CNET First Look
Motorola Droid (Verizon Wireless)You've seen Verizon's commercials attacking a certain smartphone from a fruit company. Now, check out CNET's First Look video of the Motorola Droid to see if it lives up to its claims.
[ Music ] ^m00:00:03 >> Hi I'm Bonnie Cha CNET editor at CNET.com and today we've got a very special first look at the Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless. We just got this in and I'm just as excited as you are to check out Verizon's first Android phone, so let's jump right to it. Let's talk about the design first. For what it offers I'm really amazed at thin the Smartphone is. It's about the same size as the iPhone 3GS; a little bit blockier and a little thicker, but it's also got a slide out corded keyboard. So you really have to appreciate... it's only about a couple hundredths of an inch thicker than the iPhone. The keyboard is pretty descent. It's got a D pad here on the right side so you can navigate around pages and select items. The buttons are a little flat and small, but it works for me since I have smaller hands; but I think users with larger thumbs might have some issues. But like anything else, with time you get used to it I think. Plus it's a physical keyboard. I'm one of those people that have to have a physical keyboard and can't go all touchscreen, so this is great. You do get virtual keyboards though, in both portrait and landscape modes. So if you're just punching out some quick replies or text messages, you can easily use those without having to open the phone. I think the real attention grabber of the Droid is the display though. It measures 3.7 inches, which is bigger than the iPhone's and even the HTC Touch Pro2's, and it's absolutely vibrant and gorgeous with a 480 x 854 pixel resolution. It's capacitive touchscreen with a built in accelerometer so it'll change orientation when you rotate the phone. You can double tap on the screen now to zoom in and out of webpages, but it's not like the iPhone or Pre where you can use a pinch gesture to zoom. It's still very sharp and responsive, and like other Android phones you can customize 3 home panes with different widgets and shortcuts for easy access to your favorite apps. Some other highlights of the design include a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack on top. On the right there's a dedicated camera capture key, while the 5 megapixel camera is located on the back with a dual LED flash. Last but not least, there's a micro SD card slot behind the battery cover door, and Verizon and Motorola are being very generous by including a 16 gigabyte card with the phone. That's just a quick overview of the design. Let's look at some of the features now. Motorola Droid is the first Smartphone running Android 2.0. This is the latest version of Google's Android operating system, brings some great features. For example, you now get native Microsoft exchange support for Outlook email and calendar, in edition to your Gmail and POP3 and IMAP accounts. The Droid also now has dedicated Facebook app, and it'll pull in all your contacts from there as well as Gmail exchange, and combine them in your address book. So if you've pulled a friend's contact card, you'll be able to see his or her Facebook status, different email addresses, IM handles, photos, etc. The Droid's web browser also has some improvements. Their support for visual bookmarks as well as the multitap zooming that I mentioned earlier, doesn't have flashlight support but it does have a plug in that will support Adobe Flash 10 player, whenever that's available. You can connect via WiFi or Verizon EVDO Rev A network, and you can open multiple windows, which is always great. Another new feature is Google Maps navigation. This app is still in beta, but it will provide voice guided directions for free, as well as satellite views, so you don't have to pay a monthly subscription fee for a location based service like Verizon's VZ Navigator; and in fact VZ Navigator isn't even offered as an option on the Droid. Since I've just got this phone, I haven't been able to test out the app, but I'll definitely cover it in my review, so you can check it for that. On top of all that, you get the usual Android functions that we've seen on previous devices such as Google Marketplace, which has about 12,000 apps now, support for Amazon MP3 store, and a dedicated U2 app. In the time that I've had it and seen demos of the device, I've been really impressed by the speed of the device, and the design of the phone is really remarkable. The only think I would have liked to seen is maybe some changes to the music player, would be world roaming capabilities. But Kent and I will be doing more in depth coverage and analysis of the Motorola Droid, which you can check out in our full review. But I do have to say that the Droid definitely looks very promising, and I think it will do well for Verizon. The Motorola Droid will be available November 6 for 199.99 with a 2 year contract. I am Bonnie Cha, this has been your first look at the Motorola Droid. ^m00:04:27 [ Music ]