The phone itself is fine. Good speed, good storage, good size. That was what I paid attention to in reviews. The phone service itself is also fine. I have always had decent connections with verizon. I upgraded from a Droid 2, which I had few issues with, except it infuriated me that I could not remove facebook and twitter from the phone. Little did I know....
The problem is Google, Motorola, Amazon, Verizon corporate invasiveness.
Here is what I want from a smartphone:
Ability to use GPS to navigate, and voicesearch the nearest Starbucks or whatever.
Ability to have good phone service without roaming gotchas anywhere I go
Ability to have total control over which apps I have installed
Ability to customize the apps I have installed to look the way I want (i.e. if I want just a list, with no profile pictures, I should EASILY be able to get that)
Ability to completely control the information that is shared or not shared. If I have emailed a contact a single time, that IN NO WAY means I want them to have anything other than my email address.
Ability to browse the web, download apps, play music I own.
The problem is that Google/Motorola/Amazon/Verizon have completely undermined the promise of an "open" "do no harm" 'total user control" promise of smartphone by locking me into crappy software that I can't uninstall and which is incredibly invasive, poorly designed, and difficult to work with due to many convoluted and non-intuitive settings menus.
Here is the brief list of major greivances I've encountered in the one week I've had to grow to hate this thing -
- Can no longer move apps to SD card. Why the hell even have a slot for an SD card then and market it? I'm not storing hours of video or pictures. I want the space for apps, a bit of music, and books.
- Cannot get rid of all the stupid blank profile pics on nearly every single contact on my phone. I don't want to see gargantuan profile pics EVER. I prefer a clean list of names and more per page. Why doesn't the text app, the people app, any built in app, not have basic configurability "List View"? Its 2012 and basic user-configurability is needed. I realize I can install other apps to replace them, but I have also found that third party apps sometimes seem to read more private info than they should need, and I have found that some of them don't work well in conjunction with the built in garbage.
- I have eliminated social media because it all shares too much info - all I want is the google email. no name, no picture, no circles, no saved settings, no giving people my phone number and last name just because I sent an email.
- Cannot REMOVE pre-installed apps. Yes I found I can disable them. But like so many posters, I want them gone forever. Your trying to force them on me has given me an extreme distaste bordering on hate in SEVEN DAYS for companies I previously had respect for. Good work.
- Why on earth do I have to have two separate email programs - Gmail, and everything else? Of course I want a single mailbox. On my prior droid I was not prevented from checking gmail in the regular email app but that has changed. Its so self-important of you Google, to have made this two separate applications and so the first thing I did was drop kick both built in email programs. But of course gmail fails to update half the time, it seems you work against the third-party app providers to force people to use the real gmail app.
- USB functionality. First of all finding the usb settings was difficult. I'm a very technical person, and a gamer. I'm used to having to locate settings, but its well disguised. once located, there are now three settings you have to swap between to use the space in different ways. I have to switch it to use with the computer and back for music. Really??
- Verizon Backup - I don't want to backup anything to your cloud. Or googles cloud. or Motorolas cloud. or anyones cloud. I want to backup to my own private computer. I don't want to see anything else about your backup on my phone, but guess what - it automatically pops up when I connect usb to my computer. It shows up in the Storage menu. And it cannot be uninstalled or at best disabled so that it is forever gone from my sight. I did finally figure out how to disable the automatic Setup Backup Now message, but that shoudl never ever have been enabled by default.
- Google stole my private wifi password and pushed it to their cloud without permission - yep. its in there - if you dig around enough in a non-intuitive way, you find that google is scraping up and storing as a "favor" my private network 63 char encryption code. Thanks for making me have to redo this on all of my devices because it was now no longer under my private control. That option as well shoud NEVER EVER have been enabled by default. Because we all know its just a matter of time before we see the news article about "8,000,000 user accounts compromised in security breach". You should never take anyones information without permission, and permission is not impled by default settings on a brand new phone that I am still setting up. Shame on you google, you have become the corporate monster, and you need to stop the pretense.
- App stores - I don't need or want Google play, Verizon Apps, Amazon Apps, or any additional app programs I haven't found yet on the phone. srsly overkill. Also I greatly preferred the clean looking Android market to the new messy Google play, but that change happened on my old phone with no option to keep the market configuration.
Shame on me for not paying attention before I bought the phone, but I was pretty happy with my droid 2 and I didn't think it would be worse in terms of both functionality, software configurability, AND invasiveness. I probably am not going to try to fight the contract because it will just add stress and time wasted to me for little result, but I will definitely be hacking out of your little world of stepford phones at some point when I no longer care about a warranty, and I won't be making the Big Google is watching you mistake again. I've always had it as my homepage at work and at home, but I'll use the next two years to phase it out. And Amazon - you are convenient, I'll give you that. Did you have to force yourself onto my phone too with no uninstall option? You lost my respect as well.
Interesting aside for the two people who actually read all the way through my rant here - I listened to a great and highly informative episode of Fresh Air last night. It was incredibly revealing to me about the patent wars and whats going on with these companies. Its apparent that they are not consumer focused any longer.
I too, am not a fan of "bloatware" but with the new google software, not much can be done about that. If you want a phone without that bloatware, try the Galaxy Nexus, or an iPhone. Are you still in your 14 day window?
You have actually helped me with a decision that has been driving me crazy for the past week. I do not need nor do I want all or most of the above you mentioned. Heck I hardly use half of that stuff on my home computer or I-pad. I will definately stay with my basic phones that I can get calls, texts and take pictures. Thanks again.
The DROID Razr M is running ICS which means most of the "bloatware" can be disabled.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
Everything you've written is exactly all the problems I have found with this phone. I completely regret even getting it. I've have nothing but trouble with apps and the inability to move anything to an SD slot really irritates me.