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Droid Life Q&A Session: Volume 1 Answers

At the beginning of the week, we announced a new feature for the site that would give you (the community) a chance to ask the DL team anything that comes to mind. The questions could have been Android related, but they definitely didn’t have to be. We are humans after all and don’t mind talking about things that aren’t tech-related here and there.

So after soaking in the massive amounts that were asked, we grabbed a handful of the most voted on and did our best to provide a variety of answers. For reference, you’ll see answers from everyone on the team by their first initial K (Kellen), T (Tim), E (Eric), and R (Ron). We had a ton of fun not only reading through the questions, but answering as well and are looking forward to doing this more often. We hope you enjoy.

What does Droid Life feel is the current or soon to be released best Android phone available from Verizon?

K:  Personally, I’m getting giddy over the RAZR HD. I know that probably makes me sound like a Moto fanboy, but this is the first device in quite some time that they will probably release as a complete device – HD screen, massive battery, ICS, great camera, etc. Other than that, you can’t forget about the Galaxy SIII which should be here long before the RAZR HD. Even if the U.S. carriers tweak it some, it’ll be impressive. 2GB of RAM, anyone?

T:  Well, until we know the exact fate of the device, I would have to say the Samsung Galaxy SIII is a safe bet for most folks.

R:  Everyone has different preferences. The best phone on VZW is probably still the Gnex, but I’d personally like to get my hands on the Droid Incredible 4G. I loved the Rezound. If I could get the Dinc 4G running stock Android with that new Sense clock I’d be a happy camper.

What do you do with all of your blog review handsets, after they’ve been reviewed?

K:  Well first, let’s set the record straight on this topic. Review units are just that, review units. They are not ours to keep. While we would love to hang on to every new device that cruises across our desks, that would probably be both unethical and illegal on some level. When companies have new products that they would like us to check out, we usually have a 3-4 week time frame to get down and dirty with them and then they are returned. If you see us with a phone for a longer period of time than that, it probably means that we loved the phone so much that we bought it out right, just like every other wireless customer.

R:  Pack them up and then weep profusely after dropping them off at FedEx to be returned.

Which Android phone in your opinion was the most dissapointing? 

K:  There really were so many bad ones, like the DROID 2, Charge, Revolution, and DROID 4. If I had to pick one though, and I hate to do this, it would have to be the Bionic. After impressing the world at CES in January of 2011, it then ran into so many issues that it was delayed and completely recreated over a 9 month stretch. After finally launching, the Bionic was a disaster with its cheap specs and massive bug list. The phone should have been scrapped and never released, especially with the DROID RAZR dropping just 2 months later.

E:  Most disappointing phone for me had to be the D2. Moto had the world in the palm of it’s hand after the OG Droid and decided to put more time and money into the Droid X. I have seen more people jump the Android ship to iPhone because of the D2 directly than any other phone that I can think of.

Most successful?

R:  The most successful phone in my mind is still the OG Droid. In terms of numbers the Galaxy S, S2, and S3 are the most successful, but they wouldn’t have had a shot without the OG Droid. If you can think back to 2009, Android wasn’t doing well. The iPhone was still considered the best option for a smartphone. The Pre was out, but exclusive to Sprint. It was a really interesting time. People were still transitioning away from RIM and Nokia into something more modern, but no one knew for sure what would be successful. I still wonder what it would have been like if the Droid launched on all four carriers or if the Pre came out on Verizon too. How would that have changed things? Having the Droid on Verizon (which was a massive carrier, but lacked many innovative phones) really changed the game for both Verizon and Android.

T:  Most successful? In my opinion, the OG DROID and the Galaxy Nexus have been the biggest hits in my eyes. I have only seen a line of people stand out front of the VZW stores for two devices, the OG and the G-Nex. ‘Nuff said.

K:  From a sales perspective, the original DROID, DROID X, Thunderbolt and RAZR are probably all success stories. As far as a community goes, there are only two, which both Tim and Ron mentioned – the OG and the Galaxy Nexus. Rarely do you find phones that can create such a buzz around these parts.

Would you still recommend the Galaxy Nexus now that it’s six months old?

K:  It depends. I’ve found that I use the camera on my phone so often now that the Nexus is no longer an option for me. You can talk about radios all day long as being the number one issue with that phone, but Google and Samsung should be embarrassed for that thing inside that they claim to be a camera. With that said, if you need to have a fully-open device with a massive developer community that will support a phone far beyond what a carrier will, then the G-Nex is the logical choice.

T:  If I was recommending a phone to a family member or friend, I would recommend the Galaxy Nexus without hesitation. It’s a solid device and despite some people’s beef with it, it’s still quite the little workhorse.

E:  Yes, it’s still one of, if not the best ICS device out there right now. I couldn’t be happier with mine.

R:  If you need a phone right now, absolutely. It’s still a great device. Not my favorite form factor or screen, but it’s great. If you can wait for the new Nexi later this year I’d do that, though.

So exactly what does “Droid Life” mean to you guys? Not the website, but actually Android. Does Android assist you in everyday life or does it isolate you from the rest of the world?

K:  Yeah that name “Droid Life” has certainly turned into something far beyond what I ever expected it to. At this point, I’d say that I clearly do live a “Droid Life.” My phone is my tool for life. It makes it more efficient, a conversation starter, a community builder, and an entertainer. I could not imagine what things would be like without Android in my life. It definitely wouldn’t be as fun.

T:  My passion for Android has easily passed just a love for the hardware and OS. I have fallen in love with the community as a whole and if Android can’t help me complete a task, I know there is a group of folks out there willing to spend their time helping me. Everyday I’m impressed at the number of folks who are so dedicated to voicing opinions and helping fellow enthusiasts/fanboys. And I wouldn’t say it isolates me, if it wasn’t for Android, I wouldn’t be able to talk to all of you everyday!

E:  I’ve probably bought into the Google ecosystem more than most people. The last thing holding me onto Apple (besides my Macbook, which isn’t going anywhere anytime soon) was the iPod. As soon as Google announced Google Music I moved it all over there and haven’t looked back. I enjoy going to the Play Store and browsing the deals they have on books and music and will buy if the price is right. So far Android keeps me centralized to all my aspects of life, other than Facetime which all my friends have on their iPhones, I don’t feel cut off from them in anyway.

R:  I love all things mobile, so my life is more than Android. That said, to me Android represents an open ecosystem that allows for insane customizations. Apple has one device, which might be great for some, but it doesn’t fit every need. Windows Phone has a lot of SKUs, but the software is limited and identical. With Android you can have all sorts of variations in software and hardware, which allows for crazy ideas like the Echo or the Evo 4G, etc. We’re just beginning to see the customizations and variations that Android can allow for.

What screen technology do you like better LCD2 or AMOLED HD?

T:  Short answer would have to be LCD2. If you haven’t played with an HTC One X, then stop reading this and get your hands on one right now.

R:  I’ve tended to like LCD screens better than AMOLED. AMOLED are bright, but the color fidelity hasn’t been great, traditionally. That seems to be changing now, but we’ll see.

K:  I’m with both Tim and Ron on this one. While the vibrant colors on AMOLEDs can be fun to look at, the crispness and clarity of the LCD2 that HTC is using in the One X is quite the technological feat. I’ll be interested to see what an HD AMOLED Plus looks like, but it may be a while before we see one.

Beyond the OG Droid why do you all love Motorola so much?

T:  We have a certain fondness for Motorola because they are the company that got many of us to care about Android in the first place. The OG DROID brought many of us into this community and sure, they do some stupid things, but you still got to have love for Moto. Plus, their radios kick ass compared to almost anyone’s.

R:  Motorola put Android on the map. They’ve made some bad business decisions following the Droid (with the possible exception of the DX), but I think phones like the RAZR MAXX have put them back on the map. They have a ways to go, but their build quality has traditionally been the best of all manufacturers. When you’re stuck with a phone for 2 year, build quality is an important feature.

What’s with all these ICS phones without soft keys?

R:  Phones take years to design and build. There’s a good chance manufacturers didn’t know that soft keys would be part of the Nexus design so they kept doing capacitive. It could also be that manufacturers have kept up with capacitive keys because the design of the buttons has become part of each manufacturers brand (e.g. you can tell a Motorola phone from a HTC phone by the capacitive keys alone).

K:  Ron is exactly right. Phones are planned over a year in advance, so the batch of phones that you are seeing hit stores in the first half of 2012 were all likely designed long before the Galaxy Nexus was released. By this summer and then towards the end of 2012, you should start to see more on-screen nav button devices.

How do you all feel about the direction the original Droid line is going?

E:  I’ve actually been pondering this question for a few months now. I’ve had every single Droid since the OG (2,3,4) and while their hardware has gotten better, Moto has drifted to the larger screens (X, X2, Razr) for more publicity. Personally, I think that’s fine, but Moto should take the Droid line back to it’s roots. Make it a developer phone, let people blast it open and do what they want. The Droid was originally everything that the iPhone isn’t and with the keyboard that idea still lives on. I’d like to see Moto put a little more oomf behind the next Droid and keep the brand alive and going. What if Moto’s Nexus (granted this whole 5 nexus idea happens) had a keyboard, how crazy would that be?

R:  Not great. The D2 was a disaster. The D3 and 4 were better, but not great. I’d love to see Motorola release an anniversary edition of the OG Droid with the same chassis, but updated specs and stock Android.

What is your favorite beer and/or brewery?

K:  Living in the beer capital of the world (Portland), that might be the toughest question of the week. I definitely prefer less hops (odd I know coming from Portland) and tend to lean towards anything Belgian-style (recommend the Tripel Karmeliet). The Abyss (seasonal winter) from Deschutes Brewery is always a winner on the local front. If you ever make it to Montana though, find yourself a Cold Smoke from Kettlehouse. Top 5 beers of all time for me.

T:  Easy! Great White from Lost Coast Brewery.

E:  Favorite beer has to be Dos Equis. Favorite brewery is a local place in downtown Indianapolis called Sun King. They make some really really good drinks there. Anyone near that area needs to check it out.

R:  I don’t drink a lot of beer. I’m more of a rum and Coke guy.

  • Cheng GuanHao

    This post made me love DROID-LIFE even more! <3
    Thanks Kellen, Tim, Eric, Ron! :)

  • wickets

    thanks

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Aw, Kellen you’re wrong on one thing. Asheville, NC is the beer capital of the world!!! (props to Portland for always tieing with us!)

    Seriously though, Great article and info guys, thanks for all your great work and time keeping us constantly updated and educated. Droid-Life has evolved from an often frequented site, to definitely my most visited site, behind gmail.com. Keep up the great work!

  • Knlegend1

    Definitely appreciate you answering my question. I’m glad to see android assist you in your everyday life. Mine as well.

    What do you think about the Xperia phones? I think they are gorgeous personally.

  • SolipsisticPsychologist

    Haha! Beer capital of the world! Haha! Haha! You might as well live in Los Angeles saying something that elitist and untrue.

  • tmull

    just wanted to say, really enjoyed the read. it’s voices and features like this that really create the glue of a community. as a fellow writer, thanks for your clear voices and compelling thoughts. :)

    • John

      couldn’t have said it any better. agreed.

  • QQpayne

    The ultimate beer you guys need to try is Krombacher, hard to find in the US, but most oktoberfest celebrations will have it. Best German beer i have ever tasted. They serve it most of the year in Helen Ga. if you are ever in the Southeast US.

  • Greyhame

    Great article and look forward to more in the future! Anything that leads to more interaction with you guys is a plus in my book. Only Ron gets an A in that category. ;) I remember the first time Kellex replied to a comment of mine.. it was the first time I actually felt like part of the community! Thanks guys for all that you do.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      To be fair I usually only post one article a week. It’s a lot easier to keep up. :)

      • Greyhame

        When it comes down to it, DL is the best android site out there. I was just playin’, any interaction is awesome and this column will be a must read!

  • PABNJ

    I think it would be cool if Motorola resurrected the DynaTac name as this was the first portable handheld telephone that started it all. In 2013 it will be 30 years old. Obviously they would have to scrap the retro look.

    • Alexander Garcia

      Motorola Droid DynaTac for Verizon

      • Alexander Garcia

        …with Mark Paul Gosseler in the ads!

  • GuidZilla

    very good read, thanks guys

  • Raven

    What is with the hate for the Droid 2 and the Droid 4? Is it because the plain Droid 2 should have never existed with the Droid 2 Global dropping so soon after? I still use and love my rooted stock D2G and it will be a hard day when I finally decide to replace it sometime in September. The only problem that I have ever had with it is an occasional random reboot and I still consider it to be the best single core phone ever made after the OG which I also own. Now, the Droid 3 should have never existed and the Droid 4 is what it should have been. Granted it doesn’t have the best screen, but it is the perfect form factor and has an excellent keyboard. My biggest disappointment with it (my wife now has one) is that it went the way of the RAZR and does not have a replaceable battery. I love being able to swap between my 3 batteries for my D2G if needed when I am traveling.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I couldn’t stand my D2. I had 5 of them altogether. All of them had issues with the bezel cracking and the random reboots. It wasn’t well built. Each keyboard was slightly different in feel.

      • jcorf

        It’s sad that a phone one would get specifically for a keyboard has a crappy keyboard. When I use my friend’s D2G I always find myself using the onscreen keyboard instead.

        • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

          I did the same.

        • BlueLetter

          Well at least in that way it continued in the tradition of the original.

        • Raven

          I really like the keyboard design of the Droid/Droid 2. Although its membrane style is a little different than most, once I got used to it I found that I could thumb type on it very fast. The trick is not trying to type with your fingers (duh) or even with the pads of your thumbs, but with the edges of your thumbnails. Unless you have huge thumbs or bite your nails to the nubs I find that this works great and I am a 6 ft. tall guy. I like that they added the 5th row of keys with the Droid 3 and 4, but I actually find the keys more responsive on my Droid 2.

        • MicroNix

          My D3 now has trouble with keys not working properly all the time. Its like the D3 was a quickly thrown together placeholder for something to sell while Moto was redesigning, redesigning and redesigning the Bionic. Its plagued with bugs, has absolutely horrible camera software (which I agree is one of the more used/useful features of a phone today) and will probably prevent me from buying another Motorola phone unless they produce a Nexus phone (aka another OG Droid which IMHO *was* the first Nexus phone)

        • tomn1ce

          I got the OG Droid because of the keyboard. Before the OG Droid I had the LG Voyager…after a few days I migrated on to the on screen keyboard and only used the physical keyboard to play games.

      • Raven

        I am sorry to hear that you had a bad run with some lemons. Mine and my wife’s have been perfect build wise. Mine is still in great shape after a year and a half of heavy use with no case. My wife was a little harder on hers. After dropping it on cement twice (couple of pretty good gouges on the bezel), rolling over it with an office chair on a carpeted floor (bent the battery cover a bit) and dropping it into a glass of ice water (that was fun to dry out), the touch digitizer finally got flaky a month after the bath so we decided to replace it with a Droid 4. So, all in all, I have thought the build quality on them was great.

        • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

          Eff. And I thought my fiancee was rough with her phone.

      • RoninX

        I bought a D2 on release day, and I never had any hardware problems with it. The keyboard wasn’t great, but at least it was much better than the OG Droid’s keyboard.

        I’m now using a D4 (also purchased on release day), and I love it. I disagree with Kellex about this phone. The only thing disappointing about the D4 is the screen. Granted, that’s a major thing, but replace the pentile with RGB stripe, and it would be a near-perfect phone.

      • angermeans

        I feel exactly the same. Moto treated it as a bastard and most were forced to deal with horrible bugs. Probably the worst smartphone I have ever owned in my opinion and I’ve owned a lot

    • John Davids

      ^This. I am still rocking my D2 and love every minute of it. I had the random reboots as well, but that was all software. It all went away when I migrated to CM7. But seriously, why so much D2 hate? Is it because it was an iterative upgrade and you saw it as an opportunity to be innovative? For as much OG love that goes around these parts, I am surprised to see it’s successor (which was practically identical other than better specs and a better keyboard) pooped on so much. /ponder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627002278 Brian Raval

    @Eric – Good call on Sun King – Great beer indeed!

  • Boblank84

    love the great wite response, not my favorite beer, but im from humboldt (where the beer is from) their harvest wheat awesome. They don’t bottle it, but if you are ever in the area, check it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Mcclain/1463591684 Jim Mcclain

    cant believe they dont think the gnex is the worse , its got so many things wrong and now people are saying even with the updates its messed up

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Easy to hack. That’s why we loved the OG Droid.

      • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

        Trolls don’t know how to hack.

        • ERIC REED

          Hacking the phone was one of the only things I enjoyed about the phone. Besides the embarrassment of the camera the battery life was just pathetic. There is no way I would recommend the nexus to the average phone user.

    • Pedro

      If you are running stock, maybe. I haven’t done that since 2011.
      I’ll admit that I rarely use the camera, but I rarely use any camera.

      • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

        Stock 4.0.4 works great, I honestly don’t know what he’s talking about. 4.0.2 was very good too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Buck/100003482949493 Joe Buck

          have read from many in the last few days that even after the update its got problems, one thing I remember was they said the mic still cut off during calls

          • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

            My mic hasn’t cut out for months. Before that it would cut out nearly every day. Also, the landscape keyboard lag is completely gone in 4.0.4. The landscape keyboard was unusable in 4.0.2, now I use it in 4.0.4 all the time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Buck/100003482949493 Joe Buck

          just read that a guy said his keyboard in landscape mode still lags terrible, I know mine is awful on stock 4.0.2

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    I agree about the camera in the Gnex. That is the only thing about the phone that I truly don’t like.

  • http://twitter.com/SJFee Sean Fee

    I figured Ron for a milk guy.

    http://goo.gl/TJflp

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      Nice!

    • EC8CH

      Skim Milk specifically.

      2% probably gives him a bellyache

  • ChuckDz3

    Sun King is awesome. Props to the local recognition! Loved this article btw

  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    Good first Q&A sesh. Enjoyable read.

  • skant153

    lost so much respect for you guys with the beer choices. girly beers and dos goatpiss? shameful

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

      Whoa whoa, girly beers? What exactly is a manly beer then? If you say Budweiser or anything domestic, gtho.

      • AlexKCMO
      • Droidzilla

        (said in a Scottish accent) Piss mixed with whiskey!

      • Knlegend1

        Yeah Budweiser is the worst crap I’ve ever tasted….taste like cold piss.

        • blackmagick20

          I’m glad that not only have you tasted piss…but you also obviously took the time to bottle it up and chill it first. I applaud your dedication, sir

          • Knlegend1

            lololololol okay I don’t have to defend myself on this but I will. Every little boy (and then I could be the only one) has accidently squirtted in the wrong direction before lol. I have never tasted cold piss, I was assuming it would taste like that chilled seeing that piss is body temperature. Budweiser is still terrible though.

  • palomosan

    Nice feature guys, this will make for a good reading and I think will make Droid Life grow more, keep it up.

    Still not sure about the love affair with Motorola after all their disappointing devices after the OG, I’m glad Google owns it now, hopefully we’ll see better hardware, after all Eye Candy is 50% when selling a product.

    • Droidzilla

      The only Moto Androids I’ve owned are the OG Droid and the Droid RAZR, so they’re still OK in my book. I never had a DX2, though; that might make me want to punch kittens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chad-Ramey/743058655 Chad Ramey

    awesome !!!! i really enjoyed reading this

  • plastikman

    This!
    I’d love to see Motorola release an anniversary edition of the OG Droid with the same chassis, but updated specs and stock Android.

    • RadicalPie

      Agreed

    • http://fujibayashi.jp/ Gasai Yuno

      The original DROID’s keyboard and trackpad? I’ll pass.

    • Droidzilla

      As much as I loved my OG, Sean Connery Droid, I certainly wouldn’t purchase a device in this day and age with a 3.7″ screen and that awful keyboard. Sorry, OG; I didn’t even like using your keyboard as a gamepad. The soft touch element of the chassis was awesome, though.

      • Tyler

        It would be more like if they used the exterior look but D4 keyboard(which iver heard is pretty good compared to the OG). I agree with you on screen size, ill never go below 4.3″ again.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      A 4 inch Stock Android phone Razr Maxx battery and Droid 4 keyboard… styled like the OG Droid would be great. I would definitely love that.

  • schoat333

    I’d say Greater Cleveland is the Micro brew capital.

  • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

    I like the mix of unanimous agreement on some things and wild variety with all of our responses. I think Kellen was the only one to see other peoples’ responses. I’m definitely looking forward to more of this feature.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LuisElTiburon Luis Rojas

      Rum and coke? Smh

      • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

        Sorry to disappoint. :p

        • Pedro

          Let me raise one for you, Ron!

          Though, I think the rum explains a lot of your opinions :)

          • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

            No comment :)

          • Fattie McDoogles

            He’s got a lil Captain in him!

      • pepe

        called “Cuba Libre” in my country. It’s my favourite also

        • WAldenIV

          I thought lime was also required for a Cuba Libre.

          • Corey Foltman

            Did you watch the rerun of The Big Bang Theory last night where this was discussed? haha

          • WAldenIV

            Haha, no I missed that and don’t remember thr episode. I have a work colleague from Haiti who loves to drink Cuba Libres.

          • michael arazan

            mmm 151 and pineapple