The Droid Experience

by World Wide Ed on Friday, November 6, 2009

Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God
I don’t know but today seems kinda odd
No barking from the dog, no smog
And momma cooked the breakfast with no hog

Ok, so it wasn’t quite like how Ice Cube rapped it, but “today was like one of those fly dreams” and definitely “A Good Day“. 8)

Why you axe? Welp, this morning, the much anticipated Motorola Droid was released to the public through Verizon Wireless, and, like every other nerd out there, I found myself standing in line, waiting to get mine.

Billed as the iPhone killer (watch iDont commercial here), this smartphone attacks and addresses all of the iPhone’s shortcomings. Being a non-AT&T Wireless sub and a Google and open source fiend, I literally NEEDED it. It’s running the newest Android 2.0 OS (the first phone with it) and has neat features like seamless Gmail and Facebook integration as well as free navigation via Google maps. I literally just got it, so I didn’t have much time to play with it yet, but here are a few quick tips/things I learned in this short time. Perhaps it’ll help some of y’all out.

Ed’s Tips/Notes:

* Not sure how crowded the other stores are, but the Pearl Highlands one I went to was not too bad. They opened at 7AM, and when I got there at about 6:30, there were only 4 people ahead of me. The woman at the front of the line said she got there at 5:15 with the next guy coming at 6:15. Before the doors opened, there were just about 15-20 of us (including couples). From what I heard, Verizon had 200 in stock, so if you get down there now, you should be ok.

The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM
The line outside Verizon Wireless at about 6:45AM

* The phone itself is $199 ($299 with a $100 mail-in rebate). With the Snap-On Gel Cover ($16.99), expect to pay over $300 out the door.

* With this phone, you must upgrade to a $29.99 data plan (if you didn’t already have it). I was coming from an enV Touch with a $15 VZW Mobile Web plan/package, so it was about double. It made me think about it for a split second, but for the extra goodies and the Wi-Fi action, I think it’s worth it.

* If you’re used to slim (narrow) phones, this one’s pretty wide. Compared to my Touch, it’s a beast. Gonna be interesting to see how it fits/feels in my pocket.

The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch
The Motorola Droid next to the LG enV Touch

* To keep the phone as slim (flat) as possible, the QWERTY keypad was built pretty flat. If you have big hands (like me), it may take some getting used to.

Closeup of the Droid's QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D?
Closeup of the Droid’s QWERTY keyboard. Like how I focused on E-D? 8)

* The Snap-On Gel Cover may also feel like it’s getting in the way sometimes, so using it would be up to personal preference.

The Motorola Droid with slider open
The Motorola Droid with slider open

* The camera’s a bit tricky to get used to (accessing, saving, sharing, etc.), but once you get the hang of it, the 5 megapixel camera takes pretty good shots. Here’s a pic my friend/co-worker Maribel using the Droid in artificial light.

(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid
(resized) 5 Megapixel photo taken with the Droid. Click here for the full version.

* Even though you have VZW backup enabled, you must still manually import your contacts into your Droid (via Gmail). You actually download the CSV file from verizonwireless.com/backupassistant, and then import it into your contact list in Gmail. If you have tons of contacts in your Gmail account and tons of numbers in your addressbook (from your old phone), it could get a little messy. I still have yet to check what it did to my dupes (it said it merged them). Yikes!

Check out the step by step shots (for downloading and uploading your contacts) below.

The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page
The Verizon Wireless Backup Assistant login page

Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant
Your list of contacts in Backup Assistant

Gmail Contacts page
Gmail Contacts page

Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page
Import Contacts screen in Gmail Contacts page

Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts
Importing CSV into Gmail Contacts

Import complete!
Import complete!

Big ups to Tara Reyna from the Pearl Highlands Verizon Wireless store. She’s really helpful and smart, so go see her a-ight? For more information on the Droid, go to DroidDoes.com or visit Motorola’s consumer page here.

All in all, it was mos def, A Good Day… šŸ˜‰

Any questions or comments? Post ’em below…

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