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Motorola Droid 3
Checkout Details

Jim Carter, 2011-11-23

The checkout page is a summary list where long discussions will not fit. This page is for additional information about the various checkout steps.

Setup Steps -- Stock Image

Activating the Phone (Verizon)

Once you have picked your plan, told them your MEID, and paid, the customer service rep will establish an association between the MEID and your account, and they will send e-mail to confirm. This typically takes about 15 minutes.

Then, activate your phone. Initially, in the status bar your carrier logo is a flashing triangle, indicating no service.

*228 Option 2 is to just update the Preferred Roaming List (PRL). If the network is updated, e.g. 3G is added or a new roaming agreement is made, your phone needs to be told to use the new capabilities. Some forum posters suggest doing this update monthly, though that seems kind of frequent to me. Now the Holy Grail is to get another carrier's PRL onto your phone, because otherwise it can't even see the other carrier's towers.

Activating the Phone (Boost Mobile)

I have picked Boost Mobile (a division of Sprint) as my carrier. Here's the procedure to activate the phone with them:

Display in Sunlight

The display is excellent in a wide range of lighting conditions. It is better than HTC Dream (G1), which was better than its competitors when new.

Display in Artificial Light

The display, viewed in artificial light, has a dual mode for color rendition. The color gamut is most complete and balanced within about 30 degrees of perpendicular, equally vertical and horizontal. Beyond that all the way to 90 degrees it seems to shift to a lower quality mode. My impression is that red gets washed out somewhat while green and blue are less affected. Even so, the display is fully functional and readable at the more radical viewing angles.

Ambient Light Sensor

The ambient light sensor works, and influences the display brightness. You need to turn it on, and then (for Verizon) put the phone to sleep and wake it: Settings -> Device -> Display -> Brightness -> Automatic. CyanogenMod will both increase and decrease the brightness; in CM7 you have to turn this on. In the Verizon stock image the brightness can only increase, until you put the phone to sleep and wake it. The light flux is reported in lux, from 40000 lux in direct sunlight to 1 lux in a dark closet. The value can be seen on Phone Tester and on GPS Status :-)

About lux: See this Wikipedia article about luminous efficiency. Lux means lumens per square meter and lumens are proportional to watts but depending on how strongly the eye responds to the various colors in the light. The denominator may be the total power into the lamp or the equivalent power of the emitted light. On the latter definition, the theoretical maximum scale factor is 683 lumen/watt; practical lamps range from 0.3 (candles) to 100 lumen/watt for the highest scoring LED lamps and plasma tubes (which are similar in efficiency).

Details About the Internal SD Card

There is 16Gb of internal NOR flash memory, where typical pocket computers have around 256Mb of NAND flash. /proc/mounts show these partitions mounted; there are definitely partitions we don't see for the booter, the kernel, and probably the radio image. Sizes here are in Mb (220 bytes). These are for the Verizon image before installing CyanogenMod in /preinstall.

Mountpoint Size Used Format
/system 320 307 ext3
/data 1000 443 ext3
/cache 535 16 ext3
/preinstall 477 258 ext3
/mnt/emmc 11000 1 vfat

There is 11Gb for generic user data. In the Verizon image this is mounted on /mnt/sdcard with a symbolic link /sdcard to this mount point. For CyanogenMod-7 it is on /mnt/emmc with a symbolic link /emmc to it, but starting with CyanogenMod-9 2012-01-01, the mount points have been reverted to the names in the Verizon image, i.e. /sdcard and /sdcard-ext. The camera app stores photos in /mnt/sdcard/DCIM. If there were OTA updates, which Verizon gives you but CyanogenMod doesn't have, the new image would be deposited in /sdcard. I don't actually know which filesystem types are acceptable on /sdcard. But it is generally believed that Recovery can only read VFAT when flashing an image.

There is a slot for a micro-SD card, under the back cover but accessible without removing the battery. The card is not provided in the sales pack; the user provides it. In the Verizon image it is mounted on /mnt/sdcard-ext with a symbolic link /sdcard-ext. In CyanogenMod-7 it is on /mnt/sdcard, but in CM9 2012-01-01 it is back to /mnt/sdcard-ext.

In the Verizon image and also in CyanogenMod, encryptfs is mounted over the mount point /mnt/sdcard, and also /mnt/emmc. So far I have not found how to set the key nor how to prevent a thief from reading the memory card. As far as I can see, the content by default is not encrypted.

Description of Pocket Computer

The Droid 3 has Verizon branding: Verizon's name on the main chassis and the back cover, which also says With Google . A lot of Verizon-branded bloatware is installed, encouraging you to purchase music and videos from their store.

You can insert or remove the external SD card without removing the battery (though it's recommended that the computer be powered off). However, you have to remove the battery to remove the UICC (SIM or RUIM). The serial number, IMEI, MEID, etc. are on a label in the battery box, hidden behind the battery. This information does not include the MAC address for Wi-Fi.

Data Speed Tests

The data speed test is to download a compressed (Vorbis) music file of 2.45e7 bytes (24.5Mb) or 1.96e8 bits, using HTML protocol (no encryption, no second compression). Note, all the data rates in this section are in bits/second, not bytes/second. Via 802.11g at 5.4e7 bits/sec the download should take 3.62 seconds. The theoretical speed is never achieved in the wild. To delete the downloaded copy, in the browser hit Menu -> More -> Downloads. Long-click on a filename and you get a menu including Delete.

Download times for this file:

Download To Protocol Carrier Seconds Bits/Sec
Server Read and checksum on server 0.86 2.27e8
Laptop 802.11g 8.2 2.39e7
HTC Dream 802.11g (CyanogenMod-6.2 / Android-2.2) 80 2.45e6
HTC Dream GSM (EDGE 2G) AT&T 253 1.78e4
Droid 3 (VZ) 802.11g (stock Android-2.3) 14 1.4e7
Droid 3 (CM9-12-24) 802.11g 11 1.8e7
Droid 3 (CM9-01-30) 802.11g + Bluetooth 138 1.3e6
Droid 3 (CM9-01-30) 802.11g (no BT) 10.3 1.7e7
Droid 3 (CM7) 2G (1x-RTT) Verizon 120 3.2e4
Droid 3 (CM7) 3G (EVDO) Verizon 600 8.2e4
Droid 3 (CM9-12-24) 3G (EVDO) Verizon 93 7.5e4
Droid 3 (CM9-01-30) 3G (EVDO) Verizon (BT) 151 5.6e4
Droid 3 (CM9-01-30) 3G (EVDO) Verizon (no BT) 104 8.0e4

On the slower physical layers, the download was cancelled partway through and the reported rate is based on the time and progress up to cancellation.

If Bluetooth (music via A2DP) is running at the same time as the speed test, it slows down 802.11 radically, and EVDO noticeably.

Using the OpenNetworkMap app, it downloads a 4Mbyte test packet at 1.36e5 bit/sec, but uploads 4Mbyte at 1.4e6 bit/sec (probably bogus). On a retest, 2.2e5 bit/sec download, 2.9e5 bit/sec upload. This app reports in bytes per second, and the numbers here have been multiplied by 8 giving bits per second.

Bluetooth Testing

USB Connection

When you plug the provided USB cable between the Droid and a computer running Linux (or presumably Windows), it plays an audio notification and pops a notification item saying Connecting mass storage to USB. Both SD cards are unmounted. You can open the notification and change to Charge Only, whereupon the cards are remounted.

You get one USB major device Motorola PCS 22b8:42d7. The iProduct is identified as XT862 (correct) and a serial number of 0910E4490202200E is given (for mine). It has a bInterfaceClass of 8 Mass Storage. There is also a Vendor Specific Class 13 Motorola ADB Interface. The mass storage interface has two discs.

The internal card, labelled MOT, on /dev/sdb, has 11.9Gb of storage. Its subdirectories are DCIM (photos), download, Android, .android_secure, and slacker.

I formatted my external card with proper partitions and it is on /dev/sdc1.

I copied some local HTML documents onto /media/MOT, and a file URL is honored. Example: file:///sdcard/htdocs/leones_h.d/leones.shtml

Jimc's Suggestions for Saving Battery Power


Miscellaneous items found when working on other issues: