So I took my Droid on vacation...

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid' started by GadgetRick, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. GadgetRick

    GadgetRick Member

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    Ok, took a vacation (driving trip from NJ to FL) and here are some things I learned about it...

    First, I still love the phone...even more than when I started out. It was extremely useful on the road. I especially like the Google Places Directory App. Would go into the restaurant area, tap the search icon and look for a Wendy's or an Outback Steakhouse or whatever we wanted. It would give me the ones which were in the area. Very handy on the road when you're looking for something in particular.

    Maps
    I did, however, find a bug. When you find a place and tap on it, you get info about the place (address and reviews and a picture of the place if available). However, if you tap the, "Map," button it will bring the address up in Maps but you cannot tap on the address in Maps and navigate to it. Just doesn't work. You must tap on the address on the page which comes up in Directory, which takes you into Maps then you can tap on it and navigate to it.

    The Maps app still amazes me when I remember it's free. So many features built-in. However, I found a few nagging issues:

    -Wish they had the speed limit on the road you're traveling on. Very useful when you're away from home.
    -When going into Maps from somewhere else (e.g. from Places Directory), Maps forgets your layers you have enabled. Annoying as you have to go turn on each one every time. Seems to remember them just fine if you go directly into Maps, however.
    -Had one time where Maps wigged out. For some reason it kept losing the GPS signal even though I had good locks on multiple satellites. Had to restart the phone to get it working again.

    I also noticed Maps is FAST when in a 3G area. When not in a 3G area, it can be a bit slow but I figured that would be the case.

    Camera
    Well, what can I say here which hasn't already been said? The camera software just plain sucks. It's super slow--not just talking about taking a picture--doesn't react the way you'd expect and it utterly unusable if shooting anything which might move. With that all said, however, it can take some very nice pics (I'll post some later when I have a chance). I can't wait for the update to see if it makes it more usable because, as it is, it's just a horrible camera--because of the software. Or maybe someone will write a good camera app. That's what's so great about Android, anyone can write an app to replace the basic stuff.

    Phone
    I must say the phone itself is quite good. Never had problems unless I was in an area with no coverage at all. Clear quality and the phone software is much better than the crap I've used on WM phones. No real complaints about the phone.

    I did, however, experience the, "45 minute," bug. Seems the Droid doesn't like calls over 45 minutes. I don't normally talk that long but did at one point on the way down. At about 44 minutes, it just dropped the call and closed the phone app (no force close message, it just closed). I understand this should be fixed in the Dec. 11 update?

    Useful
    So we were driving home the other day and we stop on the way back since it's like an 18-20 hour drive. We normally just find a cheap hotel on the way back based on the signs on the road. However, this is hit or miss. Have stayed in some really bad places. So I decided to go into the MP and see what's out there. Found an app (HotelsByMe--no affiliation) and downloaded it. Typed in a city we'd be in about the time we'd want to stop to find hotels with availability (on a Saturday night) and their rates. Quickly found one in Rocky Mount, NC. Read the reviews, booked/paid for the room and headed there. Turned out to be the best place we've stayed in all of the times we've done this trip. Got a great rate as well. Gotta love being able to do something like this. Would never have been able to do anything like this with my old EnV 2!

    A crash!
    Yes, finally had a crash bad enough I had to pull the battery. Wasn't doing anything crazy (I forget exactly what I was doing) but the phone just froze and I couldn't do anything with it. Pulled the battery and it worked fine after that. I know other people have had this happen more often so I feel lucky. I'm wondering if I need to restart the phone every so often?

    Oh, I also noticed things running slowly every so often. Wasn't doing anything else, just not very responsive at times. Like I'd tap a button or a letter and it would take a second (or so) before it registered. Cleared itself up each time though.

    Overall
    So the phone isn't perfect but it's an awesome device. I don't know how I've lived without this kind of functionality. Needs a few fixes but nothing is a game-stopper for me. Love my Droid more every day!
     
  2. New2u

    New2u Super Moderator

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    Did you know about the shift+alt+del reboot sequence? Other then that, that's a pretty good write up, thanks. :)
     
  3. rogo43

    rogo43 New Member

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    Wow nice write up. I have used my phone a lot as GPS. its better then my 2000 dollar after market pioneer system. But great write up.

    Thanks for the experience
     
  4. texasPI

    texasPI Member

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    I concur with your assesment. While it has its quirks, overall for me it has been an improvement over my last device. Did you have any point where you did not have cell coverage? If so, how did the Nav operate?
     
  5. paq237

    paq237 New Member

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    Nice - 'Real World' review. Thanks for posting.

    I agree with your assessments regarding the Maps features (both the good and the bad). If I may add my own to augment yours:

    While it may seem petty, I miss my GPS not telling me that it's "Recalculating". With Google Nav, it never states this - it recalculates the new route well enough, but unless you're looking at the screen you'd never know. I prefer to get an audio clue that I've made a wrong turn and that the system is making updates based on my error.

    I don't want to end on a negative though - without a doubt, the Droid is the best phone I've had the pleasure of owning / using. I just got back from a week long business trip and found the device invaluable. Using 'Tripit', I kept up with my flights / gates / etc, and with 'Where' there was never any issue finding a good place to eat!

    While I *did* kill my battery on the long flight back (playing some games in airplane mode), I was back up and running quickly after I swapped my spare battery in (and muttered 'Try that on an iPhone' to my Apple-toting neighbor ;)
     
  6. wegriffith3

    wegriffith3 New Member

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    I'm planning a week in California for vacation, and can't wait to put my Droid thru the test. GPS, Map navigation, Google Searches......I'll keep you posted on my opinions.
     
  7. RLJSlick

    RLJSlick Member

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    Good read! The only time I had to pull the battery so far is when i was editing my contacts and my wife called me at the same time. The phone just totally froze up.
     
  8. mth04

    mth04 Premium Member
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    Awesome write up. I also had a road trip over thanksgiving. 8 days ON THE ROAD and I can tell you my Droid proved to be an awesome tool. So much so I am going to get my GF one here in a few days
     
    #8 mth04, Dec 7, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  9. zegolf

    zegolf Member

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    I continue to be amazed at all of the stuff that this device is capable. It's like every day is Christmas and you're finding a new present under the tree!
     
  10. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Over Thanksgiving break I tried Gmaps in a dead zone, and it didn't work. I think the satellite was probably working, the green dot showed up, but no map at all. My Garmin Nuvi in the same spot, worked just fine.
    Kent
     
  11. GadgetRick

    GadgetRick Member

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    Oh, a few things I forgot:

    The Bad
    -Maps did take me to the wrong place two times. I've heard of this happening but it was the first time (and second) this happened to me. I do know Google Maps has issues sometimes as where I live people have trouble getting here if they use Google Maps and they spell the name of my street correctly (yes, I said correctly). I'm hoping their mapping software improves so these problems will be fewer and farer between.

    -I had downloaded an app to keep track of where I parked. Figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, it burned through my battery in about 3 hours (not using the phone for much else during that time). I uninstalled the app, all is well. It was a 3rd party app I'd seen others suggest.

    -Wireless just plain sucks on this phone. Seems I have lots of problems when trying to use it. I hope they get this worked out as it's needed for uploading videos.

    -The auto correct can be annoying at times. Sometimes it would replace words with something which made absolutely no sense. So I posted some strange FaceBook status messages and strange text messages.

    The Good
    -We visited with a friend of mine for a few days in Merritt Island. He has an AT&T phone. I was able to get 3G coverage (sometimes) where he lives and he has NEVER gotten it. Where he lives is just not covered well at all but I'm getting the impression the Droid is better with lower-signal areas than other phones. Just my impression though.

    -Overall battery life was good (can't say great). I'm wondering what the extended battery will be like and whether that will make sense for me. It's very usable and, unless you're doing a bunch with GPS or something else like that, you should be fine.

    The Not Good or Bad
    -I also have stopped using the keyboard for the most part. Just can't stand it, can't type very fast and I make a lot of mistakes. Been using the onscreen keyboard which I'm getting used to but still prefer a hard KB. It's a shame they fell short with the KB as that is my only MAJOR complaint about the phone. Just not very usable for anyone with big thumbs like me.

    -Seems like the touchscreen (and hard keys at the bottom of the screen) are sensitive to how much moisture you have on your fingers. I find, when my fingers are totally dry (like after washing my hands and drying them) it doesn't recognize my taps as well. I also notice the hard keys to sometimes not recognize my tap or, sometimes they will but won't do what they're supposed to do until I tap it once or twice more.
     
  12. GadgetRick

    GadgetRick Member

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    Didn't know about this one, have to remember it. Thanks!