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Review: Motorola Droid 2

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Camera

 

The camera app on the Motorola Droid 2 is a flop from start to finish. The entire experience is very slow. You open the camera by pressing the camera button, and this can take up to five seconds. Some times it fails to open altogether. Once in the camera app, the interface could also be very slow to respond. The app uses a simple onscreen menu, but often the menu would not appear when I tapped the camera screen.

There are a variety of scene modes, but most of these made little difference. There's a sport mode, a macro mode and a steady shot, among others. There's also a panorama stitch mode, but this is hidden under a separate menu accessible by the menu key, which makes this menu feel disconnected from the rest of the camera's onscreen controls.

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Under that separate menu you'll also find a self portrait mode that is supposed to recognize a face before it takes a picture. In my tests, it never once recognized my face. This seems like a silly mode. Taking a self portrait, your face will almost always be front and center, so it seems like a face detector is unnecessary here.

Once you've taken a shot, you can hit the camera button again to shoot another or tap the picture for more options. From this option screen, you can send your picture to a number of sites and services. Besides e-mailing and messaging your pic, or sending it to Facebook or Picasa, you can also send the file via Bluetooth or choose a “Print to Retail” option. “Print to Retail” sends your picture to a local CVS or CostCo of your choice, and you can pick up a printed version of your photo there.

Image Gallery

The Motorola Droid 2 has a very nice image gallery with a solid range of editing features. You can tweak a wide range of settings, from brightness to color levels, and add some color effects, like sepia tone or solarize filters. You can crop and resize an image, add text or fun frames, or stamp the image with tiny little pictures. There are surprisingly no auto modes for color or contrast balance.

The gallery app displays images as a grid in portrait mode, or as a timeline in landscape. In landscape mode, the gallery looks similar to Apple's Cover Flow, though it isn't animated quite as smoothly. The gallery groups photos by the date they were taken, but this feature seemed way off. Pics I took this morning show up in an album labeled “Last Week.”

 
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