My Droid Impressions After 2 Weeks
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    Dave12308's Avatar
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    My Droid Impressions After 2 Weeks

    This can be considered a followup thread to last weeks "impressions after 6 days" thread. I'm going to preface this with a slight spoiler..... This is the best smartphone i've ever used.


    I've been downloading apps, and trying different things out. Getting the thing set up the way I like it. It really is much like a PC in this way, certain apps need to be installed to take full advantage of the power of the OS.

    One app I absolutely recommend if you are connected to an Exchange server is Touchdown Exchange. At $10, it's a steal. The one absolutely killer feature it has over the built in Exchange client is the ability to auto-sync subfolders. It is for this reason I purchased the full version after using the trial for 25 minutes. Not only can it sync subfolders, it has the ability to pick which folders you want to sync. So it's not an all or nothing affair. It also has a nice interface and comes with a few nice widgets.

    Another app I purchased is the Remote Desktop app (the one that's almost $20 in the market) - it's well worth it. I set up a domain name for my home PC and server through DynDNS and set up some port forwarding rules on my router. Now I can connect to my home PC from my phone. If I need a file, I can mount the phone's SD card as a remote drive on the home PC and copy it right to my phone over the 3G network.

    It is this open-ness, this ability to make the phone do what YOU want, that makes the Droid such an excellent device. Some people may gripe - "I don't wanna spend money to make my phone have excellent Exchange server support, it should come built-in" - well, I am afraid that a PC-like device such as the Droid might not be for you, then. Much like a PC, if you don't like the software on the Droid you can download something you like better, be it free or paid. Think of the Android OS and accompanying software as being like a fresh Windows install. Yes, there are built-in apps; but ultimately you end up installing something better. If the built-in Android mail app is Windows Mail, the Touchdown software is more like the full version of Outlook.

    Getting the Droid has proven to be a paradigm shift in how I look at a smartphone, no longer do I rely predominantly on the phone aspect of the device. I use it more like a netbook. And when I need it, the phone works well too. I used a BB Storm 9530 in the past, and found it to be much more limiting in day to day use. Even the Exchange support on BIS was severely lacking, and unfortunately, none of the 3rd party Activesync software did what I needed. I am glad to have switched to the Motorola Droid; although I am thankful for the time I spent with my BB, it got me into the world of smartphones. I don't miss waiting up late nights for a leak to make the device work well, though. I honestly don't spend much time thinking about my phone's OS anymore, and it's a beautiful thing.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave12308 View Post
    This can be considered a followup thread to last weeks "impressions after 6 days" thread. I'm going to preface this with a slight spoiler..... This is the best smartphone i've ever used.


    I've been downloading apps, and trying different things out. Getting the thing set up the way I like it. It really is much like a PC in this way, certain apps need to be installed to take full advantage of the power of the OS.

    One app I absolutely recommend if you are connected to an Exchange server is Touchdown Exchange. At $10, it's a steal. The one absolutely killer feature it has over the built in Exchange client is the ability to auto-sync subfolders. It is for this reason I purchased the full version after using the trial for 25 minutes. Not only can it sync subfolders, it has the ability to pick which folders you want to sync. So it's not an all or nothing affair. It also has a nice interface and comes with a few nice widgets.

    Another app I purchased is the Remote Desktop app (the one that's almost $20 in the market) - it's well worth it. I set up a domain name for my home PC and server through DynDNS and set up some port forwarding rules on my router. Now I can connect to my home PC from my phone. If I need a file, I can mount the phone's SD card as a remote drive on the home PC and copy it right to my phone over the 3G network.

    It is this open-ness, this ability to make the phone do what YOU want, that makes the Droid such an excellent device. Some people may gripe - "I don't wanna spend money to make my phone have excellent Exchange server support, it should come built-in" - well, I am afraid that a PC-like device such as the Droid might not be for you, then. Much like a PC, if you don't like the software on the Droid you can download something you like better, be it free or paid. Think of the Android OS and accompanying software as being like a fresh Windows install. Yes, there are built-in apps; but ultimately you end up installing something better. If the built-in Android mail app is Windows Mail, the Touchdown software is more like the full version of Outlook.

    Getting the Droid has proven to be a paradigm shift in how I look at a smartphone, no longer do I rely predominantly on the phone aspect of the device. I use it more like a netbook. And when I need it, the phone works well too. I used a BB Storm 9530 in the past, and found it to be much more limiting in day to day use. Even the Exchange support on BIS was severely lacking, and unfortunately, none of the 3rd party Activesync software did what I needed. I am glad to have switched to the Motorola Droid; although I am thankful for the time I spent with my BB, it got me into the world of smartphones. I don't miss waiting up late nights for a leak to make the device work well, though. I honestly don't spend much time thinking about my phone's OS anymore, and it's a beautiful thing.

    Great assesment. As a former Storm user and current MotoDroid user you have hit the nail on the head. the openness of this phone makes it a much more useful platform than my BB. I've found myself using remote desktop just as you and the email functionality is top notch. Being able search Google via voice command, the navigation, automatic backup of my contacts and apps, auto reinstallation onto another phone if I switch, being able to interact with my email folders is a must have that was sorely lacking on my BB. I can't imagine going back.
    Last edited by cj100570; 11-29-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    My two main gripes are 1) no spell checker (not that bad) and 2) the copy/paste is really bad. The fact that in an e-mail you need to hold the shift key down while using another finger to select text is almost impossible with one hand (personal problem I suppose). Copy/paste needs work.

    I'm still getting used to tapping on glass compared to either forms of feedback of the two Storms.

    And I want the Sense UI (and a longer lasting battery).

    -X

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    Thanks Dave nice review of the Droid. I have been doing my own comparison between the Droid, Eris, and 3 BB's (Tour, Storm and Storm 2).

    The Droid is really fast, the added juice of the cpu makes getting around the screen a very fluid process. The app store is excellent and the browser is excellent. If it supported flash IMO it would best the iPhone as the best mobile browser. But using it as my primary phone has been frustrating. Let me start with the phone. First and foremost, a device must have a good phone and here IMO is where the Droid lacks. Google voice recognition is great but if you need to call someone not in your contact list it requires a series of annoying steps that the BB can do with one. Second and more importantly, the phone reception is the worse of all the phones I compared it to. I live in LA but have travelled with it to Chicago, NYC, DC and Grand Rapids. In areas where I can get reception on the Eris and the BB's the Droid drops calls. Thinking it was a bad unit I have tried 3 different Droids, all with the same issue. I actually found the Eris to maintain the best signal of every phone I have, even holding a phone call through an area of LA where cell signal is very bleak.

    While a personal opinion, I have found the both the virtual keyboard and physical keyboard lacking. I have tried the physical keyboard for 3 weeks and because it is not centered makes for a more than frustrating experience. The onscreen keyboard shows lots of lag and find myself making lots of mistakes. Better keyboard improves it a bit but still it was not good enough. In comparison the Eris keyboard is fantastic. Perfect sizing of keys and an auto-correction feature that borders on ESP. Both the Droid phones lack spell check before sending out an email so all mistakes have to be manually fixed. On the Eris I found almost no mistakes but the Droid I was making many. I am surprised with the lack of spell check that is common now amongst almost all smartphones.

    These are just my personal experiences after three weeks but the Droid lacks in areas that I just can't afford not to have.

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    But do you feel the battery life of the Eris to be a big problem Josh? If in having trouble now with the Droid I'd like to make the best choice which may include waiting a couple months. I liked the Storm2 but just missed the "new" feeling after spending money. Getting used to the way the Droid works is something that with being disabled I am used to doing in general but by not being able to drive there are features I have no use for. As long as I get my mail I'm OK with that, it doesn't have to be instant. I do like the browser capabilities (surprised there's no GIF animation though). Even with the Home replacements, the UI looks so much nicer on the HTC phones (but I will not go back to a WinMo 6.x device).

    Text input, selection and as I said before, the copy/paste on the Droid is really bad IMO. Especially since I do use it online a lot and if I needed to edit this message I'd have to "copy all" & paste it into a note pad app to edit due to the lack of precise cursor placement in this tiny text entry box. I suppose I may need to get used to juggling the phone while trying to use the D-pad.

    After watching YouTube vids of the Sense UI on the Eris I'm wondering if that might be a better choice but no camera flash & a trackball are a turn off. Of course, the camera on this is bad compared to my Storm1.

    Confused... I almost wish the 8530 had EVDO Rev A due to the trackpad & well spaced keys (the Tour keyboard keys are too close for me or I'd wait for the Tour 2).

    Josh, what are your thoughts on the Storm2 vs Eris (leaving out the spell check & e-mail issues)?

    -X

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    Quote Originally Posted by xwera43 View Post
    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    But do you feel the battery life of the Eris to be a big problem Josh? If in having trouble now with the Droid I'd like to make the best choice which may include waiting a couple months. I liked the Storm2 but just missed the "new" feeling after spending money. Getting used to the way the Droid works is something that with being disabled I am used to doing in general but by not being able to drive there are features I have no use for. As long as I get my mail I'm OK with that, it doesn't have to be instant. I do like the browser capabilities (surprised there's no GIF animation though). Even with the Home replacements, the UI looks so much nicer on the HTC phones (but I will not go back to a WinMo 6.x device).

    Text input, selection and as I said before, the copy/paste on the Droid is really bad IMO. Especially since I do use it online a lot and if I needed to edit this message I'd have to "copy all" & paste it into a note pad app to edit due to the lack of precise cursor placement in this tiny text entry box. I suppose I may need to get used to juggling the phone while trying to use the D-pad.

    After watching YouTube vids of the Sense UI on the Eris I'm wondering if that might be a better choice but no camera flash & a trackball are a turn off. Of course, the camera on this is bad compared to my Storm1.

    Confused... I almost wish the 8530 had EVDO Rev A due to the trackpad & well spaced keys (the Tour keyboard keys are too close for me or I'd wait for the Tour 2).

    Josh, what are your thoughts on the Storm2 vs Eris (leaving out the spell check & e-mail issues)?

    -X
    This is a tough call IMO because were Storm 2 lacks, Eris excels and vice versa. For example, browser is poor on the Storm 2 but excellent on the Eris plus the Eris supports Flash.

    1. Phone: Eris is slightly better. At least it holds a cell signal better than Storm
    2. Also the call quality is more crisp and people say my voice sounds richer.
    3. Multimedia is about equal. Except in watching movies, I found the Eris to have better quality. You tube videos also looks better on the Eris
    4. Copy and paste is better on the Storm 2. You have a lot more options
    5. Battery life of the Storm 2 and Eris is about the same.
    6. Gaming is much better on the Eris than the Storm
    7. Volume of movies and media in general is louder on the Storm 2.
    8. Camera is better on the Storm 2. Not having anything to do with the flash it just take a better picture in general.

    So that's about all I can think of for now.

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    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    Appreciate the input. Nice find on that HTC Passion Web site link (although you need to edit the code, it's broken).

    -X

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    Quote Originally Posted by xwera43 View Post
    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    Appreciate the input. Nice find on that HTC Passion Web site link (although you need to edit the code, it's broken).

    -X
    You referring to this link: http://htcpassion.com/

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    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    Quote Originally Posted by jlevy73
    Quote Originally Posted by xwera43 View Post
    Wirelessly posted (9530 Storm)

    Appreciate the input. Nice find on that HTC Passion Web site link (although you need to edit the code, it's broken).

    -X
    You referring to this link: http://htcpassion.com/
    That one works but the first one you posted has the entire BBOS Web site & forum preceding it, thus broken.

    -X

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    Isn't it funny how cell networks work as far as how good a signal one gets with a given device in a given area? I live in the Capital District of NY (city of Schenectady) and the Motorola Droid has the BEST phone reception of any Verizon device i've ever owned (which goes completely against your experiences, Josh). The Droid is the first phone i've had that will even get a solid signal in my basement, and I haven't dropped a call as of yet (touch wood). This is in comparison to the following (in chronological order): Moto v710, Moto e815, Samsung FlipShot, LG Voyager, BB 9530 Storm, and BB 8230 Flip. And people have told me that my "new phone sounds better than my old one". It just goes to show, there isn't any such thing as a "perfect" device.

    As for the Moto Droid's keyboard(s) i'll say this: in MY experience, the virtual keyboard is THE best i've ever used (compared to LG Voyager, Storm 9530, and iPod Touch) - on a bad day, I can type quicker than I could on my Storm on a GOOD day. I can't really comment on the physical keyboard, beyond saying that it makes a dandy controller for emulated games, and is nice to have when i'm RDP'd into my desktop PC. For typing duties, the word that comes to mind is "serviceable". I am still mighty glad it's there, and wouldn't be able to deal without it (and thus, the Eris quickly dropped out of consideration).

    Now, let me touch on the reasons I chose the Moto over the HTC (reasons that I call dealbreakers):

    - Eris does nothing NEW. It's still running a now dated MSM7600 chipset, and doesn't bring anything new and exciting to the table (320x480 screen? Please, HTC, what were you thinking?)

    - Eris lacks a physical keyboard. Since one of the things I really enjoy about Android is the ability to run emulated games, this is a biggie. The virtual d-pad on the emulators lacks action buttons.

    - Eris runs SenseUI. Now, most people consider this to be a plus, but it's a individual preference, and honestly I prefer stock Android. Of course, i've never been the type of person to run a skinned OS. I was never into themes on my BB, either.

    - Eris just FEELS like a lower-end device. I LOVE the feel of real aluminum in my hands, the Moto Droid delivers. It seems like a silly thing to be a "dealbreaker", but to me I want a high-end device to FEEL high-end.

    In summary, phone preference largely boils down to the individual preference of the user. But it is nice that VZW is finally providing phone choices that are worth considering. Both the Moto Droid and the HTC Eris allow one to be on VZWs network without feeling like you are compromising on phone features.

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    Very nice stated Dave and agree with you that like all phones it comes down to personal preference. Glad you are enjoying your new phone.

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    Dave12308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlevy73 View Post
    Very nice stated Dave and agree with you that like all phones it comes down to personal preference. Glad you are enjoying your new phone.
    Absolutely LOVING it. I'm STILL in the process of discovering everything it can do. This is a process that sadly ended MUCH faster back when I was using my BB device. I can honestly say it's been nice to not give any real thought to my OS and memory in the past couple of weeks too. I've got my Droid loaded to the gills, and i'm still looking at about 160MB free to install more. And with the software load I have now, it equals my desktop PC in capability (exceeds in a way, my PC can't scan barcodes).

    I can honestly say I don't regret the switch. While I learned alot of valuable information during my BB period (and met many WONDERFUL folks here at ) I don't miss the device itself at all. I honestly only come around these parts nowadays for the Android forum, and to check up on you guys (and gals).

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