I posted before asking your input and got little response from anyone who wasn't a complete Droid fanboi, so I finally made my way to a Verizon store tonight and confirmed my suspicions... something is f'd up with the moto Droid's framerate and it is generally just laggy when it should NOT be.
I REALLY hoped I just got a dud, but I tried out 4 of their floor models all with the same result, never getting the *smoothness* that I expected the droid to have from day 1.
THEN I went over and did a side by side with the HTC Eris, now THEY got it f'ing right, at least in terms of responsiveness and smoothness... easily flick between homescreens (btw sense UI is absolutely gorgeous, too bad the screen isnt as nice as Droid) with NO lag and SMOOOOOOTH scrolling in all apps, webpages, and menus.
The following was my test comparison basis:
Download Robo Defense from Market and play level one
Flick between home screens without giving the phone a break to think
Load amazon.com, click "load full site" at bottom, once loaded scroll around.
Scroll through contacts list quickly
Robo defense actually has smooth gameplay on the HTC Eris, the creeps move smoothly and in general looks good.
Slight but very obvious lack of smoothness while playing, creeps movements are jerkyier, towers movement and shooting look noticeably worse. Touch scrolling around is slightly choppy, not as smooth.
Well first off there are 5 homescreens.... but scrolling wise I can flick from screen to screen and the transition is silky smooth, no jerky or choppy movements. Extremely responsive to the touch, you swipe and it goes immediately no waiting.
1 out of 10 swipes from left to right look OK, the rest of the time it is slightly jerky, but never ever smooth when transitioning from screen to screen. Doesn't always even move right away, especially if going back and forth.
Amazon.com full site:
Once loaded, looks good, able to scroll around and ZOOM in or out easily. Very smooth.
Loaded faster than Eris consistently, however scrolling around there is significant chop, especially when zooming in or out it really hiccups.
Like the rest of the tests, performed as expected, smooth, high refresh rate, able to read contacts as they scroll by quickly.
Scrolls well until it starts loading the images for people from facebook or whatever, then it will lag significantly for a second while it loads the pics. This is noticable also when scrolling through lists of downloaded programs as it tries to load the thumbnails for the program.
So, I'm glad I have confirmed that my phone is not an anomaly. But I am really disappointed at the same time. There is absolutely no reason that the Motorola Droid should be any slower, choppier, or less fluid and responsive than other android phones... but it absolutely is.
Now the two big questions I want to know are WHAT is causing this problem, and WHEN it is going to be fixed.
There is something deep in the root of the software, capping the framerate on anything you do with the phone at something in the neighborhood of 24fps. which isn't immediately obvious, until you compare it to a device that doesn't have that issue and then it becomes extremely clear. I can't imagine it being a problem with the hardware on the phone, it is one of the most (if not THE most) powerful Android phones on the market in terms of hardware, yet there is a slight lag, a slight jerkiness that is ever present.
It especially shocked me to see the difference between the two phones running Robo Defense, the droid was painful to play on compared to the smooth motion of the gameplay on the Eris. And now after looking at videos of people playing RoboDefense on their G1's, it is smooth there too.
Something in the software of the Moto Droid is limiting it from being the phone it should be.
I really hope they fix it in the Dec 11th software update or this thing is going back to big red fast.
If you have never owned another touch device that IS smooth or played with one for reference to know how responsive and fluid a device of this power *should* be, then please do not bother commenting saying anything along the lines of "mine is smooth and works well".
Also, one of the droids in store that I ran this test on I restored to factory settings, removing all software, apps, etc for a "baseline" test and it ran exactly the same as the others.
This phone has great potential but in it's current state it is severely crippled.