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Motorola DROID Review

Motorola DROID 8.5

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Being the first to come with Android 2.0 (aka Éclair), the Motorola DROID introduces us to many new things that we haven't seen on previous devices using the operating system. You won't find a nifty looking interface like MOTOBLUR that's found running on the Motorola CLIQ, or SenseUI that is used by HTC. Instead, we are left with stock Android, which can be personalized in a number of ways. You can add a variety of items like widgets, shortcuts, folders, and wallpapers to one of the three home screens –  all of these can easily be executed and moved around for a unique look. Even though it's ARM Cortex-A8h processor is faster than what’s found on current Android phones, we noticed a slight lag when switching between different home screens. Other than that one minor issue, we had no problems navigating through the interface, but occasionally you will see some slowdown depending on the amount of apps you are running.

Motorola DROID is the first to have the latest build of Android – version 2.0 (aka Eclair) - Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID is the first to have the latest build of Android – version 2.0 (aka Eclair) - Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID is the first to have the latest build of Android – version 2.0 (aka Eclair) - Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID is the first to have the latest build of Android – version 2.0 (aka Eclair) - Motorola DROID Review

Motorola DROID is the first to have the latest build of Android – version 2.0 (aka Eclair)

One thing we found useful quite often was the Google Search function to accomplish a mix of operations. You can execute the search by holding down the dedicated touch sensitive button – which will then prompt you to speak. Rather than typing up web site address in the browser, you can simply say something like “phonearena” and it'll display all the sites pertaining to it. We were impressed by how well it recognizes speech and translates it into text with little problems.  It even manages to be integrated with the new Google Maps Navigation for a quick and painless way to find points of interests or navigate to a specific address.

Mostly everything else remains intact with the Android we've seen in the past. You can pull down the notification screen if something pops up that requires your attention. Notifications are generally accompanied with the phone saying the word “Droid” in an alarming androidish voice, but this can be changed to other sounds. If you don't have a specific shortcut icon on your home screen, you can always access all of the apps through the main menu, and also place any of them on the 3 home screens.

Google Search function - Motorola DROID Review
Notifications - Motorola DROID Review

Google Search function



Another neat thing about Android 2.0 is its ability to fetch contact information from a variety of sources like GMail or Facebook – it populates everything on the phone for you and organizes it to the best of its ability. With social networking becoming a centralized hub for contact information, the Motorola DROID does a good job in keeping things together without becoming overly complicated. It's similar to what Palm is doing with Synergy on the WebOS platform,and of course it's nearly flawless when it comes to synchronizing with your Google account – your contacts will magically upload to the phone. Seeing that this is an Android device, there's a a lot of details that can be saved with each contact. including typical  information like names, email addresses, phone numbers, web sites, and birthdays. You can quickly get access to information on a specific person in your phonebook by adding them as a favorite or placing a shortcut onto the home screen. Even better, you can use the Google search function to find a specific contact – you can accomplish this by either typing a name or use the voice search. It'll list everything that's associated to what you input – making it a simplified action.

Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID Review
Motorola DROID Review


Needless to say that keeping yourself organized on a day by day basis is an essential function in being one step ahead of the curve. The calendar on the phone will pull up all your appointments from Google Calendar and display it the same way you see it online. Multiple calendars will be displayed via a color coding system to allow easy distinction between everything – you can view it in either a daily, weekly, or monthly view.

Other than the main analog clock you can choose to set as a widget on the home screen, the other one you'll see is the one used for the alarm.  You can set as many alarms as your heart desires and choose from five different clocks.

The alarm clock - Motorola DROID Review
Calculator - Motorola DROID Review

The alarm clock


The calendar - Motorola DROID Review
The calendar - Motorola DROID Review

The calendar

With the stock Android UI intact, you'll find a basic calculator to perform some basic calculations. Although this is the latest and most up-to-date incarnation of Android, we're still wondering why there hasn't been a focus around the organizer functions of the phones. Still missing in-box are items that have become common to any smartphone – world clock, notes, voice recorder, or tasks, but most of these (and more) can be downloaded from the Android Market.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 2

1. jmill75 (Posts: 73; Member since: 22 Jul 2009)

Seemed like a pretty unbiased review for the most part, but how in the hell are you going to knock the score down so low because of the battery, you mean running multiple apps at once all day affects battery...... really really......and compare it to phones that dont even offer multi-tasking,strange. You had me till that point.

posted on 05 Nov 2009, 21:57

36. vmatikov (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)

ya phone arena's scoring is horseshit. like seriously... because the droid seems like an awesome phone. sure it has flaws... but what doesn't? i rly dislike what they base their criteria on. it makes no sense at all.

posted on 10 Nov 2009, 15:02

62. Dadler22 (Posts: 161; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

It was a good idea, but motorola made it, and honestly if there was a phone that was a 9.5 and it was made my motorola, i would knock of a point just because i knew that it was american crap.

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 08:21

2. seebeatty (Posts: 4; Member since: 21 Nov 2008)

Yeah, I don't get this score at all!! The scores for the Storm2, Imagio, and TP2 all rank 9 or above and you come forward with this? Hmmm,... I think I smell bias even if you didn't write it into the review.

posted on 06 Nov 2009, 11:07

38. Phoney (Posts: 13; Member since: 16 Aug 2009)

IMO I think the others were too high. I tried out my friend's DROID this morning... I had such high expectations and desires for this phone, but the first impression didn't meet them :(. I agree with the PA ranks.

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 11:27 2

3. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)

Does anybody read the "How we rate" section of the page? The numbers aren't really meant to be put up against each other for phones that are in different classes, but rather what they are saying is "How squarely did this manufacturer hit the nail on the head with respect to what they were trying to do?". The newest iPhone is rated lower than the enV Touch, do you really think that they are saying the Touch is a better phone? the Storm2, Imagio and TP2 are not the same type of phone as the Droid, even though they are all smart phones, they are trying to accomplish very different things. Not saying that there is not some bias in the reviews, but just because a certain phone gets a slightly lower score doesnt mean that was the case here. This seems to me to be a very fair review, and accurate, I've had my hands on one and I think everything PhoneArena had to say is quite accurate in this case. Though I do agree that a dig on battery life is not really fair, especially considering it "lasts only a day", that is pretty standard for the type of phone it is.

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 12:13

4. vzwman (Posts: 385; Member since: 26 Oct 2009)

know im not sure if i should get this phone :(

posted on 05 Nov 2009, 21:58 1

37. vmatikov (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)

tbh.. if you read their reviews... you wouldn't want ANY phone. nothing is ever good... and the comparison and scoring criteria is bullshit.

posted on 08 Nov 2009, 02:53

42. sgtslayer321 (Posts: 36; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)

I can say that this phone is great! I own it. I also owned the Imagio before this and took it back. The Imagio had horrible battery life much worse than the Droid and the Imagio got a better score. That just goes to show that they favor HTC phones. I'm not saying they are that bad but this phone is in a hole other ball park than the Imagio. I know I tried the 2 of them out. P.S. They did the same thing with the omnia2

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 15:24

5. JASON666 (Posts: 20; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)

Maybe I'll get an unlocked. 2yrs.+Data plan services still dont add up that well does it.....just my thought.

posted on 07 Nov 2009, 17:03

39. vmatikov (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)

why does this have -6...?

posted on 27 Dec 2009, 06:19 1

72. haste_the_day (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Dec 2009)

because people are sick of complaints about data plans? get over it already. you pay for what you get. Now if you want to spend 29.99 a mo. w/ Att, then you get less haha. But honestly, i work for VZW and every day people call in and complain about data plans being a requirement for a phone like this.... like VZW is suppost to put BILLIONS back into the network, set up plans for LTE, and not charge you to use it? a dollar a day for most reliable 3G dosnt seem like alot to me at all... So to answer you question as to why -6 (soon to be -7 after i vote) its bc of the ranting about plans.....GET OVER IT.

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 15:32

6. luisandres58 (Posts: 21; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

In all of the reviews so far, be it PA, Engadget, etc..I see a lot of nickpicking...ugly, KB cramped, you could say the same things about all of the phones...I think that is a matter of choice....I loved the Glyde with the small KB, the only thing was the problems with the touchscreen...I have the Dare now....KB is also cramped...I have the iTouch and I still make mistakes while typing....I think that I'm getting the Droid....it sure looks promising.....was hoping for the HTC Passion, but it looks that is gonna take a while before it shows up. People there isn't the perfect phone.....

posted on 27 Dec 2009, 06:21

73. haste_the_day (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Dec 2009)

to be honest,i though the same thing about the keypad (physical) until i tried it. It take a bit of getting used to, and, as i have huge thumbs, is still a bit clumbsy, but overall alot better than just a touch screen.

posted on 31 Oct 2009, 17:51

7. vzw fanman (Posts: 1976; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

i'm totally getting this phone. it looks like it has endless possibilities!!!! good bye crapple iphone and my crappberry storm!

posted on 08 Nov 2009, 02:58

43. sgtslayer321 (Posts: 36; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)

ya I had the storm before and this blows it away but I can say the storm did have good email

posted on 01 Nov 2009, 08:37

8. Miacol (Posts: 40; Member since: 10 Oct 2008)

This would be a great phone if it was on the GSM networks, the CDMA single use network is a killer. I want to be able to surf and talk on the phone at the same time. Does anyone if a US GSM/3G will become available?

posted on 08 Nov 2009, 13:11

54. Fair&Balanced (Posts: 31; Member since: 29 Jul 2009)

Just to be safe you might want to wait until its equivalent is produced by a reputable manufacturer.

posted on 10 Nov 2009, 15:03

63. Dadler22 (Posts: 161; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

lol, like HTC.

posted on 01 Nov 2009, 09:49 1

9. lennydude (Posts: 23; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)

QUOTE: "but how in the hell are you going to knock the score down so low because of the battery, you mean running multiple apps at once all day affects battery...... really really......and compare it to phones that dont even offer multi-tasking,strange. You had me till that point." END QUOTE. Exactly ! This type of "comparison" review is really BS. Phone Arena could have easily rated the battery on 2 levels, normal use and multitasking use. Why rate a phone so low based on something that is a very positive feature of the phone? Phone Arena really should change the review..........of course they will not..............being iPhone lovers.

posted on 08 Nov 2009, 02:59

44. sgtslayer321 (Posts: 36; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)

I think they are htc lovers

posted on 10 Nov 2009, 15:03

64. Dadler22 (Posts: 161; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

or they just dont like shitty smartphones.

posted on 24 Nov 2009, 10:12

70. destardi (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Nov 2009)

You're a tool and a douchebag rolled into one; that's pretty amazing. FYI - Droid - 24% of the Android market in just over 2 weeks. I guess you suck at knowing what's up. Good luck with that!

posted on 27 Dec 2009, 06:39

74. haste_the_day (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Dec 2009)

or maybe you dont have anything constructive to add to the conversation? seriously? wow...

posted on 01 Nov 2009, 12:04

10. Vandro (Posts: 17; Member since: 12 Aug 2009)

Interesting to see the knock on battery life when BGR claims more than ample performance for a days use. I charge every night, so that isn't a problem. And, firmware update. Still looks like the best offering on Verizon, and probably my first smartphone buy. Droids DO do it better.

posted on 11 Nov 2009, 18:44

65. Dood (Posts: 269; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)

hah. doodoo.

posted on 01 Nov 2009, 15:55

11. hockeyfreakb4 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Nov 2009)

wow.... so biased.... your only three cons were because; 1. it CAN multitask, so you DO, and YOU run the REMOVABLE battery down... your an iphone lover so how about you get an extra battery, something your phone cant do... 2. your too stupid to avoid the touch sensitive buttons. 3. lose some weight and maybe your fat fingers will fit on the keyboard.... and, you talk throughtout the review as if this phone is better than the htc hero, yet the htc hero got a 9 on almost everything, especially the places where the droid beats it.... and sound, cmon, dont knock the volume just it goes to high for your baby ears... turn it down... design, you say its quality built and you give in an 8.5.. you gave the hero a better one and this one is built way better.... camera, the droids camera is obviously 10x better than the hero and you gave them relatively the same score... multimedia, ok what it ships with isnt that great as far as music, but everything else is great and you can download even better stuff in the app store.... and organized, who gives a $H!t if it comes with a freaking voice recorder or the other usless stuff no one ever uses... if u really want it, pick from the plentiful apps for free in the market... most biased review i have ever read... no wonder i prefer phonedog.com

posted on 01 Nov 2009, 19:15

13. JonMayer (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Nov 2009)

I wouldn't be as harsh, but this review is one of the worst I have seen. I just wanted to say Amen brother! The original iPhone's camera got a rating of 7.5... That piece of crap camera in the original iPhone got 0.5 better than the DROID? The battery rating is just BS if they pounded the hell out of the phone and it actually lasted all day. Plus, go buy a second battery if you are worried about long weekend trips to the Australian outback or some crap where you somehow can't find a USB socket. I used to look to phone arena for generally good reviews and now I will take anything posting here with a grain of salt. I registered just today so I could share my complaint with this terrible score.

posted on 02 Nov 2009, 21:06

25. koustik (Posts: 4; Member since: 02 Nov 2009)

The reviews are based on the technology at the time of its release, of course you would only know that if you read the little "how we rate" link. PS: its ok, alot of people that come here forget to notice that little link.

posted on 04 Nov 2009, 15:26

32. idiotwind13 (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Dec 2008)

Don't tell anybody that- notice the flaming i took from pointing out that nobody pays attention to what the number actually means. It's not an absolute scale, but don't try to bring up that. It is unfair to say that the battery gets drained by multitasking, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a very good score of 8.5 is unfair or biased. The 0-10 scale is relative, not an absolute. But nobody wants to hear it.

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Motorola DROID

Motorola DROID

OS: Android 2.2 2.1 2.0
view full specs
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (265 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
TI OMAP3430, Single core, 600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
0.25 GB RAM
Size4.56 x 2.36 x 0.54 inches
(116 x 60 x 14 mm)
5.96 oz  (169 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 6.41 hours talk time

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