While many people who have been with the Motorola Droid for Verizon since the original will probably be fans of this phone, others that are used to touchscreen only smartphones should stick to that option. The Motorola Droid 4 for Verizon does have some redeeming qualities besides the keyboard, such as the 1.2 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. But, the features just cannot hold up to the other smartphones on the market if the buyer is able to give up a keyboard. That being said, the keyboard is really the perfect culmination of what the Motorola Droid series has been working towards.
Pros: The obvious upgrades are the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB RAM that are fast and open apps on par with any of the other current smartphones. The Motorola Droid 4 for Verizon feels very sturdy and not flimsy like some other smartphones can be and doesn’t feel like you are about to break it when you slide it open. The obvious shining point is the keyboard which now has a dedicated number row, a feature Motorola Droid users will surely appreciate. The keys are now lit around the edges, as opposed to behind, which adds a nice look and functionality to the keyboard. The screen (and phone) itself are considerably larger than the Droid 1 and 2. The phone features noise-cancellation which is a new feature subsequent to the Motorola Droid 3. The phone is also the first in the series to be on Verizon’s 4G LTE network and if in that coverage area, it is blazing fast. Also, the Droid 4 by Motorola has an upgraded front-facing camera compared to the 3rd generation Droid. The new camera is a 1.3 mega pixel that is capable of capturing 720p video as opposed to the Droid 3’s VGA camera.
Cons: The display is just not on par with many of the new smartphones on the market; the LCD display cannot hold a candle to the Super AMOLED display of the Motorola Droid RAZR and is nowhere near the iPhone’s Retina display. That being said, it is still a decent looking screen if you are new to the smartphone market (which a lot of people looking for a full keyboard could be). The 8MP camera is a large upgrade from the Droid 1 and 2 but is not as nice as many other phones out there. The battery life is substandard at best, even after an upgrade to a 1785 mAh battery; the 4G network is just too much for the battery to handle with prolonged usage. The battery has also become non-removable and cannot be swapped out for an extended life by the average user. One of the biggest cons, in my opinion, is that this phone ships with Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread as opposed to the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. An ICS Droid 4 from Verizon would be a much more attractive machine but Verizon is notoriously bad with updating the software of their phones. Finally, the Droid 4 is just a brick; it is larger and heavier than its predecessors. Though, it will still fit in your pocket without too much trouble.
In conclusion, if you love the QWERTY feature with all your heart, then you don’t really even have a choice. But, if you can make the change to a full touchscreen phone then there are better phones for your money. Most likely, for most smartphone users, a better equipped phone running Android ICS is a better choice. But, with a solid processor, sturdy build, wonderful keyboard, and some other upgrades; this is still a solid phone for all the Motorola Droid faithful out there, I give it a 7/10.