While much of the Verizon DROID by Motorola impressed us, one less than satisfying aspect of the Android 2.0 smartphone is its camera. Despite boasting 5.0-megapixel optics, the DROID’s autofocus was sluggish and the final shots mediocre. Now, an ostensibly simple fix is promising to address the issue, and you don’t even need to whip out the screwdrivers: in fact, all that’s required is a soft cloth to give the DROID’s lens a proper clean.
Updated: There’s now talk that the camera issues were addressed with a “silent” over-the-air (OTA) firmware update. That’s not been confirmed by Verizon or Motorola as yet.
Update 2: The bizarreness continues; according to Google Android team member Dan Morill the autofocus issue is date-related, with the DROID cycling between 24.5 day periods of “good” autofocus and 24.5 day periods of “bad”. Since today marked the beginning of a “good” cycle, the DROID’s camera will behave for almost a month, and Dan is promising a fix will be available before things go murky and fuzzy again.
“This works and sounds crazy. I just read that if you clean the camera lens really good with a soft cloth you will get the green focus. I’ll give anything a try so I did it. My camera now focus’s all the time. Green focus on all my shots. Supposedly there is a little bit of oily film over the lens and when wiped clean it fixes the issue. give it a shot and report here. I can tell you it worked lol…4 shots, all green….” cereal killer, Droid Forum
According to some users’ experiments, the DROID is being shipped with an oily film over the lens; that film is what’s causing the autofocus to have trouble locking on, and producing less than perfect shots. After giving it a good polish, users are claiming to have perfect shot after perfect shot. We’ll be trying the fix with our own DROID review unit, and feed back with the results.