Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm Going Back to My Droid

Yes, sad to say it, but after only 48 hours with my new Nexus, I'll be going back to my Droid.

The main reason has nothing to do with the phone itself, which ends up pretty much balancing out in terms of pros and cons when compared to the Droid. No, the biggest problem is the network service itself.

Back when I first got my G1, I signed up with T-Mobile. At that point in Lafayette, they had not implemented 3G coverage in the area. I made due with Edge speeds, and not knowing anything else, was satisfied. Right when I switched to the Droid, T-Mobile upgraded the area to 3G, but I hadn't got a chance to see how well it worked in my area.

Now I have, and unfortunately, it sucks. Trying to simply access mobile websites while at home leads to time-outs. So far I tend to get 2-3 bars within the city limits of Lafayette, though yesterday while in a Barnes & Noble, 100 feet from a T-Mobile outlet, the network reverted to Edge. And coverage completely fell apart when leaving the city limits. It was spotty to non-existent for most of the 1-hour trip toward New Iberia.

Needless to say, very disappointing. Either the network has gotten worse since the upgrade, or more likely, I just didn't realize how bad it was until I got service with Verizon. The extra $15/month is worth it for vastly better coverage.

As for the phone itself, the good things about it are still good. The screen is great. I finally got a Google Voice account with the phone. Pinch zooming works, and it is awesome.

However, I have some minor gripes about the phone itself. One, the form factor is slender and cool, but the phone feels like it's going to slip out of your hand. The shell almost feels like teflon. This is one phone that likely would be much better with a cover. I ordered one on the cheap, and I think it will likely make holding and using the phone better. Second, related to the size, the thing heats up, which is reasonable considering the sheer amount of electronics crammed into such a small package. My Droid may also be heating up, but I never feel it, probably because the hardware keyboard shields it.

Also the default indicator light is the one in the trackball, which is much slower and also much brighter than the one on other Android phones, which by default use the same light for charge strength as for indicating that you have missed emails or calls. I thought perhaps this was a setting I could change, but so far haven't seen anything that will let me use my charge indicator instead of the trackball as the indicator light. Minor, but annoying.

Really, though, the phone-issues are minor, and the Nexus is cool and sleek enough for me to choose it as a primary phone, if the network were comparable. Since it isn't, I'm running back into the arms of my Droid.

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