Reply Sat 24 Oct, 2009 09:21 pm

If you're a Droid-chaser, you've no doubt been hooked to BGR for the past few weeks (more than normal, maybe?). We have our very own Motorola Droid handset, and although the software isn't final, it's solid enough where we feel comfortable giving you a nice preview of the unit.

Remember, again, this isn't a final unit and things can and will change for the better. Read on for our Motorola Droid Preview!
P.S. As we have been doing, we'll follow up on this preview with a review based on a retail unit at release.

P.P.S. I just want to add that this is a Google Experience phone, and my line about Verizon and GPS was a joke. Verizon hasn't and won't touch or control any functionality on the Droid. GPS is 100% open, there's Wi-Fi, Android Market, etc.


Hardware / Build quality:
When the Motorola Droid is released in the coming couple weeks, it will be the most advanced Android device on the market as far as specifications go. Software too, as it's the only one said to be running Android 2.0 until months from now, but that's for another section. There's a 550MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3430 processor, separate PowerVR GPU, 256MB of RAM, CDMA Rev A., Wi-Fi, GPS, a digital magnetometer, accelerometer, proximity sensors, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, notification LED, four touch-sensitive navigation buttons, a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port - jesus. In the last year or two, spec sheets really haven't meant all that much to people. Rational people, that is. What means a lot more is the OS your phone is running since that's what going to enable you to take bad ass pictures and immediately share them with a close group of friends, or edit work documents on your phone while conducting an online presentation, and so on. But what's actually pretty funny is, Android devices have been a little underpowered, so the spec sheets do matter, and the Motorola Droid absolutely topples every single Android device ever released as far as the hardware specifications are concerned.

We love the build quality of this phone. It's mostly metal, and while it's heavy, it gives you a reassuring quality feel that you just don't find much nowadays as handsets get thinner, lighter, smaller, and cheaper. It's practically the opposite of the Motorola CLIQ as far as the physical attributes of the device goes. Really solid and it seems to be manufactured very well. The slider is not spring-assisted, but when you push the metal bezel around the gorgeous display upwards, you get a
satisfying click. It does the same when you slide it closed as well.




Phone calling / speaker / call quality:[/CENTER]


This might come as a shock to many, but the Motorola Droid has the best battery life out of any Android device we've ever tested. It completely smokes the Motorola CLIQ - obviously it's not constantly pushing as much data, but it's not even a fair comparison. With push Exchange configured, Facebook, and a linked push Google account (Gmail, contacts, etc.) we had no problem lasting through a whole day of usage. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi were disabled, but it's still a pretty amazing performer as far as the battery is concerned. Yes, it has a user-replaceable battery, but it's probably good enough to be sealed up to be honest. Motorola recently made a boo boo and let the Droid appear on their website, and official battery times are: 6.5hrs of continuous usage (phone + web + email + anything else, continually) or around 270 hours of standby time.

There's a really cool accessory that we're told will be available at launch and it's a charging dock/multimedia station. It turns your phone into an alarm clock/weather display/music player by using a magnet to control and launch the corresponding application. We discovered that by putting the phone in our BlackBerry 9700 holster in a certain position, Car Home would launch.

We then moved the magnet and the multimedia mode launched, so we're guessing there's going to be some sort of car cradle/dock/thing that will be available as well in addition to the above station.


You know how we roll at BGR, we don't hold anything back - if it's hot, it's hot. If it's not, it's not, and we're not afraid to call it like it is. The Motorola CLIQ was a pretty big disappointment for me personally, but oh man does the Droid make up for it. Sure, there's a little hype sprinkled in because this is the first Android 2.0 device I've had the pleasure of using, but once you move past the initial "wow" factor, the Droid really delivers. Whether it's Verizon's ad campaign or Motorola's that pits the Droid against the iPhone it doesn't matter. The Droid isn't an iPhone competitor because nothing at this point in time is an iPhone competitor besides the new iPhone. And things don't have to be right now. Everyone can eat. So will the Motorola Droid be successful? Absolutely, we think. It will eat in to BlackBerry sales, Windows Mobile sales, and positively murder any lingering Palm Pre sales. It's that good. Did you notice how Verizon still hasn't announced the BlackBerry Storm2?
We really enjoyed using the Motorola Droid and think you're going to love it. It's not as straight forward as an iPhone and a little more involved than a BlackBerry, but if you're up for the challenge, so is the Droid.
There are a couple more comparison shots below!
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