Motorola DROID Review
posted by PhoneArena Team / Oct 31, 2009, 5:00 AM
Despite it being a fully feature Android device, it is important to see if it works well for making phone calls of course. Chatting with friends is a pleasant experience on the Motorola DROID because of the powerful speakers emitting strong tones. Being able to hear a caller won't be an issue with the DROID – thanks to its loud earpiece speaker. Voices sounded loud and clear – except for a slight static noise that can be faintly heard at times. On our callers end, they mentioned that our voice was clear and distinct with no issues on their side. Switching to the speaker phone will result in the same manner we had with the media players – it's just too loud and produces crackling sounds on the highest volume, so you have to turn it down some. Fortunately it still manages to work well during our conversations. Overall, you really can't mistake what your callers are saying. We paired a Plantronics Discovery 925 headset and found it a bit unsettling when the DROID was unable to get voice dialing to work.
During our testing in the both the greater Philadelphia and Ft Lauderdale area, the Motorola DROID was more than adept to retaining a solid connection to Verizon's network at all times.
Now comes one of the most important aspects of any smart phone – its battery life. Despite holding a mammoth sized 1400 mAh battery in its compartment, it still managed to get us barely a full working day before the level became too critical. We put the DROID through its paces and used it heavily for just about every aspect – still it clearly shows how much multi-tasking can affect the battery life. Just expect to constantly require charging this phone whenever you get a chance. Fortunately, it may as well be considered ample in the Android class – but well below the levels we found on the iPhone. Motorola has the phone rated for 6.4 hours of talk and 270 hours of standby.
*Update (November 6, 2009):
Now that we've been using the Motorola DROID for several days, we have completed more battery tests. We have been able to get an impressive 6 hours and 45 minutes of continuous talk time on a full charge with no other background services running. When using the DROID under normal mixed conditions (calls, email, web, apps) we got between 24-26 hours of use on a full charge, which is standard for most high-end smartphones. Now that we have more data to go on, we have increased the device's battery rating.
*Update (April 26, 2010):
Since the Motorola DROID has received the Android 2.1 software update, the battery times have been increased. We are now able to get up to 7 hours and 30 minutes of continuous talk time on a full charge, or up to 26 hours with mixed usage.
It's almost unfathomable to see Verizon tie the knot with Android – especially seeing how the carrier passed up the iPhone and usually packs on its applications on smartphones. The obvious comparisons will be made between the DROID and other premier handsets available on the market, including ones that are already part of the Android lineup. Verizon has definitely got itself a jewel in the form of the Motorola DROID and will most likely provide some much needed attention to the open platform. In doing so, it shows Verizon's commitment in lessening their control on how a phone should be retrofitted with software out of the box. As for Motorola, the hype and talk around this phone lives up to the expectations. Being the creators of such a quality product, it clearly places Motorola in the correct direction to becoming the dominant figure it once was. We've slowly seen in the last year how they've changed their focus on the design of their handsets, for example the Motorola Krave ZN4 and Karma QA1 – all culminating to the eventual creation of the Motorola DROID.
With a lot of attention in both ads featured online and television, the DROID is fast becoming a household name. We found very few faults with the device – specifically the minor choppy movements when you navigate through the three home screen pages. Its improvements in the hardware department make it a worthy addition to the Android lineup that's becoming more robust. It's too early to tell whether the DROID will have a profound impact on how the Android platform is received by consumers, but we're sure that its presence on Verizon will attract a whole new audience, not to mention that the HTC DROID Eris will also make its Verizon debut. For Google, this is a win-win position for them thanks partly to Android 2.0 - we're going to expect to see a shift in the mind share of Google's playing field in various software industries. Pack all of these things in a sleek body that's constructed and put together with the finest of materials, you'll have yourself a winner that's sure to stand top among the best of the best. It may not be completely perfect, but it does place the emphasis of DROID in Android.
Software version of the reviewed unit: ESE81
Motorola DROID Video Review:
- Quality built construction and design
- Responsive and Brilliant Screen
- Good call quality and signal reception
- Decent photo and video capture
- First with Android 2.0 and Google Maps Navigation
- A lot of open apps will run down the battery in a day
- Accidental presses of the four touch sensitive buttons
- QWERTY keyboard is nice to have, but keys feel cramped
More content with (DROID)
Posts: 122; Member since: Jul 22, 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 Oct 20, 2010, 1:55 AM 2
Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 28, 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 Nov 05, 2009, 9:57 PM 0
Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 21, 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 Oct 31, 2009, 8:21 AM 0
Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 16, 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 Nov 06, 2009, 11:07 AM 0
Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 29, 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 Oct 31, 2009, 11:27 AM 2
Posts: 385; Member since: Oct 26, 2009
know im not sure if i should get this phone :(
posted on Oct 31, 2009, 12:13 PM 0
Posts: 36; Member since: Oct 01, 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 Nov 08, 2009, 2:53 AM 0
Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 31, 2009
Maybe I'll get an unlocked. 2yrs.+Data plan services still dont add up that well does it.....just my thought.
posted on Oct 31, 2009, 3:24 PM 0
Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 27, 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 Dec 27, 2009, 6:19 AM 1
Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 16, 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 Oct 31, 2009, 3:32 PM 0
Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 27, 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 Dec 27, 2009, 6:21 AM 0
7. vzw fanman
Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008
i'm totally getting this phone. it looks like it has endless possibilities!!!! good bye crapple iphone and my crappberry storm!
posted on Oct 31, 2009, 5:51 PM 0
Posts: 40; Member since: Oct 10, 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 Nov 01, 2009, 8:37 AM 0
Posts: 23; Member since: Jun 06, 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 Nov 01, 2009, 9:49 AM 1
Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 12, 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 Nov 01, 2009, 12:04 PM 0
Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 01, 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 Nov 01, 2009, 3:55 PM 0
Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 01, 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 Nov 01, 2009, 7:15 PM 0
Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 02, 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 Nov 02, 2009, 9:06 PM 0
Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 29, 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.
posted on Nov 04, 2009, 3:26 PM 0
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- Display 3.7" 480 x 854 pixels
- Camera 5 MP
- Processor TI OMAP3430, Single core, 600 MHz
- Battery 1400 mAh(6.41h talk time)