Under the Hood: Android-Based HTC Droid Eris

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Under the Hood: Android-Based HTC Droid Eris

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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The Droid Eris box heavily promotes the Google Android operating system, as opposed to the devices form factor or mechanical features.

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The Droid Eris features a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen and trackball interface. It weighs 4.23 ounces, feeling light in the hand, and measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.19 inches wide by 0.51 inches deep.

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The back of the device contains an integrated 5.0-megapixel camera with auto-focus.

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The Droid Eris' boot screen features the cartoon Android robots doing a dance.

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The Google Android operating systems opening screen allows instant access to messages, phone, browser and camera; tapping the button in the lower-left opens another screen with icons for Gmail, games and other applications.

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Along with the Motorola Droid, the Droid Eris is intended as Verizons answer to the iPhone, which runs exclusively (at least for now) on AT&Ts network.

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Users can snap photos with the Droid Eris by pressing down on the trackball.

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The devices mobile browser is responsive, loading pages quickly; new URLs or e-mails can be typed using a virtual keypad. Unlike the Motorola Droid, the Droid Eris does not have a physical QWERTY keyboard.

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The device can dial contacts by name, number or initials.

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The Droid Eris does not sync with iTunes (unlike the iPhone and, sometimes, the Palm Pre), but it does allow users to access and download music through Amazon.com.

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The device features productivity apps such as Calendar, as well as the ability to perform lightweight document edits.

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Users with Google accounts can sync their Gmail and other applications with the device.

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Integrated GPS and digital compass make for easier navigation via Google Maps.

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Users with Gmail accounts can receive a mobile version of their e-mail.

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The Droid Eris' default game, Teeter, asks you to tilt the device to maneuver a little silver ball past obstacles and into a small green hole. It is enormously difficult after Level Seven.

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The device offers 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Bluetooth.

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Google Android provides local weather and temperature, helpful before heading out from a windowless office.

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Mobile applications can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace, which offers a collection of games and productivity apps.

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