In a wave of phones that could win me over: Droid didn’t

November 28, 2009

With so many great smart phone choices right now, one would think a serial smart phone freak such as myself would be beholden to none.  But, in the weeks leading up to the Droid drop date (Stealth fighter commercial reference intended), the Verizon marketing team had nearly transformed me from a mere Mobiquizoid into a Pavlovian salivating MobiquiDroid (if you will).  In only a week my trance would be broken, but oh was it fun while it lasted, especially the annoyed looks my wife gave me as my 4 year old and I reveled in the obnoxious “DROOIIID” alert notifications!

Three weeks ago I got up early and navigated my way to my nearest Verizon store to get in line for the opportunity to put my hands on a Droid, and damn the mail in rebate hassle that could have been avoided by patiently waiting for Best Buy to open, I would have my Droid as soon as commercially possible thank you!  So there I was at 7am sharp, number 9 in line, in a line of 9. Slightly disappointed by the lack of fellow mouth frothers though I was, deterrence nor dampening of my excitement was not at risk, and I was quickly in and out with my first Android phone.  (though the Verizon rep was a little too car dealeresque for my taste – tried to sneak in the extra $15 a month for Exchange access not surprisingly)

So what happened in a week that caused me to sheepishly return the device?  Really only a few things, but deal breakers they were in ascending order of importance: 

  1. Exchange calendar integration is lacking as you can’t accept or decline meeting invites or updates. 
  2. The capacitive screen though spacious and gorgeous is prone to what I like to call “screechiness”: just not as buttery smooth as the iPhone (and nor was similarly stellar AMOLED capacitive screen on the Samsung Omnia HD I briefly owned). 
  3. The keyboard was worse than I expected and I found myself wishing it weren’t there so I didn’t feel guilty not using it, and using the virtual one instead.

Also, the overall size was just too much foot print for my daily usage, even with the thin profile. The call quality and data speeds on Verizon were as good as I expected, and the Google integration was even better than expected, as Android 2.0 certainly seems proof that Google is gaining ground on Apple’s mobile OS – but not enough to make me jump from the GSM ship to have it.  However, it certainly inspired me to search like a madman for an HTC Hero from Canada with AT&T compatible 3G, and mercy in the form of a Fedex delivery employee shall soon persuade my sanity to return. 

Unlocking and rooting are of course the inevitable next steps, but until I can show some comparison pictures of the Hero and iPhone, here is the compulsory competition with Droid:  

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