Smartphone Review: The Motorola Droid

A smartphone is arguably the handiest tool for small business owners and managers who need to stay connected while on the move. The advent of devices built around Google’s Android operating system provides a new alternative to the wildly popular iPhone, and Lisa Phifer at reviews the new Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless to see how it compares to its hefty competition.

Price: $199.99 after rebate, with two-year plan
Pros:   Big screen, physical keyboard, navigation, voice-driven apps, Android 2.0, 3G coverage
Cons: Clunkier than iPhone or HTC, hard-to-use keys, tap-to-zoom, sometimes goes AWOL

We have to commend VzWireless: its “iDon’t DROID does” ad campaign sparked plenty of buzz about the Motorola DROID—arguably the first business-targeted Android phone. Over 250,000 DROIDs were sold in just the first week; total sales are expected to top one million by year-end.

But does the Motorola DROID from VzWireless really DO more than the iPhone or other Android phones? During our two-week test drive, we found that the DROID delivered what was promised—but still fell disappointingly short of perfection.

Getting Physical

The first thing you notice about the DROID is its large, sharp 3.7-inch (480 x 854 pixel) light-sensitive WGVA display. Housed in a nearly-borderless 2.4″ x 4.6″ x 0.5″ black frame, the DROID’s frontal view handily bests any other Android phone on the market and rivals that of the iPhone. The only thing missing from this handsome display: pinch-to-zoom.

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