I bought my Motorola Droid in December of 2009. 2009 was a very busy year for me with smartphones; I started with an original iPhone, then became frustrated with the notification system and jumped ship to Windows Mobile. That lasted only a few months before I jumped ship AGAIN, to a Nokia E71x. I didn’t love Symbian, so I jumped yet again to Windows Mobile Smartphone, which lasted all of two minutes before I went back to the iPhone again. Finally, a combination of factors led me to switching to Verizon from AT&T, and I switched to my Droid…the last smartphone switch I’ve made in over a year.
So what led me to smartphone monogamy? Well, Android as a whole, but also the hardware and build of my Droid. I know it’s not the newest, flashiest Android device, and believe me there are a few coming out that have me drooling, but the truth is I’m still content to stick with my Droid for now. But since I went from juggling a new phone practically every week to using the same one for over a year, I thought I’d share why!
I think it’s clear I’m quite the Android fangirl. The Google integration alone keeps me happy, since GTalk is my primary instant messenger service, GMail is my email, and my calendar and contacts are in GMail as well. In addition, I love how much information Android lets you have on the homescreen. Weather, news, calendar, all exactly how I like it. No other smartphone platform has offered this much flexibility, and from what I’ve seen of the landscape today, nothing else will be coming close for a while!
In addition, from a consumer perspective the gap between Android and iOS apps is closing very, very rapidly. The quality of apps on Android in the last year has jumped, in execution, user interface and features, plus there are fewer and fewer apps only on iOS or delayed on Android. My personal must-have was the Kindle app, and while it took a long time to arrive it was worth the wait. Similarly, casual games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja have been popping up on Android; now all we need is Plants vs Zombies!
I had never used a phone with a slide-out keyboard before the Droid, and I don’t know how I lived without it. Aside from firing off super short messages, I barely use the virtual keyboard. While the Droid was raked over the coals for its keyboard, I find it to be perfect for my needs. And while the screen isn’t as nice as some of its newer, flashier cousins, it’s still the best smartphone screen I’ve ever had.
Plus, my Droid seems practically indestructible. It’s gone flying down a flight of stairs, off the seat of my car into the dash, and taken more desk-to-floor swan dives than I care to admit. It’s also ridden shotgun on every run, even in snow, rain, and 90+ degree heat. I’ve had it in an Otterbox Commuter case just in case, but even case-less it’s survived nicely.
My one complaint: I really need more internal storage. I’m aggressive about moving apps to the SD card, but there are still times when I get low memory warnings. Partly I’m an app pack rat, but a touch more storage would be nice.
I know my Droid isn’t the newest, or the fastest, but a year after I bought it I still use it daily, and that says a great deal about Android and Motorola. It’s easy for us to rush out reviews of devices the second they come out, but it’s harder to circle back a year later and find a device that STILL functions well and matches up against newer competitors. When the time comes, I will happily toss my Droid for something better, but for now, over a year later, it’s still number one for me!