Three months with a Droid

Just before Christmas I got a Motorola Milestone to replace my Nokia N95. At the time it was the latest and greatest Android device to be released in the UK, and it’s my first non-Nokia device in a decade.

All in all, it is not the step change I was hoping for in upgrading from a device I got in October 2007. The device itself looks unremarkable and rather like several touchscreen LG models. The hardware keyboard is very useful but the keys are virtually flush together, making it hard to get any kind of sense of whether you’re about to press the right letter or not (obviously it’s less of an issue after a bit of practice).

The camera is significantly worse than my N95 in both hardware and software (even accounting for the 24.5 day bug which my firmware has) – this is a real disappointment since the camera on my phone had become my main Flickr weapon since it worked well in most light conditions, had simple software and a great lens.

It doesn’t come with a podcatcher, which the nokia did, and the music player is extraordinarily basic (although it does seem to do most of the things I want).

On the other hand, having a large, hi-res, bright, touchscreen device is lovely. I’ve been lusting after my wife’s iPod Touch for the last year or so but hate iTunes and get frustrated at the Touch’s limitations so it’s been a blessed relief to finally get a device that feels more like a computer (yay for multitasking!). Of course, the Android Market is much smaller than the app store but the only place I’ve really noticed this is with games, and I’ll write another post about the Market later.

It’s pretty clear I was quite spoiled with the N95 in that it met all the hardware and software requirements I had, even though I didn’t realise I had them until I moved platform.

All this does lead me to wonder whether i’d have been better off with the Nokia N900 rather than the Milestone. In the short term I think the answer is no, especially since it runs Maemo rather than Symbian. I’m glad I have an Android device, even if, in the worst case, it’s just to get some experience of it; but in 15 months time I think there will have to be something special, in both hardware and software to keep me on Android.

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4 thoughts on “Three months with a Droid”

  1. Might not be quite what your after but have you tried google´s Listen app for Android (http://listen.googlelabs.com/), might solve some of your podcast needs. Interesting to hear your thoughts though, have an upgrade dilemma myself at the moment, between the nexus and the milestone.

  2. I did try it but it didn’t fit my needs. I ended up paying for the full version of BeyondPod because it can subscribe to OPML files alongside static feed subscriptions. I plan on writing about that soon. 🙂

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