Update: I believe the issues discussed below were caused some faulty hardware from initial, first day shipments. With an updated Droid (i.e. new hardware), the issues below have disappeared.
Have you seen all those signs and advertisements about the Motorola Droid and how the Droid “Does” while hinting at how the iPhone does not? I am here to report that after a week of playing with a Droid, it most certainly does not do what one would expect. Read below although my thoughts are summed up beautifully by Stewart Alsop here.
The Droid promised many things – Android 2.0, beautiful hardware, tons of apps. Sadly, it only partially delivered.
The machine (it is no longer just a phone) is slow: It takes a very long time to search for information (this is powered by Google, right?), taking photos or making videos is nearly impossible (holiday example: I wanted to make a video of my brother jumping in a lake after his golf ball — the video only started working once he was out of the lake…thanks, Droid, for messing up that opportunity), and the phone constantly brings up inane error messages requesting me to wait or force quit. I hate to say this, but didn’t we move past crazy error messages now that Vista is gone? Apple just works. Google (online) just works. I shudder to think about a mobile machine that fails — ex: 911 emergency and your phone requests that you wait or force quit to make a call. Please.
Android 2.0 – this is where the Droid [likely] fails as the machine itself is filled with power. Android is still for power users (i.e. the tinkerers and guys who like to dig into their software). No regular user wants error messages. They just want their phone to work. Android 2.0 is impressive when it comes to things like Maps (the driving directions are wonderful and death knell to the GPS companies such as Garvin).
Hardware: Pros – beautiful screen and slim profile. Cons – useless keyboard, terrible camera, heavy. The battery lasts for less than half a day. NOTE: I force quit a huge number of programs to try and a) speed things up and b) save battery. It does not help.
I was rooting for the Droid. I want Moto to succeed (I like underdogs and I think competition is good). I want Google to succeed (someone needs to compete against the iPhone). However, the Droid, in its current form (and before any major software updates), is a failure.