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printed April 19, 2014
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Review: Motorola Droid Pro

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The Motorola Droid Pro uses Motorola's Motoblur interface, except that they aren't calling it Motoblur. But it has the same Motoblur design, the same Motoblur widgets and the same Motoblur social networking access that you'll find on a phone like the Motorola Droid 2, it just lacks the Motoblur label and the comprehensive Motoblur account. Instead of the standard Blur account, you can sign up for a simpler backup service from Verizon Wireless, the Backup Assistant, which backs up your contacts, in case you don't have another account that will synchronize for you, like a Google account or an Exchange account.

The Droid Pro also gets more extensive device management security tools for IT managers, which most Android phones don't offer. You can assign device administrators from the Security settings menu. The phone also gets a VPN Client app preloaded so you can tap into your company's secure network. In addition to the standard social networks available for sync on Motoblur phones, the Droid Pro can synchronize with your LinkedIn account, which is a particularly business-minded service.

Otherwise, the interface is identical to other Motoblur phones, and that's not a bad thing. I would have liked to see some business-oriented widgets, but you get the calendar and contact widgets, plus a world clock. The phone still feels more like a social networking device with some business features thrown in than a much more customizable, and more complicated, BlackBerry OS device. But that might be preferable if you're not someone who likes to dig deep into the menus and tweak every option.

Even though the Droid Pro's interface can be a bit more succinct than the BlackBerry OS, as you dig deeper into the messages and settings, you'll find the Droid Pro isn't very attractive. Too many menus, from the settings to the messaging menu to the email inbox itself, are made up of wiry looking white text on a black background. Does a business focus mean the phone can't offer any color?

From the main homescreen on the Droid Pro, you can start typing on the QWERTY keyboard and the phone will begin a system-wide search. Out of the box, the phone will only search the Internet or the catalog of apps on your device, but you can add many more searchable items to the list. Contacts are a must, and you can also add messaging searches so the phone will dig through your email, your text messages or even your social networking inbox. The phone can also search your music catalog, and any news items you have downloaded through the built-in RSS feed reader.

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