The Motorola Droid 4 brings the iconic Droid line up to date with the addition of 4G LTE and a vastly improved keyboard.
While the phone is still waiting for Android 4.0, it has a collection of features that many consumers have clamored for. If you settled for the Samsung Stratosphere, you may want to look for someone to sell to because the Motorola Droid 4 is the must have 4G LTE smartphone with a physical keyboard.
While we work on our full Droid 4 review I wanted to give you a hardware tour and share my first impressions on the keyboard performance.
The Droid 4 Launches on February 10th at Verizon retail stores and online for $199 with a 2 year contract.
Droid 4 Hardware & Keyboard Tour Video
Droid 4 Build Quality
I’m a fan of phones that are built to last, and Motorola is good at building these phones. The first thing that strikes me about the Droid 4′s build quality is just how solid it feels. There is a noticeable heft that will turn off some users, but I appreciate the way the Droid 4 feels in your hand and in your pocket.
Motorola didn’t change a lot about the design, but you get a more mature device that has rounded off corners and edges similar to the RAZR MAXX and XYBOARD tablets. The back of the phone is made of plastic, but it doesn’t have a cheap feel to it. The battery is not removable, which is annoying.
The Droid 4′s keyboard slide is very smooth and solid. I found myself opening and closing it multiple times looking for a catch or a wobble while it is open, but the mechanism is just right. You do have to push the keyboard fully open and closed as there is no spring assist.
Droid 4 Keyboard Mini Review
The keyboard on the Droid 4 is one of the best physical keyboards I have used. There is good spacing and a nice tactile feel. You won’t be pounding out emails inconspicuously in a meeting, but the audible click, click, click is a nice way to know that you’ve pressed the key.
The key layout is very good, with plenty of thought put into the numbers, symbols and button placement. If you need to use the symbols, you can quickly hit the SYM button. I appreciate the large Enter and Space keys. One change I would make is to get rid of the caps lock key, which I found myself pressing instead of shift .
One drawback of the hard keyboard is that you can’t hit enter to choose an autocorrect option like you can with many software keyboards. Thankfully you can tap to select an autocorrected word, and you can also tap on-screen to choose a suggested word.
As for speed, I find that I can type at a brisk pace, slightly faster than on the stock Android software keyboard, but still slower than with SwiftKey.
Stay tuned for our full Droid 4 review later this week.