The Droid Eris is a failure

I'm a phone fanatic and everybody knows it. I am constantly in search of the perfect phone. So when I heard about the new Verizon Android phones, I was pretty excited. I even got up early yesterday (9 AM) to go pick one up. I had a T-Mobile G1 back in the day (on AT&T, of course), and it wasn't my favorite device in the world. Android just wasn't ready for primetime, so I had hoped the time between the G1 and the Droid Eris would be sufficient enough to get Android to the place it should be. Some may disagree with me, but while I think Android is definitely better than it's V1 release, I still don't think it's quite there. Read on...


The main reason I went with the Droid Eris over the Motorola Droid was for HTC's Sense UI. I strongly dislike Android's default skin, and it was a big enough factor for me to opt for the lower end Eris.

I have three big problems with this phone: the lag, the input methods, the choppy scrolling, and then the capacitive touch buttons.

Input Methods

Obviously the ability to input data into a mobile device is the most important function on a phone, besides maybe receiving signal (*cough* iPhone *cough*). This phone holds 2nd place in worst device input methods, the absolute worst being the HTC Touch Cruise. Although the Droid Eris has a convenient T9 input method (which I personally love), the lag makes it unbearable, as it takes too long to load in new suggested words. The on-screen QWERTY keyboard doesn't work either, because the keys are just too small (the device is smaller than the iPhone). I just can't type on this thing for beans.

Choppy Scrolling

This killed me on the G1, and it hasn't changed on the Droid Eris. The scrolling sucks. It sputters and stalls, and is horribly laggy. Sure, say it's the phone itself and not Android, but it doesn't really matter. IT DOESN'T WORK. HTC should have worked this out some way before releasing a device with sub-par functionality.

Capacitive Touch Buttons

I have had nothing but trouble with the touch buttons toward the bottom of the device. If I tap directly on them, they do nothing. It's like I have to tap on the top border of the icons to get them to react. It's really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I get them to work. Usually it takes two or three tries.

Simple Things

The simple things are really what killed it for me on this device. Things like, adding contact to a text message and trying to dial a contact were more than challenging. There are complicated menus and buttons you have to push - it made me think about steps I shouldn't have to think about. Right out of the box, it should just work. I shouldn't have to go download anything from the Android Marketplace to make my device work. Even reading new notifications is harder than it should be. To unlock the phone, you have to swipe down on the screen. Then to view notifications, you have to swipe down from the top of the device. This whole process requires two downward swipes. Why not one up and one down? It's the little things that really kill this device in my mind.

I really wanted to love this device. I want to love every device I get. But unfortunately, this one has let me down. When it gets to the point where I end up giving up typing a text message or posting on Facebook or Twitter from the device because I get so frustrated with its lag and input methods, you know the device is a failure. And no, I'm not getting a Moto Droid. I hate the keyboard.

Good try, HTC, but try again. It doesn't matter how pretty you make a device. If I can't do the simple things quickly and easily, you have failed.

Back to Blackberry I go...


Got the Eris yesterday too, and am disappointed. I wanted the Droid "lite" but it's still too complicated for what I want in a smart phone (or "app phone" as Pogue now calls this category.) Moving from one function to another is a challenge despite the hype.
Will use a simple phone + iPod Touch w/ Verizon MiFi until the iPhone comes to Verizon Q3 2010.
isn't the eris on Android 1.6 and the Verizon/Motorola Droid on android 2.0? I've heard better things about the Motorola/Verizon droid
Wait. So you get the Eris because you like the SKIN on the OS better, admit that you got the lower end phone, and then you complain about things like it being slow and choppy? What did you expect on a "lower end" phone? And you listed four things in your list of three things... If you're going to go Douglas Adams, at least make it five. And about the MotoDroid, no one's making you use the physical keyboard on it. You can use the virtual one onscreen just as easily as an iPhone. Personally, I don't like it because I miss the T9 (which I did really like about the Eris, and almost sold me on it.) I've tried a few T9 apps, but I haven't liked any of them thus far (incidentally, that's how I ended up here.)

Anyway, I think it's pretty... I don't know, egotistical? to declare the Eris Droid a failure just because you brought a lower-end phone and, shockingly, it behaved like a lower-end phone.

But why would you release a phone at all if it doesn't work the way it should right out of the box? Seems like HTC could have done a better job equipping the device to actually support the software they had running on it.
mine doesn't lag, the scrolling is not choppy, and the touch buttons work perfectly. maybe yours is somehow defective, which sucks yeah, but i don't think these problems are necessarily inherent to the phone.
I have the eris and i have to say i read your post and storngly dissagree with about everything you said i text just fin 1 swipe for the notifications bar and use this phone non stop. I think you were "fat-fingering" the phone which yes will produce bad results but that is just user error it is not the phones fault i really dont think your are ready for a phone like this mabey stauy within your user area ...blackberry
I have the Eris and I love it. I don't have the issues with lagging and choppy. I wonder if something is wrong with your phone. I love the notification panel.It doesn't interrupt what I am doing until I am ready to address them. I like the texting keyboard it is small and I can text one handed or go landscape and text two handed. I come from a flip phone with little to no features and I just can't say enough good things about this phone.
agreed completely.. ditched my curve for this thing and now I am selling it on ebay. really a waste of a phone. the input method is AWFUL. every time I try to hit SPACE bar it puts a sometimes. my texts. this which just really. pisses me terrific <--->

and also, the battery life is egregious. I mean god awful. and why is it that some apps designated DROID simply DO NOT WORK on the eris? I mean really.

a shame because it's a nice looking phone that again I tried to love, but 3 days after getting it it's for sale. in fact I was so frustrated with this device that I began googling "droid eris sucks" to find fellow sympathizers so as to not think that I myself have gone completely mad. best of luck to you all.. back to blackberry for me.

I have the same phone and it takes minutes for the phone to type "the" which makes txting impossible and it freezes often and has hung up and called people by itself during classes. Sorry but for $300 thats not a low-end phone and it should preform as prescribed no excuses. If this is the itouch's rival then its obvious the itouch has no competition. Maybe a 4 out of 10 for this phone
I ordered my Eris online and it will be here tomorrow. I have 30 days to return it for any i am not too stressing over these comments. Cory you posted this months you still have it and what are your thoughts today?
So far, the phone seems great! Plenty of apps and games. Fairly easy to figure out. I bought it on the "streets" of Las Vegas, and of course they promised It wasn't locked... yada yada. Even though I can't get phone turned on, I was surprised it found my network and connected on it's own, before I ever had a clue! Not bad for $45, that I'd probably lost in a slot machine!
Now that I've played with it some, I would never buy this phone outright, for 1 reason: The QWERTY touch screen keyboard SUCKS!!!! After at least a dozen attempts (of @ least 15 - 20 min. each time) I gave up. But I still have the camera and can use my pc to load music etc. to it....
As I said, not bad for $45, that I'd probably lost in a slot machine!
I'd also like to add that I am able to speak the web site rather than typing it. So far it seems to get it right @ least 7 out of 10 tries, I have a sinus problem, so its probably me not speaking clearly....
i have the exact same problems you do. for being a "smart phone" the dam thing seems stupidly slow. it seems like every screen i go to whether that be the contacts, music player, unlock screen, notification bar, options menu, or just scrolling between the 7 screens is extremely laggy. Scrolling absolutely sucks and the notification bar pisses me off cause i have to try 4-5 time just to get the dam thing to come down. Everything about the phone has about a 2-3 second lag time or more. when i press the green button it takes me to the call history page, and that page is so laggy that when i press the green again to call the top number it doesn't always call that one or it hasn't updated the list from the last time i made a call and changes the order of the list after 3 seconds or so. this phone has way to many lag errors for HTC to have put it out on the market and call it a smart phone. should have called it the smart phones retarded brother.
Well, I love my eris. It took me some getting used to...
Did you try yo get a new eris? I don't have any of those problems with mine.. I text pretty fast too, so....
And.its not.HTC's fault your big fingers dont fit on the keys... blackberrsvan# palm phones have smaller keys...

I love my.eris, just hope it would get the update already... (its running 1.6)

no this phone freaking sucks. i agree with everything you said
1) Has anyone noticed the keyboard on the Eris just stops working sometimes, especially on the password lock screen?
2) Has anyone noticed a HUGE lag when trying to pull up a contact's details from the native People app? How about a huge lag between clicking "call" and the phone actually calling?
3) What is a good phone that just WORKS? I want to switch from the Eris before i kill myself. (don't tell me iPhone because i hate the ATT network)
The Droid Eris is the worst phone I have ever owned!!! Do not reccomend this pos to anyone!
I have to agree 100% with this review. I would like to add that the reason the phone was released prematurely, money ! It works long enough so that your stuck with it unless you want to buy another phone, or upgrade I.E, sign another two year contract with your provider. Cell phones in general are far from reliable. Its all about taking our money.
this phone blows. i've had it for about 6 months and i'm dying to get rid of it. i can't make calls, i can't answer calls and texting is a royal pain in the ass. i'm heading to verizon to see what i can do about getting it replaced without having to pay mucho bucks. what a disappointment. PHONES first and foremost should work as a PHONE! who cares about apps and style if i can't make a call?
Totally agree with this review. I loved this phone at first, but now it lags so bad I can barely do anything with it. It takes me nearly 5 minutes just to get it to make a phone call. The texting lags so bad it ends up putting symbols in the middle of the words all the time. Who cares if you have apps if you can't even make a damn phone call. The phone is absolute crap. Sure it's a lower end phone, but even the crappiest phone in the market can successfully make a phone call at least.
I agree with this review. I have had this phone for about 3 months and I have already replaced it twice. I need to replace it again I just don't want to go through it again. The phone lags heavily for me and it will constantly dial out other contacts that I am trying to dial. It takes forever for me to make a phone call! Also the text messaging is not working. What I am typing is not showing up in the screen and it will force close 80 percent of the time. People think that I am crazy to be so dissapointed in a droid phone but they just don't see my frustration. I went from an older BB curve to this phone and it is a world away. I cannot wait to go back to a BB.

Add a comment