Bye Bye Blackberry...hello 'Droid!

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Last weekend I made the switch from the Blackberry Curve to the 'Droid.  I know, I know, many of you die hard iphone addicts will ask the question..."Why not just get an iphone?"  Well, being a Verizon customer with 5 lines who depends on great service anywhere I go, it just wasn't an option.  So many people have asked about it, I thought I'd share a very unofficial review. For a professional review, check out http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/30/motorola-droid-review/

Screen: This is where the Droid rocks!  The screen is crystal clear and responsive. I had a touch screen windows mobile device before and had missed the touch with the Blackberry.  Every now and then I have to touch it twice, but not often. YOu can set it to give you a slight vibration to confirm your clicks if you choose.  I did this the first few days I had it until I got the hang of it.

Device: It's heavier than my Blackberry for sure but doesn't feel any thicker in the pocket of my pants. It slips into my purse in narrow spaces. It feels sleek when you hold it. The buttons make sense to me-back, menu, home, and a search button right on the phone. Many people say that the rectangular shape just isn't sexy. I, for one, do not need a sexy phone...just one that does what I need it to and doesn't drop calls. I've got a hard plastic case on it because I tend to be klutzy. It' clear and fits well. The power button is a little tough to find until you get used to it. You can also wake the device up by sliding the keyboard open. Once the device wakes up, you have to touch and drag an icon to unlock it.  You can also set a custom unlock pattern (such as a specific squiggle or letter) if you choose.

Motorolla Android

Photo: http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/28/motorola-droid-first-hands-on/

Apps: I've downloaded some handy apps such as Babbler (a facebook app that allows you to sort your friends by your friend lists), a colored flashlight handy for fumbling around in the dark, google sky map which allows you to point your phone at the sky and shows you what constellation you're looking at. I used the movies app this weekend to locate where and when New Moon was playing. Or course there are a multitiude of Twitter apps and the customizable desktop has 3 panes so you can put shortcuts and widgets to customize your experience.  I'm still figuring out which things I use most and moving them around. I love the weather channel app that will play a specific sound when you have a severe weather warning.  Now I just gotta find a siren ringtone for tornado season.

Google Navigation; By far the best app I've seen.  Turns your phone into a navi unit and gives you turn by turn directions at no extra charge. It does seem to pull a lot of power in navigation mode so I use it when its plugged into my car charger. Oh, and it has voice activated google search based on your location.  You simply say "Pizza" and it locates pizza places near your location. NICE for when you don't want to type.

Browser: It's fast and works just like the one on your computer.  The screen has a zoom in/out button that takes your content and moves it into one column depending on how far you zoom it in.  These almost 43 year old eyes don't wear glasses, but I do find myself zooming it in just one more notch regularly.

Keyboards: Droid has both a slide out and virtual keyboards that appear whether the phone is horizontal or vertical.  Being a woman with long nails, I find the heat sensitive virtual keys harder to type on so usually opt for the slide out. Slide out is similar to the keyboard I had on my Windows device.  Like any new keyboard, they all take some getting used to.  I just figured out what the gold circle is to the right side of the slide out.  It works like a mouse so you can get your cursor in just the right place.  I personally think that this gold button throws the keyboard off center and does make it a little harder to type because the keys aren't in exactly the place that they would be if it were centered.  I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Calls: No issues with dropped calls with Verizon's STELLAR coverage.  After dialing on those tiny Blackberry keys, the touch keypad is a welcome addition.  On the BB, if I had to enter alphabetically on the phone, like "enter the first 3 letters of the person's last name" it was impossible.  SO easy on the 'Droid. Speaker phone works fine. Easy to change the ringer volume.  I downloaded an app that puts the silence button right on the main screen and use it every day.

Messaging is simple and I can type fast for texts and emails.  Droid sorts your text messages via sender so you can always see your conversations with your text buddies.  It pulled my Outlook contacts, BB contacts and Facebook friends into one list and populated that list with their FB photos if available.

I use a hosted exchange server and it was quick and simple to set up, once I had the correct server info from my host. Now my calendar synchs automatically to my device, my Outlook, and my assistant can access it from her computer too, as well as a web interface.  The only thing I haven't figured out how to do is synch the subfolders in my inbox. For now I'm not sending any unread mail to any subfolders, just reading them from the inbox and dealing with sorting later. I have read that this feature isn't available on the 'droid yet and my exchange service does not support the device YET.

Downside: The inability to add an email signature with an exchange server.  From what I've read, that feature does work with gmail.No ability to accept an outlook calendar invitation that you receive by email.  I did read about a software update expected on December 11 that should address these issues.  So far they haven't been a deal breaker for me.

Chargers: Of course Verizon and electronics stores want 15-20 bucks for either a wall or car charger.  I went online and found an adapter at amazon.com that turns your mini usb (from BB) to Micro usb (droid) for $1 EACH.  Yes, one dollar each.  I bought 5 and have converted all my old bb chargers to work with the 'droid.  DONT pay for any chargers!

Battery life so far is good, although the navi mode tends to use a lot of juice.  I charge it on my nightstand and it hasn't been an issue.  I've run it down completely twice before I figured out the navi thing. The device simply shuts down until you charge it. You can use it while it charges, which is nice.

Camera: Being a digital SLR owern, I'm a bit of a camera snob. The 5 mp camera excited me. There are several different scene modes such as beach, night portrait, theater, etc. and you can use macro and infinity focus modes.  It does have a built in flash which you can turn on, off, or leave in auto mode.  It also takes videos.  I find the focus on the camera so so and sometimes my pics end up grainy and not sharp. Sharing pictures to Twitter and FB is seamless. There is a photoshop elements app.  I've downloaded it for cropping but it's not for major editing.

Still to come for me: Transferring music, audo books, and photos from the BB and from my laptop.  Just haven't gotten this far yet.

So far I haven't found anything except the email subfolders that the 'Droid doesn't do that my BB did.  The browser is hands down better than BB and the phone is a WHOLE lot more fun.  If you're a Verizon customer who can't bear to leave the service that you expect and are looking for a new phone experience that will get the job done, try the 'droid.  I'm glad I did!

If you're a 'droid owner, I'd love to hear your comments and about any other must have apps.

Beth

 

 

 

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Beth Torrence, Broker, ABR, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
MAPS Coach
9175 Carothers Parkway
Franklin, TN 37067
615-403-6736 Phone
615-690-8994 Fax

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Rainmaker
644,889
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker
http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

I still haven't moved into the blackberry age. Now it is replaceable.

Nov 23, 2009 01:15 PM #2
Rainmaker
350,580
Esther (Essie) Cruz
Weichert Realtors, Buying and Selling Real Estate in Monmouth, Ocean & Middlesex Counties - Manalapan, NJ
Manalapan Marlboro, NJ Real Estate

Hi Beth, Thanks for sharing.  I am up for a new phone in 2 months and just started looking. I think verizon is coming out with something else!

Nov 23, 2009 01:22 PM #3
Ambassador
454,131
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK
BobHaywood.com

Beth, this is a great review, but pics would complete it so much!  Something to think about!

Nov 23, 2009 01:27 PM #4
Rainer
45,230
Elizabeth Benefield
Montana Country Real Estate - Libby, MT

I have a black berry pearl and have not loved it so I will check into the droid. Do you have to pay a monthly fee as you do with the black berry. How What kind of black berry did you have before?

Nov 23, 2009 01:30 PM #5
Rainmaker
73,677
Tarris Rogers
Cascade Sotheby's International Realty - Bend, OR
Bend Oregon Real Estate

Thanks Beth for the nice review.  I ended up buying the Palm Pro for the ekey and because it runs Windows natively.  I'll have to do a review on it like the great one you did here.

Nov 23, 2009 01:37 PM #6
Rainmaker
330,784
Rosalinda Morgan
Brookville, NY
"The Rose Lady"

Beth - Great review.  I'm considering getting an iphone but I'll check the droid first. 

Nov 23, 2009 01:43 PM #7
Rainer
75,359
Kristy Owen
Moreland Properties - Austin, TX
Realtor, G

Beth, Great Review, you covered all the high points. I am deciding between upgrading from the Blackberry Curve to the Droid or paying heaps of cancellation fees and getting and iphone so I appreciate the detailed review!

Nov 23, 2009 01:43 PM #8
Rainer
13,258
Beth Torrence
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN

I edited the post this morning including a photo of the droid, and two issues that I discovered last night: No ability to add an email signature when used with an exchange server (does work with gmail) and no ability to accept a calendar invite that you get in an email.  Neither are deal killers for me.  There is a software update due on December 11 that should address both of these issues.

Kristy, the difference between the 'Droid and the Curve is like night and day.  There's no reason to pay extra cancellation fees for the iphone (in my opinion).

Thank you all for your comments!

Beth

Nov 23, 2009 11:27 PM #9
Rainer
42,840
Richard Mielke
RE/MAX Results - Gettysburg, PA
REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate

Beth,

I too have a Droid, replaced my Palm Treo the first day it was available. I love it so far, hoping they will have a fix for email signatures soon.

Dec 01, 2009 06:57 AM #10
Anonymous
John Burton

Hi Beth,

 

Thanks for the review and information.  I'm also moving from BB to the Droid.  I especially appreciated the information on chargers!  For everyone else, you can find the charger adapter at

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0020M1O1A/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001EJFZ5G&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1P8HC8SV11MKBQ8NKS7P

 

 

Dec 03, 2009 06:58 AM #11
Rainer
13,258
Beth Torrence
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN

After using the charger adapters for a few weeks I've discovered that they really don't work well.  They always seem to have a loose connection somewhere.

 

Beth

Dec 29, 2009 03:42 AM #12
Rainmaker
415,390
Mike & Cindy Jones
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville, FL
Real Estate - (904) 874-0422 - Jacksonville, Fl

Just ordered my Droid x today. Have to wait until Sept 13th to get it...can't wait

Aug 29, 2010 10:16 AM #13
Rainer
13,258
Beth Torrence
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN

Mike and Cindy, you will love it!

 

Beth

Sep 24, 2010 10:01 AM #14
Anonymous
Elaine

Beth I tried the Droid X and could not handle the touch screen.  I mainly use my BB for the email and calendar.  My questions are about them.  When you delete an email from the BB it can also be deleted off of the server and handheld.  On the Driod do you have that option? Also I have so many reminders on my calendar.  Does the calendar basically work the same way?  Thansk

Nov 10, 2010 02:27 PM #15
Anonymous
beth torrence

Elaine,

 

its hard to believe it has been a year since i wrote this!

I too did not like the touch screen which is why I went with the motorolla droid. my husband has also switches from bb to the droid 2.Both of us use outlook on an exhange server and neither of us has had an issue with the email or calendar. what mail server do you use? the android platform syncs flawlessly with google mail and calendar. If you use outlook without an exchange server, you can syn@ outlook w google and then sync to the phone, eliminating the need for exchange. google also has some apps for businesses that allow you to use google calendar but view it on outlook.

yes, you can delete messages off the server but check w support for details on your specific situation. There are multiple android forums out there that probably have the answer to your questions.

in short, I'm glad I made the switch. The graphics and browser are incredible!!! 

Beth

Nov 10, 2010 10:38 PM #16
Rainmaker
28,221
Shari Evans
Better Properties Washington - Port Orchard, WA
Moments Like These

ok, a year later...

I am going from the BB curve which I loved but bluetooth failed and it was time for my upgrade. I have my husbands Droid and love it when HE uses it but can't figure out how to use the Droid on the go! In the car, driving, etc. I feel like I can only use it when sitting in a chair!

Any helpful hints?

It takes me like 8 touches to make a call!

don't even get me started on making an appointment in the calendar!

Nov 18, 2010 04:38 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,769,410
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Hi Beth - I've had the Droid Incredible for about four months. Love the voice-activated GPS navigation and search. If you're a QR code fan, Barcode Scanner works really well to read them.

Nov 18, 2010 04:45 PM #18
Rainer
4,232
Scott Bader
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group Inc - Fish Creek, WI
CRB CRS

Thanks for the post everyone...on my 2nd BB and tired of the crummy camera, phone freezing up, and email not working properly.  My Cellcom rep recommended a droid, trying one out tomorrow but very helpful to read what fellow REALTORS think.

Nov 29, 2010 08:11 AM #19
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