We’ve already had a chance to play with the HTC Droid Eris from Verizon Wireless, but there’s nothing like a retail package unboxing ceremony to really get up close and personal with a new handset. As the “ying” to the Motorola Droid’s “yang,” the HTC Droid Eris offers Verizon customers a fully capable Android smartphone at half the price of Moto’s headlining Droid, and it deserves some of our undivided attention.
The HTC Droid Eris is a lot like the HTC Hero from Sprint. Just like the Hero, the Droid Eris packs a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, 5-megapixel auto-focusing camera, 3G data, WiFi, GPS and a microSD card slot. It also runs the Sense UI, HTC’s custom Android homescreen skin, which gives the Droid Eris a bunch of extra HTC widgets to play with – and it doesn’t hurt that Sense UI looks way prettier than the vanilla Android homescreen.
Surprisingly, the HTC Droid Eris isn’t much thinner than the Motorola Droid, which sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. That’s not to say that the Droid Eris is a brick, it actually sits really comfortably in the hand. Still, the Eris could stand to lose a couple millimeters around its waist.
The Droid Eris’s 5-megapixel camera is faster and less laggy than the Motorola Droid. It also supports touch-focusing, which gives it a another small but significant leg-up on the Droid. The 3.2-inch display is smaller than would be ideal, but it’s plenty big for day-to-day use. Above all, there’s no sliding mechanism on the Droid Eris, so build quality is top-notch – no jiggling or creaking here.
Unfortunately, the Eris runs Android 1.5 OS. The Motorola Droid features Android 2.0 OS, which has the Google Maps Navigation app pre-installed. Android 1.5 isn’t bad, especially with HTC’s Sense UI riding on top, but it’s no Android 2.0.
Anyway, acquaint yourself with the Droid Eris below!