The checkout page is a summary list where long discussions will not fit. This page is for additional information about the various checkout steps.
Remove the back cover: It's so simple in the book's picture :-) This forum post on AndroidForums gives some suggestions. The slot at the north end, next to the power button, is your initial pry point. The grabbers are along the north edge at the 1/4 and 3/4 points, and you want to bend the cover so they come away from the chassis. You will need all four hands to do the job, and if your fingernails break easily you should be very cautious. My device was shipped with the back cover off, but I needed to get at the UICC and SD slots later.
I found it most effective to get my fingernail into the gap at the northwest corner, then use a 1/4 inch screwdriver to pry in the slot, lifting the cover on that side, then slide my fingernail to where the grabber is, whereupon it will let go. Then work from the slot outward toward the northeast grabber. Then move my fingernail along the west side, and once those grabbers are loose the cover will come right off. One of the comment posters suggested using an expired credit card, rather than your fingernail.
To replace the cover, engage the two south grabbers first, then the sides, and the north grabbers last.
Now is the time to record your serial number, IMEI and MEID (both in decimal and in hex, which is what Verizon will want). They are on a label in the battery box, and will be covered by the battery.
If you have a UICC (SIM or RUIM), insert it now. Verizon does not
use RUIMs any more; they cue on the MEID. Also insert the external
SD card. See the
picture in the
Master Your Device booklet. Insert the battery
last. The battery has to be out when you insert the UICC but the SD
card can be inserted or removed with the battery present. (Be sure
to unmount it in Android, or shut off power.) If the UICC
or SD card are not immediately available, you can charge without them.
Connect the USB cable to the port on the west side of the pocket computer. The cable has a male type A (host) plug which attaches to the charger or computer, and a male micro-USB plug on the phone end. The broad side with the USB logo goes to the front (toward the screen).
Let it charge; the book says 3 hours but it can be expected to get to 80% in one hour.
You will need to know your Google Gmail loginID and password. Get this ready before powering on the phone. If you don't have an account you could create one using another computer, or you could create an account using the Setup Wizard's procedure. Setup in CyanogenMod will let you skip the Gmail step, but you need a Google account to download apps from the Market, even free ones.
Initial boot, using the 1Gb SD card and the AT&T SIM: Press the power button at the north end for 1 sec until you see the Motorola logo. Boot animation starts at 20 secs. Setup wizard starts at 35 secs -- very fast. Same timing for a non-initial boot. It's possible that this phone has been booted by Negri people to unlock it.
Flash to Cricketis mentioned to jigger the CDMA radio to not be fixated on Verizon.
At the screen saying
Touch the Android to Begin, touch in
all four corners (one at a time) and it will skip the activation step.
Starting from here, the UI will sleep on inactivity, like if you're taking notes on what's happening, and it's set for 60 seconds. If the phone sleeps on you, hit the power button to wake it. The lock screen will be shown. Swipe across the lock symbol, left to right all the way across the screen. The lock screen will be replaced by whatever you were doing when it slept.
Agree to the Motorola EULA.
Backup assistant setup (fails, no network). Skip it. This is a cloud service provided by Verizon. I doubt it's free.
Select Location Services from Verizon, Google, or standalone GPS. I picked GPS. They warn you, apps can send location data to their mother ships.
View instructional videos (optional).
Hit Finish. You return to the window manager's home screen.
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.
Start the dialer app and dial *228, pick option 1. This is specific to Verizon; other carriers have their own activation numbers.
They do something magical which takes about 30 seconds; a box
pops up saying
Programming. When this finishes, hit Next,
and the call ends.
After another 60 seconds or so, they send you a text message saying that you can now use your phone for voice chat.
For me, the carrier logo is still the flashing triangle. (Even after a reboot.)
*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.
I have picked Boost Mobile (a division of Sprint) as my carrier. Here's the procedure to activate the phone with them:
Boost Mobile Starter Kit. I wasn't able to figure
out how to get one by mail; I went to a brick and mortar store.
Not a Sprint store, and not Radio Shack which used to have them but
apparently no longer does. Search for specifically a Boost Mobile
store. I paid USD $25, including $10 airtime credit. (Four years ago
AT&T gave me a SIM for free.)
You need this data for activation.
Power off the phone. Remove the battery. Detach the SIM from its frame. Insert the SIM under the metal bridge next to the battery. For orientation, note the picture on the bottom of the battery box.
While activation is probably possible from the phone, I'm using the web interface at http://boostmobile.com/activate . The interaction goes like this:
Start Activation Process.
handsetidentifier.doscript didn't crash the browser.
Get Human Dot Comdated 2009-01-11 has this helpful suggestion: press 0 at each prompt. This works for many other sites also. However, Boost Mobile no longer responds to this trick.
Copy down these items on the provided card. You will need them if you talk to a human customer service rep:
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.
Outdoor direct sunlight perpendicular to the screen, 40000 lux: Display is good, but not excellent; noticeably less contrast than in the 6000 lux condition, but color rendition is complete and the display is completely useable in direct sunlight.
I put the screen brightness in manual mode, and found that the brightness had to be at maximum to produce this performance. Set at minimum, the screen was not unreadable but was pretty bad, worse than the HTC Dream. It must take a lot of power to fight with the Sun and win, but I don't yet have a quantitative estimate of how much this eats battery. The ideal would be to modulate reflected ambient light, and to use the lamp only in very dark spaces.
Outdoor shade, north side of a building, lit by clear sky, 6000 lux: Display is excellent, complete and normal color rendition, normal contrast. I can't tell if the color balance is dynamically adjusted for the blue sky versus Sol's yellow light -- I doubt it -- but the colors in the test photo looked normal.
Indoor, sunny south side of building, 3000 lux: Excellent color and contrast.
Indoor, north side of building, 28 lux: Excellent. But in the stock Verizon image the screen brightness is not turned down when the ambient light is reduced. If the machine is put to sleep and woken again, the display will be set appropriately. It will brighten the display when the surroundings brighten, without being put to sleep.
CyanogenMod-7 has a checkbox enabling turning down the brightness (in Settings -> CyanogenMod -> Display -> Automatic Backlight -> Allow Light Decrease (near the end)), and elaborate controls over how the screen brightness should relate to the ambient light.
CyanogenMod-9 (at least in the version current as this is written, CM9-01-12) intrinsically dims the display and lacks the elaborate brightness controls.
Dark closet, 2 lux: Excellent. In the Verizon image the light sensor did not turn down the brightness, though, but CyanogenMod-7 and 9 do.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
|Server||Read and checksum on server||0.86||2.27e8|
|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.
How to find the MAC address: when you pair with the laptop, it will be shown. Using the terminal emulator you can do: cat /sys/class/bluetooth/hci0/address
Pairing with other cellphone: Need to test
Pairing with Xena (Linux laptop): Works. Procedure: Make Droid
discoverable. Start setup wizard on Xena. Xena shows a random
number, Droid shows the same number. Click on
both devices (if the number is the same).
OBEX push: The Droid does not have an OBEX server (in stock Gingerbread), so this did not work in either direction. See also Astro File Manager. Same in CM7 and CM9, failed to send, failed to receive.
Think Outside keyboard: Works. The HID and
the physical keyboard keycode (or keysym?) streams are merged so
you can use both within the same editor session.
Procedure to pair: Open the keyboard. Press Ctrl-Green-Blue until
the keyboard's green light blinks (near the T key).
Tell the Droid to scan for devices. When the keyboard appears,
click its line item. The droid pops a box, type a sequence of
numbers (4 is known to work, probably more is OK) and hit Pair.
Then type the same numbers on the keyboard (use blue Fn key to
get numbers) and press enter. It will pair.
Pairing with Motorola HT820 headphone: Works. Procedure: Hold down the HT820's left control button until the lamp comes on steady. Then on the Droid, hit Scan For Devices. When the headphone appears, click on its line item to pair.
HSP-HFP to Motorola HT820: Works in CM7, and HFP (call control button) is obeyed. In CM9, first tested in CM9-01-30, but not successfully: HFP (call control) was not obeyed to accept an incoming call, and if the call was accepted on the screen, there was no audio in or out. But it paused music that was playing at the time.
A2DP audio quality: Adequate. Comparing the same phones (HT820)
doing Bluetooth A2DP vs. wired (3.5mm jack), the wired quality is
noticeably better. A similar difference is seen on Android-1.5
Froyo, and Linux bluez-4.88,
suggesting that the problem is in the headphone or the A2DP
algorithm. It's hard to be sure what the difference is, but I have
the impression that the sub-bands in the midrange are not getting
matched up perfectly by the headphone.
Unfortunately in CM9-12-24 I was not able to get the music player to use Bluetooth A2DP (it used the internal speaker, or wired headphones if present). Update: This was fixed in CM9-01-12 and stayed fixed.
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
If your cellular signal is poor, more power is needed to talk to the tower, and when the signal drops out it has to scan for another tower. My HTC Dream could only do this for about 6 hours before emptying the battery. Cure: fire the weasels and get a mobile operator that gives you a decent signal.
If you are away from your home or work Wi-fi, it has to scan frequently for a Wi-fi provider that it's allowed to connect to. Running the radio frequently and for a long time on each try eats battery. Cure: turn off Wi-fi when you know there's no service. In CyanogenMod, flick down the status bar and you will find a control icon for Wi-fi.
If you do location-based social networking, it needs to determine your location frequently. Cure: turn off GPS until you need it for map navigation or for finding a specific person. Use your status bar control icon. The position inferred from cell towers should be good enough for many purposes, e.g. picking a restaurant.
If you are inside a building with steel and concrete construction, which blocks the signal of the satellites, the phone will run the GPS for a long time before giving up, repeating each time your location is needed. Steel and concrete also reduce your cellular signal. Cure: turn off GPS until you are under clear sky. Turn on airplane mode if your cellular signal is uselessly low.
Some web pages have active and expensive client-side scripting; for example I ran into one with animated snowflakes that pegged my CPU. Cure: load a more friendly page, and beg Google for a browser setting to suppress client-side scripting.
Miscellaneous items found when working on other issues:
In Jerry Hildenbrand's blog on Android Central (2010-02-27), he recommends the Astro File Manager. (View this page on Android, click on the link, and the market app will open, oriented on this application.)
The Bluetooth hostname is
DROID3. The system hostname is
localhost. The hostname used for Terminal Emulator's prompt is