I’ve had my Motorola Droid 3 for three days now and I’m finally getting the chance to use it and set it up! Here are some of my first impressions of the phone.
Here’s why I picked the Droid 3
Pros so far:
It’s much faster than my Droid 1, and the touch-screen is nice and responsive
It has a crisp high-quality screen with good brightness
It has Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4)
The camera is impressive, and the front-facing camera is a great bonus
It’s really a great ‘model’ Android phone – has everything you need
Cons so far:
I really don’t like the hard plastic case Verizon is offering with it. Mine is a cool dark purple color and looks fine, but it’s slippery (I always feel like I’m about to drop the phone), and it has a sharp area at the bottom where I put my pinky to balance the phone. The ridge around the screen also makes it difficult to touch the hardware buttons without touching the screen also. The Droid 3 is definitely the largest I’d go with a phone since it’s a bit bulky for my small hands, so I think I’ll skip the hard case and go with an invisible shield, then get a soft case to keep it in. (Edit: I held a friend’s phone with the same case in blue, and his didn’t have the sharp edge! So, it could be particular to the purple color, or to my specific case.)
There’s no dedicated camera button (I’m used to easily being able to start the camera and take a photo with one hand on the Droid).
It does have a bit of bloatware. Some of the apps it comes with can be uninstalled, but many can’t. I don’t root my phones, so I don’t have a problem with the locked bootloader, but I do wish I could uninstall apps like GoToMeeting which I don’t use.
I’m not finding the menus to be intuitive. For instance, I wanted to share a photo I took via Twidroyd. On my Droid, I could simply open the menu when viewing the photo after taking it, choose Share, then Twidroyd, and use the app. In Gingerbread’s Camera/Gallery app, the menu button brings up a menu with Edit & Delete options, Add to Album, and the choice to use the photo as your wallpaper or profile pic. There’s also a “More” menu, but I didn’t see a “Share” button. I exited the menu and accidentally touched the screen. That’s when another menu with Share and Upload buttons appeared. I don’t like how there are 2 menus you get to 2 different ways when looking a photo, that’s not intuitive. I don’t think it should have been tricky for an advanced Android use to figure out how to share a picture!
It seems like the operating system is designed to take as much advantage of ‘The Cloud’ as possible. This is a pro, but the con is that I feel like every app is prompting me to synchronize my data somewhere and connect to every Social Media site. The phone comes with some kind of ‘Media Server’ called DLNA which I haven’t taken the time to figure out yet. I’m sure it’s useful, but the fact that if I weren’t careful, my data would be synced to a bunch of different servers from the moment I set up my phone is a bit disconcerting. I like using the Cloud, but I do want to know where my data is going and why. I’m not sure if it’s the apps Verizon put on the phone or Gingerbread or what, but it doesn’t feel like the data sharing is as transparent as I’d like it to be
It may seem like I’m listing more cons than pros, but I just wanted to explain some things I noticed that make the Droid 3 different from the Droid which concerned me. I think my gripes are more with the operating system than with the phone. Overall, I think this is a great phone and I’ll be very happy with it once I get it all set up.
I would definitely recommend the Droid 3 to anyone that wants the benefits of the Motorola Droid line as well as the latest hardware features. Just be ready to spend some time customizing the setup so you have control of what it’s doing with your information, and getting used to Gingerbread if you don’t have a device with it already!
Do you have a new phone? What are your impressions of it so far?