Droid thoughts

Werit isn’t the only one who got a Droid this week. I did too. I’d been coasting on a pre-pay cell plan using a Razr (which I *hated*) for about a year. Hated the phone, but loved spending only $15/month on it.

But I felt the siren-call of smartphones, and yet I knew I didn’t want an iPhone (I’ve gone from complete and total Apple fanboy to not really trusting the company or their hardware, though I do still like OS X). Windows Mobile seemed dull and Palm OS feels like it’s going to go *poof!* any day now. What was feeling new and exciting was Android, so I was waiting to see what came out of Google’s mobile OS. When I first heard about the Droid I kinda fell in love with the phone but I wasn’t really ready to a) be a trailblazer or b) take on a $70/month phone bill.

However I was headed towards a gadget crossroads. My iPod was on its last legs…the connector was going on it, the battery was shot and it needed replacing. And I was really starting to want a small camera to carry around, and to be able to upload images to twitter or facebook from the road. And again, I hated my phone.

The Droid solves all these problems. It has a 5 megapixel camera that takes OK shots for what I wanted (stupid things like “Look at this cheeseburger I’m about to eat” twitpics — see example below), it plays music and more importantly, podcasts, and it’s a nice phone and a great geeky toy. Oh and as a bonus it does a great job as a turn-by-turn navigational system.

And of course it runs Android, which is a platform that’s much, much more open than the iPhone. No, there aren’t a million apps (or whatever the iPhone is at now) but there’s 10,000 and more all the time.

Still, I was holding off, until Werit ordered his. I knew my willpower wouldn’t stand up to hearing him tweet and blog about his new toy, and I had a trip coming up where I’d be far from any internet connection: the perfect test for a Droid. So last Wednesday I went out and got one.

And so far, not the slightest hint of buyer’s remorse. I love the thing (though I do have some nits to pick). It worked great on our trip and I was able to get myself into trouble by uploading pics of Angela being tired and grumpy, and take dumb snapshots from the ferry and share them on twitter. I was able to show my mom (who is in her mid-80s) Facebook for the first time, pointing out a shot of a guy who is now probably 45 that she last saw when he was about 10. Heh, exposing my mom to Facebook was probably worth the cost of entry right there.

I downloaded a nice podcast catcher/player so I don’t even have to sync the phone; I just d/l the podcasts right to it. I haven’t bothered to move much music to it since it has a Pandora app. I found a nice little e-book reader app. Of course snagged a few games. A twitter client. Shazam, which does that “What song is this?” thing that Midori does on the iPhone. A barcode scanner…

Anyway, haven’t had it for even a full week yet so no ‘review’ at this point, but early signs are positive. My one real gripe is ‘waking’ the thing up. When the screen goes dark (to save power) I have to hit a tiny button on top of the unit which wakes the screen, but the screen is still locked. I then have to do a swipe on the screen to get the unit to a fully functioning state. That’s 1 step too many, IMO. I did find a neat little app that will prevent the Droid from going to sleep mode when certain apps are running, and that works great (this was a big deal mostly with the podcast player…if I missed something and wanted to back up, the player has a nice easy 30-second rewind button, but first I had to unlock the screen to access it, which wasn’t a great idea while driving).

The Android app market is still really young and I’m confident that as developers get better, little rough spots like this one will get smoothed out.

For now, I’m a Droid Fan.

Taken out the window of my car. Resized/cropped to desktop size

3 thoughts on “Droid thoughts

  1. I played with one of these in the Verizon store this weekend too… in February when I can upgrade my phone for cheap, it will be mine. I was really impressed with it. Plus it still has the keypad for texting and the like, which I prefer over using the iPhone’s touchscreen. I can’t wait… I’m using a Crzr or whatever the smaller Razr is, and I loathe the thing since my eNV broke.

  2. I’ve been really tempted to get one, but since I’m only three months into my current two year contract I’ll be keeping my Storm. Droids are nice, but not $500+ nice. You’ll have to post again at the six month mark and let us know how the Droid is doing.

  3. I recently got a Droid too since AT&T wanted to charge me 600 bucks to replace a broken iPhone since I wasn’t “eligible for an upgrade.” So I spent 100 bucks to cancel the line and bought a Droid w/ Verizon. Not a hint of buyers remorse so far. I love it for all the things it does that the iPhone doesn’t AND for the things almost all smartphones do.

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