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Droid Eris Review: Is Android for You?

Smart phones are undeniably the hot new thing to hit the tech market. A few months ago I geared myself up with the new HTC Droid Eris Android phone. After a thorough inspection, I put together a review of this titillating telephone. I really am having a blast with it, and I’m not noticing anything really lacking after switching from my old iPhone.

Yet there are a few things about this god-like gadget that may surprise you.

Click through to my article at GeekTyrant for more information on Android!

  • Cool gadget! But…. it’s pink)) Nevertheless, you, Nixie, are still the best “device” I’ve ever seen…
    P.S. Pink Floyd rocks!!!!

  • Great review and loved the llama 😀 I bet he/she loves their new mommy huh hehe. I think Google wants to rule the world and won’t let an old apple beat them plus with a open source market they have the advantage plus Verizon is MUCH better then crappy AT&T :-p

    keep up the awesome work

    I LOVES ME SOME SEXY NIXIE

  • Thanks for the review. I hate apple. They load their devices with drm and try to take away all the rights you paid for. I really like the android os but it doesn’t use the gnu libraries.

    I am hoping that there will be more phones like the nokia n900 running Maemo linux

    -Nick

    • Sam

      Yeah, the n900 looks sweet. I hate that you need to root your phone to even use curl via the terminal.

      Though considering the fact that there like 20 android phones out there only 2 years later.. I think everyone but apple and android will be ignored by the majority of the population.

      Palm doesn’t have enough of a market share for anyone but ubber geeks to care.

  • efjc

    Great video Nixie. The reason I stay clear of Apple is because they always treat their customers like cattle, to be told what to do and what to like.

    I would like to hear your views on Android compared to Maemo, why you chose Android etc. Or did you just not like the N900?

  • After using the HTC Hero for a month or three now, and having used the iPhone 3G for about 7 months before that, I can only concur. Even with the little flaws Android has (1.5/1.6) still has matured insanely fast, has outgrown iPhone OS!
    What’s interesting is the interaction that’s going on between Apple and Google regarding their mobile OSses. Pocket-computer-development was going to the moon with the iPhone OS. With Android in the playing field, Mars is within reach and with the other Unix based mobile captains popping up here and there (and the user/development bases automatically following) we’ll soon be in another solar system. Exiting times!

    One of the excellent side effects of having OSS operating systems on mobile phones is the continues optimizations and customizations that follow after every official mobile OS release. This fact has made HTC decide to re-release the (excelent!) Hero, colored pink next to the brown and white versions. This time containing Android 2.1, which will be faster, more stable, less memory consuming and will contain an improved Sense interface, which is a really cool addition to the default Android interface.
    So distributing a phone with a open source OS has resulted in being able reuse their complete marketing campaign and distribution line. Just as Linux enables you to keep using your PC for 5 instead of 2 years, without giving you the feeling you’re missing out on all the new and cool stuff. Sounds like an environmental friendly plan, doesn’t it! And we all can upgrade our phones to the new OS and feel like we’re on top again….. Win; win; win…..

    Bye bye closed source!!

  • Shiro-Nuba

    The Droid Eris is a nice phone, but the problem is they haven’t gotten it rooted yet, if you could root it, alot of the issues you had with it would more then likely go away. My G1 with root/cyanogen vs stock is vastly faster, more reliable, and more enjoyable to use. Root also opens up the ability to use a swap partition, apps2sd, setcpu, and lots of other tools to further enhance your device. From my experience with the Eris it is definitely the best “stock” android phone I have had the privilege to use, but rooted you cant beat the Motorola Droid on Verizon. I went with Tmo (Love Tmo, best customer service EVER XD) and they are definitely the go to for android, they got the G1, Nexus One, MyTouch3g, Moto Cliq, Samsung Behold 2, and the Pulse.

  • NamelessTed

    I am a huge fan of Android powered phones but not a fan of the Droid Eris. I still have the original G1 and love it. Of course I have mine rooted and use customize ROMs which are super fast and very customized.

    As far as the lag with typing goes, it is a problem with Android right now, or at least the version on the Eris. My G1 originally had this problem. Android has a memory leak issue where it slows down over time. The only way to fix it was to reboot the phone. Of course with the customized ROMs from different devs, they fixed this problem on the G1 and for other phones that have an active dev community for them.

    I want to get me a Nexus One and root it so I can have some delicious CyanogenMod on that. It makes me sad inside.

  • Shiro-Nuba

    Nexus One + Cyanogen = Ownage! XD lol

  • abigsky

    My original Eris got abnormally warm and had bad key lagging. As it turned out it was damaged, and Verizon replaced it at the store for me.

    Yeah, the keay are still a little laggy, but better than the malfunctioning one.

    My battery life is low, mostly because I can’t keep from playing with new apps on it. 🙂

  • Really great work. I loved this space. Have a nice day.

  • Just bought the new Iphone 3GS to replace my first generation old geezer I-Phone . Had a lot of doubt though.
    Reading a gazillion of Android phone reviews I decided to stick with the Iphone for now. The new platform just isn’t mature enough and the hardware seems a bit too glitchy for me. And after freeing the I-Phone from Apple’s restrictions (hence jail-breaking) it’s still the number one powerhouse (running a unix kernel). And with Cydia, Rock, Icy etc there’s the whole open-source community to drive on.

    Nevertheless a nice review, but not completely objective (you own one yourself missy) 😉

  • MadDog

    I’ve done the rounds of mobile operating systems in recent years, and Apple still looks pretty slick, particularly compared to the lumbering giant of Windows Mobile, and the antiquated feel of Symbian devices (though symbian is getting a facelift, it seems, and may actually produce something nice in the coming year).

    I have to say that Android does look cool, as does Maemo, which I’ve seen on the n900 and it looks nice. I think that some of the bigger players are starting to get the idea that Apple’s weakness is it’s technological police-state feel, and that open source could play a role in unseating them.

    That’s just the core software though: Apple’s app-store still has huge appeal compared to the competition, and HTC/Nokia hardware needs to be beefed up to compete with Apple. This is the problem with Maemo/Android: you can do so much with it that it needs more power to do the same thing as the iPhone, which has a slick custom OS designed to do relatively few things, but to do them well.

  • @NixiePixel – cool video. Hopefully the next firmware update will fix some of the issues that you share (very honestly I might add).

    As for me, I’m using the Verizon Droid and I love it. And not just because it’s based on Linux and thus promotes the advancement of humankind and technology with scientific openness … although that is always a big factor with me. But also because with Android and Google’s azilink, Linux users can tether their phones as a modem to Linux via the USB cable. It’s a lot faster than my blackberry was…

    Here’s an article I wrote up on it (using Droid and Ubuntu GNU/Linux 9.10/10.04)…
    http://www.humans-enabled.com/2009/12/how-to-tether-your-verizon-droid-as.html

    Do you think you can test it and see if it works for you? The only difference, as I’m sure you will probably recognize, is that you will have to change the values in step #4 to match your lsusb output for the Droid Eris. If it does work, could you let me know the lsusb output for your phone so I can show it in the posting?

    Thanks and congrats on your GNU/Linux freedom!
    Shannon VanWagner
    humans-enabled.com

  • timshapiro

    “Apple or google, who’s going to be on top?”

    (I hope you didn’t break your phone. I dropped my mytouch a few times and wanted to punch myself in the back of the face… the back of the face? Anyways).

    Apple will come out on top and here’s the reasons why. You mentioned the philosophical differences that Apple has in contrast with Google and the Android market. The downside to Apple’s restrictions is that there’s no freedom. The upside is that all the Applications released are at least held to some sort of standard. There are some kids going through college that are told that in order for them to graduate medical school they MUST have an iphone or an iMaxipad (sorry… couldn’t resist.) Anyways — there are applications that are fully FCC approved in that Doctors are able to monitor the people they give care for while on the other side of the planet. They are able to sync their phone up with their vitals and with many hospital oriented equipment and the list goes on and on. The iphone is an invaluable tool.

    Furthermore, the iphone both produces the hardware and the software for the iphone and so this means that they make a 100% profit whenever they sell a phone.

    Now… Google has messed up in a variety of ways. Financially they made the bad decision of not making their own phone. But even though they didn’t decide to go that route and just supply an operating system for phone manufacturers that AREN’T Google — they made the mistake of settling with multiple phone manufacturers.

    Had they settled with HTC, for example, they would be making a much better profit. But now that they’ve managed to provide their operating system to multiple phone manufacturers such as Morola, HTC, and etc… the two biggest competitors with the Android phones is Apple (of course) and Android… (That sounds stupid, I know… but think about it. If someone buys a Motorola Droid Google made a profit, but the HTC Eris didn’t make a sale, and so Google’s contract with HTC suffers… and the same applies when the reverse happens. So Google decided to stretch themselves thin when they did this… no matter… they’re like the third biggest company in the world).

    So, on regards to the business model, Apple wins hands over fist.

    What I WOULD like to see is Android coming out with MP3 players. I personally have an HTC Mytouch… I hate it… its hardware is crap. Oh well. But I use it none the less. I’m dirt poor and come on hard times. So the service with my phone has been canceled. My phone doesn’t receive a cellular signal, but it connects to wifi and it functions as a slightly more advanced MP3 player… this makes me feel as though I should have gone the smart route. I should have gotten an MP3 player (in this case an itouch and gotten a VERY simple phone… aint that just a kick in the iballs).

    I’m a HUGE fan of Linux and I’m happy when I see Google supporting it. So if Android helped produce some MP3’s then I wouldn’t be forced to go to the itouch later on in life. (I hate itunes…)

    On regards to business philosophy, I’m a bigger fan of Android.

    On computers, Linux has a better sense of security. That’s cool. BUT its software, though good, isn’t as good as other operating systems… and I feel and see that this seems to be a running trend that’s occupying the Android market. Its applications are nice, but they’re not as stunning and effective as the iphone’s.

    Anyways, those are my thoughts.

  • Digitalpioneer

    Well heck yeah Android is right for you. I don’t care who you are, Android is right for you. The only viable alternative is Symbian, but that’s not so popular in the USA. Honestly, the iPhone is a joke to me. It doesn’t begin to be useful until you jailbreak it. They haven’t made one yet with halfway decent hardware, they tend to be very fragile and honestly, they’re so freaking annoying to use I want to shoot myself after using one.

    Oh, and as a programmer, I can say that I have written applications for both android and iPhone and android is infinitely easier to develop for. A friend pointed out that it’s no wonder why iPhone apps are so ridiculously expensive; they’re a bloody nightmare to write!

    I had the G1 and am now the proud owner of a Nexus One. Both run modded versions of android giving me the freshest updates from Google and the best additions from the community (long live open source!) and they are both still well supported, fully usable, high quality phones. How many updates do you see apple making for the original iPhone? Yet the original android phone, G1, is alive and well and there is much talk of an official Froyo release for it. Even if there isn’t one, due to android’s open source nature, the community is guaranteed to make one.

    And finally, you’re awesome Nixie. Thanks for being an awesome, intelligent and public face for Linux and Open Source. And shoot, you’re as pretty as they come too. 🙂

  • Pedro

    What a ‘dive’ 😛 Does it still work?

    Apple and Google will be catching each others up for some time, and probably will be the only 2 major players in mobile market. Microsotf once again thought it owned the market and when finally awakened it was already too late; and Blackberry…. well, I just can’t see what everybody saw in it: big device, small screen.

    Nice resolution Eris gives @ 2:40…. *very nice* resolution… 😀

    It would be good to see a review of the 2 hottest things in mobile world right now: HTC Evo (android), and the iPhone 4

  • Popejimbo

    “Semi-full sized”? Wasn’t it already “semi-full sized” since it was already smaller than full sized? Lol. Okay, I’m just being a smart arse. Nice video. Oh and I must confess, my mind did immediately shoot to its dirty setting when vibrations were mentioned, and I’m afraid I noticed the little arse wiggle at the end a bit more than was decent.

    Seriously though, good, concise, informative video as always. Thanks:)

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