Saturday, January 9, 2010

Droid Devices..

I know this is a bit off the topic of Motors and Cycles, but I can't help myself. I stopped in PC Richard to play with some Droid devices.

First, its not really the operating system that matters, its how easy it and its devices are to use. The iPhone and the BlackBerry work because they do the little things that let you do many things, and move around
easily on a small device. For example, when you're searching for a name on a BBerry, you can natually erase one charater at a time, but if you hit the return button, if first clears all the text and lets you put in another search, and if you hit it again, you exit the contact search screen. On a Windows mobile device, you pretty much erase characters or exit the screen - there is no intuitive way to simply start a new search.

I thought the Motorola Droid would be perfect. I want something with the ease of use of the Blackberry with a bigger screen, a la iPhone, but with a separate keyboard my fat fingers could use. The ability to use a touchscreen for quick tasks, or pull out a full keyboard naturally, and have a bigger screen than a Bberry, with Google functionality made it seem like it wood be a winner. Well, in reality, I got another Chrome - a product with a lot of buildup, but which didn't really improve on the products before it (Firefox for Chrome, Blackberry/iPhone for Droid):
  1. The keyboard is terrible. If you are a normal sized guy with reasonable sized hands, the keyboard looks like it has separate keys, but it doesn't. Essentially, it's just like a touchscreen keyboard, one where fat fingers hit all the wrong keys almost 50% of the time, except it has a rubbery feel rather than having you touch a hard screen.
  2. The touchpad on the side does not let you use the touchpad and keyboard naturally like the bberry.
  3. With my inability to even type my or my brothers email correctely in 2 minutes because of fat fingers on little keys, I barely got to try the email, but essentially, there doesn't seem to be a consistent way to move from To: to Subject: to Text: fields.
  4. I like the home menu hard buttons.
They didn't have a Goodle Droid device, but I tried the Verizon and I have the same issues I have with the iPhone - great for pics and moving thru menus. Terrible to type on the keyboard, never get the right letter 2x in a row, and it's got a big screen, but I lose half of it, or more, for a keyboard.

Don't even get me started on why the iPhone with a not replaceable battery is fine for the "leisure" user, but simply does not work for an executive. A single battery will run out sometime during your 4:30 conference call, leaving you without a phone at dinner/drinks/dancing). After 8-10 months of use, every single phone battery I've EVER used has suffered memory effect. I get a new battery every 6-8 months for every single phone that's used as a real, very day working phone. Not 20 minutes a day with some texting, - 150 to 200 minutes of calls or more every day.

I don't care what the operating system is (as long as it's not the terrible to move around Windows Mobile), just give me the Motorola Droid or similar form factor, with separate keys, like on the Blackberry 8820 or 8830 and I'm set. Big screen, big keys, smallish device.

I've got to give Blackberry credit - except for the mistake in trying to get into touch screen with the Storm, they're sticking with the form factor best for business users even if some other form factors are getting media attention.

The net of it is, I still haven't run into the form factor that would drive me from the Blackberry, which is both easy to use, and deals with every function well. The Droid doesn't drive new features, in fact, it won't let me have both my corporate and personal email on the same device (doesn't do corporate mail well, most use BBerry Enterprise server) and the form factor isn't compelling (big screen good, keyboard not). It's a personal device alternative to the iPhone if it drives you to a better carrier (Verizon) and/or if you are not an Apple person.

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