I liked the Droid. It has a really solid, heavy feel to it. Android 2.0 certainly looks better than previous stock versions and the screen is gorgeous. Most operations were snappy but for some reason swiping from home screen to home screen was a bit laggy. The physical keyboard is not as good as the G1’s in my opinion. It feels odd with no spacing between the keys and no offset between the rows. The virtual one is not as good as the Hero’s in my opinion despite being larger and faster. Hopefully somebody will port HTC’s to it, although that could be difficult because of the higher screen resolution. I didn’t like the capacitive home, menu and back buttons on the front and found myself missing the trackball. There’s the D-pad to the right of the physical keyboard but no equivalent when the phone is shut. The camera felt much better than the Hero’s although I didn’t get much time with it. The examples we got to play with were from the US so no multitouch and they only worked on Wifi.
Overall it is probably the best Android phone to date but I’ll be sticking with my Hero for now. I’ll wait for Sony Ericsson’s X10 or HTC’s rumoured Dragon/Passion, to see how they turn out. Although the Acer Liquid looks interesting.
The other phones I got to play with were not as exciting as the Droid. The LG Eve was probably the worst as the replacement interface was just plain bad. The app drawer tab was replaced with four icons and it was hard to tell their functions. One launched the app drawer but the apps were categorized which actually made them more difficult to find! The resistive screen was horrible too.
The HTC Tattoo wasn’t too bad. It’s screen is resistive but it only required a little pressure compared with the Eve and didn’t feel as squishy. The virtual keyboard was actually quite useable. It’s the smallest Android phone to date as far as I know and it’s cheap so it might entice many more people to the platform. Quite how HTC managed to squeeze it’s Sense UI onto such a small screen and still make it look pretty is beyond me!
I didn’t get any time with the Samsung Behold II but impressions from the other devs were not good. Samsung’s TouchWiz UI did not go down favourably.