First Look: Verizon’s Droid

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DroidBoxOK, I have got to say it, this is the Droid I didn’t know I was looking for. I was very excited to get the opportunity to look at Verizon’s new Droid phone. It is the first Android 2.0 device, and is made by Motorola. I hope to post more about this later, but wanted to give you my first impressions.

Sometimes the Little Things are Big Things

This is a Motorola device, and I love the fact that it charges via USB. No need for yet another AC adaptor. This has been the direction of Cell phones (my G1 is like that, and my wife’s old Motorola PEBL was like that as well). I wish more consumer devices went this route. I took three Sony devices with me on my recent trip (an Alpha 100, a PRS-700 Reader and a Webbie HD video camera) ALL three required different AC adapters.

It has a standard headphone jack. If your cell phone is doing double duty as a music player, give me a standard headphone jack.

There was also a lot of thought put into the packaging, and materials:

  • Nice Getting Started guide taking you though setup and common functions.
  • They labeled the temporary screen protector to identify power, USB, Volume, the camera shutter and the four soft-keys at the bottom.
  • Packaging is minimalistic. Not a lot of waste in the packaging.


Words cannot express how easy it was to setup this phone. This is the first time I have moved from one Android to another (however temporary it may be). You log in with your Gmail account. It verifies, syncs, and now all your contact information is stored on your new phone. If you have ever struggled with a move, you will appreciate this.


This is the first phone with Android 2.0 (Eclair). I look forward to experimenting with many of the new features, but the first one to catch my eye was contact synchronization across multiple sources.

My first exposure to this is with the new Facebook application that comes loaded on the Droid. When you open it and sign in it gives you the option to:

  • Sync All
  • Sync with existing contacts
  • Don’t sync

Going in reverse, the last option keeps the contact information in Facebook away from the contact information on your mobile. The second option matches any contacts on your phone with those in Facebook and syncs that information. And the first will bring all your Facebook friends into your contact list, syncing any matches it finds.

I love the second option. I no longer have to worry when a friend on Facebook changes e-mail or phone information, it will sync my contacts. However, not sure I want ALL my friends on Facebook showing up in my contact list on my phone.


Like I currently have a G1, which I have used for over a year now. So how does this compare? Well first thing, it is sleeker and the screen is noticeably longer:


You no longer have the “chin” that the HTC G1 is known for, which in my estimation is a win. It certainly feels quicker than my G1 (and should be). Not sure I like the keyboard as much as the G1, and not sold on the soft buttons at the bottom, but I will explore those later.

I am also embedding my quick unboxing video for your viewing pleasure:

15 thoughts on “First Look: Verizon’s Droid”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. This must have been what I felt when I opened my first iPhone over 2 years ago. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

  3. Anyone know how good the GPS chip is in the Droid? The latest car GPS units have VERY good ones, so I was wondering how the Droid’s compares.

    (not all GPS chips are the same!)

  4. @David
    Not sure, but just did a test run, and it nailed the location in a very dense area (streetwise) and immediately noticed when i turned off the route and recalculated a new route.

  5. . . . . . Yet ANOTHER iPhone wannabe – you know, there is a REAL phone that seems to exceed other in browsing, emailing, and 85 THOUSAND applications availability . . I understand why other companies want a piece of the smart phone pie, but I don’t think there is anything out there (yet) that has as many capabilities. . IMHO that is.

    1. @Don I think that Android could really be a contender. The iPhone needs some competition and I am really hoping that it’s Android. I definitely want to get another device soon.

  6. @Don
    Wow… there is a whole post idea there. It’s the “Highlander Complex”. The belief that there can be only one.

    I’m glad the iPhone works for you. It does not even come close to competing with my G1 for my needs and desires in a smartphone. I don’t want Big Brother Apple vetting what I can load on MY phone, I want to choose a physical keyboard if I want one, I like to multi-task more than just the core apps Apple lets me, and I most certainly don’t want to be on AT&T. However, I would never make global statements that the iPhone is not right for someone else.

    There are great competitors in the smartphone space. iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Web OS and even MS. They all have there strengths and weaknesses, and one size does not fit all needs for all people. And the best thing is that as each improves, it pushes the other competitors to match the features. Just look at the Contact sync added in Eclair. Don’t tell me Web OS didn’t inspire that.

  7. One thing that Blackberry has nailed down (for those on a BES) is the seamless migration from one device to another – it evens copies your browsing history.

    It’s great to see that the Droid does this as well.

  8. I still don’t see anything that will make me want to give up my iPhone, but I agree with Julie, competition can only be a good thing. And I’d much rather see that competition come from a company that focuses on innovation (like Google) rather than one that is focused on conquering and destroying its enemies through financial wars of attrition.

  9. @Bryan Sherman “Just look at the Contact sync added in Eclair. Don’t tell me Web OS didn’t inspire that.” I agree with most of what you said but google has been doing contact sync a long time before webOS I have been using Google’s sync tool for the blackberry for more than a year.

    I used an Iphone for a while and really liked a lot of the apps and music player but it stopped there. I couldn’t get over the fact of constantly going back to the home screen to start another apps. My curve is more useable than that. At least the Iphone will get some push now to do real multitasking.

  10. I love my iphone but it does NOT suit all my needs. The main thing I miss that I had with my treo two years ago is the ability to tether. I think that is a huge drawback. I am reading droid reviews as it really may be a switching point for me.

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