POST A COMMENT

39 Comments

Back to Article

  • WasabiVengeance - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    The dpad on the original droid was a HUGE selling point for me. I got one of the later model ones with convex keys, and I've been very happy with the keyboard. My one and only complaint was that the dpad didn't have diagonals. This looks to me like they took arguably the BEST smartphone keyboard on the market, and made it significantly worse. Reply
  • vol7ron - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    But now you have arrow keys and a full QWERTY keyboard (save function and numeric keys).

    I actually like the new design better, perhaps you can get a dpad casing to play those games that require it.
    Reply
  • deputc26 - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Where' the battery life analysis and real-world web-page loading times? Where's the competitive comparison and commentary? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I completely spaced on the battery life section - I had it written and all ready, but completely forgot to insert it in the document. It's there now though! ;)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Marko_Polo - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Prior to obtaining the Droid2, I was using a standard Samsung flip phone. I have been watching the Smartphone market for years mostly as a disinterested party. When I started dating a more tech savvy woman, I realized that I needed greater connectivity to my friends and family.

    I have had zero problems with learning how to operate and maximize the Droid 2. I chose the Droid 2 over the Droid X because I wanted a physical keyboard and a smaller size phone. Since I get a substantial Verizon discount through work, I knew I was sticking with a Verizon Smartphone (plus all my peeps are using Verizon). I also have a ZuneHD and really liked the similarity in the interfaces between the devices.

    Certainly, the Droid 2 can replace many other types of devices. I have a B&N nook and I have installed the nook app on my Droid and have found it enjoyable enough to use. I also think the Droid 2 could replace my PMP in the car. However, I don't think the Droid 2 makes a great PMP overall because it is very heavy to use while exercising or doing yard work. I'm also not convinced it can handle the sweat and other moisture it would come in contact with while being active.

    Finally, I have had little problem with battery life. At work, the poor thing struggles to get a 3G signal and I believe that causes the battery to drain a little quicker. I have the car dock and the multimedia dock at home, so I rarely see the battery get below 40% between charges.

    For my first Smartphone, I think the Droid 2 has been great so far. Additionally, I've found the service at the Verizon store to be much better than my previous carrier - that matters to me, especially at the higher end of the Smartphone market.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I already have the later model Droid with improved keyboard and I kind of like the D-Pad though I don't use it that much. I've got Android 2.2 - rooted - and clocked at 1 GHz with SetCPU. So it sounds to me like I already have the equivalent of a D2 without the MotoBlur crap.

    Think I'll keep what I have for the foreseeable future!
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    "This feature is basically broken on the Droid 2. There’s just no other way to state it. If you’re getting the Droid 2 for the built in 3G hotspot feature, reconsider until Verizon and Motorola address it with an OTA update. Or use one of a number solutions from the market, or root. Either way, this was disappointing for me."

    Do you mean 3rd party solutions from the software market or different phones from the market? And how does rooting the phone fix the issue? Is it because you put on different firmware?
    Reply
  • neutralizer - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    3rd party solutions from the market will allow you to tether. In addition, you can get free wifi tether if you're rooted. It's just an app that requires root. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Third party solutions I have a feeling will work fine, but the built-in default 3G hotspot functionality is completely broken. Sadly I can't root these review units quite yet, but I'm comfortable that those will work.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • deputc26 - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Much better, thanks! Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Thanks for calling me out on that, I totally suspected I had forgotten something important. Can't believe I did that. /facepalm

    -Brian
    Reply
  • stlc8tr - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    "The Droid 2 has pulled a complete 180 from the original Droid’s travesty of a keyboard. I’d say the device has gone from having one of the industry’s worst smartphone keyboards to arguably one of the best, if not the best. "

    Really? Have you tried the Touch Pro2 keyboard? Good travel. Nice offset. Numbers row. Good spacing between keys. It's nearly perfect. That is by far the best keyboard that I've ever used.

    http://www.mobileguerilla.com/images/htc-touch-pro...
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I had a Touch Pro and Touch Pro 2 for a long time. I have to agree - HTC has dominated the landscape keyboard landscape for a while, but on Android platform it's hard to beat the Droid 2 right now.

    Until we get the landscape HTC device that we've seen spy shots of. I don't think it has a codename yet, but it has that Touch Pro 2 keyboard.

    I think we definitely agree.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • wyvernknight - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I think the blur animation that you're talking about when you open and close the app drawer is simply a stock Android 2.2 animation and not a Motoblur add-on. Reply
  • hansel2099 - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    muy buen celular Reply
  • lunarx3dfx - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    This is very disappointing. Your reviews are always very informative and for the most part all inclusive, but I've noticed in the last few reviews the Palm Pre has been absent. Now, I know that most would say, well it's Palm, and they are pretty much dead. However, unlike the Nexus One, which is included in all these reviews, I'm sure there were more Pre's sold than the Nexus One meaning that there are probably a few consumers out there that would like to see how it stacks compared to a new phone that they might be considering. It's just a suggestion.

    Also, for those who might be wondering, my overclocked to 1 GHz Palm Pre scored as follows:
    Browsermark: 24492
    Sunspider: 11228

    I'd like to point out that those scores are still pretty high up on the list.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Hey lunarx3dfx, I've got a Palm Pre Plus here that we got in for review, so I haven't really been able to include benchmarks from those suites until now. It'll show up in the new benchmarks though. On stock clocks I get 22298 ms on sunspider and 12936 on browsermark. Those 1 GHz speeds are actually pretty impressive.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • ol1bit - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I think it's awesome that you are reviewing Smart Phones now. After all, they are truning more and more into computers.

    I've been into computers since the TSR-80 Color computer, and can't believe how far things have advances. http://oldcomputers.net/coco.html

    Anyway Thank You!
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    Brian, I commend you for this engineering review and attention to detail. You made some great observations, like the ridiculous waste of space when text messaging.

    The inability to delete the stupid verizon and google bookmarks is inexcusable. Not mentioned is also the inability to delete or even just hide the garbage apps that come by default, including Blockbuster and Amazon MP3. So much for "Droid Does". Droid Doesn't let you delete the preinstalled crap. Besides rooting of course.

    I noticed in a Verizon store using the X with the 2 side-by-side that the 2 has noticeably worse scrolling performance in the app list.

    As for that 1cm of empty space to the right of the keyboard, they should have used that to make the keyboard even bigger! It was wasted, in order to have the phone dip down 2mm near the edge, which really doesn't accomplish anything.

    A huge gripe I have is how syncing with facebook causes your entire contact list to be overtaken. The only remedy seems to be not not add facebook as an account, and give yourself a link to facebook.com on your desktop.

    I am disappointed with the ever-present touch screen lag. Clicking and scrolling anything has a lagged effect from your input. Unfortunately, many people lack lag sensitivity, so we end up with displays and phones that exhibit an acceptable amount of lag to a few designers or testers, which is unacceptable to guys like me.
    Reply
  • evilspoons - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    I find it amusing how you're talking about the Droid 1 as if it's a dinosaur from the land of ancient, forgotten technology... yet it's still a year newer than the Blackberry I use all the time (Nov 2009 vs Aug 2008). Hmmm. Maybe it's time to upgrade.

    Only one of the local wireless carriers has the Droid 1 (sold as the Milestone because Droid is licensed to Verizon from Lucasfilm) and we just got it recently. The only recent-ish Android phone my current provider (Rogers) has is the Xperia X10. Ugh.

    It's really just an iPhone 4 or a 6-12 month out-of-date handset for us up in the Great White North.
    Reply
  • bjacobson - Sunday, September 19, 2010 - link

    My Droid's keyboard now has very bubbled keys. Try running your fingernails down and across in the creases beteween keys. I did this a few times pressing hard, went back to typing texts, and it's made my keys bubbled like the Droid2's, even moreso in my opinion than the photograph there.

    Also, I believe the resistance in the sliding mechanism is the mechanical sliders; I'm pretty sure 2 teflon strips on the back of the phone won't fix that.
    Reply
  • sotoa - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    I like having a dpad on my droid, I just wish it was on the left side like a gamepad, and wish it had diagonals. Reply
  • KaRRiLLioN - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    I bought the Droid 2 the day it came out but had to return it for several reasons, most of which I hope have been fixed. Corporate email synch had a terrible bug where it wouldn't synch contacts from Exchange if they had categories. Facebook synch would synch EVERYONE instead of just existing contacts. There was no option to change that.

    Most of these issues were caused by BLUR. Any idea if these items now work as advertised?

    So I still have my original Droid with the original flat keyboard. I'm pretty used to it now and have no issues. I think I'll stick to this until another Android-based phone catches my eye. I wouldn't mind something like the Droid X, but I want Super AMOLED.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    To fix the Facebook issue, download the Facebook app instead of using the Droid 2's "Social Networking" app.

    I'm not using my D2 for Exchange (we have a Google Apps Domain) but after a week, I've been very happy with my switch from a Blackberry Tour (which I was reasonably satisfied with).
    Reply
  • PubicTheHare - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    The best keyboard on any smart phone is found on the Epic 4G. I played with it yesterday and was amazed at the tactile feedback and overall usability.

    Also, I don't buy that the Droid 2 screen is brighter than the Epic/Fascinate/Captivate/Vibrant's.

    I have the Fascinate and placed it side by side with the Droid 2, both in a store and against a friend's Droid 2 outdoors, and the Fascinate's display was substantially brighter and had more contrast.

    Great review. It seems like Motorola is hitting it out of the ballpark with its latest phones, though I still think they have the most bland styling and their UI (Motoblur) is hideous.

    I bet the OMAP processors are about 80% responsible for the impressive battery life. 9.5 hrs is ridiculous!

    Thanks, Anand.
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    The Keyboard does look much better than the original Droid, however it still doesn't look like it comes close to the HTC Touch Pro 2 series phone's keyboard. That one is the thing to beat in my opinion. I love the spaced out offset keys and the dedicated row of numbers at the top. I sure hope my next phone has one at least that good.

    Jason
    Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    ...that you barely mentioned the Epic 4G and its Galaxy S variants. Not trying to justify my purchase, however the lack of a mention on even the gaming and video capture fronts was a little disappointing. Reply
  • MrPIppy - Monday, September 20, 2010 - link

    It's interesting that the Motorola Droids have always been a huge design win for TI, even though almost no other Android phones use TI's OMAP or wireless chips. The Droid, Droid X, and Droid 2 use TI OMAP and WiLink (for WiFi/BT), instead of the almost universal combination of Qualcomm MSM+Broadcom BCM4329. Even Motorola's other Android phones (Backflip, Cliq, etc.) use MSM+BCM4329. Any idea why the Droids get the TI parts? Reply
  • bil3 - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Surprised that Anandtech doesn't know, but the Droid JIT performance in linpack is normal.

    Only Snapdragon's scorpion and cortex A9 devices have a fast 128bit FPU which the JIT is optimized for and takes full advantage of.

    This is a very specific case for this operating system as it's very much Java based, JIT performance matters in many operations.

    The OMAP uses the standard A8 FPU which is anemic in comparison (just like the hummingbird & co.)

    The CPU itself is not bad, that's why it's fast enough in raw performance benchmarks or benchs that aren't limited by the JIT.

    In all cases, the JIT still bring a good bit of performance, just not as much as on devices with a fast FPU.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Bil3,

    Very interesting, I wondered for a while about the performance delta being due to the A8 architecture versus Qualcomm's own Scorpion design, but couldn't find that remaining detail. Intriguing that the 128bit FPU makes such a big difference.

    Awesome tidbit!

    -Brian
    Reply
  • bigi - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Your pics in the sun are crap because left/middle phones have photographer shadow on them therefore showing more contrast/details in shaded area.

    The phone on the right looks worst because the "photographer" made this look worst.
    Reply
  • awaken688 - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Brian. Good review. Can you comment on how the Droid 2 works as a phone? You know the earpiece volume and clarity? Ability to get rid of background noise of the receiving speaker. I know these are smartphones, but they still are phones so I would love to have some clear thoughts on that part of the device. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    In a week and a half, I can only comment on my own experience --but the D2 has the best reception and call clarity of the smartphones I've had (Kyocera 7135, three Treos, and a Blackberry Tour prior to this). I've gotten calls (and held them) in areas I thought previously impossible, and calls everywhere for me have been clear. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    I generally don't comment too much on handset performance unless there's something extraordinarily bad about performance, purely because it's very subjective right now. In this case, Droid 2 handset quality/volume are almost identical to the original Droid. Both have noise cancellation, though I'm betting the Droid 2 is slightly less effective at cancelling noise due to that (as I mentioned) somewhat strange rear microphone placement.

    Otherwise I've been working on a very quantitative way to judge handset voice quality and performance, which will eventually appear in reviews. Subjectively, the Droid 2 is the same as any CDMA phone in terms of voice quality.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • DJMiggy - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Good review! Lots of good information on the Droid 2. I look forward to the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore. March 2011 is when my new every two is up with Verizon and I can get a new phone without getting bunged 600 dollars. lol Reply
  • awaken688 - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Thanks LoneWolf and Brian. I just know that from my experience with the LG VX8300 that not all CDMA/GSM phones are created equal. We have an original Droid and it is by far the best phone we have used. It's clarity, volume, and reception is just hands down better than my VX8300 and it easily bests the iPhone we have too, although it is by a less noticeable amount.

    I'll take subjective =)
    Reply
  • Shinobi123 - Friday, October 01, 2010 - link

    Why is the XT720 never in these comparisons?

    I've had this phone for soon two months, and it's easily the best phone I ever had.

    Not biggest screen or highest clocked cpu, but it's a good phone and excellent camera.
    Reply
  • soccerharms - Friday, October 01, 2010 - link

    Hey Brian,

    Is there future plans to compare the droid x with froyo with the droid 2? I would be very interested in how these stack up because people are posting significant performance increases with the update.

    Thanks for the review
    Reply
  • jeans_xp - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    The mobile world's yesterday king is backing.
    HAHA, first smart phone is iPhone 3GS. I find a good website for smart phone news and latest technology: www.mobilegoing.com
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now