Review: Motorola Droid Pro
The display on the Motorola Droid Pro is a 3.1-inch LCD pushing 480 by 320 pixels. That's fewer pixels than the BlackBerry Torch, on a screen that is only a hair smaller. That HVGA resolution might sound disappointing on paper, but I never found the screen to lack detail. Text looked sharp and graphics were clear. I did notice some jagged edges on the application icons, but you'll have to look close to spot them.
The screen looked great indoors, bright and colorful, though it didn't offer the sort of deep blacks that I was hoping for. Outside, on a bright and sunny day, the screen faded considerably. It was much more difficult to use, but not impossible. At least the hardware keyboard means you won't be searching for shade to use touchscreen keys.
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I wish there were more ways to unlock the screen. The only way to light it up is to press the screen lock button up top. I'd like to have the space bar as an option, or the side key. Since you also have to swipe a lock on the screen, I don't see why the lock options have to be so limited.
Call quality on the Motorola Droid Pro was very bad. There are some serious problems with calls on this phone. The earpiece was very loud, and there was no static in the background, even at the highest volumes. Clearly Motorola is using some process to eliminate background noise, because voices seemed to cut in and out of conversations, with a heavy digital twang to them. There seemed to be no static or errant noises between words, but when callers started talking, they sounded like the villains in a Transformers movie. Because of that digitized sound, and a general muddy sound overall, calls sounded lousy. My callers reported a sound that was a bit muffled and deep, but without any background hiss or static problems. The ringer on the phone can be quite loud. There are some Droid-themed ringtones that are among the noisiest, most obnoxious tones I've ever heard, but they are completely unmissable, so you'll always know when your phone is ringing. The speakerphone was likewise very loud and clear, which is a definite plus on a business oriented phone. With the ringers turned off, the phone had a strong vibrate, but I wish it was a bit stronger since I'm going to stuff the phone in a crowded pants pocket.
Reception on the Droid Pro was mostly good. The phone held onto a strong network connection on Verizon's 3G network, even though service in my area can be spotty. Data speeds were below average for Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A. Usually I'd exceed 1,000 Kbps, but sometimes the phone would slow to a crawling 300 Kbps or less, which made Web pages load very slowly. Still, I never lost the connection entirely. My calls always went through, and incoming calls always found me with no trouble.
The phone did have some Wi-Fi trouble. I was able to connect to a public network at my local coffeeshop. But the phone refused to connect to my Apple Airport router at home, with or without the security enabled. The Droid Pro was able to generate its own Wi-Fi hotspot, but speeds could be very slow, so I would rely on it for emergencies and road trips, not as a replacement for better hotel wireless access.
The Motorola Droid Pro could easily make it through a full day of use without needing a charge, but the phone will never compete with BlackBerry devices in terms of power consumption. With Wi-Fi turned on and after a day with plenty of browsing and navigation, I was able to burn through the battery before dinner time, so you'll want to be judicious if you can't charge the phone at work. But if you don't use the Droid as your dedicated GPS device, it can last through a day with no trouble.
CTIA Fall 2010
Phone Scoop is on site in San Francisco to take in all the breaking news and hands-on experiences of the fall CTIA trade show. Be sure to check for full coverage and handset first impressions here.
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