This is a review of Verizon’s Droid Pro by Motorola. It is a world phone in that it has CDMA, EV-DO, and GSM for world roaming. It is designed to for those BlackBerry users who would like to try Android but haven’t found a suitable phone with an attractive form factor with good notifications, push email, and the security capabilities that a BlackBerry would provide.
Motorola has tried to be different with the design of this phone. The Droid Pro features an exposed QWERTY keyboard and a bar form factor that is similar to a BlackBerry Bold. The body is fairly heavy with a back that is glossy and easily prone to fingerprints and features a subtle wavy line print.
In further looking at the back, after we have removed the cover, we can see the 1380 mAh battery. We can also see the MicroSD card slot and the SIM card slot for the Verizon/Vodafone SIM card. It comes included with a 2GB MicroSD card but can also support up to 32GB. While the GSM band is locked to Vodafone, the company will unlock it for you once you’ve had a contract long enough. It is capable of connecting to AT&T’s 3G network, which would normally be locked out overseas. There is a tri-color LED above the screen on the top left hand corner that will notify you of events, such as emails or text messages, when the screen is off.
In comparing the Droid Pro to the BlackBerry Bold we see that the most striking similarities are in the keyboard but the Droid Pro’s keyboard is smaller than the Bold’s. This makes typing on the Droid Pro quite difficult for people with big hands, or even average hands. The Droid Pro’s keys are also a bit too slick and so your fingers will have a few difficulties resting on them. The Droid Pro has a similar width, but is a couple inches taller than the Bold. With a Texas Instruments 1GHz OMAP CPU and PowerVR graphics chip, the Droid Pro is one of the more powerful Android smartphones on the market. The 3.1 inch 320×480 HVGA display, however, is not as big as its sibling, the Droid 2.
Motorola and Verizon have given it their best shot to create an alternative to a BlackBerry phone by customizing the Android OS, which isn’t as secure as the BlackBerry. There is VPN access and Exchange synching which you won’t find on a normal Android smartphone. There are also other security features such as the ability to use Remote Wipe. There is an included app by Motorola that allows you to set up accounts you have such as Verizon Backup Assistant, Corporate Sync with Exchange and other email systems, Skype, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Yahoo mail.
The Droid Pro features the Android Froyo operating system, but there is no MOTOBLUR since this is a business oriented phone. For included software, we have Quickoffice, My Verizon Mobile, VZ Navigator, Google Talk and the other Google apps, Skype, and even a Need For Speed Shift demo. You can use the included onscreen dialer if you do not want to use the cramped number row on the physical keyboard to dial your numbers.
One thing you will notice with the display is that the fonts are a bit pixilated. This is due to Motorola’s habit of mismatching screen sizes with incorrect display resolutions on their entry level smartphones. The included web browser has support for full Flash 10.1 in addition to the included YouTube video player. So you can view full flash videos and animations on websites that use them. The speed of the full Flash videos is pretty fluid. Viewing the full HTML web pages will require a lot of pinch zooming to clearly see the text, and this is due to the screen’s small size. The accelerometer can be turned off if you are using the physical keyboard in portrait mode and don’t want to be switching back and forth into landscape mode. The reception for the 3G network is also very good indoors and so is the call quality for incoming and outgoing sound.