Motorola DROID Review75
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.
Software version of the reviewed unit: ESE81
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