So how is it?

I tried out Flash on a Motorola Droid X. (You can download Flash from the Android Market store.) There’s no doubt about it. Without Flash, you’re missing a lot of the Web. Suddenly I could watch sports clips, news shorts and nytimes.com videos. Suddenly blinking Web ads made their first appearance on the phone, for better or worse. You can zoom in just the way you’d zoom into any Web page—on the Droid X, by spreading two fingers apart on the glass. And you can rotate the phone 90 degrees to make the video fit better.

But caveats galore:

  • Occasional videos (unfortunately, including my own, on nytimes.com) looked blocky and blotchy. [d’oh!]
  • …games played smoothly — where you could play them at all without mouse or keyboard.
  • Hulu is blocked
  • Even on a strong Wi-Fi signal, the “loading” message often makes an appearance for, say, 10 seconds before the video plays.
  • I didn’t conduct battery tests, but Adobe notes with pride that Flash for Mobile is one of the most popular downloads from the Android Market, and it’s highly rated. Adobe’s engineers estimate that you can get 3 to 3.5 hours [that’s almost as long as a Netbook!]
  • O.K., it may accelerate battery drain, and mouse/keyboard games are clumsy, and it doesn’t work on absolutely all sites.
  • Sounds like a winner.  Still an overall positive view from David Pogue, who is usually a Steve Jobs/Apple admirer (to say the least).

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