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Motorola DROID X, Black 8GB (Verizon Wireless)
- Android 2.1-powered smartphone with 4.3-inch touchscreen for brilliant video playback; 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture
- Google mobile services including Google Maps with Navigation for voice prompted turn-by-turn directions; can be used as a 3G Mobile Hotspot for up to five Wi-Fi connected devices
- 8 GB internal plus 2 GB preloaded microSD memory; Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking; Bluetooth stereo music; access to personal and corporate e-mail
- Up to 8 hours of talk time, up to 220 hours (9+ days) of standby time; released in July, 2010
- What's in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, 2 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide
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- Size (LWH): 4.56 inches, 2.36 inches, 0.54 inches
- Weight: 5.92 ounces
- Network Compatibility: CDMA
A worthy successor to the original Droid, the Android-powered Droid X by Motorola for Verizon Wireless is a pocket-sized home theater with a massive 4.3-inch high-resolution display, HDMI high-definition output with optional cable, and 720p HD video recording capabilities. And the 1 GHz processor provides excellent response for game play, such as the preloaded EA Need for Speed Shift.
Droid X by Motorola is a pocket-sized home theater with a high-resolution 4.3-inch touchscreen display.
Additionally Droid X will feature Adobe Flash Player, enabling you to stream video from tens of millions of websites or game play with a full PC Web experience (Droid X users will receive Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 via an over-the-air update in late summer 2010). You can also easily download BLOCKBUSTER On Demand presented by V CAST Video via a link icon on your home screen or use V CAST to watch your favorite shows.
With integrated Google technology, Droid X brings one-touch access to the popular Google mobile services millions use every day, including Google Search by voice, Google Maps with Street View, GTalk instant messaging (with presence capabilities), YouTube, and Picasa. The Droid X also provides easy access to both personal and corporate e-mail, calendars, and contacts supported by Exchange Server and Gmail. And through Android Market, you'll get access to thousands of useful applications, widgets and fun games to download and install on your phone, with many more apps being added every day.
In addition to high-speed connectivity on the fast and reliable Verizon Wireless 3G network, you can also share the built-in 3G Mobile Hotspot via Wi-Fi among five devices--laptop, another phone, MP3 player, and more (additional service charge). Droid X also utilizes high-performance diversity antennas along with innovative software to improve signal strength and reduce dropped calls.
The large touchscreen display offers pinch-to-zoom functionality and reveals a spacious virtual keyboard, where you can type and text with ease at more than 50 words per minute with Swype using one continuous finger motion across the screen keyboard.
Capture crisp pictures and video with the 8-megapixel camera featuring 720p HD video.
Preloaded social networking widgets allow you to sync and stream your feeds and updates from Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace all to one screen in real time. Other features include an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, 8 GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 2 GB memory card, ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, GPS turn-by-turn directions via free Google Maps with Navigation (Beta), and up to 8 hours of talk time.
DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.
- Fast 3G connectivity thanks to the reliable Verizon Wireless EV-DO, Rev A network
- Powered by the Android operating system (version 2.1) with deep integration of Google services and access to thousands of apps to customize your phone via the Android Market.
- Advanced multitasking capabilities allow you to receive notifications, listen to music, and even record GPS data without keeping the application open.
- Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g/n) for accessing home and corporate networks as well as hotspots while on the go.
- 3G Mobile Hotspot: The Droid X comes travel-ready with a built-in 3G Mobile Hotspot--a Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared among five Wi-Fi-capable devices. The 3G Mobile Hotspot is the perfect family vacation companion, and at $20 for 2 GB and 5 cents per megabyte overage, it provides an allowance big enough for sharing with the entire family for downloading games, Internet access, and more.
- Get where you need to go with Google Maps Navigation (Beta), which provides turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps. It's powered by Google and connected to the Internet. Use voice shortcuts and simply say "Navigate to [your destination]," and you'll be on your way. See live traffic, use Street View or satellite imagery to view your route, and get access to the most recent maps and business information from Google Maps without ever needing to update your device.
- Swype input system allows you to input text faster and easier by gliding your finger around the keyboard, moving from letter to letter in one continuous motion. The Swype technology then calculates what word you're intending to type (learn more below).
- 1 GHz TI OMAP processor with dedicated graphics processor.
- 4.3 inch high-resolution touchscreen display (WVGA 854 x 480 pixels, 16 million colors)
- 8-megapixel camera with fast mechanical shutter (1/1000 second) auto focus, touch-to-focus, face recognition, panoramic modes, and more.
- Capture video in high- definition 720p HD resolution and customize your videos with a slow-motion effect as well as make them flawless with an advanced three microphone solution for directional audio capture and noise cancelation.
- HDMI video output for connecting to a compatible HDTV.
- Bluetooth connectivity (version 2.1) includes profiles for communication headset, hands-free car kits, and the A2DP Bluetooth profile--enabling you to wirelessly stream your music to a pair of compatible Bluetooth stereo headphones or speaker dock.
- 10 GB of storage right out of the box with 8 GB of internal memory and 2 GB preloaded microSD memory card. You can expand the Droid X up to a maximum of 40 GB with its 8 GB internal memory plus optional 32 GB microSD card.
- Multi-format digital audio player with dedicated Amazon MP3 Store app for over-the-air downloads.
Watch live sports, latest local and national news, and full length episodes of TV shows with Verizon Wireless V Cast Video on Demand.
- YouTube app for streaming video over 3G and Wi-Fi connections.
- Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified technology enables you to stream, store and share content with multiple DLNA compatible devices such as a HDTVs, game consoles or PCs
- Real HTML Web browsing provides more pages and better Web content delivered efficiently to your phone (Android Webkit HTML5-based browser).
- Text, picture, and video messaging with threaded messaging feature
- Email: Corporate (Exchange 2003 and 2007), Gmail, IMAP, POP3, Attachment and browser document viewer (Microsoft Office and pdf)
- Airplane mode allows you to listen to music while the cellular connectivity is turned off
The Droid X by Motorola weighs 5.47 ounces and measures 5.02 x 2.57 x 0.39 inches. Its 1540 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 8 hours (480 minutes) of talk time, and up to 220 hours (9+ days) of standby time. It runs on the CDMA 800/1900 frequencies as well as EV-DO, Rev A 3G frequencies.
What's in the Box
Droid X by Motorola handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, 2 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide
- Reliable 3G Network: With support for the EV-DO high-speed data standard, you'll enjoy fast access to the Internet and Verizon Wireless multimedia services (additional charges applicable), with average download speeds ranging from 400 to 700 Kbps and peak rates up to 2 Mbps. (Learn more about where EV-DO coverage is offered.)
- Visual Voice Mail: This innovative service enables you to delete, reply, and forward voice mail messages without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions. Visual Voice Mail is the ideal tool for the busy mobile professional who may need to prioritize which messages he or she listens to first. Features include on-screen access to voice mail message status, save up to 40 messages for 40 days (or archive permanently), create up to 10 different caller ID-based greetings, and reply via call back, text or even voice mail.
- V CAST Video on Demand: This optional service enables you to watch full-length TV shows plus news, sports, weather, and live entertainment video clips. It features more than 100 full-length programs from leading broadcast and cable networks, ranging from highly-rated drama and comedy series to reality programs and children's programming. V CAST Video on Demand also delivers live sporting events, including NHL hockey games and an upcoming slate of college football games
The service offers unlimited viewing of Basic Videos and the ESPN MVP channel. You can choose from 14 categories, including Entertainment, Kids, Music, Sports, Comedy, News, Pop Culture, Information, Women, Latino, Home & Leisure, Multicultural, Cutting Edge, and Hollywood. Additional subscription charges applicable.
An alternative to the Android virtual keyboard, the Swype virtual keyboard allows you to input text by swiping the finger with one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard. Based on testing, speed and accuracy are equal to or better than the traditional keyboard-tapping method. You can activate the Swype keyboard by pressing and holding in a text field, wait for popup to appear, click Input Method, and then select Swype.
In the image to the left, the word "quick" was generated from tracing the path shown above in a fraction of a second, by roughly aiming to pass through the letters of the word. A key advantage to Swype is that there is no need to be very accurate, enabling very rapid text entry.
Also Available for This Android Device
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Top Customer Reviews
- The DX's X-tra large screen is beautiful. The touch interface is very responsive. I feels like a powerful computer in your pocket.
- DX is big but I don't think it's too big. I could actually "do" a 5 inch phone if VZW ever sold one. I use the DX one handed but I have big hands. ;-) YMMV, however.
- The screen size also makes typing on the screen easier. I usually hate virtual keyboards but I like this one.
- Web browsing on the big screen is a great experience. I can see myself not using my iPad as much now (I would take it along to the barber, doctor's office, etc.). When the DX gets Flash support, the iPad might be going to eBay. :)
- HD Video recording capability is super great.
- I actually like the new version of Moto Blur. The re-sizable widgets are cool. Plus you can remove anything you don't want to use. I guess this wasn't the case with the original Moto Blur. They just need to add a "close" button (or swipe to close) to the widgets so I don't have to reach down for the back button.
- Battery life seems pretty good, much better than the Incredible.
- FM Radio is actually pretty good.
- DLNA support will allow you to browse media stored on your computers, wirelessly.
- The DX is V Cast compatible.
- The DX has all of the standard Android functionality including the best, free voice activated GPS known to man. Need directions to "123 Main Street"? Simply press the search button and say, "Navigate to 123 Main Street". Want to know where the closest Pizza place is? Say, "Map of Pizza". Google voice navigation is unbelievably good.
- The DX includes full Microsoft Exchange support. I'm not sure if it includes remote wipe or other security features that were missing from the initial D1 release.
- I usually prefer physical buttons but the ones on the DX aren't that great. They feel cheap. Plus they are all the same height so you can't easily press the button you want without looking at the device. This takes away one of the biggest advantages of having buttons.
- Like many smart phones these days, DX doesn't have Send or End buttons. I don't understand why companies make PHONES that don't include buttons for starting and ending a PHONE call!
- Unlike D1, the DX power button is in the middle-top of the phone. This probably helps out the lefties (the D1 power button is on the top-right). However, I don't like the extra reach for the power button. I'm already reaching over a much larger device.
- Motorola has locked/encrypted the boot loader on the DX. Thus, it will be harder or impossible for third party developers to create custom roms for the DX. I think this is a mistake. Custom roms is one of the biggest reasons why the D1 was so popular. The d1 put Android on the map.
- "Free" wifi tether is not available at this time but hopefully soon.
- The syncing software that comes with DX is nothing to write home about. Syncing music, photos, and video to Android phones still remain a hassle. Google needs to develop something like iTunes ASAP. I read that they are working on a music service though...
- I find it hard to put the DX in its desktop doc.
- Haven't tried the camera much yet...
I read that the growth of Android is more likely to hurt Blackberry (BB) than iPhone and I believe it. I tried many phones and always went back to the BB for it's reliable and efficient email experience. The keyboard, trackball, shortcuts, sleep case and more kept me very productive. Unfortunately, some of the BB advantages like push email, MS Exchange integration, unlimited messaging, etc. are now available on other platforms. Add to that, the BB doesn't have many of the nice features or apps offered on other platforms.
If 90% of what you do is send email and text messages, the BB is for you. Other than that, I can't really recommend a 5.0 BB device anymore. Hopefully BB OS 6 and the new web kit browser will change that.
The INC has a nice screen but it's hard to see in day light. The INC also has incredibly bad battery life lol, possibly due to questionable signal strength. I have to laugh when I read about people disabling stuff on their INCs just to get the battery to last a day.
I think the DX is one of the best alternatives to the iPhone, if not the best. However, the advantage the iPhone has over the DX is really about the OS advantage. iOS offers better apps, better developer support, better integration with the desktop, and better overall user experience. The fact that Google leaves android owners to fend for themselves to sync data from the desktop is an epic fail. Sure, I can troll web forums, try several Market downloads, and get something to partially work. iPhone users don't have to do that. Within 10 minutes of getting their new phone home, iPhone owners can sync music, video, apps, photos, files, video podcasts, video rentals, files, etc. to their phone.
Also, custom roms are nice (DX doesn't even have this yet) but I don't think most consumers care about that. Flash might be a big differentiator but for all we know, Apple may soon allow flash to run on iPhone 4.
Until Google offers better desktop integration, the iPhone will maintain a significant advantage over Android phones.
VS DROID 1
This is a tough one... For me, it really comes down to how much you value the bigger screen over custom roms and/or having a keyboard. Some people may be interested in the DX's HD video recording as well. I can't say which is better because it comes down to what features are most important to you. I have to lean toward the DX being "better" at this point. The bigger screen and faster processor makes it better than the stock D1. If you hack the D1, all bets are off. However, if the DX gets custom roms, overclocking, etc., I think it will become the clear winner, at least until Droid 2 comes out. :-)
I think the Droid X is best stock VZW phone available. Its big screen makes it really a computer in your pocket. The HD video recording capability is great. DLNA support is great. I didn't even know an FM radio was included- nice! Battery life so far has been really good, especially considering its big screen. The DX offers just about anything you need in a phone sans the front facing camera. This one device may replace a standalone mp3 player, gps, camera, camcorder, netbook, and possibly, an iPad. The Droid X simply does it all.
Is it the best Android phone on any carrier? I haven't used the EVO so I can't say which I would like more. VZW's voice network and customer service are better than Sprint's so the EVO loses in that respect. The Incredible was crippled with poor battery life so that's a no-contest. The only real, current competition is a hacked Droid 1, if you care about hacking your phone. I personally don't care about custom roms. For these reasons, I think the DX is the best Android phone to date. However, the current champ may lose its belt to one of the many great phones that are coming out soon. But at the end of the day, the real winner is the Consumer. There will be many great devices to pick from and that's always a good thing.
- Hitting the home button twice brings up the voice dial app.
- For free USB or blue-tooth tethering to your laptop/netbook, try PDANet.
- You can tether to your iPad! You have to jailbreak the iPad and install the blue-tooth dial-up networking. Search one of the iPad forums for details.
The process was a direct comparison with my I-Pods Touch (running IOS-4). Said Apple products were used because their display is the same size as the I Phones and the recently introduced Droid 2. The I Pod Touch accessed the Web trough Wi-Fi and photos have not been adjusted, only cropped to size. The results showed some unexpected results that answered my question but not the way I anticipated. Included are photos demonstrating what I describe below:
1. Keyboard. The virtual keys for the Droid X are almost double the size of the Apple device. More important, the keyboard stretches to the full screen when in landscape (the I Pod does not have landscape capability even with IOS 4) and the key organization of the Droid seems to be designed with users in mind as for having included the period and the comma in the main screen amongst many other goodies.
2. Displaying e-mails. When the same e-mail is displayed in both devices. No major differences as for content but fonts in the Droid X are almost twice the size as in the I Pod Touch.
3. Urbanspoon. With the Urbanspoon, the information is about the same for both devices. The larger display of the Droid X is basically lost area with the "urbanspoon" logo.
4. Weather Bug. Using the Weather Bug, the Droid X shows more content and more important, shows an additional decimal digit for the temperature reading.
5. Browsing the Web. On C-Net's TV podcasts, the larger screen of the Droid X allows users to see more information on the display.
Thus, answering my own question on the larger display on the Droid X, seems that all depends on the way that specific applications/programs were designed for the Android Platform vs the I Phones OS. On some instances (e-mails), things were displayed larger. On others, the larger display of the Moto device allowed more content to be displayed (Weather Bug & the C-Net website). On a third group, exemplified by Urbanspoon, the content is the same and the larger screen shows basically useless/dead space on the display.
A point to remember. These are home tests done with I Pods from 2007 and I have not yet played with the Droid 2. The Droid 2 has many features from the Droid X and new I Pods will soon be unveiled with a front facing camera and not unlikely the Retina Display of the I PhoneFour4. And I use I Pods for e-mail and web browsing through Wi Fi only, never to watch movies or even for music listening. For these, I use old Zen Visions (from 2004) which I modified with 120 GBs of HD space.
Hope that these comparisons are useful or at least interesting to you as a consumer and if someone conducts similar comparisons with the Droid 2, the I Phone Four or the new Sammys, will be worth reading about the results and your opinion.
08/14/10 UPDATE: It has been almost a month (29 days) using the Droid X and time to decide if I it should be returned or if it is The Keeper because the VZNs 30 day return policy ends tomorrow. Since my last update, one major event happened. After all the fuzz & buzz regarding the E-Fuse that allegedly Moto had installed in the Droid X and will self-destruct the phone if users tried to modify it, I decided to see if indeed the phone would self-destruct while still under the return policy.
Last week when VZN sent the Froyo (Android 2.2) for the Original Droid users, I was able to download it from the Internet. The phone was backed up (over the air) and the Froyo file copied on a Micro SD Card. Following the instructions, installed the card and rebooted the phone. Opened the zip file and although it seemed to self-install, the phone went dead. I thought that the feared E-Fuse had gone off and would have to go to a VZN store with a credible explanation of what have happened.
But checked on the Internet and found a posting on how to get the phone in recovery mode. Thus, replaced the Froyoed card with the original one, got the phone in Recovery Mode (with the mechanical buttons; power & volume) and was able to restore the Android 2.1 OS. Rebooted it again and the phone self-synchronized with VZN and all contacts, links, etc, came back as backed up. Applications had to be reinstalled one by one. Thus, seems that the story of the E-Fuse that self-destructs the phone is not true at all.
Have used the phone in low reception areas and even with the signal meter showing just one bar, can access the Internet and make phone calls. Battery life continues to be excellent and with the customization capabilities of the OS, the phone goes into a sort of sleep mode (called Off Peak Hours) at midnight and wakes up at 7:00AM. With a third party application; Tasker, have been able to do modifications as to which "things" are on in specific events. For example, the GPS turns itself on when any of the applications that use positioning is launched. Otherwise it is off. With said application and moderate use of the device, have been able to get up to 48 hours from a single battery charge of one hour.
For those of you who are considering the Moto Droids, be aware that you must have a Google E-Mail account to access your contacts. Google allows you consolidation of other e-mails or you just import your contacts from Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. Your Google E-Mail is accessed on the phone and all the information of your contacts show up. The latest from Google is that they allow you to log on multiple accounts from a specific device. Very convenient but anticipate that this will end.
The keyboard has proven to be very convenient, especially the large virtual keys and the predictive texting. With just the first three to four letters of a word, alternatives show up under the texting area and you pick up the proper word. On 08/12/10, Google announced the One Voice for voice recognition or voice to text. I installed it but does not work. Seems that needs Froyo and the latest reports are that will be delivered over the air on the first week of September for the Droid X.
A couple of things that I had not covered before. The camera and camcorder work great and files can be searched alphabetically or by date. Video streaming is uninterrupted but have not received any with HD resolution.
Having said all this, I must re-classify the Droid X with five stars, especially because even after erasing the OS, was able to self-configure itself over the air and have not had any problems at all with the new toy. It's a keeper until at least next year.
Hope that my review and updates have been useful to you.
07/31/10; UPDATED REVIEW. First, thanks for the consumers who have found my Initial Review helpful and classified it as such in Amazon. Has been two weeks using the Droid X as my only means of communication besides Skype. Overall, it is an excellent device with amazing customization capabilities but have found that the Droid X may have an even more limited customer market. As amazing as the Droid X is, IT IS NOT A PHONE FOR PERSONS WHO ARE TECHNO OR COMPUTER CHALLENGED, at least for now, if they want to get the most of this marvelous Moto engineered toy. Otherwise, there are many simpler phones that will not complicate your/their life(s).
THE BAD: First issue, being such a new device, not many vendors have the accessories for it and even though I received the ordered seven in one package from Amazon, still, no one has manufactured the proper case for the phone. See last photo below.
Second, the Verizon website offers plenty of features to customize your phone and play with it; messages, ringtones, etc. But it does not work with 64 bit computers. And after downloading and installing the software, you get a message that it does not support computers running 64 bit OS.
Third, there is not much information on the Web and most of it relates to the original Droid which is not compatible with the new X version. After following advices posted to load ringtones, videos and photos, noticed that most were wrong and had to erase all the OS system.
THE GOOD: Reception, battery life and call quality continue being amazingly good for a device with such a large display and now that I have been playing with some Multi Media features, can give you an update on these. Besides, the phone has become the center of attention of some persons; from a Security Officer at the local Airport to friends that have noticed the change from my Blackberry look alike old Nokia (E-71) to this MONOLITHIC 2001 SPACE ODYSSEY Movie alike icon.
Unlike other devices that limit MM features, if you work around, you will be able to customize caller IDs with JPGs (not animated graphics like some Samsungs), from your favorite characters to recent pics of your kids and/or significant persons. The Photo Gallery even included the date of the pictures you uploaded. The audio is OK with a single rear facing speaker unlike other devices which have two speakers. The only limitation encountered is loading videos. Have tried at least 10 different movies to be converted from VOBs into compatible and reasoably small formats but unable to load these on the X-device.
Thus, after using the Droid X for two weeks is still a KEEPER that fulfills my needs as for a device that can make calls, browse the web, get e-mails, messages and use a GPS w/o paying the extra $10.00 monthly fee usually charged by Carriers.
Now, if for whatever reason the Droid X was not the ideal phone for you, my advice is:
1. If you would consider other Carrier, try the HTC Evo from Sprint. The 4-G capability is not available everywhere.
2. If you want to use VZN but the X version of the Droid id too big a device, consider the Incredible.
3. If you want to use ATT, try their version of the Samsung Galaxy but be ready for dropped calls.
4. If you need to have T-Mobile, check their Sammy. It is thicker due to the slide out mechanical keyboard and their amazing Nexus One has been discontinued.
UPDATED CONCLUSSION: The big, bad, mean new toy AKA the Droid X is for consumers who want or need the essential things from a Smartphone including good quality phone calls, e-mail & internet browsing. And the persons that will most enjoy it are those that have the interest and the time for of customizing it.
Hope that this review helps you deciding on which phone to get this summer. If you want to wait until January 2011, several new devices will be available operating at twice the speed of the Snapdragon & Hummingbird processors. But let's see what FroYo [Android 2.2] brings to these Droids in the next couple of weeks.
Several photos of the Droid X have been included and sorry that these have not the best resolution/quality. Here are descriptions of them:
1. Comparing the size of the I- Pod Touch (32GBs) with the Droid X and the Nokia e-71.
2. Main screen of the Droid X with the Galaxy wallpaper (included on the phone).
3. Comparing how an e-mail looks like between the Droid X and the I-Pod Touch.
4. Comparing the Weather Bug application in both devices (I-Pod has not been updated as for location).
5. A more detailed view on how the Weather Bug looks in the Droid's huge display.
6. Cases; the one on the I-Pod is a cheap one from E-Bay, the one on the Nokia is Boxwave's Designio case (not yet available for the Droid X) but the best I have found.
7. Holster; too large for even this big toy.
Keep tuned for my re-evaluation once I receive the HDMI cable and compare the X-Droid's A/V capabilities with the TV native sound/video resolution.
O7/26/10: INITIAL REVIEW: I have been using the Droid X for ten days already. Uncertain if it was the device that fulfilled my needs, conducted several "home tests" to evaluate three key things; battery life, reception and call quality. The Droid has many other features but these were not relevant for my decision if keeping the new Moto device since I regularly use other devices for said purposes; a Zen Vision for video playback & music, a Camera for pictures, etc.
As documented by others, the Droid X is a big device, even taller than the HTC-Evo. Its back is metal covered by a rubberized textured material which prevents slipping from sweaty palms and fingers. On the Left Lower corner has the slot for a Lanyard which I hooked at the store. Not many phones have kept Lanyard slots nowadays and it was a nice design detail from Moto especially for a big device. Is not as heavy as you will anticipate and the mechanical camera shutter bulge is convenient for proper grasping.
The phone has been customized for my needs and preferences, from the animated wallpaper of a Galaxy (not the Sammy Galaxy Phones) to the icons on the seven screens. Yes, has seven different screens unlike the original Droid which came with three. When turned on it shows the I Phone alike unlock bar which is not the most convenient way. Nokia phones are unlocked by pressing two keys in sequence. The screen is bright for almost all places except under direct sunlight. Nevertheless, screen brightness can be increased.
The operating system is the quite familiar Android 2.1 with nothing spectacular or unique on it. Applications load quickly and I have not experienced freeze-ups even with multitasking. The thing I like most of the OS is that it allows you plenty of customizing and even monitoring battery use per components; cell standby, display, voice calls, phone idle and Bluetooth as well as an indicator of elapsed time since you last unplugged the device. There is also the capability of turning on / off the Bluetooth, the Wi-Fi, the GPS and Airplane mode trough colored icons in one of the main screens.
For purposes of my evaluation if the Droid X was a phone to keep or pass and wait for the Samsung Galaxy next month, I tested the reception going into places where I knew that signal strength would be minimal. This is just a comparison that has limitations and the most important variable is the change of Carrier from ATT to VZN. Tested and compared with results with prior performance using the Nokia E-71 with ATT. Not very fair but the Nokia is the device I have been using for more than two years.
First test; on an Inside Elevator, doors closed floor 8 (in a 20 story building). None of the phones were able to make a call. Calls initiated before entering the elevator were dropped (with both devices).
Second test; Underground Parking. Nokia dropped calls and was not able to initiate any calls. Droid X, calls not dropped but voice quality deteriorated.
Third test; a street downtown between tall buildings. While the Nokia was not able to initiate calls, the Droid X was able to do them even though the communication was interrupted.
Variables were minimized calling the same persons, representing the four main cell phone carriers; ATT, VZN, Sprint and T-Mobile. I am aware that this test is more of indicative of different Carrier coverage and signal strength than differences in the phones as such.
After each call (made or received) I told the person who I talked with that I have changed my phone and wanted his/her opinion if they heard me better, the same or worse than before. Half of them responded that voice quality was the same and half said that it was better. No one said that it was worst and the Nokia's are well known for their good mike & speakerphone. Worth mentioning that calls were made under multiple settings such as windy places, a noisy shopping center and also in the silence of my office. Perhaps, the key factor for the Droid's performance it's the multiple microphones it uses, one for cancelling environmental noise.
Perhaps, the most important factor in my decision to keep or exchange the Droid X. Nokia phones have an excellent battery life and my E-71 was charged for an hour every other day or even every third day with regular use. Regular use for me is from five to ten short calls a day, checking e-mails and browsing the Internet a couple of times a day. Wi-Fi is always on receiving e-mails and Bluetooth always enabled with either headphones or even the car stereo.
The Droid X allows users many configurations regarding battery use and which applications features are on or off as well as how illuminated you want the screen. It becomes even more user customizable with third party applications but I decided to run the battery duration tests with the three settings that Moto offers. Worth reminding that on a device with such a big display, most of the battery will be used by it.
To conduct this test you just go into Settings/ Battery Manager/Battery Profile. There are three native options; Performance, Smart and Battery Saver Mode. The results with my "regular use" were:
Performance: After overnight charging, using the Performance Setting (with the brightest display illumination) battery lasted an average of 28 hours.
Smart Mode: Same use after overnight charging, the battery lasted an average of 36 hours on three trials.
Battery Saver Mode: Similar use & charge, battery is lasting over 40 hours with at least 50% of the charge left according to the device battery meter (with said setting). On this mode, the battery use by the Display shows only 29% compared with 34% use for the Cell Standby, 19% for Voice calls, 11% for Phone Idle and 9% for the Bluetooth. This mode allows you also to configure specific settings for Peak hours and Off-peak Hours as well as individual display brightness. I have not tried yet the phone over 40 hours without recharging, afraid that might have a dead phone at some time.
I am aware that this initial review might be subjective, has variables outside my control but though of publishing it to help consumers that are not decided on what device to get in this revolutionary summer of new smartphones. It will be very useful if others can compare the Droid X with similar devices using the same carrier; VZN. As for my needs, the Droid X does fulfill the three main ones and seems that it is a keeper.
Due to its size, the Droid X might not be for everyone. Definitely not for kids, petite persons or those who are technologically challenged. In ten days I have been able to spend hours "playing" with the device and customizing it for my needs and likes. One of the features I like most is that when I receive a call the phone "speaks" the name or number of the caller, shows the assigned avatar, image or photo followed by a short vibration and if I do not answer the call, the designated ringtone starts to play.
Being the Droid X a new device, not many vendors (or even Verizon) have the accessories for it. Thus, I am using the Lanyard from my old Nokia, a Screen Protector from a full size Garmin GPS and an old case from a large camera which had a belt clip. The only place where you can get accessories (for now) is through the major website seller and I ordered a seven in one pack which includes the HDMI cable.
During the following days I will test the Multi Media capabilities as well as it's Internet, e-mails and social media features. Meanwhile, I hope that this article is useful for those of you that still have not bought their new smartphone. Have fun researching which one is best for your specific needs!