I was lucky enough to receive a test unit of the Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless last week to play around with and provide my thoughts on the new smart phone that everyone has been so hyped up over.
Similar to our MacBook Experience test, I decided to stay away from straight hardware tests and more software and regular usage to determine if this was the phone of the future or a phone that makes life simpler, better and more fun.? The first part of the review will cover the aspect almost all cell phone users can’t live without…texting.
I decided to use the phone for a good week before I posted any reviews to make sure I had a good feel for the phone.? It would not be fair if I was fully unaware of its features or its touch response and how the applications were able to integrate with one another.
The Motorola Droid offers a dedicated Messaging button on any of the 3 customizable home screens which is handy as I like being able to press one button to get to my texts.? I’ve noticed cell phones offer this feature as well but blackberry devices (specifically my Blackberry Tour 9630) require a bit more navigation with a trackball to get to my messages.
The SMS screen will prompt you for a phone number or contacts name which you can type in directly, but one of the more annoying things I found is typing in numbers using the full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the bottom of the unit.? Since this was a test unit, I had to type in any number I wanted to text rather then typing in a name, which would’ve been easier, but I was forced to select the ALT key + a number every time for each digit…
The?onscreen keyboard is similar to an iPhone.? I thought it was very responsive and good at determining where my fingers were pressing in relation to the keys.? I was very happy with the addition of software which tried to determine the word I was looking to type which became handy on longer words upward of 6 – 7 letters.
If you turn the phone on its side, it boasts an even larger keyboard which stretches the length of the screen.? Once again, I felt it was similar to an iPhone except the keys felt a bit more stretched out.? For those with “bigger” fingers, this could be a plus while others with tinier fingers could find it a bit annoying.
The slide out keyboard is a wonderful addition that will be?raising the bar for these flat smart phones.? While the keyboard has had tough reviews for the lack of a raised key pad or ridges to make it easier to type on, I think the judges spoke a bit prematurely.? I think any user can get very used to the hardware after a short period of time; for me it took less then a week until I was typing flawlessly without any spelling errors.? The keyboard also has dedicated symbols built onto dedicated keys which I found to be a huge plus!
Overall, texting on the Droid is a thumbs up in my book.? Threaded texting with the choice of three keyboards is hard to beat.? I give my thumbs up on messaging to the Motorola Droid!