|For consumers, the Motorola Droid 3 is a solid phone, maybe even a great one. For workers, though, it doesn't make the cut.|
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.
Steve Jobs is no longer watching. It's OK to admit that apps kill your business. Where else in your shop would you possibly encourage employees to go to a bookstore or library, video store, read food reviews, look at maps for getting the hell out of Dodge and do 57 other pre-installed ways to waste time? The Droid 3 is by no means alone in bringing unneeded apps to office. But face it, this sort of do-it-all device is not suited for doing work. For work, you want something that does work. In other words, a BlackBerry. 3. It's just too %^&$#@# big.
Remarkably, my roughly 5-by-2.5-by-five-eighths-inch Droid 3 is svelte in these days of SUV-scale smartphones. Motorola deserves credit for stuffing what amounts to a mini typewriter into this thing. And in fairness, the Droid 3 compares favorably with other keyboard phones. Functionality is solid. The consumer smartphone user will find it fast and easy to us. But again, what you want is a work tool that helps enter data, answer messages and stay connected to tasks. And the Droid 3 and phones like it are just too big and too cumbersome to do that effectively. Bottom line
I am absolutely, positively not saying the Droid 3 is a disaster. For consumers, it's a solid phone. Maybe even a great one. I am seeing a dangerous trend in businesses mobile usage now, though, in which otherwise sober communications infrastructure investments are being made in these sort of do-it-all smartphones that try to work both at home and at work. That approach is a mistake. At work, you want a work device, and more often than not that device is a BlackBerry. Consider it the badge you wear that tells the world you are a member of an elite army that gets things done at work. >To submit a news tip, email: email@example.com.
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