The Motorola Droid smartphone tops Time's list of Top 10 Gadgets for 2009. The Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader mobile device takes second place, while the Apple iPhone 3GS places fourth.
In a win for Motorola, Google and Verizon Wireless, Time
has put the Motorola Droid
at the top of its 2009 "Top 10 Gadgets" list.
While a slew of smartphones running Google's Android mobile operating system
have arrived in the United States
in the last few months, the Droid is leading the pack.
"Everybody likes Android ... But a smartphone operating system isn't all
that satisfying without an actual kick-ass smartphone wrapped around it,"
wrote Lev Grossman and Peter Ha for Time Dec. 8. "Now Android has one: The
Droid is a hefty beast, a metal behemoth without the gloss and finish of the
iPhone, but you don't miss it."
They go on to praise the Droid's crisp touch screen, its physical keyboard
and Verizon's 3G network. These last two points Verizon also touted in
television advertisements presenting the Droid as having everything the
The Verizon ads also touted the cell phone's open,
Linux-based operating system, 5-megapixel camera, ability to run simultaneous
applications and option to customize the device with widgets.
Verizon launched the Droid on Nov. 5 and sold a quarter million of them the
first week. To compare, AT&T sold 1.6 million iPhone 3GS units during that
device's first week, and Sprint reportedly sold 300,000 Pre smartphones during
the month that Palm released its "iPhone killer."
While no smartphone has yet to slay the Apple handset, critics agree that
the Droid comes closest.
The New York Times' David Pogue called it a "killer phone," as
well as "incredibly fast" and a "delight to use." The Wall
Street Journal's Walter Mossberg, while bemoaning the Droid's heft, also
applauded it as an overall success, saying, "It's the best super-smart phone Verizon offers,
the best Motorola phone I've tested and the best hardware so far to run
Aaron Vronko, CEO of RapidRepair, a company that
for a better look at what's inside, offered a similar assessment.
"It's probably the first really great Android phone," he told eWEEK.
Vronko was particularly impressed with the "quite snappy" Qualcomm
Snapdragon processor that Motorola had included.
"The Droid kind of snuck up on us," Vronko continued. "We didn't
realize what a nice phone it was going to be until just a couple of weeks
before it came out."
Time awarded the second spot on its gadget list to Barnes & Noble's slow-to-arrive e-reader, the Nook,
while third place went to the Air Multiplier from vacuum maker Dyson.
Fourth position went to, that's right, the iPhone 3GS. "[The] main
point of, and the best thing about, the new iPhone is speed," wrote Grossman
and Ha, comparing it with the original. "It has more of it. Period."