Bryan Says...

Rants, opinions, and other stuff I find interesting.

The Motorola Droid almost a month in

So it has been almost a month, and the Motorola Droid reviews are starting to come in. The twitterverse has gotten a hold of a few reviews and unfortunately the prognosis is that the Droid sucks.

I’ve had a Droid since day one. I’m not going to review it in depth, because that has been done; over and over and over again.

I’m going to chime in with an alternative point of view. In my eyes, the Droid doesn’t suck. Actually it is pretty far from sucking. Let’s go over the features that I really like.

Multitasking

Yeah it does multitasks. I can read mail and receive tweets. I can add items to my calendar and read new SMS messages at the same time. I think other phones have set the bar pretty low for this. Being able to do more than one thing at a time should be a given, not the exception.

Verizon’s network

I was an AT&T/Cingular/Whatever customer for over 10 years. I can’t say that my phone service was terrible, but Verizon does seem to work in more places. I was in rural West Virginia over the weekend, and I was able to make and receive calls. Data didn’t work, but at least the phone wasn’t relegated to paper weight.

It’s different

The iPhone has grown very popular. I actually own all three models. Sometimes it is nice to have something that is a bit different. Especially when that different thing has merits of its own.

Now of course there are features which aren’t the greatest, but they aren’t stopping me from using the phone and liking it more and more every day.

The keyboard

Slide out keyboards on mobile phones are something like a holy war. Some folks love them, some folks swear against them. I really had no opinion for or against them. The first couple of days, the keyboard wasn’t too useful for me. Now I’ve learned how to type on it, I don’t find it too bad, but I still don’t use it all the time. I had a similar problem with the iPhone at first because its onscreen keyboard wasn’t intuitive to me until I got used to it.

The widgets

iPhone applications look better than Android apps. I’m sure this is because Apple takes pride in providing methods to create great looking apps. The Android apps aren’t exactly ugly, but I can see the argument that they are a step down from iPhone apps. Looks aside, I’ve found apps for all of my needs, and I don’t feel like I’ve had to compromise in any way. Looks are subjective and I’m sure everyone is going to have their own opinion.

The phone itself

I’m rough on my phones. I don’t like skins are holders or anything like that. My Droid feels a bit more sturdier than my iPhones of past, but the paint around the front bezel is starting to scratch off a bit. I’m sure this won’t be a big deal, because I’m sure I’ll only have this phone for less than another year.

Now, why did I switch to the Droid in the first place? Well the first reason I felt kind of boxed while in the Apple ecosystem. To use some of the greatest iPhone features, you have to have a subscription to MobileMe. You get most of these features free with Google. I’m sure that we’ll consider Google to be the great evil empire in the future, but for now, I don’t mind it too much.

Another reason I switched to the Droid was because of Google Voice. This don’t even work on the iPhone right now. I’m totally in love with the integration and truly enjoy having transcribed voicemails placed in my mail inbox.

Speaking of mail inboxes, Apple really has a crappy email app. For the past few years, Gmail has really grown on me, and having a truly mobile interface that works with multiple accounts simultaneously is big win. I’m sure most that have tried the Droid in the Verizon store weren’t even aware of this feature.

Another thing I like is choice. Yesterday I found out there is a multitouch browser for the Droid called Dolphin. I installed it with no fuss, and now i can pinch, pinch, pinch.

On the iPhone, you get access to Tweetie, which is arguably, the best Twitter client out there. I do miss the fact that I can’t get that on my phone, but I did find this app called Swift which works pretty damn well, and it will still check for tweets while I’m reading mail, chatting in Gtalk or doing something else.

So, I guess this gets down to, why am I writing this? The first reason is that I hate FUD. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. Other people can have other things that they like, and that is ok. The second reason is that I’m sure lots of you who are reading this would actually like the Droid. I just want folks to know that someone out there thinks his phone is hot, and can’t wait to see what comes in the future.