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Motorola Droid 2 Global review: Motorola Droid 2 Global

Motorola Droid 2 Global

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Bonnie Cha
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Bonnie Cha

Former Editor

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.

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5 min read

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8.3

Motorola Droid 2 Global

The Good

The Motorola Droid 2 Global offers world-roaming capabilities and has a faster processor than the Droid 2. The Android 2.2 smartphone can also be used as a mobile hot spot.

The Bad

Battery life could be better.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Droid 2 Global is a solid Android smartphone for globe-trotting executives looking for a BlackBerry alternative.

Editors' note: The Motorola Droid 2 Global has a very similar design to the Motorola Droid 2. In this review, we'll focus on the Droid 2 Global's features and performance. For more on the smartphone's design, please check out our review of the Motorola Droid 2.

Verizon now offers two Android world phones: the Motorola Droid Pro and the Motorola Droid 2 Global. The latter builds on the Droid 2, which was released in mid-August, with, of course, world-roaming capabilities as well as enhanced enterprise features and a faster processor. Though the new phone still doesn't have the breadth of security features of BlackBerrys, its aforementioned features, bigger display, and roomier keyboard make the Droid 2 Global a more attractive BlackBerry alternative than the Droid Pro, in our opinion. Just be sure to carry a charger or extra battery, as battery life is not great. The Motorola Droid 2 Global is available now in either white or dark blue for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.

Features
As the name would suggest, the Motorola Droid 2 Global is a world phone. It offers dual-mode technology, which means it supports both CDMA and GSM networks. Here in the States, it will continue to run on Verizon's CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A network as usual, but once abroad, the phone will automatically detect and switch to a GSM network. The Droid 2 Global comes with a SIM card preinstalled, but Verizon has a policy that ensures it will unlock the SIM provided that you've been a customer for more than 60 days and are in good financial standing. Unlocking the SIM gives you the freedom to swap out the SIM card for, say, a prepaid SIM you purchase from an international carrier.

Voice and data coverage are available in more than 200 countries, and 3G data is available in more than 125 countries. You can check out Verizon's international coverage map, and also be sure to check out the roaming rates before you leave, so you're not in for a surprise when you receive your next bill.

In addition to the world-roaming capabilities, the Droid 2 Global offers a number of other features that will be useful to business customers. This includes the option to use the smartphone as a mobile hot spot for up to five devices. To use this feature, you will need to sign up for a Mobile Broadband plan, which costs $20 per month and has a 2GB data cap (Verizon charges 5 cents per MB for overage fees), but if you're constantly on the road and need Internet access, it may be worth the investment.


he Motorola Droid 2 Global has a decent keyboard, but it's not best of class.

The smartphone supports multiple Exchange accounts, including calendar and contacts with global directory lookup. It comes with a VPN client; the QuickOffice Suite for creating, viewing, and editing Office documents; and file and task managers. Running Android 2.2, the Droid 2 Global also has Google Maps Navigation, Voice Actions, and other Google services. Verizon services preloaded on the device include VZ Navigator and Skype Mobile.

All work and no play makes for a boring smartphone, so there are some multimedia extras thrown into the mix, such as Amazon Kindle for Android, Blockbuster's mobile app, and a demo version of EA's Need for Speed Shift. The Droid 2 Global also comes with Android's stock media player, which isn't very sexy, but gets the main job done. The player supports AAC, AAC+, MP3, H.263, H.264, WMA10, MPEG-4, MIDI, and AMR NB music and video codecs. The smartphone has 8GB of internal memory and ships with an 8GB microSD card, but the expansion slot supports up to 32GB cards.

Like the Droid 2, the Droid 2 Global is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash. Picture quality was decent. Subjects were easily identifiable, but indoor shots could have been just a tad brighter (adjusting the brightness only washed out the image) and more vibrant. At the highest resolution (720x480 pixels), recorded video was clear but suffered a bit from the halo effect. You can share media via e-mail, MMS, and social networks, as well as through other mediums. The Droid 2 Global also has DLNA support, so if you have a compatible device, you can wirelessly stream content from your phone to that product.


The Droid 2 Global's 5-megapixel camera produced decent photos.

Verizon packages the Motorola Droid 2 Global with a charger, three international adapters, a USB cable, a preinstalled SIM card, an 8GB microSD card, and reference material.

Performance
We tested the dual-mode Motorola Droid 2 Global in New York using Verizon service, and call quality was mostly good. There was some faint background noise during lulls in the conversation, but overall the audio was clear and voice quality was rich and full. Friends reported mostly good results.

Motorola Droid 2 Global call quality sample Listen now:

Speakerphone quality definitely could be better. There was sufficient volume to have conversations in noisier environments, but there was a bit of voice distortion and harsh-sounding audio. We had no problems pairing the handset with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

We got reliable 3G coverage throughout Manhattan. CNET's full site came up in 21 seconds, whereas the mobile sites for CNN and ESPN loaded in 11 seconds and 7 seconds, respectively. YouTube videos--both standard and high quality--loaded within several seconds and played back without interruption and with synchronized audio and picture. As a mobile hot spot, the Droid 2 Global averaged download speeds of 1.35Mbps, 0.53Mbps, and up, based on results from Speedtest.net.

The Droid 2 Global gets a little boost in power over the Droid 2, as the newer smartphone is equipped with a 1.2GHz TI OMAP processor with a dedicated GPU (the Droid 2 has a 1GHz processor). Though we didn't notice a dramatic bump in performance, the phone did quite well during our review period. Applications launched almost immediately, and it handled multiple tasks without problem. Video playback and gameplay were also smooth and continuous.

The Motorola Droid 2 Global ships with 1,420mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 8.3 hours and up to 9.5 days of standby time. In our battery drain tests, the Droid 2 fell short of the rated talk time and delivered 5.25 hours of continuous talk time over CDMA. Anecdotally, with moderate use, we definitely needed to recharge by the end of the work day (and with heavier use, by mid to late afternoon), so keep a charger or extra battery handy. According to FCC radiation tests, the Motorola Droid 2 Global has a digital SAR rating of 1.58 W/kg and a Hearing Aid Compatibility Rating of M3/T3.

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8.3

Motorola Droid 2 Global

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 9Performance 8
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