Motorola Droid X Review - Motorola's Return to the Top of the Smartphone Market
The Motorola Droid X is a beast of a smartphone, exclusively released on Verizon. Following the much anticipated and much loved predecessor, the Motorola Droid, the Motorola Droid X has not missed a step. Taking advantage of being on a powerful and reliable network as well as the marketing power that Verizon holds, the Droid series of phones has been a great step forward for Motorola in general. With the powerful hardware mixed with the open Google Android OS, Motorola has shown that it can once again step up to the plate and dominate.
Even months after its release the Droid X is still able to compete with phones such as the iPhone 4, and the Samsung Epic 4G and even the upcoming, soon to be released, T-Mobile G2 (HTC G2 / Desire Z).
Verizon Motorola Droid X Specifications:
- Dimensions: 5.02 x 2.58 x 0.39 inches (127.5 x 65.5 x 9.9 mm)
- Weight: 5.47 oz (155 g)
- Display: 4.3 inch FWVGA multitouch capacitive display, 480 x 854 pixels
- Memory: 8 GB + up to 32 GB MicroSD
- OS: Google Android 2.1 (Eclair)
- Processor: 1 GHz TI OMAP3630-1000
- Camera: 8 Megapixel camera, 720 HD
- Connectivity: CDMA dual band (800/1900 MHz)
- Data: 1xEV-DO rev.A
- Bluetooth: Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
- GPS: GPS with A-GPS
- Battery: Lithium ion, 1540 mAh
Design and Display (5 out of 5)
The Motorola Droid X is very much like its predecessor the original Motorola Droid. Unlike the original Droid, the Droid X does not have a full slide out physical QWERTY keyboard, instead it only has the touchscreen in addition to Swype for typing. This, however, is not a problem as the screen itself is 4.3 inches! When compared to an iPhone, the Droid X has a much larger screen, which in turn means a larger phone. Not only is this a beast when it comes to the internal hardware, it’s also a beast in terms of physical appearance.
The design is very simple and some would consider it blocky. The Droid X has a rectangular shape with slightly rounded corners. In addition, the screen, though the same size diagonally as the HTC EVO 4G, has been built to be a bit longer, having about an additional 54 pixels vertically. The back of the phone has a slight hump for the 8 MP camera but it doesn’t detract from the overall design, nor does it get in the way when using the phone.
On the right side of the phone is the volume rocker along with a dedicated button used for the camera. The only physical buttons on the front of the phone are the 4 shortcut buttons, on the left are the micro USB and micro HDMI slots. On the top of the phone is the power/lock button along with the audio jack for headphones. The only buttons on the front of the phone are the 4 dedicated shortcut buttons: menu, home, back and search.
The overall design of the phone can actually be very black and white. Folks who don’t like larger, bulkier phones may hate the design, but for those who don’t mind a bit of a larger phone to get a much larger screen, this design is perfect.
Hardware and Software (5 out of 5)
Not only is the Motorola Droid X a physically imposing phone but it’s also a powerhouse internally.
The Droid X has a 1 GHz TI Omap3630-1000 processor, comparable to the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon and the 1 GHz Hummingbird processors found on other phones such as the T-Mobile Nexus One and the Samsung Captivate. This powerful processor allows for smooth transitions and movement within the phone and very rarely is there noticeable lag.
The Motorola Droid X comes equipped with Android 2.1 (Eclair) along with Motorola’s custom UI application, Motoblur. However, in the case of the Droid X, Motoblur is not pronounced, in fact, it’s actually hidden away. Motorola decided to basically remove Motoblur from the Droid X, which, in all honesty, was a wise decision. It’s now tucked away as its own application.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The user interface is solid. If you’ve ever used an Android phone before, the Droid X is no different. Since it’s also no longer forcing users to use the Motorola Motoblur overlay, there’s no large cluster of information flying in your face. As with any other Android phone, the Motorola Droid X has a home screen where you can add your applications. Simply hold the icons and drag them to the trash bin if you no longer want them on your screen.
For new users to the Android platform, the Motorola Droid X, or any other Android powered device for that matter, may seem intimidating at first. However, the design of the platform allows it to be easily understood and used, even for new users. With the large display, it’s easier to type as well as easier to select applications.
Features (5 out of 5)
The Motorola Droid X comes feature packed. It comes with the standard package of Verizon exclusive applications, such as VCast, and VZ Navigator. Beyond that, it also comes with a Blockbuster application, allowing you to download and view movies on the Droid X. Another unique offer that Verizon has is the ability to change the phone into a mobile hotspot. Verizon has put in the functionality and the application to allow you to turn the Droid X into a portable wireless hotspot so not only can you surf the web, but you can share it with your friends. And with Verizon’s powerful network, there’s very rarely a time when you won’t have the connection to pull it off.
To add onto the Droid X, you have the ever expanding Android Market. Access to the market gives you access to thousands and thousands of free and fee-based applications to install on the Droid X.
Finally, the Droid X comes with an 8 MP camera with LED flash. That makes the Droid X one of the best camera phones that Verizon has to offer. Pictures come out crisp and clear and it also has the ability to record video at 720p HD, making the Droid X a viable camcorder in case you forget to bring yours, or if you decide to rely solely on the phone.
Connectivity and Call Quality (5 out of 5)
This section may seem questionable to folks as the connectivity to a network is more dependent on the carrier than on the phone. However, as the Motorola Droid X is exclusive to Verizon, one must consider the network as part of the phone, you can’t have the phone without the network… well, you can, but it would effectively be a paperweight. In the case of the Droid X, being a part of Verizon’s network is a huge positive.
Verizon has one of the best, if not the most reliable connections in the United States. No matter where you go, you’ll most likely have a connection. This allows you to use the Droid X almost anywhere. In addition, Verizon allows you to make your smartphone a mobile hotspot. Though the fee is much higher, for company employees, this can be a huge saving grace if your coworkers can’t find a network connection.
When using the Droid X, there was never any dropped calls or network outages. Sites loaded up fast with no problems, very rarely was there network lag causing web pages to load slowly. When sharing the network using the Droid X as a mobile hotspot, there was some slight delay but overall it was an enjoyable experience for friends and coworkers alike. The cost for this service however is expensive, so keep that in mind if having a mobile hotspot readily available is an important aspect you need on your smartphone.
The call quality was top notch, incoming calls were loud and clear and folks on the other side of the line were able to hear me fine. There was never any choppiness on either end, and as mentioned, never any dropped calls. The small hump on the back of the phone actually lifts the phone up a bit, so if the phone is lying on a table and the speakerphone is turned on, it’s actually very clear. The speaker portion is lifted up due to the hump from the camera. Compared to the Samsung Captivate and the Samsung Vibrant, the Motorola Droid X actually had a much clearer and louder speakerphone.
The Verdict (5 out of 5)
Overall, the Motorola Droid X is easily an ‘Excellent’ smartphone. Even months after it has been released, it still stands up against the likes of newer competitors such as the Samsung Fascinate, the HTC G2 and the iPhone 4. It has the hardware, software and network to really make this an incredible phone. The only big downside would be the size of the phone. For users who enjoy large screens and don’t mind their phones taking up quite a bit of pocket space, this phone is perfect. On the flip side, for users who want small, sleek phones and don’t care too much about the size of the screen, the Motorola Droid X may not be the phone to get.