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Android This Week: Droid 2; EPIC 4G; Video Smackdown

Motorola (s mot) is looking to repeat the success of the original Droid smartphone on Verizon (s vz) with the newly released Droid 2. The company took the proper approach for a refreshed model by keeping the new phone much the same while improving the areas that were lacking. The new keyboard is much improved over the original Droid, as demonstrated in our video review. The new processor gives the Droid 2 faster, more fluid operation. Check out our complete review of the Motorola Droid 2 to see what has consumers buzzing.

Samsung is making a big entry into the world of Android with the Galaxy S line of smartphones. The EPIC 4G is the latest Galaxy S phone to hit the market, and our in-depth review shows what makes this one of the best smartphones. The large 4-inch Super AMOLED display is as bright and vivid as you will see, and the QWERTY keyboard may be the best on any phone. Samsung is firing on all cylinders with the Galaxy S line of Android phones, and will be a force for competitors to reckon with.

The Android Market is not as big as Apple’s (s aapl) iTunes Store, but with over 70,000 apps, it’s trying its best to catch up. Unfortunately, the more apps in the Market, the harder it can be to find the one you need. AppBrain is a web site that taps into the Android Market and makes finding good apps much easier. What sets AppBrain apart from the crowd is that it pulls in the information about member’s installed Android apps from Google ( goog), which allows the user to maintain them from the desktop web browser. Every time a member visits the web site, AppBrain presents a list of all installed apps that have updates available. All apps installed through the web site can be pushed to the user’s phone by hitting a single button. There’s also an AppBrain app to provide enhanced app searching on the phone.

If you’re trying to decide which Android phone is right for you, then don’t miss our Android Superphone Smackdown. We show the Droid 2, EPIC 4G and EVO 4G going head-to-head on video to compare these three hot phones. There’s a side-by-side look at the phones with QWERTY keyboards (Droid 2 and EPIC 4G) and a direct comparison of the only two phones available with 4G.

5 Responses to “Android This Week: Droid 2; EPIC 4G; Video Smackdown”

  1. Gazoobee

    So now there are so many Android phones that multiple models come out some weeks? I’m techie who follows the tech press and I can’t keep track of all the different Android choices anymore. I certainly don’t know the details of one model versus the next and I doubt anyone does without a lot of research.

    The average consumer is already overwhelmed with Android model choices and will probably choose iOS just because it’s easier to choose the one thing you know, than it is to figure out which Android phone is better than the rest.

    The variability and omnipresence of Android is actually a big *negative* for the consumer, not a plus. Even if one of every ten Android phone models is great, that’s nine consumers who made a bad choice and ended up with a crappy Android experience. These people will also most likely chose iOS next time.

      • What I understand Gazoobee to say is that many people will become overwhelmed by the choices out there for Android and may gravitate toward iOS because with an iPhone you are certain about what you’re going to get. Every phone manufacturer, using Android or not, does things in a particular way (skins, cables and connectors, backup and sync options, menu choices, to name a few) that each phone, Android or not, has its own learning curve and quirks. iPhone and iPods are a known quantity to most people. We know how to use the cables, we know how to sync, we don’t need to learn how to use yet another device. Like it or not, that appeals to many, many people.

        One thing, I use my iPhone for music A LOT and love what iTunes gives, like genius playlists and such. It really serves me well. I keep reading Android reviews and I have yet to read anything about its music playing and syncing options. That leads me to believe they are lacking or limited. How would I know for sure if I bought an Android phone? Motorola, for example isn’t exactly known for its compatibility, that’s for sure.

        Mr. Blogger sir, why have you not talked about the music playing abilities of these phones?

    • Actually, it’s more like 9 out of 10 Android phones are *good*. For instance, all three of the phones mentioned in this article are very good phones.

      And if you’re not the kind of person that jumps to a different wireless provider to get a particular phone, which most people aren’t, it’s not confusing at all. If you want a physical keyboard and you’re on Verizon, you get a Droid 2; if you’re on Sprint, you get an EPIC 4G. A physical keyboard, that’s something you can’t get on an iPhone at all.

      If you’d rather have a 4.3″ screen and you’re on Verizon, you get a Droid X; if you’re on Sprint, you get an EVO 4G. A 4.3″ screen, that’s another thing you can’t get at all on an iPhone.

      And if you like the iPhone form factor (smaller screen/smaller phone, no physical keyboard) you get something like an HTC Droid Incredible.

      Thinking that there should be one single phone that is the right design for everyone doesn’t make much sense.