Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Verizon's Droid by Motorola

I returned my Droid yesterday. While I didn't fall head over heels in love with the phone like I did with my EnV Touch, this is definitely a very cool phone and there are things about the phone that I am certainly going to miss. I thought the EnV Touch might be an iPhone hopeful... not even close after using the Droid for a few weeks. The phone is sleek and fits nicely in my hand. Not heavy or bulky. And it just looks cool, you know? Plus, when you turn it on, instead of the little Verizon noise, it talks to you... "droid!" The touch screen- no issues. It worked well and responded to my touch, my daughter's touch, my husband's touch. The phone slides open to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. Some have complained about the dimming and the flat keys... but I didn't mind at all. It took a few typing sessions to get used to the flat keyboard but it quickly became very easy to use. Easy to send messages, make calls, receive calls. But the Droid isn't designed for people who just want those basic features. The Droid is all about accessibility and applications. I can touch the icon for Gmail and am instantly in my Gmail inbox. I can touch the Facebook icon and am instantly on Facebook- reviewing my friends' status updates, reading comments to my status updates, and so on. The apps I will really miss, though, are Google Maps, Google Sky, Slacker Radio, and Google Listen. Google Listen is a podcast manager for Android technology enabled phones. Slacker Radio is a music service for Android enabled devices. Google Sky Map is a cool app that shows you the planets, stars, and constellations above your head from wherever you are. We used that one evening to identify what planet we were seeing so brightly in the sky. And the Google Maps app is super cool. It's all the functionality of Google Maps but on your mobile device and with GPS functionality. Need a different route? Pop up Google Maps, see the roads around you, type in your address, etc. It can also tell you about restaurants and ATMs close by. I had a lot of fun testing out the game apps, too. Farm Frenzy was a nice little time killer when I had a minute or 2. My kids enjoyed a basic game called Touch (I think) where they just had to touch the little animals as they floated past. I started kicking butt on Connect Four... and enjoyed the brainlessness of Touch A Mole and the bubble wrap popping game. I was hoping to be really impressed with the 5 megapixel camera but... I like my EnV Touch 3.2 megapixel camera better. The Droid does offer amazing video capability- it's DVD quality. However, I couldn't ever get my videos to load up off the phone (to Facebook or through Gmail). I had intended to try and load up to YouTube since that was a listed option... but I don't post videos on YouTube so I never got around to it. But not being able to load up my videos or video message out my videos was a frustration. The voice search stuff was cool. You can use Google Maps or just the Google search function by voice command. Touch one button and then speak what you are looking for and... presto! This is a super helpful function for people like me and Christy. We tend to be having one of our random, go anywhere conversations and realize that, for example, we don't know the difference between sour cream and creme fraiche. And that is the sort of thing you need to know right away. At work, we can hop onto the internet. But while driving? Or at a restaurant? With the Droid, the search for answers to life's important questions can begin immediately. You know what would really be perfect for me? My EnV Touch having Android capability so I could have the cool Google features that the Droid has. My concern, if this was my phone, would be my data usage. Verizon's "unlimited" data plan, which I also have on my EnV Touch, is actually limited to 5GB per month. More specifically, the Unlimited Data has to meet Verizon's definition- (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access. Verizon specifies that unlimited data usage does not apply to (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine–to–machine connections or peer–to–peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. I didn't check before returning the Droid, but I'd have to imagine I went over on the data plan based on that definition. And if I didn't, I'm certain that I would if the phone was actually mine. I would think that using Slacker or Google Listen or some of the other apps would certainly suck up that 5GB pretty quickly. Reading online, it doesn't seem like I should come close to that 5GB but I somehow went over on my own current plan last month. So if you want a device that will provide plenty of entertainment, lots of ways to stay connected and informed, can help you out of almost any jam... the Droid is definitely one to look into! UPDATED DATA AND VIDEO INFO (added 12/3/09)


Karen said...

I've just hit one year with my LG Dare, which I like. But knowing that I am just 8 months or so from a new phone has me starting the search.

The Droid sounds like it might be right up my alley!

Mary said...

Our neighbor has the Droid phone and loves it. You might be able to get the Google Voice search on your regular phone. My husband has it on his Blackberry. It usually hears us correctly, but once in a while it will misinterpret what we say, which is hilarious.