Before I start, let me just say that I love my phone. Sure, the iPhone’s not perfect, and you may see me kvetch about its closed nature, baffling App Store approvals or hobbled features (tethering, anyone?), but in the end, I still love this handset. Lately though, with all the Android news bursting at the seams, I went beyond the Apple beat and pitched in to help cover it for PhoneDog.
Wow, Android was like a strange land. Open source? Non exclusivity? Multiple makers and carriers? Different UIs? Multi-tasking? Wha-? I can CHANGE my wallpaper?? This was like a foreign language. I even got a little jealous at all the choices. Meanwhile, my admiration for Android has grown since that first clunky G1 handset debuted a year ago.
As with any hot new handset with TV ads and media buzz, the Droid — Motorola’s flagship Verizon Android phone — has grabbed a lot of attention. We know that smartphone sales in general are climbing. And increasingly, I’m getting more questions about this smartphone from everyday people (i.e., non phone geeks) who are intrigued by the hype. So they’d ask, and I’d usually start spouting specs and form factor details (not to mention Android 2.0!). That’s when I noticed their eyes would start to glaze over.
They just wanted to know if I liked it, and if I could please answer in plain English. (I know! It’s like a pitfall of this job.)
Now, with the holidays around the corner and the Moto Droid selling for as little as $120, this seems like a good time to address the Droid/Android uninitiated. And so, I dedicate this review to the everyday consumer. The following posts are based on conversations I’ve had with non Android-using, non phone-nerd friends. I did my best to sum up the stuff they were most interested in, but feel free to comment if I missed anything a typical consumer would want to know.
Now, this won’t be a comprehensive list of features — just some of the ones that stood out in a typical-use kind of way. If you want expert reviews or detailed specs, Android tweaks or other info, may I suggest hitting up John Walton at DroidDog.com? (He’s our resident Android expert, and all-around great guy.) You could also geek out to Noah’s fun, but illuminating Droid vs iPhone 3GS Dogfight videos.
Otherwise, I hope you find something useful here. But even if you’re an Android fiend who knows it all already, consider this — instead of getting sucked into a long explanation the next time your dad, auntie, girlfriend/boyfriend or whoever asks you, “So is that Droid thing a Google phone? What’s so great about it?”, maybe you can save yourself some time and just forward this link.
With that said, here we go: