Initial Impressions: Droid

I’ve had the Motorola Droid for about a week now (I bought it on Black Friday), so it’s about time I posted some initial impressions.  I’ll follow this up with more details later.

Overall, I like it a lot.  I think it’s  a great device, and it’s light years ahead of the Blackberry Tour and Storm I had back in July and September.


  • Nice, big, bright LCD screen.  It’s got a 3.7” touch screen, and at 480×854 it has the highest resolution of any smartphone I know.  It’s certainly higher than the iPhone at 480×320, and the Tour and Storm which both weigh in at 480×360.
  • Amazing integration with Google Applications: Gmail, Gmail Contacts, Google Calendar, etc.  I just entered my Google Account username and password, and it automatically synced all of my mail, contacts, and appointments.
  • Ringtones, alarms, notifications, etc. can all be created from MP3, WAV, or AAC files.
  • It’s nice to have both a physical and a virtual keyboard.
  • Google Navigation is amazing.
  • Voice search works very well and is contextual.
  • The Shortcuts and Widgets feature is pretty cool.  I like that I can do a direct dial right on the home screen to anyone I choose.  (As you might expect, Charlene is right there in the corner.)
  • The browser is very good.  Right up there with the iPhone, if not perhaps a bit better.  It’s certainly better than any Blackberry browser I’ve used.
  • The hardware is fast.  Faster than the iPhone 3G (I don’t have a 3GS to test against), and faster than the Blackberries.  The screen refreshes very quickly, and both keyboards are fast.  They don’t leave me waiting like the iPhone does.
  • The network is fast.  Dragging my finger around a map doesn’t leave me hanging as I wait for the map to reload.  Pages load faster over WiFi than they do on the iPhone.  Using the Speedtest app at home on WiFi I was able to get download speeds of 5 mbps and upload speeds of 2mbps with a 45ms ping.  Even on 3G, I got 2172kbps/701kbps with a 99ms ping the other night.


  • Pattern security works, but is overly sensitive.
  • The Android Market is still relatively sparse.  It doesn’t have a few of my favorite iPhone apps like Dropbox, WordPress, and Gasbag, but I figure it’s only a matter of time before the developers migrate to Android.  Of course, the other way to look at it is there’s plenty of room for up-and-coming developers to fill those voids with their own products.
  • I haven’t figured out a way to organize the applications on screen.  It appears that they are organized in alphabetical order, but unlike Blackberry, I don’t believe there’s a way to relegate unused icons to a folder or hide them.  Maybe it’s just my own ignorance.
  • Battery life is just OK. I go about a day between charges.
  • It auto-imports everything from Google.  This is good and bad.  It’s super convenient, but if I didn’t want everything imported, it’s a pain to undo.


  • At night, the LCD is almost too bright, even at the lowest brightness setting, so I wish it went down a few more gradations.  I’m not sure if this is a hardware or a software issue.
  • The phone is prone to locking itself, and the only resolution is a hard reset.
  • When viewing e-mail in the Gmail app, there are three big buttons on the bottom for “Archive”, “Delete”, and “Older.”  I wish those were buried in a menu or customizable.  I don’t use Gmail’s Archive function (maybe I should?), so that button is really unnecessary for me.  On more than one occasion I’ve unknowingly hit the Archive button and wondered where an e-mail disappeared to.
  • No “Alarm Only” mode.

Those are my first impressions of the Droid. If you have one, what do you think?

One thought on “Initial Impressions: Droid

  1. Pingback: Brian @ Wongside » Droid Additional Impressions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *