CNET First Look
HTC Droid Eris (Verizon Wireless)The HTC Droid Eris offers a bright display and Android features for a bargain price.
>> Kent German: Hi, I'm Kent German, senior editor here at cnet.com. Today we'll take a first look at the HTC Droid Eris. This is Verizon's second Android phone. After, of course, the Motorola Droid. Now, compared with the Droid, this phone is a little bit slimmed down. There is no pullout keyboard. It's just a touchscreen phone, but it does have all standard Android features. But what's really significant about this phone is it is available for $99 with service. So if you want Android, but you want to pay less, definitely take a look at this phone. On the whole it's a lot like the HTC Hero which we have for Sprint; has a little bit of the same design. The Droid Eris is a little more rectangular; also has a darker color. It also doesn't have that protruding chin that we saw on the HTC Hero and also the HTC myTouch 3G. So little bit slimmer, but overall it has a lot of the same elements. You'll see the big touchscreen right here that is 3.2�inches. This one's very bright and colorful, very vibrant. This does have seven home screens which is a bump up from the CLIQ which has five and most Google Android phones which just have three. So you can go between seven home screens; you can customize them as you want. Below you'll find some touch controls. On the display you'll actually have a phone control so you can press that, and you'll get the phone dialer. Press this button for activating the customization menu for adding shortcut widgets, folders, and other things to the home screen. You also have the main menu control right here. Pops up. Little different than the tab that we've seen on other Android phones where you have to actually pull it up. But still it's the same layout, icons, and the gray background; pretty easy to use and access. You can customize this as well. Press that button again to take the menu away. Down below you'll see the home button that will take you back to the home screens when you're in any application. The menu button will open a secondary menu. There's also the back button and the Google search button as well. You press that Google search bar will come up. You can use voice search, or you can use the keyboard. There's a trackball here in the center; pretty easy to use. You can get around and select what I wanted and you can press down to access and select things. But features that is largely the same as far as the camera, messaging, organizer features, Google maps, voice direction, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, so everything you'd find on the Hero, you're pretty much gonna find here. This phone does have a couple differences; has proximity sensors so when you put the phone to your face, of course, that screen is gonna turn off. Also it does have pinch and zoom multitouch. A lot of the Android phones we've seen before to zoom in on a web page you had to use that magnifying glass button. The Droid added the double tab, but this actually has the pinch and zoom as well. So now that this phone adds that feature really takes away another one of the iPhones really big advantages. On the whole, this is an attractive phone. I like the touch screen, very powerful features. It doesn't have that physical keyboard so that might be a concern for some. It's not really one for me. Performance is pretty good so far, but the real big attraction about this phone is that $99 price. I'm Kent German, and this is the HTC Droid Eris. ^M00:02:56 [ Music ] ^M00:02:59