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November 05, 2009

Walt digs the Droid with some reservations

Walt reviews the Motorola Droid, which is Verizon Wireless' first Android offering, priced at $200 after the $100 mail-in rebate. (I tend to believe that this price point will drop as the smart phone competition heats up.)

His likes...

He thinks this is the best Motorola phone, the best Verizon smart phone, and the best hardware he's tested that runs Android.

It runs Android Eclair (2.0). He says that this version adds voice-prompted turn-by-turn navigation. Actually both the HTC Hero and the Samsung Moment offer Sprint's navigation app which work well with both phones according to my tests.

Its screen is sharper and larger than the iPhone's.

His dislikes...

No multi-touch. Actually the HTC Hero uses a multi-touch function sitting on top of the Android. I didn't like it at all. It was very jittery, and hard to get the right sizing. The Samsung Moment doesn't have multi-touch in any form but uses zoom icons, and they work much better.

The keyboard has, in his opinion, "flat, cramped keys that induce too many typing errors, yet lacks auto-correction." This sounds like the keyboard on the Moment, which I'm falling out of love with. I can type faster on the Treo keyboard.

The Android platform only has 3 panels for displaying app icons in contrast to the iPhone's 11.

UPDATE: Another article in today's WSJ "BlackBerry Offers Low-Hanging Fruit" suggests the that BlackBerry will take the hit with the rising smart phone competition provided by the new crop of Androids. Third quarter estimates put the global smart phone market share for RIM at 20%, while Apple sits at 17%. Nokia is at approx. 38% according to Strategic Analytics.

The article speculates that the BlackBerry may become "the AOL of the mobile device market." This might a little over dramatic.

Apple is leading the price war with their $99 iPhone. I'm sure you'll seen an Android soon similarly priced.


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