Friday, December 17, 2010

Switched from Blackberry to Droid Pro

UPDATE - 2/19/2012 - Newly acquired a Droid 4, replacing my DroidPro. First Reaction - Much Better! Definitely way faster. Will post new blog post soon.

UPDATE - 3/23/2013 - I am ready to dump my keyboard, and go full touch screen, but awaiting Verizon contractual obligations until October. The main change in my usage is...type less! With wireless everywhere, I spend more time on my MacBook.
I've been using Droid Pro (Verizon) for one week now, having ditched my Blackberry after 9 loyal years as a thumb user. I was a Blackberry power user, and I have been waiting years for a device like the Droid Pro because I must have a physical, usable, tactile keyboard. It was difficult not to get an iPhone, watching other developers and CTOs enjoy them, but in the end I decided that the iPhone is just not a business email device.

My verdict is... Droid Pro beats Blackberry. I am still getting past some significant keyboard differences, see below. A number of journalists have written reviews comparing the two devices, but with so many smart-phone devices available now, it wasn't really that useful to a long-time Blackberry user like myself. Here is my review (in bullet form)...

  • Much better notification controls than Blackberry, can configure both sound and vibration for different apps
  • Getting to phone, gmail, yahoo mail, text messaging, calendar, and much easier than Blackberry
  • Keyboard is almost on par, with one major exception (see 'Cons')
  • Screen timeout, controls, off in pocket all work extremely well. Only bug is screen sometimes flips between portrait/landscape when first coming our of pocket and activating
  • Apps work fantastic, very much like iPhone (I know, IPhone nailed this years ago). My Blackberry 8300 SUCKED at this, and probably always will
  • In general, seems highly configurable as a phone and apps.
  • LOVE Verizon, always works for me in the NYC area and when traveling
  • MAJOR Keyboard issue - When hitting keys in top qwerty row, I frequently also hit touch screen command with my fat thumbs (menu/home/back/search), which jumps out of the app I am typing into. Took me a few days to figure out what was happening. Now that I am watchful, happening less, but needs resolution
  • MINOR keyboard issue - No capital letter on key hold-down, must hit shift (I often used this feature on Blackberry)
  • Battery runs out before end of day. I have 2 chargers, one at work and one at home
  • Reading email always seems to be an extra click away, but getting used to it
  • Contacts are a little slower (I have over a thousand), not quite as easy as Blackberry, but getting used to it
Things I haven't yet figured out
  • I like notifications (drag top down to see what's new since last use, email, apps, etc), but haven't quite figured out how best to use
  • How to easily take multiple notes/files? (on Blackberry, was Notes function)
  • Different apps for same function (i.e. text messaging), always prompts me for which one on action, annoying and caused me deinstall 2nd text message app I was testing
  • Allows me to send text messages to non-mobile phone numbers, why? It's just stupid.
  • No easy way to show unread emails in gmail or yahoo mail
The Droid Pro is definitely a learning experience, but after just one short week, I am hooked.