Friday, January 7, 2011

Droids And Androids

via gizmodo
Verizon announced a new kind of Droid phone, the Droid Bionic 4G smartphone.  Wow. (zzzzzzzzzz)

We should be excited about this latest Droid from Motorola.  We should be, but we are not.

This new phone sports a dual-core chip and will work on Verizon's still barely existing LTE 4G network.  It is supposed to be released second quarter of 2011.  It will have 512 meg of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, Front facing VGA webcam, HTML5, Flash web browsing, 16GB of storage (with an additional 32GB of microSD storage).  The battery will be 36% bigger than the iPhone4.  Wi-Fi will be in all the flavors.  All of this is expected.

But there is more.  I will have an HDMI output to connect the phone in "mirror mode" to HDTV which will allow you to see your apps, videos and pictures on the TV.  This is a nice feature.

Now are you ready for the bad news?

LTE will not be fully available until the middle of 2012.  So the few areas that will have it by the middle of 2011 will be around 39 major metropolitan cities.  The cities are:
1. Akron Ohio
2, Athens, Georgia
3. Atlanta, Georgia
4.  Baltimore, Maryland
5.  Boston, Mass.
6.  Charlotte, North Carolina
7.  Chicago, Illinois
8.  Cincinnati, Ohio
9.  Cleveland, Ohio
10. Columbus, Ohio
11. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
12. Denver, Colorado
13. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
14. Houston, Texas
15. Jacksonville, Florida
16. Las Vegas, Nevada
17. Los Angeles, California
18. Miami, Florida
19. Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
20. Nashville, Tennessee
21. New Orleans, Louisiana
22. New York, New York
23. Oakland, California
24. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
25. Orlando, Florida
26. Philadelphia, Penn.
27. Phoenix, Arizona
28. Pittsburgh, Penn.
29. Rochester, New York
30. San Antonio, Texas
31. San Diego, California
32. San Francisco, California
33. San Jose, California
34. Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
35. St. Louis, Missouri
36. Tampa, Florida
37. Washington DC
38. West Lafayette, Indiana
39.  West Palm Beach, Florida

Unless you are living in those cities there is no guarantee whether you are near enough to get LTE in your community.  Finally, with the LTE rollout Verizon users will be able to have voice and data at the same time, IF THEY GET AN LTE PHONE.  At the present, there are none being offered from Verizon.  This one will probably be the first.  We doubt highly that the iPhone will be an LTE phone.

It is a well known fact among experts (but not to the general public), that the infrastructure of the internet is being overloaded.  What people want is to watch a lot of video anywhere through these devices.  It is also known that owners or Androids or iPhones use data bandwidth in much great numbers than those on normal cell phones.  If the wired internet infrastructure is now overwhelmed by the demands of streaming videos, will this LTE network with all its promises about instant video be able to handle the traffic?  We do not think so.

Besides neither Sprint nor Verizon's 4G network are technically 4G.  All the wireless technologies do not achieve any of the speeds by a long shot to be considered true 4G.  They have been granted that status by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), which created the 4G standard,  if these protocols of Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile  show marked improvement in speeds from traditional 3G communications.

If you cannot see the embedded video here is the link:

This new announced Droid is an evolutionary not a revolutionary product.  It still copies the look of the iPhone.  It uses the same touch features as the iPhone.  Android, despite it's great features, is still a copy of iOS.

But the biggest problem is that unlike with the iPhone, it is the telecommunication companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile that control WHEN and IF you get software updates, or what apps will be able to run in the phone.  Many complain of the hard controlling hand of Steve Jobs with Apple products.  This is true enough.  BUT, he controls the products to give the users the best experience that Apple can offer right now.   We are fairly confident when we say that Verizon is not primarily driven by the user experience but by the profit motive.   We shall be interested to see how many people will be able to upgrade this Droid when Gingerbread, Google new OS, comes out.  This decision will not be up to Google, or the end user to make,  but up to Verizon.


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