on September 3, 2010
I've had a series of blackberrys for 5 years and made the leap, with serious apprehension, to this phone and will not be looking back. My husband has the HTC Android and I've played around with iPhones so my comparisons are those and my blackberry pearl and curve.
Some of the things I love:
-speed and clarity and almost unlimited amount of things it can do. I went on vacation for a week with my laptop and never took it out of the bag.
- The web surfing is almost as fast as my verizon fios on my computer while the blackberry speed was more like dial up.
-Having flash makes almost all websites accessible (except viewing videos on hulu and netflix - coming soon, I hear)
-The camera and video camera are great quality.
-I read my kindle books on it easily.
- The apps are what make it more like a computer than a phone. I can't believe how many are free and how incredible they are on the Market. Using one on vacation, called Places, I was able to find the nearest anything to where I was standing (cofffee shop, atm, restaurant, etc.. and get reviews and phone numbers all at once, then directions with the navigator - no switching between apps - it is seemless), I could locate the nearest movie theatre, see movies, times, watch trailer and order tickets all at once;
- Programming my Verizon Fios DVR when I'm away from home - apparently you can turn it into your remote too, but that's going just too far (if possible).
- Watching Youtube
- news feeds - don't have to go to websites for my breaking news - great for the news junkie
- the pullout keyboard!!! I am not fan of touchscreen typing for longer texts or emails so I needed this Droid over others or the iPhone because of the pullout keyboard. Glad I did. Althought it has swype, which is a way of typing on the touchscreen without lifting your finger, I still make a lot of typos.
- google calendar - never used it before and love how I was able to share with my husband so he can always see the family schedule on his phone too.
- google everything - wirelessly, syncs everthing to your computer - calendar, contacts and email all updated on device or computer as soon as input
- the way you can enlarge anything you are viewing by pulling your fingers apart on the screen to zoom in. Took awhile to figure out and get good at, but it is great!
- easy to read attachments - word, excel, pdfs, and powerpoints.
- mP3 player - works as well as an ipod. Will be using the Amazon MP3 store for all my music purchases now.
- came loaded with newest android operating system so no waiting for the newest one to come like the others are now.
- the 5 home screens and how you can personalize them. Keep playing with them to get it most functional.
What I don't love:
battery life - it's actally pretty good considering how much I use it for, but I have to keep an eye on it because I use it so much that it can be hard to make it through the day. With my blackberry, I was fine as long as it slept at night in its charge. Now I charge it whenever I'm near a charger - car, kitchen counter, desk...
- size - its not small and is hard to slip in my pocket. But I don't think I would want it any smaller as the screen size if fabulour and to be thinner I'd need to give up the keyboard. Can't have everything.
- getting used to it. Don't know if I could have figure it all out without my husband to teach me. I'm very computer literate and gadget savvy, but I think I would have missed a lot of what it can do without him around to walk me through the basics and set me on my way.
That's it. Haven't found anything else I don't love
on August 23, 2010
When I switched to the Incredilble I couldn't stand not having a physical keyboard. So I traded my Incredible for the droid 2. From my 4 day experience I can definitely say its a keeper. Its just as fast as the incredible and same as the X. The screen is just right, not too small and not too big like the x. It fits in the hands nice. It is a little more bulky than my incredible but you get over it when you use that keyboard. I miss having the sense interface, but there are plenty alternatives. Battery life is what you would expect from a smartphone. A day at the most with moderate usage. I guess it works out good if you have a car charger. I absolutely love android and this phone runs it very well. I haven't had a crash yet in the 4 days. I am somewhat disappointed in the cases for it. I personally like rubber cases but for the droid 2, the keyboard limits that. The snap-ons are the only alternative and it causes the phone to slide harshly. Other than that I really enjoy it.
I Have had this phone for a little more than 2 weeks and it still does not disappoint. My only real complaint was the battery life, but now I have invested in the extended battery. For $50 it is a million times worth it. Before I was pushing about 12 hours and would die before I went to bed. Now it averages about 19-25 hours for me. It adds less than a millimeter and you cant even tell its an extended battery. Fits with my case perfectly. I couldn't be any happier.
on September 10, 2010
I wanted to love the new Droid 2 and waited to purchase my upgrade just for this release. But, when I tried typing on the Droid 2, the top row of keys was just too close to the edge of the screen above, which made it annoying for me to type on and I have very small hands! Also, the keys required significantly more pressure to push than my previous Blackberry phones. I would tap the key and find that it hadn't registered. I didn't like having to push that hard because it made it awkward to hold and type. Between those two tactile "issues", I decided against purchasing the Droid 2. I didn't like losing some of the features of the Droid X (e.g. the HDMI output) but had wanted the keyboard. When the Droid 2 keyboard wasn't easy for me to use, it finalized my decision to buy the Droid X instead, which I will review separately. I posted this review because I would encourage people to try typing on the Droid 2 keyboard themselves. I think this will probably be a matter of personal taste in terms of the new keyboard... and, since that's a major feature of this phone, it seems important!
on August 26, 2010
And as such, it's a moving target, as T-Mobile has a new G2 coming out (G1 Blaze, HTC Vision, etc.) with a keyboard and 1Ghz CPU. For now, this is Motorola's official update to the original Droid (which also has a keyboard), and it's a winner.
So let's start with the good stuff. It's very fast, and it has Android 2.2 (Froyo), and supports Flash, and does nice things like synchronize your settings with Google if you so desire. The keyboard is coated with the same semi-sticky plastic they use on the body, which is a good thing since this is a $600 computer and you don't wanna drop it. As I've been using Android since 2008, I can say that this device has never given me a "Force Close" on any application I've run thus far. Two years in, and this is the best Android device I've used: G1, Garminfone, MyTouch 3G Slide, HTC Incredible, LG Ally are all devices I've used, and only the Incredible would tempt me away. But, gotta have a keyboard.
Internal storage and apps2SD are two huge wins with this device. If you want to go ahead and store apps on the phone, you'll likely not run out of space. If you think you might, you can push the app right to your SD card, and it supports 16Gb microSDs. If you're an iPod user and your iPod holds less than 32Gb, this could replace it easily.
There's bad stuff though. One, this is a Verizon-branded phone, and for some reason, call signal quality is not really very good. Calls on my block are static-sounding, which is really bizarre given that I live in Essex County, NJ and Verizon has blanketed my area for years. I hope Verizon hammers this out, as it isn't a good beginning to the experience.
Also bad is the usual carrier-specific branding and lock-down: there's no way to go 2G-only to conserve battery life, but you do get a battery-use profile tool that may or may not. I have it set to max battery but by day's end, I need to recharge this. With GPS or WiFi, you might get 6 hours of solid use before you worry, 8 and you're done. The radios just use lots of power.
Flash is not supported by default for this phone from Verizon. I had to manually download it and install it. It was available, then not, and I don't know who is at fault there (likely VZW). The root procedure for the Droid 2 is out there, so maybe that's where I will need to go. But, I shouldn't have to... but that's another bit of trouble, in that Motorola is not HTC. Motorola is happily locking these down, whereas with the HTC devices, it's more of a token effort. Openness is a more effective tool for adoption than walled-gardens.
The camera works, and the flash is actually fairly effective in dark rooms. I like it, but for me a camera on a phone is your last-ditch documentary tool. It'll do the job and capture the moment, but I wouldn't rely on it due to shutter lag. It isn't the worst but it still doesn't immediately respond, so you'll get a few blurry shots.
I waited four months for this phone, and it delivered. I fully expect VZW to fix my connection issues in some fashion, and the crew at XDA to supply me a custom ROM in the future. As someone who uses his phone for more than calls, this should last me at least two years before I get the itch go upgrade.
on October 21, 2010
This review is more of a review of my exp. w/amazon wireless. The phone was $120 cheaper with Amazon than with Verizon. I guess you get what you pay for. I think they sent me a refurbished phone first of all. the box looked like it had been opened. When I got the phone out, the plastic that covers the screen was already peeled back and bent up. I went ahead and activated the phone. It worked for an hour and then I wanted to charge it. I put it on the charger and went back to it after a while. When I turned the screen on, it had nothing but black & white lines all over it. I couldn't turn it off so I took the battery out and still black and white lines all over the screen. I emailed Amazon wireless with no response. I was finally able to get my old phone turned back on and call. I was told I could get out of the whole deal and they would email me a packing slip. I have not received the packing slip. I have emailed several more times but still no response. I'm going to try to call again and lunch but this is not looking good. I'm just going to spend the extra money with Verizon so I can get a phone that works. Good Luck!
UPDATE: Be very careful if you order with Amazon and have to send your phone back for any reason. You cannot active your new phone until they not only receive the returned phone but process it which I was told can take 2 weeks to 30 days. I now have a new phone that I purchased directly from Verizon Wireless that I cannot activate because Amazon will not let go of my account. I'm overnighting (at my cost) the old phone but they said it doesn't matter when they receive it, only when they "process" it. I'm so sorry I ever went with them. Buyer beware. I also did call them and they wouldn't budge on their "policy" at all even though they admitted they sent me a defective phone.
on August 31, 2010
I really wanted to like this phone. I have had the iPhone 3G for 2 years. AT&T was so bad I had to change, so I went with this phone and Verizon. Initially, I was impressed with this phone. It took a while to get everything activated, but no longer then it would have with any other carrier. BUT, after a day of use, I had a hard time hearing people and had people complaining that I sounded muffled.
I called Motorola, Verizon, and eventually Amazon. Motorola said they heard some people had a problem with the noise reduction microphone and that a software fix would be coming out that should fix it ... but they never gave me a date ... (the guy even hinted that I could stuff a piece of paper over the wire (causing it to vibrate less)).
In the end, no one would give me a solid answer, so I had no choice to return the phone. Amazon is usually pretty good with returns, but the woman on the phone explained that Amazon's policy for Phone returns is 30 days FROM THE SHIP DATE. I wasn't able to get the phones activated for several days after receiving them, so I was already a week or so into their 30 day period, so I decided to play it safe and ask for an exchange.
Besides bad phone call quality for me, I really thought this phone was nice. However, I think Google and Verizon are trending toward Apple and their strict controls over your device ... for the life of me, I can't understand why they insist on telling me what I can and can not do with a device I paid for and OWN!
Once I get the new phone, give a ride around the block, I'll update the review.
The replacement phone is much better. The phone arrived almost instantly, and as a added bonus, not only did my phone number switch to the new phone when activated, all my programs that were installed ported too.
Also, for whatever reason, this phone's charge lasts a whole lot longer. I don't understand how that could be since I am running the same programs. I know there are performance settings for power management (something I like) so my settings might have changed ...
I was so pleased, I went back and gave it another star.
on September 25, 2010
I have to start by sayn I love my Droid 2. Let's go with the Cons first. The Android O.S. is very buggy on all phones & all carriers. I've tested the HTC EVO,SAMSUNG CAPTIVATE & the first MOTOROLA DROID. All of them showed the hiccups of the Android O.S with multiple FORCE CLOSES & SCREEN FREEZES. They also had a noticeable amount of lag when navigating thru menu screens. If you can deal with these minor setbacks u r n 4 a treat. Now let's go over the Pros. The Droid 2 n my opinion is the best phone on the market simply because it has a very nice 3.7inch touchscreen & a full slideout keyboard. Also it is on the strongest network here n the United States(VERIZON). The call quality on this phone is amazin,I've had no dropped calls & the speaker on this phone is extremely loud(good for music buffs like myself). I don't have enough time to truly say everything that I like about this phone, just know that this is without a doubt the best phone I've ever owned. This coming from a former Iphone 3gs owner. I almost forgot, this phone has a very nice 5 megapixel camera with Flash n Camcorder. The best thing about this phone is it's open source format. You don't have the restrictions of itunes. Just about every format of media is supported on the Droid 2 & syncing music n video is a breeze. In closing, if you r more of tech buff than this phone is for u, if u r lookn for a simple smartphone mayne the iphone might be a better option for u.
on August 30, 2010
I bought this phone last week directly from a Verizon store local to me. Awesome phone, until the 2.2.20 update was pushed to it. I didn't realize it, but that update pushed Adobe Flash 10.1 to the phone, and enabled the browser plugin. My phone suddenly became nearly a brick. Asking it to swap from the browser to another app, or from another app to the browser, and if you were sitting on a page with flash (most use it for adverts, etc. nowadays), you can plan on waiting up to 15 seconds for the phone to become responsive again. It was totally ridiculous, and I can't believe Motorola, Verizon, or Google would endorse Adobe Flash on the phone.
Uninstalled Adobe Flash and the phone was 100% again.
The keyboard is small, but it is a phone, and it feels like a football field compared to my old BB 8330 and 8530 phones (both were excellent machines). I do wish the "search", "return", "home" and "menu" "buttons" were mechanical keys, rather than touch regions on the edge of the screen. I occasionally end up touching them at the wrong time, throwing off my concentration on the task I was performing.
The phone uses a battery in about 10 hours if you are a heavy mobile web user like I am, so be sure you have charging facilities around. I don't know if the Motorola charger uses any special charger wiring to the micro-usb port, but they do separate the charging cable and charger, so if you install the charging drivers on your laptop or desktop, you can easily charge the phone with your computer, without purchasing another micro-usb cable.
The only software I'd like to see improved is the mail reader. I think Apple has a slightly better interface for mail, with the swipe to delete a single mail (rather than tap and hold to delete). Additionally, I find that the overall gmail account vs. email is somewhat confusing. When you activate the phone, it asks you for your gmail account info to setup mail, contacts, and sync. But initially, for several days even, I didn't get any mail through this account. So, I setup my gmail account as a gmail imap account in the email reader as well, and all was well for a couple days, then suddenly, my gmail starts coming through the overarching account you setup when you activate the phone. I am not sure if this was a problem on google's side or not, but it was annoying. Now I can delete the gmail IMAP account. However, even more annoying, the phone gmail account doesn't seem to integrate with the universal inbox. I find this annoying. Google needs to get on the ball with the consistency issues here with gmail and phone sync accounts. That's the only reason I knocked one star off the phone, really.
I'd recommend the phone to a friend, and I would NOT recommend waiting for the iPhone 4 (even though the iPhone 4 seems to be a well executed piece of hardware), but to each his own!
on October 26, 2010
I have had my Motorola Droid 2 for about two months.
I had an LG Voyager and really wanted an iPhone but everyone I know is on Verizon and I love Verizon's coverage. So some folks at work got a Droid X ("upgraded" from a iPhone) and a Droid II and they were going crazy over them. Then I read some reviews in the New York Times and became comfortable that the Motorola Droids had a lot to offer especially since iPhone 2 had a defective antenna. The reviews said that the Motorola Droids (X and II) didn't have the astounding screen resolutions of the iPhone but I have not experienced any resolution frustration whatsoever. The reviews did say that the Motorola Droids' operating system is actually better than Apple's. That's cool. The phone is fast and incredibly smart. Now I don't know how I lived without it. There are a ga-zillion apps for it that are fantastic and free. I am a big time Google user (gmail, docs, calendar, contacts) so guess how thrilled I was when I found out that that is the system the Droids sync with? OMG ! But I've heard that people who use Yahoo have no problems at all - get the same functionality.
So my favorite way to use my Droid is this: the soccer team manager enters in my daughter's soccer schedule on his Google Calendar to which i am subscribed. He enters the time, location, and record of the team we're playing, etc. I go to the calendar item, tap the location information and it asks me if i want to view the location by Google maps or Zillow (Zillow is amazing) - I select Google maps. Up pops the location! I tap the location and i have all kinds of choices like DIRECTIONS (also what's around here, etc). I select Directions, choose navigation and voila - i am being told how to get to the field. 2 seconds. No fuss. No muss. AND FREE !!
The system uses Amazon.com to buy music - again - my preferred method of buying music (I absolutely detest iTunes.) So now I no longer need my iTouch - want to buy it? - i've got all the music I want on my flippin PHONE !!! I can take great pictures with it - upload them to facebook or send out in an email (using my gmail account) and bada-boom, bada-bang it's done. It's almost too easy.
I can look at my calendar while i'm on a phone call. I can check text messages while i'm on a phone call. I guess all Droids can do this but my goodness - this is a huge leap ahead of an LG Voyager. And I no longer "lose" my calendar if / when my phone breaks because it's on Google Calendar.
PS - My children HATE the phone (because they think I like it better than them.)
on September 13, 2010
I bought this phone because of the physical keyboard. It is replacing a Windows Mobile smartphone. I instantly loved everything about this phone. The only thing I don't like about this phone is the actual keyboard.
Swype is amazing! I find Swype just as fast to use as the keyboard; however, it's a lot more conveniant to use. I would love to see a thiner version of this phone without a keyboard. The only reason I didn't go with the Droid X is because it's just too big! Even as thick as this phone is I find it fits comfortably in my hand and pants pocket.
The battery life is good considering what this phone does. I easly get an entire day out of the battery using the phone throughout the day. I have gotten 2 days out of the battery with minimal use.
The phone response quickly and is well laid out. I have used the phone for over a month (since it came out) and have no complaints.