The Verizon Droid is landing on earth November 6 as early as 6:00 am and the momentum is growing. We've been using the Droid and discovered the best top most likable features of the this new Android smartphone which we call neat, cool and damn right amazing. The reviews have been good for the Droid by Motorola, but they didn't delve into delight that come from using the features of Droid.
Voice Search - this feature is amazing, instead of typing a long url or several words, we just tapped the microphone and said, "Wireless and Mobile News" it Googled our words in seconds to show The Wireless and Mobile News website URL almost instantly. This feature worked for almost all major common news sites and words. The only place where it fell short is when we tried to find the popular feel-good app, "Feel-Goodies" which is a unique name and Googled up food places. The voice search also works for Google Maps which will show you where to go. To demostrate how well the voice commands work on Droid, Verizon, is letting people call an toll-free number to tell Times Square signs what to do.
Screen - this high resolution screen has been called stunning, gorgeous and brilliant. It's a 3.7? WVGA 854×480 capacitive toucscreen with haptic feedback. It has excellent responsiveness and unmatched clarity. Verizon and Moto say it has DVD play-back quality and no matter how you phrase it is "lookin' good." The Verizon pr blurb notes that the screen "width of 854 pixels to reduce the need for side-to-side panning and
more than 400,000 pixels total, DROID has more than twice that of the
New Google Maps - the turn-by-turn directions, layers of maps, turn Droid into a super GPS navigation unit. This Goggle mapping app comes with everything you'd expect to find in a GPS
navigation system, like 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and
automatic rerouting. But unlike most navigation systems, Google Maps
Navigation was built from the ground up to take advantage of your
phone's Internet connection. It includes popular Google Maps features including street and satellite views.
Web Browser - Google is about the web and so is Android. Reviewers raved about the super fast HTML 5 browser which you can also search by voice. You can even have multiple browser windows open at the same time.
Unified Email- Android offers a handy notification panel, to get you to the message or simply
ignore it, and get back to the task at hand. And, a smart dictionary
learns as you type and automatically includes your contacts on the Droid.
Keyboard D-pad & Touchscreen Simulataneous - while using the keyboard you can also use the touchscreen as well as the back-button below the screen. We were able to use the touch d-pad to move the cursor through the screen effortlessly. This makes it easier for more computer-style navigation because many of us are used to using a mouse and keyboard simultaneously.
Accelerometer - so, the iPhone will auto rotate too. When this hi-res screen rotates it's a thing of beauty combined with both touch as well as the keyboard you can really zoom through functions.
Onscreen Instructions for Setup - new users who tap "contacts" are instructed how to setup their contacts and sync from sources. Of course it is easiest to sync with a Google account. The contacts and email functions synced quickly and easily.
Facebook App/Integration - for Facebook users the Droid will sync Facebook contacts with contacts. Facebook status updates are easy when you palce the Facebook widget on the home screen.
Voice Dialing - a feature missing for the iPhone until it's latest incarnation, voice dailing to contacts with common names works very well. When we dialed a friend with a common name "Sarah" it worked fine but our international friend and sometimes feature writer Yiorgos could not be found but we did get a Google listing for "US New York."
Features we could live without on Droid:
- When you turn on the Droid, you hear a rubber-band electronic "D-r-o-i-d."
- The default wllpaper is a dull grainy gray that can be easily changed to something more colorful.
- When you turn on the phone to unlock it, you have to swipe across the phone for functions. This of course prevents the phone from accidentally dialing in a pocket or purse whichis always an issue with touchscreen smartphones.
- While talking on a voice call we accidentally dialed numbers while leaving a message.