Being the other Verizon customer in the office I thought I would follow up on Trevor's post about the Motorola Droid. I have been a Verizon customer for quite a while, and didn’t really have any complaints. Their coverage is great, and most of my family is on Verizon, but until recently, they did not have a great selection of smart phones, especially if you are not a Blackberry fan. I jumped on the Blackberry bandwagon a couple of years back, picked up a Blackberry Pearl, but recently it was feeling antiquated and it definitely lagged in features compared to many of the phones my friends and coworkers had. I was very close to switching to AT&T simply because of the iPhone and the fact that a refurb could be picked up for $50. I am however very glad that I didn't and instead decided to buy the HTC Droid Eris. The second Droid branded phone from Verizon which definitely has not had the hype of the Motorola Droid, but in my opinion is a great phone for an even better price.
Firstly, Trevor wrote a great post and I agree with all that he said about his phone and the OS. Google Android is a fantastic mobile platform; I am very impressed with how fast it is and with the features and applications available. Because I was running a Blackberry and had all of my data pretty much synced with Google sync, phone setup was literally putting in my Google credentials and letting it sync my contacts, calendar and mail (it took less than five minutes). I literally sat back and asked myself if that was all it took, Google mobile sync is truly amazing. Characteristics like these speak to the business professional and the entrepreneurs that value every minute of every day as they try to chip away at their overwhelming workloads. Thus far I have had very few issues with the phone, as well. I am definitely hooked on touch devices and hope they continue to make more great Android phones.
I went ahead and put together a little list of upsides and downsides associated to how well the HTC Droid Eris will adapt in a business environment.
- Slimmer and Lighter than the Motorola Droid (4.23 ounces) (4.45” (L) x 2.19” (W) x .51” (T)) - I really dislike giant heavy phones, one of the reasons I went with the Blackberry Pearl as my last phone. The HTC Droid Eris is practically the same size as my Pearl which is quite amazing.
- Six Home Screens - HTC has customized the Android OS to include six home screens, that’s three more than the Motorola Droid. This has to be one of my favorite features as I am able to take full advantage of the screen real estate with full screen widgets and program shortcuts.
- HTC Sense - On top of the home screens HTC has what is called HTC Sense, which sounds like their general customization of the Android OS. The HTC Droid Eris has multi-touch support at least for the browser which is another feature the Motorola droid does not have.
- Great custom widgets and a good set of default applications.
- Cost effective - With my Verizon phone credit I was able to pick this phone up for $50, that’s pretty amazing.
- No physical keyboard - Some would call this a downside and that’s why its listed in both sections. I was concerned about this as I was switching from a Blackberry but I am very impressed with the on screen keyboard and the text prediction. It’s been a very easy transition and I am definitely hooked on touch screens.
- No Android 2.0… yet - The HTC Eris did not ship with Android 2.0 and some of its new snazzy features like GPS based navigation, multi-touch which is a bit of a downside. I certainly like android 1.5 and all indications point to HTC updating the Eris with Android 2.0 soon.
- Battery life - Probably my first main issue with the Eris was the battery life, because I had my Google account synced and I was running a lot of applications my battery life was getting drained within a full day. My fix was turning off automatic syncing for my mail and getting a tasks killer. This has seemed to extend my battery life with decent use past 1 day but not much, I still need to charge it every night and I also bought a charger for work just in case.
- Complexity - Even for someone who is fairly technical, this phone is complex. There are a lot of menus, settings, and notifications in a variety of areas. I feel confident that I have explored the phone thoroughly, but I am sure there are things I have missed.
- Cases - I ordered my phone a couple of weeks after it came out and I was sorely disappointed with the available case options. Not only was there very little to choose from, but many were overpriced.
- No physical keyboard - Again some might call this a downside but it wasn't for me, if in doubt try it out.
Below are some pictures check them out...
Oh yea those look kind of crappy because they were taken with an iPhone, here is one with mine:
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