On the heels of my DROID review Verizon brought me a Droid ERIS to review. As you may have guessed from the title of this review, I liked it a lot, and so did everyone I showed it to.
It’s Like DROID’s Little Sister
You’ve heard of the DROID, of course, and if you haven’t, click above to read the review. While DROID is a top phone choice for those in need of constant communication and all the bells and whistles, it can be overkill for others. The ERIS is like a smaller, curvier, little sister with a few of DROID’s key features missing. Since I’m comparing it to the DROID, I might as well point out what I couldn’t find on the ERIS.
The first is obvious. There’s no hardware keyboard. In iPhone user, I didn’t find this to be of much concern, especially since the software keyboard was pretty responsive and accurate. For some, this takes the ERIS out of the running when choosing a phone, though, so it’s important to note. The other main thing I found missing from the ERIS was voice control. DROID has it and I’ve gotten used to it in the iPhone. This is a software feature and I really don’t understand why it wasn’t included. It’s forgivable, but an unnecessary loss.
Otherwise, the ERIS runs on Android just like it’s big brother, so the environment was nearly the same.
In Its Own Class
As much as the ERIS makes me think of DROID, it really stands apart from a lot of the phones on the market. It embodies many of the features I find in the pricier smart phones but at around $100 less when bought from Verizon online (around $80 with a 2 year contract). That’s not a bad trade-off for the couple missing features previously mentioned.
Beyond having all the features that come with the Android OS, the ERIS is just really nice to look at. It’s not too flashy, but it has very smooth rounded corners and buttons that are pretty flush with the phone’s surface.
The front of the phone has Call and End Call/Power buttons that sit on either side of the combination roller ball/action button. This roller ball lights up when in use, which adds to the aesthetics of the phone, but I find myself not using this for navigation. It’s just not a natural feel for me, although it may make navigation a little easier. Above all this is a row of four navigation buttons. The buttons, which take you home, back, to a menu, or to a quick search are sensitive to the slightest touch and are completely flush for a smooth feel. Of course, there’s volume control buttons on the side and a standard headphone jack on the top.
The fact that I was a little more eager to take this phone with me to gatherings with friends says something, but what spoke volumes was how much other people wanted to play with it. At a friend’s birthday party, I think I spent a half hour talking about the phone and people were eager to play with it. These same people (one of them a DROID owner) noticed and made mention of the missing voice control and physical keyboard, but still had lots of good things to say about it as well.
I was excited before I ever put my hands on this phone and was more excited after I got to play with it. I was excited enough, in fact, to overlook the lack of headphones that I think every smart phone should include. Holding its own with some more expensive phones, this is a more affordable way to get your hands on a good-looking smart phone with all the benefits of the Android platform. Not only would I recommend this phone, but I tried to convince my wife to buy one (though it just wasn’t for her). This phone is an easy winner, provided you don’t need voice control or a physical keyboard.