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.
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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)...

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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.

4 comments:

Christopher Tyson said...

I found this post doing a Google search for switching from Blackberry to the Droid Pro. Like you, I require a tactile qwerty keyboard and have been a loyal blackberry user for over 4 years. I love many things about my Curve but desperately need a better web experience, a touch screen and some of the other modern bells and whistles it seems Blackberry is clueless about offering on any new phones. I waited on the Torch and when that proved to be a disaster, I started plotting my move.

Your post was in December. How has the Droid Pro been since then? I'd love to hear an update. Like you, many of the reviews I've seen do not seem to be from true Blackberry "business" oriented users. Your updated recommendation would be appreciated! Thanks

Jon Williams said...

It's now March, and still happy with my move from Blackberry to Android, I recommend it. I still have the keyboard issue on hitting top row key also occasionally hitting a touchscreen action, but I am slowly training myself not to do it (decided not to glue a thin strip between keyboard & touch screen). Not mentioned in my first post is typing in large contact list is often slow bringing up contact details (Blackberry was always lightening fast), some friends have told me this is their #1 reason not to switch, but it doesnt bother me.

Bad battery life is my biggest complaint. I upgraded to a larger battery, which makes phone thicker, but it hasnt made much difference. Luckily, plug-in power sources are abundant.

durga said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

Software Product Development

Anonymous said...

Now that you've moved from Droid Pro to Droid 4, after being a loyal Blackberry fan, what do you think of it? I am torn between Droid Pro and Droid 4, most specifically, the typing experience on a w-i-d-e-r keyboard. On the BB you never have to move your hands side to side to type. I'm curious how the speed compares, and the overall experience.