The DROID is popular now, last month I looked at the Motorola DROID from Verizon Wireless and this month they’ve sent me its little cousin the DROID Eris for review. I’ve been using the DROID Eris now for more than a couple weeks and I have to honestly say that I’m glad to be putting it back in its box. The DROID Eris is just most frustrating and annoying phone I’ve ever used to date. It’s slow and the interface is just clunky and annoying. Everything you do with this phone seems to strain the processor, and it all just feels like it takes too much time to get anything done. They’re really aren’t many redeeming qualities to this phone, call quality isn’t that great and the camera isn’t too good either. Sure it’s a low priced phone, but I’d rather spend a bit more money and get a phone that works when and how it should.
We’ll start with the unboxing video first off:
..and some still pictures of course:
It comes with the USB cable for both charging and syncing:
The charger has a folding power adapter and a USB connection on the other end to charge the DROID Eris.
The DROID Eris is small and very lightweight phone, I was very surprised by just how much it weighed.
It’s a phone with minimal buttons on it, many of the functions are performed through the touch screen. There is a trackball at the bottom between the send and end buttons. Above the trackball is a series of touch sensitive buttons for navigation as well.
On the back you’ll find the 5mp camera and the Google logo
On the top is a 3.5mm jack, and on the bottom you’ll find the USB connection while the right side is where the volume up and down buttons are located.
The back cover just pops off to reveal the battery compartment and on the side is where the included microSD card goes.
Take customization to a whole new level. Create and switch between Scenes that reflect different moments in your life. Phones can often define their users. With the DROID ERIS by HTC, it’s the other way around. Experience the first phone that’s designed around the freedom of being you.
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Now operating on the Android platform, the new Droid Eris by HTC combines performance and functionality in one sleek package. Eris offers the HTC Sense UI on a 3.2”, touch screen zoom capability, a virtual QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.5mm headset jack in addition to the Virtual Keys (Home, Menu, Back, Search). The ultra–slim Eris can filter your Inbox, and stay connected securely with your office via HTC Sync. Take advantage of WiFi connectivity and its 5MP camera w/auto focus and video capture. Social networking is a breeze with easy access to your Favorite contacts, YouTube and Facebook. The Droid Eris by HTC is the ultimate in customizable handset that puts the customer at the center and it’s all about you, you, and you…
Experience the DROID ERIS by HTC
* 3.2″ 320×480 HVGA resolution, 262K–color TFT LCD Touchscreen
* Virtual QWERTY Keyboard
* Bluetooth® v2.0 + EDR — Supported Profiles: Headset (HSP), Hands–free (HFP), Stereo Audio, Phonebook Access
* 5 Megapixel camera with auto–focus and video capture
* Create and manage playlists
* Headset: 3.5mm Audio Jack
* Audio Formats Supported: Unprotected AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, MP3
* Android 1.5 OS; Google Experience Device
* Integrated Google, Exchange and Facebook contacts
* Push Gmail and Exchange
* Pre–installed 8GB microSD, up to 16GB supported
* Advanced Speech Recognition
* Embedded Ringtones, vibrate alert and silent
* Phonebook capacity dependent upon available memory
* TTY compatible
* Hearing Aid Compatibility = M3/T3
* Total Equipment Coverage is Available
* Dual Band CDMA2000 1xRTT/1xEVDO/1xEVDO Rev A (800/1900 MHz)
* Memory: ROM: 512MB, RAM: 288MB DDR
* Qualcomm® MSM7600™ Processor, 528MHz
* Dimensions: 4.45″ (H) x 2.19″ (W) x 0.51″ (D)
* Weight: 4.23 ounces
* Usage Time: Up 214 minutes OR
* Standby Time: Up to 373 hours
* SAR: Head: 1.19 W/kg; Body: 0.78 W/Kg
2-yr Contract Price: $179.99
Online Discount: -100.00
Your Price: $79.99
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I’ve been using this phone for over two weeks and I have to say that I just don’t like it at all.
It’s one of the most frustrating and non-intuitive phones that I’ve ever used. It’s a shame that it bears the DROID name as it doesn’t even come close to the functionality and usability of the Motorola DROID.
Here’s a video of the interface and some of my thoughts:
As you can see I’ve got no love for this phone at all.
I still can’t believe that I tried to make a call and got the ‘All Circuits Busy’ message. It was a rather important call that I had to make but I couldn’t make it with the DROID Eris. I picked up my AT&T Tilt and the call went through the first time with no issues at all.
The DROID Eris interface is clunky and just downright frustrating. It’s annoying with all of the pop-up prompts that just don’t seem to want to go away either. When you make a call it will ask you if you want to save the contact, even if you say don’t ask me again it still will ask you again the next time. I actually found myself cursing at this phone, my kids were looking at me like what’s wrong with you?!?! There were times I honestly wanted to throw it against the wall and just smash it to pieces.
The number pad and the keyboard are just as annoying, everything just seems very close together. I kept hitting other number and letters, basically everything I did I had to go back and fix it. It’s just not very finger friendly.
The call quality was ok, but that was about it, just ok. many times people would have to ask me to repeat myself and I would have to ask them to repeat what they said. The call quality is just not that good. As far as signal quality I rarely saw above two bars of signal strength.
As far as web browsing is concerned, well the browser didn’t work half of the time, I’d touch the browser button and it would just go to a blank screen and nothing would happen. I got the updates that were available but still it didn’t work all of the time.
The interface itself is annoying, sometimes it would take 5 or 6 swipes to get the phone unlocked, it just doesn’t seem to be sensitive enough to work correctly.
There are times also when the interface would just lag or stop like it was loading something, you’d have to wait. It was for the simplest of things that this would happen like trying to make a phone call, I’d hit the call button and have to wait for the dialer to appear. Everything just seems to take a long time on this phone. Part of it has to do with the slow processor, but then again maybe not. My AT&T Tilt running which is the HTC TyTn II that runs Windows Mobile is over two years old and has a 400Mhz processor and it’s faster and more responsive than the new DROID Eris with it’s 528Mhz CPU.
The battery life seemed fine to me, I mean I got the rated battery life though 214 minutes of talk time isn’t that much that’s just a little over three hours.
I like HTC products, but I don’t know what happened here, if it is the phone itself or the Android interface that’s causing the problems with it.
Taking pictures with the DROID Eris I half expected decent ones, outdoors yes I got nice pictures but indoors even with a lot of light the pictures were very bad. I tried to hold the phone as still as possible but still the pictures are bad.
Here’s the one I took in my car in the sunlight basically, they’re nice and crisp and clear:
Now here’s the ones indoors. With these pictures I had the lights on and the window blinds open to even get more light in, but still they’re pretty bad. Close up, far away they’re equally bad.
The DROID Eris is a low priced phone, it’s a budget priced phone that should appeal to those wanting to jump on the Android bandwagon. It’s a thin and lightweight phone that seems well made.
I’m truly disappointed with this phone, I had high hopes for it, especially after reviewing the Motorola DROID. I was expecting something similar, but it’s not even close.
+Gets the rated talk time
+Seems well made
+Thin and lightweight
-Slow and just frustrating to use
-Short talk time or battery life
-Not very finger friendly
-Poor call quality
-Poor picture quality
This product was given to TestFreaks for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.