NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Get over it, businesses, there's just no replacing the BlackBerry -- not even with the zippy Motorola (MOT) 4G LTE-enabled Droid 3 ($149 with a two-year contract from Verizon (VZ - Get Report), plus required data plan starting at $30 per month).
We who work know the truth: Work involves, you know, work. Numbers. Letters. Words. Sentences. And I'm normal, meaning I love retracing the grease lines on my iPad to play my music, look at the relatives and read, but when a work email arrives its back to those letter and numbers I was talking about -- and struggling to get the dumb touch-controlled keyboard to do what I need it to do.
|For consumers, the Motorola Droid 3 is a solid phone, maybe even a great one. For workers, though, it doesn't make the cut.|
Phone makers such HTC, LG and Samsung all know keyboards still matter in the office. They cough up attempts at work-ready keyboard phones. Many even have touch-controlled, iPhone-like screens baked in. But for work, I am finding most of these are either too big, too complex or too consumer oriented. What you still want for work is what you always wanted: a small, thin, palm-sized device with endless battery life.
More often than not, that means a BlackBerry.Research in Motion (RIMM), with its random outages and secretive ways, almost dares us businesspeople to reconsider our BlackBerry affections. In fact, I am just winding down a monthlong reconsideration in the form of demo-ing a work-phone wannabe: the Motorola Droid 3. Can it replace a BlackBerry? Sadly, probably not: 1. Mere features do not a great work phone make.
Civilians will have no issue whatsoever with the Droid 3. The 4-inch screen is bright. The 1 Ghz processor is fast. The Google (GOOG) Android-powered apps such as Gmail, Docs and all the rest zip along. Motorola has qwerty-ed up the model nicely. The keyboard is large for a mobile -- spacious even. Battery life is also (shockingly) reasonable: I got a full day with average usage, maybe a half-day when I hammered it. But these niceties turned out to be distractions from the mobile task at hand -- entering data. In this core work function all the Droid 3's speed, power and features cannot compete with a small device with weekendlong battery life and a keyboard you can really, really type on. In other words, a BlackBerry.