Verizon’s upcoming Motorola Droid phone has gotten a lot of buzz, and the usual chorus of “this is going to be an iPhone killer” has started. The phone has a very compelling feature set, but people should keep a few things in mind:
- Verizon has been trying to release ‘iPhone killer’ phones since the iPhone was first announced. They’ve released a number of LG touchscreen phones, each with a different incomprehensible interface, and tied to Verizon’s on-deck store.
- One of the more compelling things about the iPhone is its build quality — the touchscreen feels really responsive, and the phone feels solid in your hand. So many of the phones that are trying to compete with it still feel plastic-y and cheap.
- It’s the user interface and ease of use that makes the iPhone a first-class device, and such a game-changer. Also, as frustrating as it is, Apple’s trajectory to today’s App Store has done a lot to ensure the consistancy of that user experience. A wide-open store of apps and the ability to customize away some very thoughtful UI decisions would have diluted the strength of the product.
- Every mobile device is a set of compromises. So, what’s the Droid compromising on? That big screen suggests battery life will be the biggest compromise.
I can’t wait to actually get my hands on a Droid phone and see what Motorola has done. They’ve made a large investment in Android, hiring dozens of programmers, so here’s hoping that their gamble is going to pay off in a flurry of good phones.