Motorola Droid Pro

The Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon finally makes our greatest and fondest wishes come to life: a full-powered Android 2.2 Smartphone with a front-facing QWERTY keyboard. Sure, we've gone hands-on with the Droid Pro before, but nothing beats owning it and getting some impressions after a day of use. 

So get those impressions, a video of the most notable aspects of the world phone, and plenty of photos after the break!

The short version is this: the BlackBerry-style keyboard is good but a little cramped. We're sure with time we'll be flying on those little ridges on each key, pounding out emails like the madmen we are. There were a few times we accidentally hit the standard capacitive buttons up above the keyboard while typing, but in that regard we're not (ahem) hitting the panic button just yet. Don't get us started on the decision to put the numbers in a horizontal row across the top instead of grouped together. Speaking of buttons: there isn't one for the shutter on the 5 megapixel camera and nothing on the keyboard sets it off. 

Build-wise, it's solid if uninspiring. It's thin enough to not be embarrassing, although itdoes feel slightly off-kilter when typing. The 3.1", 320x480 screen does, in fact, feel just a little cramped, but we're chalking that feeling up to experience with more expansive Android screens. The specs on the Droid Pro feature that 1GHz processor which keeps most things moving along - but the MotoBlur skin did give us a few laggy moments and the Nuance Voice Control feature seems to take an eternity to get going. We've sort of found that sometimes MotoBlur devices like this and the Droid X need to run for a day or so to get up to speed, so consider our judgment withheld. In the meantime, we've got Skype for phone calls (3G only) and WiFi Mobile Hotspot to warm our hearts.

But back to that keyboard: it really is wonderful to be able to just start typing to initiate a Google search and we're finding that we're actually using the search + keyboard button shortcut system built into Android.

Stay tuned for our full review!

 

Reader comments

Droid Pro on Verizon: First Impressions [Video]

27 Comments

The back cover wasn't put on right before taking pictures, there's a big gap on the bottom right. Smh. Is it me or this phone too thick for what it is?

I think Blackberry should just admit there losses and make hardware for a phone that runs Android. Blackberry has the best physical keyboard hands down. I just bought an EVO not too long ago, but if blackberry made hardware for a phone with similar specs to the one above, I'd buy that in a heartbeat for the office and business travel.

you get your standard 0-9 speed dials with #1 auto assigned to voicemail but u can have a list of favorite contacts to narrow your search down quite a bit.

Yea... A virtual QWERTY or one that is a slide out QWERTY. Front facing QWERTY's are like this and blackberries etc

The proper term for this style of keyboard (and the name used by both moto and rim) is

Portrait keyboard.
Alternatives include
Landscape keyboards
Virtual keyboards

All are font facing. Some may be sliders.
There are no rear facing keyboards that I have seen.

Looks like an Android evolution of the Moto Q9, a phone I really liked for its great call quality, speaker phone, and spot-on GPS. The horizontal slot on the bottom rear looks to be hiding the speakers, as in the old Q9.

The Moto Q9 series,especially the GSM Q9 Global,were excellent devices(well as much as WM 6.5 allowed,LOL). Only the BB Bold 9000 had a better KB.Actually a Q9 the size of the BB 9000 running Android would look better than this Droid Pro.

If you're going to buy a "blackberry knockoff" you may as well just buy a Blackberry Storm and be done with it. Nothing on this phone regarding the specs or style impress me so I'll have to go with the FAIL option.

I dunno about you, but I have yet to see a BB with 1ghz TI cpu, that can play media and game pretty solidly, 8GB of space plus a microsd card slot, and capacitive touch screen that is nice to use. If you can find me a BB with all those specs then you got a point, but until then this is spec wise and mostly software wise better(I say mostly as BB messenger has it usefulness I am told).

Maybe I'm just used to the Epic screen, but to me the Motorola screens seem washed out. My co-workers have the Droid and Droid X, after looking at it I thought their screens were broken, lol.

As an Epic owner myself, I think that whenever I see a non super amoled, the inferior contrast and colour tends to stand out. The only 2 flaws that the super amoled have are the pentile display and the fact that it is a bit oversaturated. I wonder if I can put up with a lesser screen nowadays.

The screen-color on the Droid/DroidX/Incredible DO looked washed out, especially compared to the Fascinate. In direct sunlight, not a phone on the market can compete with a Galaxy S. At least not one that I've seen yet. The iPhone4 does have a great looking picture, but again, can stand up to direct sunlight the way my fascinate can.

The problem is that Samsung wants NoBody to have any of there nice super AMOLED screens. HTC had some sort of deal with them for the incredible and look how that ended. 2months of no phones and HTC had to switch to another screen provider. Samsung is going the same route the iPhone did. Be stingy with your screens, we'll find someone else to make them better.

Well if yoru going to steal on thing from RIM, it is their Portait Keyboards. No one does them better. It looks good and may be a good transition for long term Blackberry users that are switching to Android. I have only have a Tour for almost 2 years so I will be jumping into something a little more fancy (maybe that PSPhone coming out if it hits VZW)

The only thing I am wanting to know about this phone is what kind of encryption chip they are going to use, either the AES-128 or AES-256 are pretty standard. i know they are trying to brag that this phone is the first fully enterprise ready Android phone which is what the company I work for is looking for. They have some reservations about current Android phones and would prefer full device encryption if it has it. I contacted my VZ rep and she had no info and I don't find any on the MOTO website so I am really interested to see what's inside it. We use Touchdown on Android now which is all right but if we can get full device encryption like Blackberries that would make sure they do meet the security standards we are looking for.

Is anyone else even curious why the Droid Pros eye at startup has an X behind it... Yet the Droid X has a normal eye.!? WTF is up with that? Im saddend that my X doesnt have it. I think they mixed up the two startup screens. IMO