The Droid fails AS A PRODUCT when compared to Palm Pre and iPhone

So, the hype got to me. Yesterday I headed to Verizon and bought a Motorola Droid, which runs Google’s Android operating system.

Last night my friend Luke Kilpatrick came over and we compared the Droid to the Palm Pre and iPhone. He’s a bit biased toward the Palm, and ran the first Palm Pre Dev Camp but he’s also a mobile freak and has an iPhone and an HTC Hero, which runs an older version of the Android OS. Plus we get together with other people at the Ritz and compare phones regularly and I know he is fair and knows his stuff.

Why did I buy the Droid when I’m a happy iPhone? Because for the past two days Dave Winer has been praising the Droid and because I want to stay up to date on what’s going on on the Android OS. It’s one thing to try a phone for a couple of minutes, it’s a whole nother thing to force yourself to use it.

For instance, if you see it in the store you might not see that the battery door keeps popping off. If it does that after only a few hours of use it’ll really bug the crap out of you after a year.

And that gives you some insight into why the Motorola Droid fails AS A PRODUCT when compared to the Palm Pre and iPhone.

Now, thousands of words have been written about the Droid here’s Chris Brogan who praises the Droid. CrunchGear did TWO in depth iPhone vs. Droid phone comparisons. Here’s the first. Here’s the second. I HIGHLY recommend reading these.

They are right that Android is an interesting phone because it has interesting technology that goes further than the iPhone. What is better about the Droid?

1. It has a FAR better screen. The screen is amazing on the Droid. The Palm Pre is similarly sharp but is very small.
2. Verizon is amazing. It didn’t drop on the usual dead zone on my route home. I have 3G in my house. AT&T? Major fail.
3. The call quality is noticeably better. Dave Winer and I did a comparison last night (we both kept our iPhones) and the phone quality is noticeably better.
4. There are some apps that are dramatically better. Google’s Voice (which Mike Arrington loves) and Google’s Sky Map are two that have already stood out. Other apps are noticeably not even close to as good. Facebook and all the Twitter apps, for instance, are a LOT better on the iPhone.
5. There are some features that are better on Android. The text completion, for instance, is better on Android. It shows you a selection of words it thinks you are trying to type. Dave tells me it learns, too, from your usage. Something iPhone doesn’t do nearly as well.
6. It has a physical keyboard. More on that later.
7. Developers say they like the Android platform better and find that they are able to push apps to customers faster than on iPhone. (Palm Pre has the same advantages and Kilpatrick points out that its developer platform is based on web technologies (Javascript and CSS) rather than on harder-to-learn Java.
8. Integration with Google’s apps (calendar, mail, etc) is better and deeper into the phone than on iPhone (new Gmails pop up on top with an icon, for instance).

Anyway, if you read all of these you might be already headed out the door to buy the Droid.

Here is why you might not want to head out the door yet and why the Droid just isn’t a great product (and, why, on the other hand, if you are a developer you should run now):

First, the out-of-box experience. My first reaction was “boy is the screen beautiful but boy am I overwhelmed by the complexity.” What do I mean by that? the iPhone has a far simpler UI. You can only drag it one direction, left and right. On the Droid you can drag the UI left and right and up and down. This introduces a LOT more complexity. I can see how geeks love it, though, because it’s like getting another monitor. More places to stick icons! Dave Winer told me I would get over this complexity. He’s probably right, because I’m a power user and can see the power in such an approach. It just doesn’t give you a nice out-of-box experience the way the iPhone does. Normal people will try this phone at a Verizon store and not even understand why it feels more complicated.

Second, the hardware. I totally disagree with CrunchGear on this point. Greg Kumparak said that the Droid is “a shining example of great industrial design.”

Oh, please.

It’s a phone an engineer could love. Compared to the iPhone or the Palm Pre it isn’t even in the same league. The battery door on the back proves my point. The iPhone? They just got rid of the idea of replaceable batteries and the Palm Pre spent a LOT of time making sure that having a replaceable battery did NOT make the phone have a noticeable door. The back of both the iPhone and the Palm Pre is smooth. The back of the Droid is not. That is NOT a shining example of great industrial design.

So, where else does the phone not measure up AS A PRODUCT?

The Web browser. Here, go to http://www.techmeme.com. The iPhone displays it properly. The Droid does not (the right hand menu is underneath the content area). This is one reason I’ve turned away from Nokia phones. If your web browser doesn’t work right on the first few websites I visit, what’s the chances it’ll work right on your banking site, or when you go to ESPN or something?

Where else does the Droid fall flat?

Well, last night we went to YouTube on all of the phones. Every phone displayed the high res videos except one: the Droid. Come on now, this is a Google OS running a Google service. It should work far better than the iPhone or the Palm Pre. But it doesn’t and there isn’t an obvious way to force the HD version to come down. Major fail.

What else does it fall flat on?

Most people, when I look at their iPhones, have a common set of apps. Facebook is #1 amongst them. When I visited Apple’s headquarters recently they had a huge screen with the top 3,000 apps displayed on it. Each app blinked when the app was downloaded. Which app was blinking the fastest? Facebook’s.

But Facebook’s UI sucks on Droid compared to iPhone.

Most people will see this and say Droid sucks. Just this one app will affect millions of people’s decisions as to whether or not the phone is a real product. If I were Google I’d make sure that Facebook had BY FAR the best app on Android and if they weren’t willing to play ball with you I’d build my own and put my best engineers on it.

And that comes to Twitter. The best Twitter app on the Droid sucks (everyone told me that Twidroid was the best app on the Droid for Twitter and, indeed, it has the highest ratings in the app store on the Droid). It does not even come close to ANY of the top five apps on the iPhone, not to mention my favorite, Tweetie. It is clear that the bleeding edge app developers are not yet putting their best work into the Android platform. That is quickly changing, Pandora’s founder, Tim Westergren, told me he is seeing the most growth in Android of all the platforms Pandora is available on and they are putting a lot of work into making sure Pandora rocks on Android, but it hasn’t shown up in the apps most people will try. At least not yet.

Some other reasons why the Droid isn’t a great product?

The keyboard and cursor control just don’t come up to the standards set by the Blackberry I had 10 years ago. It’s a low-cost glued on keyboard that just doesn’t offer that many benefits over an optical keyboard. I said on the podcast that I need a week to really give you feedback about why it’s unsatisfying, but here’s an example from my friend Steve Repetti: if you buy the optional case it peels the keyboard off! I talked with Steve last night and he said he almost didn’t write the blog post because he really wants Android to succeed (he’s a developer, are you noticing a trend?) but that he wanted to warn people not to use the rubber “bra.” This is an example of how the industrial design just wasn’t thought out. More and more I’m liking Apple’s decision to just get rid of the physical keyboard. Yes, people gripe about not having a physical keyboard, but no keyboard makes the device a simpler and better-thought-out product.

Another reason?

No multitouch. I just talked with Dave Winer about this and he says it’s the number one thing most people mention to him after he shows them his Droid. It doesn’t make sense, either, because other Android phones support multitouch (pinching to make things zoom in and out). If you really can’t use multitouch you MUST provide a better UI to zoom in. Last night I was at the Ritz with my Droid and tried to show some people some photos of Mavericks. I could not figure out how to zoom in. Later I found that the zoom control was hidden in the corner. Nice way to make me feel stupid. iPhone never had this problem.

Another reason?

In Verizon you could barely even tell that this was a huge product launch weekend. One dinky little sign. Now compare how Apple does the full-court press on its new products. Everyone is wearing T-shirts. There’s tons of signage. There’s tons of excitement. Our salesguy was excited but he was still carrying his old Blackberry. That spoke volumes to me that Verizon really isn’t behind the Droid. It’s just another phone in a long list of phones to them.

Another reason?

The camera sucks. First of all, it’s crashed on me several times. The iPhone and Palm Pre cameras have never crashed on me. Second, the iPhone camera seems magical. You can touch the screen to tell it where to focus. Don’t care about that? Yeah, the Droid has a flash but the flash in the Palm Pre works a LOT better (we took pictures last night in near darkness to compare). The iPhone also has a much better selection of photo apps to use and manipulate your images. Since the camera is an integral part of the experience, this one will leave most people unsatisfied. I do love that the phone says “5 megapixel” right under the camera. The iPhone doesn’t (it’s only a 3, but I found the camera quality to be about the same so far, so even the extra megapixels amount to little more than talk without action).

Anyway, I could keep going. I’ll keep it at least a week and push myself to use it. The voice quality is so much better that I might just use it as my phone and keep the iPhone for other things. I’m fortunate that I can afford to do that, but if I were forced into picking one, today, I’d pick the iPhone without hesitating and I’d recommend the same to everyone.

I told Dave Winer that it looks a lot like Windows 3.1. The Mac back then was way better, but we all know that Apple ended up in 1995 with a small market share compared to Windows 95. The thing is, the Droid is Windows 3.1. It is showing the momentum is shifting but now Google has to ship their metaphorical equivalent of Windows 95. It isn’t this phone.

That said, what do you think? Am I missing something?

Comments

  1. Nice. Will a wider variety of better apps be enough to push Droid over the top? Will it be able to compete when/if iPhone finally comes to Verizon?

    Seems to me the only advantage most people would find useful is the network, but that isn't reason enough to switch for most of us.

    And, most importantly, the Droid lacks magic. Dammit, if you want to beat the iPhone, you MUST have a little magic in your device.

    Can you see Droid usurping Blackberry's hold on mobile devices?

  2. I think you hit on something. Even my salesguy admitted that the Droid has him thinking of replacing his Blackberry. The Blackberry UI is so ugly and dated that the Droid will probably win with people like that who feel they MUST have a physical keyboard. The Droid is definitely a better experience than Blackberry already. It's just that I have an iPhone and my friend has a Palm Pre and it doesn't measure up to those two.

  3. Great article. Regardless is Droid itself is superior to the iPhone, it is clear that formidable competitors are appearing… and more importantly, the big winner here is Android. This blog post and the subsequent commentary proves it – there is discussion, there is improving hardware and the OS is carrier / hardware agnostic. Even as an iPhone enthusiast, I think it's exciting

  4. Oh, absolutely! Even Apple fans who would never consider switching have to love the competition. Why? It will force Apple to get better. The screen on the Droid really shows that Apple needs a push. Wow is that thing beautiful!

  5. I switched over from BB, only for the fact that i can't get myself to use ATT just yet. I have wanted to use an iphone since the first one. That said, I like this write up a lot. All good points, the only thing that will help the Android as i fortell is because of the marketing and the lack of a true Market, a lot of developers may flock to this product to help push some money into their pockets.
    @tdhurts yes it does lack Magic but unfortunately iphone did raise that bar by quit a high standard. I'm thinking iphone, palm pre and droid will have a great battle for us all to enjoy each model upgrade. There is room for all the love. Love brings passion which will bring growth

  6. that's what excites me, by the time apple is on verizon i'll be even happier. So i had to thank motorola and android by buying a Droid

  7. Most of these shortcomings are fixable with a firmware update… Kind of you to show Google the todo list :p

  8. I felt the same way after one day

    I'm still not convinced I'm gonna stay with droid

    But a few things inspire me about the droid so I'm going to stay with it for a bit

    -open app model
    -twidroid isn't as nice as tweetie2 but it runs in the background which is sweet. I'm guessing we will see more twitter apps soon for android
    -I like foursquare on android better than iphone version
    -maps on droid is better and faster than iphone
    -googlevoice is dreamy
    -vzw network is dreamier
    -created by my friends andy rubin and rich miner. And I like using my friends products ;)

  9. When will they realize to stop targeting the iPhone's flaws? All they do is make their own, which in turn, are flaws already overcome by the iPhone and the services/apps behind it?

    I give it time, and Android as an OS will overcome the iPhone OS by leaps and bounds.

  10. These are good reasons to stay! Thanks, I was hoping I'd find more of them because I sure feel like returning this and know I need to keep it to stay up-to-date on Android.

  11. Thanks for the report Robert…
    Just wait until you get out of a big city or the Valley, visit some realatives and all Verizon has is a 1RT connection that varies between 24 and 56K dialup. It'll make EDGE look like a speed demon. And don't believe the Verizon (broadband) coverage maps. If you call & bitch enough, they might put you thru to a tower tech, they'll give you the real scoop. Just spent 3 days on 1RT and I wasn't exactly out in the unpopulated boonies. Maps & specs are nice but am waiting for real reports from the real world :-)

  12. Phrased the question incorrectly: in US smartphone marketshare. It is obviously 'biased' data, but AdMob's latest reports have Apple at 48% and Android at 17% of US smartphone web calls. Not the ideal metric – but a good proxy.

    You are right about Nokia and device marketshare. Particularly international.

  13. Great post. You and Dave Winer (and Luke Kilpatrick, and CrunchGear, and Chris Brogan) are doing all of my work for me here. As one of the “normal” people you refer to herein, I am now certain that the Droid in its current form would not make me happier than the iPhone in its current form. I have a passionate hatred of ATT call quality and am exasperated that we seem to be in the phone dark ages in relationship to that, but I love the beautiful hardware design of the iPhone, and in general I love the OS. (BTW, I am surprised that you say that the Facebook app is better on the iPhone. I don't think it is very good on the iPhone.) The attitude of Apple about the iPhone also is a problem for me. There is an arrogance about being Number One that I have seen over and over from different companies, and for the consumer it is unfortunate because it leads, unchecked, to Number Twoism, and then I will need to find another phone. In any case I appreciate all of the product testing. Thanks.

  14. I like the droid. Bought one Friday. Why? Three Reasons:

    1.) I'm a geek.
    2.) Android 2.0
    3.) Verizon's network.

    I'd take an iPhone in a second over the Droid….if it was on Verizon.

  15. saw a post today on twitter for droid best suggesiion was a mobile site lol m.dabr.co.uk I am on twidroid but am not a fan in the least, i loved ubertwitter for my bb but hopefully someone will get another on here. and agree with all your other apps listed.

  16. I have had an iphone since day one, now on my third and I too bought a Droid. Same reasons you did, just to stay up on the latest. I agree with much of what you have said. I do not have an issue with my battery cover, works just fine. I also did not have an issue with zooming into photos, actually you just tap twice on the screen like the iphone and it zooms in on that area. No pinch does suck.

    Im certainly no Droid sympathizer and I agree right now iPhone wins. HOWEVER, Windows Mobile started 10 years ago, Symbian nearly 15 years, Palm nearly 15years, so Android at less than 5 is certainly impressive. I wouldnt discount this OS. There is no doubt that Apple will not be the dominant world player. The “one closed device” system Apple is hell bent on maintaining may give them the lions share of the USA smart phone market, but worldwide? Thats where Android will win out in the long run.

    Thanks for the review. What do you think? Will Android be able to beat out Symbian worldwide?

  17. I don't think Android will pass iPhone unless something spectacular happens next year and I don't think it will. Everyone in China says Apple has locked up the best supply chain, so building a better device than Apple isn't in the cards. That said, I'd expect Android to grow faster percentage wise than Apple next year.

    1. On the other hand, if more people like you who want Apple to do well make the sacrifice you did and buy a Droid phone, then it will happen. Thanks for helping encourage Apple to continue to make great products.

  18. Yes, the coverage is sooooo location specific. But, it's still a largish “town”. I just covered 600 miles in SW MN (all red areas on the Verizon map) and rarely saw EVDO. The only place was Marshall, MN (15K probably), leave town and back to 1RT.
    Will the Droid even work with 1RT?
    Also, can the Droid do simultaneous voice/data? I sure can't on my phone (tethered). When a call comes in it drops the data connection.

  19. Weird, on Facebook (the Web page, not the app) the double-click on photo thing wasn't working for some reason. Very frustrating. The zoom control did work, though.

  20. As to Symbian, that OS is not up to the standards of Android. But Symbian will be the market share winner for a long time (Nokia sells a ton of single-chip phones to emerging markets that don't even know what a web browser is).

  21. I'll switch my iPhone over to Verizon too if it goes. The network is noticeably better in Half Moon Bay. Ironic, too, because I know of a major Apple exec who lives just down the road from me.

  22. Finally – a review that chooses a side! I’m tired of reading these reviews where they say it’s ultimately a personal decision.

  23. Another good point I should have made in my article. No, the Droid can't do simultaneous voice and data (I believe this is due to the EVDO network that Verizon uses). Good points about getting service in rural areas. I don't use a phone in rural areas very often.

  24. Hm… during a once-through read of this post, I kept noting that all of the negatives you mention (except the back door, and maybe the keyboard) — are software issues. So it's likely that someone will come up with a killa twitta app, a better facebook app, fix the camera issue, etc – all within short order. There could even be a fairly quick upgrade to tweak the memory, keyboard, and door issues. It's not a matter of whether, but of when. If all the software issues were fixed, would that tip the balance?

  25. Mark: yes. That's why I feel Android is Windows 3.1. It's ugly. But you can see the future is going to be very bright. Developers ARE supporting Android in a big way. It's their second platform, I've been interviewing a ton of them.

  26. Ahh, yes, I just forgot about that. We talked about Google's Maps in the podcast. I'll add that as another good thing about Droid (turn-by-turn directions and street-level views rock on the Droid).

  27. I've played with all three as well and the iPhone still wins. Like
    BluRay vs DVD, the differences aren't THAT much better to switch.

    Also, how much thinking do we REALLY want our phones to require? Seems
    the droid is trying too hard to be a netbook replacement.

  28. Good review, but yeah I feel like technology is interesting but most of the time geeks overlook the average customer profile. Key is usability, usability and some more usability. The easier an device is to adapt, the far better chance it will have to gain market share. This rule can be applied to anything now days since the average user does not worry about what makes it run, just that it is easy to understand and it runs fast. Pretty counts too.

  29. Good review, but yeah I feel like technology is interesting but most of the time geeks overlook the average customer profile. Key is usability, usability and some more usability. The easier an device is to adapt, the far better chance it will have to gain market share. This rule can be applied to anything now days since the average user does not worry about what makes it run, just that it is easy to understand and it runs fast. Pretty counts too.

  30. I'll tell you why you are entirely right, Scoble. Yes, this is the same story as win3.11 vs. OS7: because Apple cares. Because they have designers who work on their products. Google & MS seems to have engineers only (I know it's not true, but it looks like). Engineers care about functionality. Designers care about usability.

  31. I'll tell you why you are entirely right, Scoble. Yes, this is the same story as win3.11 vs. OS7: because Apple cares. Because they have designers who work on their products. Google & MS seems to have engineers only (I know it's not true, but it looks like). Engineers care about functionality. Designers care about usability.

  32. If it can't do data/voice simultaneously, that kind of negates the multitasking to a certain degree I would think doesn't it?
    Rural – When the iPhone first came out I know there were areas where it was hard to get a connection but it was still better than the Verizon connections I was getting here in MN. Until the last few months I wasn't even able to get a 1RT connection. But, as mentioned, connections and what type are soooo location specific.
    The Droid could turn out to be just “the phone for geeks in a largish city” :-)

  33. If it can't do data/voice simultaneously, that kind of negates the multitasking to a certain degree I would think doesn't it?
    Rural – When the iPhone first came out I know there were areas where it was hard to get a connection but it was still better than the Verizon connections I was getting here in MN. Until the last few months I wasn't even able to get a 1RT connection. But, as mentioned, connections and what type are soooo location specific.
    The Droid could turn out to be just “the phone for geeks in a largish city” :-)

  34. Thanks to you, Dave and Chris for spending the coin, time and cognition on comparing these devices. I look forward to you this time next year, when a more refined version of the Droid will be competing against iPhone 4.0, whatever that looks like, perhaps on the same network. That latter point has always been the challenge for iPhone users. So much of what is wrong with the device, in terms of call quality and reception, seems to stem from the carrier. I look forward to an apples-to-apples breakdown in the future.

    For now, I'm left wondering whether the Droid will be of interest to more people on the enterprise level, as opposed to the bleeding edge where you've been ensconced for so many years. Chris Brogan described the easy sync with Google Apps and his @chrisbrogan.com email accounts. If Google is successful in pitching its productivity suite to large organizations, Android devices might be a viable alternative to the Outlook-BlackBerry ecosystem that dominates corporate America. In that scenario, it's Microsoft and RIM that need to be on the lookout, not the folks in Cupertino.

    One point of curiousity: is there a Google Wave app or front end for the Droid yet? I've been playing around with it on my iPhone now. It's sluggish but stable. I'm curious about whether that part of the OS will be built out as a distributed collaboration point of access.

  35. Thanks to you, Dave and Chris for spending the coin, time and cognition on comparing these devices. I look forward to you this time next year, when a more refined version of the Droid will be competing against iPhone 4.0, whatever that looks like, perhaps on the same network. That latter point has always been the challenge for iPhone users. So much of what is wrong with the device, in terms of call quality and reception, seems to stem from the carrier. I look forward to an apples-to-apples breakdown in the future.

    For now, I'm left wondering whether the Droid will be of interest to more people on the enterprise level, as opposed to the bleeding edge where you've been ensconced for so many years. Chris Brogan described the easy sync with Google Apps and his @chrisbrogan.com email accounts. If Google is successful in pitching its productivity suite to large organizations, Android devices might be a viable alternative to the Outlook-BlackBerry ecosystem that dominates corporate America. In that scenario, it's Microsoft and RIM that need to be on the lookout, not the folks in Cupertino.

    One point of curiousity: is there a Google Wave app or front end for the Droid yet? I've been playing around with it on my iPhone now. It's sluggish but stable. I'm curious about whether that part of the OS will be built out as a distributed collaboration point of access.

  36. It's not quite that simple, though. Google has a better platform-building team and approach. This is why Android has come in late into the market and already gotten more than 10,000 apps built for it (something that Microsoft, Nokia, Palm and others have failed to do, by the way). The platform eventually wins. Or at least that's been true so far. That beautiful Mac? It was cloned “enough” by Microsoft and Microsoft's superior platform approach led it to 90% marketshare. Being beautiful and usable is NOT enough!

  37. It's not quite that simple, though. Google has a better platform-building team and approach. This is why Android has come in late into the market and already gotten more than 10,000 apps built for it (something that Microsoft, Nokia, Palm and others have failed to do, by the way). The platform eventually wins. Or at least that's been true so far. That beautiful Mac? It was cloned “enough” by Microsoft and Microsoft's superior platform approach led it to 90% marketshare. Being beautiful and usable is NOT enough!

    1. I believe Microsoft’s 90% marketshare had more to do with Corporate focus and shrewd bundling than anything else.

  38. Hah, I don't like Wave so I've been ignoring that. But I think you are right on. Google is making big plays to stick its foot into enterprises. Microsoft better watch out here.

  39. Hah, I don't like Wave so I've been ignoring that. But I think you are right on. Google is making big plays to stick its foot into enterprises. Microsoft better watch out here.

  40. Robert, I have no issue with the physical device (the battery door issue coming open) like you have, so I wonder if yours happens to be a lemon. My device feels nice and solid, and though I have not used the keyboard as much (touchscreen feels faster) I haven't been worried about it coming off.

    I did warn you on Twitter about the apps. Facebook and Twitter apps (and Tumblr) cannot remotely compare to the iPhone apps, and I'm not sure why that is. I do think it will get better as Droids gain in popularity because developers and designers will go where the money is.

    I did not have a smartphone before (was on Verizon because AT&T does not have adequate coverage in the country where I am on the weekends) so I am REALLY enjoying my Droid. However, the little apps I love on my iPod (Tweetie vs. Twitroid) make me miss it only when I am tweeting. I've already used the voice turn-by-turn GPS feature on my Droid to find a place I'd never been before in Kansas City and it was sweeeeet!!! I think I will use it a ton.

    To compare the Droid now, with a phone that's been out a long time and now has so many apps for it, is tough… give the Droid time and I think we will see a lot of people using iPhones and Droids. I have several products that will require mobile versions, and I plan to make them for both iPhone and Android but not Blackberry. I agree that these Android phones, if done well, will put the screws to Blackberry moreso than Apple.

    I would not rush to switch if I already have an iPhone, but if I wasn't on AT&T and didn't have an iPhone, I'd definitely consider the Droid next. I really like mine and see a WHOLE lot of possibility for voice-navigated apps, or apps that give you feedback while you interact with them (akin to a robot.)

  41. Robert, I have no issue with the physical device (the battery door issue coming open) like you have, so I wonder if yours happens to be a lemon. My device feels nice and solid, and though I have not used the keyboard as much (touchscreen feels faster) I haven't been worried about it coming off.

    I did warn you on Twitter about the apps. Facebook and Twitter apps (and Tumblr) cannot remotely compare to the iPhone apps, and I'm not sure why that is. I do think it will get better as Droids gain in popularity because developers and designers will go where the money is.

    I did not have a smartphone before (was on Verizon because AT&T does not have adequate coverage in the country where I am on the weekends) so I am REALLY enjoying my Droid. However, the little apps I love on my iPod (Tweetie vs. Twitroid) make me miss it only when I am tweeting. I've already used the voice turn-by-turn GPS feature on my Droid to find a place I'd never been before in Kansas City and it was sweeeeet!!! I think I will use it a ton.

    To compare the Droid now, with a phone that's been out a long time and now has so many apps for it, is tough… give the Droid time and I think we will see a lot of people using iPhones and Droids. I have several products that will require mobile versions, and I plan to make them for both iPhone and Android but not Blackberry. I agree that these Android phones, if done well, will put the screws to Blackberry moreso than Apple.

    I would not rush to switch if I already have an iPhone, but if I wasn't on AT&T and didn't have an iPhone, I'd definitely consider the Droid next. I really like mine and see a WHOLE lot of possibility for voice-navigated apps, or apps that give you feedback while you interact with them (akin to a robot.)

  42. Robert, the big guys put out HUGE networks but I have to say, AT&T is CONSISTENTLY lacking when it comes to coverage and dead spots. Is this because they are trying to increase footprint as much as possible while avoiding overlapping cells? I would image a narrower range for the overall cell would improve drop rates, no?

    As for the Iphone, it is a MISERABLE fail when it comes to voice quality. That fault likes with Apple. It is still a phone….yes, the “value-add” has shifted to data and other services but it needs to do the basic function of VOICE, no? When will someone get Ericsson type of RF into these smartphones? Who do you think has the best voice quality these days? I remember some of the Ericsson and Nokia models back in the 90s SMOKING these smartphones on voice quality. It has degraded to a point of shame….

    I had a Motorola Q for the longest time and was on Verizon. My fiancee was on AT&T and had a Q as well. She didn't like the blackberry….which, to be blunt, surprises me. Today we are on a family plan for AT&T with me having a Blackberry Bold (I NEED a horizontal pad, which the Iphone didn't have back then-I've got large fingers and even the horizontal Iphone is a challenge for me.) My fiancee has migrated to an Iphone. She LOVES the thing but the voice quality is lacking. The apps are nothing short of UNBELIEVABLE on the thing.

    I've been debating on what I'll do in the future. We're stuck on AT&T for 1.5 years so I've got time to think about it :) If the Iphone ends up on Verizon's network I might consider getting that. We'll try out the two networks and then pick a winner for us.

    And then we have this damn Sprint 4G network going live in Dallas, where I am at :) Nov 11th kickoff party…. I probably won't have coverage but I'll be looking into it. 100 mb is worth looking into :)

    Dan
    @BetterBizIdeas

  43. Robert, the big guys put out HUGE networks but I have to say, AT&T is CONSISTENTLY lacking when it comes to coverage and dead spots. Is this because they are trying to increase footprint as much as possible while avoiding overlapping cells? I would image a narrower range for the overall cell would improve drop rates, no?

    As for the Iphone, it is a MISERABLE fail when it comes to voice quality. That fault likes with Apple. It is still a phone….yes, the “value-add” has shifted to data and other services but it needs to do the basic function of VOICE, no? When will someone get Ericsson type of RF into these smartphones? Who do you think has the best voice quality these days? I remember some of the Ericsson and Nokia models back in the 90s SMOKING these smartphones on voice quality. It has degraded to a point of shame….

    I had a Motorola Q for the longest time and was on Verizon. My fiancee was on AT&T and had a Q as well. She didn't like the blackberry….which, to be blunt, surprises me. Today we are on a family plan for AT&T with me having a Blackberry Bold (I NEED a horizontal pad, which the Iphone didn't have back then-I've got large fingers and even the horizontal Iphone is a challenge for me.) My fiancee has migrated to an Iphone. She LOVES the thing but the voice quality is lacking. The apps are nothing short of UNBELIEVABLE on the thing.

    I've been debating on what I'll do in the future. We're stuck on AT&T for 1.5 years so I've got time to think about it :) If the Iphone ends up on Verizon's network I might consider getting that. We'll try out the two networks and then pick a winner for us.

    And then we have this damn Sprint 4G network going live in Dallas, where I am at :) Nov 11th kickoff party…. I probably won't have coverage but I'll be looking into it. 100 mb is worth looking into :)

    Dan
    @BetterBizIdeas

  44. Hardware glitches and unpolished apps are less important to me than the comparisons between the respective platforms. The former issues will take care of themselves. What will be interesting to watch now is the frequency of Android/iPhone OS releases and the improvements contained in those OS releases. Can Apple compete against a whole industry not only on the hardware side as they have had to do with desktop PC manufacturers but also compete with a whole industry on the software side, something they did not have to do with Windows which is also controlled by a single company.

  45. Hardware glitches and unpolished apps are less important to me than the comparisons between the respective platforms. The former issues will take care of themselves. What will be interesting to watch now is the frequency of Android/iPhone OS releases and the improvements contained in those OS releases. Can Apple compete against a whole industry not only on the hardware side as they have had to do with desktop PC manufacturers but also compete with a whole industry on the software side, something they did not have to do with Windows which is also controlled by a single company.

  46. “It’s a phone an engineer could love” hmmmm this means: not simple to use for non-tech individuals. The majority of phone customers are non-engineers. Droid is facing a problem…

  47. Got to drive a new $400K John Deer combine this weekend – Bet it has more tech in it than your Prius Robert. Drives itself based on your GPS planting tracks with sensors to keep it aligned with the crop rows. Calculates yield, moisture, etc. You ought to go talk tech with John Deer :-)

  48. I think the “magic” is relative. Because of coverage issues (I live in rural area part of the week, city part of the week) getting an iPhone has not been optional for me, so I had an LG Scoop which I refer to as a dumbphone. I got the Droid and life is definitely “magical” so for a smartphone user already, Droid may fail to impress as much. For a dumbphone user, the Droid brings them into current technology and gives options never-before experienced. No other smartphone Verizon offered appealed to me, which is why I had not purchased one before now.

  49. But, the difference back then was most computing was “business” computing controlled by IT and that was IBM/Microsoft based. Other than geeks/hobbiests/designers, most people has computers provided by their IT department. No, consumers decide on their own, the geeks have influence but not control like they did way back when. So, not sure the same dynamics are in play. Apple does great marketing/promotion and has an “easy to use” platform. Android could fragment with incompatibilities all over the place and the phone owner (consumer) is now on their own, can't go running off to the IT department to solve their problem.

  50. Thanks. That was just the sort of review I like to read. Hands on experience—actual usage—as opposed to a padded press release or a list of product feature bullet points.

  51. Thanks. That was just the sort of review I like to read. Hands on experience—actual usage—as opposed to a padded press release or a list of product feature bullet points.

  52. Physical keyboards are HUGE for me. The Droid one has no “feel” to the keyboard from what I've heard when compared to the blackberrys.

    On a different note, everything points to the Android OS getting more and more features/apps on it. I think the Android will catch the Iphone due to ITERATIONs. What is the expression in the valley Robert? Deploy technology quick and then iterate, again and again and again. The Iphone only updates every few years but the Android, due to so many manufacturers backing it, has the POTENTIAL to get better as one manufacturer after another integrates new hardware/software features into it. I think it is just a matter of TIME before the Android catches up.

    Having said that, we need to go back to discussing the OS/system integration. These devices are about the APPS now. I want network coverage 1st and then, depending on the user, # of apps or good voice quality. I prefer voice quality…

    Every phone with Android won't deliver the same experience that the Iphone will with their App store. Don't forget that KEY component of the discussion Robert. SOOOOO many people with hundreds of $$$ spent on Iphone Applications. I think VZ is just pushing hard with smartphones to try and force Apple over to their network on decent financial terms. If they do that watch AT&T stock price drop like a rock. Just my 2 cents.

    Dan
    @BetterBizIdeas

    1. Quote:
      I think the Android will catch the Iphone due to ITERATIONs.[...] Deploy technology quick and then iterate, again and again and again. The Iphone only updates every few years but the Android, due to so many manufacturers backing it, has the POTENTIAL to get better as one manufacturer after another integrates new hardware/software features into it. I think it is just a matter of TIME before the Android catches up.
      End of Quote

      Well, like, because having many manufacturers in the boat really made Windows Mobile stand out as THE superior OS for phones, right?
      C’mon guys, gimme a break here!
      Let me set this straight:
      We’re not talking about some two-guys-software-shop pairing up with their-neighbors-garage-workshop on building a kick-ass phone here, we’re talking about Google teaming up with Motorola!

      So we have a company, that has many more software-engineers as well as much more money on their hands than Apple, (Google, that is) teaming up with a company that has a history of more than a decade in building mobile-phones — some of which were amazing products that set standards (e.g. the original RAZR).
      These two companies have had the opportunity to observe the iPhone for over two years now. They had the opportunity to study what made people want and long for, but also despise of the iPhone for TWO (in Googles case more like three) FRIGGIN YEARS NOW!

      And the best they come up with is:
      - a UI that still lacks polish in many areas and
      - an inferior web-browser
      in a device that features
      - a battery door that happens to not always stay in place,
      - a camera with inferior focus capabilities and an overall inferior picture quality,
      - a dissatisfying hardware keyboard, that is crammed because some dude had the glorious idea that when you have a gorgeous 3.7″ touch screen you really need a 4 way control thingy sitting beside it, usurping a considerate amount of the already quite scarce resource “space”.

      Considering the UI and overall UX work, that should have already been done in the first place, but apparently has been omitted:
      How are you expecting FAST iteration fixing these flaws, if even the “slow” initial didn’t?

      I can’t stress this point enough: They! Had! Two! Years!

      Device-wise:
      Well it’s hardware so iterations take a lot more time…
      So “ship early” is about the dumbest thing you can do here.
      It’s more like “make sure you actually do ship, but take the time to reconsider your design first, because changing it midst production costs you an awful lot of money”.

      (Another) Dan

  53. I totally agree on this. Microsoft won the OS war (with windows95) because of aggressive marketing, especially in business segment. And, yes, because they built platform for developers.
    Now this is what Apple has – platform + marketing + user experience. And that's a killer combination. IMO only google has power to beat it, if they would want it. But I don't see they are “aggressive enough” – Android seems to be their hobby project for geeks. And I don't understand why…

    1. The problem is that Apple is doing everything they can to push developers to anyone but Apple w/their outrageous app store policies.

    2. Hmm…
      I can’t say a lot about Mac development in the old days, but I highly doubt MS had to offer developers anything comparable to the NeXT toolchain, which — in fact — was used quite often in business, so you should count it into the comparison.
      Back then, MS won over NeXT, so I wouldn’t pound too much on the “platform for developers” argument.

      So that makes it all marketing for ’95…

      Today, Apple has the NeXT toolchain — Interface Builder and Cocoa(Touch) are the successors of NeXT Interface Builder and NeXTStep — and this toolset has improved a lot since then.
      I guess that’s why there are over 100,000 titles on the AppStore — despite the fact that virtually no-one used the Objective-C language and “the whole world” speaks Java.

      These 100k+ Apps — in turn — make for great marketing.

      So yes, Apple _really_ has both now.
      And while they have a neat platform for developers, that’s not why people actually get an iPhone:
      They do so because of the overall UX and hardware design — or the hype, Apples ubiquitous marketing has built around it.

  54. I totally agree on this. Microsoft won the OS war (with windows95) because of aggressive marketing, especially in business segment. And, yes, because they built platform for developers.
    Now this is what Apple has – platform + marketing + user experience. And that's a killer combination. IMO only google has power to beat it, if they would want it. But I don't see they are “aggressive enough” – Android seems to be their hobby project for geeks. And I don't understand why…

  55. Personally I think you concentrated more on the flaws than on the goods.

    Either way you look at it, DROID is a good thing. It will bring the most “heat” in the Apple / iPhone camp, which means good stuff for us, consumers!

    …and I bet that Apple will revise their AppStore policy :)

  56. Personally I think you concentrated more on the flaws than on the goods.

    Either way you look at it, DROID is a good thing. It will bring the most “heat” in the Apple / iPhone camp, which means good stuff for us, consumers!

    …and I bet that Apple will revise their AppStore policy :)

  57. Personally I think you concentrated more on the flaws than on the goods.

    Either way you look at it, DROID is a good thing. It will bring the most “heat” in the Apple / iPhone camp, which means good stuff for us, consumers!

    …and I bet that Apple will revise their AppStore policy :)

  58. getting mine tomorrow.

    my expectations are balanced.
    as a verizon customer, this succeeds as a product as it is much better than any other phone thay they offer.
    and no verizon customer should leave just to experience the iphone. the iphone might be great but not so great to sacrifice quality of the network. so fo all of us verizon peeps, its a great upgrade!

    now look ahead 2-6 months and think about how many android 2.0 software issues will be fixed. how many bugs will be squashed? i'm sure quite a bit form the pattern of software releases i've seen from google.

    hardware wise… i've played wth the moto droid and really like it. it's my kind if phone. i dont like too slick and sexy curvy shiny phones that are too light and slip out of my hand. i like some ruggedness.
    not sure about this battery cover issue but that will suck if its the case on mine. the keyboard felt kind of weird but i'm not accustomed to any type of keyboard besides the numpad so anything is good to me (and many others who are coming from dumbphones). but i can grok how the keyboard is not as enjoyable as some others for the obvius reasons that its not large and deep and layout is boxy. but others have said that you get used to it and it becomes a non-issue.

    multi-touch might be coming to the browser. sounds like a legal issue?

    1. I agree with you , all except one. The iPhone isnt that greata design, its back isnt made to lay flat on its back on a flat surface, the overall design , in my opinion , is rather bland. I think the Hero has a better design overall, its bolder, more daring and cleaner. btw, Im a designer by trade.

      1. So is Jonathan Ive. But I will definitely put your skills and reputation over his. His new iMac design is too Scandinavian and depressing and you cannot lay the computer on its side without it tipping over. Not very practical.And like Sull above, I prefer something more rugged, so I am just using electrical tape to hold the battery cover in place and I don’t care if it blocks the screen or doesn’t let me pull the keyboard out. And just cut a piece of sandpaper and glued it to the back just to make sure the phone doesn’t slip out of my hand. It is on Verizon and their coverage map is all red – my favourite colour. The only bad thing about it is that I can’t hang up on the missus and claim the call was dropped.

      2. So is Jonathan Ive. But I will definitely put your skills and reputation over his. His new iMac design is too Scandinavian and depressing and you cannot lay the computer on its side without it tipping over. Not very practical.And like Sull above, I prefer something more rugged, so I am just using electrical tape to hold the battery cover in place and I don’t care if it blocks the screen or doesn’t let me pull the keyboard out. And just cut a piece of sandpaper and glued it to the back just to make sure the phone doesn’t slip out of my hand. It is on Verizon and their coverage map is all red – my favourite colour. The only bad thing about it is that I can’t hang up on the missus and claim the call was dropped.

  59. getting mine tomorrow.

    my expectations are balanced.
    as a verizon customer, this succeeds as a product as it is much better than any other phone thay they offer.
    and no verizon customer should leave just to experience the iphone. the iphone might be great but not so great to sacrifice quality of the network. so fo all of us verizon peeps, its a great upgrade!

    now look ahead 2-6 months and think about how many android 2.0 software issues will be fixed. how many bugs will be squashed? i'm sure quite a bit form the pattern of software releases i've seen from google.

    hardware wise… i've played wth the moto droid and really like it. it's my kind if phone. i dont like too slick and sexy curvy shiny phones that are too light and slip out of my hand. i like some ruggedness.
    not sure about this battery cover issue but that will suck if its the case on mine. the keyboard felt kind of weird but i'm not accustomed to any type of keyboard besides the numpad so anything is good to me (and many others who are coming from dumbphones). but i can grok how the keyboard is not as enjoyable as some others for the obvius reasons that its not large and deep and layout is boxy. but others have said that you get used to it and it becomes a non-issue.

    multi-touch might be coming to the browser. sounds like a legal issue?

  60. getting mine tomorrow.

    my expectations are balanced.
    as a verizon customer, this succeeds as a product as it is much better than any other phone thay they offer.
    and no verizon customer should leave just to experience the iphone. the iphone might be great but not so great to sacrifice quality of the network. so fo all of us verizon peeps, its a great upgrade!

    now look ahead 2-6 months and think about how many android 2.0 software issues will be fixed. how many bugs will be squashed? i'm sure quite a bit form the pattern of software releases i've seen from google.

    hardware wise… i've played wth the moto droid and really like it. it's my kind if phone. i dont like too slick and sexy curvy shiny phones that are too light and slip out of my hand. i like some ruggedness.
    not sure about this battery cover issue but that will suck if its the case on mine. the keyboard felt kind of weird but i'm not accustomed to any type of keyboard besides the numpad so anything is good to me (and many others who are coming from dumbphones). but i can grok how the keyboard is not as enjoyable as some others for the obvius reasons that its not large and deep and layout is boxy. but others have said that you get used to it and it becomes a non-issue.

    multi-touch might be coming to the browser. sounds like a legal issue?

  61. getting mine tomorrow.

    my expectations are balanced.
    as a verizon customer, this succeeds as a product as it is much better than any other phone thay they offer.
    and no verizon customer should leave just to experience the iphone. the iphone might be great but not so great to sacrifice quality of the network. so fo all of us verizon peeps, its a great upgrade!

    now look ahead 2-6 months and think about how many android 2.0 software issues will be fixed. how many bugs will be squashed? i'm sure quite a bit form the pattern of software releases i've seen from google.

    hardware wise… i've played wth the moto droid and really like it. it's my kind if phone. i dont like too slick and sexy curvy shiny phones that are too light and slip out of my hand. i like some ruggedness.
    not sure about this battery cover issue but that will suck if its the case on mine. the keyboard felt kind of weird but i'm not accustomed to any type of keyboard besides the numpad so anything is good to me (and many others who are coming from dumbphones). but i can grok how the keyboard is not as enjoyable as some others for the obvius reasons that its not large and deep and layout is boxy. but others have said that you get used to it and it becomes a non-issue.

    multi-touch might be coming to the browser. sounds like a legal issue?

  62. I think you are neglecting the fact that you used phones comfortably before the iPhone existed, that you had to learn/adapt to the iPhone, and that the iPhone didn’t even have 3rd party Apps when it was introduced.

    Saying that the Droid will fail because there’s no Twitter app that you like as much as Tweetie on the iPhone is a tad strange…

    I for one am a happy iPhone user since 1.5 years but can’t wait until the Milestone (Droid’s name in Europe) will be available here so I can use that, too. Got a Magic a while ago and really like Android, can see myself not renewing my iPhone contract next year because of the Milestone.

    BTW – this page seems to refresh every couple of seconds. Reading the comments from top to bottom is very difficult today. :-(

  63. Archos 5 Internet Tablet is the best hardware with Android at the moment.

    Archos displays 800×480 medium density on a much larger 2x larger screen. You get the full width of all websites with no zooming in needed.

    Any app, including twidroid look much better on Archos much larger screen simply because you get 2x more information on the screen. And the Archos is not too big to fit in a pocket, it's smaller than most wallets and passports.

    Archos costs $249 with no contracts needed, just WiFi or 3G through bluetooth tethering.

    Archos supports USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard input for Android, also when outputting Android in 720p to a HDTV using HDMI. I can easilly type this comment using my Archos and a full sized pocketable foldable bluetooth keyboard, while nobody not even geeks care to type such long blog comments using any touch screen (resistive or capacitative) or any droid-like tiny thumb keyboards. Those thumb keyboards are only good for short sms or twitter type messages while standing.

    iphone, droid, palm do NOT support Youtube HD playback. (what are you talking about??) Archos supports real Youtube HD support on a HDTV through HDMI output see http://archosfans.com/2009/11/03/archos-5-inter

    multitouch is a useless gimmick but can easily be added to Android (probably some sort of US-only legal matter because Apple wants to own IP to be the only one to use multitouch or something, but Google shouldn't have to respect that completely idiotic claim (apple never invented anything)).

    droid is just one of 50+ Android phones coming out in the next few weeks. It doesn't matter that Verizon wants to sell this overpriced phone (which costs $150 to manufacture) with a $2839 to $3799 contract same ridiculous total cost of ownership for the iphone.

  64. thanks for the reply!
    I get what you mean by the Win 3.1 analogy. My question is really this: since most of the flaws can be fixed via the magic of software and through the expedience of the market, is it still to early for us commoners to bet on the device due to its hardware? Others have not reported the 'back door' issue.. I'd be in the majority who would go in for a 2-year contract, but with the very first hardware version — sometimes its better to wait for 1.1. Is the lack of haptic zoom 'multitouch' a hardware limitation?

    1. Multitouch is built into Android. It’s just for some reason they disabled it on this phone in the US. The European version has multitouch in the browser.

      People are speculating it’s some kind of (lame) agreement between Google and Apple. Engadget analyzed Apple’s patents on multitouch and concluded that Google should have no problem implementing this feature in Android. So it is really annoying they disabled it, but chances are good that a hack will come out soon to enable it, and perhaps, hopefully, Google will release an update to enable it. It is a really annoying drawback in the browser for me, multitouch is the thing I miss the most from the iPhone.

  65. When we play the YouTube videos (same video, same UI) the ones on the Palm Pre, the HTC Touch, the iPhone are much higher resolution than the ones that play on the Droid. Yes, they are NOT “true HD” but they are very sharp and very good looking. Not on the Droid. They look like ass on the Droid.

  66. Magic is definitely relative. Competition in this case is very, very
    good. And yes, because I live in a major city, coverage isn't
    necessarily an issue for me, which is why I have an iPhone.

    I'm just tired of the Droid/iPhone comparisons, because I think they
    are misguided.

  67. thomas with twidroid here. lots of majuscules in your text but anyway: one of the main reasons why UIs are unequally inferior are not only the way you build apps (open vs. closed hw/sw system) and the SDK itself but also marginal to non-existing UI standards, no ready-made drag & drop UI items, variations in carrier- & device firmware, hard- & software input, screen sizes, international customizations, modded phones, rooted phones and last but not least completely different expectations among users and the linux’ish target group itself. in a nutshell: beautiful mess. obviously, all these reasons eat up a huge pile of time that one could better spend with improving UX and polishing the interface. those who started early with android development have learned and are still learning it the hard way, just like they did with win 3.1 back in the days.

  68. Am I the only one who finds it funny that essentially, we are comparing a brand spanking new phone platform with the iphone which is essentially a 2-3 years old phone? Yes the 3G/3Gs and OS3.0 has made siginificant changes, but the overall form factor, basic premise and UI is 2-3 years old. And YET it still kicks ass compared to all the new comers in terms of usability, “feel”, the “just works” factor, tight integration with your music, Mobile Me and other cloud platforms. Yes there are limitations, but come on. If you cant compate with the iphone 3 years after it came out after putting so much into your “flagship”, you should find a new business.

    I have no doubt that Android will be a very solid mobile platform, with some good phone offerings. But not having a focussed market and vertical strategy will cause the platform to remain “flaky” in terms of user experience. In the mobile market, owning and controlling the complete stack of hardware, firmware, software and API helps. I think Android is still a year away from being a real threat and needs 1 or 2 more “killer” devices that can generate a cult following like the iphone did. Remember. Cult following doesnt work if geeks are the only ones following (Remember Betamax?). Unless the 15 yr old school girl and the 55 yr old grandma both use it equally well, its not a cult device.

    Just my $0.02

    1. the compete with iPhone, you do not need singularly killing devices..

      you just need the spectrum of carriers and manufacturers, in the aggregrate, all pushing devices into a wider variety of markets.. It will not be long before there are many 10′s of millions more phones out there than Apple has

      Remember, Google can cut all the big players a bit of ad revenue, subsidizing the carrier and manufacturing costs. Neither Apple or MS can compete with this effectively

  69. thomas with twidroid here. lots of majuscules in your text but anyway: one of the main reasons why UIs are unequally inferior are not only the way you build apps (open vs. closed hw/sw system) and the SDK itself but also marginal to non-existing UI standards, no ready-made drag & drop UI items, variations in carrier- & device firmware, hard- & software input, screen sizes, international customizations, modded phones, rooted phones and last but not least completely different expectations among users and the linux'ish target group itself. in a nutshell: beautiful mess. obviously, all these reasons eat up a huge pile of time that one could better spend with improving UX and polishing the interface. those who started early with android development have learned and are still learning it the hard way, just like they did with win 3.1 back in the days.

    1. Okey, the max resolution needed is 640×480, and 20 more pixels if u want to display status bar too. Extra resolution is not always great, rather, it is bad. You have to make device for today, make sure you are not ahead of time. You need better processing power to render more pixels and more power for display. Droid is bulky with big screen, wait few weeks, you will start hearing battery complaints.

  70. I think all of your points are valid but I still like the Droid better. Then again, I’m a nerd, so the “rawness” of Android appeals to me. iPhone is definitely a better phone for most people, I think, just because everything is so easy to use and even my mom can use the damn thing. I think if she had a Droid she’d be lost as hell. The iPhone definitely has a lot more polish. Android 2.0 is a lot better than previous releases but it still has a ways to go, for sure, for the average person.

    But me… I love the little guy :)

    Your points about twitter and facebook are important too, because these are such huge apps. Twidroid does suck a fat one, but I recommend “twidgit” instead – it’s just a widget that runs on your android desktop that works quite well and looks 100x better than Twidroid. It lacks search and user profile lookup but otherwise it’s solid.

    Facebook app is definitely lacking too, although for the most part it does everything I want it to.

  71. Just out of curiosity, when watching YouTube on the Droid did you enable High Quality? To access this you have to touch Menu, select More, then “Watch in high quality”.

    Not the easiest thing to find (although it is specifically mentioned in the guide that comes in the box) – but it's a dramatic improvement in quality. I mean really, really good quality.

    1. Because Apple alone will struggle to keep pace against Google, Sony, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Acer, et al., just as they did against the open PC market

      1. Apple cares more about sales then they do market share. Once you understand that, then you understand their success. As in the computer industry, Apple does not struggle against Dell, HP or (place PC manufacturer here). Apple is the 4th largest distributer of computers with the highest profit margin. How many of those PC makers do you think would love to trade places with Apple? Try all of them. The problem with PC makers is they are stuck with the same OS, so their products do not differentiate from the other, this is why Apple is successful. Android will have the same problems. Do you actually think all these Android phone makers are going to ensure all software works equally on each platform? No way, they will need to differentiate from the others, thus causing fragmentation. HTC, Sony, Samsung and all the others will be competing between themselves. Google does not make a penny off of Android. Apple is not competing against Android, they are competing against other handset makers. Oh and by the way, the iPhone killer know as the droid only has 256MB of application memory. Still feeling pretty good about the Droid now?

  72. I think I wanna go to the VZW store and check it out. I guess my comment to the video question goes back to usability. Even though it says so in the manual, why should an average joe user have to do this to get better quality? I never EVER read my iphone's manual. Heck I dont think it came with one. That speaks volumes.

  73. When I was tethered, I used simultaneous voice and data. Sure, the ability to tether was a hack, but it certainly worked. 3G only, of course.

  74. thx a lot for this review cause i was close to replace my blackberry bold with the Droid, well i mean Milestone, which at least sports multitouch.
    And yes, i was already concerned about motorolas build quality and i am glad that you pointed this out cause all the other reviewers told me how good it is.
    whether it will be the droid or any htc, my next phone will be Android cause the momentum of the Android dev community is just huge.

    hell, Robert i was already counting down the days until getting back to europe and get one…. but thanks a lot for this review which made up my mind. i totally trust your judgement on this.

  75. ok, so I think some of your reasons for not liking the Droid I don’t agree with. They are:

    1.) The Verizon guy didn’t buy it. I went to 4 different stores yesterday and 3 of 4 salespeople I met, wanted the phone, Bad. The 4th guy had it. So perhaps that is not a good reason?

    2.) I found the zoom button right away. So maybe it is you? :D

    3.) The Droid is not a blackberry. The blackberry shall remain the mecca of the keyboard.

    4.) The apps could be better, my guess is that they will be. Over time.

    5.) The Droid is worse because it doesn’t display techmeme well? I am a very non geeky person (very), so not asking this in a sarcastic manner.

    6.) I didn’t find the UI too complex. Yes, there could be improvements but I am pretty sure they will come quickly.

  76. Also, my battery cover hasn’t fallen off. It feels very solid. By the way, I had the iphone. It was useless as it kept running out of battery with no option of changing it just in case. I was in a situation where I needed my iPhone to work and it didn’t. Sorry.

    A phone needs to work well as a phone. If we are going by that standard, then iPhone is a huge FAIL. Yes, the battery door on the Droid may fall of but at least I will be able to switch the battery and make a call in an emergency situation.

    1. Puh-lease. Battery life is not an issue on the iPhone. For those “emergencies” when one really “needs” more battery life than the iPhone provides, there are external USB battery packs. I use one while climbing mountains. I use the iPhone as a GPS device and it lasts about 8 hours. Then I plug it into the battery pack and voila, I’ve got GPS for the next days adventure.

  77. This is an interesting review, thanks for writing it. From the very first picture of the Droid I couldn't really understand why anybody would call that thing pretty. It's as much “pretty” as my G1 (HTC Dream) was (not).
    I can't add to the Android criticism – it definitely got better since the G1 (Android v1) but I can imagine it still being pretty geeky. My impression was always that technically, Android is very capable but they haven't spent time on making it pretty.
    You can sea, on the start screen already, that Palm Pre & iPhone have the prettier operating systems. And we all know that prettier in operating systems most of the time also means more easy to use.

  78. Re: multitouch… heard there is an app called Picsay in the marketplace that will allow you to do that.

  79. My wife is on Verizon and I really wanted to replace her aging phone with the Droid so at least one of us would have service at our house (my iPhone drops calls there). After seeing so many geeks gush over the Droid, we went to the Verizon store to purchase it. Then we saw it. Then we used it. Forget it. I'm a geek, but I still appreciate good design. Your review is right on.

  80. The problem is that Apple is doing everything they can to push developers to anyone but Apple w/their outrageous app store policies.

  81. The Droid is the kind of phone that hackers love. It can be rooted in one click and easily flashed with new roms. It is the new Windows Mobile. The only people keeping Windows Mobile alive are the folks at http://xda-developers.com and http://ppcgeeks.com. They have tried to make Windows Mobile usable for years and I think Android will become what Windows Mobile was and the Droid is the best hardware for the job.

  82. I don’t know what’s wrong with the Droid’s browser, but when I view techmeme.com on the MyTouch 3G, it displays perfectly. But I *am* running a rooted phone with CyanogenMod’s latest. I get multi-touch in the browser too.

  83. I'm trying to figure out what's the handset and what's Android 2.0. I have a friend with an HTC Hero, and it's a pretty nice phone, although the screen is too small for me. No multi-touch kills it for any person my age who is vain enough not to wear glasses; I can't read on the iPhone without it.
    I wouldn't even put the PalmPre in the comparison because I don't think it has a big enough following to get the apps developed for it, but Google certainly does, and maybe one of the other handsets coming out will be a better match for the Android OS than Motorola's phone?
    Am I out to lunch here?
    Oh, and BTW thanks for writing this. I was going to open a Verizon account to get one (and to have reception in HMB, where ATT is total #fail.) Might wait for the next Verizon phone running Android

    1. Re: multitouch… heard there is an app called Picsay in the marketplace that will allow you to do that.

  84. Appreciate the first honest review, thanks.

    I was excited about the Droid’s capabilities, and that it’s on Verizon. But when I tried it at the store (lots of hoopla, balloons and T shirts at this one), I opted for the Droid “lite,” the Eris, instead. Didn’t need or like the Droid’s keyboard or the weight of it.

    Brought it home, worked on it for the entire day, couldn’t find a user’s guide anywhere, and gave up. Returned it the next day.

    I use the Razr on Verizon for a simple, reliable phone, and the iPod Touch w/ Verizon’s MiFi for everything else. It’s a lot of hardware to carry, but fortunately, I have a large purse! Waiting for iPhone on Verizon and then I’ll be totally happy.

  85. Rumors i heard from a verizon guy was apple may be making a new phone not moving iphone to verizon and 4g won't be as wide as 3g for a while. That will take time

  86. Robert, I do think you're missing a few things.

    First, the iPhone interface is something that people have to learn. I was jailbreaking a friend's iPhone and had only briefly played with friends' iPhones before over drinks. A lot of the gestures on the iPhone take practice to execute well, especially if you're switching between using the iPhone as a phone and get skin oil on the screen (or make up for women). Remember that if you've never seen a garbage can before, the trash can on the Mac will be a mystery. You should really be looking at the learning curve of virgin smartphone users, not migration malaise from devotees of another smart phone. The average bears who are fed up with AT&T or the iPhone will give DROID more than 24 hours to learn the interface. Most people I know with iPhones don't know how to really use them well and they've had their iPhones for years.

    Second, you're comparing the software launch of a baby to a mature product. That's not how you judge whether a product has failed or not. Remember the iPhone had that sucky web app and no SDK? Did it fail as a product? It was a just drawback.

    Third, is the battery door criticism the same from the majority of people using the DROID? Maybe you got a lemon. Maybe you're holding the DROID or rubbing it the wrong way in your pocket, etc.

    Fourth, I don't think HD YouTube streaming is a make it or break it feature for most of the non-geek world. Heck, I don't think it's the #1 feature for the geek world, either. I mean, seriously. YouTube HD isn't a critical app for anyone professionally on mobile devices.

    Out of your critique, the point that seems the strongest to me is the keyboard. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up a physical keyboard yet.

    What none of the reviews of the DROID (or the Cliq) seem to cover is how well they sync with Macs vs. PCs. I've been a BlackBerry person for years because I received them free and with free data plans from jobs (I haven't heard of any other smartphone except the horrible Treo achieving this status). Although there are geek features that I'm addicted to (auto-text entries is one of the few the other smartphones all lack), its the horrible/non-existent Mac syncing that has been a thorn for me for years. Even with the Mac BlackBerry Desktop Manager finally released and patched, syncing is the thing most likely to drive me from the BlackBerry platform, rather than a camera, a browser, or YouTube HD.

    1. Learning the interface for a droid in 24 hours, versus learning to “use an iPhone well” taking years, with all *due* respect, is comparing oranges to apples. I would suggest, learning to “use a droid well” would take years also, while using the iPhone interface takes minutes. Your comparison is shoddy in this one minor detail, and with that, I won’t pursue the others.

  87. For whatever it's worth, I think most people already understand that each new paragraph under a given headline is also going to be about the topic at hand.

  88. Actually, I do write comments as long as yours from a smartphone — my Curve has auto-text entries for my frequently used words and phrases and I can often type 30-50 words per minute on my BlackBerry. I would do it more often if all websites with comment boxes were friendly for the terrible BlackBerry browser.

  89. Aside from the battery compartment and UI complexity, it sounds like the majority of issues were with the apps. Seems to me that those apps can get updated, though, right? Interesting comment on the HD resolution, iPhone resolution is 480×320, so iPhone YouTube may be playing at a high-er resolution but that's not HD.

    It will be interesting to see how the Droid evolves. I have an iPod touch and find that, with tons of apps, the ability to organize the applications to easily find them is frustrating. Does the droid have a means of improved organization other than up/down/right/left?

    Thanks for the comprehensive review! I'm on Verizon and have a Blackberry that I love – but am anxious to check out the droid.

    Doug

  90. Thanks for an honest review! Bought the Droid “lite” on Friday, the Eris, and without a user’s manual I managed to find y way around, but still didn’t find it as intuitive at the iPhone or Touch. Brought it back 24 hours later.
    I use a Razr phone on Verizon for reliability, and an iPod Touch with the Verizon MiFi for everything else. It’s a lot of hardware to carry, but until the iPhone comes to Verizon, it works just fine.

  91. He sounds so bitter to me. It is a new phone and OS . How many iPhones have we been through? They haven’t had any problems? Let’s focus on one of his points “simplicity”. Can you make a call? Can you get fast data or even any data? I would much rather have a phone that I can make calls on and use data without issues. Can use all those wireless apps if you don’t have a signal! No. You can have your iPhone. As far as the droid goes, The apps will all be enhanced. Yes, even the camera issue will be fixed. How do you fix your signal? You don’t. How about the keyboard? Don’t like it, don’t use it. It has one on the screen as well. I like the option of having both. Good luck.

  92. my four year old child figured out the iPhone's UI on her own. She has never owned a smartphone. She takes nice pictures with the camera and knows about zooming, again figured it out on her own.

    Recently, while waiting for H1N1 vaccines, i noticed the crowd, almost all the parents who had an iPhone handed it over to their kids to play games and kill the time waiting. If kids can figure out the UI, I do not think it needs lots of explanation.

    1. Come now…. I’ve given my kids my blackberry with a few games on it and they figured it out with no prompting.

      1. I was recently waiting at the hospital with my 3.5 yo daughter. Mom has an iPhone, I have my BlackBerry. She knows the iPhone in and out with no training, can play games or bring up her shows. Mom is not around, so I give her my BlackBerry. After trying to swipe the screen with nothing happening, then rolling the trackball and clicking around for a minute, she looks up and says “This is TERRIBLE.”

  93. Great review (Motorola should pay for it!!)
    Still, I think that one should not look at the Droid only as a product. The hardware glitches will be taken care of, easily (I assume).
    But it's the ecosystem for carriers-developers-handset manufacturers-service providers that is disruptive, because it is open-source, low-cost and because it is Google-driven (and Google impact on mobile is a lot more radical and extensive than a single handset or app store).
    ….btw, I drove 200miles yest at the sound of the Droid navigator. Perfection is the word.

  94. Two words. iPhone fanboy.

    Do me a favor, make a list of things where the iPhone and Palm Pre fall flat and put it next to your list here and see what comes out on top.

    Besides, you’re comparing something that has been around for years (the iPhone) to something that was released two days ago.

  95. I have two other points on Droid:
    1. I don't agree with those who say that it isn't fare to compare it to iPhone because iPhone is mature. iPhone came into a market with plenty of mature competitors and it blew them away. If Droid were truly awesome, it would have done the same.
    2. I think you are wrong in some of your assumptions about “normal people” and the reactions they have to this product. I think most of these normal people are still buying cheap, crappy devices that execute one killer function well. Currently, that one function is texting. This is why tons of people bought the Sidekick. It was cheap and was great for texting. I think you are right that the next wave of killer functionality is web browsing, twitter and facebook. However, the normal people still don't care about those apps – these are features not for the common man, but for the tech elite.

    One other thought…
    I am a loyal iPhone user, but the launch of Droid has had a curious effect on me. It has gotten me interested in iPhone alternatives; perhaps not the Droid but at least it has me looking elsewhere. The HTC brand is now on my radar, and *gasp* I'm even looking at Windows Mobile 7 and the possibilities of it being awesome on an HTC HD2. Oh how it pains me to say this.

  96. Robert, three comments:
    1) you blamed the Droid for “making you feel stupid” because how to zoom wasn’t obvious/intuitive and that “iPhone never had this problem.” Maybe someone showed you how the multi-touch worked before you attempted to use it to zoom – but if you hadn’t already had that knowledge, it would really more obvious or intutive. I know a number of first-time iPhone users who couldn’t figure out how to zoom in on a web page until someone showed them the multi-touch strokes. The Droid method is different – and may or may not be better – but it’s not “less intuitive” for someone who hasn’t already learned the iPhone method.
    2) You contrast Apple’s fanfare with Verizon’s lack of promotion. But Verizon’s counterpart is not Apple – it’s AT&T. Shouldn’t you be comparing Apple’s fanfare with Motorola/Google? – and Verizon with AT&T?
    3) You say the Droid/Version provides much better phone service than iPhone/AT&T but then seem to dismiss that as not important. For a lot of people, a cell phone should first be – a cell phone. iPhone is great as a pocket computer/internet device that – oh yea, also lets you make phone calls… but for those whose primary purpose for having a cell phone is to make phone calls – and oh yea, some app/net access would be nice, too… iPhone may not be as good a choice.

  97. I think Android is the first real choice to an iphone, it doesn’t have the polish of the iPhone yet, but its obvious that iPhone OS level execution is just around the corner.

    Next year will be veery interesting, and I predict that Windows Mobile 7 will be a force of its own, Microsoft is being very quiet about its next mobile OS, Apple needs to raise its game next year in a very big way.

  98. @scobleizer wow and I was thinking about buying a Droid this last Friday. With my choices in this area is between a HTC with Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Droid – which would be better? iPhone does not seem to be an option here as it is not available

  99. Scoble – I think you must have defective hardware – I haven’t once had the problem with the battery cover that you describe.

    AND techmeme is rendering just fine on my Droid. Content on the left – menu on the right. Page loads up in the window so you can see everything without scrolling left to right. A double-tap brings the content right into frame – but thanks to the resolution, in landscape view you can easily read everything without even zooming in. I LOVE that about the Droid – and my browsing experience (apart from the occasional kamikaze rapid-scroll) has been fantastic.

    Did you tell Dave Winer that it looks a lot like Windows 3.1? . . . Good story – now tell us WHY you think that, because I definitely do not see it. (Yes, I owned a Windows 3.1 machine back in the day.)

    HD YouTube clips appeal to me when I want to go full screen on my 24″ iMac. I can’t say I care much on my phone – especially when I want clips to come through quickly. That the option to go HD isn’t there IS unfortunate – but a major fail? You’re reaching.

    The zoom on photos was hidden? You mean hidden in plain sight? It was on screen with a plus or minus sign and a magnifying glass icon. Why didn’t you see it? Because you weren’t thinking “different”. You’ve been trained to do the pinch-to-zoom technique (very nice method, but damn hard to do if you only have one hand to use your phone, for instance) – and you weren’t considering other methods. That’s a negative on you, not the device. (I do still hold out hope that Google will enable multitouch in their UI – Android 2.0 does have support for it.)

    Finally, you know as well as anyone that as the adoption rate for Android ramps up – companies like Facebook will put more time and resources into robust apps for the platform. And that’s part of the excitement for the Droid, other Android phones, and Google products in general: They’re in a perpetual state of growth and maturation. Even when you think they’re great, they get better. It’s like Christmas every time there’s an update.

    The nature of your criticisms make me wonder how much you get paid to suck, Robert Scoble. I removed your name-dropping, link-baiting crap from my RSS feeds long ago, and if it weren’t for Techmeme, I wouldn’t have read this biased mess.

  100. Scoble – I think you must have defective hardware – I haven’t once had the problem with the battery cover that you describe.

    AND techmeme is rendering just fine on my Droid. Content on the left – menu on the right. Page loads up in the window so you can see everything without scrolling left to right. A double-tap brings the content right into frame – but thanks to the resolution, in landscape view you can easily read everything without even zooming in. I LOVE that about the Droid – and my browsing experience (apart from the occasional kamikaze rapid-scroll) has been fantastic.

    Did you tell Dave Winer that it looks a lot like Windows 3.1? . . . Good story – now tell us WHY you think that, because I definitely do not see it. (Yes, I owned a Windows 3.1 machine back in the day.)

    HD YouTube clips appeal to me when I want to go full screen on my 24″ iMac. I can’t say I care much on my phone – especially when I want clips to come through quickly. That the option to go HD isn’t there IS unfortunate – but a major fail? You’re reaching.

    The zoom on photos was hidden? You mean hidden in plain sight? It was on screen with a plus or minus sign and a magnifying glass icon. Why didn’t you see it? Because you weren’t thinking “different”. You’ve been trained to do the pinch-to-zoom technique (very nice method, but damn hard to do if you only have one hand to use your phone, for instance) – and you weren’t considering other methods. That’s a negative on you, not the device. (I do still hold out hope that Google will enable multitouch in their UI – Android 2.0 does have support for it.)

    Finally, you know as well as anyone that as the adoption rate for Android ramps up – companies like Facebook will put more time and resources into robust apps for the platform. And that’s part of the excitement for the Droid, other Android phones, and Google products in general: They’re in a perpetual state of growth and maturation. Even when you think they’re great, they get better. It’s like Christmas every time there’s an update.

    The nature of your criticisms make me wonder how much you get paid to suck, Robert Scoble. I removed your name-dropping, link-baiting crap from my RSS feeds long ago, and if it weren’t for Techmeme, I wouldn’t have read this biased mess.

  101. I think this is why the iPhone will always be in the lead… as geeks we often get lost in comparing features, hardware, specs etc etc etc… and in doing so it's often easy to lose sight of the overall user experience. Apple just KILLS everyone when it comes to the end-to-end experience consumers have with its devices. As much as people seem to dislike the limitations/control Apple puts in place, it really is the foundation for the great UX.

    1. Well, I forecast a repeat of the Windows/Apple war.

      IMHO, Apple always had a better, smoother experience. One way it managed this was with very tight control of hardware and software.

      On the other hand, if you didn’t want specifically the configuration that Apple offered your were out of luck. In this case, lets say you think a physical keyboard is necessary; a larger screen; a smaller screen; longer battery life; lower price; etcetera. Windows was more open than Apple. From a hardware viewpoint this’ll be true with Android/Apple as well. On top of that Apple’s restrictive app store approval process may keep the quality up, but in the end is suspect it’ll bite Apple.

      1. In smartphones, the different configurations you’re thinking of is all done by 3rd party apps, where Apple has about 90,000 more than the nearest competition. Only a very, very small and nerdy minority of the market want a bunch of geegaws hanging off their phone.

        In other words, notice that the iPhone is just a frame for a software experience. That’s the smartphone right there. Customize it by adding 3rd party software.

        Also, while comparing to the PC, consider that iPhones are made by a company in Asia and Apple is bringing a second builder online in 2010. Apple can bring 20 builders online if necessary, to make 90% of the world’s smartphones if need be. Apple is in the Microsoft position already, doing the IP and farming out the building.

        Also notice that the iPhone gained marketshare faster than the DOS PC. The match you’re forcasting is already over.

  102. I was so hoping to see the so called iPhone killer actually kill the one gadget that I practically sleep with. Why? Because Apple needs to have the competition. The better a phone like Droid is the more it will push Apple to innovate further. I can see the possibility of next version of the iPhone having a higher res screen now.

    My 3G is safe from hitting the tech-trash heap for a little while longer.

  103. Most of your reasons are frivolous… Come on.. it sucks because the launch wasn't hyped up by apple fan boys???? I am a total apple fan.. Have 2 mbps and an MP, and to me this blog seems to of been written by someone paid by Apple…

    multiple screens complex???? WTF?? You can add screens to Iphone…

    http://www.techmeme.com/ sends reads browser info to show display… Android allows you to change your browser information to display it properly…

    Facebook works fine on the droid… the browser redirects it to the touch site… Same crap… Twitroid rocks compared to twitterific on iphone.

    Multitouch is a nice to have…. not a necessity.. Yes android is deficient. Android out of the box is not a multimedia phone.. But to compare it to windows 3.1 is juvenile… It might not be the iphone killer, but you can't deny that the openness of the platform will surpass iphone.

    Google Integration alone will cinch for most business users… The android is the Iphone for Men

  104. The Youtube app on Android has dynamic quality: it switches to HQ when you're on WiFi and goes to normal (quite crappy indeed) quality if you're on the mobile network.

    You can switch between them if you hit Menu but there doesn't seem to be a way to switch defaults (as of 1.5 on the Hero at least).

  105. Having recently bought an iPhone 3Gs and had second thoughts after the Droid came out I agree with this post. For now, I am happy as a user with the iPhone. But the most important point is that the Android platform with Google’s backend technology (search, voice recognition (huge), mapping, etc.) is the future. As a techie, I will have to buy an Android 2.0 phone just to stay current and may even make an app :).

    One note is that I thought I would like a keyboard, but realized that it is dead weight, the compromise of providing a flat enough keyboard leads to one that is useless. Especially since the voice recognition works so well.

  106. finally a review that doesn't sit on the fence, thank you.

    what's your experience and thoughts on Droid vs. iPhone battery life. that beautiful screen and those background apps on Droid must be draining, and as they say, “there's no Moore's Law of battery life…”

    also it's interesting that the US Droid includes Google Maps Navigation but not pinch-zoom multi-touch, and the Euro-equivalent Milestone includes the opposite; pinch-zoom but not Navigation. Navigation might be explained by map licensing issues, but pinch-zoom… any insight into that?

  107. Just when I think you’ve lost all remaining credibility, I am confronted by your further obtuseness. Not even worth the time to point out all your factual errors

  108. sorry but i found this to be a very weak review. just because facebook isnt pretty doesnt mean it fails did you check the facebook integration within the os itself. like a universal inbox and status update in contacts. what about changing the picture to the default on a social site when someone is calling. Its simple its not as pretty or as easy to use out the box, but it is deep. something that people like. like the reaction when someone finds they can change the home screens with something designed by someone else, or a different sms app that pops up the message and lets you reply using voice. this is what people will find and fall in love with. i am a geek and i choose android for the same reason most geeks do. its my phone and it can do everything. thats why the military and nasa are using it as well. remember comparing software on an open fast pace system is simply unwise. geeks are who people look to when they need advice. that is androids biggest advantage. dont get me wrong the iphone is great but how great will it be for the next 2 years for new buyers, then compare that to any android. then ask which is best for most?remember the iphone after one year. now look at android after one year with iphone already having a great base.

  109. With due respect, I find that the iphone syncs with Macs beautifully too. Who woulda thunk it?

    And our enterprise uses iphones extensively. They sync with Exchange/WebDav/Sharepoint/Gmail beautifully, Email, calendar, contacts push works well, central management is easy, plans are comparable to BB plans, and they come with remote wipe capabilities which is critical for us to protect confidential data. Works well for us.

  110. When you speak of end-to-end user experience, you are neglecting one end: AT&T. This is why I will never have an iPhone until a competent carrier has it. When it comes down to it, the primary function of this device is a phone, and with AT&T the primary function is hideously crippled. The selection of AT&T by Apple was one of commercial expediency and is a huge fail for the customer.

    1. Dude, AT&T is the only nationwide GSM carrier in the United States. Apple did not “choose” AT&T, but rather had to make do with them. It’s hardly Apple’s fault that Verizon and Sprint built proprietary networks instead of open networks.

    2. What you, and many others, seem to forget is that AT&T is only 1 carrier in the 80 or so countries the iPhone is available in. AT&T is a minor nuisance in the grand scheme of things.

  111. meh, I've only had probably 2-3 extremely poor experiences with the network side of the iPhone… enough to make me vocally complain along with everyone else but at the end of the day though, I barely use the phone functionality in comparison to how much I use email/apps.

    maybe it's just because I switched from tmobile to att… sort of a wash :-P

    1. That is great you’ve had such a great experience with AT&T but AT LEAST 50% of my calls drop and I am in greater Los Angeles. I constantly have issues with horrible voice quality, drop calls and general mishaps that make me hugely regret buying a 3GS instead of getting another BB.

      Yes there are some nifty things that it does that the BB did not do but reality is I need the IPhone to work as a phone more than I need it to only work as a toy.

  112. “If kids can figure out the UI, I do not think it needs lots of explanation.”

    My observation of young children and technology, is that regardless of complexity they find their way pretty well through graphical user interfaces. Kids figure this stuff out easily because they grow up with it starting at an incredibly early age.

    Is the Droid's UI as refined as the iPhone's? Absolutely not.

    Is it so complicated that no one can sort it out? My parents* were playing around with my phone and they figured it out without any problems.

    *Older folks who don't work with technology on a daily basis are my barometer for UI complexity. My parents are smart people, but they didn't grow up with any of this, and they don't use it on a daily basis. It's not intuitive to them.

    1. My youngest could flip through photos on the iPhone at 15 months. On the other hand, another of my children had difficulty grasping the idea of a right-click until they were 3. Some UI concepts are just inherently more difficult, even in a GUI.

      There’s a whole other argument you could make about UI that focuses too much on the beginner experience to the detriment of frequent users.

    2. My 2-year old son figured out how to grab my phone, turn it on, and find the game he wants, turn on the sound, and happily play the games he wants.

      My phone? Treo 755p.

  113. I think you hit on an interesting point here. Developers are fans of the Android platform because it offers tremendous flexibility and people view open source as a “good thing.” But in spite of the attractiveness of such an open platform, the apps still suck. The developer tools are untested, undocumented, and constantly changing – they make it difficult to build high-quality apps.

    I'm an iPhone developer, and I would love to be the first to write a nice, iPhone quality twitter app for the Droid. But the tools just aren't there. It'd take me 10x as long as a similar iPhone app. For now, I'll just keep saying the platform has potential…

    1. nothing but hyperbole
      The “tools ARE there”, and there’s no way on Earth you can reasonably back up the claim that it would take 10x longer

    2. The apps may suck, but they are just getting started. Kind of like you are , lol 12 year old that you are. Why don’t you write back when you have a pair?

  114. I’ve been reading this and just bought a droid today. it may not be as easy UI but im the type of person that doesn’t mind working with it bit to figure out all it has to offer. I had a palm centro previous and have been waiting for verizon to offer a wifi- high speed phone and this is it. I love it…. from the whole argument… my battery plate hasn’t fallen off yet and have tried to get it too since i read this first blog. maybe you just got one with a broken clasp. im loving it so far, it is a little tricky navigating around but i’ve transferred years of my palm calendars and contacts over with little effort and its soooo much easier once i have set it up. i love it so far and would definitely encourage anyone to get one… it is the most impressive screen and fasted browser on a phone i have dealt with. I have buddies with the iphone and know what good device that is but i am totally happy with the Droid so far

  115. I'm a frequent business traveler, and I need… a phone. I use email/apps as well, but I won't carry two devices, and dropped calls enrage me. I'm often traveling with people with iPhones and they drop calls all the time, as well as having crappy sound quality. Not sure how much of the latter is due to network and how much to hardware. For now, I'll stick with my vzw BBerry, and I'll give the Droid a look and the iPhone another look when they have a carrier who has a network and customer service.

    1. The droid has some definite advantages: the screen and the carrier. The iphone has some definite advantages: the UE and the multimedia performance (sync, itunes, etc…). Overall Android still has a ways to go but Apple is losing ground fast. They could easily open the iphone for Verizon and they could probably get a competitive screen just as easilily. The question is will they and when. They have a history of waiting too long. The desire of Microsoft to avoid antitrust battles in the US combined with the ipod / iphone gave Apple a second chance at life. Did they learn anything about timing??? I dont think so. If they had, the iphone would be launching on Verizon the day after Thanksgiving… (this year, not next!!).

      1. I disagree that Apple is losing ground. It’s more the others are struggling to catch up and so far none has. That’s not to say it won’t happen…Fortunately, Apple is not sitting still and we can count on better phones in the future that will keep the competition on their toes.

        The DROID is not the iPhone killer. It lacks the full experience of ownership that the iPhone offers the user. Even with all the complaints about AT&T’s service, it still has a very low churn rate and is gaining and retaining customers. That speaks big for the iPhone and AT&T. Customers don’t seem to care that AT&T has spotty coverage or that the latest pile of challengers have a few features that the iPhone doesn’t. They want the iPhone. Period. So far the DROID seen to have fallen flat and, as with the Pre, if the device doesn’t do well on the launch the outlook isn’t very good.

        Most customers aren’t geeks. They want the device to work for them. They don’t want to work for the device. The iPhone does. They don’t care about open or closed app stores. They just want the apps when that want it. The iPhone delivers with more choice than the competition. It redefined the mobile phone industry and made the mobile phone usable unlike any other before it.

      2. I’m not sure I follow your comment which suggests “Apple is losing ground fast”. In what respect? In sales? No. Have you seen the trend for iPhone sales lately? In features? It may seem as if Android is moving faster at this very moment, but that’s because they just had a new release of their OS on a new phone. Apple keeps an annual cycle and the development pace for the platform has been remarkable. How about in terms of application support from developers? No. Apple seems to get more apps each month than exist on the Android all together. We’re talking about quality apps that simply don’t exist on the Android platform and the iPhone doesn’t have the ridiculous 256MB limitation either.

        The Droid is certainly an impressive evolution of the Android market. But, compared to the iPhone and probably even the Palm Pre, it still comes off a bit half baked. No doubt, Android is wreaking havoc on Windows Mobile, but there has been no impact on the iPhone to date.

        1. Since you don’t understand, let me explain in simpler terms. Look at the changes from 1st gen iphones to 3rd gen iphones. What has changed? Now look at 1st gen android phones and the changes that have occurred to the 3rd gen. If you want, you can even factor in the time between generations. Losing ground means that their lead is decreasing. That is exactly how I see it. The iphone was introduced and blew everyone away. Since then everyone has been playing catch-up. The DROID and Android 2.0 have closed the gap. One of the primary factors driving people to seek an alternative is AT&T. If the iphone was available on Verizon I wouldn’t have a DROID, I would have an iphone. In fact I have an ipod touch and I freaking love it. But for a phone I cant afford to go with the iphone and AT&T because I actually need to stay connected when I make a call. As I said in my original post, if Apple upgrades the screen and dumps AT&T they will keep the wolves at bay a little longer…

    2. I am in the US Army and have an Iphone. I also travel allot and just returned from Iraq. I got a Iraqi sim card and never dropped a call. I have to say that with the Iphone it can take combat and still make a clear call.

  116. Great post, Robert. But the Win 3.1 vs Mac comparison isn't instructive—unless you flip it. Mac didn't lose out to Windows. Far more humiliating, Mac lost to DOS long before Windows 3.1 ever showed up in the marketplace. The goal for Win 3.1 wasn't to supplant Mac (that game was over), but to replace DOS. Mac was and remained the challenger brand.

    If you want to compare the relative market success of Windows vs. Mac to Droid vs iPhone… then the more apt analogy is to say that iPhone has the market clout of Win 3.1 vs. the challenger brands of Droid and Mac.

  117. You might want to give Swift a try – I found that I like it much better than Twidroid.

    My biggest annoyance w/ Android (which remains in Eclair, I believe) is that even though they're non-modal, notifications steal focus when they come in.

    Oh, and the multitasking really needs UI work. Requiring 3rd party task-killers is just plain bad.

    1. Are task killers that necessary? I use a Hero and I have no performance problem just letting android do its thing.

    2. Android 2.0 has some very useful built-in resources for task management. You can monitor which processes are draining the most battery power, for instance. (And you can stop them.) You can view a list of running applications – and stop them. What more could you want?

  118. Robert, three comments:
    1) you blamed the Droid for “making you feel stupid” because how to zoom wasn’t obvious/intuitive and that “iPhone never had this problem.” You’re used to the multi-touch approach – but are you sure the iPhone multi-touch is really “more intuitive” or is it just that you already knew about it? I know a number of first-time iPhone users who couldn’t figure out how to zoom in on a web page until someone showed them the multi-touch strokes. The Droid method is different – and may or may not be better – but it ma not be “less intuitive” for someone who didn’t already know the iPhone method.
    2) You contrast Apple’s fanfare with Verizon’s lack of promotion. But Verizon’s counterpart is not Apple – it’s AT&T. Shouldn’t you be comparing Apple’s fanfare with Motorola/Google? – and Verizon with AT&T? Maybe Motorola and/or Google should have stepped up to the plate a little more…
    3) You say the Droid/Version provides much better phone service than iPhone/AT&T but then seem to dismiss that as not important. For a lot of people, a cell phone should first be – a cell phone. iPhone is great as a pocket computer/internet device that – oh yea, it also lets you make phone calls… but for those whose primary purpose for having a cell phone is to make phone calls – and oh yea, some app/net access would be nice, too… iPhone may not be as good a choice. (Here in SF I’m getting pretty fed up with the increasing dropped calls my iPhone is giving me – and find myself wishing I had a better cell phone…)

  119. Techmeme shows up fine on my droid (right hand bar is on the right), and youtube plays HD videos by default. I don’t know which droid you’re using, but it’s not the one I have. The android OS browser is based on webkit, just like the iPhone, so they should render the same.

  120. I too tried out the Droid today. I found the same non-event atmosphere at the Verizon store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan…only one Droid in a back corner. (Given same prominence as HTC Eris, maybe even less. )

    I really did not like anything about the design of this this very unlovable phone, especially the flimsy keyboard. The iPhone is so well-designed, that I would not be suprised to see it display in MoMA one day. In comparison, the Droid’s design is amateurish. You say some have called it “industrial”. I call it plain ugly.

  121. “overwhelmed by the complexity”? yes, you should stick to the iPhone and leave the real tech folks to Android. Apple is now censoring material on the iPhone that is protected by US law… for example, political satire. Do a bit of research and you will understand what I mean. So, while you debate the tech specs of these phones, I will continue to support a device that allows me to access the information that I want to access, rather than the information that Steve Jobs and his cronies THINKS that I should access.

    1. Yes. That’s why I love the USA. We have choice.

      I get to choose from over 100,000 iPhone Apps, and you get to choose from a few thousand Droid apps.

      I hope it works out well for you.

  122. “overwhelmed by the complexity”? yes, you should stick to the iPhone and leave the real tech folks to Android. Apple is now censoring material on the iPhone that is protected by US law… for example, political satire. Do a bit of research and you will understand what I mean. So, while you debate the tech specs of these phones, I will continue to support a device that allows me to access the information that I want to access, rather than the information that Steve Jobs and his cronies THINKS that I should access.

  123. I think you were pretty dense when it comes to listening to dave winer. He loves to stick it to apple. He’ll claim that he has no bone to pick with apple, that he uses their products. BS. Maybe you’re too close to him to see through the smoke and mirrors.

  124. Look I get it iphone is the best thing since sliced bread. I liked mine, but do an apples to apples. Forget the network

    Apps have to be approved -android wins

    Customization without having to jailbreak – android wins

    Google integration – android wins

    Copy and paste from all apps -android wins

    Intuitive interface – apple wins

    Browser. Well multitouch rocks. The android browser is ok. Not the best. I use dolphin a 3rd party which gives me a firefox feel with gestures. Iphone stock wins

    Long click. Android

    Battery life – depends on usage. I have push enabled on 3g for my cliq running gmail twitdroid and google voice and with moderate web I get 10 hours. I have read that the 3gs iphone with 1/2 hour sync does about 12 hours. So this is very subjective. I won't have my droid until tomorrow and supposedly it is better than the cliq.

    Having the option for a second battery -android wins

    Apps as of now iphone wins because I lovev my itouch for reading kindle books, I'm sure they will release droid client
    Mulitmedia – iphone wins. Yes it is more of a media phone out of the box but there are 3rd party apps for droid that are fine

    Camera – iphone wins compared to droid but the hero and the cliq cameras rock. So this depends on hardware. I'm sure motorola will fix this.

    2 different animals competing in the same space.

    This was written on an android device

  125. the pre with sprint navigation (free) has this as well, very well done with a few minor over-simplifications.

  126. Regarding no multitouch on Android devices; Shortly after Android came out, an Android developer outed Apple for “asking” Google not to include multitouch on their devices. (source VentureBeat http://tr.im/EAoj ). Hacked versions of the Android OS have had multitouch enabled for some time on the old G1 phones. Has nothing to do with the technical capabilities of the phones or the OS.

    .02

  127. >>why, on the other hand, if you are a developer you should run now):

    I think you're missing something else that a developer should be looking at.

    Is there a market for Android apps ….and how big is it ?

    In the near-term, it appears that the market is fairly small.

  128. Nice post. A lot of interesting comparisons.
    I'm getting my first android phone tomorrow (HTC Magic). I'd like to get a DROID, but they aren't available here it Aus, and I need a phone now :(
    All the reasons you listed for developers liking Android are the reasons that I will never ever get an iPhone. I believe iPhones are still ahead in most regards, but will lose in the end.

  129. That’s what happens when you buy a Moto, face it … when ever in the past has Motorola build a phone that don’t fall appart?

  130. I think the people taking issue with the amount of time you waited before posting this are assuming you've given up on the phone. I think there's value in seeing the first impressions of someone coming from a different platform, and then seeing how those impressions evolve.

  131. I understand that the iPhone is a good phone, but I think if you look at it from a different angle you would realise that you comparing the phone for only one small segment of the market. Thats for users who wants to upgrade from the iPhone to a Droid. Yes there willl be these nuisances of the Droid coming from the iPhone if the users is upgrading to the Droid that way, but what happens if you reverse that scenario? A Droid user going to the iPhone? Surely you’ll agree that there are equal amount of nuisances, like why cant I run this gTalk application in the background ? Why doesnt the iPhone have a proper notification system in place, this pop up thing is totally useless? etc, etc

    Android is developing at such a rapid rate that its going to take a mamoth iPhone release to stop it in its track. ( you see what i just did there, reverse the comparison and things suddenly change).

    So here sis a heading you can start working on now for future release:
    “Can the iPhone ever reclaim its top spot from the Android Army?( iPhone 4 vs Android 3.0 )”

  132. The only thing I think you should have been a bit more aware of is how to determine where the fault for web content rendering issues lies. The site that you referenced, http://www.techmeme.com uses CSS widths and padding that will cause the right hand menu to drop down once the display window hits a certain width.
    If you had zoomed out one step on the Android browser, it should have brought it back up to the top. If you had zoomed in just a bit on the iPhone, it should have caused it to drop down.
    On Safari, when you are right on the border of the minimum width, it tends to get very jumpy. As individual words in the content area wrap due to width constraints, the menu bar will fall down and jump back up a lot.

  133. If you are connected to wifi, youtube automatically streams in HD. On the 3g network it defaults to low res. To correct this, while in the application, click the menu button, then more, then watch in high quality.

  134. I am surprised the “privacy” issues does not come up in comparisons. Do we really know who much info Google will be tracking through the Droid and how they will use it? Will Google use turn-by-turn navigation to give us hyper-local targeted ads? Is this an issue when considering what phone to buy?

  135. I agree with most things, which I have done a three day hands-on on imphoreal.com. YouTube does have hi-res videos on Android (just hit the menu button and it's in the options). Definitely the camera could have used more work and coming from an iPhone, I miss multi-touch incredibly. The battery cover is a big problem for me, but I have a feeling Motorola will have to start shipping out replacements pretty soon.

    iPhone has it's advantages for simplifying the OS, but it all depends on preference, and some OS or hardware will not cut it for some.

    1. I suspect you won’t have to miss multi-touch for long. The CyanogenMod custom ROM’s are not up to Andoid 2.0 yet. But once he tackles that, you will have multi-touch and you will get frequent updates with new features. It’s one of the nice things about having a phone on an open source ecosystem. Rooting the phone should be trivial. Not at all like jail-breaking an iPhone.

  136. I read this with interest, but without experience of either. I am currently a Blackberry Curve user, and I've been reasonably happy with it for the last year or so, but my renewal date with Verizon comes up in April, so I'm starting to look at what is on offer now even though I know there might be something else new out there in another 4-5 months.

    Much of what I've read about the iPhone hasn't impressed me, and yes, I like a physical keyboard, and I avoid AT&T like the plague.

    My smartphone upgrade choices seem to be either a new Blackberry, or an Android based phone. Many people have warmed me off of Windows based phones.

    I shall keep my ears and eyes open.

  137. i have a G1 android and sat side by side all day yesterday with an iphone user watching football and app searching annd testing. i will admit, and trust me it isnt easy for me but the iphhone is cool in it build, just like an ipod compared to other mp3 players the case is stout! other than that it wasn even close! my full keyboard blows the on sccreen in the weeds. the google voice made it way more fun and hands free to do everything, linux has better apps, and thhe way my google maps works seemlessly with adding all the info to contacts too. plus, and hello this is the huge one no itunes! i can use anything for a ringtone for free, i can give or take any picture, video or song and share it with a mac or a pc and they with me. how can anyone deny, and or even compare the perpritory locks that itunes and apple force on you with a linux free world of share and share alike? besides the fact that you haave to have att just the fact that itunes and a specical plug just to charge and sync is involved and i have a mini usb plug for mine is enoough to rest my case! any high tech gadget that has it’s own special plug and perpritory plug at that and only one program that can update it instead of the versitility of mini usb and interfaces with all media players is just retarded and any lame that cant see that is just a puppet to mac. the thing that kills me is anyoone that is or was a hippy that uses a mac instead of linux is obviouly so blind to any truth all of my truths here are a mute point and they deserve to be limited by itunes for thier media!

  138. Haven't used a Droid yet but agree on the industrial design angle. Hard to believe all the “it's beautiful!” ravings I've read.

    One small point; there is no Facebook app for the Palm Pre and the Twitter apps are fairly rudimentary at this stage. Still, I really like my Palm Pre (after having had an iPhone 2G and 3G.)

  139. Multitouch is reportedly enabled for all native apps in the European-released Droid. No explanation yet from Google/Motorola/Verizon.

  140. Multitouch is reportedly enabled for all native apps in the European-released Droid. No explanation yet from Google/Motorola/Verizon.

  141. Somehow I feel the Androids in Europe have more features: my Hero always had multithouch and the latest ROM (released two months ago) added touch focus in my camera.

    And I have to agree, Droid is sooo ugly!

  142. Somehow I feel the Androids in Europe have more features: my Hero always had multithouch and the latest ROM (released two months ago) added touch focus in my camera.

    And I have to agree, Droid is sooo ugly!

  143. Somehow I feel the Androids in Europe have more features: my Hero always had multithouch and the latest ROM (released two months ago) added touch focus in my camera.

    And I have to agree, Droid is sooo ugly!

  144. One thing I wanted to mention here on our review of the platforms is that I was not saying that android is a bad OS in anyway. My big issue was Motorola's execution of it with this phone which is quite poor in my opinion. The HTC hero, HTC Droid Eris with HTC Sense UI are great phones that run Android great and are good to use. They are not better than my Palm Pre but they are good phones. The iPhone is a good phone as well but we all know there is issues with it and HTC and Palm have both released phones that overcome them in some ways and not in others.

    Android has great potential as an operating system but it does not have the polish and UI experience that the iPhone and Palm webOS do. The HTC sense UI is better and I am very excited to see what the Rachel UI from Sony will bring.

    I also want to point out one thing that many of you may have missed in the recording, at the end we give a comparison of price of the different plans.

    When it comes down to cost per month, the Droid is very expensive compared to the Palm Pre or the Sprint HTC hero. Sprint has done a ton over the past few years to build out their network and in most cases if you don't have Sprint you roam over onto Verizon for free (with the everything plans) which essentially gives you the same network. So if you have the same network, Sprint is the better choice as it will cost you almost half of what a Verizon plan will.

    The Droid is an interesting Phone, but I think if you want an Android Phone on Verizon, I would go with the Droid Eris rather than the Motorola.

  145. I have been a mac/apple fan since 1983(apple 2e), but I am very frustrated the the iphone is not on the best network Verizon so therefore this is the only apple product i refuse to buy, d/t steve jobs choice of network. i think more peeps need to refuse to buy the iphone to send a message to apple to sell on more networks, then the iphone and truly rule the mobile universe,

    i'm currently using the blackberry storm with Verizon and like it, but i'm am looking at the droid.
    i'm a visiting nurse in the inner city of boston and i can't afford dropped calls re: the health of my patients. i like having the internet to look up medical information and droid seems to respond better than the storm. there are sites via medical/drug companies that have great teaching videos for patients but how they project on a small screen and the visual acuity of my patients, this where i can see apple succeeding, but on a better network.

    also VZ has a great mobile insurance plan that replaces your mobile right away if your mobile is damage, lost or stolen, for a visiting nurse that is crucial selling point, and i get vip treatment at VZ.

    please apple make my cycle of apple products complete by coming over to Verizon, and rule mobile universe .

    **********Boycott Apple iphones till they become more network wide********

  146. I like the fact that there are legitimate competitors for the iPhone. As many have said, competition forces everyone to get better.

    One thing that puzzles me is the constant harping on AT&T. I guess I'm lucky, but I have NO problems with dropped calls or poor quality on my iPhone (I got the original in Sept. 2007 and now have a 3GS). I came from Verizon and my reception/quality/network availability are at least equal to Verizon's.

    I know there are differences based on where you are, but it seems to be drastic based on comments I see.

  147. Oddly enough http://www.techmeme.com works just fine on my N97 (since you mention Nokia phones).

    Also what you failed to mention is that Youtube doesn’t work on the iphone – it can’t display inline flash apps, another thing the N97 does flawlessly.

    I’m actually thinking about moving off AT&T though (even though I love my Nokia) because of their awful awful awful wireless coverage (sitting here in a building with zero bars). On one hand it saves me from changing the phone to silent mode, but on the other hand I wouldn’t mind making phone calls occasionally with my phone.

  148. How do you people afford to just run out and buy all these phones? I mean people are going hungry for God’s sake…

  149. The problem with leaving the Droid to the tech folks is that there are simply not enough of us for it to succeed. People want what they can use. This isn't like a PC with the latest video card, USB3 and RAM technology. Phones are appliances that most people just want to use, not learn to use.

    But the cool thing about Android is that its got a series of hardware makers lined up, each one upping the ante. Apple has only one big fat, sumptuous egg to drop to fall flat. It does help Apple keep the plan easy to follow, but it is also a potential vulnerability. The AppStore mitigates the risk to some degree but Androids marketplace will close the gap over time.

    I don't understand why companies set themselves up for a fall. The Droid is arguably the best Android phone out there. Why position it as an iPhone killer? Is it not sufficient to be the best Android phone??

  150. Its hilarious about the battery cover! And shooting in the dark? Well… doesnt the camera need to focus before that? Maybe its enough to get 5MP of out of focus noise? It was comical how Vz was crowing about the processor speed on the Droid, while people are still trying to figure out what CPU the iPhone even has in the first place!

    The Droid is a phone designed by engineers for engineers. The iPhone’s position is safe and secure.

  151. It's not bringing the heat anytime soon, but its a lovely sentiment nonetheless. The Palm Pre was supposed to bring the heat and it's currently running a temperature of Low Sales. The only thing Droid has going for it is that its on a good network, but it fails so miserably in UX even silly geeks should be disappointed.

  152. Irax says: “The Droid is a phone designed by engineers for engineers.” That seems to sum it up in a nutshell, doesn’t it?

  153. From a Droid lover, I think that this is one of the fairest Droid bashing articles I’ve read. The Droid is the first smart phone i’ve owned since a Nokia 3650 so I don’t have a phone that I was really familiar with to use for comparisons but I agree with most of the negative points except for the battery cover. I haven’t had any problems there and hopefully, I won’t. I still love my Droid because for the most part, the negatives in this article are very small parts of the whole phone experience.

    The facebook app annoys me, it’s missing a good deal of functionality.
    I’ve only had problems logging into the facebook site. I tried it because the app sucks so much. My banking sites work fine though. So out of two sites that needed logging in, one worked and one didn’t.

    iDon’t use twitter.
    iDon’t care about how well Droid was marketed and how much demand there is for it. That doesn’t have anything to do with how much I enjoy my phone.

    The out of the box experience isn’t as simple as the iPhone but the majority of functions are two finger presses away and very easy to learn.

    Haven’t tested out youtube videos yet.

    I’m not missing multitouch (universal) support. It was really simple for me to learn how to zoom in and out for any program. I pressed the screen and a zoom button popped up. It didn’t seem “hidden” to me.

    The camera interface does suck. I liked the one for my non-smartphone better. It never crashed on me though; I just don’t like the interface.

    I’m sure that even the author knows that the title is grealy exaggerated. It gets people’s attention as it got mine.

  154. You’re definitely missing something. Used my new Droid all weekend and loved it. Gave up my iPhone for it an dont regret it for a second. When you’re the only negative review in an avalanche of good reviews, you’re doing it wrong!

  155. You’re definitely missing something. Used my new Droid all weekend and loved it. Gave up my iPhone for it an dont regret it for a second. When you’re the only negative review in an avalanche of good reviews, you’re doing it wrong!

    1. Start loading up application and tell me how far you get with that 256MBs of app storage space and then come back and then come back and tell us how much you love it. He didn’t even hit on this aspect of the Droid and if he had, nobody on this site would have questioned his opinion because this is the biggest failure of this phone.

  156. I'm not sure there is any point here. Everything you said bad about this phone I don't see. The battery cover? Really? The only time it's come off is the one time I took it off, so not an issue. When it comes to apps, the apps will get better and considering more than 80% of them are free this is a huge plus. On the easy to use comparison, everytime I bought a new phone I had to play with it in order to really figure out how to use it. I switched from a blackberry storm to the droid and at first was a little dissapointed, until i figured it out, which isnt that hard by the way and i can do more on this droid than i could my storm. Now you can stick with your iphone, but like you'll notice with everyone else here, why would i sacrifise quality for a phone, cause end result i still need to be able to make and recieve calls and send and recieve emails. So i'll take the verizon peace of mind all day! ps this is the best phone on verizon, unless you're true to black berry(which i use to be) then the storm 2 is pretty good

  157. I just got my droid an hour ago. Wow, despite the hype and aggressive marketing campaign, i have it in my hand and feel like a kid! This thing is no piece of crap. It feels like the grown-up device/toy. To call the UI unintuitive is really stretching it. I know how simple the iPhone/Touch OS is and why that makes it so great… yet at the same time, it makes it boring too. You can't have fun with it by way of personalizing and customizing and you know the platform is not open… you know its not a mobile equivalent to your computer(s). But with Android… it is equivalent to your laptop and desktop… it just happens to also be a great phone on a great network that is great hardware.

    This screen is incredible! The sound is sweet! Very very fast and not difficult to navigate at all! I'm coming from a dumbphone so have been forced to use horrendous phone software for years. I am like millions of others. All of us dumbphone users must look at Android 2.0 with shock and awe. I'm serious man…. this is a quantum leap. Obviously, I am speaking beyond your iPhone comparison since I am not an iPhone user (not an option on verizon and would never downgrade my service for a sexy phone when i can just have the iPod Touch).

    And you have a right to compare the Motorola Droid to the iPhone since the ad campagin started the jabs against Apple… which I think was a brilliant brilliant marketing strategy despite getting some crude negative reviews that point out how the Droid is not an iPhone Killer (not that the ad campaign ever said it was but the angle is naturally picked up by journalists/bloggers). Any press is good press i think when it comes to new phones. It's hard to stand out when so many are equally crappy and don't come close to the iPhone. The Droid has been a hot trending topic for a solid week. Total success as far as marketing goes.

    Robert, I won't try to make the Droid sound better than the iPhone. We both know that in some ways it is and in some ways it is not. Neither of us need to emphasize the pros and cons in order to be excited about new competition in the smart phone arena. Both Android and some of these new phones from Motorola and HTC are very cool and worthy competitors that many many people will be happy to own for a while, especially those of us that are not iPhone users or even blackberry users.

    Regarding the battery cover…. I have the opposite effect on mine. It is very hard to remove the battery cover both without the battery and with the battery inserted. I cannot imagine the problem you described happening on mine unless something breaks. I would have yours looked at and maybe get a replacement cover or phone. It could be a potential recall issue unless its just a case of lemon devices.

    Cheers,

    Sull

  158. amen daszo, oh and thanks for some of the BB storm vs droid comparisons, will help in my decision with respect to the droid.
    oh another point just how many apps did the iphone have when it came out??? hmmm.

  159. Actually, the iPhone iterates every year hardware-wise, and has also added numerous updates inbetween to fix issues, add some new functionality, and just polish things up generally.

    They'd do better to ramp the software more often, however, and not hold back new features for the next hardware release.

  160. Honestly, whenever someone tries to compare Apple’s strategy today to what happened with Windows fifteen years ago, it just makes me crazy. The example here: Windows OS vs. Mac equals Android OS vs. iPhone. Obviously, the past will repeat itself, and the iPhone will lose out to an OS that lots of hardware manufacturers will put on tons on hardware.

    Today, the tech markets are COMPLETELY different. The desktop computer market of the 80’s and 90’s was an enterprise market where the MIS drones were driven to purchase computers through well established relationships with the likes of IBM sales reps. Later, Microsoft happily took the baton handoff and catered to that market well. The home consumer market was a complete after thought in any real terms. The things that Apple did well, MIS drones don’t care about, like user experience and design, etc. And MIS departments would happily purchase cobbled together boxes of beige computing crap (read: Wintel / Dell) because their constant troubles and crashes kept them in their dreary jobs.

    Today, thanks primarily to the Internet, technology markets (and especially the mobile phone market) are largely consumer driven. Consumers have a completely different set of priorities. They decide what products they like; they don’t have an MIS manager shove a Blackberry or crap Windows box on them and force them to use it. And because they don’t have an MIS manager on hand to help them, the devices need to be easy to use, polished, fun and JUST WORK. These are things that Apple excels at when it comes to digital gadgets.

    Apple is (and always has been, frankly) a consumer company, driven by the notion of empowering individuals with information tools. This is it’s time to shine. Consumers want something that works. Not a cobbled together beige box solution like the Motorola/Android/Google mutant offspring called Droid. Consumers only settled for less in their past with their crappy Windows boxes because they didn’t have a choice and didn’t know better. Today they do know better and that is why they are NOT buying Pre’s, NOT buying BB Storms, and won’t be buying Droid’s either. They are going to buy iPhones because iPhones delight the consumer on every possible level: from product design to user experience to branding. And the latter asset is a weapon that Apple wields with such force that practically no one will have a chance of catching up. Consumers globally love the Apple brand and want to be associated with it. Droid? Android? Google? Well, maybe the geeky dorks who read this blog proudly brandish those logos. But the real people who make up 99% of the human race LOVE the Apple logo and those Apple commercials with their shiny colors and up-beat pop tunes.

    In a consumer market, it is NEVER good to be loved by the geeks. It means your product will surely fail in the broader marketplace. Android just has too much developer lust around it. It will go nowhere. And fast.

    1. I haven’t seen the Droid yet, and as a developer/geek who is also an iPhone owner, I’m curious to see what the hoopla is about.

      My impression is that people are drawn to Android/Droid because it is open, customizable, free from the ‘shackles’ of Apple – more of an embrace of a mix between ideology and superior tech specs.

      Geeks like us talk about which is the better platform – iPhone, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile.

      Everyone else, though, doesn’t care about the platform – they buy phones, not platforms. I find it hard to imagine the average person pondering on what platform they like, and then go into see what phones support which platforms. It takes a lot of research to figure out what phones support Windows Mobile 6.5 or Andriod 2.0. It’s kinda like researching which video card is better than the other – if you’re not on top of it, you’re going to get lost easily.

      With iPhone and the Palm Pre, the choice is rather simple. I want an iPhone – I can pick one up without having to research which makers and models support iPhone OS and so forth.

      We’re getting lost discussing platforms and losing sight of the average consumer, who really could care less what platform it runs on, or whether some developer complains that their app never got approved.

      1. @Phone – that’s a great point. I think it’s also why I’m excited to see an Android phone (Droid) being given a personality! Savvy carriers will catch on to this. I think we’re about to see fewer phones called W810i or N900 . . . and more phones with actual names and (dare I say it) character traits.

        That’s what the average consumer will latch onto. It’s going to be fun to see what these companies come up with!

  161. Only 256MB of room for apps is a major showstopper.
    The onscreen keyboard is almost as bad as the physical.
    Multimedia is awful on the Droid.

  162. I am wondering also about the battery, they advance the background applications abilities and ease to bring programs as an advantage but the obvious drawback for non tech users will be installing apps that combined sucks your battery life in no time. The average user doesn't understand nor does he want to understand the effect of the programs downloaded or ran simultaneously, but he will notice his battery being drained in one hour.

  163. Hey! Check out this cool photo tagging software called Fotobounce! It can help you sort your images using face recognition! It can also download & tag your photos from facebook & flickr! You can even use it from your cellphone, get it for free at: http://fotobounce.com/index.php?blog

  164. The docs exist, but they are pale in comparison to the docs provided for the iPhone platform. For example, this is the only page in the Android docs on OpenGL and 3D Graphics for games. Note that this is _the_ technology for writing graphics-intensive games:
    http://dev.android.com/guide/topics/graphics/op

    My favorite line is: “The specific API provided by Android is similar to the J2ME JSR239 OpenGL ES API. However, it may not be identical, so watch out for deviations.” Deviations? Like you just didn't implement a couple options someplace, but you can't remember exactly where? I could go digging through forums and find out what the differences are, but it _sounds_ like a mess.

    In place of that single page, Apple provides a 62 page PDF, with specific information about the graphics chips and a detailed breakdown of what is and isn't possible/recommended:
    http://devworld.apple.com/iphone/library/docume

    That's pretty much my reasoning for the previous comment about the docs. I write graphically intensive iPhone apps, and I found that page in the Android docs truly terrible. The rest of the docs, especially the parts about application lifecycle, etc… seem much nicer.

    1. Single page? Not even close. You found a piece of the high-level Dev Guide.

      Reference is here: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/opengl/package-summary.html

      “ApiDemos” is here: http://dev.android.com/guide/samples/ApiDemos/index.html (ApiDemos is a single project, with source, demonstrating comprehensive usage of the myriad of Android SDK features, including many for openGL)

      However, it is fait accompli. Many OpenGL games are succeeding in the Android Market already

  165. Robert, what about the 256M limit on apps? That just seems insane to me- I don’t consider myself a huge app user, but I just checked, and I have over 800M on my 3GS. What do you have?

    And while some phones will obviously ship with more storage in the future-that doesn’t help the people who just bought Droids and are unable to even download any apps bigger than that tiny space. Even my launch day iPhone can hold more stuff.

  166. I like having the Motorola brand, but when the launch of the new iPhone to the market everybody was frenzy! I think Motorola wants to redeem the thrown as a global brand.

  167. I picked up the much anticipated Droid at 6:30am the day it came out and have had no such problems with the battery door or poorly loaded web pages. I have to disagree with this post completely. The Droid is a VERY strong competitor for the iPhone and in my opinion the pro’s far outweigh the “yet to be found” cons.

  168. Rofl… COMPLICATED by 3 screens? You've got to be kidding…. just how simple does it have to be for these iphone imbeciles?

  169. The UI is inferior because the open software stack? Come on. I am not a die-hard opensource guy (I use a Mac and iPhoneOS myself most of the time), but saying that the UI is inferior because of the openness of the phone just does not make sense to me. Maybe you could explain this further so I can understand why openness leads to “unequally inferior” UIs.

    That said, I agree with all the other things you said.

  170. Seriously man? The Droid is not that hard to figure out. For your youtube problem. Click menu and look for the option for watch in high quality. Even the Verizon droiddoes.com website tells you that. Heres the exact text that tells you…

    High quality playback and brilliant screen: The Droid by Motorola has a brilliant 3.7 inch screen with noticeably high resolution and crisp colors: 854×480 pixels with 16M colors. The YouTube App on Android 2.0 plays videos in HQ automatically when you are on wifi, bringing the best possible YouTube watching experience to a mobile device. And if you are out of wifi range, you can still watch videos in HQ by selecting “Menu -> More -> Watch in high quality.”

    As for your web browser not displaying correctly, I am unsure what 2.0 did to the Droid, but on my G1 I can go to menu > more > settings > uncheck auto-fit pages and that problem was fixed.

    If you really want multi-touch you can root your phone. I've had multi touch on my G1 for a year now.

    Amazing to have options isn't it? You call yourself a tech-blogger…

  171. Well, Verizon had their chance to carry the iPhone and told Apple no. Now with the iPhone's success on AT&T, they want in. Verizon maybe a good carrier, but they are losing customers to AT&T and the iPhone is taking market share from RIM and Nokia. Additionally, Macs are gaining market share and Apple has reported record financial gains when others are reporting loses. So please explain why Apple is losing fast?

    1. It wasn’t a comment on revenue or market share. I believe he was saying that the distance a competitor has to cover between no product (or a sucky product) and iPhone-esque quality has narrowed with the Droid. The article and the comments both suggest there is still a gap between the products, but the gap is smaller than it used to be. Time will tell what that means, but don’t expect either company to stop innovating.

  172. Oh dear, this is poor research, Mr Scoble. Techmeme is displaying correctly if, in portrait mode, the right hand nav panel displays below the main content at certain font sizes. This is because that content is floated right. Resize your browser to a narrow width, and the same thing will happen. Zoom out sufficiently on the Android browser and the site will display as you see it on your display.

    How is that a failing of Android? Are you arguing that it should _ignore_ web standards?

  173. It took apple some years to implement cut and paste, and then they touted that as some revolutionary feature, some UI that is, the unbelievable nerve.

    sure the battery door is there, but at least you can replace the battery, and not have to go to an apple store or set an appointment when your battery starts dieing.

    GUI will change, updates will be released, android will flood the market. Apple will return to what it does best, a niche product for the technologically docile.

  174. Mmmm, just thought of something,

    Apple FORCES you to use iTunes to import your already bought music via iTunes to a Apple iPhone and its DRM’d which means Droid cant import it.

    I DONT like to be forced, do you?

  175. Well why didn't you take it to the Apple store. I'm sure if your battery was an issue they would have given you a brand new iPhone. They did for my daughter. Not just a battery replacement, but a brand new iPhone. I'd take that over a new battery any day.

    The whole battery argument is kinda silly in light of all the solutions that are available for the iPhone. Get an Incase external battery for the iPhone. It charges the battery and acts as a protective case for the phone. I own one and keep it with me in case I need it. There are many such devices available for the iPhone. Just think how many batteries the DROID will use over it's lifetime.

  176. Read the post by Thomas developer of twidroid, then read it slowly again until it sinks in..

    Here is my .02 cents on this iPhone v/s Android

    1. No UI standards to do things in a certain way (Probably Thumbs Up for people like you because you need to be challenged, not so for most regular people)

    2. Different Screen Resolutions, different input methods, may or may not have all features, different customization by vendor (Probably another Thumbs Up for You).

    3. I am not exactly sure about h/w connectors or dock but I presume they are all different (Now that probably pisses you off)

    4. All those different Phone dimensions for all these various form factors means limited cases, headphones, harware intergration etc.

    Between iPhone 1st generation and the 3rd generation leaving aside the network (2G v/s 3G) the dock stayed the same, the screen stayed the same and minus the headphone issue with the 1st generation and the GPS/Compass in 3GS there were few changes externally to the device. I am generalizing and not being very specific.

    The thing is that for the people who build cases, FM tuners, car chargers etc. a lot of them work across the board and across most of the iPODs. The amount of R&D involved with making changes year over year is at a bare minimum. The changes to the iPhone are fairly predictable. Now look at the Android situation and how many of these companies are going to try and get into designing and building all the diversity of the iPOD/iPhone marketplace ? Also how many choices are you going to get ?

    The ecosystem for the iPhone/iPod is huge, it includes the Music store, the Videos, the Apps and all these third parties building stuff. It is the sum of these that will make the iPhone attractive, geeks like you will still drool over Android.

  177. “Later I found that the zoom control was hidden in the corner. Nice way to make me feel stupid. iPhone never had this problem.”
    :D

    Looks like designing to make the user feel smart and empowered is just as important as designing for utility.

  178. I like it. Not sure what was supposed to disply on that website you listed (http://www.techmeme.com),
    I opened it in IE and it looked the same as my droid.
    I agree about facebook app, but if I go there with droids browser it shows everything I need, and just today there was a new facebook about out there, haven’t tried that yet.

  179. what an epic failiure of a post.
    the bottom line. The droid UI can be changed to anything you want, any way you want. if you cant find something you like,you can make it. how is that not better in literally every way, than the iphone and… the pre? surely your joking.

  180. Yes. That's why I love the USA. We have choice.

    I get to choose from over 100,000 iPhone Apps, and you get to choose from a few thousand Droid apps.

    I hope it works out well for you.

  181. I think that the link you provided to the story about the rubber cover taking off keys provides great insight into your fuller analysis of the failings of droid as a product: negligence /lack of knowledge on the part of the user. Although I appreciate your dogged fixation on out of the box user experience, i think that after a week the three phones would amount to a wash (turn by turn nav, thats huge). havent had my hands on a pre, i have to admit though.

    However, the moral of the story of the bra was, dont install the rubber cover backwards (the author admits as much at the end). In the instance of just one of your criticisms, dont multi-gesture when theres a button and then blame it on the phone. it might be the phone's fault for not delivering multi-touch, and their solution may not be as good as multi-touch, but youre the one who tried to zoom incorrectly.

  182. Tell me about the option to only be able to install 256MB of apps. Yes, it is amazing to have options, unfortunately, Droid users won't have options when it comes to apps.

  183. first, let's remember that this is first and formost a phone and that most normal users will install a small subset of popular applications…. probably between 3-15 apps. these apps should all be very small and if they are not, then they are poorly coded and would be considered bloatware. The apps that need extra space are those that depend on media assets for things like gameplay, UI, levels, 3d files, graphics, audio and video etc. All of these types of files can use the SD card. And don't be surprised if some form of DRM is developed to do device id verifications as needed.

    this also speaks to the issue of the app market place comparisons that really dont matter as much as some try to argue. if you remove all the duplicate apps and then remove all the low quality apps and then remove all the apps that are no more useful than a website is and then remove all the apps that are too niche and suddenly you are left with the core, popular, useful, quality apps that most to all users give a shit about… And the number comparisons across all mobile app market places will soon be very comparable. If you remove the entertainment/games which many people are not buying a smartphone for… then it becomes even more noticable how silly this argument is. Sure games are cool but really…. look at the userbase of adults and figure out how important mobile gaming is to them. Go ahead and do that research. Games are gravy.

    Android is going to be one of the most pervasive mobile OSs out their… do you really think developers are going to ignore this? No way. Over the next year, their will be much focus on developing for Android so all this hoopla about 100k apple approved apps is very Moot! Those who put so much weight on this are those who really are not interested in seeing Android succeed and are clinging on to anything to point out the current shortfalls to date and ignoring the near future and reality of this worthy competitor to apple mobile products.

    i don't understand why apple customers feel threatened by competition when that very competition makes all products strive to be better.

    i'm disappointed in this blog post by robert scoble for the short-sightedness that it bellows. robert, you love technology and are one of the kings of early adopting geeks. and you have a right to post initial out-of-the-box thoughts and it's probably beneficial… so you may know this but what i hope to see is some follow-up thoughts that are more fair and balanced taking into consideration more variables… some of which i mention here.

    cheers.

  184. Thats the problem, everyone is making excuses for Droids shortcomings just like you did with the 256MB app space. 256MB is nothing, absolutely nothing with todays apps. You are basically stuck with watered down versions of everything. But since all the Droid fans have been building this thing up to be the iPhone killer, they are not willing admit this thing can'st stand in the shadow of the iPhone. Do you really think phone manufacturers are going to ensure all apps working equally on each Android phone? No, each one is going to try to differentiate their phone from the other. Android is creating a mess for itself and this thing will become so fragmented its not funny. Everyone thinks Apple is competing with Android. Apple is not competing with Android, they are competing with handset makers like Sony, Nokia, Samsung and Motorolla. The problem with Android handset makers, is they are competing amongst themselves and to do that will require fragmentation of the OS, this is the result of being 'OPEN'. I dont think Apple customers feel threatened by this cute phone more so than they can't believe this thing is being labeled as the iPhone Killer, which to iPhone users is a joke, this thing is junk. The auther is pointing out the weeknesses, unfortunately, android fans dont like to hear that cause the are under this false impression that this was the phone of all phones. Its not, its junk. Once you stop making excuses for it's short comings and accept them, then the phone can move forward and get better, otherwise it will continue to be just what it is today, another poor mans iPhone.

  185. Thats the problem, everyone is making excuses for Droids shortcomings just like you did with the 256MB app space. 256MB is nothing, absolutely nothing with todays apps. You are basically stuck with watered down versions of everything. But since all the Droid fans have been building this thing up to be the iPhone killer, they are not willing admit this thing can'st stand in the shadow of the iPhone. Do you really think phone manufacturers are going to ensure all apps working equally on each Android phone? No, each one is going to try to differentiate their phone from the other. Android is creating a mess for itself and this thing will become so fragmented its not funny. Everyone thinks Apple is competing with Android. Apple is not competing with Android, they are competing with handset makers like Sony, Nokia, Samsung and Motorolla. The problem with Android handset makers, is they are competing amongst themselves and to do that will require fragmentation of the OS, this is the result of being 'OPEN'. I dont think Apple customers feel threatened by this cute phone more so than they can't believe this thing is being labeled as the iPhone Killer, which to iPhone users is a joke, this thing is junk. The auther is pointing out the weeknesses, unfortunately, android fans dont like to hear that cause the are under this false impression that this was the phone of all phones. Its not, its junk. Once you stop making excuses for it's short comings and accept them, then the phone can move forward and get better, otherwise it will continue to be just what it is today, another poor mans iPhone.

    1. “The problem with Android handset makers, is they are competing amongst themselves and to do that will require fragmentation of the OS, this is the result of being ‘OPEN’.”

      No. Android’s value for the handset makers comes from two sources: the ability to specialize and focus on handset design, and the Google brand itself.

      It makes very little sense for handset designers to attempt any significant modification to Android because 1.) why do what other people are doing for free (application development) 2.) why compete against a company that specializes software development 3.) why risk Google leveraging their brand against you because you’ve made undesirable modifications to Android that Google perceives as a risk to its brand?

      There will not be any “fragmentation of the OS.” Instead of modified Android builds rolling out on handsets, you’ll see carrier based Android App packages, and those will marketed alongside the handset.

  186. Full disclosure: I’m ex-Apple. But as such I can tell you from long (10 years) experience that the company who will be trying hardest of all to build the next ‘iPhone killer’ will be Apple themselves. And as such are probably uniquely positioned and, more importantly, motivated to do so.

    Nobody seriously believes that Apple will be complacent about the success the iPhone has had to date. In just a couple of short years since the original Phone, Apple have responded to consumer demands in terms of price, capability, developers and more without having any serious competition barking at their heels to motivate them to do so. Now that serious competition is arriving in the form of Android, Pre and others it’s going to get even more interesting.

    The global market at stake is even larger than even the laptop/desktop market. Hopefully we’ll see much more choice from a variety of manufacturers and not be subjected to a market dominating so-called standard such as Microsoft managed to build in the PC market. The pie is huge. Even a relatively small slice is a massive market opportunity. Let’s just hope that nobody (Apple, Google or anybody else) gets too dominant a share and kills competitiveness and innovation as we move into the future.

  187. “everyone is making excuses for Droids shortcomings just like you did with the 256MB app space”

    not an excuse, just the reality of how MOST people use their phone. MOST people will not have dozens or hundreds of apps concurrently installed. Be realistic! Look at blackberry users. Remind yourself of how many people still use dumb feature phones who will make a jump to a smart phone but wont have the mindset to use more than a small subset of apps.
    point is, the 256mb internal space is not a product failing especially once apps leverage the sd card accordingly. more is better but i just dont think it will matter much taking both the sd card and cloud storage into consideration.

    “But since all the Droid fans have been building this thing up to be the iPhone killer, they are not willing admit this thing can'st stand in the shadow of the iPhone.”

    i dont think android fans really started this iphone killer shit. their is no such thing as an iphone killer. the hotness of this headline is created by bloggers and journalists looking for traffic.
    the ad campaign jabbed at apple and i like that aggressiveness since it completely succeeded in getting buzz and the viral effect. thats what they are paid to do and they did a great job (now have many more at&t and apple bashing commercials for holiday season). apple does it to microsoft all the time. part of the game. but what android fans called this an iphone killer? not the bloggers i have read… not even the android focused bloggers. the people worth reading have been very fair and balanced and mention all the shortcomings that you yourself talk about. you just happen to be one who fell into the iphone killer meme and are offended because you are emotionally attached to a piece of hardware and brand (thats another topic, maybe for a health related blog).

    “Android is creating a mess for itself and this thing will become so fragmented its not funny.”

    dont be concerned. it'll all be fine. it's ok. really, it is.

    “bla bla bla i'm an apple fan boy bla bla bla jesus phone is my friend bla bla must protect steve bla bla must defend my beloved apple bla bla….”

    no comment.

  188. “everyone is making excuses for Droids shortcomings just like you did with the 256MB app space”

    not an excuse, just the reality of how MOST people use their phone. MOST people will not have dozens or hundreds of apps concurrently installed. Be realistic! Look at blackberry users. Remind yourself of how many people still use dumb feature phones who will make a jump to a smart phone but wont have the mindset to use more than a small subset of apps.
    point is, the 256mb internal space is not a product failing especially once apps leverage the sd card accordingly. more is better but i just dont think it will matter much taking both the sd card and cloud storage into consideration.

    “But since all the Droid fans have been building this thing up to be the iPhone killer, they are not willing admit this thing can'st stand in the shadow of the iPhone.”

    i dont think android fans really started this iphone killer shit. their is no such thing as an iphone killer. the hotness of this headline is created by bloggers and journalists looking for traffic.
    the ad campaign jabbed at apple and i like that aggressiveness since it completely succeeded in getting buzz and the viral effect. thats what they are paid to do and they did a great job (now have many more at&t and apple bashing commercials for holiday season). apple does it to microsoft all the time. part of the game. but what android fans called this an iphone killer? not the bloggers i have read… not even the android focused bloggers. the people worth reading have been very fair and balanced and mention all the shortcomings that you yourself talk about. you just happen to be one who fell into the iphone killer meme and are offended because you are emotionally attached to a piece of hardware and brand (thats another topic, maybe for a health related blog).

    “Android is creating a mess for itself and this thing will become so fragmented its not funny.”

    dont be concerned. it'll all be fine. it's ok. really, it is.

    “bla bla bla i'm an apple fan boy bla bla bla jesus phone is my friend bla bla must protect steve bla bla must defend my beloved apple bla bla….”

    no comment.

  189. “everyone is making excuses for Droids shortcomings just like you did with the 256MB app space”

    not an excuse, just the reality of how MOST people use their phone. MOST people will not have dozens or hundreds of apps concurrently installed. Be realistic! Look at blackberry users. Remind yourself of how many people still use dumb feature phones who will make a jump to a smart phone but wont have the mindset to use more than a small subset of apps.
    point is, the 256mb internal space is not a product failing especially once apps leverage the sd card accordingly. more is better but i just dont think it will matter much taking both the sd card and cloud storage into consideration.

    “But since all the Droid fans have been building this thing up to be the iPhone killer, they are not willing admit this thing can'st stand in the shadow of the iPhone.”

    i dont think android fans really started this iphone killer shit. their is no such thing as an iphone killer. the hotness of this headline is created by bloggers and journalists looking for traffic.
    the ad campaign jabbed at apple and i like that aggressiveness since it completely succeeded in getting buzz and the viral effect. thats what they are paid to do and they did a great job (now have many more at&t and apple bashing commercials for holiday season). apple does it to microsoft all the time. part of the game. but what android fans called this an iphone killer? not the bloggers i have read… not even the android focused bloggers. the people worth reading have been very fair and balanced and mention all the shortcomings that you yourself talk about. you just happen to be one who fell into the iphone killer meme and are offended because you are emotionally attached to a piece of hardware and brand (thats another topic, maybe for a health related blog).

    “Android is creating a mess for itself and this thing will become so fragmented its not funny.”

    dont be concerned. it'll all be fine. it's ok. really, it is.

    “bla bla bla i'm an apple fan boy bla bla bla jesus phone is my friend bla bla must protect steve bla bla must defend my beloved apple bla bla….”

    no comment.

  190. “you just happen to be one who fell into the iphone killer meme and are offended because you are emotionally attached to a piece of hardware and brand (thats another topic, maybe for a health related blog).”

    kettle…black…

    Keep burring your head in the sand.

  191. many flaws. learn how to use it and you will see it does much of what you say it cant. For instance the HD for youtube is 2 clicks away and offers much better quality then either phone. Look for it and you will find it, im sure my phone is not a random fluke that has HD youtube…

  192. And here is how you install App2SD:

    PRE-REQUISITE:
    1. Rooted your phone
    2. You created the FAT32 / EXT2 combo partitions

    NOTE:
    I used Paragon partition Manager 10 ($40) for the easy way but you can do it a bit harder way for free on your phone itself without a PC by following http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?…

    INSTRUCTION:
    1. Download the LucidRem Modified Update Below to the MicroSD on the FAT32 portion (Assuming you've already created a Fat32 / Ext 2 partition on your microSD) and rename it “update”

    JFv1.5 = http://files.lucidrem.us/_fd.php?fil…REM/upda…
    OTA Radio if your phone doesn't already have this radio version (to check on your phone its under settings > About phone > Baseband version) = http://files.lucidrem.us/_fd.php?fil…_22_19_2…

    2. Flash your G1 (At this point I performed a Clean Wipe right before flashing but its your choice)
    3. After flashing and the phone boots up open the terminal app on the phone and type in the following commands:

    su
    Press Enter
    lucid app
    Press Enter
    lucid data
    Press Enter
    lucid dalvik
    Press Enter

    4. Reboot your G1 and your done.
    *In your storage settings your phone internal memory should be from 70-74 MB.The apps will automatically go to your SD when you DL them.
    LucidREM please don't be mad that i linked your modified update.zip in my thread and Thank you.

    Yea, this is user friendly alright. Lets be real, this app is only for geeks, not the common user. If this is Androids answer to installing over 256MB of Apps, they have a long long way to go.

  193. And here is how you install App2SD:

    PRE-REQUISITE:
    1. Rooted your phone
    2. You created the FAT32 / EXT2 combo partitions

    NOTE:
    I used Paragon partition Manager 10 ($40) for the easy way but you can do it a bit harder way for free on your phone itself without a PC by following http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?…

    INSTRUCTION:
    1. Download the LucidRem Modified Update Below to the MicroSD on the FAT32 portion (Assuming you've already created a Fat32 / Ext 2 partition on your microSD) and rename it “update”

    JFv1.5 = http://files.lucidrem.us/_fd.php?fil…REM/upda…
    OTA Radio if your phone doesn't already have this radio version (to check on your phone its under settings > About phone > Baseband version) = http://files.lucidrem.us/_fd.php?fil…_22_19_2…

    2. Flash your G1 (At this point I performed a Clean Wipe right before flashing but its your choice)
    3. After flashing and the phone boots up open the terminal app on the phone and type in the following commands:

    su
    Press Enter
    lucid app
    Press Enter
    lucid data
    Press Enter
    lucid dalvik
    Press Enter

    4. Reboot your G1 and your done.
    *In your storage settings your phone internal memory should be from 70-74 MB.The apps will automatically go to your SD when you DL them.
    LucidREM please don't be mad that i linked your modified update.zip in my thread and Thank you.

    Yea, this is user friendly alright. Lets be real, this app is only for geeks, not the common user. If this is Androids answer to installing over 256MB of Apps, they have a long long way to go.

  194. Wow, your article uses the word FAIL! pretty liberally IMO. The BEST parts of Droid are call quality, network, and great gmail? WTF, what do you know these are my first 3 priorities in selecting a phone…you know making calls is what most of use use a phone for.

    I know you are a social media tycoon, so I suppose you value the twitter app over call quality, but FAIL?

    Additionally, almost every criticism you have is addressable, even after the phone is delpoyed. Better Apps are comming, mult-touch will also follow, the camera can recieve firmware, the browser will improve, and who the F cares about in store signage?

    These are fixable items on an open platform on the best network with a phone that MULTI-TASKS.

    Granted the form of the phone is something a ggek or engineer is apt to like more than the common man, but who is your audience anyway? It ain't my mom!

  195. On physical keyboards; I am communicating in 4 different languages on a daily basis. On the iPhone it is a piece of cake to switch between 4 different keyboards. How would I do that with a physical keyboard? I actually hope that keyboards will become digital on laptops and desktops as well. Why not?

  196. I read the opposing article by Chris as well. The reasons you post here that make the droid superior to the iPhone and the reasons he posted why the Droid is great are not convincing reasons. I posted a reply that the only thing that Droid has over the iPhone is Verizon although I don't believe it is as superior lacking simultaneous voice and data.

    The iPhone has three major features, the Phone , iPod and the Internet and they work very well. The Phone might can be argued as less superior because of AT&T but as long as I'm connected and can do what my heart so ever please, I'm set.

    The keyboard is nothing to knock, physical vs software/virtual , because I've used both physical and virtual and I would never use a physical keyboard phone again.

    The iPhone is a consumer device that does everything a consumer would like and that is what makes it successful.

  197. sob.. you just wrote what is in my mind. I am very disappointed with Google for not taking advantage of Droid/Android and their stock price. The apps sucks.. lack of multi-touch sucks too. BTW, my droid heats up very fast while running multiple apps at the same time… Even verizon didnot keep up their words.. They did not even provide a head phone with the device.

  198. Hello I found many instances in this “review” where the information being shared was incorrect. First, the default setting for HD YouTube is HD. When you watch an HD video on this thing it is absolutely beautiful! Not sure what your issue was here but I've yet to see an more beautful YouTube video on a phone.

    Your second issue with zooming is a bit of a learning curve, yes, but it is very easy and fairly precise. Simply double tap on the area you wish to zoom in to. No need to search for anything in the corner.

    Regarding your web page issue, none noted here. Everything is in the perfect spot on the page.

    Regarding the camera, I admit this is an area that needs a little work. It takes amazing outdoor pictures and adequate indoor pictures (not sure why we would care if it wasn't quite up to our digital camera that cost us as much as the phone that just so happens to include one) and I have never had a single crash. Perhaps the phone didn't like the subject you were photographing?

    This looks like someone looking for their minute in the limelight bashing what would otherwise be an amazing new addition to the smartphone market.

  199. Here we go the war of the Phones, who cares how many apps you have my questions is do you use all those apps?and if you do can you open all those apps at the same time with iphone with out slow down?iphone At&t dont even offer insurance ofr the iphone virezon doese for droid better network me and my friend he as a iphone I have droid he need to borrow my phone to call home because he as no service in the basament ,I dont try to put douwn the iphone if you happy with the iphone good for you if you happy with the droid good for you, yo make this short averyone is different and buy different things I like toyota my frind likes madza.Just think about it

  200. hey buddy, when last you need to jailbreak your iPhone. Yea thats comsumer ease of use right there.

    I could hand the iPhone to my mom and she wouldnt know WTF to do with it. Sorry your analogy sucks

  201. Ok heres a question for you iPhoneFanboys: So if iPhone gets multitasking for third party apps, does this mean that Apple is following the rest of the world, in other words APPLE IS PLAYING CATCH UP?

    You hear that, its the tide of change… deal with it!

  202. I have to agree with almost everything on this post. I got my droid on Monday and I dont like it at all. Coming from Blackberry, which is pretty intuitive imo, this thing is all noise.

    My joke is, the Droid is like working out with nautilus. Sure you're in the gym and maybe you even breaking a sweat but it really doesn't count as working out. Blackberry is like working out with free weights. Lean, mean and efficient.

  203. First your a rebuttal to the major problems listed in this article:
    Multi touch enabled stateside:
    http://www.guysfromqueens.com/?p=765
    The very same link you posted about the bra problem had an update saying that it was actual operator error (in the form of a incorrectly installed case) that created the keyboard problem.
    The android marketplace is definitely not fully matured as of yet so naturally the apps are less developed but more on this later.

    Full disclosure here:
    I am a somewhat geeky engineer so I probably am just as biased as your article in my analysis but I have spent a fairly large amount of time reading criticisms and information pertaining to all 3 of these phones plus a few in relatively good depth.

    Hardware: I have had some time now to abuse and use my droid and considering I had a starcom released G'zone at one point to put up with the outdoor activity centered abuse I deliver to most mobiles I honestly can't understand how you are dissatisfied with the exterior. The battery cover issue I have yet to experience so I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it is more operator error or perhaps defective. As for the actual Processing hardware there is little to be annoyed with. The software runs very smoothly on nearly all pages even multitasking many windows at once which I noticed you failed to address here. The battery life seems to have come under fire but once again a bit of light research (similiar to the multi touch disabling) solves that via a task manager app. Furthermore there is an onboard taks manager which allows direct management as well as an onboard battery browser which shows which apps are eating how much of the battery.

    Apps: While there is definitely a bit of a void in apps compared to apple I hate the idea of paying developers for software when it could all just be open source and free. While this may have been balked at several years ago the popularity of mozilla firefox and it's enormous library of free open source addons pays homage to the success of non-commercial products.

    Bundled software: While the UI is quite complex and overwhelming I felt google did an excellent job syncing gmail functions with the phone. The majority of reviews I have read generally complain about the lack of an apple like itunes sync, I feel that the sync is there, it just doesn't automatically scan you to match the online service you have chosen, instead it assumes google (probably b/c you bought a google made product) and proceeds accordingly. I did notice a gaping hole in the comparison concerning the free turn by turn nav which is bundled with the droid. That alone is easily worth the $200 for me personally.

    While I appreciate a critical point of view on this phone (I spent days searching for weak points before purchasing a droid) it would be nice to be able to find real criticisms that can't be fixed by a simple google search. The fundamental problem in the aesthetics of the phone (both hardware and software) that most reviews seem to ignore is that there is no “ideal phone” for anyone b/c of the existence of markets. The droid is not a phone designed for the same market as the iphone and as a result it doesn't behave as a copycat of the iphone but rather as it's own platform and product. This platform is modeled very differently from apple's when you consider that google has had than almost diametrically opposed approach to products and services as apple. While Apple DOES do an amazing marketing job it typically allows this one skill to override all other aspects of the services or products it offers culminating in an online music store which wants $1 for every music track or $5 for every app of a $200 charge for a replacement battery at the “apple store” for any of its units. While this may work in the short term (huge aesthetic consumer basis) in the long term it is suicide for the simple reason that hardcore consumers define a market. I have not personally had an android based phone prior to this but I have followed the development of the OS since it's inception b/c of the promise of open source it offered. Googlemaps nav was done at a HUGE cost to google however it will now draw legions of consumers to it's products simply based on the fact that there is no subscription fee. Allowing the open source development of apps does the exact same thing; why hire dev. teams to oversee every app at huge expense to the consumer when you can just motivate the consumer to do the work for you. While this is a system that doesn't fit into the simple marketing plans apple excels at it ultimately nets you the entire market or at least a very large share of it as evidenced by the PC industry.

    While the droid and indeed android is not for everyone at the moment due to complexity and lack of a idiotproof interface/app process it demonstrates the same essential ideals (open source software, true customization, admin levle functionality and access) which apple failed to grasp in the mid 1980's when microsoft was able to begin building it's way to more than 10 times the market share in computers. I am quite sure in 2-5 years spinoffs of this phone and its OS (android) will be out which will be catered to the less tech savvy typical iphone user (don't tell them that though since they THINK they are tech savvy for buying an iphone) which will begin tearing sales away from iphones. In the meantime I am ecstatic that I am able to buy and play with the equivalent of a poweruser level windows NT workstation in the phone industry
    (read NOT windows 3.1) from a company which doesn't believe in license fees when the industry standard is a more locked than ever apple macbook which charges per installation to support it's own content filtering. Aesthetics are FAR from everything for everyone.

  204. In my grand scheme, not having a phone that works well when I'm in the US is a pretty major nuisance. YMMV.

  205. So their engineers were incapable of producing a multi-band device? I have a phone that works anywhere in the world, and works *well*. That's what I call choice.

  206. Robert, I'm sad to hear that you don't like Android so far.

    There are several things I feel like you're missing though. I'll keep this short.

    1. Multitouch is enabled in the kernel, but they software isn't taking advantage of it just yet. Why? I have no idea, but I have a custom ROM on my G1, and Loccy's browser (which supports multitouch) and I still use the onscreen Zoom keys because I usually don't want to use two hands to browse a web page. That's just me, but hey, I can see a lot of people agreeing with that.
    2. Try PicSay Pro. It's a few bucks from the Market and is an outstanding image manipulation app. I've also been using Adobe's new Photoshop app, which is pretty amazing for the low, low cost of nothing.

    As far as things I agree with –

    1. The camera does suck and I'm not convinced it's the hardware as much as the software, because it's sucks on ALL Android phones equally. It's the shutter speed. No matter how hard I try, I can't take a clear photo of a moving object. This is a problem with a lot of mobile devices, but it's worse on the Android phones I've used.
    2. The physical keyboard on the Droid is sub-par. I'm a G1 owner, and I've been spoiled. The G1 keyboard may not be perfect, but it's the best I've used so far.

    So I think you were off base with a couple of points, but on spot with a few others.

    You should mention multitasking, though. That's the biggest strong point of the Android platform. Sure, Palm does it best, but Android is still doing what the iPhone has NEVER done, and that's a plus. I don't know about you, but I love being able to receive Tweets and IMs while I'm browsing the web or texting. It's great.

  207. The iPhone's not doing so hot at all in India, China, and looking like, not going to be in South Korean either.

  208. The different configurations that I'm thinking of is like what Michael said: if I want a physical keyboard, then I want a phone that has one; if not, I can chose another phone; a larger screen or smaller; etc. If I want to download my apps from different places: a store or the developer's own website or from a forum, then I chose.

    If I want a physical keyboard, I will chose another phone over the iPhone. If I want a phone that can swap a dead battery for a fresh one right then and there, I'll chose another phone over the iPhone. It's about choice and Apple doesn't give me a choice.

    Only a small minority of the market want a phone that does more than just talk and text, most people just want a plain cellphone, and Apple doesn't have a phone for that.

  209. Apple foundation is all about limitations/control put in place. With other technologies, a user can modify the UX to suit them, not what Apple dictates.

  210. I run xGPS on my jailbroken iPhone. It has free turn by turn navigation and free offline maps. Plus Google is porting the app to the iPhone. While this is a nice feature for the Droid, it's hardly a killer or unique feature.

  211. “The DROID and Android 2.0 have closed the gap.”
    Can you show me those numbers, I would really like to see how much of that gap the Droid has closed and then you can show me how much of that gap Android 2.0 has closed. I will be waiting right here for both reports. I can't wait to see them so I can legitimize your post, otherwise it's all wishful thinking on your part. And lets me honest, thats all your post is, pure wishful thinking. Fact is, neither has closed the gap on the iPhone at this point. Hell, there are allot of other gaps the Droid and Android had better worry about before they go after the iPhone. Still waiting…

  212. You sound Jaded…. Instead of a review you give a one sided opinion….

    iPhone and Pre are nice but so lacking….

  213. Wow. You are a douche. You should at least know what you are talking about before you bash a product. Plus, give it a fair shake — for instance, Facebook on the iPhone has been around a lot longer, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that it SUCKED until a few months ago.

    I don't be visiting your blog again.

  214. I remember the day the IBM PC was released. The pundits were all saying that the Apple II was still the way to go. Crowning the iPhone the winner after years of refinement versus a 2-day old Droid is a pretty safe bet but…

  215. Well written and right on the money as far as I'm concerned. I especially agree with you on the design of the Droid. It. is. hideous. I've hated it from the moment I saw it. The only thing its got going for it, in my opinion, is the screen. That's it.

    Android rocks, don't get me wrong. I am constantly wrestling with using my G1 or my iPhone as my primary phone. It seems I switch back every few months. Then find reasons to hop back onto the other. If I could find an Android powered phone that looked as good as the iPhone, that performed as well, and if the app experience was just as good (or better?) I'd switch in a heartbeat.

    Again, excellent review. Glad somebody had the guts to say what they were really thinking about it.

  216. History repeats itself. Once upon a time Apple had the best home pc anyone had ever seen.
    Then the rest of the industry caught up and eclipsed them by light years.
    The same will happen here. Apple’s(JOBS) business model was successful in the beginning , but ultimately fatally flawed. The iphone will go the way of the macintosh. and in a few years people like you will still be spewing the superiority of the iphone in spite of it’s single digit market-share.
    Fear not, apple users will still be “different” and “creative” due to the fact that they choose to use a platform that has little compatiblity or incentives for software developers.

  217. palm pre is by far better than droid, and even the iphone. i can’t wait to see everything the pre can do. it’s already impressed me to no end

  218. One of the reasons for no multi-touch (i.e. “pinch”) might be the 383-page patent that Apple has on the technology. It might also have to do with the fact that Apple is on the verge of suing HTC and Palm for infringement of IP; incidentally, just as Nokia is about to sue Apple for infringement of IP. So, you pointed out some really great things about the Droid, but come back at it with it’s not “smooth” enough? That there’s the ability to replace batteries (or, swap, since none of these app-phones last more than 6-7 hours) and that Verizon didn’t throw a big enough party? Really? Bro, you got to stop drinking the Steve Jobs kool-aid. Really, I appreciate iPhone for what it is and Droid for what it is, but you iPhone-mac-sack lovers need to open your eyes up a bit.

  219. try G1 its been out for more than a couple of days. i just switched from my G1 t-mobile to verizon droid. its the same pice of crap. i should of got an iphone. my friend has it and i am in love with it. just all these commercials made me get the droid. shame on u verizon, i hate u :(

  220. So, in summary, the new Droid has several benefits over the less new iPhone, but 1) the apps for a newer platform aren’t as mature as apps for an older platform, 2) Droid doesn’t have multi-touch yet, 3) working with something new makes you feel stupid, 4) the presence of fanboys is a core determination in the worth of a product, and 5) you care so much about the performance of your camera that you choose to use cell phones instead of stand-alones.

    For what it’s worth, I love my Droid and I don’t think it’s better or worse than an iPhone, just different.

  221. you’d have to be retarded to think the UI on the droid is complicated. Took me less than 30 seconds to figure it out.

    How about google maps with turn by turn? HUGE!!!! Thats an awesome feature.

    Who cares about facebook and twitter apps? I know people are obsessed with those “time-wasters”, but some of us actually want a smartphone that does what a smart phone is SUPPOSED to do.

    I guess what I’m saying is, I’m tired of smug iphone users, who think that there will never be another design worthy of competing with it. I’m not an iphone hater. My personal opinion is ITS OKAY FOR THERE TO BE MORE THAN ONE AWESOME PHONE ON THE MARKET.I enjoy the pros and cons of each. It lets the consumer choose a product that fits their needs.

    Don’t hate, appreciate.

  222. You undercut your own argument when you compare Apple to Verizon. Apple is the developer and they throw in big behind their products. Does ATT go in as big as Apple or do they go in as big as Verizon on a phone launch? Think about it. You were right when you said the Droid is just another phone to Verizon. To ATT, the IPhone is their lifeblood and the only really good reason to use ATT.

  223. Actually Apple went with ATT because Verizon turned them down. The demands Apple had for warranty service and other issues would have broken Verizon's business model. Sure many have defected to ATT to get an iPhone, but sales would be double if it was with a good carrier.

  224. hmmm interesting how you ignored how the iPhone only allows one really really BAD calendar! Ever wonder why the app starved BB stays popular? Simple it's a PIM with good PIM apps. The Droids Calendar app along with it's synching to Google Calendar etc. is the best yet. Better then an enterprise supported BB with Exchange and you don't pay extra for it to sync to every laptop and desktop… since it's via Google.
    If I want iPhone apps I use my iPod. This way the battery is used up there rather then on my phone! BTW your description of how the browser works is not reproducible.

  225. AS long as the Iphone is only on AT&T it will do poorly at is primary use….a phone. I know you can get all of the superior facebook and twitter apps but it is a phone right? Also you are comparing a 3 year old set of phones with a 5 day old phone. Give it a lil time. the Iphone wasn’t perfect on the first one but 5 days into it being out I am sure you weren’t saying what a piece it is. I work for Verizon because I refuse to sell a great phone with far inferior service. Yup I turned down a job at At&t……..Google does everything it touches pretty well but rome wasn’t built in a day, be patient.

  226. I'd be foolish to argue that the Droid is a better “looking” piece of hardware than the iPhone but lets not be hasty in judging the value of the Droid in mere days.

    To start with the issue of the battery case, I am guessing your hardware is broken out of the box, I bought two, one for me, one for my wife and the battery case is snug as a bug. The idea of the battery in and of itself is actually appealing to me. I was sick to death of my iPod Touch battery dieing out at every conference or event I attended. If I want I can now carry a back up, but frankly the battery life on this product seems amazing. I also appreciate the fact that I can upgrade this phone from 16 GB of memory to 32 GB by buying a chip instead of a new piece of hardware altogether.

    In regards to some of the apps, inparticularly facebook, lets keep in mind, the iPhone facebook app was essentially crap until the 3.0 version came out. Android developers needed a reason and a cause to make a really slick facebook app. In my opinion now they have it.

    Is Droid perfect? Nope. Will it be the iPhone killer? Nope, and I am so sick of the “killer” idea anyway. But Droid provides the best alternative on the best network for mobile hand held devices.

  227. You are a moron. To say it is complex is an absolute joke. Most of these articles like yours are written by people who have an agenda. Head to Head the Droid is better than the iPhone and is on a much much better network. The screen, battery life and just about everything else is better, period. The only possible knock that anyone can make is that there is not so many apps out like the iPhone has. But guess what? It is a new phone, apps are being developed everday, it is only a matter of time before the amount of apps out is rivaling that of the iPhone. Furthermore, it is open source! Enough said, this article is crap, recognize the agenda people before and compare for yourselfs. The Droid is the superior smart phone.

  228. It only has 256MB of memory to handle apps so don't expect developers to come running to produce apps for this device. Linux is open source also, enough said. Time will tell and right now, it's not looking so good. Android has been out for a while now and it's not even in the game yet. Android should first worry about taking on the likes of Windows Mobile befor it decides to come play with the big boys. Right now, Android is not even in the game. Stop building it up to be something it isn't you'll only disappoint yourself even more than you are willing to admit.

  229. “Linux is open source also, enough said”

    That must mean you think it's great since Linux is used all over. Even Hollywood uses it to render movies. But that is another discussion.

    I think superiority of one phone over another is based on your location and the service you have. Where I live, anything with AT&T is going to suck since it isn't available. I a bigger city, you may get better service with them and the IPhone would be the best choice for you. For me, a different phone is the best phone for me and I will consider it the better phone than the IPhone. You have your opinion and are welcome to it. I have mine. I get tired of people trying to ram their opinion down my throat with a pompous attitude. I have seen that a lot in this discussion from both sides. Unfortunately, I usually hear it more from the Apple crowd than any other.

    I have heard the issues with dropped calls from a number of sources. Personally, if I was trying to do business with someone and my calls kept dropping, I would be looking for another service. And if I was on the other end of those dropped calls, I'd end up telling the person that I would be looking elsewhere if they can't even stay connected to me.

    I'm sure that the IPhone will get an even better reputation than it has now, when it gets on a service that is more reliable everywhere than it is with AT&T. I am not an Apple lover and can get into a discussion why I'm not. But that is for a different venue. I am not “settling” for what is available either. I'm not crazy about the IPhone. I don't take it seriously as a business phone. Probably because of the advertising. It may be a great one but it is advertised more like an over-inflated IPod touch than a serious phone.

    I may eventually end up getting an Android based phone. But not until it has been out a little longer. For now, I will just continue to use my BB because it does what I need it to do.

  230. Yeah who likes to be able to replace your battery in a phone… not like batteries fail in phones after the first year anyways… O wait.

  231. A few things you just didnt look into enough before your critique.
    You can view youtube in higher res.. You just have to select it in the options..
    If you want multi touch to view your photos there is an app you could download..
    The battery door does fall off which is def a failure in design.
    And they really need to work on the Facebook UI..

  232. I would have liked the Droid better if it had included HTC’s Sense UI but I guess that can’t happen without rooting it. The Android 2.0 Vanilla UI is not nearly as easy and fun as Sense. However, the physical keypad is just nice. Sorry I love it. The Virtual keypad on Iphone and Eris and others just don’t work for me at all. Overall I think the Droid is going to be a great phone but I definitely think there are phones coming down the pike that are going to make the iPhone Vs Android phones far more interesting on both sides. In the end and I think the end is coming soon it is all going to come down to preference and I think we will see the Vanilla UI start looking more and more like Sense since Sense is so much better in just about every way. My experience with the iPhone has been less than impressive. I can’t use the keypad at all, it drops calls too often, and I just didn’t like the way apps worked. I may be one of the only people that thinks that non-multitasking is a decent think iPhone has or at least I get it. I wish Android managed multitasking better but oh well.

  233. My friend asked for some advice for his dad, who is looking for a new phone. He said this article was the only thing giving him pause. What follows is my entire response to him, which he suggested i post as a comment here. Apologies for the rant-y tone.

    The battery door: hadn't heard this anywhere else, have had no problems with mine, and if he thinks Apple is somehow better for not having a replaceable battery, i think that's crazy. The fact that he thinks it's more important to have a “smooth” back of the phone than to be able to replace your battery makes me distrust his priorities immediately.

    The browser: unlike with the iphone, if you don't like the google browser you can just download another one. There are a couple that are supposed to be quite good.

    youtube in HD: hit the menu button, then the High Quality button. Doesn't sound that hard to me… (hardly a “Major fail”)

    Facebook: I'm sure a better app will come out. And also “Most people will see this and say Droid sucks”? I'd like to see that backed up. Somehow, i'm guessing facebook is not most people's #1 priority from their phone.

    Twitter: I just don't give a shit.

    Keyboard: I love it, it's made me sooo much happier than i was typing on the ipod-touch. “Yes, people gripe about not having a physical keyboard, but no keyboard makes the device a simpler and better-thought-out product.” You know what's a simple product? A normal phone. If you want that, get it. If you want a phone that does a lot of shit, it's not going to be as simple. Deal with it.

    No multitouch: He's absolutely right. The droid in Europe has multitouch, but google turned it off in the US at apple's request. You can hack it, but I totally agree, that's just bad.

    Camera: I think the software is somewhat poor, but again, you can always just get a better camera app. Not something you can do if you dislike the iphone camera (which of course, doesn't have a flash).

    Anyway, he keeps mentioning that engineers love this phone. I certainly do. I'm happy to have a little extra complexity in exchange for a lot more customizability, extensibility, and power. However, I agree that for people who don't want to make that trade (and i don't hold it against them), the iphone is a better product. I'm not one of those people who says the Droid is “better” than the iphone. They're just different products, and are good for different people. If your dad is worried about having a particularly complicated device, he should get the iphone. If he wants to have a phone that he can do the most with, he should get a droid.

    One more note on this review: He cherry-picks the best features from the Pre and the iPhone, and then says that makes the Droid bad. This is, obviously, not a fair comparison. If he wanted to do a real comparison, he should have picked one or the other. Also, the fact that developers prefer it is really important – when they say that they are able to push apps faster, and they can do it free, that's going to mean that in the future, new apps will come out first for the droid, and only later (if at all) for the iphone. He makes no mention of the fact that apps can control almost every part of the droid experience – they can change the text-messaging, the phone, the camera, the keyboard, the settings, and on and on, none of which iphone apps can do.

    and one final gripe: “The battery door on the back proves my point.” Who the fuck is this guy? Does he actually think that picking this one very questionable item “proves [his] point” that it's poorly engineered? He should think a little harder about what “proof” entails.

    Awesome features of the droid:
    complete app access to the abilities of the phone.
    huge awesome screen
    better power-management abilities (actually important to me)
    much better network
    physical keyboard
    google voice
    voice search
    awesome navigation system (with voice search)
    always having a menu button, not just a single “home” button (context-specific). Also the constantly-present “back” and “search” buttons.
    replaceable battery.
    Removable sd-card storage that can also act as a 16gb (or 32) flash drive, because you can put any file you feel like on the phone by mounting it as a drive.

  234. Wow! you really spoon fed him some bad gouge. I hope he gets to play with both phones so he can realize what a poor copy the Droid is. Oh, don't forget to tell him it only has 256MB of app memory, I'm sure you can sugar coat that enough to make it appear it's not as much of a huge fail as it really is. And don't forget to warn him about the fragmentation of this OS that is going to take place because it's open for any handset maker to modify to their own liking, after all, they do need to differentiate their phone from the others to make any money off this thing.

  235. Its point is, the 256mb internal space is not a product failing especially once apps leverage the sd card accordingly. more is better but i just dont think it will matter much taking both the sd card and cloud storage into consideration.

  236. As an Android developer selling games on the market, I must call bullshit. It is trivial to make a small executable, install into app memory, and keep your data on the SD. And with at least half a dozen of these phones fully in consumer hands across the entire planet, the fragmentation you so fear has not come to pass.

    I am curious to see you backup your claim regarding “handset makers”, who apparently feel they can make MORE money by putting out BROKEN PHONES that won't run most apps in the market

  237. Right – they're just getting started. The question is, why are they taking so long to get started? Android has been around for about a year now, but the platform has failed to see the explosion of apps that the iPhone platform did – in spite of offering developers more flexibility and the familiar Java language… It all comes back to the developer tools and lack of documentation, which make it time consuming and frustrating to develop apps.

  238. um… you do know that the iphone only has 256MB of app memory as well, right? It just doesn't matter cause it can only run one app at a time anyway.

  239. umm, iPhone does run more than one app at a time smart guy, I can listen to music and check email. Tell me how that is not running more than one App at a time. The fact is, with the iPhone OS you can use that memory to run applications from, with the Android you only have the 256MB to work with. The only way you will be able to run Apps greater than 256MB off of Android is to hack your phone. Next you are going to make an excuse as to why Android does not need anything greater than 256MB to run apps, and thus bearing your head in the sand once again over its short comings.

  240. right, sorry, i forgot. If it's one of the built-in bottom-rail style apps, Apple lets you use multiple. Anything downloaded, not so much. But if Apple didn't put it on your phone, it must be because you don't really want to use it anyway.

  241. Translation: Sorry Rabid, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, you're right.

    You still didn't address the second part of my response, guess that means you don't have an excuse. Well done.

  242. Your dad might be very happy with the Droid. On the other hand, he might really not like how the whole package is put together. After using the Droid all week long I really find lots of little things that just piss me off. Of course on the iPhone getting dropped calls pisses me off too. On the Droid things that piss me off are more important than dropped calls (like not smooth scrolling, and hard to click links in Twitter apps). I just don't like the Droid and how it's put together AS A PRODUCT. That said, it is better than every other phone out there so at least your dad will be able to say “I have a better phone than all those Blackberry users.”

  243. So, am I to understand that you don't care that the only apps that can run in the background are the handful apple provides you?

    And I agree with the 256MB thing. It worries me that the in-phone memory is the only place to store apps (though the apps can then draw on the SD memory as well, as meme points out below). It's a complicated situation, because if you store apps on the removable memory, then when you switch out SD cards, you'll lose the use of the apps. So, if I had one SD card that I stored a bunch of movies on, and one that I stored a bunch of music on (something you of course couldn't do on Apple), then I might run into problems if my apps were stored on the SD card. That said, you should be able to choose where you want any given app to live.

    You may be right that Apple can store apps on the full storage device, that would make sense, since it doesn't have removable storage. However, it really doesn't matter, since there are only 4 or 5 apps (of apple's choice) that can run in the background in the first place.

    And FYI, i tire of this conversation, so you will likely not see another post on this from me. Of course, feel free to continue on your own. It looks like you have no problems “translating” my side of the conversation without me.

  244. I don't really know about that, I know lots of people who love their blackberries, and wouldn't necessarily consider the droid better. I think all of these phones have audiences for whom their product is best – for me, that's the droid.

    It seems to me that what really drives your preference here is twitter. I find this hard to relate to, as I've really never understood the whole twitter fad (or maybe it's here to stay, hard to tell sometimes). For what it's worth, I have a coworker who's returning the droid for the same reason. So if twitter is the most important thing about your phone (and it seems that it is at least one of the most important things), I think it's clear that you have a better experience on the iPhone, and by all means, that makes it the product for you. Especially if hard-to-click twitter links are more important to you than dropped calls (not judging, just hard for me to understand).

    It just bugged me that from my perspective, this review didn't seem like it was an actually fair assessment of one phone vs. another, and as such, it was a departure from the other reviews i've read. It seems to me that when a reviewer honestly tries to look at the advantages and disadvantages of the droid vs. the iphone, they come to the conclusion that each one has more strengths than weaknesses, but each has some of both. In your review, you seemed like you wanted to get the droid's strengths out of the way early (while ignoring many of them), and then focus entirely on its weaknesses. You gave the iphone a pass on everything, and just used palm as a stand-in wherever the iphone was weak, but you still wanted to go after the droid. I think that's why (as you mentioned in your next post) many of your commenters thought you weren't fair to the droid. I'm one of them. (Though note that I'm not one of those who says that the “droid completely beats the iPhone”. I'll leave that up to each person's preference.)

    And I'm guessing you're going to drop the droid soon (if you haven't already), but if for some reason you have a change-of-heart, I would recommend bringing it back to the store, and asking for one without a bummy battery case. Sounds like you just got a bad piece of hardware.

  245. That's great, but if it doesn't work well in suburban Baltimore, and in lots of places outside of major cities all over the US, the fact that it works well in Iraq does little for me.

  246. Whatever you wrote and I had no problem with DROID. It is not about iPhone or DROID…it's about the coverage. I do love iPhone but I can't use AT&T because it doesn't have the service in many areas. For example, when I am in the Catskill, AT&T doesn't have the coverage and I am stuck.

  247. Text entry on the qwerty keyboard was cumbersome and stupid; there's no dedicated “@” key, for example, for entering emails (!). And to enter numbers, you MUST press at least two keys, sometimes two keys for each number. This is just plain badly thought-out, or should I say, NOT thought out. Scrolling I found impossible by touch, because it often activated apps by mistake. The default website cropped up again and again, I was unable to change the home page to anything else; the GPS was unreachable, and you can't see where the Google Maps is located. The browser being unmanageable was one big reason I turned it in as a piece of beta hardware, about two gens from prime time.

  248. I”m beginning to doubt your understanding of how applications work.

    the iPhone has 256MB of RAM. This is not the same as “app memory” you keep trotting out. Applications installed onto the iPhone must all be packed into the same “app memory”, which leads to very large application installations.

    After this, the CPU must push the app into RAM, which is the same on iPhones and the typical android device.

    If you look at many games on a PC, you'll see that executables are often quite small, and game data is loaded from elsewhere on the drive. This is analagous to small footprint in Android app memory, with data downloaded to the SD. This is exactly what i'm doing with my next game. Game data often dwarfs the needs of executable code, in terms of storage.

    The G1 has 8GB, which i work with, the Droid has 16GB on its SD. Obviously i won't use but a fraction of this. I'm not concerned. You keep trying to speak for Android developers, but you've got it wrong, sir.

    As a developer, however, i am hesitant to deal with Apple's app-rejection process, buy up all their hardware and pay for more expensive dev licenses, and shudder at the thought of refunds being possible 90 days out from point-of-purchase.

  249. your headline is stupid linkbait
    too bad you can't be sued, or forced to take an IQ test
    really disappointed in you, especially when i saw tweetards mindlessly RT'ing this drivel.

  250. Ah yes, a Home->Menu->Settings ->scroll->About phone->Battery use away to get that listing and another simple click->Application Info->scroll->Force stop to stop. What more could you want? ;P

    I prefer webOS's Home->swipe up method better, but since Android already uses the long-press on the Home button to bring up a task-switcher, ideally I'd like to be able to either drag the app icon from the switcher box outside (a la how the OS X Dock works for removal), or dragging to an “X”, or being able to long press on the icon and choosing to kill the process.

    Aaron: as ProfessionalGun touches upon, it's moreso battery-life issues than performance problems per se. Some apps don't behave in the most power-efficient way…

  251. this is hardly a reason to consider the product a big FAIL. Overly dramatic

    And, you aren't entirely correct, as others have pointed out here long before your comment. Highest quality youtube is DEFAULT when you are wireless, and NOT when you are 3G. This is arguably a reasonable position to take, in terms of feature design. If you had real journalistic instincts you might have tried to find out if Verizon requested this (not sure if you've claimed these instincts, but you do seem to try to come off as a bit of a tech journalist)

  252. i am in general agreement with you on all points..

    but i don't like conceding the that Design is one that would appeal ONLY to Geeks or Engineers.

    This is a fallacy. Imagine a Mercenary using the Droid over the lovely, curvy iPhone. Granted, I don't like Blackwater types either, so let's go with an agent of the Secret Service. Or some dude at an NFL game.

    I wouldn't necessarily make this point, but Verizon and Motorola are obviously including this angle in their marketing (making a play for the tough guy.. even the iTough Guys..)

    I have a G1, my co-worker has a Droid, and another has an iPhone 3gs.. next to the Droid, the iPhone looks like an egg (maybe its the powder-blue skin..) And he does NOT look cool or stylish when he has to shut down his browser in order to chat (he even tries to hide this at lunch)

  253. “Text entry on the qwerty keyboard was cumbersome and stupid; there's no dedicated “@” key, for example, for entering emails (!).”

    Yes there is. It's next to the space bar on the left. . Sounds like you really spent some time with the phone.

    1. Actually, J.R., there are TWO different versions; the one sold by Costco is the CLIQ, which only has 3 rows of keys and no dedicated number keys, no dedicated “@” key, and a whole host of other issues. I consider it a rare case of Costco ripping-off the unwary; frankly, I didn’t look to see if the keyboard was workable, I just trusted Costco.
      It turns out that the Motorola version of the Android does have 4 rows of keys, dedicated number and “@” keys.
      The CLIQ requires you to press alt to get the “@” and alt-number to get the number.

      It also has the issue of the back falling off, the bad scrolling, the poorly designed desktop, and the fact that it by default goes to some weird website instead of the home page you set it to.

      Costco stumbled on this one, and so did I for trusting them without looking. Let the buyer beware, not all ‘droids are the same, and it’s probably better to wait for them to settle into commodity mode.

  254. I believe the gap he is referring to is the feature gap and that obviously is closing. There are no reports that prove that but compare say a G1 to the iPhone features at that point in time and then compare the Droid to the 3GS. Features alone don't make the phone, but he was just merely stating that they are making fast progress.

    It is a difficult position to be in, being the industry leader. You need to truly innovate while everyone else can copy your ideas. It is no surprise that the competitors are going to narrow the gap on features. Apple has a strategic advantage though because they can leverage their mindshare, itunes and a huge lead in app development.

    As far as the progress that Apple has made I gotta say, it is quiet pitiful. My 1st gen iPhone is really not much better than it was at release. They have taken their sweet time implementing basic features and there are still features that I consider to be necessary. Honestly as a developer myself I would be embarrassed at the tacked on “notification” system of the iPhone if I was an Apple developer.

  255. I got the droid a few days ago. I've never had an iPhone because AT&T is a non-starter for me. I did have an iPod touch for awhile so I am familiar with the user experience. This is my first smartphone, I've never had a blackberry.

    The physical keyboard on the Droid is much easier for me to use than the software keyboards on the Droid/Touch. There is no comparison. I think that the users who complain about the keyboard are comparing it to a blackberry.

    I also think the notification system on the Droid is much better than the iPhone. The indicator LED has significant benefit which is rarely mentioned.

    The things I don't like are the lack of bluetooth voice dialing, and the fact that the Android 2.0 is buggy. If Google/Moto fix these two issues I will be very happy with the device.

    For me, the ability to hold an call is about 100x more important than pinch to zoom.

    I haven't had any problems with the battery door on my phone. I appreciate the replaceable battery, memory card, and standard micro-USB interface for charging and data communications.

  256. It's been 2 weeks.

    The battery is EXCELLENT; and this metal detector app is freaking cool, hehe.

    I also love that Android Market has an automatic option after downloading an app if you don't like it, to “Uninstall and Refund”.

    How long has Android been around? And how far has it come? Still in it's infancy, but yet it can kick Apple's butt.

    This is going to be interesting.

    luv my Droid.

  257. My Droid can detect metal studs in a wall; can one of your 100,000 apps do that? Also, how many apps were available for iphone when it first came out? Heh…as an apple fanboy, you should be scared.

  258. Flimsy? hahahaah. What do you call 'flimsy'? Your use of this word to describe the keyboard betrays your bias, and casts the rest of your post/comments in doubt.

    FYI – Your pie is burning in the oven, mr. ladyman.

  259. I think the basic jist of his post was that he was unipressed with the phone and considered it a heap of poor engineering. If you don't agree, then why is that a problem? He has a different perspective than you and a different standard of quality level than yours. You may like flimsy keyboards and think they are the norm, he on the other hand may have experience with good vs poor quality. Don't get mad just because he recognizes the fact you can't polish a turd, just ignore him and keep polishing.

  260. And…a replaceable battery? Point? My phone charges in under an hour, and lasts 24 hours with heavy useage. And I don't present myself as a tool.

  261. Actually your username inspired it and your post validated it. Thanks for the inspiration, knew you were good for something.

  262. Yes. I have been a software developer for 15 years and I have always picked the option that is cheaper, provides more options, and is more open. That approach has always worked for me.

    I agree that Apple will always provide a friendly solution that will work for two groups. People that are very affluent and people who are desperate for others to think they are very affluent.

    My guess is that within a year there will be a free Android phone my guess is that within NEVER there will be a free IPhone.

    As for developers. I remember when 1 out of 3 developers I met were Mac developers. I don't think I've met a Mac developer in at least 5 years.

    I think the IPhone snobs (not all IPhone users are snobs) are defensive and making up names like Droidtard because they don't like the idea of the masses having cool apps too. And gawd forbid these masses have some better apps (like the metal detector app).

    So yes I still feel good about the droid. I will be getting one (well three – one for myself, one for my wife, and one for my daughter) when my current contract ends in two weeks.

  263. I highly doubt you have been a software developer for 15 years and if so it's obvious you are not a successful one. Your choice to pick the option that is cheaper and, what you consider, more options does not reflect the mainstream, take a look at Apples profits and take a look at the cheaper and optional Linux operating system. I cant believe you actually admitted you go for cheap over quality, you've got to be a PC user that would make perfect sense. Exactly what options do you have by owning a Droid that the iPhone does not have? Cheaper does not equal successful, actually, it's actually quite the opposite. To think that Apple serves only two kinds of people (affluent and wanting to be thought of as affluent) is just you burying your head in the sand and a failed attempt to understand why those who choose quality over cheap don't see things the way you do. So now if you others don't have your cheap buying habits then there must be something wrong with them because your cheap buying habits are ideal. So if I am Motorola or Samsung or any other handset maker, the future for me is to offer free phones. How on earth does the operating system result in a free phone, your thought process is purely wishful thinking. Android has been out for over a year and I don't see anything free. Nothing is free dude, get that through you peanut. Ha, iPhone will be free when and Android based phone is free, never. As for the number of Mac developers you have met, can't refute it, for all I know you are totally full of it, I know I can go to the App store and scroll through over 100,000 apps. iPhone users have had to hear about all the iPhone killers quarter after quarter, all of them failing just as the Droid will fail. Ha ha, are you actually using the metal detector as evidence that the Droid is superior? My god, talk about reaching, this is total proof you are not a developer. The iPhone has a metal detector to moron, actually they have about 5 versions of this thing. Definitely get the Droid, you are Droid material. The iPhone was not produced for your lifestyle or level of appreciation for quality. Please do not buy an iPhone, stick with the rest of the tards, it's too bad you are dragging your family down with you.

    1. you are either young, or lack IQ

      Where i work (extremely well known tech company), the Droids are flooding in, and many iPhone users are either envious, or they are in rabid froth. Sorry to say, but the competition is having its effect, and there are more Android phones to come

      You attempt to slam someone for their *cheap* buying habits.. You sound increasingly like a spoiled brat. I wonder where you actually get your money

      iPhones don’t piss me off. iPhone owners spewing vitriol do, though. The Droid is just a phone. Its a good phone, like most Android phones, and if the commercials hurt your feelings, well, get a tissue and grow up

  264. dude, relax

    we only discussing phones , not religion or the future of mankind. Sure you can be a fanboy but seriously, relax.

    it sounds like you are foaming at the mouth , lol

  265. No offense man, but that was probably the most useless thing ever posted to the Internet. We’re all stupider for having read it. Basically, your argument boils down to “I’m an Apple Fanboy, and my friend is a Pre Fanboy, and therefore I couldn’t be bothered to write anything relevant”. You spend most of the article describing all the ways that the Droid is better than either of the other phones, then sum up with “but the iPhone is better, because I like the way Steve Job’s nuts taste”. It’s just mind-boggling. For the record, my personal phone is in fact an iPhone. But only an idiot would think that the lack of a replaceable battery is a “good thing”, because you “can’t see the door”. That’s an opinion a five-year-old might have.

  266. This is the most ridiculous, nit-picky article I have ever read. You are blind if you thing the cons outweigh the pros. Motorola made a great phone. I own the DROID, after owning several smart0 phones in the past two years nothing else stacks up. You rely too heavily on the physical “inconvienences” of the product. I have had the back come off of mine very rarely (2-3 times at most and it only has disengaged, not fallen off) and I wear skinny jeans. I feel that this is a biased article. Never had the camera crash on me. Gotta admit though, the physical keyboard is the worst part of this phone soooooo…. I just don't use it.

  267. Amen Distardi. HOLY COOLAID DRINKERS….iphone peeps are too funny. AT&T sucks, period and everyone knows it. I went over for a certain Bberry a few years ago. So bad, I paid hundreds of $'s to break contract and go back to verizon. Amazing to me that 1/2 of the things this writer says are not even true…and the rest are mainly nit-picky. ITS A FREAKIN PHONE. Look how long it's taken iphone to get out some ridiculously rememdial functionality (cut and paste, having to send pics as “attachments”)…I mean, this is recent stuff. And you are so critical of the droid that has so much and the sky is the limit open architecture. You guys need to get a life and wake up. You iphone freaks sound like you are living in jonestown…too funny. Droid is awesome; some annoying misses, but will be fixed quickly either through over-the-air updates or other applications…but overall awesome, and verizon is hands down the best. I mean, if you are even questioning that – as much as they irritate me with their attitude at times – then you completely discredit yourselves.

  268. And it's such a shame that there are incompetent reviewers like this that label article this way – and people that don't know or havent done the research will believe it as the truth. battery door? What? mine's perfect and the option to change the battery is an advantage, clearly.
    BTW – http://www.techmeme.com – WTF are you talking about – loads and reads perfectly and instantaneously..but again thanks for spreading false information. Oh, and camera has already had an auto-focus fix that's based on a timer and will be permanently fixed on Dec 11 – over the air. Wake up dude, and stop posing as a subject matter expert, bashing droid falsely and prematurely and making the iphone cult salvate…if you're going to review, you really should try to be fair and subjective or don't do it. iphone users don't need anymore brainwashing. Cool phone, network sucks…has some better features than Droid (depending on who you ask), and has some worse. Droid has some better features, and some worse. how complicated…not.

  269. And how long has the iphone been out? Very proud of you…with the open source platform, we'll see how long it takes to close the gap from 10,000 to 90,000. Not to mention, how many do you need? And how many 10's of thousands of duplicates…

  270. true. But also, if you read these reviews you would think you needed to write code to use the droid when you turn it on. Just because it's open and the opportunities for customization are endless, does not make it complicated. Can anyone not pick this phone up and not know how to use it? I'm thinking maybe some of the iphone users and the reviewer making this statement might want to also try a “jitterbug” – the phone with the big numbers for old folks that they advertise on TV…lol.

  271. OMG what a TOOL! You go iphone fan boy rabidcb. get mad, get very very mad….over your phone. Do you sleep with it an night too, is that an app?
    -I must be a tard since I got a Droid….and like it.

  272. So for now you double tap the screen or tap on the on-screen +/- to zoom; instead of “pinching” the screen. who cares? Case in point, these are just differences, besides being “really cool” what's teh big deal with the same level of effort to get the same affect? not to mention, multi-touch will be available before you know it – the phone is capable…If this is a show stopper for people, well, I don;'t know what to say

  273. So for now you double tap the screen or tap on the on-screen +/- to zoom; instead of “pinching” the screen. who cares? Case in point, these are just differences, besides being “really cool” what's teh big deal with the same level of effort to get the same affect? not to mention, multi-touch will be available before you know it – the phone is capable…If this is a show stopper for people, well, I don;'t know what to say

  274. Honestly, the real showstoppers for me are 1)the cost of breaking my AT&T contract or adding another phone line and bill, and 2)the thought that there will be a better Android phone very soon. As in months.

  275. Honestly, the real showstoppers for me are 1)the cost of breaking my AT&T contract or adding another phone line and bill, and 2)the thought that there will be a better Android phone very soon. As in months.

  276. AT&Ts service is not as good as Verizons. That's why I have the Droid (which is fun and useful to me) and an iPod touch. The iPhone was not reason enough for me to stay with AT&T, sorry.

  277. Lol! Dude, I'm not mad, I just think it's funny how you guys are buying into this crap phone. Have you been reading the message boards describing the hoards of problems? How bout this, go check out Wired and read how developers are already worried cause the OS is already fragmenting. Their apps are not working across the board, duhhh! This was so obvious that this was going to happen, but the droidtards have their heads burried so deep, they won't admit to it. This phone is going to be a huge failure. Anyway, I just think its funny to read how much praise you guys are giving this junk, based on your low standards of course, but yet I can read the boards and complaints are building all over the place about this poor attempt at an iPhone killer. Of all the iPhone killers, this phone is the worst.

  278. Hey tool rabidcb – when you continue to call the droid “junk”, do you realize how this completely takes away any credibility you might (as if) of been able to fool people with? Let me guess, this blog made you cry and throw your iphone across the room…coolaid

    1. I don’t think it takes away my credibility. I am just reporting to you what many Droid users are starting to realize, that this plastic crap is not what they thought it was going to be. Eventually you will to, right now you are impressed with it cause you have never had anything close to it so you are going through the initial phase of being in awe of something new. Later you will realize you simply bought junk. So, I expect you to defend it right now, so keep on, I’ll be your sound board. Eventually, depending on your intellect level, you will come to realize what took me a couple of days to realize. But I have a feeling this one may take a while for you, you seem kind of slow and dense.

  279. Who cares about the publicity of the phone. If you want confetti and party poppers then go to your little sisters birthday party. The camera is great. I dont know what your talking about, and just because you dont know how to use the zoom feature doesn’t mean the phone sucks, it just means your an iDiot. It’s only a matter of time before the Android takes over.soemguy

  280. Yes you are missing the point entirely, the reason I bought a DROID is that it is NOT an iPhone Apple’s arrogance disgusts me as much as the AT&T network.
    and 1499.00 for a laptop that for the most part all I will do with is store pictures and music and browse the web on… My $228.00 netbook with Windows 7 is just fine thanks. as for engineering every phone I have ever bought something broke on eventually, trackballs, battery doors, screens, keyboards…. friggin buy insurance, and in the end you will buy another device in 18 months to 2 years anyway and who the hell knows what platform it will be on probably WinDroiMacAva instaled by the Obama office of technical superiority.

    Oh and as for Motorola phones, I have a 5 year old razor that still works flawlessly wich is more than I can say for the drawer full of treo’s, samsungs, stack of LG’s, and assorted nokia dungpiles.

    By the device that makes you feel good. I wanted a 220.00 Nav portable for travelling. I got a great Navigation device instead called a Droid and it includes a browser and a whole bunch of cool stuff…..

  281. First of all I want to thank you for your review. it is very informative. and as i do agree with some of the things, i also disagree with others.
    I have been a verizon customer for about as long as i can remember primarily for the service. i've never owned an iphone but i do have the ipod touch.
    i recently purchased the Droid and love it. Yes, there are some things i like better on my touch, but overall i think the droid is pretty amazing.
    There are a few things i wanted to comment on considering your review.
    1) I have not had any problems with the battery cover. actually, i have a heck of a time getting it off.

    2) you don't have to use the physical keyboard if you don't want to. it has an optical keyboard as well when horizontal.

    3) I have had no problems with the web browser. maybe it's certain sites, but the ones i frequent work fine.

    4) You Tube. There is a function to change the picture quality. you can view videos in HD.

    5) i agree with you on the facebook and twitter apps. they need to improve them.

    6) My understanding is the camera had some issues at release, but are working correctly now and a permanent fix update is due out in a couple weeks.

    7) i know that many of the apps available on the Droid are not as good or they don't have as many options, but considering that apple has been at this for quite some time it should be expected. i believe that you will see an increase in quality apps for the droid in the near future.

    Thank you again,
    Spencer Campbell

  282. The Droid does support multitouch, it is just not featured in the built-in apps.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/04/motorola-dro

    Of course the iPhone has more mature apps, it's been out longer. Verizon didn't advertise the release? Seriously? Have you turned on a tv recently?

    The camera date-focus bug fixed itself, and will be patched on the 11th reportedly. The droid is not perfect, but it is a great product IMO.

  283. I think what he's saying is it should do multitouch out of the box. Asking a user to hunt for an app for what should be a standard feature now is ridiculous and goes to show that Google has a lot to learn in the user experience dept.

  284. Yeah, apps can be fixed but Google hasn't even integrated a suffisticated app update process into the Market!! It requires the user to go and hunt for updates instead of auto-alerting them with an App Store number tab. Google has to seriously revamp the market. Its a giant cluster looking like it was thrown together overnight.

  285. He's looking at this device through the eyes of a non-techie user. And Scoble has valid points when it comes to that. The device is very complex. Not intuitive at all. Google needs to work on usability for mass market adoption.

  286. Agree with lhl. Task kill should be as simple as 1 click for the user. Otherwise it will be a geek's device – because they'll spend the extra time to figure it out. Most don't want to spend time to figure it out. They want drop-dead simple usability.

  287. I used to be on AT&T network, I got no reception in my house or at work. AT&T network sucks. And good luck using an iphone in a rural state or area lol.

  288. I used to be on AT&T network, I got no reception in my house or at work. AT&T network sucks. And good luck using an iphone in a rural state or area lol.

  289. The wired article was just another FUD. Forcing developers now in having to deal with multiple configurations (different screen sizes, capabilities, os versions) will make them write better apps. Guess what will happen with many of the 100000 apps in the apple app store when Apple (finally) upgrades the screen to a higher standard? Apple has a huge problem on their hands; one size DOES NOT FIT ALL, people has has different tastes some like a smaller form factor, others a huge display, some want a physical kb ect. Android with the many brands and different devices will be able to satisfy a much broader range of buyers.
    Only the battery cover is a hardware problem, the rest (loosing sound problem and camera focus) are purely sw.
    The iPhone is nice phone but it does not suit my needs and wishes the Droid (milestone in my case) on the other hand have all I'm looking for….
    The only person with his head buried deep is you.

  290. I agree with much you say…. if any indication, here in Spain at my work there are already more Androids (9) then iPhones (3) (but still more symbians 25) The exclusive iphone provider (telefonica) does not promote the iPhone anymore (except on some in store displays) and give more media attention to the Pre and some Androids.
    Symbian will be dominant for quite a while though, many the s60 phones are not sold as smart phone but are just (nearly) free phones with the providers and there are plenty of people that just want a phone to make phone calls and nothing more

  291. Well it actually ultimately IS a personal decision. For me the iphone would be a big fail as it does not suit MY needs.

  292. Would we be having as much of a discussion about this is the iphone would work with ANY carrier? Unlock the friggin phones and let us choose the best network. Wanted an Iphone forever and was afraid of the ATT network, so we went with Droid and are very satisfied. Guess you don't miss what you never had!

  293. Its already happening. Quality developers are leaving in droves. If you want me to provide more links to what developers are saying, I can. In the end, and I agree with them, Android will be left with simple apps that don't take allot of resources (time, manpower) to make. The high end developers do not want to build 10 versions of their apps. Google has no intention of pushing pushing app development, they get their money from the free apps they provide you. Its sad but true. Just look how the recent update was made, Verizon had to push it out, not Google. So now each service provider will have to stay on top of it on their own. Remember, Android is open so they are free to alter their own code as they wish to fit their needs. Its simple to see, each handset maker must differentiate their phone from the others to make any money. Apple does not care about Android, they are competing with handset makers, period. And actually, they care more about profits than they do market share, how do you think they are one of the most profitable computer makers in the industry yet only control 9% of the market. You Android guys are fighting the wrong battle and thats why it will fail.

  294. well after 4 years lets see how many apps are available! Give it a little more than 2 weeks my snobby friend

  295. I am a droid fan and have no intentions of thinking it is an IPHONE killer…what killed the Iphone for ME was the fact tht we were scared of ATT network……this phone is perfect…for US.

  296. Keep on dreaming as long as it lasts,
    there are few developers that cut down their investments in Android development, not leaving, as they find it difficult to get visibility in the Android market, however the Apple Store sees more developers leaving the platform.
    An interesting read for you “Respected developers begin fleeing from App Store platform” (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/11/respe… )
    Guess what will happen if Apple ever rejects an game from Gameloft that costed ten of thousands man hours to develop, do you thing they will stay developing not knowing if their investment is even allowed?
    In any case Apple itself is proof that you don't need large (game) developer support to survive.

    “each service provider will have to stay on top of it on their own.”; it's called competition and that's a good thing, it drives inovation and as ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL will broaden market appeal.
    “Android is open so they are free to alter their own code as they wish to fit their needs”, Beats being dependent on one company (and having to wait 2 years or more for copy-paste, mms or multitasking)
    “… And actually, they care more about profits than they do market share, how do you think they are one of the most profitable computer makers in the industry yet only control 9% of the market” Correct, and that's why the iPhone will loose market share just like it did in the PC business.
    Here in Spain it's already started the only iPhone provider stopped promoting the iPhone, it's promoting the Pre and Android instead
    btw Apple has less than 7.5% of the (global) market

  297. “go and hunt for updates”???

    Either ignorance or an outright lie.

    Android puts App Updates in the Notification bar. I rely on this with my app, and use it often to update those that i've downloaded

  298. “go and hunt for updates”???

    Either ignorance or an outright lie.

    Android puts App Updates in the Notification bar. I rely on this with my app, and use it often to update those that i've downloaded