Motorola DROID 2 Global Hands-on

Motorola DROID 2 Global Hands-on
Hot on the heels of the DROID 2, Motorola and Verizon have refreshed the device as the DROID 2 Global. This new Droid is pretty similar to its predecessor, but does pack a few important changes. First, as the name implies, the DROID 2 Global is a global phone with a GSM radio to complеment the CDMA radio. Secondly, it uses the TI OMAP 3630 processor at 1.2GHz, as opposed to the DROID 2’s 3620 at 1GHz. Other features remain identical, such as the 5MP camera with dual LED flash and a 3.7” 480x854 display. In addition to the Sapphire (blue) version there is also a white DROID 2 Global, something the DROID 2 doesn’t offer.

On the outside you’d be hard pressed to tell the DROID 2 and DROID 2 Global apart. The design is nearly identical, with the only difference being that the Global sports a slight hump on the camera. The in-hand feel is identical as well. The DROID 2 Global is a very hefty device with a glass screen and solid slide mechanism. Slide the keyboard open and the difference is more obvious: the keys are laid out in the same manner, but there is a well-defined space between them. The feel is better too, with the keys of the Global having a bit more clickiness to them. The DROID keyboards have never been our favorite, but with each revision they get better and the Global has the best keyboard of the three.

Under the hood the new processor makes a bit of a difference in performance benchmarks, but we can’t say we felt a difference in real world usage. The Motorola DROID 2 Global scored around 100 points better on Quadrant Standard’s benchmark test, generally achieving results in the mid-1500s which is excellent. Perhaps one reason we couldn’t tell a noticeable difference in usability is that the DROID 2 is extremely snappy to begin with, and there comes a point where extra speed just isn’t felt.

One side effect of this faster processor is a decrease in battery life. Despite a slightly more potent battery, the DROID 2 Global is rated for an hour and a half less talk time than the original DROID 2. Still, it will give you 8.3 hours which should be more than enough to get even heavy users through a day of solid use. Call performance on the Global was identical to the DROID 2, and callers could not tell a difference between the two phones on back-to-back phone calls.

Given the $50 price difference we see little reason to go with the DROID 2 Global over the DROID 2, unless you need the global capabilities. Even with the slower processor the DROID 2 is still one of the fastest phones on the market and all but the heaviest power users won’t notice the difference. This isn’t a knock on the DROID 2 Global, but with better battery life and a similar user experience the Motorola DROID 2 is still probably the better buy.

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