Talking tech since 2003

The Droid 2 is Motorola’s second release of the popular (original) Droid.  The newer Droid 2 sports several improvements both hardware and software wise.  As I previously wrote about in my 5 reasons to buy the Droid 2, I covered mostly software aspects.  In terms of noticeable hardware improvements, the Droid 2 sports a 1Ghz processor, which is fairly fast – much faster than the original Droid’s 550MHz processor.  The 3.7″ display is just slightly larger than the iPhone’s and while not as big as the HTC EVO’s or Droid X’s displays, it still looks pretty good, not to mention it fits nicely in your pocket.

Motorola did a nice job with the new keyboard on the Droid 2.  They dumped the trackpad completely and centered the keyboard; something most people will be happy about it.  The keyboard takes a little getting used to, but it’s not too bad.  Of course, you can always use the on screen multi-touch keyboard or take advantage of Swype which also available as an input method.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck with the multi-touch keyboard on the Droid 2.  I definitely experience more typo’s with the Droid 2 than I do on the iPhone.  Whether that’s a touch screen issue or an Android related issue I’m not 100% sure.  Either way, it’s a problem.

The Droid 2 comes with a 5 megapixel camera and a flash that shoots in 480p which is somewhat disappointing considering many high-end smartphones these days shoot 720p HD video.  Nonetheless, photos aren’t that bad, however, when compared to photos from an iPhone 4 you can tell there is a lot more noise in the Droid 2’s photos.  I also found that the iPhone 4 performs better in low-light situations.

Photos

Droid 2:

iPhone 4:

When it comes to the build quality of the Droid 2, I can honestly say that it feels like plastic.  But then again, that’s what it is made out of.  Perhaps, I’m just spoiled because the iPhone 4 is made with stainless steel and glass.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t feel any more or less “plasticy” than any of the other Android phones out there so I can’t hold this too much against the Droid 2.

The Droid 2’s battery life is that of the majority of smartphones out there – it lasts about a day on a single charge.  I have found with light usage you can probably stretch it to a day and a half or so, but on average expect about a day.

Overall, the hardware in the Droid 2 isn’t too bad, it performs well and is able to complete the tasks I told it to.  Of course, I would have liked to see a better camera that was able to shoot HD video, but I guess you can’t get it all.  If you’re in the market for a new phone right now, I would recommend the Droid 2 as a possible option.  However, if you are looking for an Android smartphone with a better camera definitely check out the HTC Incredible.

I should also note that while I do consider the Droid 2 to be a solid smartphone, I think it could be a lot better along with the other Android phones on the market.  The problem, however, is not the phone itself, but the operating system.  Android has potential, but it far from being a true competitor to iOS.  Now after using both platforms, I can honestly say that Android requires a lot of work.  It needs to be fine tuned and polished, because while a lot of the features are great, some things just leave me shaking my head.  I’ll have more about this in an upcoming article on Android.

Motorola Droid 2 @ testfreaks.com

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