A week of Droid 2 (Review)

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 2' started by mobs, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. mobs
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    mobs New Member

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    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.
  2. pool_shark
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    pool_shark Active Member

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    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.
  3. WhiteSoul8
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    WhiteSoul8 New Member

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    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.
  4. Andryna
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    Andryna New Member

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    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.:happy:
  5. tobytl
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    tobytl New Member

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    @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....
  6. nemesis
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    nemesis New Member

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    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 ;-)
  7. wildride89
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    wildride89 New Member

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    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.
  8. WhiteSoul8
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    WhiteSoul8 New Member

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    Tobytl: Thanks for clarifying!


  9. cuzlion
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    cuzlion New Member

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    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
  10. petergood
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    petergood New Member

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    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.
  11. HuJass
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    HuJass New Member

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    I've had mine for a couple of weeks now and haven't experienced any of the issues that I've read about on this board.
    Knock on wood.

    I'm liking it so far.
  12. ugly_guitar_guy
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    ugly_guitar_guy New Member

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    I've had my Droid 2 for almost a week now after upgrading from a Blackberry I'd had for over a year and a half. So far any issues that I've had with the D2 have been very easily resolved or can be adjusted to. Overall I'm quite happy with it's features for my personal and business purposes and can't say enough great things about it.

    If they had just put a front facing camera on it it would be the ultimate iphone killer, imo.

    Cheers!
  13. danip511
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    danip511 New Member

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    Wow I really like this thread. I too just got the droid 2 and have had it for about two wks. I'm trying to learn about the phone and android; i've been reading these boards but i still feel a bit clueless like for example, the free memory. how is my memory low if it comes with 512mb and i only have like 7aps.
    i dled sysmonitor and it the mb i have available varies; right now it says 47mb; i know that has to do with how many aps are running but if i have so much memory why is it so low. i know probably a stupid question but i'm learning.
    i'd really like to erase blockbuster somehow, city id and kindle and social neetworking and maybe latitude
  14. droidXpert
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    droidXpert New Member

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    The keyboard is a definite improvement over the first Droid. I need to go play with one again.
  15. mindytyson3
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    mindytyson3 New Member

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    well i have had mine since this past monday and i am loving it! i have had no real big problems just some like couldn't figure out how to sync calendar but got that fixed up..ha. just needed some experts on here to tell me what to do. thanks! i had a blackberry pearl before this that i loved as well but wanted to upgrade to a touch/keyboard phone. i love the touch and the keyboard has improved from the droid 1. my husband has the droid 1 and my new droid 2 looks and feels a whole lot better than his..ha. well thats pretty much it! love it!
  16. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    After reading the OP's review I thought, sounds good to me. I'm glad I ordered one yesterday.:D

    Fortunately I've read other reviews from other people and they didn't give it the (slightly?) negative review you gave it.

    Preparing the backup of my SD now as we speak so I'll be ready to go on Monday when it gets here.
  17. Deidein
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    Deidein New Member

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    I will respond to your review with my review! For those for whom this will be too long to bother reading, synopsis = great phone.

    I've had my Droid for 11 days. I absolutely love the phone, having come from an enV2 and my only Smartphone experience coming from the god-awful Blackberry Bold I use for work. (Phone isn't bad, AT&T is.)

    I found the learning curve steep but manageable with this being my first Android phone. After just 11 days, I've figured out the tweaks and changes necessary to make the phone exactly as cool as it is capable of without rooting.

    ~I hate the bloatware too, but since I do not intend to root my phone, I'll just deal with it. Perhaps at least Blockbuster might become uninstallable if they really do fold soon.

    ~I have experienced freezes, lockups in the Gallery, and complete crashes with the phone, but I attribute that to things I did that the phone didn't like. For example, I put .mkv movie files on my SDCard to play with the RockPlayer app, and they worked, but the gallery would find them and try to preview them, thus screwing up the gallery. I've yet to figure out how to hide them from the gallery, so they're off the phone for the moment. Not a major issue.

    ~I've had extremely brief outages of the 3G. It tends to resolve itself fairly quickly though, but it was worrying the first time it happened (when I was sitting literally 20ft from a Verizon signal booster that is installed in my office building)

    ~Manipulation of the operating system and applications is NECESSARY to be satisfied with this phone, but I'm assuming that's true for all the android phones. I have over 60 applications installed, and without apps like Smart Shortcuts, Launcher Pro, and Astro File Manager, I would be lost.

    ~Choosing to install the facebook app for android from the market rather than using the built-in social networking thing saved me tons of grief. Now the only contacts I use are my google and phone contacts, and I don't use my google contacts often. That really simplifies the sending/receiving of things. I hated the initial settings that included all my facebook contacts in my contacts, because I'd played Mafia Wars and thus bloated my friends list to ridiculous proportions.

    ~Battery life has been fantastic for a smartphone. On first full charge, I had 7 hours of HEAVY use (tons of installing/uninstalling apps, browsing, gaming, etc) solid before I was down to 20% - seriously, I was sitting at my desk at work and the entire time I was there I was tinkering with the phone. On a 'normal' usage day (several texts, WordFeud, news/weather/engadget news, a call or three) I've never gotten lower than 40-50%, and often would have 60-70% battery remaining.

    This is what my phone looks like now on the homepage: Featuring LauncherPro. the shortcuts in the dock are linked to my Smart Shortcuts app, and bring up Communication, Multimedia, Tools, Games, and Toys applications in that order. The 2nd row of icons in my dock (if I was to swipe it over from there) have the default dialer, contacts, app list, text, and browser shortcuts with much cooler icons than the default.


    [​IMG]
  18. polebridge
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    polebridge New Member

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    random freeze

    I've had my D2 for almost three weeks. Twice in the past week it froze, not responding to any touches or buttons, required a battery-out reboot. The first time i was on the home screen, second time browsing the stock wallpapers.

    Someone back a few post on this thread mentioned a Cntl-Alt-Delete. What is that on a D2?

    While i was futzing with the battery i noticed some tiny hardware under the battery cover, top right corner of the battery compartment (water damage indicator is top left). What is that hardware? It looks maybe like a pushbutton, but it would need a pin to push it. Perhaps it's part of the USB plug.
  19. texasPI
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    texasPI New Member

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    Well, I've had my D2 for two days after receiving it as warranty replacement for a D1. Compared to stock D1, the D2 is snappier but like has been already mentioned, the bloatware and blur UI are detractions. Also, the lack of Picasa web album sync with the gallery bites.
  20. Dragoro
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    Dragoro New Member

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    Get the apk for the 2.1 gallery. Works for me and I got picassa sync and everything!