Thank You Verizon But “No Cigar”

verizon_crying_droidJust to put disclaimer first: I wanted Droid! I dreamed about it! I was totally in love with Verizon’s ad. It was exciting, it was all good.  But as often happens with online affairs the love fest was cut short when reality showed up her ugly face.

This past Sunday I went for my weekend shopping at the local Costco and out of curiosity asked guy at the mob-phone stand if they had Droid. They did. So I’m standing there, holding this piece of black plastic, totally dumbstruck. Yes it’s thin, yes it has sliding keyboard and frankly it’s totally awesome that something this thin even has a keyboard. And I’m not even going to talk about Android 2.0 and how good it is. It’s a given.

But the phone looks and feels cheap. It will never ever be a fashion statement and its looks will only appeal to hopeless nerds who actually don’t care what the phone’s design is as long as it has Android inside.

Bummer, real bummer. I practically can hear iPhone snobs laughing. And I’m not alone. After coming home I searched Google for “droid cheap plastic” and there were plenty reviews just reinforcing my point.

As a matter of fact, I now have some guilty, renewed love for MyTouch. It is no fashion statement either, but in my opinion, it is a better designed and better looking phone.

Please, please – can someone make a piece of  hardware that is worthy of our beloved Android? I’ll pay extra $50 just for looks. After all, I do want to have the coolest phone in the universe, period.

  • Mike

    really? I think it feels pretty solid

  • Pete_H

    Check out HTC Hero…

  • Mike

    in fact, this review is garbage. Anyone who has actualy held the droid would know that it is and feels solid in your hand. I also searched "droid cheap plastic" and this is what i found:

    "The first thing you notice about the Droid is that it feels solid in your hand. Unlike the myTouch 3G, the Android phone that came out this summer on T-Mobile, the Droid doesn't feel like it's made of cheap plastic. On the other hand, it weighs about an ounce more than my iPhone, and that difference was noticeable as I held it in my hands surfing the Web or typing e-mail." I did not find any other reviews stating it feels cheap, let alone several reviews as you claim.

  • bureau13

    Full disclaimer: I haven't played with a Droid yet. I have a G-1, and I played around with a friend's Cliq for a few days. IMO, the Cliq was a far more solid physical design, and looked less "cheap" than my G-1. There were other things I didn't care for…3-row keypad, space key placement, etc…and I'm not really sold on Motoblur…but in terms of look and feel of the physical hardware…head and shoulders above the G-1. So I would be surprised if the Droid, by all accounts a higher-end phone than the Cliq, was more cheaply designed. I would be interested in the author's comparison of those two phones…then I could decide for myself if he were full of it ;D

  • @BMcCluskeyNYC

    The Xperia X12 is more than worthy… here's to hoping that puppy gets carried by T-mobile…

  • PerzDiverz

    I don't agree with this post at all. The phone feels great in the hand and I think it looks great also. I freakin dropped it on a concrete slab from high up. I was mortified thinking i messed up my new toy but it barely had a scratch on it. The screen didn't even have one mark on it. The keyboard needs getting used but I got the hand of it quickly. I love this phone!

  • Alvin B.

    I gotta AGREE with AndroidGuys here – I stopped off at a Verizon store, and tried a Droid. The screen was AWESOME but other than that the phone felt VERY CHEAP. People who say otherwise, I wonder what kind of phones they used before? RAZR?

  • WTF?

    Are you serious? The phone is mostly made out of METAL. It's also VERY SOLID. Did you even play with the phone? Wow, how to lose creditability on a android specific site.

    • You referring to weight, I refer to looks. It looks like rectangle black box made of cheap shiny plastic. No amount of personal love to the gadget itself will negate the fact

      • WTF?

        OH I FORGOT. CHEAP SHINY PLASTIC WEIGHS SO MUCH. NO ITS NOT METAL, OF COURSE NOT. *sarcasm* All your replies are full of FAIL. Good way to represent that your knowledgeable on Android phones on a Android dedicated website. LOL

        • I agree, This is my first time here looking for information on android and on my new droid phone from Motorola. If your going to pitch Android the OS you gotta hype up the phones that it comes on. Not supporting the phones is like not supporting the OS.

          I know I'm only one person and other than this post that bugged me the content here is great, but if I have now un-followed you on twitter and have deleted my bookmark. [polldaddy 2265450 polldaddy]

          • I don't agree that we need to blindly praise everything that comes out…I want to know the real story, positive or negative. It needs to be based on facts, though, not ignorance. This guy Bo seems to be a few bricks short. On another of his posts, one of the other writers here posted a comment correcting the main point of the post. Maybe someone should be reading them *before* they get posted.

  • Mike

    there is absolutly no way you guys are playing with the same phone, (a droid) like the guy above me says: the phone is made of mostly metal and is deffinatly solid.

  • Baycruisers

    I don’t think the Droid is cheap looking or feeling at all. My first impression when I picked one up is that it’s a brick compared to my work Blackberry Curve. It’s metal and glass.

    I agree that the iPhone, Hero, Eris, etc. are sexier looking. I didn’t buy my Droid to stare at it, but to use it and while I agree that it’s not the most attractive looking phone I’ve owned, it’s certainly the most functional.

  • Rob

    Hello Mr. Bo Stone…. it's Rob from Phandroid. This post is a steaming pile of cry baby crap and should be deleted from the interwebz. It serves no purpose other than you whining. I can see how this would find its place as an "aside" in an article about the Droid but a full article on how you don't think the Droid is pretty enough for you?

    Hey Scott, is there an option to subscribe to all the Android Guys authors besides this guy? LOL…

    • Hello Rob,

      Why don't you simply post your personal opinion about the phone? This particular column is Op-Eds and last I checked I'm entitled to my point of view. I personally don't see how critique can hurt anything if it's valid. To your information – I program for Android and am very found of the platform. But again that doesn't mean I need to just love everything bluntly.
      Coming form programming background I learn long time ago that software and hardware benefits not from praises alone but from code reviews, design improvements and fixing the bugs.
      At the same time – feel free to invent your personal anti-Bo filter or simply skip the post altogether

      • David

        But…your "critique" is not even accurate. If you'd really examined the phone, you'd have found that it's mostly made of metal, not plastic. Not that that's even that important, but it is the point that your entire post is based on. If you want to post an opinion, that's great, but at least make it factually accurate.

        And now, I'm going to stop feeding the troll.

        But Scott…really? Is this where this site is headed? We've already had "reviews" posted by shills for the application developers, and now any idiot with a keyboard can post an "op-ed" that's not even a little accurate? Maybe if he wanted to talk about the Droid constantly rebooting itself for no reason, at least it would be based in fact. With all the news sources available on the web, journalistic integrity is a good thing.

      • Chris Manning

        The post was removed from the page but left intact. Im not even sure what this review was for. Is there already a Kirf droid out. This phone is entirely metal aside from the battery cover, so im not sure what you were even reviewing.
        After reading this article i actually went back to review your articles and relized some scary trends regarding your writing. im no author but my lord your reviews are pretty horrific.

        • Chris Manning

          edit the post above. It was not removed as i first thought i was just not seeing it. I emailed scott and unfortunately i understand that the opionions of the few do not neccessarily satisfy the many. I dont blame the other android guys but will remove them from my rss so i do not happen upon one of Bo's so called "articles".

  • ckhoutx

    I have had the G1 since the inception. I have tried every single Android phone in the US since i received my G1. But none convinced me to upgrade till the Droid. Grant it i thing the G1 was ugly but i like the functionality of it. I swapped carriers for the DROID because it feels some much more sturdy that the G1. Feels like a nice metal case phone and not "cheap plastic". I think Mr. Stone the author of this review must be a real stoner because he was definitely on drugs when he wrote this review. I love this phone and think it's great. All my IPhone toting friends, well at least the ones that are actually sense-able and don't own the IPhone as a status symbol to raise there standing in there circle of friends, love the DROID they think its a great phone.

  • What's the point of this post? To say you are a snob and base a phone on looks? Get an iphone and shutup.

  • Ryo

    Are you serious with this article, or just troll around to get some attention?
    Sorry, maybe your expectations were set way too high. Maybe YOU pay $50+ for your taste of design. But they want to sell numbers. Worthless design-gadgets you can find at Apple…

  • Ian

    I got the droid, sold my iphone for it. Its much definitely better looking that the iphone. Next to each other the iphone looks like a toy, jellybean phone. The droid is solid, heavy and metal. Its cold in your hand and feels like a rock. The cheap side is on the back; there are 6 different soft coated metal panels mashed together to form the whole back. If there were just less pieces it would not seem cheap at all.

    • Jay

      a jelly bean phone haa ..awesome

  • Kurt

    The cheap piece of plastic you are holding is your iTouch.

    • Oh – if you are referring to MyTouch I actually agree but then didn't I just said it in the article?

      • David

        "I actually agree but then didn't I just said it in the article?"

        And all your base are belong to us.

  • Mike

    @Ian, Imo even the back of the phone doesnt feel cheap. in fact the only plastic on the ENTIRE phone is just the little plastic piece under the camera, where it says "with google" and even this imo does not make the phone look or feel cheap.
    @Mr. Stone: all flaming aside, I would love to know what was going through your head when you were examining this phone and how you couldnt notice that the phone is almost entirely metal and glass. where is the cheap plastic you speak of? Are you sure you didnt have the droid eris in your hands? (not that the eris feels cheap but it is plastic unlike the droid) This review seriously makes me question your knowledg and your honesty because i really cannot fine any other reviews agreeing with your opinion when i search "droid cheap plastic" which leads me to belive you are embelishing this for your own oersonal motives because you just "dont like the phone" and want everyone else to agree with your opinion. btw: i belive i got my point accross and it looks like the majority of people also know your full of crap so this will probably be my last post here.

    • Man do I feel loved at this point indeed!
      Please take it for the face value. I stopped at Verison's kiosk at Costco. I took the phone, I hold it, I opened it. Rest assure I look at it from all sides. Yes it's heavy (to the point of "being solid") But whatever it is – metal, plastic, or something else it feels for lack of the better term – cheap.
      I may be the only guy in the universe who thinks that aesthetics are important but for me they are.
      As another disclaimer – I'm not saying that this phone is crap. All I'm saying that after Verizon's ad my expectations were high. I was waiting for WOW factor and I didn't get it.
      And hey – (again for the record) I never owned even iPod, even less – iPhone so I'm totally unbiased as far as love for the "other" platform.

  • scratchiti

    I've only used the G1, MyTouch, Droid, and Droid Eris a few times each, but I think that makes a comparison from me fair: G1 and MyTouch are not even in the same class as the Droid or even Droid Eris. As a piece of hardware and software, they just feel smoother, stronger, faster. Obviously just an opinion, but still.

  • Wow. I think it feels really solid… much more solid than my old iPhone 3Gs. Also, I rather like the hard, industrial design as opposed to the fluffy, bubbly iPhone.
    Luvin my Droid… Sean.

    • Mee

      I think your taste in aesthetics is questionable. Ya, I love a phone that when put down rests on the camera lens or teeters because the back of the case is shaped like a topographical map [sarcasm].

  • SDsc_rch

    I agree completely w/ the author.. the droid will NOT be purchased as a “status symbol”

    The kybd is *membrane* people! It *is* solid – something I like and want in a phone. Screen is amazing too.

    And this author is correct – geeks and men who don’t care about looks. Very few “chicks” are going to (voluntarily) buy this phone. And beware moto/vzw, women comprise 50pct pc the population……..

  • Droid503

    Thanks for the great review of your exhaustive experience with a plastic dummy version of the Droid, at a Costco no less. Bo Stone, try a google search for Droid Review and you will not find one credible reviewer that says its cheap feeling and plastic. This is mainly because they reviewed a real working model, not a dummy plastic display model with screen decals.

    Looks are subjective and if you don't like the way a phone looks I can't blame you for that. Stick with your MyTouch (and you think iPhone snobs aren't laughing at that world beating design). And stick to posting your argumentum ad populum of a google search that doesn't actually turn up anything on the first results page other than conjecture from a guy posting on a tuner car forum, real credible. I'll stick to getting my Android opinion pieces from more credible sources.

    It also might behoove you to try actually viewing the individual page results, you might have actually read this one, which is second to last on page 1 of the results:

    And I quote: "The first thing you notice about the Droid is that it feels solid in your hand. Unlike the myTouch 3G, the Android phone that came out this summer on T-Mobile, the Droid doesn't feel like it's made of cheap plastic. On the other hand, it weighs about an ounce more than my iPhone, and that difference was noticeable as I held it in my hands surfing the Web or typing e-mail."

    Again, stick to your MyTouch I'm sure its a great phone. Oh and, the iPhone snobs, they are actually laughing at you.

    In a perfect world, page visits would be directly correlated to credibility and quality. But alas, good work Bo, your page hits probably justify this drivel.

    • I hate to disappoint you but I "played" with actual phone, I do understand difference between dummy floor model and the real phone.

      • Droid503

        Really Bo?


        Please explain your reply to Jereader's comment from your November 7th op-ed piece "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" –

        "I agree. I finally checked out Droid at local Costco last Sunday. Given that it wasn't a "real" phone but a demo it is actually (in my opinion) cheaper-looking phone than my MyTouch. And it ain't iPhone-killer no matter how cute is Verizon's ad" – droidin

        I may be way off, but this makes it sound like you "played" with a dummy phone. I guess I'll let the words speak for themselves.

        • Easy – I was interested in seeing the "real" phone before I published this post I did some extra asking. As it stands – Droid is not such rear bird anymore.
          But I'm really impressed by your investigative talents – you may want to seek a job in low enforcement. You know – they get carry the gun and handcuffs

  • I could not agree less. Coming from an iPhone (ATT coverage is horrible where I live), I think the Droid is a solid device. Build quality was a major factor in my decision to purchase it. The last thing I think of is "Black Plastic" when I hold the Droid. In fact…I just Googled "droid cheap plastic" and guess how many reviews I found? None…just your post.

  • LarryMcJ

    You just didn't hold it long enough. Those were my first impressions, too…but on day two I'd forgotten about 10 years of really great BlackBerries, square corners, etc. The Droid is one fantasic phone.

  • Manchine

    99% of anyone that picks the Droid up would say it's build quality is stellar. This article is pretty laughable.

  • Manchine

    Obviously the article was written to garnish more readers. Must be need an uptick in readers.

    • Obvious to whom? I actually don't really care – I personally don't benefit from number of users in any way

  • EM_

    I think this site just lost all credibility.

  • JDD

    Wow….I look (looked) to this site for advice. I could not disagree more! Read these posts. I am removing androidguys from my igoogle page!

  • Nate

    This post is a little disappointing. I'd expect a post like this as a forum post, but it's a bit of a stretch as a blog post. Talk about flamebait.

    • Greg

      I agree. Pretty douchey of AndroidGuys. This is normally a pretty decent blog.

  • JarrettV

    It is obvious the author picked up the dummy plastic phone, not the real thing

  • jhgf

    Shitty post!

    DROID DOESn't look cheap. ;D

  • I wouldn't say it feels cheap, but it is certainly less solid feeling than I imagined it would be.

  • I was at Wal-Mart, and decided to check out the Droid there. I picked it up and frowned. I slid the keyboard out and frowned. It was VERY cheap and plastic-y. I was sad, because the reviews for the phone were great.

    One week later, I went to my local Verizon Wireless store, and headed straight for the Droid display. I picked the phone and had to double check this was the same one I played with at Wal-Mart. The phone felt amazing it my hands. It was solid, heavy, and I LOVED the way the sliding mechanism worked. I can't wait to get my Droid.

    You were obviously playing with a dummy model!

  • Alvin B.

    I dunno, I wonder if maybe some stores got pre-release versions that weren't as good? I certainly thought that the one I tried at the Verizon store felt cheap. If I hadn't been told it was metal, I certainly thought it was plastic. And it was certainly no dummy phone as I was able to fully navigate the device and browse the web on it! I'm in the minority in my agreement with the author that the phone felt like it was a playtoy, but I certainly stand by my experience and opinion. So I wonder if maybe there was a hardware revision and some stores got the early one or something?

  • DannyDarko

    I have the droid in my hand and its going back tomorrow its okay a little buggy (on my 2nd droid in 72hrs)I just dont love it I know alot of people will not agree with this next sentiment but I want my hero back actually the eris back once its upgraded to a full none buggy 2.0 which a sense reworking is going on as we speak the eris/hero/mt3/etc is gonna be a snappy little droidbot

  • Ricky Turner

    This article is a joke. And the fact that the author feels the need to blast back at the commenters removes any shred of legitimacy to this article, and tarnishes the site as a whole.

    –And you can't dismiss all the comments as a difference of opinion. Your article says "So I’m standing there, holding this piece of black plastic, totally dumbstruck. " That's a statement of fact, and a completely inaccurate one, unless–as you've been called out on–you were holding the demo dummy unit.

    And then you go on to sing the praises of the MyTouch? Now THAT'S a cheap, light plastic phone if I've ever felt one. –And it's a fact that it, like the iPhone, are plastic. I honestly couldn't care less what you THINK about the phone. I don't have an opinion on it myself, never having held one or even seen one in person. But I do take issue with someone spewing inaccurate information and childishly defending it on a site that I have subsribed to for generally pretty good Android coverage. If this is what we can expect from Androidguys, I'm out.

  • chaserhill

    I think it's pretty obvious that he was holding a dummy unit. Anyone including fanboys would most likely agree that the Droid is a pretty solid handset. I can appreciate that the design of the Droid is not for everyone but neither is the iPhone. But that's whats great about the Android platform. 2.0 is the first OS that can compete with the iPhone, and will soon be available on a wide variety of handsets. No it's not perfect and sure it has some bugs. But what doesn't. Only closed minded individuals and brainwashed fanboys can't admit that Android is a pretty cool OS. Just like the iPhone it's only going to get better.

  • lfx

    Or may be there are two different models. I'm seriously. In Middle and Easter Europe if you buy phone in brandy shop like Nokia or Samsung you will get better phone with better plastic and if you buy from mobile operator you will get crappy cheap plastic phone, usually in same price… It sucks.

  • Cynthesis

    @SDsc_rch wrote:
    "Very few "chicks" are going to (voluntarily) buy this phone. And beware moto/vzw, women comprise 50pct pc the population…"

    I am a 54 yr old professional woman who bought the Motorola Droid on Nov 6th at my local Verizon store. I love it. I know of many other women of varing ages who also bought it or will get it with NE2 when eligible.

  • bawww

  • ari-free

    yes it is too bad the Droid was simply not designed for high maintenance drama queens. Ah we can't please everyone!

  • I went to a T-Mo store today and asked to check out the Cliq. Guess what? They didn't even have one for me to test. All they have is those stupid dummy phones. No wonder they're dead last in the US. FAIL…

    At least you got to look at an actual device… Jeeeez.

  • Danno Ferrin

    Here's my review of the motodroid: I had it for all of 28 hours before I took it back. I then went and bought a myTouch from T-Mobile, and intend to keep it. Specs are nice, but the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. It may be a bit slower and have less pixels, but I find myself using it more.

  • Who is this guy and why would anyone allow him to post a review. He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. The Droid is mostly metal, the first thing i noticed about it was that it was heavier than my other phones. From a recent YouTube video the screen is almost impossible to scratch with no protector applied. And i thought from the first pictures that i saw prior to its release that it was the sexiest design for an android phone yet. My G1 looked simplistic and Im sorry by your MyTouch looks way too affemminate for my taste. You can keep your plastic girly phone, but you should keep your opinions to yourself as well cus you dont have a clue.

  • Joshep

    I love this Droid cell from verizon. Its very solid. GPS navigation works excellent. Voice is very good because its on the best network . Overall I'm very satisfied. Love it!

  • AlexK

    Is this article serious? I'm a designer by trade and if anyone is picky about their phones, its me. The Droid is a SOLID piece of art. The front is made of SOLID glass, unlike some cheap glass on the iphone which scratches easily. Good luck getting a scratch on the Droid's screen. The rest of the phone is metal with rubber coating. Cheap plastic? Are you serious? You HAD to have held a dummy plastic phone. There is absolutely NO WAY this phone feels or looks cheap. As someone posted above, the iphone looks like a jellybean toy in comparison. BTW, women love physical keyboards, so this phone will also appeal to women as well as men.

  • CJ100570

    You sir are a complete idiot and a horses behind! Anyone that has held the Motorola Droid can attest to it being a very solid feeling and well built phone. I have owned many phones in my 39 years and this 1 rates among the best in terms of fit and finish.

  • its obvious isn't it..

  • Michael

    Just get a iPhone people, they are better in every sense. I'm not a blind hypocrite, I program droid apps and I have an iPhone so I know the difference. I just don't like the convoluted UX of Android, sorry but apple wins again. (Supposed antenna issue or not – Everyone uses a case anyway).