Posts tagged ‘Android’

Two weeks with Droid

So far, I haven’t seen really anything yet from the Droid that is going to cause me to change my 4-and-a-half star rating. Especially after I actually found the question mark key on the slide out keyboard. (It’s just to the right of the L key and just above the period key, where the semicolon key would be on a normal QWERTY or TVQUIZ keyboard.)

On the plus side of the ledger, I traveled with the phone for the first time today, and it worked flawlessly on my drive to visit the folks. The navigation application is so much superior to my trusty old Alpine Blackbird GPS that it isn’t even funny.

I am not at all impressed with the battery life, however. During the week, I don’t think that I am using it excessively, but by the time I get home from work, the freshly charged battery is down to about 30% or 40%. This would seem to indicate to me that I better not try to squeeze two days worth of usage out of it before recharging. The problem here I think is that I would like the wi-fi to be on so that I am not burning through my 5GB unlimited data plan, but it is probably draining the battery quite a bit. More experimentation with the device is called for here.

On the application front, I have only downloaded free apps so far, and there are quite a few good ones. I do like the game Jewels, a Bejeweled clone. I wish I could figure out how to use Google Sky Map, it seems to be so jittery that I can’t get it to behave long enough to try and find anything.

If anyone has any suggestions about how to maximize battery life, please let me know.

Motorola Droid first impressions

It was well past the time to replace my aging, not-quite-functioning-correctly LG enV phone that I have been using for the past 3 years or so. I have been keeping an eye out for an interesting phone to upgrade to, as I wanted to stay with Verizon Wireless.

My wife and I were just about to jump ship to a rival carrier due to a significant lack of good phones offered by Verizon, when the iDon’t commercials with the happy iPod-type music debuted. Instantly entranced by the prospect of a shiny new alternative to the iPhone and Crackberry drones, we decided to take the plunge and switch to the Droid phone when it came out.

I went to my local Verizon store on the morning of November 6th, and after a wait of about an hour, my friendly sales rep Mike had set me up with 2 shiny new Android phones.

Two thumbs up, 4-and-a-half star rating

I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with the fit and finish of the phone, and especially with all of the work that has gone into the Android 2.0 operating system. They have really done a nice job of making the operating system easy to use and very functional.

Once I put in my Gmail account information, it synchronized all of the information that I have put into my Gmail contacts and calendar. I now have all of my contacts instantly on my new phone, which has all of the options that you would expect it to have (along with quite a few features that you wish you had thought of).

Among the built-in apps, I especially like the Maps application, which provides both mapping and navigation information. I have not played with the navigation much, but it appeared that you can use the navigation along with a street view layer if you want. This is very cool. (I do need to get some kind of car dock/charger for this purpose, as I can see the screen turning off as a big problem, and I’m sure the battery runs down quite quickly when using the GPS receiver along with the 3G radio.)

I do have a few negatives about the phone, these largely mirror the thoughts of some of the other reviews that I have read. This is a heavy device compared to other devices. The camera takes utterly craptastic photos indoors, even with the flash turned on. And the volume of the ringer and notifications seems a bit weak to me. (Oh, and by the way, when you use the slide out keyboard, where is the question mark character???)

But all-in-all, I give this phone 2 huge thumbs up, or a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Good job Verizon, Motorola, and Google, you have retained me as a customer for at least another 2 years.