HTC DROID ERIS Review
The DROID ERIS features the same Sense UI interface that we’ve seen on other Android phones from HTC. This extra functionality makes the stock Android 1.5 operating system more functional, as it allows up to 7 home screens, with each being fully customizable with widgets, shortcuts, and folders. The HTC Widgets are quite impressive as they are available for web bookmarks, clocks, weather, calendars, mail, messages, music, photos, stocks, and Twitter.
If that wasn’t enough, there are also 6 Scenes to choose from, for work, play, travel, etc. Each scene is customizable and can be saved for later use after being personalized. This truly makes the possibilities endless. Having the Sense UI clearly sets the HTC DROID ERIS apart from the stock Android 2.0 interface used by the Motorola DROID. It makes using the device easier and overall more fun, though Motorola does have their own “layered interface” know as MOTOBLUR, which can be found on the CLIQ.
There was some noticeable lag in opening programs (3-4 seconds) while using the HTC DROID ERIS that was not present when using the Motorola DROID (almost instant). We’re not sure if this is because the Motorola DROID is running Android 2.0 and has a faster processor, or if Sense UI is slowing down the HTC DROID ERIS a bit.
Pressing on the dedicated search key will bring up the Google Search bar, and will list suggestions while you type. You can also perform a Voice Search, which works rather well, and it bases the results on your current GPS location. So for instance, if you search for “Pizza!”, it will lists pizza restaurants closets to you with their phone number, address, and web site. One noticeable difference between Android 1.5 and 2.0 is that you can’t search through your contacts on the DROID ERIS with the search bar from the home screen, but you can on the Motorola DROID.
Phonebook and Organizer:
There isn’t anything new here in the way that the HTC DROID ERIS stores and accesses contact information, though it does it quite well and imports them from your Google account. You can also add new contacts directly to the DROID ERIS, which will automatically be updated on-line. Furthermore, contacts can also be synched with your company’s Exchange server.
Each contact has six tabs. The first contains their information, the second has your text history with them, the third your email history and the sixth your call history. The fourth tab is Updates and Events, which shows their Facebook status and any upcoming events, such as a birthday, and the fifth tab is their albums from Facebook and Flickr. Anyone coming from a TouchFLO 3D device will be used to this type of contact view, as it is nice to have everything about a contact self-contained.
The calendar has everything you’d want and expect. When adding an event you can choose what calendar you want it to be stored to (GMail, Outlook or Exchange). One minor quirk that annoyed us is that all day events show up a day early on the calendar widget. For instance, if someone in your contact list has a birthday two days from now, the widget will say that it is an all day event tomorrow, and then tomorrow it will say that it is occurring that day but when you open the calendar it is indeed listed as an all day event on the proper day.
There are no tasks or notes apps installed, but the Android Market has several to choose from. The included clock app gives you an alarm clock, world clock, stopwatch, and countdown timer. The basic calculator has an advanced panel, but disappointingly does not switch to scientific mode when the phone is turned on its side.
There is also a voice command app (separate from the Google voice search) which is accurate as well, however you have to confirm your selection by pressing a button on the screen, which means the device must be with you. We tried it with a few Bluetooth headsets, but unfortunately you cannot activate the voice command feature via the headset, as it must be initiated from the phone itself. This is a limitation of the Android operating system that’s inevitably found on the HTC DROID ERIS, Hero and Motorola DROID; however it doesn’t make sense to us and defeats the main purposes of having both Bluetooth and a voice command program.
1. xcalibur (Posts: 49; Member since: 18 May 2009)
The passion or dragon whateva can't come soon enough, hopefully there is an android htc device with physical keyboard somewhere not far down the road.
2. secondcor517 (Posts: 94; Member since: 06 Oct 2008)
How can you make a negative that it doesn't compare to a different phone?? I'm calling shenanigans on this review. I'm sorry PhoneArena, but you shouldn't review one phone and compare it to a phone that it isn't meant to compare to.
4. martycota (Posts: 28; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
How is it not meant to compare to the Eris. I know with me and my Hero I compared it plenty to the Moment (the other android device on Sprint)... Many people pick an OS they want then have to weight the pros and cons between the devices offering that OS or experience. Pretty soon the Eris is also supposed to have 2.0 according to HTC so then little differences like battery life do make a huge difference. Also, what other phone should they be comparing the talk time to. At least they picked another Verizon phone. They could have went and said "not as much talk time as a blackberry curve", which would be way out there since Blackberry is a completely different OS and not even a touch screen. I am surprised it only got an 8 when the Sprint Hero got a 9, but I do suppose dropping the battery size really does hurt the phone, and also that the Droid is available on Verizon as well.
3. jacksp (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Nov 2009)
The Eris is an amazing phone. I have it my wife has the Droid and I dont plan on changing. The Droid does have a bigger screen, but the phone is like carrying around a TV remote or something. The Eris slips right into my pocket. The Sense UI to me is better then whats on the Droid. It runs smooth. I use the Advance Task Killer, and use it throughout the day and it helps my battery.
5. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)
Motorola Droid with Open Home. Best. thing. ever.