Sunday, November 8, 2009

Verizon's HTC Droid Eris

HTC Droid ErisSo as much hype as there has been about the new Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid and the HTC Droid Eris, sales have started out relatively slow. Friday was when the phones officially went on sale across the country. There were very short lines or no lines at all outside Verizon stores on Friday morning. Reports claimed that if there were any lines outside one of the many stores, they really only consisted of about 15-20 people.

A Verizon spokesmen said that the lack of lines outside the stores was not a concern at all. He said that what Verizon really wants is not a line but a steady stream of people coming throughout the day and the following few weeks to examine the new phones.

Some people claimed that they liked the look and the feel of the HTC Droid Eris better than the Motorola Droid. Compared to the Motorola Droid, the Eris is basically just a slimmed-down, lighter, less powerful Droid phone. It is based off the HTC Hero that Sprint has, but it has been reworked.

The Eris measures 4.45 x 2.19 x .51 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.23 ounces. The front of the phone features a 3.2 inch touch screen. Below the screen is a navigation trackball and several physical buttons. The Eris does not feature an actual physical keyboard but instead has two virtual keyboards.

Although the Eris and the Motorola Droid share a name and 12,000 Android applications, they are very different phones. The Motorola Droid runs Android 2.0, while the Eris runs Android 1.5 with HTC’s Sense extensions. The differences that these bring up include various things. With the Eris’s Web browsers you use mutitouch pinch-to-zoom, while with the Motorola Droid you double tap to zoom. The Droid Eris has seven home screen panels and some very useful widgets, and the Motorola Droid has only three panels and a lot less interesting widgets. The virtual keyboard is much more accurate and easy to use than the keyboard on the Motorola Droid. You can keep going and going on all the various differences between the two phones, but none of them are really huge. Most of them involve personal preferences.

The Eris handles messaging well. It supports Microsoft Exchange, Google, and POP3/IMAP e-mail. Unfortunately for some, it does not support Yahoo mail. There is an SMS/MMS application for text and picture messaging, but regarding instant messaging there is nothing included but Google Talk. Fortunately, you are able to download a free IM application from the Android Market.

The music player on the Eris is quite decent. It supports tracks in WMA, AAC, and MP3formats. The video player on the phone though definitely has some issues. The playback of most videos is fuzzy and disappointing. The 5-megapixel camera is also very frustrating with the soft images that it captures. If you looking for a good video recorder and camera, the Motorola Droid is definitely the better phone for you.

So to pick between the Motorola Droid and the Droid Eris, you really just need to consider what it is that you want in a phone. Your decision should be purely based on preferences. They are both great phones from Verizon and are both going to serve you well. I hope you are able to figure out which phone suits you best and then go on to thoroughly enjoy your new Droid smartphone.

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