When the new pocket computer was received, I checked out these features.
Initially I used the Motorola/Verizon image of Android 2.3
Later I installed CyanogenMod-7.1.0, Hashcode's port for Solana (Droid 3).
This is alpha level. Even later I transferred to Hashcode's port of
CyanogenMod-9 (dated 2011-12-24), which is even more alpha level. The first
column gives the
out of the box experience with very little hacking; the
next two, labelled CM-7 and CM-9, give the current state of the feature under
CyanogenMod and the image version (date) when it became functional.
out of the box, or after a clean installation of CyanogenMod for Solana.
|Conf||It needed editing a configuration file or running a setup GUI.|
|Add-On||Needed additional or patched software: download it; follow instructions to compile and/or install it; it works.|
|Fiddle||As with |
Add-On, but it required some workarounds in the procedure, which might seem minor to an experienced user but which might prevent a newbie from making it work.
|Hack||So you call yourself a guru? This one will challenge your skills. But this guru eventually got it working.|
|Fail||I wasn't able to get this one to work, at least so far.|
|*||A prerequisite did not qualify for the |
Confrating, but once that was set up, the listed component worked with no further hassle.
|Check dimensions and mass||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Mass (measured, with battery): 183 grams. Battery: 31 grams. Bounding box: 122 x 63 x 13.5 mm. Extended keyboard adds 38 mm. Density (based on bounding box): 1.7 g/cc. It will sink like a stone, and I doubt its water resistance, though there are no obvious paths for water or vermin to enter.|
|Does it charge OK?||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|How long to charge?|
|Does it boot at all?||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Yes. On first booting the stock image you have to go through the usual setup procedure. The procedure to install CyanogenMod-7 is of course rather more extensive and fraught with peril. But given that experience, upgrading to CyanogenMod-9 was straightforward using (nearly) the same procedure.|
|Ambient Light Sensor||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
It works, and influences the display brightness if turned on. See here for ambient light sensor details.
|Voice chat (Verizon, CDMA)||N.T.||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Verizon does not use a RUIM (CDMA equivalent of
SIM); they cue directly off the MEID. |
Out of box successrefers to CyanogenMod's success once the phone was activated with Verizon, after quite a bit of wrestling with various weasels of the mobile operator ilk.
History of voice chat problems:
|Cellular Data (Verizon, CDMA)||N.T.||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Voice chat (AT&T, GSM)||Fail||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Using the AT&T UICC (SIM): Verizon's
Preferred Roaming List (PRL) forbids the use of AT&T. In forum
postings, people in Europe report using local SIMs successfully, and
Hashcode also reports, for CM9, successful use of GSM (not necessarily
AT&T or T-Mobile), so I have given this item a green rating.
|Voice chat (Boost Mobile, CDMA)||Fail||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|Using the Boost Mobile UICC (RUIM): Verizon's
Preferred Roaming List (PRL) forbids the use of Sprint. And Boost Mobile
alleges that the Droid 3's MEID is not recognized by them. It should
be possible to get Sprint's PRL onto the phone, but getting them to
recognize the phone could be more difficult, so I gave up this quixotic
|Wi-fi in Master Mode||N.T.||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
The Wi-fi driver for the Droid 3 can be put into master mode, allowing your pocket computer to act as a Wi-fi access point. In documentation this is referred to as Wi-fi Tethering. Check your cell plan's terms of service carefully to determine if you need to pay extra to do this. Update: this was the first thing my friend tried out on my phone, and it worked.
Hardwarewise, Bluetooth worked out of the box on all three systems. Follow the link for details of what was tested. In CM9-12-24 the headphone paired but the music player would not send sound to it; however, this was fixed starting in CM9-01-12.
|Audio digital signal processor (DSP)||N.T.||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
It's hard to prove that the principal audio codecs (Vorbis, MP3) are running on the DSP, but the DSP Manager app does influence the spectrum of the performed audio, proving that CyanogenMod-7 has effective access to the DSP.
|Play streaming audio||Box||2011-11-16||2012-01-12|
Outcome of various audio sources and formats (on all three systems):
|The Droid has a HDMI output port. The cable is sold separately and I don't have one, nor do I do much video capture which could be displayed as a test.|
|The Droid 3 apparently has an unadvertised FM radio and people post in forums that they can play it. CM9-12-24 has a FM player app from TI and a FM transmitter app from TI, and I also tried a FM app from Motorola, but none of these actually work in CM9-12-24.|
|It's hard to get calibration data for the
magnetometer, but all three axes do function. +X is east, +Y is north, +Z
is to the front, and the indicated side of the device has to be facing
terrestrial magnetic north for the axis to read a positive value.
The magnetometer is at the midpoint of the east edge. Iron objects, like a screwdriver or masonry reinforcement of course will affect the readings.
|On the Terran surface the reported magnitude of
acceleration is between 9.8 and 10.1 m/s2; correct value is 9.8.
When I turn the device 180 degrees, the magnitude typically shows a zero
offset of 0.15 m/s2; e.g. north up shows 9.797, south up shows
-10.092, half the sum is 0.148 m/s2. This is pretty good
performance for a consumer-grade accelerometer.
The axis sensors are reasonably aligned with the chassis. As seen by the Phone Tester app, +Y is south, i.e. in portrait orientation with the speaker up, Y will be about plus 10 m/s2. +X is west (keyboard down gives plus), and +Z is rear (display up gives plus).
|Proximity (face) sensor||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
|When you're making a voice call and the phone is close to your face, the display and touch screen are deactivated. When you take it away, they return. This seems to work reasonably, and can be useful since you don't want your fat jowls to activate the dialpad.|
|In the Verizon image, if you turn on the
feature (in Settings -
Display), it will lock the screen after the phone has been in your
pocket for about 3 seconds. The screen can face out or in.
Later, it stopped recognizing pockets; I don't know why yet.
I don't see this feature in CyanogenMod; it isn't in Settings - Display.
|I never saw the Verizon system image use the
notification LED. (Which doesn't mean that it never does, e.g. for a
missed call or a SMS, which I can't test due to carrier loyalty
enforcement.) In particular it does not turn the LED on during charging.
CyanogenMod-7 does so. I need to make an index of what colors are used
and what they mean.
CM9-12-24 does turn on the LED (white) during charging, but turns it off when the charge reaches 90%. CM7 and earlier Android versions turned it green when charging above 90%, which I prefer. Blinking white indicates a received SMS.
|Rear camera with flash||Box||2011-11-16||2011-12-24|
Need to fill out this section. In CyanogenMod-7 the included camera
app shows no camera content: a black screen behind the camera controls.
However, the Barcode Scanner app shows camera content and can interpret
a barcode promptly and correctly. Also
ipwebcam can get images from the rear camera.
Forum postings suggest that the
Camera360 app can also operate the camera in CyanogenMod for Droid 3,
and does it better than the provided app on other phones where the
provided app works. So I'm rating the rear camera as
In CM9-12-24, however, the camera has not yet been made to work.
ipwebcam, but not successfully. A signal is delivered (in CM7)
but it looks
like randomly varying noise in shades of white and magenta, with
curvy spatial correlations that might be the scene trying to be seen.
ddPhoneVideo showed the same
image. We'll have to wait to do video chat.
|There hasn't yet been an opportunity to really test the battery life. Subjective impressions are that the Droid 3 is frugal with energy. Some forum posters say that for them, some unknown process eats battery. Here are some suggestions for power saving.|