I was recently forced to switch to Verizon after 4 years of service from T-Mobile due to lack of coverage in Grand Forks, ND. Let me tell you, I don’t think I could have been forced to do anything better. My first 48 hours with the Droid have been a complete eye opener from its predecessor the G1, with a few hiccups along the way.
Two things initially impressed me after receiving this phone. First, Verizon’s speed and ease of transferring my number, and second, that I didn’t have to copy any data off my old phone. The first point has nothing to do with the phone, but the second is where I think Android and all handsets that use it are going to start dominating the market. Since my last phone was the HTC G1, which also runs Android, all of my contacts and voicemail (thanks to Google Voice) were already stored with Google. This allowed me to turn on the phone and have all of my previous numbers already on the phone, but this is also where I ran into my first hiccup.
When you log into the Facebook application on the phone it asks you if you want to sync all your contact data, which is an amazing feature of the phone. This syncing allows you to not only see the profile pictures of your friends as their contact picture but it also allows you to view any information they have publicly available on Facebook, the two most important being e-mail and phone number.
This was my first problem. I am a chronic misspeller and nickname giver, so when Android/Facebook went through my contact list very few people’s information actually matched up. The only way I found to solve this was to go through all of my contacts and rename them to match their Facebook names (hint: middle names don’t count). It took me roughly an hour to copy and paste all of my contacts from Facebook to Google Contacts. After this everything synced perfectly.
One other small problem with the Facebook syncing is that when you do a full sync, the phone will import information of people not currently in your address book. If you try to add information to those contacts later, it won’t let you. You can only add info by creating a new contact which is automatically paired with the Facebook one. This seems a little backwards but I’m more then willing to put up with it for the rest of the functionality syncing offers.
Now that I have my only true complaints out of the way I will talk about the pros of the device. First, this device comes with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which is the single greatest hardware improvement over the G1. This allows applications such as Pandora and Stitcher to be used with standard audio devices and greatly improves the versatility of the device. Originally I was planning on purchasing an iPod Touch on top of this phone, but after downloading a few applications I now have streaming podcasts, both standard and web radio, and music on demand.
Like the G1 and all other Android phones, another huge selling point is the seamless integration of just about every service Google offers, making the phone into a truly unique productivity platform. Add to this the completely open Android Market offering 20,000+ applications (according to Google) and you can turn the Droid into anything you want.
These are my thoughts after my first 48 hours with the device. I will come back later with a more in depth look at this device, but everything so far makes me believe this is the best phone I have ever owned.