Camera and Battery Life

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-11-19 Print this article Print



The Motorola Droid and the HTC Droid Eris both include 5-megapixel cameras with auto-focus capabilities. That in itself is impressive, but each of the cameras had its own particular Achilles heel.

Indoor images or movies shot with the Motorola Droid were not particularly crisp, and the lens gave lighting sources-such as lamps or computer screens-a distracting halolike glow. However, the camera interface for the Droid is the easier to use of the two, with features such as zoom that were easy to control (if a little difficult to initially figure out without a manual).

By contrast, the HTC Droid Eris shot amazingly clear images both indoors and out, in virtually all lighting conditions (I took some night shots on the Williamsburg Bridge that came out better than those taken with my regular 4-megapixel digital camera). After snapping each image, a number of easily interpretable icons would pop up, letting me instantly trash or e-mail what I'd shot. My major issue with the camera, however, is that you need to press down on the tracker-ball to actually snap the image; frequently, my thumb would roll a little bit instead of pressing down, zooming the lens instead of taking the shot. It was frustrating enough to dissuade me from becoming more of a Droid shutterbug.  

Battery Life

Every time I've ever tested a BlackBerry, the device could run for days before needing a recharge. Other smartphones, notably the iPhone, need to be charged more frequently. Powerwise, both Droid models seem to exist somewhere in the middle range: After around a day and a half of use, the HTC Droid Eris was in desperate need of plugging in, while the Motorola Droid went for nearly two days before it was battery-recharging time.

Unlike with other smartphones, though, I never actively worried about whether a charge would get me through the day, even with multiple applications being run and calls made.

Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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