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First Impressions of the DROID 4 – Great Keyboard, Poor Display and Surprisingly Decent Battery Life

droid 4 keyboard edge lit

The DROID 4 has been in my possession for almost 2 days now (unboxing and hands-on), which means I definitely have some thoughts on it that I’d like to share. Since our full review won’t be out until next week, I wanted to at least toss out some initial impressions for those that are considering picking this device up this weekend. Worth the $199 price? How about they keyboard – best yet? Let’s find out. 

Keyboard

The selling point with the DROID 4 is obviously the keyboard. Is it any good though? As someone that ditched physical keyboards over a year ago and never looked back, I can say that I’m actually impressed by this one. I wish their was a SHIFT key on the right side of it, but something like that can be worked through. The edge-lit keys are beautiful to look at when the lights are low, they are soft and easy to press, and the dedicated number row makes typing passwords a breeze. I’m still working up to being a decent typer on a physical keyboard again after taking such a long break from them, but I’ll get there. Nice work on this, Motorola.

Screen

Ummm, yuck. Moto chose not to use the Super AMOLED Advanced screen that was included in the DROID RAZR and instead reverted back to the poor LCD that was used in the DROID 3 and Bionic. It’s not pretty, folks. If you flip between screens (especially the app drawer) you will see ghosting everywhere. If this isn’t one of the worst screens to come out on a smartphone in the last year, I’d love for someone to show me what is. In a time when other phone manufacturers are pushing nothing but HD resolutions and high pixel density, we aren’t sure what the hell Moto was thinking with this one.

Click on the image above and you will understand what I’m talking about.

Performance

With its 1.2GHz dual-core processor (same one that’s in the RAZR) and 1GB of RAM, I haven’t noticed any performances issues. The phone doesn’t zoom around quite like the RAZR does and I’m not sure why since it’s almost identical in specs, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t fast. And who knows, the lack of ultra-smoothness could just be an optical illusion thanks to its crappy display.

 

Battery Life

Unplugged the DROID 4 with a full charge yesterday around 5PM and woke up this morning with around 20% left. That’s not bad for a first charge and a decent amount of use. Smart Actions were already kicking in to help extend life at night, so I can’t help but give it high marks here. Will put it through some real heavy use this weekend though just to see how it holds up going forward.

Overall

Not a bad phone by any means. It’s not the RAZR, Galaxy Nexus or Rezound, but if you need a keyboard, this phone appears at first to be the option to consider. A great keyboard mixed with LTE and better than average specs should help this phone get you through a contract. Assuming you can deal with the screen technology, that is.

  • djembeman

    The screens responsiveness is actually worse than the RAZR and Bionic. I went to Verizon yesterday to check it out and was surprised that when swiping between screens, the Droid 4 felt laggy. The RAZR Maxx was insanely responsive and zippy. After the .902 update my Bionic feels about the same as the RAZR. Since the Droid 4 is clocked at 1.2 GHz I was thinking is would have the same zippy feel as the RAZR, but actually feels laggy compared to the Bionic, clocked at 1 GHz.

    After yesterday, I definitely would buy the RAZR Maxx if I was due for an upgrade, not for lack of screen quality, but laggy performance.

    Anyone notice a laggy feel on the Droid 4? Homescreens or anywhere else?

    • Justin

      Nah, not experiencing a lag on my D4. (Although I haven’t used the RAZR for comparison, aside from an in-store demo unit.)

  • Justin

    So far, I think this phone is really good. Battery life TBD (if it sucks, I’m going to the RAZR MAXX), but my first impression is that the battery will be better than expected.Listen, the screen shot above shows WAY more pixelation than you can see with the naked eye. I can’t get the phone close enough to my eye to see anything resembling the image above.After using software keyboards for almost two years (the D4 replaced a Droid Incredible, which had replaced a BB Bold), I questioned whether I would want the physical keyboard, but after 12 hours with this device, I really like this keyboard. I spent most of the first serveral hours avoiding the physical keyboard in order to get a feel for the software keys, then I started using the physical keyboard. I love it, especially in the dark!

    The D4 is about the same size as my wife’s iPhone 4 with cover, just a little longer.

  • ILuvSoPA

    Ummm… Next time snap a photo of the screen from a *NORMAL* viewing distance. I don’t know many people who will put their phone up to their face in macro mode. I have a D3 and I agree that the screen is subpar but it’s not *THAT* bad. Actually, the D3/D4 screens are probably the best out of them all in direct sunlight and that might mean alot to someone who works outdoors alot.

  • justmec

    I was excited about this phone (ready to upgrade from my Dinc), but I can’t believe how horrid the screen was…and my phone is 2 years old! The physical keyboard was awesome, but the virtual one couldn’t keep up at all. I am so disappointed. Continuing my search.

  • TC Infantino

    That would be part of the test then I would think, seeing how good smart actions does at extending the battery.

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    Best keyboard phone on the market

  • Chris

    I picked up mine today. Very happy with it. 4G works, screen looks good to me other than the pisspoor job i did putting on the screen protector, battery life is good, it is noticeably faster than my Droid 3, excellent keyboard…very happy indeed. Almost done setting it all back up.

  • Mojoman

    Pentile screen and non-removable battery make this yet another half-baked Moto failure.  This opinion is coming from an individual that purchased an OG on day one of availability and loved the device.  Every physical keyboard model released released by Moto since has been compromised in either design, manufacture or materials.  As much as I prefer having a physical keyboard, I am tired of waiting on Moto to make a satisfactory product and will use my discounted upgrade to get either a GNex or possibly the SIII if Verizon carries it when released in a few months.

  • http://twitter.com/MistaWolfe TLW

    I held and played with one today (not talking about a midget)…

    The screen is crap.  Period.  Sorry guys…

  • http://twitter.com/qvaterlaus Quentin Vaterlaus

    Why do people care about minor things like the screen.  I can only see each pixel if I hold my phone 3 inches from my face.  I don’t use it at that distance, so why should I care.  At normal viewing distance, I have no problems with the Bionic’s screen, and can’t say I’ve ever seen ghosting on my phone since I’ve had it (September).  Really, are we gonna pick the screen as an issue?

    • NotoriousNeo

      Yes, we are, because despite your claims even at normal viewing distances you can discern the “screen-door” effect of such screens. And you’re balls-to-the-wall crazy if you think a phone’s screen is a “minor” thing to be complaining about. It’s what you stare at every time you look at your phone, and the more you stare at it, the more noticeable imperfections become, especially if you’ve laid eyes on the likes of other screens like the LG Spectrum or the Razr’s. There’s just no…punch, pizzazz if you will, it’s just…OK. 

  • http://twitter.com/MikeMcDaniel MikeMcDaniel

    This dude is obsessed with pentile, what a joke. The screen looks fine.

    • Azndan4

      No it doesn’t.

    • Anonymous

       Go hold that pentile display next to a Rezound once.  If you don’t notice a difference to the effect that you say “wow, that pentile screen really does suck”, you need glasses!

  • Ladymluv

    I love my D4! I don’t see any ghosting and am getting used to the keyboard. I got it this morning. The only downside is all the bloatware. It is super fast and at half battery life and not charged it since this afternoon. Everything loads so quickly so much better than the Ally. I am one happy girl!

  • NotoriousNeo

    The screen is a slight step up from the Droid 3 in the color reproduction department, but still quite a hot mess when it comes to pixel density and overall quality. I don’t care what you apologists say, Motorola’s PenTile screens are among the worst on the market when compared to the rest. The only saving grace is the Razr’s. 

    The average consumer won’t care, so it matters little in the end, but anyone saying “It’s no so bad” is outright kidding themselves beyond belief. Eff, even the OG Droid’s screen has overall better quality.  

    P.S. And this coming from a few days of use with this phone. Even at normal viewing distance, it’s washed out, unconvincing, and just inferior.

    • q`Tzal

      Um no.
      I’m sitting here with my new D4 and my old D1 and the D4’s screen is most definitely better than the D1’s screen.

      I won’t try to pretend that the D4 shouldn’t have had AMOLED but I think the following is relevant to the preceding arguments:
      TUBES RULE!!!
      TRANSISTORS SUCK!!!

  • Taint

    terrible screen.

  • Dolphfins2000

    I would like to know what the hell you are watching/looking at on YOUR BIG SUPER AMOLED HD SCREENS because last time i checked its just a damn phone. You want blu ray you buy LED 55inch tvs. I actually like the fact that they went with qHD because battery life in the end will be better now. Why do you think the first Razr sucks on battery life? Maybe its the Super AMOLED Screen. As for a Droid 4 Maxx it wont happen, no reason for it. If they added a bigger battery the phone would be way to thick. Like i said if i want amazing picture i will turn my 55inch LED tv on. Its just a damn screen people lets get serious. 

    • Balls

      some people prefer to look at a bigger screen, like myself

      • Dolphfins2000

        Yeah because .05 makes all the difference.

        • Balls

          it does actually

          • Anonymous

            that’s probably NOT what she said

    • Anonymous

      The Razr is qHD and Super Amoled screens are actually more power efficient. 

      • Dolphfins2000

        Check again razr is not qhd

        • Azndan4
          • Mylesh55

            Yes it says right there the razr is super AMOLED, if you can’t read I can’t help you. AMOLED is more power efficient and looks worlds better, but take a lot of money to produce. Moto knows now people aren’t buying the Droid 4 much so they are saving money by not putting pricy products in the phone. Its sad but true, the D4 might also get 1 TV comecial and be forgotten like the D3 and the DX2. The razr gets all kinds of publicity and it has a high grade screen cause moto knows the investment is worth it and will pay off.

          • Hoosiercub

            Correction, AMOLED can be more energy efficient when producing a lot of true, rich blacks.

            This screen is the best I’ve ever had for battery life and I’ve had SLCD, AMOLED, & SUPERAMOLED. I’m quite the power user, games, documents, emails, Skype. I’ve never quite understood why people, including kellex loves, is almost passionate, about ranting and hating on Motorola choice of screen. It doesn’t look bad, I’ve never seen ghosting and I ALWAYS use high contrast wallpapers. He’s just turned into a phone snob because he’s handled so many devices and has them changing hands so often he probably forgets what it’s like to just use one phone. The only gripe I have is the QHD resolution, mainly because a lot of design never made an effort to make their apps fit into 960×540.

          • Anonymous

             Scroll any black menu with white text and you’ll notice ghosting.  Let’s be real here and not try to kid everyone to try to justify your purchase.  I own a D3 with the same screen and its very prevalent on many types of scrolling screens.

          • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

            I think it’s less about being a “snob” and more about being realistic about the situation. With advancements in technology throughout the entire mobile world, there’s no reason to go backwards with screen quality. Even more so with this being a high end device.

            The Pentile qHD is a step backwards in visual quality from even the original Droid X that’s a year and a half old.

          • Anonymous

            Well that’s just like your opinion, man.

          • Anonymous

            Well said!!

    • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

      I do carry my mobile device(rarely used as a phone in my day to day life) around in my pocked with me all the time. I’d like the screen to be high quality.

      I can’t carry a 55” tv around with me all day, it’s not practical.

      • Dolphfins2000

        Yo man, I didn’t say anything about carrying a 55inch tv around. All i
        said is if i want the best screen picture & color, i turn my 55inch
        tv on. Its just a phone my PHONE doesn’t need to be so super AMOLED. I
        am very happy with the Droid 4. I needed a keyboard & for $150 from
        best buy that is what i got. I’m just sick of everyone crying about the
        damn screen & they don’t even have the phone or want it. Why comment
        on something when you are not even getting it. For $150 bucks the phone
        kicks ass. I don’t use a magnify glass or look at my phone from 3
        inches from my face so i cant even tell the whole screen difference. In
        the past 2 years i have used the Droid, Droid 2, DroidX, HTC Incredible, Samsung Fascinate, Samsung Stratosphere,
        IPhone and each time it all came down to i had a phone. I don’t buy a
        phone so i can sit at the bus stop, watch Netflix & eat gramma”s
        cookies. I’m done here, you enjoy your phone & i will enjoy my Droid
        4.

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to see how does your 55inch LED tv fit in your poket. Higher resolution screen contributes for more natural look and is easier on the eyes. qHD resolution is perfectly fine. Pen-tile tech they used is what ruins the experience with D3/4. Check all HTC phones with qHD screens like EVO 3D for example – screen is georgeous. But power hungry. It is clrear why Moto chose this screen over IPS or OLED – power consumption was their #1 point.

      • Dolphfins2000

        Yo man, I didn’t say anything about carrying a 55inch tv around. All i said is if i want the best screen picture & color, i turn my 55inch tv on. Its just a phone my PHONE doesn’t need to be so super AMOLED. I am very happy with the Droid 4. I needed a keyboard & for $150 from best buy that is what i got. I’m just sick of everyone crying about the damn screen & they don’t even have the phone or want it. Why comment on something when you are not even getting it. For $150 bucks the phone kicks ass. I don’t use a magnify glass or look at my phone from 3 inches from my face so i cant even tell the whole screen difference. In the past 2 years i have used the Droid, Droid 2, DroidX, HTC Incredible, Samsung Fascinate, Samsung Stratosphere, IPhone and each time it all came down to i had a phone. I don’t buy a phone so i can sit at the bus stop, watch Netflix & eat gramma”s cookies. I’m done here, you enjoy your phone & i will enjoy my Droid 4.

  • Anonymous

    “Click on the image above and you will understand what I’m talking about.”

    I don’t have to…I could see the pixels from a mile away, it’s terrible…(written on my Galaxy Nexus’s 4.65″, Super AMOLED, 720p HD, curved display)

  • Ahsan

    Can someone explain to me what “ghosting” is on a screen?

    • http://twitter.com/ashmore_00 ASHLEY HORNE

      its the blur caused by image retention when shifting from one image to the next. ITs usually caused by I THINK the blue pixels since they stay excited longer than the other phosphorus colors. 

      • Ahsan

        Strange, don’t think my D2G has ever experienced that.

  • Blackmagick20

    Man…you whiny screen snobs are just as bad as Apple sheep. I have the D3 sitting right next to my D4 and it definitely looks better. I also love to laugh at all of the people I see on campus angling their phone in awkward ways, as well as shielding the screen with one hand to see it. I’ll take this over that Fisher Price Galaxy Nexus any day. (See…if you actually type out words and use correct, big people grammar, a physical keyboard is much nicer!)

    • Anonymous

       LOL You talk about “Big people grammar”? when you call the Galaxy Nexus names like a Kindergartener?

      • Blackmagick20

        Grammar has absolutely nothing to do with pointing out the cheapness of the build quality of a phone. You also used ‘LOL.’ That completely takes away all credibility of anything you could write after that. Did you literally laugh out loud? Was there something that funny? You’ve proven my point about lazy people that use acronyms instead of proper Engilsh.

        • Azndan4

          Sorry dude. It’s not cheap.  Do you have the phone?  Try it out.

          • Noyfb

            its a pretty good build, i’ve dropped my nexus twics now from 3 feet to the wooden floor and no damage (thank god). 
            Still waiting for my f!@#ing cases to get here from amazon

        • Anonymous

          PLASTIC DOES NOT MEAN CHEAP

    • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

      Build quality is pretty solid on the Nexus.

      I don’t understand why people think plastics are a bashing point. There are different qualities and constructions of plastic. I mean, carbon fiber composites(what most people think of and refer to with that term) are plastics too. They are a lot stronger than alu.

      I’m not saying the nexus is made of carbon fiber, but it is made of a high quality and durability plastic with a metal frame backing.

  • Anonymous

    I used to need a physical keyboard, but thanks to the big screen of my Galaxy Nexus, it’s really easy to type on the touch screen. I actually do all of my typing on the portrait keyboard because it’s so big and the auto-correct is fantastic. 

  • Fishler108

    I just picked up a d4 today and I am blown away. The design is gorgeous, it feels better in the hand than other phones on the market, and the screen is actually quite gorgeous. Ive been using it nonstop since 9am on 4g and its just now getting to 5 percent at 8pm. Not bad….especially since I was strongly considering the Razr MAXX. I figured I’d give the d4 a try and I am not dissapointed. Just cant wait to get my root on =) I had cm9 on my d3 and I cant wait to see it on my d4 =)

  • Binglut9

    I just don’t understand Motorola why do they keep putting these screens on their phones? I mean don’t they read reviews every review for the past 7 months has been the screen sucks!

    • RiddleMeThis

      they don’t focus on the phone nerds who need everything

    • Jay

      Not every, I’ve seen plenty of reviews on the display that are quite neutral. These screens have more accurate color reproduction than AMOLED panels, don’t wash out any worse  SLCD screens, and are some of the brightest around.
      I guess if you’re some kind of pixel-phobe then it isn’t for you, but they’ve got plenty of strengths.

  • http://twitter.com/PainProphet TeHJones

    HAHAHAHA, Poor Display???  NO SH*$!  That’s what we’ve come to expect from Motorola, hence why I purchased a Galaxy Nexus on release day and haven’t looked back.  

  • guest

    Haven’t seen this posted yet, but the phone is also just $99 with new contract on Amazon.

  • Yusan Wu

    If they make a phone that meets ALL demands, then there’s not going to be any competition. And all of Google’s minions (LG, Samsung, HTC, Moto) won’t make as much $ as they’d like to if they stick to making a variety of decent/good phones. Apple’s been doing it since iPhone 1 came out. Everyone does it. It’s the nature of the business. You should heavily consider what you do MOST with a device rather than heavily criticize what it DOESN’T do. If you live a life where watching netflix/flash videos/youtube and gaming on a 4.3 inch screen makes you a living, then you could care less about this phone. Just like cars, there are tiers of luxury. $300 will allow you to feel better about yourself for 3 months longer than if you bought a $200 phone. I’m all about practicality, if it does what I need as efficient as I need it to, then I would buy it. Kwitcherbichin….

  • http://fujibayashi.jp/ Gasai Yuno

    Well, after witnessing the DROID3 screen first-hand, I’ll say I’m going to get the DROID4 as soon as they release the Global update (assuming there will be unlocked ones sold on eBay or wherever).

  • Sp4rxx

    I think you’re being too hard on the screen.  Though I don’t own a Bionic (I own the RAZR), my buddy who works with me has one and it isn’t as bad as all that.  That pic “as an example” shows you looking at it as if you are 2 cm from the screen.  No one looks at their screen that close unless their optical prescription is 10 years out of date; and I have yet to see a Bionic where there was ghosting.  Sounds to me like that ghosting effect might be more software-related (moto blur for example?) than hardware.  Just put a launcher on it (like GO Launcher or something else).

    His phone looks pretty darn good with that display.  Most NORMAL people aren’t that anal about the display so I don’t believe it should hinder the normal user from upgrading to it – or deter them for that very reason.

    • angermeans

      That’s because you are coming from the razr. they are both qhd and both use pentile. kellex is coming from the galaxy nexus. you will def notice a difference. I would almost say that the screen will almost look worse on the razr as same Res but bigger screen. I guess its saving grace is that the amoled screen must not make it as noticeable. I have the razor and can’t stand the screen it looks horrivle , but then again It probably wouldn’t bother me if I hadn’t had this great screen in my nexus that I’ve been using. Motorola should not be releasing qhd phones this late in the game its much like the tbolt when they released a single core processor and 480×800 screen res when the competition was using dual core processors.

      • GNex

         The Nexus also has a pentile screen.

        • Mylesh55

          The nexus has AMOLED HD, the S had a AMOLED or a basic LED, the N1 had basic LED.

          Well in defence of the Tbolt, it was planned to be the first dual core phone! But Verizon forced the release to 4gLTE or cancel release at all so they chose 4g. Personally the thunderbolt is my second best phone I’ve had and I’ve had every Droid phone except the razor and the D4 now. First being a GS2. I love stock ICS but I am not a big fan of my GNex, its cool at first but it feels like windows vista, its just not all their yet.

          • Coulomb

            The Galaxy Nexus still has a pentile screen.

        • Anonymous

          At this resolution pen-tile pattern is not (that) visible and screen is perfectly acceptable.

      • LionStone

        Huh? The TB wasn’t late to the game regardless of it having only a single core…it was the first and only 4G LTE phone at the time and some of us got good ones and it’s still a great phone holding its own, sorry you got a lemon.

    • Azndan4

      I had both the Bionic and the nexus. Bionic screen sucks. So much pixellation.

      • Anonymous

        They call the effect “pattern visibility” to which the eyes are supposed to adjust with the time :) (http://pentileblog.com/)
        It is true unless you own another phone with better screen to “de-tune” your eyes on..

  • Jak_341

    Like every other Moto phone since the OG, this too will fail. I predict no more than 10,000 nationwide. If that.

    • LegalAmerican

      Then I definitely wont be getting it!  I need to have the same phone as everyone else.  That’s most important.

    • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

      Except that every moto phone since the Droid(and you people need to drop that OG tag immediately, original gangster isn’t a tagline applicable to a damn phone), hasn’t failed. 

      • TC Infantino

        You are correct, the Moto phones seem to have been doing quite well in sales.  And I really don’t think that anyone is going to stop using the term OG Droid just because you don’t find it applicable, considering that it has become the standard term across many tech sites to refer to the Original Droid.  I hope you do not suffer too much discomfort each time you see that reference, though if you do I am sure there are support groups out there that can offer some help.

      • Anonymous

         I loved my OG Droid.  In fact, if it didn’t break, I’d still be using my OG Droid (naw, that’s a lie with the Nexus around).  But I will say, the display on my OG Droid was better than my D3 Droid.  But the keyboard my D3 Droid is WAY better than the keyboard on my OG Droid.  Rest in pieces my OG Droid…

        Signed,

        Proud former owner of an OG Droid

  • Anthony Palumbo

    i bought it today couldnt wait. Honestly i went in knowing that it wasnt going to be the most amazing screen. the ghosting is annoying. i dont notice it as much on my d2g but it isnt terrible. I use it for business and the webtop and everthing else this phone packs is worth the screen sacrifice (which i wish i didnt need to make). I dont have time to watch movies or play games if i did i might be more disapointed besides if i want to watch a movie i have laptops ipads android tablets a 7.4 surround theater and a tv with a vhs player lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rudy79g Rudy Guzman

    I’m so disappointed motorola decided to use such a crappy screen on this phone, as an early adopter of android with the OG Droid I really looked forward to this phone. By giving this phone a cheap screen and also by shrinking the phone compared to the DX has really made me not want it!

    • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

      You seriously want a DX sized phone with a keyboard? They’d have to call it the Droid Behemoth if they did that…

  • LegalAmerican

    I actually like my Bionic screen.  I’ve used a few of the other phones and although it might change my mind after a decent time period of looking at it, i’m not all that impressed with the Razr screen.  There’s definitely things I like, but I am just not that blown away by it. 

  • Anonymous

    This is why they scrimped on the screen: most people who need keyboards are business users, and the screen will probably seem pretty nice to someone coming from a Blackberry. I still say it was a mistake not to use a sAMOLED panel.

  • GrammarNerd

    ” I wish their was a SHIFT key on the right side of it,” …. you mean there? Hahaha.

  • RiddleMeThis

    Does screen quality effect the phones performance? Because I’m using my OG and just wished it would perform better and have better battery life. I don’t know what kind of screen my OG has but it’s never bothered me.

    • mons

      I was happy with the screen on my DX – just like you said about your OG, it never bothered me.  I have a GNex now, and powered up the DX recently…the screen on that just pales in comparison after being used to the GN screen.

  • Andy

    Great phone for business professionals.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf Schuster

      Business professionals!? BEST PHONE FOR GAMERS! When will you guys finally realize that tilting your phone left and right at the bus stop is NOT COOL. ^^

      • Angelrod111

        You are worried about looking cool while waiting for the bus?  Seriously, a phone wont help you!  LOL

      • Anonymous

        Keep in mind you’re tilting the phone, not the bus. Unless your accelerometer sucks ass, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Park

    How about test outdoor visibility on this. That’s the only supposed reason this screen is good. Can you confirm whether it’s more visible than the other phones (ie. Razr, Nexus, Rezound, etc.) in sunlight? Thanks.

    • Bret

      Kellex can’t test in the sun… we live in Oregon… no sun until July :)

    • Joesph

      Kellex, can you see how waterproof it is too. Based on your comments, you don’t like the phone anyway (physical keyboard and screen remarks in particular) so it won’t matter if it breaks.

      • Anonymous

        He said he actually likes the keyboard…but I do agree that it would be interesting to se this nano coating in action…

        • Reader

          Not really. In his videos and posts, he always has some sort of condescending comment or tone whenever he mentions the physical keyboard.

          • Anonymous

            …was it only I that read the keyboard section here?…

          • Murdock

             Kellex seems to always have a negative tone when talking about physical keyboards. Saying things like how he “ditched” it long ago, for the “few people” who “still” want one, etc.

            I, for one, will only see his review of any keyboard phone as more of an overview of the device (ie. photos at different angles). He never actually does anything with the keyboard in his reviews other than just mashing the buttons in video and saying it feels and looks nice.

          • Deitrich

            I guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed that!

          • Anonymous

            Probably because he really wan’ts to like the phones Moto puts out. And the D4 could have been a really nice phone with a better screen and of course an unlocked bootloader.

            But Moto keeps kicking those that want to like them. Why would Moto not put a nice screen in this phone? There are lots of people wanting an improved keyboard and this looks like it…It’s a good size screen with good specs… there is no reason this couldn’t have been better.

            Even so I’m sure it’s still a nice phone and my wife will probably get one. She has been waiting for a 4g keyboard phone with a bigger screen. 

            But if they unlocked their bootloaders I would look past many of these little things.

          • http://twitter.com/55938 MrSix

            I love how everyone wants to talk about screens, but it seems like the only thing people take into account is how easy it is to see pixels.
            Outdoor visibility, natural color reproduction(though personally I prefer over saturated amoled panels as well), brightness, etc be damned.

          • Anonymous

            “Natural”? I wouldn’t call it so. Everything looks bluish, colors are way on the colder side.Definitely not neutral. Black and white pictures is the only thing that looks nice and smooth. Yellow text on light blue background is near unreadable. The only good thing about this screen (except if you want it in BW) is daylight readability and lower power consumption. The latter is IMO the reason Motorola picked it up. Dual radios (LTE+CDMA) + power hungry screen = 5 hours battery life…

          • Moxy

            So you think the Razor is more natural than the D4? Try reading MrSix’s comment more carefully. The D4 DOES have more natural color than the Razor. Personally, I think the Super AMOLED screens suck due to their overblown colors. They take us back to the early days of digital cameras when reds stuck out like a sore thumb. If you take any well-crafted photo with moderate contrast and color saturation and display it on the Razor, you get crap.

          • leobg

            Where did you see in my post referring to AMOLED screens being better?? I am just saying D4’s LCD is bad when it comes to color reproduction, so bad it is noticeable (obvious?) even to non-professionals..

      • Tom Wrighte

        A water dunking test would be great. I want to see how well this Liquipel coating works.

        I got the D4 yesterday and it is more readable in sunlight compared to a Razr and Galaxy Nexus my friends have. However, indoors, when set side by side, you can see that color saturation and contrast isn’t as good. So unless you’re one of those HDTV screen fanatic types or have the phones side by side, the outdoor visibility might make up for the lower quality screen.

        Also, like the Razr and Nexus, the D4 has large bezels which I obviously don’t prefer. It’s too soon to make a judgement on whether or not the large bezels are to accommodate better antenna design. We’ll see since there are some buildings at work where my previous Thunderbolt would drop to 1x or no data at all. Only got the Thunderbolt because I thought I was preempting the limited 4G plans. I’m glad I’m back to a slider phone.

        Now I’m off to find out all the keyboard shortcuts supported on the OS and apps I use.

        • http://www.facebook.com/borgey401 Andrew Borges

          Nexus has a large bezel? this is news to me………

          • GNex

            Top and bottom are big on the Nexus. The Razr and D4 have large top, bottom and side bezels.

          • Anonymous

            bottom bezel on the nexus is tiny. have you ever used one? 

        • Charles Bourdain

          I got the D4 and the main down sides seem to be (my personal order of worst to not too bad):
          1. Large bezels which supposedly provide for better antenna placement. I’m with you, we’ll see about that.
          2. Non-removable battery since I prefer to use an extended one and I’m not a thin phone freak.
          3. No global capabilities but supposedly getting an update for that. Seems plausible since the Xyboards got global updates recently. Hopefully, it arrives before my trip this year.
          4. The screen isn’t as good when compared side by side with other smartphones but is more readable in sunlight.

          For me, none of those are deal breakers. The keyboard is great and I’m already creating my own list of keyboard shortcuts. The key combinations are slightly different compared to my last phone.

    • Anonymous

       I bought the D4 today in sunny California. The screen is more readable in sunlight when compared to my friends’ Razr and Nexus. Certainly makes the “crappy” screen (not very noticable) bearable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf Schuster

        Aaaaabsolutely, that’s the same fact I like on my Droid 3 … perfect readability in sunlight and wonderful shiny white! :)

      • SomeDude

        Is the ghosting only when navigating the home screen and app drawer (ie. a Blur “eye candy”) or does it occur everywhere like in the browser or some other non-stock app?

        • AnotherDude

           I’m going to guess the “ghosting” is a Blur “enhancement” and not because of the screen.

          • http://twitter.com/roq999 Darren Rockwell

            I seriously hope you are joking

        • Mylesh55

          Ghosting happens whenever there is moving blacks or dark colors on screen and motion, so it happens nearly everywhere. Sure you can use it in sunlight but its a crappy screen. It works much like the first color TVs, poorly colored and low detail. Where AMOLED screens are like HD TVs. Its sad that moto puts this crappy screens in their big name devices :/

          • Anonymous

            amoled is over saturated, so take your pick

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GNMGBZLOMSMQXFPVG2KD5C6CAE Amelia

      my buddy’s siṡter makes $68/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 8 months but last month her income was $7114 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more… LazyCash5.çom

  • Sk102704

    The screen isn’t that bad.  I have the same screen on my Bionic and at first it bothered me and I thought about taking it back but I actually got used to is and now I love the screen. It’s something that grows on you.  I even compared it to the Razr screen and I still like the Bionic screen better.  The Razr screen was too dark for me.

  • Jim McClain

    are od’s selling for much?

  • RickyP

    Well guys and girls I have the D4 in my hands and have played with it all day and I will say the screan isnt that bad. Side to side with my D3 and the 4 is better. The keybord is great and it is faster then my D3. The phone isnt as bad as they are making it sound.

    • Anonymous

      Only power user geeks (like us) will care about the screen. The average user will think it’s nice.

  • Anonymous

    Yuck. Everything about the phone… pure yuck.

  • Mayimbe181

    compared to droid razr maxx which has better battery life?

  • Tseug

    Is there any news on keyboard shortcuts? I really like hitting the search key and another key on the keyboard to launch my app of choice.

    • Luis

      I doubt Kellex will do the work of finding out what keyboard shortcuts are supported in the OS and apps (stock and Market ones). He’s probably just going to repeat the few things he said about the keyboard in this article for his review.

      • tseug

        It is the OS that supported it. And it takes Less than five minutes to test. But I guess there are only a handful of us that really care about that enough to mention it. I guess I’ll wait till I can play with one.

        • Mark

          Some apps have shortcuts specific to them. For example, menu+f would do a search in the browser (stock and some 3rd party) but nothing in other apps. There’s go to the homepage and others that don’t exactly apply to other apps. There are many keyboard shortcuts that I’ve used on my Droid 1 that only work on certain apps.

          I agree that Kellex isn’t likely going to even try to find out what shortcuts work. All of his articles about keyboard phones always talk down about the use of physical keyboards. You’re better off finding another site’s review or reading Droid 4 specific forums. There aren’t many keyboard fans on this site even though the D3 was the the number 1 selling VZW Android phone in Q3 last year.

          • Stebens

            It was also the number 3 or 4 selling smartphone in the US during Q3 last year.

          • Rebel

             That’s because it was the phone to get if you needed to lock down your unlimited data with Verizon.  You were either taking that a DI2 or DX2.  The D3 was the obvious choice for most people.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BYPCAFSDBSPG337WDLEF3TH5GE Matt

    I would rather reactivate my OG Droid then this junk. I HATE the look of the phone. I like it when it was a rectangle, not with the corners snipped off like that Razr. It was a good idea getting the GNex, cause I can see EVERY phone they make now looking like this… Saddening. And to add that they’ve done almost nothing to really upgrade it. Still crap screen.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    Why is it that with all these phones, you have to sacrifice something for the other. Zero shutter lag, sure but only on a crappy 5mp camera. Super battery life, only on a locked device. Unlocked phone, sure, but no removable memory and poor reception. Slide out keyboard, sure, but only with a really bad screen. Waterproof and rugged, sure, but it looks like something batman ‘s car shat out.

    Naturally, I am only referring to 4G devices in this.

    • Sporttster

      I’m thinking these companies could use a good shot of engineering prowess. They partially deliver and then choke when it comes to main points of interest. Everyone loves a great screen, it’s the first thing you notice! So NOT including that is, well, retarded. Just the pic of this things screen is terrible! Pixelation city!

      • LegalAmerican

        Of course it will look like pixel city when it’s zoomed in at 400%.  

    • Jason Naylor

      Galaxy Nexus camera is honestly not as horrible as some say. I can get perfectly acceptable pictures even in certain lowlight conditions. If they’re not acceptable, there’s always the ICS photo editor to help sharpen or fix lighting problems. 

      • Jim McClain

        shouldnt have to edit to make them better, and dont try to blow them up,,its awful  OD was 5 mega and a lot better

        • Richard Hall

          The Nexus camera is 1000x better than the OG Droid’s camera in every single way. I have not run into a single situation where the OG Droid camera was better than the Nexus.

    • Richard Hall

      The newest radios for the Nexus are awesome, as good of or better reception than on any other phone I have used.

    • TC Infantino

      Well, there is one phone out that has….8mp camera, unlockable bootloader, removable/expandable memory, and great reception, great HD screen, but no keyboard…It’s the Rezound.

  • Jim McClain

    they wont sell of those ever

  • Michael Forte

    The Droid line of keyboard phones was never the same after the OG. Seriously, if the D4 would have had a HD Super AMOLED screen, and was stock ICS with an unlocked bootloader, it would have been awesome. And a removable battery, or a battery like the RAZR MAXX.

    • Anonymous

      OG Droid is still the better phone.

      • Sk102704

        The OG Droid is a legend, but its not better than the Droid4.

        • Anonymous

          I guess it depends on how you define “better.” Better screen, yes. Better version of Android, yes.

          Maybe the Droid4 has a better keyboard or something.

          • Blackmagick20

            Yea…for those of us that actually work outside, the Og’s screen was SO much better. I loved having to find shade in a barn to actually see it.

          • Anonymous

            are you that guy on that verizon commercial that gets his first 4G phone and opens it in the barn?

  • lazyman

    That screen sucks. You can see the pixelation with your naked eye. No magnification needed.

    • Anonymous

      Looking at it from a picture is not your naked eye

      • Sporttster

        lol

      • Sk102704

        Hilarious!

      • Azndan4

        Uh, have you seen the screen in person? You can definitely see the pixels.

  • Anonymous

    “…we aren’t sure what the hell Moto was thinking with this one”

    That statement could be applied to Moto’s actions in general lately.

    • dkbetts

      We can all hope to god that Google’s purchase of Moto Mobility will change that.

    • Anonymous

      like, blaming the Nexus program (hardware-specific optimization) for slow updates. Oh, Moto.

  • MrWolf

    So, obviously, the next phone will be the Droid 4 Maxx with the suped up battery, then then Droid 4 Maxx HD adding back the Super AMOLED Advanced screen.

    • Sporttster

      Forgot the overseas only Droid 4 Maxx HD Developer phone

      • http://fujibayashi.jp/ Gasai Yuno

        Forgot that DROID is reserved for Verizon devices only.

        • Guest

          Milestone 4 Maxx HD Developer phone?

          • http://fujibayashi.jp/ Gasai Yuno

            Forgot that Motorola didn’t release a DROID3 variant in Europe/Asia. They won’t release the DROID4 here as well.

          • Anonymous

            Wishing too for this one!

  • Anonymous

    Why do you not plug your phone in at night?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I do normally, but when I test batteries I see if a phone can last through the night. :)

      • Jebb Long

        You are aware the smart actions turn off most things at night which would use battery?

  • Tommy Thompson

    Glad I don’t need a keyboard. That screen looks as bad as the screen on the Samsung Replenish.