As many of you know, this year ended with a long, family road trip to Florida (#BnFamFL10). During our travels I had the pleasure and opportunity to pack along a new Motorola Droid 2 (did you know they have to license the “Droid” name from Lucasfilm (another fav!)) from Verizon and give it a try. After suggestions from The Queen of Free to give it a try, I was put in contact with the right people and got the phone just a couple of days before we left Indianapolis.
My main reason for wanting to give the phone a try was because my previous experiences with wi-fi access at Walt Disney World has been less than “Magical”. Since we were going to be gone for so long and I would be needing to do quite a bit of online updates and social media interaction, I really needed a phone I could hopefully use as a wi-fi hotspot and the Motorola Droid 2 and Verizon’s network didn’t disappoint.
Just about every evening when we got to our hotel for the night, I’d plug the Droid into the charger, fire up the wi-fi hotspot and immediately be online and checking email and updating my various social media profiles and posts. I’m still amazed at the number of hotels that don’t offer free wi-fi to guests in their room, and I’d say over the course of our vacation this little Droid saved me well over $100 in additional Internet charges.
Perhaps the most convenient and awesome use of the phone was on our drive from Tampa to Pensacola. We weren’t really sure if we’d want to keep driving for the full drive, so I didn’t confirm a hotel reservation prior to our departure. Our progress went well and we decided we’d call it a night in Pensacola. I popped the phone on dashboard of the car and proceeded to fire-up my laptop to secure a hotel room for the night on Priceline. It worked great!
The only real issue I had with using it as a wi-fi hotspot was that trying to do some major FTP transfer or uploading large files . That just seemed to take forever. For example, trying to upload a few videos from my Flip video camera to YouTube was a start-it-and-go-to-bed-and-it-will-be-done-in-the-morning process. But really, that wasn’t too unexpected.
Although the original need was to have a wireless hotspot (which the rest of my family could use as well since up to 5 devices can connect at once) available to me, I really fell in love with the phone itself over the course of our trip.
First I love the feel of the phone in my hand. It had weight! It didn’t feel like a toy. The smooth, polished, stainless steel? case was great. With a ZAGG invisibleSHIELD screen protector, I wouldn’t even worry about putting another case around it (I don’t think?!?). It’s running the latest version of the Android operating system, Froyo 2.2. Finally! The ability to install apps to your SD card!. And, since it has Adobe Flash enabled, it can do much more than many other phones can on the market.
The Motorola Droid2 from Verizon handled all my favorite apps (future post to come soon!) without blinking an eye: Pandora, Foursquare, Hootsuite, Gowalla and more. It takes fantastic photos and video.Â Battery life was pretty much the full day and that was with continuous usage of GPS and wi-fi and 3G network usage. Since the phone didn’t have my cell# I didn’t use it too much for phone calls, but when I did, the call quality was great. It also seems like the phone’s mic does a better job of handling surrounding noise, including wind!
Here’s the only downside to this whole ordeal. It’s time to turn the phone back in! Wouldn’t you know it, my personal phone (Samsung Moment on Sprint) is starting to really feel slow and act weird. Now debating on whether or not to drop Sprint and switch to Verizon. The phone alone would be worth it to me.