Droid 2 Marginally Improves on Original Droid

The Droid is the fourth Android-based smartphone from I’ve had the chance to test out during the past 10 months and I must say, there’s a certain sameness to all of Verizon’s Droids. So it’s the details that distinguish them from one another. It’s sort of like if Apple has four different size iPhones.

Motorola’s Droid 2 is the next rev of of the original and first Droid that entered the world Nov. 6. It has a faster processor, a TI OMAP 1 Ghz processor versus a 550 MHz Arm Cortex A8 processor 550 in the original Droid. Frankly, I never found speed an issue in either Droid.

Verizon’s Aug. 10 press release introducing Droid 2 has but a mere paragraph and a half where it details the differences between Droid  and Droid 2. Here’s the verbatim:

“With the new DROID 2, we’ve taken a big leap forward from the original DROID,” said Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer of Motorola Mobile Devices and Home Business. “We listened to consumers and are providing an even more robust experience built on Android 2.2 that includes a new keyboard, increased processing power, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 (that’s cool for viewing web sites the way they were meant to be seen – TDR)  and 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities to send, access and share information even quicker than before.”

DROID 2’s super-slim design helps customers e-mail, text and tweet with ease. DROID 2 offers a redesigned symmetrical keyboard with raised keys for more responsive typing to push out notes and status updates.”

Otherwise, Verizon stresses features found in all the Droids  such as speech-to-text capability, WiFi mobile hotspot and availability of 70,000 Android apps. Verizon had to retire the long in-the-tooth original Droid and replace it with something that wouldn’t be eclipsed by the Droid X and Droid Incredible. All three phones are $200.

Given that many buyer’s choose on looks alone, the dizzying number features often doesn’t matter. First time Android smartphone customers discover them as they use the phone (many are beginning to use their smartphones for both work and their personal lives which introduces some headaches for corporate IT departments).

Droid 2

To compare specs, you have to go through myriad details just as an auditor would examine your tax return. Click here for Droid 2’s and here for the Droid. The camera and video cams look pretty much the same spec for spec. Verizon has hyped the improved with slightly raised keys. And it’s slightly better than the Droid’s flat keys, but is a tiny keyboard nonetheless, which is always tough on fat fingers.

The Droid 2 isn’t as slick as the Droid X and the svelte 4.59 ounce Droid Incredible, which remains my favorite Android smartphone. At 5.96 ounces, Droid 2 did shed at least 169 grams the original Droid (for some reason, Motorola lists Droid’s weight at 6 ounces, 169 grams.) But it has a curvier trim at the bottom of the display to reduce the original Droid’s brickish feel.

My recommendation remains the HTC Droid Incredible if you don’t need a keyboard. The Incredible fits neatly in your pocket…then again I have not played with one in several months.

Fact is I’d probably be happy with any Droid. All four are web centric and are great for watching a Youtube video or shooting a crisp photo when you forgot your camera. Oh yes, they’re also decent phones.

Past Droid reviews:

Droid Incredible

Droid X

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