Verizon Droid: A 60-second review

A few weeks after the official launch of the Verizon Droid, we get our hands on the newest Android-powered smartphone.

Verizon Wireless/Newscom
A new Droid update improves many aspects of the smart phone's software, including the camera and speed.

Almost a month has passed since the official launch of the Droid, and by most accounts, the sleek, black smartphone has measured up to the hype. More than 250,000 people picked up a Droid in the first week of sales alone, and Verizon has predicted that its Motorola-manufactured iPhone killer will continue to draw converts.

In the meantime, reviews have been kind. Early tests of the Droid, which includes a suite of emailing and Internet tools, were largely positive, with critics paying specially attention to the phone's navigation capabilities, its full QWERTY keyboard, and its lush screen display, which bests the iPhone in terms of resolution.

Well, now it's our turn. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we received our own Droid unit, courtesy of the kind folks at Motorola. We plugged it in, charged it up, and packed it along to Thanksgiving dinner. A full review is forthcoming, but in the meantime, we'll give you our 60-second, flash-judgment take on the Droid.

Let's start with the obvious: Yes, the phone is weighty, but not necessarily in an unpleasant way. There's a nice heft to the Droid – the touch screen slides open and shut with a satisfying click, exposing the plastic keyboard. The Droid feels like a miniature computer, which in many ways, of course, it is. (There's far more juice on this thing than the computer we owned in 2000.)

Email set-up was a breeze, and the Gmail interface is accessible and intuitive. Ditto for the browser, which seems to run much more quickly than the Safari on our iPhone. As for the resolution, we can't say enough. There is a crispness to the graphical interface on the Droid that's missing on the iPhone; it's noticeable the instant you turn on the phone.

It's also worth noting that the Droid will get you the same sort of attention iPhone owners got when Apple first released its popular smartphone. The Droid marketing campaign has obviously worked: more than a few people walked up to us while we were using the Droid, and asked if they could try it out. It's a talking point and video camera and a computer and a phone. What's not to like?

Drop us a line here, or on Twitter, @CSMHorizonsBlog.

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