The pros and cons of the Verizon Droid


Jason Hiner: One of the most widely hyped technology products of 2009 is the Verizon Droid smartphone, the first device to use the new Google Android 2.0 platform, which offers much tighter integration with Microsoft Exchange.

I’m Jason Hiner, and this week on CIO Sanity Savers, we’ll look at the Verizon Droid, from a business and IT perspective. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of the device and where it fits in for business. Stick around.

I’ve been a pretty outspoken critic of the first generation Google Android platform. I felt like it was half-baked, clunky, and a pretty poor user experience overall. However, with the combination of the Android 2.0 OS and some good hardware from Motorola, the Verizon Droid feels much more polished. Of course, it’s not perfect and it’s trying to compete in a very crowded smartphone market.

So, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the Droid from a business perspective. First, let’s start with the positives:

  1. Solid hardware: With a slim form factor, a next generation mobile CPU, a thin slide-out keyboard, an 854×480 hi-res screen, and a 5 megapixel camera, this smartphone has some premium hardware.
  2. Web browsing: With a large screen, fast processor, and a solid mobile Web browser, the Droid offers one of the best mobile Internet experiences that you’ll find. The interface isn’t quite as a smooth as the iPhone but it does render a larger area of the Web page because of the higher resolution display.
  3. Email management: Android has always offered a great phone experience for Gmail, but Android 2.0 adds even more mail features and also extends that experience to corporate email with support for Exchange ActiveSync.
  4. Contact management: This is the place where the Droid really shines. With your permission, it can aggregate and  unify your contact information from Gmail, Exchange, and Facebook. The Quick Contact features also makes it easy to flip through your address book, find a contact, and then decide how you want to communicate with that person — phone, email, Gmail, Facebook, SMS, etc.

Now for the drawbacks:

  1. Applications: The iPhone’s biggest advantage over every other smartphone platform is the fact that it has over 100,000 applications that add a lot more usefulness to the device, including a lot of useful business functions. Android is a growing platform but it still has only a 10th of the apps that the iPhone has and the apps it does have tend to feel very 1.0 at this point.
  2. User interface: Although the Droid has a more friendly UI than other smartphone platforms such as Windows Mobile or Symbian, it’s still not as easy to navigate as the iPhone. The Droid UI is solid, but it’s still going to require a user manual to figure out.
  3. Overhyped: Verizon has blitzed the airwaves with ads touting the Droid’s merits and its advantages against the iPhone. That has raised expectations so high that it would difficult for almost any smartphone to match the hype.

For more on the Droid, check out my full product review. You can find the link to it in the show notes for this episode.

I’m Jason Hiner, and this has been a quick look at the Verizon Droid. For more, you can find my blog at, and you can find me on Twitter at Thanks for watching. See you next week.

[via Tech Republic]


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