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Thread: A week of Droid 2 (Review)

  1. Droid Newbie
    mobs's Avatar
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    Motorola Droid 2
    #1

    A week of Droid 2 (Review)

    I upgraded to a Droid 2 from the original Droid one week ago. My experience has been so-so. The keyboard is much more comfortable than the original Droid, and the device itself feels more durable. But general design aside, this phone has been a bit of a let-down. While I cannot say that I've had some frequently-reported problems with the camera and battery, my problems with it closely resemble the same problems I had with Windows Mobile 6, which is a very unflattering comparison. Some specific gripes:

    1) Bloatware - The very first thing I noticed when I turned it on was a bunch of apps from failed companies like Blockbuster, and they can't even be removed. Rooting will eventually solve this problem, but it shouldn't have to. The Android experience is not supposed to be cheaply and inflexibly packaged by incompetent corporations.

    2) Freezes - Yep, pre-loaded apps have actually caused my device to crash/freeze from ordinary use! Example: I was doing low-intensity web browsing, and I set it down for 10 minutes. When I came back, the screen and buttons were completely frozen. I couldn't even use the four functions on the bottom of the touchscreen. Alt+Shift+Delete was the only way out. A Google product can't do basic web browsing? For shame! I've also experienced significant button lag with the Marketplace.

    3) Poor App Synergy - My biggest frustration. The original Droid impressed me with the way that the apps all seamlessly worked with one another. Daily use of the Droid 2 has been scattered and illogical, with duplicative functions and excessive navigation. Some examples from the last week:
    - On the D1, the Gallery app automatically synced with my Picasa web albums for easy viewing, but on the D2 there isn't even an option to do that. I had to get a separate app to look at my web photos, and they still aren't accessible from Gallery. Instead, Gallery just has four categories of pictures on my phone, most of which overlap with one another.
    - On the D1, messaging and account management were effortless, but on the D2 everything goes to different places. I'm left with a confusing hodgepodge of separate apps called Messaging, Gmail, Email, Text Messaging, My Accounts, Social Networking, Facebook, and Talk, and they all work against one another for sending/receiving. I tried to send an MMS to my mom, and she ended up getting the picture both via text and two different e-mail accounts. The "Messaging" app links some accounts through a "universal inbox", but it still separates my "Google" account from my "Gmail" account, even though they are the same (and neither of them is treated as "email").
    - On the D1, the contact list was fairly easy to sync Facebook, Google, and phone contacts. D2 gave me a Social Networking app that didn't grab contact pictures when I told it to, and just compounded all of the confusion with messaging.
    - Searching for stuff on my phone is similarly awkward. There is a menu option on my home screen to "search," but it only searches the web. Searching contacts and messages require different actions, and they aren't neatly integrated into the home screen menus.

    In sum, I don't "love" this phone like Blackberry, iPhone, and G1 users. Motorola has made Android feel like a shoddy Microsoft product - brimming with proprietary software from desperate companies and so full of functions that ordinary use is cumbersome and disjointed, resulting in crashes. Hopefully this will all be fixed with UI/app updates and rooting. But for now, this is staining the Google and Linux brand names.

    I hope this was helpful for anyone thinking of getting one.
    Last edited by mobs; 08-22-2010 at 10:49 AM. Reason: typos
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  3. Droid Ninja
    pool_shark's Avatar
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    #2
    I have not experienced any freezes of any kinds.
    The camera isn't as good as the Omnia (in my opinion) and it is lacking basic out of the box functionality of the Omnia.

    I don't care about the added software, I don't want to use it so I don't use it, it isn't in my way.

    I don't sync my contacts with any external websites so I don't have any issues there.

    My only real problem is I miss phone calls and text messages and I have to reboot to get it to act right again, very irritating.
  4. Droid
    WhiteSoul8's Avatar
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    Droid 2
    #3
    So far I haven't been missing phone calls or emails. I do wonder, however, if I would miss them while the phone is using the internet - since the network isn't set up for voice and data at the same time.

    I am loving the social network & messaging interface, as well as the ability to use text to speech as an input method.

    I am also loving the voice commands, as it makes entering a "navigation" destination almost instant.

    I do feel, however, that the operating system releases feel more like glitchy "beta releases". When something is placed in the hands of a consumer, all the wrinkles should be ironed out. I feel that there should be a test group that fields these problems so they can be solved prior to the phone's release.
  5. Droid Newbie
    Andryna's Avatar
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    #4

    Loving my D2

    Hi, I have had my D2 for about 5 days and I am loving it.

    My D1 which I only had for about 2 weeks kept freezing whenever I would use the internet and it was synching resulting in multiple battery pulls.

    No issues at all yet with my D2 freezing while the applications are multi-tasking.

    My D2 also seems quite a bit faster than the D1 and my battery seems to hold a charge better than the D1. My only complaint about D2 is all the bloatware - can't wait for a way to get rid of it.

    Hope this info helps.
  6. Senior Droid
    tobytl's Avatar
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    Droid X
    #5
    @Andryna: If you were using stock D1, the D2 is worlds faster... If you were rooted and overclocked, the change is more 'meh'

    @WhiteSoul8: No, the way CDMA handles data/voice is to cut off data on voice reception. Meaning, if you're in the middle of loading a page, it will stop loading when you get a call (or make a call for that matter).

    @pool_shark: I'm really feeling you on the network cut off for one of the D2s... Hoping the update fixes it, but can't tell yet.

    @mobs: I think we share alot in our outlook of android. I've actually resorted to installing a myriad of third party apps to get the feel of traditional android back for my sister's D2. LauncherPro, K9, Facebook (the real one), Facebook sync app that I'm blanking on the name for, Handcent, froyo stock 3d gallery, probably more that I'm forgetting. The point being, with freeware apps, I'm (she's) basically back to where my D1 is. Thankfully the D2 has all that extra RAM to run these apps, plus all that blur crap.

    It's sad that we are actually forced to go out of our way to undo all the damage that Blur and Sense does to the google experience. But there's really no way around it at this point. Hopefully Gingerbread's UI improvements will finally make these companies stop slapping crap on top of our beautiful simplicity....
  7. Droid Newbie
    nemesis's Avatar
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    Droid!
    #6
    i had mine for a week now, loving it!
    running ADW so the blur face doesnt bother me...
    cant wait for root so i can further customize it and remove all the apps i dont plan on using...
    hang in there guys, its a great unit and great upgrade from the original (except blur) but all that can be fixed fairly easy ;-)
  8. Master Droid
    wildride89's Avatar
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    stock rezound mavrom d3
    #7
    I only had the first droid for a few days before I returned it but I thought it was a nice phone too. To me this is a good phone other than some of the bloatware previously mentioned but mY experiencE has been nice. I've only had one freezesince getting the phone, browsing is simple, there's tons of apps that we have access too, and it makes my work day go faster. After getting the ext battery I'm alog happier with performance plus the new case took care of the shiny silver. Overall from a beginner usage aspect this is a good phone. I'm anxious to check out rooting them since everyone likes doing that, but droid2 is a good product and they were listening about keyboard issues too. Good job motorola,imo.
  9. Droid
    WhiteSoul8's Avatar
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    Droid 2
    #8
    Tobytl: Thanks for clarifying!


    Quote Originally Posted by tobytl View Post
    @Andryna: If you were using stock D1, the D2 is worlds faster... If you were rooted and overclocked, the change is more 'meh'

    @WhiteSoul8: No, the way CDMA handles data/voice is to cut off data on voice reception. Meaning, if you're in the middle of loading a page, it will stop loading when you get a call (or make a call for that matter).

    @pool_shark: I'm really feeling you on the network cut off for one of the D2s... Hoping the update fixes it, but can't tell yet.

    @mobs: I think we share alot in our outlook of android. I've actually resorted to installing a myriad of third party apps to get the feel of traditional android back for my sister's D2. LauncherPro, K9, Facebook (the real one), Facebook sync app that I'm blanking on the name for, Handcent, froyo stock 3d gallery, probably more that I'm forgetting. The point being, with freeware apps, I'm (she's) basically back to where my D1 is. Thankfully the D2 has all that extra RAM to run these apps, plus all that blur crap.

    It's sad that we are actually forced to go out of our way to undo all the damage that Blur and Sense does to the google experience. But there's really no way around it at this point. Hopefully Gingerbread's UI improvements will finally make these companies stop slapping crap on top of our beautiful simplicity....
  10. Junior Droid
    cuzlion's Avatar
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    droid x
    #9

    one week

    I have had my Droid 2 for a week. And just installed the OTA upgrade to fix, in my case, exchange contacts syncing problems with Corporate Sync. I owned a Droid x first to see if I could live without a keyboard. Great phone but typing on glass for more than a quick text message is for me simply ridiculous, I'm just too klutzy. I know iPad , iPhone and Droid x users say its just as fast to type on glass and that's great but for this middle aged road warrior there is no way. I came from a Touch Pro 2 and even though Swype is great I still slide my phone open for real work. I have had a freeze up or two, but not many and less by ten times my WinMo experience. Bloatware is not a bother to me with all that app memory available. Exchange Server support is as good as WinMo for what I do, Logmein is much better, tethering is about the same, good on Verizon. All in all by far the best phone I have ever had and for this moment in time the best phone in the world for me. In a month or two of course it will be a dinosaur but that's life. Battery life much better than the TP2, TP1, Mogul or 6700 which were my previous smartphones. I carry a spare battery but have never had to use it, yet. Miss the 4.3 inch screen of the X but that thing looked bizarre in a hip holster and I don't like phones in my pocket. Cuz
  11. Droid Newbie
    petergood's Avatar
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    Droid2
    #10
    I've had my Droid2 for almost a week after trading up from the original Droid. The speed is nice, everything else seems largely the same... except for one thing that's driving me nuts: Why did they drop the link to Picasa Web albums in the gallery? Is VZ trying to limit the bandwidth? If so, this feels like a bait and switch: First get us to shell out more for faster processing, then remove a key content option.
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