I’ve been using cell phones for nearly thirty years. I started off as what could well be termed a pioneer user in Central Florida back in the early eighties. Running a mobile DJ service at the time, I could readily see the potential and benefits that a mobile phone would present to my small but growing company.
“Just Imagine;” I thought to myself as I stood there viewing the latest and greatest newly released cell phones in a now defunct major electronics retailer, “my customers and potential customers will be able to reach me immediately no matter where I am or what I am doing!”
That day I went home with a Novatel bag phone that weighed over eight pounds with a massive battery in the bottom of the bag that had a tendency to get very hot while in use or while charging. I dragged that cell phone everywhere over the next year enduring everything from extremely spotty service that would literally drop calls from one block or street to another to sticking the suction cup antenna to a restaurant window while eating to maintain some semblance of reception. What fun!
Today, with devices like my current smartphone, the Motorola Droid, also known as the A855, I no longer need to be concerned with huge batteries and sticking external suction cupped antennas on windows. In fact, with the advent of smartphones, I now have mobility and access to services and products I never imagined back then.
I liken it to the immense change that technology has brought to the business I was in at the time. I needed a large cargo van to haul a two-piece DJ stand, speakers, tables and over eight thousand records around Central Florida and today, thanks to Ipods and other media players, I could conceivably go play a gig on a motorcycle.
After all those years of cell phone use and having owned and used too many cell phones to list here I can unequivocally state that the Motorola Droid I currently own is the single overall best cell phone or smartphone I have ever owned. This opinion comes after having been the owner of everything from the Palm series of smartphones, to Blackberry and Samsung.
Previously my favorite phone was the Blackberry 8830 World Edition. Sadly, I never was able to realize the full potential of the phone due to the simple fact that the carrier I was with at the time lacked the coverage necessary to allow a smartphone to do what it is designed to do. We’ll touch a bit more on that later.
Keep in mind that the cell and smartphone industry is designed and based on planned obsolescence. Case in point; I have owned my Motorola Droid for nearly a year now and if you walk into most cell phone stores today you cannot find that phone or its accessories anywhere on the shelves. However, the phone and it’s accessories are still available if you just ask for it or look for it online.
Because of this planned obsolescence I will not bore you with the many technical specs of the Motorola Droid other than to say it comes with a 550 mHz processor, rear five mega pixel camera, 3.7 inch glass display/touchscreen, slide-out Qwerty keyboard and a pre-installed 16 GB pre-installed micro SD memory card. This smartphone can handle cards up to 32 GB.
To give you a little perspective of the computing power packed into this palm-sized device; my first PC tower was a 333 mHz computer.
Using the newly popular Android operating system, an open code OS that allows any and all developers to have at it where apps are concerned, the Motorola Droid can take on and actually use just about any app/function I could ever wish for on a phone. In addition it comes with a pre-installed, voice-run GPS navigation system that immediately makes any GPS device you already own or were considering buying completely unnecessary.
In order that the average new user or potential purchaser of the Motorola Droid can fully understand the true power and capability of this smartphone I will list just some of the applications and functions I currently use.
I can check the weather anywhere on the Weather channel, I am able to read major newspapers, online news services, ebooks and blogs. I can listen to stereo music. I can plan a trip of any sort. I can shop online, scan prices and sku’s in stores, compare prices and obtain coupons instantly. All my email accounts can be integrated into my Droid for instant notification and reading/responding. I can take/edit/send/receive photos or video. I have the ability to store countless contacts and all their information and make it a fingertip away. My smartphone can keep track of scheduling, important events and appointments, and remind me of birthdays. I can go to a golf course and immediately access all the course information I need including GPS distance and markers on each hole.
I’m going to stop there because I could fill up two more pages with the many things this Motorola Droid smartphone can do. There are times when it is just mind boggling how attached and integrated your life can become with a single electronic device. I’m not sure I would like to live like that; in fear that my whole life could be lost should something happen to my smartphone. Fortunately you can even back up your smartphone physically or online and lock and unlock it remotely.
There are a few key things you should know as a consumer as you go through the decision making process of buying a cell phone or smartphone. As a time saver, if you are one of those people who feels compelled to own the latest and greatest no matter what, you will find the rest of this review useless.
The first thing you should be concerned about when purchasing a smartphone, whether it is the Motorola Droid or not, is coverage! Without coverage most of what a smartphone is designed to do becomes utterly useless and frustrating. I learned this the hard way hanging with a cell phone service provider for years that did not have the coverage to allow my Blackberry to do what it should have been able to do.
The next thing you should understand is that all this capability is going to cost you. If you want a smartphone and you want it to be and act smart you are going to have to pay for the services and apps. The good part is that many apps are free and some of the best are less than five dollars.
Finally, you should understand that many smartphones that have been released over the last year or two are powerful devices that never really get stretched to limits of what they can actually do by most users. I found this to be true when I sold computers for a major retailer. Many people never take their machines anywhere near its limitations in computing power and they usually blame slowness on the machines instead of on the servers where most blame lies anyway just as in cell phone usage.
What all this means to the average consumer is that you can buy a smartphone such as the Motorola Droid at greatly reduced prices a year or more after their release and still get a device that is one powerful piece of equipment in your palm.
Sure it’s not the latest Apple smartphone but you didn’t have to lay out five to seven hundred dollars for it either. Look at it this way. I make part of my living repairing and designing systems for people and if the Motorola Droid is enough for me it may very well be more than enough for you especially if you would like to save a whole bunch of money in the process.