I love my Droid. Simple as that. But a serious flaw has revealed itself that has the potential for catastrophic consequences for my new little buddy. It’s a problem so obvious that at first I couldn’t believe it and hoped it just went away – but it is a critical problem that could cripple the Droid, and therefore needs to be addressed.
First, let me say that I have never owned an iPhone, Blackberry, or any other Smart Phone – ever. I have been a loyal Motorola phone user for years (my phone previous to the Droid was a Razor) and I WANT the Droid to be successful for so many reasons.
The problem is with the physical keys of the keyboard. This is not an issue of whether you like the keyboard or not, or think the keys could have been laid out better (for the record, I like the keyboard, but also believe it will be refined as the Droid evolves). The problem is the keys themselves -- under a very specific circumstance.
So, when I was at the Verizon store when they opened yesterday (the first day of availability of the Droid), I got my Droid, all the accessories, and a big smile on my face. Of course I got the car charger, the car mount (for GPS mode), and the Verizon-recommended rubber protective “Bra” – this latter accessory consisting of two-piece rubber that attaches to the top and bottom of the Droid. And it is this “protective” accessory that has the potential for catastrophic interaction with the phone. The problem is that is seems the “face” of the keys on the keyboard are glued on to the keys – no big deal, except when you slide the keyboard open and the rubber bra catches on the keys – in my case the edge of the DEL key caught and started to peel up. At first I didn’t realize why the slide was “sticking” but then quickly determined that if I opened the keyboard all the way up, it would rip the face of the DEL key right off. CRAP!
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the corner of the DEL key pulled up. For now, I have used my fingernail to push it back down and I removed the top piece of the rubber protective “bra” and everything is working fine. But I can no longer use the top piece because it will rip the key face right off. I’ll be visiting the Verizon store tomorrow to seek a remedy, but in the mean time, I would caution everyone not to use the rubber bra thingee on top.
Has this experience soured my excitement for the Droid? Hell no. I told you, I love the little guy. I struggled with even raising this issue, but it was clear to me that this is a problem that will continue, and maybe the next guy who writes about it will use this flaw to slam an otherwise fantastic device. For me, I’m sticking with the Droid… quirks, flaws, and all -- but my Droid will go topless without the rubber bra.
[UPDATE: It runs out that the BRA has a small tab on three of its four sides. It must be installed so that no tab is on the bottom side where the keyboard slides open. Regrettably, neither Motorola or Verizon provide any instructions in this matter.]