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The one about the Droid.

I should apologize in advance, for what will be the most boring column I’ve ever written.

It’s just that I haven’t been wasting a whole lot of time lately.

It’s been a crazy period in my life, actually, between work and other pursuits. That doesn’t really allow me much material to work with for a column about wasting time.

But where there’s a will, there’s a meaningless way to blow through one’s week, and for me, that was waiting for my new Droid.


I’ve needed a new phone for a while.

Until recently, I carried a Blackberry Curve. It was my constant companion, my partner-in-crime. That probably explains a few things about my social life (or lack thereof).

Of late, the Curve started to experience severe lagtimes, and in increasingly common occurences, total crashes. I would get a white screen with a tiny error message, “App Error.” Fortunately, I was pretty close to the end of my contract with Verizon, which meant I would soon be eligible for an upgrade!

I already knew I wanted a Droid. I heard friends of mine rave about theirs, and even got to play with a couple, briefly. After reading glowing reviews of the latest Motorola Droid models, the Droid X and Droid 2, it was cinched. I was going to get a Droid.

Figuring out which model took some time. One of the things I loved most about the Blackberry was that it had a full, physical keyboard, with which I was quite adept. The original Droid impressed me with its sliding keyboard. I wasn’t terribly keen on the touch keyboard, but I love having options. The Droid 2 followed in its predecessor’s footsteps.

But the Droid X…man, that’s a serious piece of plastic. It was longer than its counterpart, and lacked the physical keyboard, but had a 720p camcorder on top of its 8MP camera. It came with a 16GB microSD card as opposed to 8GB. It was not playing. The Droid X called to me, in its low, rumbling, robotic tone, its big red eye peering into my soul like the eye of Sauron…and it said, “DROOOOOIIID.”

I consulted websites, friends with Droids, Verizon employees, friends who worked for Verizon, and even random people sitting in front of me on public transportation with Droids. If there was ever a time I needed to be an educated consumer, it was this time.

Finally, I felt secure enough in my judgment to render a decision: I would purchase the Droid X. (Quite a deal, actually, I got it for the new/renewing user price of $299, minus a $100 credit towards an upgrade and a $100 online discount. All in all, new Droid X for $99.)

Verizon tells you the Droid X ships overnight, but the phone is still fairly new and very popular, so they’re still backordered. I placed the order on a Thursday. The phone wasn’t available to ship until Sunday. I got the notification that morning that it shipped.

That week was one of the longest I had in recent memory. Even when I was busy at work or doing other things, I thought of that Droid. When I slept, I dreamed about its arrival, about finally holding its sleek black frame.

FedEx delivered it on a Tursday, but no one was home to sign for it, so they took it back and left a note. I was dismayed, hurt even. So close, it was so close to me, and yet I had nothing to show for it. My dreams took on a bitter flavor, taunting me over the added day’s wait.

The next day, I rushed home to find it waiting for me. I tore open the packing box and lifted the phone aloft, feeling a rush of pure excitement pass through me. I activated it, then set about upgrading the Android software to 2.2…

It’s been a couple of days since, and I can tell you, I really do like the phone–however, it didn’t take long for something to go wrong. It stopped playing media files at one point, telling me the player didn’t support them. A battery pull or hard reset seemed to fix the issue, but not permanently. Another time, the camcorder stopped working.

Today was my second trip to the Verizon Wireless store about this issue. The first time, I was told it might be a software issue. This time, I was informed too many apps running in the background were consuming enough memory to disrupt the media player and whatever else fouled up. The tech downloaded Advanced Task Killer onto my phone, and things seem to be running fine.

I can’t say for certain which is best between the Droid and the iPhone, but I can tell you I really like my Droid X. Was it worth the time and thought I wasted while waiiting for it? Too soon to tell, but I’m enjoying it so far. That counts for something!

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