The Eris Update

erisAs promised, I’ve used my new Eris for a couple of weeks now and want to report on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good

See my post called Eris to the Rescue. Seriously – the location-aware stuff is supremely useful. I can’t wait until the Eris gets updated to Android 2.0 so I can download Google Navigator!

A bunch of apps, including:

  • Apps Organizer – organize my apps into folders (the mornings, talk talk, locations, google, tools, and camera icons on the main screen on the right are all folders created in Apps Organizer)
  • Seesmic – best Twitter client out there for the Android OS, as far as I’m concerned
  • FxCamera – mess around with your photos, apply fun effects
  • Google Maps – where are you? where do you want to go?
  • Google Sky Map – what stars are in the sky tonight?
  • GeoBeagle – integrates with, haven’t used it yet but looks very promising
  • Places Directory – fire it up and it finds banks, bars, coffeeshops, gas stations, parking, restaurants, shops, and more near your location
  • wpToGo – lets me easily update my WordPress-based blog from my phone

The Android Forums. Pretty much every question I’ve had about the phone I’ve Googled and the Android Forums always comes up at the top of the search results. So I just created an account on the forums and have been poking around there to find out more about the phone.

Phone call quality is as good as it was on my non-smartphone. Not as good as my landline, but no cellphones have ever been that good.

The bad

The camera quality isn’t great, most noticeably in low-light settings. It’s much better in brighter, natural light. This means I’m still tied to bringing a camera with me when I go someplace where I want to take photos. Fortunately, though, I don’t need to do that on a day-to-day basis, which means my bag now weighs about .3 pounds less.

The battery doesn’t last quite as long as I’d like. I’m hoping that a few more cycles of charge-discharge all the way-charge will do the trick. If that doesn’t work, there are a million threads in the forums on how to increase battery life (one of which may be: bring my USB cable with me to work and plug the darn thing in during the day).

The ugly

I have a really, really hard time with the touch-screen keyboard after having used the more sensitive and accurate iPod touch keyboard for over a year. Does anyone who is an Eris/Droid/etc. user have a recommendation for a better on-screen keyboard, preferably free? Do I need to get rid of the screen protector?

So many notifications! I should probably uninstall a bunch of apps (hello 4 Facebook and 3 Twitter apps anyone?), which would definitely help in that regard. But I’m still trying to figure out which apps I want notifications for, and which I’d prefer to not know about. I also think the notifications are probably feeding into the afore-mentioned battery issues… So it’s mostly my own fault, but still. No centralized place where I can manage ALL my notifications is causing me some frustration and confusion.

Overall assessment

I’m happy with the Eris. Apparently there is going to be some big update on December 11 (rumors are about an upgrade to the  Android 2.0 operating system), but in the meantime I’m quite pleased with this phone on a whole lot of levels. If you’re new to smartphones, this is a good entry-level machine. If you don’t want to go to AT&T/iPhone, this is a nice choice. For those of you who have used the iPhone and/or Blackberry, I’d recommend going to someplace that sells the Eris and the Droid and comparing them and selecting the one you like best.

2 thoughts to “The Eris Update”

  1. better keyboard is reputed to be the best replacement for the android touch keyboard. I actually cannot stand the iphone/ipod keyboard which is why I got an android phone with hardware keyboard back in january, but I find better keyboard to be pretty good.

    I don’t like any of the twitter apps! Maybe I’ll try seesmic again since you like it so much 🙂

    how long is your battery lasting?

  2. oh! i meant to say — are you on android 1.6? if so you can see what’s using your battery by going into the system menu (settings->battery use or something like that)… if you’re on android 1.5, there’s an app that exposes that tool.

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