Motorola DROID 2 vs. Motorola DROID
When you've got a good thing going, there's no doubt that you want to capitalize on that in order to take advantage of all the positive attention you're garnering. In the mobile world, handsets generally have a shelf life of approximately one year before they are given their last rites – thus handing the torch over to a successor (we hope). Just a little over 9 months ago, the industry was shaken up with the advent of the Motorola DROID which threw Android into new horizons as being a force that shouldn't be disregarded. Backed by a fantastic advertising campaign with Verizon, the handset was able to showcase all of the things possible with DROID DOES, while at the same time, being able to attract customers and command a whole new movement. Since there are probably many people still holding dearly to a Motorola DROID, especially when it's being treated to some of the latest Android updates, some are probably torn with the feeling of possibly moving up to its successor – the Motorola DROID 2. Naturally, it was only going to be inevitable before these two smartphones were going to be compared to one another in a classic breakdown of whether the new hardware has the guts to warrant an upgrade.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it – right? The classic saying proves to be true with the Motorola DROID 2 since it basically employs the same design of its predecessor – that streamlined landscape sliding QWERTY form factor. Both handsets exude a premium industrial design that doesn't dissuade from the fact that Motorola spent a lot of time and love in creating these devices; even more when they're literally built like tanks. On the Motorola DROID, its design is more angular and leaves us to believe that it was created by some kind of robot. While on the DROID 2, it decides to smooth things out with slightly more curved edges that show the refinement of its design. We're happy to say that both are constructed the same way with that metal-like material used for its exterior which is accented on the rear with a soft touch coating to make it easy to grip – plus repelling dirt and scratches. Although the DROID has a single color scheme in play with its looks, the DROID 2 opts to employ a chrome bezel for the front with a dark bluish hue for its rear. On paper, both handsets tally in at an impressive 0.54” thick which make them extremely slim, but the DROID 2 is slightly larger – though, it's not terribly noticeable at all. In the end, there isn't anything drastically different between the two that would make one better than the other. Instead, the DROID 2 tastefully embodies an elegant design style that perfectly stays faithful to the original without being overly different.
Although it could be seen either as a good or bad thing, Motorola decided to keep everything exact with the Motorola DROID 2's display – from its size to its resolution, there is nothing different about it. Still sporting a 3.7” TFT display that dishes up a resolution of 480 x 854 with support for 16.7 million colors, it still manages to enthrall some with its high pixel density; making it extremely detailed to the naked eye. Sure it didn't receive any upgrade over its predecessor, but when you compare it to other existing Android smartphones, it still boasts the highest display resolution out there. In addition, we found it to be responsive to the touch without any inaccuracies – all the while sporting some good viewing angles that make it usable outdoors in everyday situations. Is it bad that they decided to stick with the same display? No, that's because it's still one good looking one. But would've have it been better if they upgraded it in a way? Of course! Nonetheless, both handsets offer a detailed display that has yet to be tested by any of its Android powered brothers and sisters.
As much as we adored seeing physical buttons on the Motorola DROID X, we were hoping to see the DROID 2 opt for the same thing – but instead, it sticks true to what we see used on the original DROID. Granted though, the touch sensitive buttons found on both devices make for a completely flush looking surface which is obviously more appealing to look at. However, we're still finding ourselves accidentally pressing them when we use the on-screen keyboard since there is barely any space separating them from the bottom of the touchscreen. The location for the physical buttons on both handsets are identical – the volume rocker and shutter keys are found on the right side while the dedicated power buttons are located on the top edge. We actually preferred the size and responsive buttons used on the original DROID since the ones on the DROID 2 are slightly smaller and difficult to press. Thankfully, we still find a microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack favorably in use with both handsets. To the rear, we find the grill for the speakerphone in the same location on both handsets as well as the 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. However, it seems apparent that Motorola addressed the issue found on some DROID units when the rear cover would easily slip off because it requires more force to remove the back cover on the DROID 2. As much as we were hoping to see the placement of the microSD card slot located elsewhere, we were still saddened to find it in the same spot – which requires you to remove the battery completely to gain access to it.
If there were complaints for the DROID, it clearly could be found with its landscape sliding QWERTY keyboard. Although it will require some time and practice to get situated with any keyboard, the one used on the DROID didn't provide for the most optimal response when pressed. In addition, buttons were flat and flush to the surface – which made it rather difficult to distinguish each key. Luckily Motorola heard all of the complaints as the DROID 2 offers an improved keyboard that clearly warrants some attention. Even though some gamers will miss the dedicated 5-way directional pad on the DROID, the overall size on the DROID 2 is more conducive to the needs of the casual text messenger. We like the fact that buttons are bubbled in the center to provide that distinguishable feel from one another – plus they felt a bit more responsive when pressed. However, Motorola decided to keep the same manual sliding mechanism to reveal the keyboard on the DROID 2 – which is safe to say keeps for the handset's streamlined looks.