Motorola Milestone (aka Droid) first impressions

I was given the chance to play around with Motorola’s latest Google powered Android phone, the Milestone (aka the Droid in the US).
Hello Moto!
I’ve only had it for a few days so it’s too early for a review but thought I’d post a couple of thoughts about my initial impressions and also see what you think I should be checking out on the Android Marketplace since I’m primarily an iPhone user.

Keep in mind my initial thoughts are based on using it for a few days….I’m going to be taking it with me to SXSW later this week and using it a lot more down in Texas.

Initial Pluses:

  • beautiful screen – bigger and sharper than my iPhone 3GS
  • fast performance – much faster Android experience than the LG Eve I’ve previously used
  • slick dock that is perfect for a bedside table – the phone recognizes the dock and switches to an alarm clock mode dashboard complete with dimmer screen (and night colours) and even a GPS aware weather widget
  • Telus IS faster – their 3G+ network (HSPA) is noticeably faster than my iPhone 3GS on Rogers – not sure if that is due to saturation on Rogers or what but faster is faster

Initial Minuses:

  • form factor – not as comfortable in the hand as an iPhone or the LG Eve due to squarer lines and odd placement of buttons and micro-usb ports. The bigger screen and button placement below the screen means lots of awkward finger twister to navigate the phone whereas the iPhone can easily be used with one hand
  • the camera – while it’s 5mp and has a flash with autofocus, I’ve yet to take a decent photo with it in low light situations where those features should make it shine above the iPhone’s camera
  • Mac support is lacking – Android phones are meant to be synced ‘in the cloud’ but I’d like to simply transfer movies and music to it easily via the usb cable – further investigation of options still needed
  • Android Marketplace – at least so far in Canada (on Telus), due to a Google Checkout issue, the only apps available to me are the free ones – I’d like to see some of the premium software for Android and how they compare to my iPhone

I’ll post a more thorough review once I’ve had some serious time with the device…assuming I don’t break it first – cases are incredibly lacking in Canada for this device.

So what Android apps are worth checking out? So far I’m using Seesmic for Twitter, the Facebook app, playing with Layar, Google Goggles and a few other camera apps I’ve found.

2 Comments

  1. Jon says:

    Amber was looking at an Android phone, but us being with Rogers the options weren’t that spectacular.

    You’re going to SXSW? Very jealous over here :)

  2. Jon Jennings says:

    Been waiting to see your first impressions.

    Haven’t had a chance to hold one yet but yes… despite the dimensions being almost the same as the iPhone, somehow it looks a little overly elongated – and I wondered about those bottom buttons for one-handed operation.

    iPhone certainly seems to get good performance out of its (technically relatively mediocre) camera. I’ve heard similar comments about it out-performing higher-spec cameras on Nokias.

    Motorola website says you can sync media to it using the dock and USB cable. Not sure if they mean you MUST use the dock or just that using the dock makes it easier. I’m hoping it just appears as a drive and they’re not expecting you to use proprietary software to do the syncing.

    That’s ridiculous about the Android Marketplace – hadn’t realized that before.

    Looking forward to more details.

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