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Motorola DROID 3 Review

Motorola DROID 3

Posted: , by John V.



Motorola DROID 3 Review
For the most part, we’re content with the Motorola DROID 3’s calling quality as the earpiece produces some strong tones – thus, yielding some prominent voices that are distinctively clear. Simultaneously, there are no evidence of any static or background noise with its quality. Conversely though, our callers on the other end of the line state hearing choppy sounding voices – but they’re still audible enough to make out. As for the speakerphone, its output isn’t the strongest out there, but it doesn’t help that voices are muffled either.

During our testing in the greater Philadelphia region, it’s able to put amount of signal strength as it hovers around the -81 dBm mark in high coverage areas.

Battery life is something that’s seemingly desired with the handset to balance its overall appeal since it’s kind of lacking in that particular department. Using the handset primarily for emails, text messaging, web surfing, and the occasional phone call, we’re only able to achieve the 15 hour mark before needing a recharge. It’s not all that bad for light users, but power users will want to constantly charge it as much as they can. In our testing, we’re able to get 8 hours of talk time out of a fully charge, which is more than adequate for most people.


By far, the Motorola DROID 3 is able to remarkably differentiate itself from its predecessor in the DROID 2 – thanks to its far superior amped hardware and larger than life presence with its design. Concurrently, we totally dig the considerably improved QWERTY keyboard since the refinements we see easily enable it to become one of the best messaging devices out there right now. Likewise, we like the direction that Motorola is taking with its customized Android experience as it takes advantage of the raw processing power of its dual-core processor.

Obviously, the Motorola DROID 3 isn’t shining brightly in all areas, like its unenticing photo quality with its camera and sub-par battery life, but considering that it holds up firmly overall as a high-end smartphone, it’s rather hard to not take notice of the handset. Sure we would’ve loved to see 4G LTE on this bad boy, but it would’ve compromised the handset in many ways – possibly making it heftier and getting even worse battery life. For $199.99 on-contract, the iconic Motorola DROID 3 is able to deliver a solid well-rounded performance to keep it in favorable light – but then again, it’ll be interesting to see what the Motorola DROID BIONIC will be bringing to the dinner table later on.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android version: 2.3.4
Kernel version:
Build number: 5.5.1_84_D3G-20_TA-9

Motorola DROID 3 Video Review:


  • Phenomenal keyboard layout & feel
  • High-resolution display
  • Fast performance with its dual-core processor
  • Updated customized Android experience
  • Global capabilities


  • Captures terrible looking photos
  • Sub-par battery life
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
8.910 Reviews

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posted on 18 Jul 2011, 08:01 8

1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

8.5 score for only two very minor complaints? Let the whining begin! Lol

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 08:27 6

2. Mastertwiz (Posts: 15; Member since: 10 Dec 2009)

I agree, this seems a little low. I was expecting a 9.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 16:21 2

12. phandroid (unregistered)

a 9? the samsung gsII got a 9. this phone shouldnt get the same rating as a phone thats better than it

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 17:41 4

14. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

IMO the SGS2 should have been a 10.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 12:44 3

32. phandroid (unregistered)

i agree

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 04:55

66. Dark4o90 (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Feb 2011)

definetely not minor

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 08:32 2

3. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

I believe there was a extended battery available right from the start and I think it was either 1800 or 1900 compared to the 1540 found out of the box. And taking photos to me has always been a minor thing for me.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 08:44

4. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

I've been reading for better battery life set it to CDMA only unless you need to use GSM. I guess using both is only for ppl that need it.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 08:51 2

5. Immolate (Posts: 310; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)

I ordered my Droid 3 on release day and received it Friday, so I've been using it for about ten days now. I think this review is fair and accurate and I find the score a pleasant surprise. The sum of the D3's parts don't add up to an 8.5, but the user experience is better than expected. Too often we score phones based on sheer statistical analysis, but that does not do justice to a phone that achieves some magic through smart design or happy accident. This is one of those phones.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 09:30 4

6. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)

Whooh! John! I'm so happy John made the video review. Finally, something that's worth watching. Now watching. Heh.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 10:55

7. Matt (unregistered)

I was really hoping the D3 would be better. I'm waiting...and hoping...somebody will come out with a multi-core, 4g phone with a keyboard. I'll just muddle thru with my D2 until then.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 11:24

8. STEVE DOJOBS (unregistered)

Motorola will not being popular here in my country. No one here bother about this brand. Even CSL and Huawei are more famous here compare to Motorola.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 16:37 4

13. KingK (unregistered)

No cares or bothers with your country anyway.

Go buy your Huawei.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 11:54 1

9. weirdfisher (Posts: 51; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)

Droid2 i would give it a 4/10
But this one i'll give it a 9/10

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 15:27 2

10. Mr. Savage (unregistered)

@Steve dojobs... where is your country... That would make sense seeing that MOTOROLA is an American based company. Just so you know, they are the most reliable cell phones.. Well out of android smartphones. Well built with all the top notch specs. You won't lose getting a Droid from MOTO.

posted on 27 Jul 2011, 02:18 1

53. twenti7 (Posts: 152; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)

Very true. I don't personally like the design of Motorola phones, but about 8 or so months ago, my gf dropped her Droid off of some 2nd story bleachers at a football game (onto cement) and the lil guy is still chugging along.

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 02:32

58. secret_tidus (Posts: 4; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

agree with u... my 1 year old xt drop from 2 meter height twice only got a dead pixel screen and still workable.. for ordinary touchscreen phone the glass ald crack... but my 1 still very nice.. just got a little hair line scratch near my search button

posted on 31 Jul 2011, 04:53 1

55. mr. droid (Posts: 278; Member since: 21 Aug 2010)

Are you kidding me!! I have had almost every motorola "droid" branded phone they have put out.. droid. droid 2, droid 2 global, droid x, droid x2, and droid pro, and they were all poor at best. I cant stand my droid x2. I have had now 5 replacements sent to me, and they all do the same thing. get HOTTER than ever when using it, battery life is terrible. I always end up with pixel issues on the screens (BRIGHT blue, green, or red dots the size of pin heads) they LAG!! And the browsing isSLOWWW. I dont know where you get this from. HTC has everyone beat in the android world by several land-slides. Light years ahead of any competition. The droid eris by HTC is a far cry better phone than ANY droid that motorola has put on the market.

posted on 31 Jul 2011, 12:12 3

56. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

then maybe you should stop getting them? my Motorola Droids work fine for me, maybe you don't work fine for your Motorola Droids...

posted on 03 Aug 2011, 02:38 1

59. secret_tidus (Posts: 4; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

u have no faith with motorola, mr. droid, motorola hate u may b.. my milestone xt work well all the way... and it is 1 year old ald...

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 07:43

78. b12 (unregistered)

you said that " HTC has everyone beat in the android world by several land-slides ".

Do you actually know Samsung SII ?

in term of feature phone categories, it is the best for now.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 15:27 4

11. doubleD (Posts: 78; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)

I agree that still photos look terrible, but the video capture outdoors is excellent. I do disagree with the battery life assessment. In my experience, the battery lasts significantly longer than the Droid 2 and I find it more than adequate. The new blur is great and the keyboard leaves no room for improvement.

It does irritate me that every phone, including this one, is being shadowed by the upcoming expectations of the Droid Bionic. I don't even see them as direct competitors. If the Bionic lives up to it's expectations, it will replace the Droid X line of phones. The Droid 3 with it's smaller screen and physical keyboard targets a different audience.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 17:43 3

15. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

The Bionic is basically just going to be a 4.3 inch Motorla Droid 3 without the keyboard but with LTE.

MAYBE the rumors are true that it is actually 4.5 but tbh the screen doesnt look any bigger than the droid x. And it also might have 1GB of RAM instead of 512MBs like the Droid 3.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 13:44 1

33. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)

wrong! the bionic is more like the x2 with a 13 mega pixel camera and lte.

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 13:45 1

34. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)

not even close to being the same as the droid 3

posted on 19 Jul 2011, 22:54

40. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

that's the Targa which may or may not have been real at some point but the real Droid Bionic has specs that put it on par with the Droid 3.

posted on 24 Jul 2011, 01:33

48. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

No, the Droid Bionic will only have a 8 megapixel camera, sorry.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 18:11 1

16. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

I wouldn't even bother giving this an 8/10 especially that it doesn't really improve much on the previous Droids plus it is a bloatware magnet. The specs will never be utilized and you can not root since Motorola is too stupid to unlock the bootloaders and let customers do what they please with their phones.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 20:19 4

17. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

Miz..you should never review phones. ever.
it's possible to root this phone.

posted on 18 Jul 2011, 23:05 1

22. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Sure, just like it's possible to loot Fort Knox?

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PhoneArena rating:
Display4.0 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (275 ppi)
Camera8 megapixels
TI OMAP 4430, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.85 x 2.52 x 0.51 inches
(123.3 x 64.1 x 12.9 mm)
6.49 oz  (184 g)
Battery1540 mAh, 9.16 hours talk time

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