Motorola Droid Smartphone Review

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First, this is a real Motorola phone running on the Verizon network. It’s a great phone and a great speakerphone. The screen resolution is exceptional, web-browsing is really fast, search is great (obviously) and the free turn-by-turn GPS directions are awesome.

There are plenty of apps available for the Droid — more are being created everyday. Don’t let the availability of 100,000 random iPhone apps sway your decision. The Droid runs Google’s Android operating system, there are plenty of developers working on plenty of apps.

Like all smartphones with big screens, battery life is an issue. One big selling point for the Droid is that it can run five apps at a time. (The iPhone can only run one.) This sounds great, but five apps running will take a toll on battery life. One nice thing, unlike the iPhone, you can carry extra batteries for your Droid.

For me, the Droid’s keyboard is a serious disappointment. The keys are too far apart for quick touch-typing and, because they are flat, there’s not enough tactile feedback. I also really don’t like the integration with POP3, IMAP and exchange email servers. Syncing these accounts hourly would require you to carry several extra batteries. However, if you have a Gmail account, setting up this phone is as easy as entering your username and password.

On the whole, I like the Droid. It’s got a good camera, good video camera, good voice recorder, flawless integration with Google and Gmail and it’s a Motorola phone on the best wireless network, which means it’s a great phone. Would I buy one? I did. This Droid is replacing my BlackBerry Curve, which does a much better job with email, but simply can’t compete in the other areas.

To help you understand the benefits of the three most-talked-about smartphones, I’ve made a little chart.

DROID vs. iPhone vs. BlackBerry Comparison Matrix

The bottom line is simple. The Droid sits somewhere between the iPhone and a current-vintage BlackBerry (Curve, Tour, Bold, etc.) I say it’s not a BlackBerry killer because I don’t think businesses will gravitate to it immediately. RIM, the nice people who make the BlackBerry, have a pretty good lock on the business market. That being said, the Droid did kill my BlackBerry. I’m now carrying a 32GB iPhone 3GS and a Verizon Droid. I live in NYC and where I tend to spend most of my time, AT&T simply drops too many calls for me to use the iPhone as a phone.

As for my, now retired, BlackBerry Curve. I love it as an email device, but there’s more to life than email. For me, the Droid is a solid first effort and, so far, I’m in like!

About the Author: Shelly Palmer is the host of “Digital Life with Shelly Palmer,” a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world which can be seen on WNBC-TV’s NY Nonstop Tuesdays at 10p Eastern and online, and the host of “MediaBytes,” a daily news show that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and the President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy Awards). Mr. Palmer is the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press) and the upcoming, Get Digital: Reinventing Yourself and Your Career for the 21st Century Economy (2009, Lake House Press). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net For information visit www.shellypalmer.com


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