Droid: Almost Not Worth Writing About

Droid by Motorola

If you're curious about Verizon's new Droid, don't be. Don't even read this post. Just go hibernate, and dream that by spring Verizon will have a better Android option.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

It's not that the Droid is a bad phone; it's fine. It just has a slower chip than the Samsung Moment, a clunkier body than the Palm Pre, a more basic UI than HTC's Hero, and... a puzzling alarm-clock stand. The Moment's speed, the Pre's slick design, and the Hero's UI are the only things that put those things on par with Apple's iPhone. The Droid has nothing those phones don't, except of course for this commercial. Which is cool, if you like commercials, but less important if you like smartphones that do stuff well.

There are a couple of cool things; the 3.7-inch screen with 400,000 pixels is huge, it has Android 2.0 before anyone else and also a 5MP camera. If you're a locked-in Verizon customer, this thing isn't half bad. But in the world of smartphones, it's another Android device that doesn't advance the platform. I can't believe I've even found three paragraphs to write about it.

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15 Comments

  • Donovan Walker

    Wow has a year shown this post to be wrong. It still has the highest resolution of any Android phone (same as the Droid X) The processor is overclockable to 1GHz+. With Setcpu running the battery life is exceptional, and android 2.2's release put stock performance on-par with the Nexus 1. It can take a ridiculous amount of abuse and is almost as slim as the 'no keyboard' phones coming out. It's retro hard-tech styling is holding up well in a world of soft 'blah' styled devices.
    The only down-sides to this phone are picture quality (improved after 2.1) and it's relatively small amount of ram (256MB) which when released was a LOT.

    This is basically the affordable swiss-army-knife of smartphones. One might not think there's a lot to write about, but it's sure good to have one on your person.

  • Matthew McCallon

    @Chris Dannen That's my wife's blog my friend...at least my comment was actually relevant and not a personal attack on my family...thanks though

  • Matthew McCallon

    @Chris Dannen That's my wife's blog my friend...at least my comment was actually relevant and not a personal attack on my family...thanks though

  • Matthew McCallon

    @Chris Dannen That's my wife's blog my friend...at least my comment was actually relevant and not a personal attack on my family...thanks though

  • Ryan Dawson

    Note: My responses are long, but they give the truth about Android and the Droid phone. I have lost respect for Fast Company for publishing such a terrible article about what will be the hottest selling phone of the holiday season along with the iPhone. Please no more articles like that. Ever. Ever again.

    "It just has a slower chip than the Samsung Moment"
    - Not true. As the other commenters have pointed out, due to the build type of the processor, it is even better than the Moment's. I have read thorough reviews on both the Moment and the Droid, and they reported the Moment wasn't much faster than the Hero which uses the old Gen 1 Android processor. The processor is almost identical to the 3GS, just slightly clocked down to save battery life due to the multi-tasking and background data syncing features of the Android platform.

    "A clunkier body than the Palm Pre"-
    - Plain and simple. I am a Sprint customer, and I had the opportunity to buy the Pre in June, and had anxiously awaited it before then. Once I tried it out in person and realized it was a cheap plastic phone with a terrible keyboard I knew I could never be happy with that phone and passed. All the reviews I have read have said it has a great feel in the hand and is the only phone in a while to challenge the iPhone in build quality.

    "A more basic UI than HTC's Hero"
    - I currently have the HTC Hero on Sprint, and wish I didn't have the fabled Sense UI. I am really not impressed by it at all. It just slows things down and adds bloat onto the core of the OS. I don't use any of the HTC widgets, just the Android widgets. The things they get right have similar free apps available that do the same thing. I don't want to wait one or two months for an OS update! Plus there is compatibility issues with the Sense UI and some apps!

    "and... a puzzling alarm-clock stand"
    - I have been waiting for an accessory like this for years! Especially for $30. Maybe you enjoy throwing your phone against the wall at the end of the day, but for the rest of us humans, it would be great to have a dock to plug our phones into that would act as an alarm with weather, that showed the time, and gave us easy access to the alarm clock feature.

    "The Moment's speed, the Pre's slick design, and the Hero's UI are the only things that put those things on par with Apple's iPhone. "
    - Actually Crunch Mobile rated the Droid on par with the iPhone, and even overall was a better phone. Also, the reviewer was an iPhone user for 2 years. http://www.mobilecrunch.com/20...

    I have used the iPhone 3GS, and my HTC Hero quite a bit and I can say hands down I like Android better. I am writing this on my MacBook Pro, and enjoy most Apple products, but I prefer the openness of Google's app store, and all the extra flexibility the phones have. I am excited to see a phone that has the guts to handle such a great OS. I already pre-ordered the Droid and will have it in my hands on Nov 6th.

  • Joe Kwon

    Seriously bad fact checking.

    Samsung Moment uses an ARM1176JZF-S CPU clocked at 800mhz, this is an ARMv6KZ class CPU. This is a similar CPU running inside the iPhone and iPhone 3G.

    Motorola Droid is using a Cortex-A8 CPU clocked at 600mhz , this is an ARMv7-A class CPU (a whole CPU class bump), similar as the one in the iPhone 3GS which we all know is a whole lot faster than the previous iPhones.

  • Buddy Ruddy

    This just looks like someone didnt want to put the actual effort into a review and easily just passed it off as another killed "iPhone-killer"

    for one who cares if it's an iPhone killer (which technically it's more functional than the iPhone) but it's features and speed are going to be a stunning offering in the market. Your failure to recognize that, and help promote that, means you shouldn't be writing articles for TECH

  • Yanguang

    The early adopter advantage for Android 2.0 may alone be enough to encourage sales. That, and the fact that Google has begun to (and will most likely continue to) push out interesting (and more importantly, useful) applications.

    A portion of customers that buy an Android phone will no doubt be likely to root their phones and flash a custom ROM, that, opens it up to a whole new spectrum of possibilities (of course, that would depend on the brilliant work of ROM developers, and perhaps the porting of ROMs).

    I will only hope Android adopters (like me) will be able to have access to future Android updates (I would love to have Eclair on my HTC Magic).

  • Peter Elliot

    Mather McCallon is spot on!

    The Droid is an 550MHz ARM A8 with a DSP co-processor and 3D graphic co-processor. The A8 (without the DSP) is around twice as fast clock for clock than the ARM11 in the Samsung, thus think of the Droid as a 1100MHz ARM11 with a DSP co-processor and Video core added - a little more impressive now... I guess you'd prefer a 3GHz Pentium over a 2.5GHz i7.

    You may not like the style of the Droid, but its specification (both hardware and software) blows the Samsung out of the water. I'd also much prefer the 854x480 screen on the Droid over the Moment's 480x320 display.

    I'd recommend that you check your facts a little better before posting such a critical post in the future.

  • Jensen Gelfond

    Spot-on. The thing that makes this product noteworthy is simply the fact that it's on Verizon. All the other publicity is simply people on Verizon being frothed up because they finally can buy a smartphone that's not a blackberry or Samsung knockoff.