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50 States, Day 149

50 States, Day 149 Solana Beach, CA to Manchester, NH
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."
~Dr. Seuss
Because most of today consists of flying back to the East Coast-and you won't want to read about that-I thought it a good time for another Product Evaluation:
The Motorola Droid Phone

First, I can't believe George Lucas hasn't sued the radio waves off of Motorola for using the name Droid. Well, sometimes there's just no explaining things.  Just like every other electronic gizmo, this little thing wears a lot of hats. Phone, voice mail, email, calculator, camera, and another bazillion other possibilities thanks to apps. I downloaded the level app and check the trailer for level when setting it up. Handy. A friend bought an app that when he points the phone at the night sky, it identifies the constellations.

The phone works great. It rings, I answer. Except often it refuses to ring. Sometimes it vibrates and occasionally it remains mute. Drives me crazy. And when checking voice mail, the user must tap the touch screen to read, repeat, save or delete messages. And the touch screen has been known to fail a few times. Tap tap tap tap tap grr!

As a portable browser, the results are much better. In fact, deleting emails is the easiest of any device I've used. I can click them and delete them without opening them. Nice.

Another place the Droid shines is video. If I get an email with an attached YouTube video on my iPad, I can load it, open it and play a nine minute video on the Droid while the worthless iPad struggles to download the same video. And the Droid's screen is marvelous; clear, with dazzling color.

The sound is adequate, the user can hear quite well, and the touch screen works (when it does work) with a small vibration when you touch the keys, making it user friendly.

The thing feels pretty large. Yet with the touch screen and the ability to take photos or videos, it works particularly well.
GPS comes as standard, but the thing keeps disabling it. I brought it to a Verizon kiosk and the geek kid grabbed it, punched a hundred keys or so in the span of three seconds and passed it back. Voila, GPS. Soon it disabled the GPS again. Next time I'll get the little geek to show me how it works. Teach a man to fish, right?

Now, the stupid part. If one leaves it operating and the browser keeps the emails updated, the battery runs out in a few hours. An option is to put the machine in sleep mode with the wireless off, but still the battery ain't like an old fashioned mobile phone. For me, I just shut the thing off until I need it. The results are people don't call me much. Verizon loses valuable revenue, as the minutes keep the plan on a low level. A good strong battery would keep the V folks in the chips. They are the losers!

If it wasn't for the great email capabilities and video playing quality, I would be happy with a simple flip phone. And don't forget the Facebook and Twitter posting. Can't live without that, right? But since it does so many things, I'll stick with the Droid and keep it shut off and put up with its idiosyncrasies. But overall I would rate it a three out of five, cruel man that I am.

Now excuse me, I've got a game of Angry Birds to play.

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