Motorola DROID 3 Review

Camera and Multimedia:

Dominating most of the interface, we get a good view on what we’re shooting with the viewfinder, but we find the usual suspect of icons littered on its side – like the on-screen shutter key, digital zoom controls, and video mode toggle. Furthermore, there’s an accessible sliding bar that holds additional icons that allow us to change shooting modes, choose different effects, and get into its settings. For the most part, it’s your conventional looking camera interface, while offering some tertiary functionality that might appeal photo buffs.

Needless to say, there are some high expectations with its sizable 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, but sadly enough, we’re disappointed beyond belief with its quality. Strangely, it works in this weird way by offering better results with shots taken indoors with artificial lighting than outdoors with natural lighting. Details are soft looking in tone with outdoor shots, and at the same time, its color production is terribly off with its cool appearance – plus, it sometimes bleeds heavily with its over-exposed results. Interestingly enough, indoor shots fare a bit better with its more neutral color production – albeit, details are still speckled. Luckily, the LED flash is potent enough to lighten up shots taken in low-lighting conditions. However, it’s pretty much worthless in complete darkness since it can’t focus properly, which can be remedied with the flash being turned on briefly beforehand – though, it doesn’t do that!

As much as we’re saddened by its uninviting photo taking abilities, we’re relieved to find it faring a bit better with video recording. Finding full 1080p video capture on board with the handsets, we’re greeted with some fair looking details that are complemented by its 29 frames per second capture rate in sufficient lighting – albeit, it drops with less lighting. Exhibiting some fluid and smooth movements, we’re content with its sharp looking production thanks to its feature of continuous auto-focus aboard for the ride. Moreover, audio recording is pleasantly clear and distortion free to round out its good-looking capture quality.

Motorola DROID 3 Sample Video:

Utilizing the same music player interface featured on other recent Motorola smartphones, it has a conventional approach with its presentation as songs are being played – displaying such things as the album cover and on-screen controls. However, we do like the nifty looking 3D carousel gallery available when we’re browsing through songs in landscape. Unlike the blistering tones found with its predecessors, the audio quality is reserved a little bit more this time around – yet, it’s still more than audible to the ear without sounding too irritating. Fortunately, it packs on some additional equalizer options to better fine tune its output accordingly.

Mainly due to its faster dual-core processor, high-definition video playback poses no problem to the Motorola DROID 3. Using video at 1920 x 1080 resolution, it’s easily able to exude some graciously fluid movements with its operation – all the while radiating with plenty of rich detail. And of course, it helps that the larger high-resolution display is able to supplement the already fantastic experience.

Not surprising at all, sharing multimedia content is no problem for the DROID 3 seeing that it offers DLNA functionality that allow you to stream things wirelessly to other DLNA certified devices. If that’s not an option for you, then you can always resort to using its microHDMI-out port and connect it to your high-definition television set to watch full 1080p videos. And to top it off, there’s an option to get a mirrored experience as well so you can interact with the handset while everything is being displayed on the big screen.

This time around, the handset’s microSD card slot is unoccupied from the onset because it packs 16GB of internal storage. Essentially, you can up it to as much as 48GB in total capacity if you happen to throw in a 32GB card into its available slot.

Internet, Connectivity and Software:

We can only dream about seeing 4G LTE connectivity with this one, but instead, we’re left having to deal with slightly longer load times with complex web pages like ours. Nevertheless, the overall experience is seemingly on par to what we’re normally accustomed to seeing with most top-notch smartphones. Sure its navigational performance can be choppy at times, which isn’t all that detrimental, but considering that it offers Flash support, we’re gladly accepting of its desktop-like experience more than others.

Being the CDMA device it is, it’ll work domestically here via Verizon’s solid network, but what makes this one particularly prized is the fact that it’s a global capable device as well – meaning, you’ll be able to use it abroad. However, just expect to ride 2G EDGE connectivity if you happen to pop in an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card in there (after it’s unlocked of course). Other traditional connectivity items include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and aGPS. Also, the handset can act as a mobile hotpot as well by allowing up to 5 devices to attach themselves to its cellular data connection.

Besides the usual set of Google apps normally in for the ride with just about any other Android smartphone out there, we find quite a few third party ones that some can appreciate. Specifically, we find apps like Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, City ID, Lets Golf 2, NFL Mobile, NOVA, Quickoffice, Skype, Slacker, and ZumoCast. Equally, enterprise users will like the fact that apps like Citrix, GoToMeeting, and MOTOPRINT are all available. And of course, it wouldn’t be a smartphone from Verizon if it doesn’t boast the usual party of VZ apps – like My Verizon Mobile, V CAST Media Manager, V CAST Music, V CAST Tones, V CAST Videos, and VZ Navigator.

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