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.