By now you’ve read the reviews. Lots of them. By people much, much, much smarter than me. So, I’m not going to try to break down the Droid in technical detail. There are better places to get that information.
What I would like to do is give you is an “Average Joe” and Jane” review from two PR pros (including my friend, Stephanie Smirnov) who don’t necessarily consider themselves tech geeks. Sure, we may read Tech Crunch and attempt to stay on top of the latest technology trends and gadgetry that impact our industry. But, by and large, we’re not your typical technologists. We’re strategists. Writers. Business owners. Thinkers.
So, I commiserated with Stephanie and we laid out the following review of the Droid, specifically for PR pros. In “Joe” and “Jane” type fashion.
Average Jane Review (Stephanie Smirnov)
Let me tell you a little story I call “A Tale of Two Devices.”
I was until very recently a two-phone gal. Blackberry for work, non-smart phone for everything else. This served me fine back when there was more of a divide between my professional and personal lives. Now, thanks to social networking, not so much. Personal has increasingly become professional and suddenly, I need a device that can handle all of it.
The iPhone geeks in my life hound me constantly, husband included. Why not make the switch? The iPhone can do everything. One problem: I hate touch screens. I tell my husband the day iPhone comes out with a physical keyboard, I’m there. Until then, shut the hell up and go back to playing your phone like a flute.
So why not the Blackberry, you ask? For one thing, my company owns it so I’m conflicted about how much social networking and web browsing I should use it for (even though I realize this is part of my job. Mostly.) I’m convinced the Blackberry senses my conflict because it’s been acting up lately, not unlike a toddler sensing parental ambivalence. It denies me access to web links. It freezes up. Retribution for being saddled with the brilliant but crash-y UberTwitter? Perhaps, though I’ve troubleshot web surfing with TinyTwitter and Twitterberry running with the same frustrating result. The Blackberry I’ve lovingly adorned in personal themes and swaddled in protective skins has turned against me. It’s still an invaluable conduit to my corporate Outlook but that’s about it. Using it for work calls is not an option. (AT+T. Nuff said.)
As for the personal phone, I won’t mention the brand because you will mock me, just as I was mocked at a recent tech conference when I foolishly flipped it open in public. The only thing that phone has going for it is Verizon, so I end up defaulting to it for work calls (in turn leading to tedious expense reimbursement hassles at the office.)
I don’t remember where I heard about the Droid for the first time, but I do remember clouds parting to reveal a brilliant heavenly light. The gods of mobile devices had answered my prayers. Amazing Verizon network, groovy touch screen, physical keyboard, awesome web interface AND I can sync it to my corporate Outlook? I didn’t need to hear one more word. Off to Best Buy I went to pre-order.
So really, there is only one way the Droid will change this PR pro’s life but it’s a biggie. I am finally a one-device gal, and what a device it is. The Droid helps me lead this wonderful hybrid existence where the personal has become professional and vice versa. Is that worth $199 (after rebate)? You better believe it.
Average Joe Review (Arik Hanson)
Much like Stephanie, I was a former Blackberry user. Or, what I like to call “third world technology” (sorry Curve owners, it’s true). When I lost my Curve a few weeks ago, I took it as a sign. I needed an upgrade. To make matters even more complex, I ran into my friend Rick Mahn the next day and he was walking around with this phone called the Droid. 5 minutes in, I was hooked. This was my phone.
A week later, I had the Droid in my hand. And, I can tell you without equivocation, it has changed my professional life. Here’s how:
* It’s a hell of a multi-tasker. Maybe better than my wife. Wait, don’t tell her I said that. Here’s the ultimate proof: I can stream Pandora, check my Gmail and browse Twitter with a few simple clicks. With no disruption to service. Try that on your Blackberry Curve.
* Voice quality is tremendous. I conduct a lot of business on my phone. After all, my cell is my only phone. I don’t have a landline. So I rely on it for client, vendor and personal calls. It’s critical. And so far, it has exceeded expectations when it comes to voice quality. And oh, by the way, the speaker sound blows my old Curve out of the water. More than I need in my home and car.
* Multi-media at its finest. Need to take photos at an event and share on Facebook and/or Twitter? No problem. Want to shoot video and upload directly to your YouTube channel? Yep, got that covered, too. And, with a 5 megapixel camera, you know the quality will be fine. Now, I just need to find a tripod for this thing.
* Google integration. If you use Gmail, Google Maps, Google Voice, and the plethora of G-products on the market, you will love the integration. Seamless. For me, as a small business owner, and someone who relies on Google for many pieces of my infrastructure, that has been absolutely key.
* Best of both worlds. Can’t work with the touch-screen keyboard (see Stephanie’s comment above)? Use the pull out. Is it the best keyboard? Not by a long shot. But, it’s definitely passable. And the important thing is you have options.
* Speed. “I have the need…the need for speed.” The most memorable Top Gun quote is one of the key selling points of this phone. Breeze through the Web. Jump from app to app in record time. Whatever you do on this phone, it’s fast. Again, coming from a Curve, it’s almost like I went from The Twilight Zone to Star Trek.
You get the idea. I’m a fan. Of course, at the rate technology is evolving, I’m sure this phone will be out of date and there will be a new toy in less than six months. For now though, I’m happy. Like I said, the phone has transformed my professional life.
You’ve heard our reviews. What about you? Any other PR Droid users out there? What are your thoughts? Advantages/disadvantages of the phone? How is it helping you work more effectively and efficiently?