Nate's Straight Talk Express: Android Quick Hits v2

Nate Allen
Columnist from Indianola, IA
Published: July 7, 2010

Android bot

Quick Hit #1: Improving Android Hardware Design

The summer of 2010 is finally going to be the summer of high style for Android. The iPhone has been the standard-bearer of really good looking smartphones for several years now, with very few devices on any platform even coming close to being a legitimate contender on looks alone.  Not so anymore with the HTC Evo, the HTC Droid Incredible, the Motorola Droid X, the Samsung Galaxy S (and its various brethren on the US carriers), the Motorola Droid 2, and even the HTC Aria all either available now or coming very soon to their respective wireless carriers.  Now, I haven’t had any hands-on time with any of them, save for a few minutes with the HTC Droid Incredible as my buddy was enthusiastically unboxing his in my office today, but I must say that the available choices for great looking Android devices for the carrier agnostic crowd is a bit mind-blowing at the moment.  I, for one, couldn’t be happier that a little high-fashion has been added to the high-function that the Android OS has evolved into as of late.

Quick Hit #2: Large Screen Sizes

As I previously mentioned, I haven’t had any hands-on time with any of the new larger screen Android devices, but I have to admit that I’m a bit worried about whether I would like a phone that large.  Back in the day, I used to seek out the most miniature of phones, like that Motorola v60 that seemed so revolutionary in its day, all clad in aluminum. Heck, it seemed like the smaller the device, the more it cost.  I remember paying a couple hundred dollars for that v60, and that was ten years ago (I think I still have it too…).  Now, it seems as though Android hardware designers are tripping all over themselves to release devices with larger and larger screens.  I can’t imagine these devices being lightweight either.  I wear a suit every day at the office and I’m not sure where I would put such a massive and hefty device. Slipping one of them into my shirt pocket might make it look like I’ve got man-boobs, slipping one into a trousers pocket and I’m not sure what people would think…

Quick Hit #3: Droid X Camera “Hump”

What is with that hump on the Droid X where the camera is? Now, I think the Droid X is a seriously sexy looking device that I will think very strongly about owning, but until I see it in person to gauge oddity that is the camera hump, I can’t help but think that I’d be made fun of a little behind my back by my buddies with those wafer-thin iPhone 4’s.  To add insult to injury, after seeing some photo and video comparisons taken with the Droid X and iPhone 4 cameras, I’m wondering why Motorola sacrificed the otherwise sexy lines of the device to supposedly improve the mechanics of the camera (maybe there is a non-camera related reason they had to have the hump?).  Obviously there are many other slim phones on the market with functional, even really good cameras…and they don’t have a hump.  Now many of the Droid X reviews that I’ve seen actually praise the hump as somehow making the device feel better in the hand, but I just don’t know if I could get past that tiny bit of embarrassment that I would feel when I tried to show off my new sexy toy to some of my friends at the office.  The vision I have in my mind is of a few smirking faces.  Maybe I’m blowing the ‘hump’ out of proportion a little, but you and I both know you’re a bit skeptical of it, just like me…