Thursday, December 10, 2009

Motorola Droid and CLIQ

Technology Review

motorola_cliq_3 I’m in the midst of changing my phone.  I currently use the Blackberry Pearl Flip and I’m very dissatisfied with it.  I recently wrote a post about it, Blackberry Pearl Flip Makes me Flip.

I was considering one of the Android phones and the Motorola CLIQ has stood out given the tight integration with Google Apps and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  I’d love to write a review about it, but I’ve not yet purchased it. 

However, a good friend, Scot Shier recently purchased the CLIQ’s AT&T brethren, the Motorola Droid.  Below is his review.

motorola-droid-site3FINALLY!!  I've waited YEARS for Verizon to get a decent Smart Phone.  I did
not want to sacrifice call quality by switching to AT&T for their iPhone
(though I was tempted).  And I did not want to pay $30/month for internet
access unless it REALLY worked great/fast.  My waiting is OVER!  DROID is
HERE!

I am still giggly with excitement over how great this phone is!  I no longer
have iPhone envy.  Let me walk you through a quick comparison (with links at
the end for further reviews).

motorola_droid_1NOTE: I have not yet exported my contact data from ACT to Outlook (to enable
syncing with my DROID).  I did that several years ago with a PDA/GPS unit,
and it became a mess (so I'm moving slowly).  I also have not set up any of
my 8 email accounts on the DROID (again, I am moving slowly).

Here are the key points of comparison

1.      BASIC PHONE: Sound quality and connections (rarely a dropped call)
are better on the Verizon network (than iPhone on AT&T)

2.      NAVIGATION: DROID's Android 2.0 OS designed by GOOGLE is awesome! After using the DROID, I just returned my two Garmin Nuvi GPS units.  With Droid, I simply click "Navigation" and TELL my DROID what to look up.  The Voice Recognition software is better than anything I have experienced.  It performs a "Google Search" on whatever I say (ex: "Costco in Laguna Hills"). The displayed webpage highlights the phone and address info, making them hyperlinks to the phone dialer and navigation program.  I touch the "address" to launch Google Maps.  It brings up a Satellite-Photo Image of the location.  I then touch "Navigate" to produce written and VERBAL instructions, which take me to my destination.

     a.      Unlike a GPS database (which is never complete and requires
expensive annual updates), the internet is always up to date and lists
everyone!

3.      KEYBOARD: I always wanted a physical keyboard.  DROID has it.  The
keys are flat and take getting used to.  But I like it a lot better than
losing all my display to a virtual keyboard (which you still have on DROID,
if you want it).

4.      DISPLAY: 4.7" tall (vs iPhone 4.5").  3.7" diagonal (vs. 3.5").
Cristal clear (854 x 480 pixels vs iPhone 480 x 320).  So it is bigger and
sharper.

5.      BATTERY: A full charge will barely last through a day of heavy use
(same as on an iPhone).  But you can pack an extra batter if needed (vs.
iPhone has non-replaceable internal battery).  That could be handy if you
take a lot of long plane flights)

6.      MEMORY: Comes with a removable 16 GB micro SD card.  You can install a 32 GB micro SD card, if you need it.  With the iPhone, the memory is built in (you must pick either 16GB or 32GB).

7.      CAMERA: 5-megapixel (vs. iPhone's 3.5-megapixel) sensor.  However,
reviews say the iPhone's software is better (provides a clearer picture and
more "fun" features).  I wish the video mode would allow me to zoom in.

8.      APPS: Over 10,000 available for DROID (vs. 100,000+ for iPhone).
Personally, 10,000 apps is overwhelming (so what's the benefit of 10X
overwhelming?).  Also, most DROID apps are FREE! (Most iPhone apps charge $1~$5).  Software for DROID is growing rapidly, because they use an open architecture (anyone can write an app)).  iPhone apps must be
reviewed/approved by Apple (and typically charge more), but their user
interface is more consistent between all their different apps.

     a.      Many of the popular apps on iPhone are being written for the DROID. My iPhone friends says they have apps for all the Google/GPS features on the DROID.  But with the DROID, they are built into the unit.  Your Google Search Button is on the Case (it is ALWAYS available).  And you don't have to type: the Microphone is ALWAYS available when doing a search (you speak, it types).  To do the same thing on the iPhone would require many key strokes and launching programs.

     b.      MULTI-TASKING: DROID can run several programs at once.  I am told this is a great thing.  iPhone must close one program to open another
(except for iTunes, which can keep playing music).

motorola-droid-vs-iphone-3gs-2Overall, I think the DROID is a better machine for the businessmen.  The
iPhone will probably command greater "Cool Factor" for the teen audience,
especially with its iTunes and crazier applications.  But for me, the DROID
gets me to where I need to go and surfs the Web faster than my Cox Cable.  I
feel like Capt Kirk, whipping out my Communicator:  "Scotty, Beam me UP!"

PS:  I searched the web looking for the best reviews on the DROID vs iPhone.
Here are four good ones:

What Do You Think?

Please feel free to share your thoughts below.