View Full Version : Will Droid Owners Get Buyer's Remorse?

January 8th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Google's own Nexus One upstages the recently-introduced Droid. Do you wish you'd waited?

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- If you rushed out to buy a new Droid phone from Motorola based on reviews and the heavy marketing campaign, congratulations, your phone's been obsoleted by Google.

That's an exaggeration, but today's release of Google's Nexus One, what the company describes as a new generation of "superphone," has clearly moved the high-flying Droid down a peg a two from the perch as the hottest Android phone.

"Google has talked about equal opportunities for developers, but now it's showing that some Android devices are more equal than others," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of strategy and analysis at Interpret.

"If I were [Android supporters] LG or Samsung, I'd be feeling pretty bad right now," Gartenberg told InternetNews.com. "And if I'm a Droid user, I'd be feeling some buyer's remorse now. You might even think, 'Well the Nexus One is on T-Mobile and I want to be on Verizon,' but you can't even say that for long because Google has already said Verizon will ship a Nexus One this spring."

Many if not all of the slick software features on the Nexus One will eventually be available to Droid users, as they are part of the latest version of the open source Android software stack, version 2.1. Droid currently ships with version 2.0.

Also, the Nexus One is also a much sleeker, lighter device than the Droid. "The Droid really feels like a guy phone, it's bigger and heavier," said Michele Turner, executive vice president of products at Cooliris which developed the flashy, 3D media gallery software for managing photos in the Nexus One.

Gartenberg said Google is raising the bar for the Android ecosystem with Nexus One, and its challenge will be not only to lead but also support and keep its partners happy. "This is really a Google phone and Google is now a consumer electronics company," said Gartenberg. "You can't even buy the phone at T-Mobile, only at Google's Web site, so Google owns the customer."

Controlling the ecosystem

He also likened Google's move to Apple's iPhone strategy of controlling as much of the ecosystem as possible.

At the beginning of today's media event, Google acknowledged the work of other mobile Android device providers whose offerings, for now, appear to be eclipsed by Nexus One. It's also worth noting that since the device is, for now, only being sold via the Web site, Google is not competing directly with its partners at the retail level.

"We're in the early stages of a longer journey," said Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google. "We're proud of our partners," he continued, ticking off the names of Android devices like the Sprint HTC Hero, the Droid, Motorola CLIQ, Acer A1 and Sony Experia. "The volume and variety of devices has honestly exceeded even our most optimistic expectations, but we want to do more."

Queiroz said Google developed Nexus One with HTC as part of a plan to "bring devices to market which are going to help us showcase technology software at Google."

Gartenberg said he thinks Google was more directly motivated by some level of disappointment in the Android devices released so far. "They've been kind of lackluster. I really think Google wants to kick things up a notch."

By David Needle


January 8th, 2010, 02:27 PM
That's what I always say: If you wait for all innovations to come, you'll never buy anything. (specially if it's tech-related)

People who got the G1, could have waited to get the Hero. Who got the Hero, could have waited for the Droid/Milestone. Who bought the Droid could have waited for the Nexus One. And so on...

January 8th, 2010, 02:43 PM
That's what I always say: If you wait for all innovations to come, you'll never buy anything. (specially if it's tech-related)

People who got the G1, could have waited to get the Hero. Who got the Hero, could have waited for the Droid/Milestone. Who bought the Droid could have waited for the Nexus One. And so on...


January 8th, 2010, 03:00 PM
Looking at the comparisons driod is better hw than nexus, but nexus is cheaper, i don't think anybody is loosing out.

Tristam Green
January 8th, 2010, 03:28 PM
It is my intention to sit at home and never buy another phone until one that can (assist in the application of toilet paper) exists.

Two months later, though, it will be obsoleted by one that can flush the toilet for me.

January 8th, 2010, 04:19 PM
I recently bought an HTC Hero and while it is a nice phone I have found it to be slow in use and not really fulfill the promise of being much more than a phone.

I've learned from it that I would like something that runs a UI experience that is closer to stock Android since the porting of a large change such as the HTC Sense UI takes a long time to complete as the Android base progresses and improves. Time when the user is deprived of updates to improve the experience and instead of slow incremental changes they get rare large code dumps that likely also changes behavior. This causes issues for users learning the basically new phone all over.

I've also learned that I would like a hardware keyboard since I am not cut out for on screen typing. Furthermore I would like to see some of the more logic extensions be made to the platform such as letting known friends addresses appear in the map application.

Skype on Android is utterly crippled, there is some kind of restriction being enforced to disallow the application from using the data connection. That sours the experience quite a bit.

All in all while I bought the phone because I needed one and thus had to pick what I thought was the best phone at the moment. I really wish the Droid had been available to me subsidized as I am not ready to pay for an unlocked phone with the mobile contracts as they are currently since it doesn't save me money.

The HTC Hero isn't a bad phone but the realistic competetor available to me at the same price was a new iPhone 3GS 32GB and it is certainly an inferior phone to that.

If you are thinking of going with the Hero to support Open Source then you should also know that HTC adds a proprietary UI and know that it comes with costs though it provides a very compelling UI.

The perfect Android phone might be closer to the Droid or the Nexus One depending on your preference and use cases. They are still slower on things like loading and rendering webpages than the 3GS but the hardware and specifications are solid. They are also products you can expect to be improved with updates regularly considering that they are a very standard Android deployment. You could consider it an investment of trust in the platform, it doesn't quite provide an experience that really beats the the iPhone solidly yet but it has considerable promise and past performance as an indicator will reach it soon. Bet on it coming to these products soon.

I elected to go for openness regardless, I know I have an inferior phone for it.

January 8th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Looking at the comparisons driod is better hw than nexus...

<citation needed>

January 8th, 2010, 05:42 PM
Yeah, that sounds like bullplop...

I don't think you'd get buyer's remorse for buying a phone and then a new one comes out. That isn't buyer's remorse. Buyer's remorse is that sick feeling you get 45 minutes after making a large purchase thinking 'I just spent how much on this?!'

Case in point - I bought an iPod 3G and then 2 weeks later Apple released the 4G. I didn't feel any remorse for it, as I really liked the old clickwheel. Also, when the 2G iPhone went from 269 down to 169, I bought it knowing full well that the 3G had just come out. I knew I wanted it though, couldn't stand the HTC TyTN I had and even though transfer speeds were lower on the iPhone, loading pages and the whole web experience was better on the iPhone, so much, that the 3G wasn't enough to tempt me to get an expensive contract.

I think people who bought a Hero or Droid Eris will be feeling that 'why didn't I wait longer' feeling. But the majority of Droid owners will, like Blackberry addicts, find faults with the Nexus (mostly around the lack of physical keyboard - which is a moot point to me) and subconsciously justify it to themselves. Although let's not get it twisted - they bought the best Motorola phone released in the last 15 years, so there's no need to feel downhearted about it!

January 8th, 2010, 05:48 PM
I'm waiting for the Nexus 6.

I wonder if they will only last 4 years?

January 8th, 2010, 05:55 PM
That's better than most (if not all) Smartphones...

January 8th, 2010, 07:09 PM
I'm getting the hero even if it is 2 generations old. Android 2.1 is half the reason the nexus is as fast as it is. It's not like I'm trying to run Crysis on my phone.