Since there are no specific Droid armbands, I had to get creative to find a way to carry my bulky phone while I run. A bit of google-fu led to some posts over on Droid Forums about iPhone and iPod Touch cases holding the Droid reasonably well. I’ve been using a Belkin Dualfit for the last few weeks. How does it stack up as a Droid case? Read on to find out!
First of all, the Droid is a heavy phone. It’s fine when you’re carrying it in a pocket, but on your arm, you definitely notice the weight right away. According to Wikipedia, it is 6oz, and since I don’t have a precise scale handy I’m going to go with their numbers. The Dualfit does a decent job of distributing the weight along the armband though. And with the wide band and solid construction, the Droid doesn’t bounce uncomfortably as I run. Once I get past the first five or so minutes of running, my arm seems to adjust and it isn’t as bothersome.
The Droid fits remarkably well in the band, with almost no gaps. While the dock connector opening is useless and does gap a bit, it also works well as a handy “pop the Droid out” slot. There is no problem accessing the touchscreen through the heavy plastic case, and since the top is open the power button is also accessible. The only buttons you can’t easily push are the volume keys and the camera button. Since there’s also no opening for the camera lens, there’s no need for the shutter button. The volume keys can still be pushed through the material, though it takes some trial and error.
The Dualfit is made from some sort of neoprene substance, which helps it stay tight on your arm but gets sweaty and HOT as you go. I have noticed that it gets extra toasty where the Droid sits against my arm, most likely from the heat of the GPS working combined with the surface area covered by the phone. It got so bad during a long run today that I had to loosen the armband and get some airflow going!
I have ongoing issues with the inaccuracy of the Droid’s GPS, but while I’m using it to track runs I am definitely using it in the Belkin armband. After one or two runs the case really loosened up and it became easy to slide the Droid in and out. My only complaint is a fairly minor one; because it’s awkward to access the phone while it’s physically strapped to your arm, you need to set up any GPS tracking or music THEN adjust it on your arm for the run.
It probably goes without saying, but you cannot access the sliding keyboard in this case. If you use the Swype beta as I do, you may have issues Swyping through the thick plastic window. Personally, I try to limit my interaction with the soft keyboard in the case. As I said before, I had no issues with accessing the touchscreen, but the keyboard is a pain due to the bulky armband strap getting in the way. This isn’t a case I’d recommend keeping your Droid in for longer than a workout.
The Dualfit is only $19.99, and really fits well considering it is designed for a much thinner device. If you like using your Droid for podcasts and music as you work out, it is more convenient than trying to clip a case to gym shorts! Combine it with a pair of Bluetooth headphones and you’re all set! I do recommend setting the volume to silent, though, since the vibrating notification in the Droid is decently powerful. It’s almost startled me into tripping on runs where I forget to turn it down; there I am, cruising along, and then BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ! all along my arm…not fun!
The Belkin Dualfit is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers.
What I Like: Surprisingly fits the Droid well; comfortable to wear for long periods
What Needs Improvement: Might need to swap partway through runs to avoid overworking one arm; doesn’t give easy access to the volume keys; traps heat; top stays open, so watch out for heavy rain