Motorola Droid 2 First-look Review

by Reads (21,623)

The Motorola Droid 2, recently launched by Verizon Wireless, is the followup to the original Droid smartphone.

Google Android OSIt runs Android OS 2.2 a 1 GHz OMAP 3600 series processor, and has 8 GB of storage, a microSD card slot that supports capacities up to 32 GB, and a 3.7-inch touchscreen display.

The Droid 2 is now available from Verizon Wireless for $200 with a new two-year service contract.

I’ve had this smartphone for only a couple of days, but that’s long enough to form some preliminary impressions. I’ll write a full review when I’ve had more time with this device.

BUILD & DESIGN

This Motorola model is the latest addition to the line of relatively large smartphones, roughly the same size as Verizon’s HTC Droid Incredible and the HTC EVO 4G from Sprint. It feels very solid in the hand, and weighty but not too heavy.

Motorola Droid 2 from Verizon WirelessThe overall appearance of the device is both modern and blocky. The corners are curved for comfort and there are some nice dull silver accents, but I wouldn’t call the Droid 2 a particularly stylish or edgy phone, at least as far as looks are concerned.

You’ll need a large pocket to put it in, but this device isn’t so thick that it will be too unsightly. However, you may have a hard time determining which end is up when you take the device out of your pocket — there’s not a good way to tell by feel alone, unless you happen to find the ridge underneath the display.

Display
The 3.7-inch Touchscreen display has a WVGA (480 x 854) resolution. It looks OK, but I’m not blown away by it at this point. Pictures and video are sharp, and there weren’t any problems with ghosting, but colors aren’t as rich as I would like, and white seems to have a slightly yellowish cast that is definitely unappealing.

The display is missing that undefinable “something” that I’ve seen on all of the other recent smartphones I’ve reviewed. I’ll try to put my finger on that aspect and define it more clearly for the full review.

Keyboard
The physical QWERTY keyboard is located under the display; you access it by holding the bottom of the phone and sliding the display to the right. The sliding action is very tight — it’s possible to do it with one hand, but difficult. That may change as the phone “loosens up” with more use.

The keyboard is nicely laid out, with clearly marked keys, and large alt, shift, space, and enter keys — something that I really appreciate. Unfortunately the keys are very flat and indistinct, so even though they’re fairly large overall, it will take some time to get used to the keyboard.

Motorola Droid 2 from Verizon WirelessI find that after just a day I can type pretty quickly and with few errors, but I have to constantly look down at my hands in order to be sure I’m hitting the right keys. Hopefully I’ll get better with more practice.

Other Buttons & Controls
The Power button on the top of the phone is very small and extremely unobtrusive. I’ve only had the phone for a day or so, but I’m already frustrated by how hard it is to hit that little button, because my finger can’t seem to find it and I usually have to stop and turn the phone up so that I can see the button and then punch it.

The volume buttons are on the top right edge of the phone and the camera is on the bottom right side. Just like the power button, they are rather small and hard to hit without looking.

I’m not terribly thrilled by the virtual buttons along the bottom of the display. They’re right above a ridge, where the phone gets slightly thinner, so my fingers tend to hit that edge instead of the button I’m aiming for.

I’m sure that some more time with this device will make it a little easier for me, but my first impression regarding the buttons is that they’re not quite big enough and distinct enough, and the virtual buttons are somewhat poorly placed.



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