Need Advice - Is the DROID for me?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Azmordean, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Azmordean
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    Azmordean New Member

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    Hey All -

    First, sorry in advance for the long post!

    The thread title kind of explains my question :). I am currently a BlackBerry guy - I've been using Blackberries for maybe 3 years now. Moved from a Moto RAZR to a BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, which was my first smartphone. This past summer, I rid myself of that old brick and upgraded to the BlackBerry Tour.

    First, I will say, I am not unhappy with the Tour. It is a great phone. My complaints are few. Mainly, the screen is just a bit too small to be *truly* useful for real web browsing (though it's great for mobile web sites). Likewise, the screen size makes Google Maps and such a bit less useful, though it's more than usable. In addition, while over all the phone is VERY snappy, the browser can be pretty slow at times and some apps, especially Google Maps, tend to bog down.

    What I like about the Tour is a keyboard. A physical keyboard is a must for me (so, AT&T aside, the iPhone has never been an option for me), and I think RIM makes the best physical keyboards around. So all in all, I really like my Tour - but I'm thinking I may like a Droid better, especially since I am now using the phone solely for personal use (Work gave me a company blackberry), not a mix of work and personal as in the past.

    How I use my phone (and these are in order of importance):

    1. First and foremost, for communication. Regular phone use, text messaging, Instant Messaging (AIM + GTalk), and E-mail. I don't have a land line at all, so the phone needs to be a good phone!

    2. Web browsing. I like a pretty full featured web browser. Mobile sites don't always cut it. I include Facebook in this category because I find the Facebook Apps never cut the mustard for me - I always end up going to the full mobile web site (this is partially because I *do not* use e-mail notification with facebook, and all the apps seem to work through e-mail, at least on BlackBerry).

    3. "PDA Functions" - that is, Calendar and Contacts. For Calendar, I use iCal on my Mac, which auto-syncs with my Google Calendar through CalDAV. For Contacts, I use Mac Address Book, which syncs with Gmail through iSync.

    4. Multimedia. This is a distant last place for me. I don't use my phone as an iPod. Occasional YouTube viewing is nice, but all in all, this is pretty low on my list of priorities.

    Okay - so with all that info - do you guys think the DROID is a good fit? I can get it with upgrade pricing (another line on my plan is due for upgrade), then sell my Tour :).
  2. Donkey Hodie
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    Donkey Hodie New Member

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    I had a Tour and replaced it with a Droid. I'm not one of those "gotta have a new phone every 5 minutes" kind of person, in fact I had the same phone for 5 years up until about a year ago. If it works for me, I stay with it.

    My usage is similar to yours though I don't use the calendar much. Over all the criteria you named, the Droid wins with the exception of the physical keyboard. As you say, BB probably has the best physical keyboard in the business and the sculpted keys on the Tour are far superior to the flat keys on the Droid. However, the browser on the Droid is far superior to the Tour both in general operation and in terms of screen real estate, definitely much more usable. I mostly use the virtual keyboard on the Droid and do pretty well with it but then I'm only sending short emails with it.

    I also find the Droid to be superior on communication to the Tour and I also have no land line. With the Tour, the signal in my downstairs office would be good enough (barely) to make and receive calls but web browsing wasn't possible. It's pretty good with the Droid, definitely usable.

    Oh, and I have a Tour for sale too :D
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  3. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    You are going to get 500 different answers on this and what it really comes down to is will it work for YOU.

    I came from the Tour as well and use my device 90/10 (90%biz/10%pleasure)

    My calender and contacts are strictly tied to gmail and my business emails are fwd's to my gmail. So for me. This device is perfect. Do NOT miss BB at all and I will go so far as to say the Droid is a HUGE step forward for ME.

    I suggest getting it. You have 30 days to decide if you like it or not (as you already know)

    I will say this. do not have any expectations of it being any thing like a BB. It's an entirely different beast. You will have to learn an all new hardware piece and OS. You may be thinking thats very obvious but you would be surprised at the comments. "When I used my BB all I needed to do was this" or "On my BB to get to this I needed to do that" and on and on and on. It's nothing like a BB or any other phone, unless ofcourse you have experience with Android.

    It will take a good week to get used to it so be prepared. It is a LOT of phone.

    I just want to make clear that do not have any expectations of it being anything you are accustomed to. Thats not a bad thing, it's an awesome thing : ) The Droid is a bad arse phone....seriously.
  4. Azmordean
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    Azmordean New Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I'm enough of a geek that the "learning the new OS" thing is actually something I'd look forward to. BlackBerry OS is old hat to me now - which in some ways is a good thing of course - but at the same time the idea of learning Android is exciting. It's a total paradigm shift from what I'm used to, and a totally different technology (touch screen vs. trackball + keyboard).
  5. LordKastle
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    LordKastle New Member

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    I use the physical keyboard more than the virtual when I am messaging. I never understood why people like to touch the screen they are looking at. Whatever works for you...

    The physical keyboard took me 2 days to get the complete hang of it.
  6. Azmordean
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    Azmordean New Member

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    Yeah - I tried the physical KB at the store. Honestly, I didn't have much trouble with it - my Tour skills seemed to transfer well. The only thing I had issues with is the placement of certain symbols and such, but that's just a matter of learning the layout.
  7. skerm8
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    skerm8 New Member

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    I am a die hard Blackberry Storm user. My wife just got the droid, and I can't keep my hands off it. What a great phone. It just works. It is smooth, fast, and just works well. I recommended it to my wife because it has a physical keyboard, because my wife texts a lot and is coming from a full keyboard phone. The portrait virtual keyboard is so good, she rarely uses the physical keyboard. The calendar and contacts work and sync very well. Looks like I will be getting a Droid as soon as I can upgrade.
  8. suzukimethod
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    suzukimethod New Member

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    I'm in almost the exact same situation - and I love the droid.

    Came over from a Curve, and the Droid picks up and improves on almost all of (my perceived) limitations of the curve.

    A few things took getting used to (what is the equivalent app to BB profiles?, etc.) - but the range of apps/mods available and little plusses faaar outweigh anything I felt i might have lost moving away from the blackberry. A caveat: while I used my berry like a business device for contact management/calendar/etc, i was not a dedicated business user (i.e. not on an exchange server), and b/c of this, all the contact management (sync with gmail, facebook, etc) has been a huge plus that i didn't know i was getting.

    I dove in (thought about waiting) and really really like it so far.

    -edited to add:
    I tried out the physical keyboard in the store and was non-plussed compared to my BB curve speed typing method, to the point that for the first couple times i used the soft-keyboard (word complete is nifty) for all my messages, even longer ones. I've since gotten a lot better with the physical keyboard, and while I'm not where i was (speed-wise) with it yet (compared to the curve), I'm getting there and I think i'll be faster in the long run.
    that said - the soft keyboard is great for short messages/etc. I really have no complaints, other than when it tries to turn a non-standard word into something it understands (was hassling my LSU fan buddy yesterday, and it kept wanting to "fix" "LSU" into "Lisa". lol
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  9. LordKastle
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    LordKastle New Member

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    Yeah you can turn off automatic capitalization and word suggestion/fixes.
  10. JimMariner
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    JimMariner New Member

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    !!! Welcome "Azmordean" to DroidForums !!!


    If you love your :blackberry: , but you feel at a loss for something that seems missing. The Droid is for you. :reddroid:

    If you like to Text, Email, Chat with your Phone, The Droid Fits the bill here too. :motdroidhoriz:

    If you want a snappier OS, the Droid has it. :motdroidvert:

    You do get 30 days to try it out. You don't have to keep it. :icon_eek:

    As the Advertisements say, Droid Does !!!

    But I bet once you cross the line, and you finger, pet, scroll a Droid, there will be no turning back. You will become addicted. The only cure is to get one and keep it all to yourself. :greendroid:

    Hi, My name is Jim, And I am a Droid Addict !!! :icon_ devil: {The Crowd Chants, Hello Jim !!!} And I know, I have gone down the right path. Come over to the DROID SIDE !!! It's nice over here!!! You will not be Alone :icon_ banana:
  11. FoFa
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    FoFa New Member

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    I HAD to have a physical keyboard also. I used it the first few days, and it is alright, not great, but not bad. But then I tried the screen keyboard. It is amazing how good it is with Hapatic touch turned on (for me). I don't use the physical keyboard anymore. I do think if I did more texting, I would because it seems more adapt to two thumbing while i find the screen board is a one finger deal for me.
    I hated my old smartphone, the screen was too small (and it had a larger sceen than others at the time), the screen on the Droid is pretty good. And if I have a problem, there is something I can D/L (all free so far) to fix it. Example, I just installed handcent so i could use larger fonts on the text messaging. WINNER! If you do decide to get a Droid, read some of the threads like 5 or 10 or 20 best applications. It certainly points you in the right direction for some good apps you can use. They sure make the Droid experience even better than the stock phone.
  12. LordKastle
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    LordKastle New Member

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    The gentleman above me has been brainwashed. (Jim) They have gotten to him. Droid may have whispered in to his ear and accessed the unconscious mind.

    There is something more cynical going on here. The Droids are beginning their take over. Rumor had it of a Thanksgiving Day Revolution...but then again rumors say Droids may invade from within and from above on 2012.
  13. Azmordean
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    Azmordean New Member

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    Ok, so one more question :). Another thing I do is use my phone to TETHER when travelling. Note that I have a MAC.

    Verizon doesn't have a VZ access manager that works with my BB on Mac, however, I was able to set it up to work through Bluetooth DUN. So, all I do is call vzw, say add tethering for 5 days, then I dial in to 3G via Bluetooth.

    Does the droid have, or will it soon have, similar functionality? Note an OSX version of VZAM that works with droid would be fine too - as long as I can tether on MAC somehow.

    Edit: Also note I want an officially sanctioned solution, not one of those proxy deals which violate ToS.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  14. TheShaz
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    TheShaz New Member

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    PdaNet For Android Now has BT DUN capability :icon_ banana:

    I used this product for WinMo phones - works like a charm - no charges from the carrier. Now I used it as a "Need internet access for my laptop when on the road." I did not use it as a Broadband Replacement for my house.
  15. keiichi25
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    keiichi25 New Member

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    I believe so, given this article you can find here on the forums:

    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-hacks/626-tethering-up-running-droid.html

    Not that I have personally tried.

    Getting back to your original question:

    Droid has all that, as mentioned by the others here. So no real difference. Meebo would be one of the IMs that will allow you to use AIM, I believe as well as GTalk if you have another Gmail account. You can also set it up for most of the Mail services, although the one for Non-Corporate E-mail and non-G-Mail and Facebook is actually done through the mail app, not under settings (Took me Days to figure that out)

    Well, comparing it to what I have seen on both a Blackberry Storm and the earlier iterations of web browsing on the 8400g... Droid is much better in handling it straight out of the box. I also found it a bit easier to navigate on the Droid in comparison to the Storm as far as selection and zooming in and out. As far as the Facebook app, I couldn't tell you for a fact, since I never use facebook, but as mentioned above, try it out for 30 days. I opted to do that to see and I am definitely thinking of keeping it.

    Out of the box, Droid uses GMail. It syncs with GMail from the get go. If you got a calendar and contacts with Gmail, it will sync to your phone.

    So far, I haven't had a lot of Multimedia done on either a BB or on the Droid, to be honest, but then again, I don't really use the BB for my own personal phone, it is a work phone, so I never really bothered to really do much more than play the few games on it. I will say the camera usage on the droid seems 'easier' to work with than the BB Storm. Since I never really used the camera on any other BB except the few times on the Curve, I found the camera on the Droid just 'easier' to work with. The storm's Push screen didn't help things with regards to trying to take pictures and seemed slower than the droid. I am looking at updating the Storm 1 to the 5.0 OS for comparison, but from some of the threads here, it seems that it isn't nearly as 'good' as the Droid still for some things.

    One thing for sure, as a BB user versus Droid...

    Droid does seem to lack a few of the Exchange services RIM is good at doing, namely looking up names through Exchange. But given you haven't asked that, it shouldn't be an issue.

    Droid works similar to the iPhone with regards to handling multiple e-mail accounts. I know BB does the same, HOWEVER, it does not handle Exchange E-mail separate from your other e-mail messages without purchasing an app for it.

    Droid Market, similar to the iPhone's App Store, is much more robust in comparison to what you can get for the Blackberry. While it is not necessarily as big as the iPhone's App Store, it is still leagues better than what BB has to offer and can be done on the phone versus Blackberry, and I have been looking around for Blackberry, it is a pain to find anything.

    Droid does have a shorter Battery Life than the Blackberry Storm or Curve, and depending on what apps you run on either Droid or BB, will determine the 'life' of your phone. From my own personal experience with the 8400g and Storm, I can eek out a good week on the 8400g and 3 to 4 days from the Storm and that is minimal running. I can probably eek out 2 days with the Droid with similar minimal running.

    Minimal running would be - Basic e-mail syncing (No extraneous others), having Auto On/Off enabled to shut down the phone as much as possible on times I know I would not be taking calls or e-mails. The Droid lacks an Auto On/Off ability, the closest I could achieve this is using Locale or Timerrific to put it in Airplane mode which shuts off all radios at a specific time and re-enable them at another time. The phone is still 'on', but not using nearly as much power.

    My recommendation to you, read some of the threads about the pros and cons people have run into and judge for yourself if the phone is good for you. :) A lot of us have different ideas of what is good, but definitely look into trying it out for 30 days.
  16. HarleyDad09
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    HarleyDad09 New Member

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    I also came from a Tour. I use my phone for 100% pleasure. It has nothing to do with my work. The ONLY thing that I liked better about the Tour was the physical keyboard and the "profiles". I have Gmail, Calendar, Gtalk, etc all hooked up and it is awesome! I LOVE MY DROID
  17. Azmordean
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    Azmordean New Member

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    Well, I think I am going to pick up my Droid tomorrow. :greendroid:

    I'm still torn, because I've been such a big BB :blackberry: proponent for so long (I still much prefer BB to iPhone, personally), but I figure I've got 30 days to try out the Droid to see if I'll like it better. I've always thought touchscreen + physical slider keyboard in a nice form factor was the shangri-la of smartphones, and the Droid seems to meet those requirements. As compared to the Tour I get the bigger screen, and don't lose all that much (okay, the keyboard isn't quite as nice).

    I suppose the real question then is if I actually LIKE touchscreen navigation. I can move around incredibly fast on my BlackBerry with the trackball and keyboard combo, and all with one hand. I definitely fumble around a bit with a touch screen. But as I say, I've got 30 days to see if I get better at it :). All in all I'm looking forward to trying it out!
  18. RedTarget
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    RedTarget New Member

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    Azmordean,

    I am diving into the Droid world tomorrow, as well. I have been a big fan of BB's and have been able to deal with some of their limitations due to their great email support and keyboard offerings.

    However, like others have mentioned, the web browsing is usually slow and not visually pleasing. Mobile sites work great, but if you hit a "real" webpage, you were out of luck unless you didn't mind the endless scrolling. The storm made scrolling through all the mess a little easier, but still wasn't the solution.

    I have been following the droid since it was leaked a while back. I have gone to the stores and used it, and have since gotten to setup and use one for the owner of the company I work for. I have to say that with the little time I have had with the Droid so far, I can't wait for it to arrive tomorrow!

    Sure, there are going to be some things I'm going to miss at first, but I will get used to the new OS and different apps. This community is not as brainwashed as some of the others are for BB/WinMo and the rest of the OS's. This community is young and still evolving, but I see a stronger support core with more frequent updates and patches. Something that all my years with WinMo and BB was unheard of. Don't get me wrong, I think there are some great devices out for both WinMo and BB and will continue to support those that wish to stick with them. I just need something different. Something that offers more and in a better package. Right now that's the Droid, hands down!

    Hopefully our experiences go as well as I am hoping! Everyone has their own taste and will be happy/unhappy with various features and issues. Good luck to you and have a blast with that Droid (providing you go with it...)!

    Plus, you can always take it back in 30 days if you're not happy. No guilt involved!
  19. iiimegamaniii
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    iiimegamaniii New Member

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    Really--once you have played with the DROID for a couple of days I think you folks will be happy with it. Not only does it do what you want, but the future for it is bright and will make you forget your past platform (as-stated in earlier posts, I've been on WinMobile since the beginning). I'm not a Google bandwagon'er, I just appreciate what's in my hand / pocket on a daily basis.

    The added bonus is this support forum with very great people to point you to answers to your questions or help you outright.

    - Mega