The Motorola Droid phone is another entrant in the fast growing smartphone market. It is aimed squarely at people who are looking to buy the Apple iPhone or something similar. The unusual name is a shorthand reference to the Android operating system that the phone uses. It has a large touchscreen that slides out to reveal a relatively large keyboard underneath, and it features just about everything one would expect to find on a modern smartphone. Since its release in 2009, it has been very successful and gained considerable praise from both reviewers and users.
Motorola’s mobile phones were once regarded as bland and functional, but the launch of their RAZR flip phone series changed all that. Suddenly, they were the most stylish and sought after phones on the market. The Motorola Droid phone looks set to match the success of the RAZR and will probably surpass it. Unlike most other smartphones, it has sharp edges and sloping surfaces instead of soft curves. Combined with a glossy black finish, this unique design makes it stand out from the crowd. There are only four small buttons visible on the front surface but several more are located around the edges.
The most noticeable feature of the Motorola Droid phone is its 3.7″ touch-sensitive screen. With a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels and a widescreen aspect ratio, it can show photos, movies, and games in great detail. The screen is sensitive to multiple finger touches, just like the Apple iPhone. This allows for a greater degree of control over the media shown on the screen. Underneath the screen is a large QWERTY keyboard for typing, and a five-way rocker next to it for cursor control. The keys are large enough to allow fast typing with few errors, and their lettering is clear and easy to read in low light.
Every Motorola Droid phone runs the Android operating system installed. Android was developed by Google, the company behind the famous search engine. It’s now controlled by the Open Handset Alliance, which includes Google and a large group of phone manufactures. Android is used on many different smartphones, unlike the Apple iPhone OS which is confined to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Applications can be purchased and installed straight from Google’s Android marketplace, but there are only about thirty thousand to choose from so far. This is significantly fewer than the one hundred thousand applications available for the iPhone.
Inside the attractive case of the Motorola Droid phone is a ARM Cortex processor running at 555Mhz, supported by 256MB of RAM memory. There is also a Power VR graphics chip for games and other applications that use 3D graphics, as well as a digital signal processor. Along with 512MB of Flash memory inside the phone for storing data, there is a slot that accepts micro SDHC memory cards up to 32GB in size. The 1400mAh lithium-ion polymer battery provides about 6.5 hours of operating time or 220 hours of standby time.
The Motorola Droid phone has a five megapixel camera, with dual LED flash and four-times digital zoom. As well as taking great pictures, it can record video with a resolution of 720 by 480 pixels. Another feature is a music player that can play any of the common audio file formats. There is also an accelerometer that allows games to be played by simply tilting the phone, just like the iPhone. The Android operating system features a Webkit browser, Google Talk instant messenger, and support for Facebook. Assisted GPS is also included, allowing the location of the phone to be shown on Google Maps.
Connectivity is what a mobile phone is all about and the Motorola Droid phone certainly doesn’t disappoint. The US version supports dual-band CDMA 800/1900. There is also a version that supports quad-band GSM and 3G, known as the Motorola Milestone. Both versions have Wi-Fi support for email and web browsing from a wireless hotshot, as well as Bluetooth support for headphones and other accessories. On the side of the phone is a 3.5mm jack for wired headphones, and also a micro USB port for connecting it to a computer.