Motorola Droid smartphone

The first Android 2.0 phone impresses with a strong suite of Web features and a stunning 3.7-inch display, but some users might have trouble with the shallow keyboard.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Motorola Droid
  • Motorola Droid
  • Motorola Droid
  • Motorola Droid
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Snappy Web browsing, gorgeous 3.7-inch display

Cons

  • Some camera images come out grainy, flat keyboard is difficult to type on

Bottom Line

The Motorola Droid certainly stands out among the growing Android army due to its superior hardware and enhanced 2.0 software. But will the Android Marketplace catch up to the iPhone's App Store? Therein lies the key to success for the Droid.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

Motorola is yet to reveal when — and, indeed, if — its Android-based Droid smartphone will reach Australia. It's been released in the US on the Verizon network, however, and below are the impressions of our North American colleagues at PCWorld.com.

The first time you pick up the Motorola Droid (US$200 with a two-year contract from Verizon), you'll notice its solid feel and heft--there's a lot going on behind the crisp, 3.7in touchscreen. Making good use of Android 2.0's new features, the Droid is a powerful Web surfing and communications tool that has a chance of living up to its hype. The Droid's biggest flaw, however, is in its hardware design: The keyboard is shallow and flat, which can make typing uncomfortable.

At 0.54in thick, the Droid is slightly beefier than the 0.48in-thick iPhone 3GS, but it still has room for a 40-key, slide-out QWERTY keypad. At just under 170g, it's heavier than the iPhone 3GS, which weighs 133g. When closed, the 4.56-by-2.36in Droid is almost the same size as the 4.5-by-2.4in iPhone 3GS.

Motorola is quick to point out that the Droid's 480-by-854-pixel display offers 409,920 pixels, more than double the 153,600 pixels that the 480-by-320-pixel, 3.5in screen on the iPhone 3GS offers. The Droid's resolution also compares well against that of Android 1.6-based phones such as T-Mobile's myTouch 3G, which has a 3.2in, 480-by-320-pixel display.

The Droid's keyboard doesn't occupy the full length of the phone; a four-way directional pad with a select button sits on the right side. The keys are backlit, but since they're mostly flat, you'll need to keep an eye on what you're typing until you get a feel for the phone. A small lower lip protrudes from the bottom when the phone is closed, revealing only the Verizon logo and the microphone. Like other Android phones, the Droid has an accelerometer and reorients quickly when you hold the display sideways.

Unfortunately, the handset has a few hardware-design quirks. The keyboard is so shallow--and the keys themselves are so flat--that our testers (with various hand sizes) had trouble using it. In addition, the top keys are very close to the ledge of the display, so your fingers are constantly knocking against it. The Droid is also missing physical Talk and End keys, which are pretty much standard on every other cell phone ever made. You must access these controls from the call application.

The Droid, which supports the 1900MHz and 800MHz CDMA EvDO bands on the Verizon Wireless network, comes with a 1,400-mAh battery rated at 270 hours of standby time and 385 minutes of talk time. It also has a pre-installed 16GB memory card and offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 support, which includes the use of stereo headsets and a Wi-Fi adapter.

The phone provided excellent call quality, even in a New York hotel lobby full of noisy Phillies fans headed to Yankee Stadium for the World Series. Parties on the other end of my calls reported no problems.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Motorola, mobile phones, Google Android, smartphones
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?