is open source. So updates and changes software wise will be by default. That will even be true if Verizon and Google/Motorola don't want it done. I think it will be jail broken before it is ever implemented from there side.               

I consider that a major positive because I am a Mischievous bastage.

3vi1 5 years ago

digitaldd 5 years ago

That XKCD comic is pure win..

Rocci 5 years ago

Thats cool but here is the GSM version MILESTONE I refuse to become a CDMA user just for a phone.

rapid1 4 years ago

Rocci what is your aversion to CDMA especially over GSM between Verizon sprint and At&t at least in the USA the CDMA network for Verizon and Sprint is considerably larger especially since Verizon bought Alltel Wireless.

rapid1 4 years ago

The technology level is also above the GSM services in the US where generally CDMA is actively moving to 4G where GSM is still moving to second stage 3G.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Yeah, but the big advantage for GSM phones is pop in your SIM card and you're good to go. No activation etc necessary. Also GSM phones are more convenient for international travelers.

rapid1 4 years ago

yeah GSM pop in the sim card CDMA save it to the memory card throw your memory card in another CDMA phone and you off to go takes about 15 seconds to do, and I have done it several times for me and mine. All you get with a sim card anyways is a saved schedule or calendar and phone numbers. I save those to my mem cards anyway so if the phone ever goes out I don't loose anything. I have done it on at least 6 different CDMA phones  and I have 1-16GB of memory versus a dinky sim card.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Hmmm...I didn't know that. So would you be able to take a Sprint phone and use it on the Verizon network?

Do you suppose CDMA is one reason Apple has shied away from Verizon?

rapid1 4 years ago

well hardware wise CDMA phone seem to be more functional to me, although network wise I believe it gives the carrier more control which can be good and bad. I still have about 2 months b4 I can upgrade so I am watching the phones eagerly. Also on the sprint verizon thing as well as the at&t and there partners the way it works is similar carriers (GMA & CDMA) will often work and or use towers between them. So as far as I see it though it  is not exclusively every tower but it greatly expands there reach. With Verizon/Sprint specifically I imagine it applies most directly to there original network. You cannot forget that Verizon and Sprint lesser so have taken over smaller providers like the Verizon Alltel mobile thing. So I would imagine when the network was taken over etc rules inn this thing. All towers in place at the time of the legal agreement being reached would be valid, those that came after may or may not be. Either way CDMA coverage in the US is considerably large by almost 3 times that of GMA coverage under At&t which is why they have the issues with connections in big cities because the user matket especially on something like the iPhone floods there network on the tech it uses (G3 specifically in this case) therefore calls and such are dropped when in the 3G part of the usage pyramid for the carrier.

rapid1 4 years ago

well yes and no it is automatic from what I understand. they just use each others tower when the other is available and theirs is not.

gibbersome 4 years ago

[quote user="rapid1"]

well yes and no it is automatic from what I understand. they just use each others tower when the other is available and theirs is not.

[/quote]

 

So Verizon and Sprint share towers like AT&T and T-Mobile. I've read the CDMA towers offers slightly better voice quality and a slightly larger range. Since CDMA and GSM phones require their own towers, it seems like such a waste of resources to have twice the number of towers covering the same areas...

The global trend is towards GSM towers; however, in the US CDMA towers is the predominant technology as you mentioned. I can't recall any GSM carriers besides AT&T and T-Mobile, while I know that Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, CricKet, Metro PCS, RCC (now Verizon), Alltell (now Verizon), SureWest (now Verizon), etc....noticing a trend?

No wonder the Verizon network is a lot stronger than AT&T's!

rapid1 4 years ago

Yeah the Alltel mobile buyout was actually one of there best I think. Alltel wireless had a very large network where many others had no coverage, and or they had been the primary carrier in those areas so long the people just flipped predominately. It ius also the reason for the 10 list because that was Alltels biggest distinguishing offer when they were bought.

ladyleahp 4 years ago

Droid smartfone is much more qualitative, I have lot of arguments, because 1 week ago i wrote the college essay on it's benefits!

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