February 18, 2012, 7:25 AM —
With its slide-out QWERTY keyboard and latest version of Android, the original Motorola Droid stood for everything the iPhone wasn't. However, Motorola's interest in QWERTY Android phones has been downplayed with each new model. The Motorola Droid 4 ($200 with a new 2-year contract on Verizon; price as of 2/13/2012) is the latest in the keyboard toting Android phones. Unfortunately, the Droid 4 lacks the same excitement the original Droid sparked-- the excellent keyboard and zippy processor is overshadowed by a blurry screen and poor camera.
The Droid 4 has the same angular design that we saw on the Droid RAZR. At 2.75 by 4.98 by 0.50-inches, the phone should fit comfortably in most hands and pockets. Like most Android phones the Droid 4 features two cameras; a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel camera on the back (more on those later). Aside from the full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, buttons on the Droid 4 have been limited to just a volume rocker and power button. While I found the QWERTY keyboard extremely comfortable to use, the same cannot be said for the loose power button and overly stiff volume rocker. The sliding mechanism, which initially felt rigid, seemed to get better the more I used the phone. The back cover on the Droid 4 can be removed, though it requires the use of an included small plastic tool. If you lose the tool, you can still use a paperclip to remove the back. Once you do get the cover off, however, there isn't much you can do. The battery is not user-removable and the SIM and MicroSD card slots can be difficult to get to.