1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

General Droid 3 mini-review

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rushmore, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. rushmore

    rushmore Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    323
    Posts:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008

    Nov 13, 2008
    8,267
    1,355
    323
    Kentucky
    Not a full review, since not enough time with the device (12 hours) and I learned my lesson with the DX2:


    • Build impressions still high, but the D3 is not built like the tank the D1 was (no phone is, really).
    • KB slider seems a tad loose to me. The D1 and D2 took a little more force to move. Seems easy to move it, but maybe my thumb is too spastic. It is not loose when extended, but seems to have a little give in the closed position.
    • Average camera (neither good or bad)
    • Amazing MP3 sound quality with zero pops- even with heavy multi tasking.
    • Radio reception seems a little better than DX2.
    • Keyboard rocks and works surprisingly well with game emulators.
    • Quadrant average 2450 (FWIW)
    • N64 and PSX plays very smooth and a little better than the Tegra 2 devices I have used (A500, gTablet, Thrive and DX2).
    • No memory issues like the DX2. Where the DX2 would hover in the 50mb range, the D3 usually hovers well over 100mb and unlike the DX2, the memory is accounted for (no mystery leaks)
    • Stability seems very good so far. I intentionally tried to choke the device with heavy Flash use, 150 apps installed, game emulators, multitasking, higher def video and not one reboot or lag issue. The DX2 was a mess within a few hours of owning it.
    • Camera did not mess up on me like the VZW demo did (crashed once). Have not used much though.
    • Wifi has very good range.
    • I prefer the D3 display over the DX2, since the pentile issues are less of an issue with smaller size. I liked the DX2 display, but the 4" size seems better suited for the technology as is.
    • The D3 does not appear to get as warm/hot as the DX2, but part of the perception is the D3 cover is much better for insulating heat and does not have the heating element like cover of the DX2.
    • Battery life is better than my Droid, so okay with me.
    • Call quality is fantastic.
    • Blur / Gingerbread mix seems like Honeycomb lite. Nice, IMO.

    I am "confident" that something will eventually probably go amuck, since the D3 is of course an Android device, but until then (if it does), the D3 appears to be a well designed, well thought out device with great performance for radios, chipset and keyboard function. Plus works great with just 512mb ram. If folks are staying away just due to the ram, they are missing out on a nice device.

    I shall not rate the D3, since I might jinx it :eek:;):)

    Added:

    BTW, the "150 apps" is not an exaggeration. I used Astro for app back-up and then the paid apps that did not work with Astro recovery were reinstalled using the market.

    For people having trouble with installing some apps, mount the D3 as drive storage and all apps should install using the market with no problem. The two Mini Squadron games are examples that will not install unless you mount the storage.
     

    Advertisement

    DeniseJ, UBRocked, sharkh20 and 2 others like this.
  2. hkklife

    hkklife Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    18
    Posts:
    63
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010

    Apr 17, 2010
    63
    12
    18
    Awesome. Thanks for the mini-review, Rush.


    Couple of additiona comments/questions:

    -Assuming you've had time to play with all of this, can you comment on camera image quality, especially indoors and in low light? I'm especially curious how this compares to the DX2....also shutter response/speed. I've also read some users complaining about blue-tinted images.

    -Is 1080p video capture smooth or does it hiccup like the DX2's 720p does for many users?

    -Out of the box, did you note what the allocation was for app storage vs. internal "SD card" storage space?

    -How does receptions/signal strength fare compared to DX2?

    -How does the keyboard backlight brightness compare to the Droid 1? Or at least to the X2's hard buttons?

    -Any issues or problems with the battery cover door?

    -How do flesh tones look on the pentile screen? Even in good lighting that's my biggest gripe with the X2. I will take a pic of someone and they will get quite alarmed b/c they say it looks like they have blotchy skin when they see it onscreen (but the actual image is fine when viewed elsewhere)

    -Does HDMI out mirroring seem optimized for 1080p or does it do ok on 720p too?

    -Is the Nova bloatware game the full version? if so that might be a fun diversion to play through it then delete it. How does it run on the D3?

    Thanks in advance for answering any of these questions if possible!
     
  3. sharkh20

    sharkh20 Newbie
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    18
    Posts:
    28
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009

    Nov 14, 2009
    28
    10
    18
    The blue tint only happens to me with the flash.

    Without flash (forgive the product placement):

    [​IMG]

    With Flash:

    [​IMG]

    This is in pretty low light, you can see the noise caused by this, but it is definitely better than my OG droid, not sure about the x2. Photos aren't instant take unfortunately, it's about a second delay from when you press and the actual picture takes.

    Here is a quick 1080p test, make of it what you will:

    ‪1080p test‬‏ - YouTube

    Out of the box I think the actual memory size was about 12 gigs free from the 16gig internal storage. App storage was about 2 gigs but I am not sure the exact number as I didn't check out of the box. It is currently at 1.74 Gigs so 2 is my rough guestimate

    Keyboard brightness is what you would expect, easily visible but not blinding.

    Battery cover is not coming off. It is difficult to get off even when you want to. My og droid battery cover always fell off in my pocket, that's never going to happen here.

    Flesh tones seem to look fine, can be blotchy with flash just like any other camera. But screen blotchyness doesn't seem to be a problem from what I can tell.

    I deleted Nova the instant I got the phone, but I would imagine it was the demo. From what I saw on a video review, it looked like it ran pretty well. Noticed one hiccup with slowed down fps but the rest of the game ran smooth in the video.
     
  4. rushmore

    rushmore Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    323
    Posts:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008

    Nov 13, 2008
    8,267
    1,355
    323
    Kentucky

    Since agree with Shark's comments, I will cover the others some:

    1. As mentioned, the 16gb is spread out to app and media storage. The missing balance is the OS and stock apps. All OEMs do this now for this type of flash storage.

    2. Mirror mode seems to look fine in both res.

    3. Signal reception and call quality appears to be the best of any device I have owned or tested (which are a lot).

    4. Skin tones seem more natural to me than the DX2 did. All displays seem to have issues though. BTW, the most accurate display IMO is the Toshiba Thrive tablet (too bad it has a sleep mode bug that needs fixing).

    5. Nova is the demo version and BE CAREFUL, since when you press "get the game" and just after that option, it does not give you price or warn and will order straight to your phone account: $7, which is too much. I have the iPod version and IMO, the iPod version plays better. Seems the Android version is a little lazy of a port and not worth $7, IMO. I uninstalled the Golf game and Nova and gained almost 300mb more app storage.

    The onle issue I have with the D3 is the power and volume buttons, since seem too small and thin to me. Besides this, the D3 is so far the best device I have ever owned.

    So far four days in, with 215 apps at 1.3gb and still no reboots or lag issues. I have yet to feel the need to shut the device down and restart, in order to "start fresh". Sound quality is amazing and no issues at all like the DX2. You can play a game or browse with ZERO audio issues.

    It seems Motorola has created an amazing device with the D3 that should grow in sales as word gets out.

    Added: Notice I put "so far" and "seems" a few times, but I am used to Android devices of late
    seeming good up front, only to bog down and choke after some practical use and user app installs. The D3 has not do so, but I am still paranoid..... ;)
     
  5. sharkh20

    sharkh20 Newbie
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    18
    Posts:
    28
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009

    Nov 14, 2009
    28
    10
    18
    You are definitely putting it through its paces, 215 apps, good lord.
     
  6. rushmore

    rushmore Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    323
    Posts:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008

    Nov 13, 2008
    8,267
    1,355
    323
    Kentucky
    It might be more, since 13 pages with the final page almost full. 20 apps per page, but some are stock apps. Sad really.....
     
  7. ArmchairBear

    ArmchairBear Well-Known Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    58
    Posts:
    213
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010

    Apr 28, 2010
    213
    19
    58
    I decided to take the plunge and get mine from the store with my early upgrade discount.

    The Screen!
    I don't mind the pixelation at all. But what bothered me the most was the inaccurate colors, mostly Yellow, Orange, Green. Those colors look really washed out. Angry Birds just looks weird. I might be taking this really hard because I was spoiled with an AMOLED screen on my Inc. I really wish (but not holding my breath) that's there's some kind of fix for the discoloration. The screen is definitely much easier to see in sunlight than other phones, in fact, the screen always looks bright, even at the lowest setting.

    Also, there's blue ghosting in Angry Birds and Abduction, but not in Doodle Jump. I wonder why.

    However, I enjoy surfing the web much more because of the bigger screen and higher resolution to show more content. The physical keyboard also makes browsing better because sometimes, a virtual keyboard will cover up some username/password entry fields and that's really annoying.

    Size:
    The phone looks and feels bigger than it actually is. It's so boxy. Some phone are curved in the back which makes them feel smaller and easier to hold. But being a 4" screen phone, it's not too bad. I'm one of those who say 4" screen is the sweet spot for a phone.

    Interface:
    Motorblur is ok, but it doesn't look as good as Sense. Maybe it looks a little better than stock Android. I do like the dialer though. After a while I just used Launcher Pro and was happy.

    Keyboard:
    Feels really nice and is a joy to use. Lighted up just bright enough. The numbers buttons is a huge bonus, a very good addition. The arrow keys make up for not having a trackball or optical joystick, and they make text editing much easier.

    Battery Life:
    Basically run down the battery, charge it back up, and turn off the GSM option and the battery life should be solid. I'm really happy because it's much much better than the Droid Inc.

    Bottom line for me is, I like everything about this phone a lot except for the discoloration of 3 colors of the screen. If you're okay with the screen you'll love this phone.
     
  8. rushmore

    rushmore Android Expert
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    323
    Posts:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008

    Nov 13, 2008
    8,267
    1,355
    323
    Kentucky
    I am not getting ghosting in Angry Birds, but have not tried abduction.
     
  9. ArmchairBear

    ArmchairBear Well-Known Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    58
    Posts:
    213
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010

    Apr 28, 2010
    213
    19
    58
    Dangit! did I get one with a crappy screen? How are the colors on your screen? Especially the Yellows.

    My screen looks like there's a light blue film on it. Everything seems to have a blueish tint to it. Like the Matrix movies except in blue.
     

Share This Page

Loading...