The news came out today that the Droid is set for a release on November 6. I have to admit that I am twitterpated about this phone. While I won’t be lining up to get it right away, I’m happy that my device renewal discount date is on November 19, which should be enough time to see if the phone is as good as advertised.
Verizon released their first hands-on demo of the phone, which has resulted in drool being cleaned off my keyboard.
From what I can tell, the fact that they’re touting the Google Maps features tells me that Verizon isn’t crippling the phone’s GPS, which is a major annoyance I Have with my XV6800.
By now you may have seen the new commercials for the Motorola Droid, which looks to be the next competitor to the iPhone. What makes this viable is the fact that a phone with a nice form factor and runs Google Android is now on the Verizon Network. This first ad takes a shot at the iPhone – right in the mouth.
The iPhone looks great, but the experiences that my friends have with the AT&T Network has deferred me from getting an iPhone. I own the Verizon xv6800 (which is basically a rebranded HTC Titan), which I have been mostly happy with. However, Windows Mobile drives me crazy. The fact that Microsoft doesn’t seem to put any serious development into the Windows Mobile roadmap really leaves me wondering if I’m riding on a sinking ship. The fact the Microsoft has taken this long simply to release Windows Mobile 6.5 – let alone 7.0 – is pretty appalling.
At the end of the day: It’s the Apps, stupid. iPhone has all of these great apps that you read and hear about, that are capturing the attention of the Smartphone consumers market. Android looks to have a promising app ecosystem, especially with the fact that they have a free SDK and an open platform. Now, if they can continue to build up their compelling App inventory, we may have a viable competitor.
The key to this whole thing is Verizon. Verizon, which is notorious for crippling their devices, will need to let Android to have free reign over the hardware to make this successful. They have the strongest network by far, which has been the compelling reason for keeping me as a customer. If I can have a phone that has access to the GPS, allows tethering and lets me do all that my hardware is capable of – Verizon and Motorola will have hit one out of the park.
Now I’m simply left to wonder if this will be my next phone. I’m up for a renewal discount next month, maybe this will be it.
Note: I meant to write this post a day or two after our engagement, but time has gotten the better of me. Better late than never.
The other less exciting event on the 19th was the day that I got my new phone. I finally ended up settling on the HTC Mogul XV6800. It was actually a comment from my earlier post that pushed me over the fence to choose it over the Samsung SCH-i760, as it would be nice to have the ability to upgrade to EV-DO Rev A when Verizon gets it, plus the extra storage memory makes a big difference.
I am now almost 20 days into owning the phone, and it’s an exponential improvement over the Treo 700w. The fold-out keyboard takes a bit of adjustment, but I’ve grown to appreciate the larger screen. I love the scroll wheel on the side (which I know is common for many smart phones these days). The extra memory is wonderful, and I’ve never had to worry about running programs degrading phone performance (which I obsessed about over the Treo). It’s a breeze to switch between the Wi-Fi and EV-DO service, as well as the camera is a good quality for camera-phone.
There aren’t many things that trouble me over the phone, although I did struggle with the battery life initially. I solved that by simply turning Bluetooth off when I wasn’t using it (I previously left it on all the time on my Treo), it hasn’t been a show-stopper. Also, I was excited to see that the Mogul received an announcement that it was going to be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1 that was announced earlier this week… for Sprint customers. I hope that Verizon makes a similar announcement soon.
I’m nearing the end of the 30 day return period, but I’m going to stick with this phone. It’s not perfect, but I still think it’s the best one that Verizon offers.
And my Treo… still not destroyed. I hung onto it to make sure all the data I needed was off. It’s on my desk at work, but it’ll probably be meeting a hammer pretty soon.