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Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless)

>> Monday, December 7, 2009

Officially announced on October 28 and set for a November 6 release, Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) delivers on much of the hype. The display is gorgeous, the Android 2.0 updates are excellent, and the handset is lightning fast, particularly for an Android phone. We'll refrain from using the dreaded "iPhone killer" expression, but comparisons between the two devices are obvious, and we see the Droid as a real competitor to Apple's device.

On the downside, Motorola weren't crazy about the keyboard and dial-pad accessibility, the calendars aren't fully integrated, and we'd prefer to see dual mode (GSM or CDMA) capability. But for Verizon's first pass at Android, Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) more than delivers. And even better, it's a clear departure from Verizon's locked down past. At US$199, Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) is on par with T-Mobile's Android device, but it's slightly more expensive than Sprint's devices.

At first glance, you might not think Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless)'s design amounts to much. Its build is rather dull and the sharp angles result in a boxy look. But this is a smartphone with a lot of surprises, the biggest being the positively gorgeous WVGA display. At 3.7 inches, it surpasses even the iPhone and is firmly in the bounds of what we consider to be an acceptable size for a touch screen display. Color support is generous (16 million hues) and the resolution (440x854 pixels) is some of the richest we've seen.

We aren't kidding when we say that this display is bright and brilliant with vibrant colors and sharp graphics. It also lends itself well to the welcome Android 2.0 interface updates (more on that later). The capacitive display's touch interface is quick and responsive and we love the added multi touch capability. As with previous Android phones, there's vibrating feedback only for certain functions (like a "long press"), though you can turn off the haptic feedback completely if you desire. When we selected items and scrolled through long lists, there was no lag time in performing the command (more on that later, as well).

You also can customize the display's brightness, backlighting time, and animations. The accelerometer will adjust the display's orientation as you rotate Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) in your hands, but you can turn this feature off. Outside of the upgrades from Android 2.0 and Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless) specific tweaks, the basic interface will be familiar to Android users. You get only three home screens we prefer the five we got on the Motorola Cliq but you can customize each pane with widgets. And, of course, the central pane has the Google search bar. The main menu is accessible via the pull tab at the bottom of the display. The menu's design is mostly unchanged. You can move icons around and add shortcuts and folders.


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