Aug 12 AT 3:31 PM Nick Gray 30 Comments

First hands-on impressions of the new Motorola DROID 2

The DROID 2 has landed!  We’re pretty sure that there’s a few other blogs who have used this phrase today, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Motorola DROID 2 is now available at Verizon Wireless stores across the country.  Fortunately, our friends over at Verizon thought it would be nice to send us a demo unit to play around with for a few days.  Since the DROID 2 has been in our possession for a few hours, we can give you a quick idea of what to expect.

On the outside, the Motorola DROID 2 is pretty much identical to the original DROID.  The main differentiator between the original DROID and the new DROID 2 is the brushed aluminum bevel which now covers the entire front of the handset.  The back of the phone is now a dark midnight blue with silver highlights which replaces the black finish with gold highlights on the first DROID.

Sliding the screen up reveals the DROID 2’s four row QWERTY keyboard.  At first glance, the keyboard looks pretty familiar.  Motorola has kept the same concept as before, though they have stretched the keys which will give users a better typing experience.  The extra space was gained by removing the d-pad and incorporating directional keys into the keyboard layout.

The real changes are noticed when you actually turn the DROID 2 on.  The DROID 2 is the first phone from Motorola to launch with Android 2.2.  If you were hoping that Motorola would ship the new phone without their custom UI, you’re going to be greatly disappointed.  Just like the DROID X, the DROID 2 features a mutated version of MotoBLUR.  From what we can tell, the only UI difference between the D-X and D-2 is the unlock screen.

Once we have time to play around with the DROID 2 a little more, we’ll be sure to share our findings.  We’re pretty sure at least a handful of you picked up the DROID 2 today.  Let us know what you think of the handset so far.

DROID_2_2 DROID_2_3 DROID_2_4 DROID_2_5

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://Website NA

    Is it easy to remove the custom UI?

    • Nick Gray

      Swapping out the home app is as easy as installing a home replacement app from the Android Market. ADW or Launcher Pro should do the trick if you’re not keen on the Moto widgets. Keep in mind that the custom widgets are still available when using another home app.

      • http://Website NA

        Thanks Nick. Very helpful reply.

        • http://Website riggs

          Motoblur apps and process will still run in the background and take up precious ram space. Hopefully the droid pro will be vanilla.

  • http://Website thabigchorizo

    Droid is the ugliest phone ever with the crappiest keyboard ever, but its the best selling android device???? That’s marketing for you… Are you taking notes T-Mobile? Of course not…

    • Nicko01

      Droid is a powerful, highly moddable phone with a nice screen, and it was the first Android 2.0 phone. It can be run at 1300MHz and has great graphics abilities.
      The keyboard isn’t that bad compared to what people say. I personally think it works great.
      Yes, the advertising did a lot for it, but it wouldn’t have sold so well if people didn’t like it. It’s quality hardware with quality software. What else do you want?

      (Yes, new features and new phones have come out since its release, but its still a competitor and an awesome smartphone.)

      • http://selfhelpcenter.blogpspot.com romius t

        If advertising always worked then the 200 million dollar kin experiment would have kicked ass! I am a droid owner and know plenty of other droid owners who like the keyboad. (me not so much, but I find sype and better keyboards out there work quite well. The droid was a great phone when it came out. It’s still a kick ass phone.

      • http://Website jo

        sadly the D2 has a locked bootloader so it is not so “moddable” any more … in fact, this killed the D2 for me … shame on motorola for doing that!

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      Dunno, I think it’s damn nice looking. I haven’t used it, but this keyboard is supposed to be much better than the last.

  • http://Website chickandsoup

    Why the navy and silver? The black and gold was soooooo much better. The R2D2 one is pretty cool but the navy and silver is just hideous.

  • http://Website Bill

    Does the Droid 2 fit in the Droid 1 car dock?

    • http://Website thepwneddroid

      It depends on the thickness, if the Droid 2 is thinner than the Droid 1 (or the same) it should fit, the Droid 1 is meant to be able to fit in the Droid 2′s car dock, so maybe it will work vice-versa.

      • http://Website Nick

        Talked to the VZW guy today. he said that the d2 wont work with d1 accessories because its slightly thicker. now he could just be trying to sell new accessories so your results may vary

        • wh173Ru5514n

          all accessories for droid will work with droid 2, check the Verizon site and look at the dock, and nav holder, under the compatibility tab it shows the are compatible with both droid and droid 2

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    nice smartphone on verizons slow data, such a waste!! but i love my evo : )

    • http://Website Adam

      I would rather have 3G everywhere I go and be a bit slower than others internet than have spotty coverage at best.

      I can still go out hunting on our 200acre farm and still have 100% 3G coverage. Doubt you would even have a signal. Actually I know you would not as where I live the only service provider is Alltel or Verizon their are no others as they have zero signal.

  • http://Website Sinanovski

    omg! when will the EVO fanaticism stop already? its an old phone, old news. stop bragging when you have yesterdays tech.

    • http://Website R

      I have an evo and i have to agree with you, ah fanboys it never ends

      • Sinanovski

        Don’t get me wrong, respect to the phone, but come on. It’s getting anoying. EVO this EVO that…Just because it’s first 4G phone doesn’t make it above others. The G1 was the first Android phone, and you don’t see “G1 ownz all!” type of stuff. Lay it ower. Better phones came out.

  • SGB101

    The g1 got the keyboard spot on, if only this had the 5th row!!!

    • http://Website Brandon

      No, BlackBerry got the keyboard spot on, if only the rest of the phone wasn’t so mediocre!!!

      • Sinanovski

        It’s for business people. They don’t know how to use the phone in a fun way. So what does RIM do? They make it mediocre. :D Good enough to txt and call.

  • http://Website Jeff

    I’m guessing they loaded the efuse on this one as well? Unfortunately, that’s a deal-breaker for me

    • http://Website TheClassicalGod

      You do realize that eFuze was on the original Droid and Droid X. The Droid X was rooted in a week. I don’t see what the big deal over eFuze is. It’s just another attempt to lock users out of the hardware they purchased. Another failed attempt, that is. If it’s such a big loss, then wait till it’s rooted before you buy the phone. End of issue. If you don’t like the phone, fine. Everyone has different tastes, which leads to different products, all great in their own ways, but don’t knock the phone because of something that has already been proven to be trivial.

  • http://Website Barky

    It pains me to do so but I must return the two Droid 2 phones we ordered from the Android and Me store – Letstalk.com has them for $100 each with a $25 off coupon, and your store won’t refund the difference. Sorry guys.

  • http://Website Derek

    The keyboard on this looks as worthless as the keyboard on the original droid. The keys are all flat with no space between them. Made typing on it impossible unless you had little tiny baby fingers.

    • SillyNilly4

      I love this phone! i actually have the Droid 2 Global in White. I LOVE THE WHITE! its extremely sexy and i think it looks much better than the silver and blue. I love the keyboard. I like how it is flat, but you can definitely tell what keys you are typing. This is my first Android phone and it is much much much better than my previous phone. I must say… I am in love

  • http://Website Ed

    It is actually a question. Is the Droid2 Bluetooth voice recognition compliant?

  1. NAGuest 5 years ago

    Is it easy to remove the custom UI?

    • Swapping out the home app is as easy as installing a home replacement app from the Android Market. ADW or Launcher Pro should do the trick if you’re not keen on the Moto widgets. Keep in mind that the custom widgets are still available when using another home app.

  2. thabigchorizoGuest 5 years ago

    Droid is the ugliest phone ever with the crappiest keyboard ever, but its the best selling android device???? That’s marketing for you… Are you taking notes T-Mobile? Of course not…

    • Droid is a powerful, highly moddable phone with a nice screen, and it was the first Android 2.0 phone. It can be run at 1300MHz and has great graphics abilities.
      The keyboard isn’t that bad compared to what people say. I personally think it works great.
      Yes, the advertising did a lot for it, but it wouldn’t have sold so well if people didn’t like it. It’s quality hardware with quality software. What else do you want?

      (Yes, new features and new phones have come out since its release, but its still a competitor and an awesome smartphone.)

      • romius tGuest 5 years ago

        If advertising always worked then the 200 million dollar kin experiment would have kicked ass! I am a droid owner and know plenty of other droid owners who like the keyboad. (me not so much, but I find sype and better keyboards out there work quite well. The droid was a great phone when it came out. It’s still a kick ass phone.

      • joGuest 5 years ago

        sadly the D2 has a locked bootloader so it is not so “moddable” any more … in fact, this killed the D2 for me … shame on motorola for doing that!

    • Dunno, I think it’s damn nice looking. I haven’t used it, but this keyboard is supposed to be much better than the last.

  3. chickandsoupGuest 5 years ago

    Why the navy and silver? The black and gold was soooooo much better. The R2D2 one is pretty cool but the navy and silver is just hideous.

  4. BillGuest 5 years ago

    Does the Droid 2 fit in the Droid 1 car dock?

    • thepwneddroidGuest 5 years ago

      It depends on the thickness, if the Droid 2 is thinner than the Droid 1 (or the same) it should fit, the Droid 1 is meant to be able to fit in the Droid 2′s car dock, so maybe it will work vice-versa.

      • NickGuest 5 years ago

        Talked to the VZW guy today. he said that the d2 wont work with d1 accessories because its slightly thicker. now he could just be trying to sell new accessories so your results may vary

        • all accessories for droid will work with droid 2, check the Verizon site and look at the dock, and nav holder, under the compatibility tab it shows the are compatible with both droid and droid 2

  5. snowbdr89Guest 5 years ago

    nice smartphone on verizons slow data, such a waste!! but i love my evo : )

  6. SinanovskiGuest 5 years ago

    omg! when will the EVO fanaticism stop already? its an old phone, old news. stop bragging when you have yesterdays tech.

    • RGuest 5 years ago

      I have an evo and i have to agree with you, ah fanboys it never ends

      • Don’t get me wrong, respect to the phone, but come on. It’s getting anoying. EVO this EVO that…Just because it’s first 4G phone doesn’t make it above others. The G1 was the first Android phone, and you don’t see “G1 ownz all!” type of stuff. Lay it ower. Better phones came out.

  7. The g1 got the keyboard spot on, if only this had the 5th row!!!

  8. JeffGuest 5 years ago

    I’m guessing they loaded the efuse on this one as well? Unfortunately, that’s a deal-breaker for me

    • TheClassicalGodGuest 5 years ago

      You do realize that eFuze was on the original Droid and Droid X. The Droid X was rooted in a week. I don’t see what the big deal over eFuze is. It’s just another attempt to lock users out of the hardware they purchased. Another failed attempt, that is. If it’s such a big loss, then wait till it’s rooted before you buy the phone. End of issue. If you don’t like the phone, fine. Everyone has different tastes, which leads to different products, all great in their own ways, but don’t knock the phone because of something that has already been proven to be trivial.

  9. BarkyGuest 5 years ago

    It pains me to do so but I must return the two Droid 2 phones we ordered from the Android and Me store – Letstalk.com has them for $100 each with a $25 off coupon, and your store won’t refund the difference. Sorry guys.

  10. DerekGuest 5 years ago

    The keyboard on this looks as worthless as the keyboard on the original droid. The keys are all flat with no space between them. Made typing on it impossible unless you had little tiny baby fingers.

    • I love this phone! i actually have the Droid 2 Global in White. I LOVE THE WHITE! its extremely sexy and i think it looks much better than the silver and blue. I love the keyboard. I like how it is flat, but you can definitely tell what keys you are typing. This is my first Android phone and it is much much much better than my previous phone. I must say… I am in love

  11. EdGuest 5 years ago

    It is actually a question. Is the Droid2 Bluetooth voice recognition compliant?