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Motorola Droid Does Droid Really?

Reviewing: Motorola Droid  |  Rating:
By phreakuency on
Badge: Author | Level: 3 | Mobile Expertise:
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The Motorola droid is one of the first of its kind, meaning that its one of the first phones that motorola produced that hasn't sucked. When purchasing this phone, one of the selling points to me was the fact that it was an open operating system, which up till this point has been very locked down. Verizons foray into the world of user programmable phones was what piqued my interest about this phone, and thankfully so.

Although the phone requires a data plan of $30 a month, it should be noted that this plan is unlimited. I stream music from pandora to my car stereo on my way into work, I can constantly check my email and facebook (which I am still debating whether this is an asset or detrimental). A huge feature, though, is the fact that since the operating system is open verizon cannot restrict programmers from developing applications which allow the phone to act as a modem for a pc. I currently use PDAnet free edition, which only supports http, but for those who require constant on the road access to their data the full PDAnet edition allows for every protocol, including those such as SVN.

As the operating system of this phone was developed by google, it is only common sense that this phone links into your gmail account (if you have one) and syncs all of your contacts. It allows you to only show contacts that have phone numbers, or exclude certain contacts. When the phone is linked to your facebook, it then will also sync your facebook contacts, and merge them automatically, which I have found no duplicates.

The onboard sensors include an ambient light sensor which allows the device to turn on the LED backlight for the keyboard when you enter a dark area, a proximity sensor which allows the phone to turn off the screen when it is being held up to your ear, a magnetic field senser (I am completely serious here) which tells the device when it is being placed on the docking station, as well as a 3 axis accelerometer. Because of the open nature of the phone, there are many applications which make use of these sensors, such as g-force calculations for vehicles, as well as augmented reality applications. These applications allow the simultaneous use of the GPS, wifi, 3G, and camera to display data relevent to your environment. One such application allows you to hold your camera up to the windshield and it will draw the navigation route right on the road.

The camera on the droid is something to write home about on its own, with its 5 megapixel resolution it can capture high enough quality images to be used for optical character recognition. One such application for this is "Google Goggles" which allows you to take a picture of, say, a business card and it will decipher the text, and determine the business, the contact information, etc, and then give you the option of adding the contact to your contact list, whether through gmail, outlook, etc.