Sunday, November 29, 2009

Motorola DROID: I'm in love.

I resisted getting an IPhone until it met four benchmarks. Well I serendipitously was in the Verizon store on Friday November 6th(the first day of release) because my phone hinge spring was sprung. I saw the signage for the new Droid and asked about it and found it met all four of my criteria to get an IPhone. I've learned that it not only met those but exceeded any and all expectations. It can truly be the IPhone Killer Motorola and Verizon wants. The four criteria were:
  1. Data plan less them $70/ month for ATT: It was $30/month for Data on top of phone plan
  2. Cost less then $400 or even $200: It was $100 for me with rebate with 2 yr contract
  3. 16 or 32 Gigs Mem for that price: It comes with 16 and owner can increase with Mem card.
  4. Being usable on Verizon ( I'm stuck with verizon plus network coverage the best): It was
  5. An added bonus was that all the programing was by Google (Big Brother but the best software producers)
  6. Another added bonus: All the accessories are significantly cheaper then for IPhone and they were all 25% off list (more on that below).
So I bought it.

I then had to decide on the accessories to get. So I got one of each and returned those I didn't like. Here is what I consider the minimum to get full use out of your phone (w what I paid):
  1. GPS car window mount ($30, $22.50 w discount): $130 for IPhone version
  2. Bedside Base ($30, $22.50 w discount)
  3. Extra battery, but only if you listen to 9-12 hours of podcasts or music daily like me ($40, $30 w discount).
  4. Hands free wired headset with headset button ($20 at best buy)
  5. Waist/belt pouch ($10 at walmart)
  6. Car Charger($12)
  7. Car radio Sync (I use a cassette type that plugs into my cassette player)($20).

I want to give you some examples of how smoothly and integrated this phone and the apps are. The app I use the most is Doggcatcher. It took about 8-10 hours to get set up but saves me 30 minutes a day. It downloads all my audio podcasts I subscribe to (186) and places them in a playlist. When I have listened to them they are removed. If I want to pause them or take a phone call I click the in line headset switch and the podcasts pauses and/or answers the call. When I click again it restarts the podcast were I left off or 15 seconds before , if a call. Last week I was in New Orleans and needed to travel. I set up the GPS navigator and began listening to my podcasts. When the GPS needed to give me directions it turned off the podcast, gave the directions and resumed the podcast. I didn't miss a second. I next found out that if I got a call all I needed to do was swipe the screen with my finger and I had a handsfree speaker system that both I could hear well and it picked up my voice at normal volume from 2.5 to 3 feet away. It turned off the podcast and then when it needed to give me directions it did (I could hear it but the caller didn't). Then when the call was over it started the podcast 15 seconds before it had stopped it. That was perfectly designed and met all me needs.

Well I then had a one week odyssey of 3-4 hours a day to get it close to how I like it. That was the biggest downside. Since then I have been in love. I have been in love with three other pieces of electronics: 1) My first HP-35 in 1971 ( I was the first engineering student to have one: cost $400); 2) My first palm pilot in 1995; and 3) my first IPod Classic in 2005, when I learned about podcasts (from my friend T Morris himself {he wrote the Idiots Guide to Podcasting}). All of these devices changed my life each in its own but very significant way and they became constant companions never leaving home without them. Well the Droid surpasses them all.

I bought it planning to have it replace four devices. I found that it replaced twelve items I use all the time or daily worth $ 2300 all together. The first four on this list were the original four and here is the entire list of those items I used to use almost everyday:
  1. My Phone (obvious): $100 that I paid, $400 list price.
  2. My Ipod 80 Gig with two year service: $290
  3. Digital Camera (Droid is 5 MegaPixals): $200
  4. Video Camera ( I was about to buy flip video): $150
  5. Voice recorder to dictate my medical notes: $200
  6. GPS with Google Maps and Traffic alerts: $200 plus $30 per month for service.
  7. Clock radio: $50
  8. My travel bedside radio: $25
  9. I-Home or equivelant ( I use this getting up & dressed in AM about 15-20mins/day):$50
  10. Pedometer: $30-70
  11. Laptop (now obsolete for travel, about 2 trips a month of 2-3 days each): $500
  12. Remote temperature sensor and base next to bed: $65
Those were the devices I used almost daily. I then found out there were many devices I have not had that I now did with the Droid. Some I have gotten to use regularly while some I know I will use infrequently, but they are neat to have:
  1. calculator
  2. compass
  3. metal detector
  4. Star Trek TriCorder
  5. Flash light
  6. Barcode scanner
  7. Leveling bubble.
  8. plus many more available through apps market.

Now that I mentioned apps I have to tell you about the top apps that I use. First I have only spent $15 on apps so far and have about 100 free apps. So apps do not have to be a big expense (but they can). Here are the apps I use the most, some daily and all weekly, and now feel I cannot live without:
  1. Doggcatcher ($5): My podcast catcher. It works the best of the 12 that I tried. It saves me 30 minutes everyday (15 in AM and 15 in PM)
  2. Google Chrome full screen web Browser
  3. Pandora internet music radio
  4. e-book reader
  5. Movies: Tells me what is showing and time in all the local theaters
  6. YouTube: Lets me watch YouTube videos anytime anywhere
  7. Facebook and Twitter aps
  8. with bar code reader
  9. weather bug
  10. CardioTrainer
  11. plus lots of cool games
So I want to hear if your experiences match mine. Please post this and pass it around.

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