Droid X is my favorite phone of all time July 17, 2010
Reviewer: Chromebook User (Washington, DC United States) -
I've own many of the Verizon Wireless (VZW) smart phones including the Treo, Moto Q, XV6700, Saga, Omnia, Touch Pro, Blackberry Curve, Storm1, Tour, etc. I also owned the first Droid (D1) and thought at the time it was the best VZW phone I've ever owned. Well, Droid X (DX) has changed all of that. The DX is now my favorite phone of all time. But is it actually "better" than the D1?!?!?!? Check out my review.
- 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.
ONE MONTH UPDATE AND COMPARISON. July 26, 2010
08/22/10 UPDATE: QUESTION: Would the large screen of the Droid X allow users to see more things or the same things in a larger size on its display? Has already been over five weeks of using the Droid X and no complaints. This week I ran some "home tests" trying to answer the question on how programs will be seen in its larger display and have included some Photos.
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!
Droid X or Incredible...I've owned both--which do I prefer? Read on... September 16, 2010
Reviewer: Jeff Edwards "RadioJeff" (Twin Falls, Idaho) -
When I originally decided to make the switch from Blackberry to Android, I did a great deal of research into the whole Android platform, what's good & bad and did all I could to be entirely ready for the whole new learning curve that a brand new OS usually brings. My plan was to hit the ground running and be as proficient as possible with my new phone by the end of the first day...and THIS is where I ran into my first speed-bump. I went to literally a dozen stores hoping to get an X only to find they were all out-of-stock and the back order was 3-6 weeks. This of course was my own fault for not making the leap when the X first came out. No, I waited a while and found they were totally out everywhere I looked. So I ordered one anyway, and waited. And waited. Week after week I waited. I finally lost my patience (partially because I was going to give my wife my BB Tour and she was quite interested in trading up seeing as her old Curve was in dire straights and we weren't sure how long it'd last) and just went in and ordered the Incredible.
I was initially VERY impressed (see my review) with the Incredible. Unfortunately the sales rep told me a few things in order to get a sale from me that turned out to be entirely false. Namely that the DInc had the same pre-installed SD card as the X--it does not. Oh, and she also said that the 2.2 Froyo update was already done and ON the phone--it was not. This was--IMO--a blatant lie in order to secure a sale. Had I been working with just a regular sales rep at the Verizon store I went to I suppose I could forgive an honest mistake, but this was the Manager, and this kind of mistake was almost certainly an intentional one. I bit my tongue, however and moved on. After a few days decided that I just wanted the bigger screen and came back--to the same Manager--and informed her I would like to use my 30-day trade-in option. Once again, there was NO X in stock and they really couldn't tell me when another would be coming in. I began to get discouraged but a funny thing began to happen literally the moment I began to seriously consider keeping the DInc: I began to really like the phone...a lot.
After a couple weeks I woke up and found the OTA Froyo update was waiting for me to activate. Initially I was VERY excited knowing the phone improvements would make it even better. I noticed better battery life (improved by about 15-20%--but keep in mind the DInc's battery woes were abysmal to begin with) and improved web loading. What I DIDN'T initially figure out was with the update came a few new widgets that would spontaneously start up regardless of how often you used the Task Killer to close--or even by Force Closing it using the Manage Application function. I would routinely check my Auto Task Killer and notice City ID, Skype and a few others almost ALWAYS on and running. I do not use (at least not at the moment) ANY of these apps and yet they would auto-start ALL the time. This infuriated me until I read on dozens of forums how using an app like Auto Task Killer are not really all that necessary because Android is designed to manage most of those functions all by itself. I DO use a Task Killer, but only to exit from the Internet and manually close some of the apps I use now & then and just leave the rest alone. I set the ATK to ignore certain apps and discovered my phone STILL worked fine and I noticed absolutely ZERO lag time or issues with the phone slowing down with some of those programs running quietly in the background. Face it, unless you physically open Skype, or City ID and tell it to DO something, it really isn't using up any memory. For those who are absolutely anal about shutting off absolutely everything using a Task Killer, look around on the 'net and read some of the forums--especially those from Android developers--and see if this isn't true.
Right at the point when I was accepting the fact that my DInc was forever going to be mine, I got the call that an X had showed up. I rushed over, made the trade and I wake up the next day with mixed emotions. I had really grown accustomed to the HTC Sense UI and I gotta say, that overall it was a MUCH more polished and better all around LOOKING system than what I now have with the X. That does not mean I don't like my X, though. They are just two very different phones using a variation of the exact same OS. One just happens to be more polished than the other. I have noticed that the screen is just amazing on the X. Bright and obviously huge...but not TOO big. The X has a few more pixels than the DInc does, but since one has a smaller screen, the density is greater and therefore the Amoled screen on the Incredible also looks brilliant and very vibrant. One thing that hampers the DInc in a VERY serious way was the ability to read it in direct sunlight. I had read all over that this was a major problem, but dismissed it because I rarely used my phone that way--or so I thought. It was amazing how often I did, and boy did it suck under those circumstances. The X on the other hand was much easier in sunlight to see and read. Point goes to the X on this one.
One place I noticed another difference was in swiping the Main screen to the adjacent screens is more responsive on the Incredible and I have found several times that the X takes several seconds to even register that I tried to go from the Home screen to one on either side. This puzzles me because they are both comparable in every way--even down to the 1 gig processor...so why the lag time? Oh well. After using 2.2 on my phone for a few weeks I now am back to 2.1 Eclair on my X, so that too is a small step backwards. It'll come, eventually so I'm not too worried.
I absolutely LOVE Swype. The X comes with it right out of the box, but I really had to look for it for my DInc. The Beta trial had ended at the Swype homepage, so I looked and looked (and even downloaded a VERY similar app called SlideIT which worked great--but after a few days it too ended because it was just a trial version) and finally found Swype for free. I have noticed ONE thing that the version on my X had that wasn't on the version I downloaded to my Incredible was the microphone option for times when I don't want to use my fingers and just speak out what I wish to text (a progam which is absolutely freakin' amazing, btw), there IS one on the Swype keyboard on the X...but I had to change out the keyboard to the original on the DInc in order to use that function. It was a bit annoying, but didn't really bother me. Its nice to see it included here.
I also kind of miss the buttons along the bottom of the DInc along with its optical trackpad. The physical buttons on the X seem quite a bit different--and not in a good way--than what the Incredible had. Just more responsive on the Incredible. I miss them more each day...again, oh well. There are several reasons why you may like one phone over another, and this is also one of the reasons why I believe Android will eventually really eat into iPhone sales: diversity. HTC makes Android phones, and so does Motorola & Samsung just to name a few. Each company have placed their own unique version of Android on their phones, some are better than others, some have options the others do not but its the options that make the platform so amazing. If I hate AT&T (and I DO, with a passion...) but still want the iPhone on T-Mobile...I'm SOL. However I get plenty of options if I want an Android phone, because they have at least ONE model on each and every carrier in the US (more depending on which provider you may have). Being able to customize your phone, having the TRUE ability to multi-task with a Droid versus what iPhone passes off as multi-tasking (and ONLY with the most recent version--if I am not mistaken) is just SOME of the reasons why this platform will not only work, but thrive. For those who are insistent that iPhones are better I say this: honestly, its just a matter of opinion at this point. If I had an option to get an iPhone on Verizon, I really might get one. I think iPhones are awesome (their reception issues notwithstanding), but there are things you can do with Android you simply can't do with the iPhone and vice-versa. The app market for BOTH platforms are SO huge now that it really doesn't matter which phone you get, there are more apps than you will EVER need and all the good ones developed for the iPhone have a counterpart for Android, too so that point is essentially moot. If you are willing to accept AT&T's absolutely horrific so-called nation-wide service, be my guest. Having had such a terrible experience with their service with my BB Bold in my particular area pretty much soured me on them for good...however YOU may get fantastic service where YOU live, so again, its a matter of preference.
Undoubtedly I will make some updates in the coming days and weeks as my experience continues to grow....but I also feel compelled to note that the biggest problem with Android thus far is how amazing they are and how much fun they are to play with can seriously eat into your productivity at work--IF you let it. Keep that in mind and come back soon and see what else I felt important to add to my review. Oh, and thank you for reading.
Battery life on the X is definitely better than on the Incredible. I'd say roughly 30-40% better...and considering how massive the screen is, that is saying something.
I have noticed an ENORMOUS difference in switching from the Incredible to the X while browsing the internet. I guess you don't really know or appreciate how much different and better the experience is as a whole with Froyo 2.2 than with 2.1 until you use one for a few weeks and then switch to the other. HTC put Flash Lite on the Inredible even without 2.2, but WITH Froyo, the internet really IS dramatically improved--seriously. I didn't quite realize it until I went surfing around yesterday and discovered a WORLD of difference. For those iPhone users who balk at not having Flash (and according to Steve Jobs, never WILL) as not decreasing your overall internet viewing experience...you are 100% deluded. The difference is simply amazing. I suppose if you've never trolled around the 'net using a phone that was Flash capable you don't really realize what you're missing, but TRUST me, you are. My Incredible had a setting which allowed me to view websites in mobile phone mode, or view them as I would on my desktop computer. So far I have not found this option on the X. I just may download Skyfire until my 2.2 update arrives, I haven't decided just yet.
I really like being able to re-size widgets on any of my 7 screens. I wish I could re-size them to whatever size I wanted, but they are pre-determined and some won't re-size at all--but having SOME options is better than none, right? I gotta say I really miss the stock HTC calendar that came with the Incredible. I have tried locating another version online and at the app Market that can compete, but so far I'm coming up empty.
The alert light at the top of the screen just to the Left of the speaker is MUCH easier to see than the ridiculously microscopic light that the Incredible employed. It was VERY difficult to see, even when looking almost directly AT the phone face...if it was turned only slightly one way it simply did not register to the human eye. I am very happy with this improvement on the X. One option that the X has that the DInc didn't was being able to make the alert light blink in different colors. Hey, I'm just glad I can SEE the darned thing, but having this new option is downright awesome.
The X camera is on par with the DInc's...which is to say that as long as you have decent light, the photos ROCK...if you are indoors, with even minor low-light conditions, the photos come out amazingly grainy. I can see a day--not too far off either--where phone cameras will entirely replace regular digital cameras, but so far today is NOT that day. Haven't fiddled with the HD video capabilities much, but I'll post an update about that soon.
As much as I hate to admit this, I now almost--ALMOST believe the phone is too big. If I had purchased the X before having the DInc I am positive I wouldn't be having this issue, but going from one to the other is quite dramatic. I now think that a 4 inch screen is probably an ideal middle ground between too small and too large. I still love the gorgeous crisp and colorful screen of the X, but after becoming SO used to the Incredible's size, it almost feels like I'm trying to walk around with an iPad in my pocket. Again, I doubt this would've been an issue had I not gone with the DInc first...and the issue is minor at best, but if I'm honest, it IS a factor--not a big one, but one nevertheless.
I am VERY impressed with the camera function of the DX--especially in comparison with the 8MP camera on the DInc...mostly because the Incredible's camera was just plain S-L-O-W. Even WITH a 1 gig processor, it seemed to take way too long for the camera app to load properly. Once deployed, the moment you wished to capture just may have been lost--and if that wasn't enough, once you tried to actually *snap* the pic, it seemed to take forever before the shutter eventually snapped. My 7 year old Palm Treo 650 was faster, by a pretty large margin, too. Granted, I realize the Treo could only do a fraction of what todays phones are capable of, but you gotta realize in terms of technology, 7 years ago was practically the stone-age when it comes to how far things have progressed. The reason why this is interesting is because just yesterday I was reading an online review which compared the X with the Incredible and one place where the DInc beat the X was with the camera. According to the review, the exact opposite happened than what I had personally experienced. The X was slow to snap pics and the DInc was much faster. I find this very bothersome because with the exact same phones we are seeing totally different results, and I have to wonder why. Also, photos that I have uploaded to Facebook do so MUCH quicker with the DX than with the DInc...even AFTER it had upgraded to Froyo (still waitin' on that 2.2 update for the X btw...).
On the flipside...the speakerphone for the X is abysmal. The Incredible's speaker was light years ahead and 3-4 TIMES louder. Granted I don't use it that often, but with a phone this big, I just naturally assumed the speaker would be AS big, too...not so. For my money, the best speakerphone I have ever heard on a cell phone came from my old original Blackberry Bold. Now THAT was a great speaker. Even my work-issued older BB Curve has a much louder speaker. I'm a bit surprised here at why this one thing has been neglected by Motorola, but it isn't by any means a deal-breaker--however, if YOU require a very loud speaker for your phone, I would seriously think twice. Check one out in person before making any purchase at the very least.
I discovered--quite by accident and very embarassingly so--that when you place your phone on Vibrate, that incoming e-mail notifications may STILL make an audible reception notification. This happened to me yesterday while teaching a lesson in Church. Not exactly the kind of place you want to discover that your phone isn't entirely in the 'Silent' mode. However, now that I have found this out, I have to wonder why, when you place the phone on Vibrate this can still happen? I really DO like options, however this is one place I would rather prefer it to be really simple: when I put the phone on silent, I want the ENTIRE fuction of the phone to be silent. Is that too much to ask for? Just sayin'...
While doing a sales call to a local Sprint store yesterday, I noticed that the display model HTC Evo was running 2.2, so on a whim I went out and checked if any updates were waiting (you have to manually *check* for them on the X while on the Incredible I woke up and it showed on the home screen a notice that an update was ready to download) and sure 'nuff, there it was, ready to go. It took maybe 20 minutes to download and completely update, which was nice seeing as it was in the middle of my work day and I really can't go without being able to use my phone for too long.
The update changed the way the screen looks when I initially turn it on, a few small cosmetic changes have been noticed in the calendar function, too--all for the better. I did notice that my Swype screen keyboard looks almost 100% different...but that was mostly in color change--although why they felt the need to alter that I have no clue, it looked fine before--but oh well. Flash is now on and running...however I have noticed that even though I discovered how to tweak the internet settings in order to view webpages as they normally appear on my desktop instead of on mobile settings (NOT a simple fix, mind you), many websites STILL render on my X with the mobile page version, which bugs the crap outta me. The Incredible did not have this issue. I have since gone back to see if my original setting did not save, and found out that it in fact HAD. So WHY is it that some webpages will not render normally?? Especially now that I have Flash I feel as though I am missing out on a cleaner & more full internet experience than what I had with the DInc. Just a bit frustrating if you want to know the truth.
Also on a whim, I decided to see if I could download a copy of a movie I had on my home computer. It took a bit to figure it out, but it loaded fairly quickly, and within 10 minutes I was watching Iron Man in the palm of my hand. I gotta say that was pretty dang sweet. The picture quality was awesome and it rendered on my screen beautifully. Well done Motorola.
On a side note, I wish to further moan about the 4 physical buttons at the bottom of the screen: I do NOT like them at all. Now I realize this is entirely a personal issue, because I have noticed many who reviewed the Incredible did not like its touch-sensitive buttons...but I have to say that having had and used the X now for over a week that I really miss the design of those buttons on the DInc. Also, as much as I wasn't initially a fan of the optical track pad on the DInc, not having one on the X highlights a problem that one will not have a problem with on the Incredible. Namely, when you are trying to edit anything you have written on the X, you have to physically point to it using your fingertip (it IS a touchscreen phone after all...) however--and I do NOT have big fingers by any stretch--it is NOT so easy to get the curser to place exactly where you want it using your fingertip...a problem which the optical track pad made ridiculously simple on the DInc. Its only major flaw of the track pad--IMO--was that you couldn't adjust its sensitivity like you could the old track balls used on older Blackberrys (at least not that I could figure out), consequently making moving the curser a bit slow at times--but infinitely more accurate than having to resort to using your finger to place the curser where you want it. And don't think that the extra real estate on the X's screen will make much of a huge difference, because in my experience, it was still a bit frustrating to get that blasted curser in between specific letters you wished to edit. This may not be a factor to many of you, however it certainly has been with me, one that increasingly annoys me the more I have to do it. Had I not owned an Incredible prior to this, I probably wouldn't even have noticed--but for those wishing to make an informed decision if choosing between the X or the DInc, well its definitely something to consider.
The DX (and DInc) are the FIRST smartphones I have owned without a full Qwerty keyboard (and I have owned plenty)--something I thought long & hard before buying mostly due to my own reliance (addiction) to physical keyboards. I briefly considered the iPhone back when I was stuck in Purgatory (ie AT&T). I considered buying one and using the virtual keyboard because it looked pretty well laid out all things considered. I had a Windows Mobile Tilt 2 for a few months (the single worst phone I have EVER owned--mostly due to how bug-proned Windows Mobile is & not HTC) and wasn't a huge fan of the landscape keyboard (I felt it was actually TOO big to use easily). I thought long & hard before purchasing the DInc without a keyboard. The speech-to-text feature was simply awesome. It made texting a breeze and after I found a version of Swype to download I was SOLD. The DX comes with Swype (and a newer version was updated when I downloaded Froyo) and after having a keyboard-free phone now for over a month, I find that with Swype and the speech-to-text ability, I don't miss the keyboard at ALL. In fact I encourage everyone I have a chance to that IF you have an android based phone, if you can get Swype, you will NEVER need one ever again, which is saying a LOT coming from someone who used to feel a keyboard was absolutely ESSENTIAL for texting and emailing. Not any more.
What can I say? I STILL love my phone and all it can do (and I am discovering NEW things it can do with new apps almost daily). As for the android operating system? I am 100% SOLD. All things considered, I don't know which to endorse, the Incredible or the X...it just depends on what you personally like. If you want the extra real estate that the X's screen provides, well then you can't go wrong with it...however if you want a phone that'll do everything the X can only smaller, the Incredible really IS pretty, well, incredible. I say that to make sure, you absolutely MUST go to a store and physically handle BOTH phones first before buying, because if size IS a factor, then think twice before getting the X. While it fits in my pocket and isn't a nuisance to carry, not everyone will feel this way. Just do your homework and you will end up pretty satisfied. Oh, and good luck!
Okay, I've had my phone for nearly a year now and it STILL Rocks! Honestly, I seriously love my phone. During all this time I've figured a few things out that I am hoping will help others.
First: after a few months, I noticed that my screen sensitivity was seriously off, making texting via Swype all but impossible. I'd re-start it, do a battery pull, almost everything without success. I finally Googled the prob and discovered many other people experienced the same thing--but they took note of one thing I had missed--it ONLY happened while the phone was plugged into the wall charger. As soon as I figured this out (and it WAS exactly the problem), I've not had any issues since. I don't know why the screen goes haywire ONLY while being charged, but it does, and as long as you recognize that, you won't have to do as I did and erase everything on your phone bringing it back to factory specs only to see the exact same problem persist. Boy that was a mistake to wipe my phone.
I've been itching to upgrade my phone to OS 2.3.3 aka Gingerbread for quite some time now. Supposedly Verizon & Motorola are on the edge of releasing it to the public officially--however, as I write this, no OFFICIAL 2.3.3 update has been released by Verizon for the DX. I DID find what appears to be an un-official GB update that some have insisted were pushed to their phones from Verizon (this story has been denied AND confirmed by 'sources' all over the place--whether or not its real is anyone's guess at this point. I found it and after a great deal of difficulty, figured how to load it. The typical instructions were far and away over my head--but I ended up downloading it to my computer--attaching my phone to it and I just dropped it into my sd card that way. My phone is NOT rooted btw. I was worried that by doing so it would wipe the memory--but it didn't. The overall update was much more cosmetic and less obvious than the initial upgrade from 2.1 to Froyo...however, the changes have been very GOOD ones from my standpoint. The task bar at the top is no longer white, its a dark blue and all the typical images have a whole new look. Dropping the task bar has also been updated. If you have more than one update, you can dismiss each individually or all at once if you prefer--a small change to be sure, but I have found it to be very convenient--much more than I had expected. For me personally, my favorite upgrade has been when you text or write, one of my biggest complaints about Froyo was that if you wanted to find some text you noticed had been mis-spelled, you had to get the curser to move with your finger to the right place--which in itself was a challenge at times. For those with big fingers, I can only imagine how difficult that has to be. With the upgrade to GB there is a small arrow-like icon that comes up when you write text and it is large enough that using it to point the curser to wherever you want it isn't a problem whatsoever. I am LOVING this new improvement. Along with a few other small--but very welcome changes like MUCH improved copy & pasting--which really should have been included from the very beginning, it all works for the better.
I have also noticed improved performance pretty much all around. Virtually no lagging in between the 7 main screens, faster internet, and faster all-around performance. I have seen several YouTube videos which chronicle the improvements in detail, so you can check them out at your leisure. All I can say is don't expect Gingerbread to be a HUGE change, more cosmetic, but trust me, these changes are good ones and really does help the phone in many ways.
I have decided my next phone will ALSO be an Android. I cannot see myself switching to anything by apple at this point. Not for what my Droid offers me right out of the box. What an awesome device.
If not for Motorola's attempts, this would be close to perfect July 23, 2010
Reviewer: William B. Partridge (Alexandria, VA) -
This could have been the best Android phone available, at least for now and probably to come for a few months, but Motorola's attempts to distinguish themselves over HTC and Samsung had to spill over into the software.
Hardware wise this phone is amazing, if there's anything to fault it might be that the form factor isn't right for you, but it really is just a winner. Where it starts to go wrong is in Motorola's customizations to Android, either added or replaced.
A prime example, Android supports sync with Facebook and Twitter through the official applications. In doing so you can sync all your contacts OR just those you have as google contacts, thus not polluting your contact list. You can also set which picture to use for a contact (google, facebook, or twitter) on a per user basis. Motorola saw fit to remove this functionality and replace it with their own means which results in not only all of your contacts being dumped into your phone from each source but also you being forced to choose for all of your contacts as a whole which source to use for contact pictures (facebook or twitter, you can't default back to google). This further introduces bugs in that the picture displayed isn't always the same one (the phone randomly switches them) and that with some contacts it will display the twitter user name instead of their actual name.
Another example is the gallery, gone is the elegant display with Picasa account syncing, instead you're treated to a cover flow like representation of your images on the phone alone. And another being the loss of the weather and news application/widget in favor of Motorola's very ugly weather widget and ugly rss reader.
It's stuff that's just baffling. Kudos to Motorola for improving this version of their custom UI over motoblur, but it's still bad/buggy and with the exceptions of the multi-touch keyboard, cursor dot/magnifier (like on an iPhone), and options to delay the security lock for the phone (which are all very nice additions) the changes seem to be for the worse, to replace the Android improvements post 2.0 with their own implementations.
+ Amazing screen
+ Fast, just bloody fast
+ Feels very solid in construction, not cheap
+ Great camera
- Little buggy (Exchange support, notifications not going)
- Tons of bloatware (MyVerizon, Kindle, NFS, 3G Hotspots, My Accounts, etc)
-- Motorola's customizations (contacts, account sync, gallery, weather and news widget replacement)
I have returned the phone (and gone back to the original Droid). I spent 2 weeks with this phone but the bugs and the annoyance of the customizations made by Motorola just ruined the advantages of this phone over the Droid (original). The bugs in particular for me were: the battery life doesn't indicate the proper levels - it shows 30% battery life, you reboot and it shows 60%, then an hour later I get low battery (15% warning), just made it unreliable. Secondly I had issues with the sound not working consistently for notifications and ringtones - they seemed to become randomly silent leading me to miss texts and such.
In short, while the hardware is nothing short of amazing, it's just a mess software wise thanks to Motorola's meddling. Had they focused on the device itself and not their new UI then perhaps it wouldn't be so buggy. While the UI customizations are my preference (-1 star) the fact that this is clearly buggy isn't a good sign (-1 star).
iPhone 4 vs. Droid X - Ding Ding Ding! Droid Wins by Knockout July 19, 2010
Reviewer: E. Agarwal
[[VIDEOID:mo319ATQPJTNH2D]]I'm a big believer in people using technology in ways that are customized to their needs. I don't think it's smart to just follow the herd and buy the latest device if what it's good at isn't what you need the most. While the latest crop of smartphones try to be do everything perfectly, they don't. They still have strengths and weaknesses, and here's where I want to outline each. I'll compare these phones because 1. I've used both extensively 2. Most people are probably debating between these.
Round 1: Battery life (X wins, because it can be replaced)
I think battery life is a considerably underrated aspect of most phone reviews. When I owned the iPhone 3G, my battery would die every die by about 3pm. I used all the tricks under the sun, including keeping my brightness low, turning off wifi/bluetooth, etc. I got so frustrated that I went to the Palm Pre, which had a replaceable battery.
Simalarly, I like the Droid X for this Round because it's battery can be replaced. The biggest draw for any phones battery is the screen, and you would think the huge screen on this would destory the battery life. It does hurt it, no doubt. But on the iPhone, when your battery dies, you're stuck until you get to charge. On my Droid X, I just pop in a freshly charged one ($12 with shipping on eBay. Make sure you don't buy it from Verizon for some ungodly markup).
However, if you are the type of person who is not a heavy user, then don't worry about this category. The iPhone 4's battery life is better than the 3GS, and if you just do light browsing, a few phone calls, and a bit of email, it should get you through the day no problem. For heavy users, X is the way to go.
Round 2: Screen (iPhone wins)
Much has been said about the iPhone's new "Retina Display", and here's why: it really is incredible. I can't believe that just 4 years ago a color screen was considered impressive, and now it's come to this.
Back to my theme: it depends on what you use your screen for. If you watch a lot of movies on your phone or look at high quality pictures, there's no doubt that you should go for the iPhone. If, however, you use your phone more for email, web browsing, music, and phone calls, a top notch screen is less important.
The resolution of the iPhone screen is better, but if that's not a factor, then ignore this category too.
Round 3: The Operating System (Droid X wins)
This is perhaps the only category where it matters for everyone, regardless of how you use your phone.
I've spent a considerable amount of time researching and testing both operating systems and trying to analyze them for different types of users, and I believe Android OS (even before 2.2) is superior to iOS4.
Here's why: Android is more open, and that just makes it more useable.
Round 4: App store (Believe it or not, Droid X wins)
People love comparing numbers, as if volume has anything to do with quality. Yeah, the iPhone App Store has more apps. By a few multiples. But how many calculator apps are there? How many apps that tell you the weather? How many apps that can do note taking or calendar work? If there's 36 apps that do calendars, do I really need a 37th?
I completely ignore the numbers aspect, because I think it's an illogical and useless argument to have.
Rather, I think it's more important to judge the utility of the App store, and on that front, Android market wins. Why? Since Android is completely open, you can just do more stuff with it.
On my Droid, I have an app that allows me to download any mp3 for free, right away. I have an app that allows me to tether my phone to my laptop for free, through either Bluetooth or USB, using my unlimited data plan. I have a Google Voice app, that gives me free text messaging, and free calling. I have a Divx app, that allows me to watch movies in AVI format (good luck, iPhone owners.)
None of these apps are available on the Apple App store.
Just to be fair, let's talk about my recurring theme. If you are the type of person who wants to play some simple games and needs a good notetaking application, then either store will be just fine for you. If, however, you are an advanced user and are looking for some more advanced features, the open Android market is the way to go.
Round 5: Typing (Droid X wins, not because of native keyboard, but because of Swype)
For those of you who haven't heard of Swype, it's a new text entry method developed by the same guy who came up with T9. You slide your finger across the screen, pausing and changing directions at the letter you want, and it guesses the word for you. It it undoubtedly the most effective data entry method I've ever used.
Android is more open and allows you to install Swype as your default keyboard.
This one doesn't matter for different people. Whether you only enter 160 characters at a time or re-write War and Peace, easy text entry is important.
Round 6: Media (a tie.)
Here, it really really depends what you're looking for.
If you have already downloaded most of your movies/TV content through iTunes, then go with Apple. It's still a phenomenal iPod, and as I mentioned previously, the screen is second to none. Movies look bright and crisp, the controls are smart and helpful, and it's a good looking media player.
If, however, you download most of your movies/TV shows in AVI format, then stick with the X. As I mentioned, there are apps that play AVI format (it's a HUGE pain in the butt to convert everything from AVI to mp4).
Music is music. Either player will work fine. Apple's is probably a bit easier to use since most of us are used to it, but the X's isn't bad.
Round 7: Aesthetics
Let's face it: the iPhone 4 is an incredibly good looking device. Sleek lines, nicely outline buttons, metal, glass, incredible display, they really thought this one out, and they hit it out of the park.
The Droid X isn't that. I would say though that it is the best looking Android phone out there. Yes, the screen is big and personally I like it. But it's very, very thin. Very thin. And that makes a huge difference when putting it in your pocket. For women who carry it in your purse, I guess it's not that big of a difference.
If aesthetics are a primary concern of yours, go with the iPhone. I can't argue with that. If you are looking exclusively for utility, go for the Droid X. I can say this with confidence because I bought the original Droid, which is one of the ugliest phones I've ever owned, but it worked SO well I just didn't care.
Summary: It all depends on what you use your phone for. If you are looking for a better version of a Blackberry OS, in the sense that you do a lot of work on your phone all day long, you type a lot, like the openness of the OS, send tons of email, and rely on your phone as your life, then go for the Droid X.
If you use your phone mostly for texting and phone calls and to listen to music, play the occasional game and do light browsing, go with the iPhone.
I'm an iPhone to Anroid convert, and couldn't be happier. You'll have to make that choice for yourself.
The future has arrived, and it is called the Droid-X September 12, 2010
Reviewer: Bruce Whitehead (Tallahassee, FL) -
[[ASIN:B003UESOGA Motorola DROID X Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)]]I had been holding out for the iPhone, but had refused to move over to AT&T from my Verizon service, which I have been totally satisfied with these past 6 years or so. When the DROID-X was announced, I began reading the reviews and looking over the specs. The more I read, the more impressed I became.
However, most of the reviews trashed the operating system, Android 2.1, so I keep looking, reading, and doing nothing. As luck would have it, my old Verizon phone, the LG Versa, got its windshield cracked and I was unable to view the display. So it was time to act. I had talked the talk, now I needed to walk the walk.
The Verizon people spent a lot of time with me discussing the plans and options, features of the phone, etc. So I gave them a few hundred bucks and ordered the DROID-X. The first good surprise was it came in a week early. As part of the "package" I purchased the leather carrying case, the Multimedia docking station, and the 32GB SD Card upgrade.
Now I had read that the graphic display was not as good as the iPhone, but in reality, it is wonderful. The larger size (4.3") screen is impressive and the virtual keyboard fits my fat fingers perfectly. The touch screen is at least as good as the iPhone (and iPod Touch which I previously owned). Being slightly larger, everything appears brighter to me than the iPhone, I don't see how the resolution could be any better than the 480x854 resolution (the iPhone is 960x640 and the screen size is 3.5" so obviously the resolution is better, but I cannot see it). For those apps that support it, the display can be either portrait or landscape. It takes about a second to change over. While the Droid-X is notable larger than the iPhone (and I believe almost any other phone on the market today), it is not heavy. I did a side by side weight comparison with my LG Versa phone and they felt about the same to me. Its official weight is about 5.5 ozs.
Scrolling is a breeze. Works perfectly, never selects unwanted objects while scrolling, and is only limited by the speed of the downloading, which I found more than adequate, especially since I am used to Comcast high speed internet access on the Sony Win7 PC. There are 5 different home screens, and each can be customized to a theme, or you can just put stuff on them if that is what you want. They do share a common background/wallpaper, however.
I read a lot of negative things regarding Android 2.1. However, my phone came with Android 2.2 and I have not had any problems at all. It is truly a multi-tasking operating system, I can play music, download files and navigate through apps all at the same time with no noticeable delays. Now you need to understand that I am used to dealing with Microsoft windows, so my expectations are very low for any operating system. So far, I am pleased with Android 2.2, I have found no glitches, and my phone has only frozen once and that was caused by the SD Card (needed to be reformatted for this specific phone). The integration between apps and operating system is mostly seamless, but again, every specific app has its own characteristics and quirks.
Never ~ that's why I stay with Verizon. Coverage is better than AT&T, as I have verified over and over again during my travels across the US. I get coverage everywhere I go. Period.
The 8MB camera built into the Droid-X is actually better than my 8MB Canon SD870 IS. The pictures are clearer and the videos are far superior. Droid-X claims video resolution is HD720P and I have no reason to doubt that spec. To view the photos and video, I used the basic app [Gallery] that came as the default app. I have paid good money for photo display apps on my PC that aren't near as nice as this one. It seamlessly integrates video with photos, so I can walk-through everything instead of going to a different folder or display setting. Since my HDMI cable has not yet arrived, I cannot test the upload to PC or TV capability, which is the true test of any video (anything looks good on a 4" monitor but how about a 40" monitor?). Still, HD720P is 720P so it should look good on any size screen. Digital Zoom - Yes, Flash - Yes. What else do you need to know. Just go and take some pictures. As far as sound is concerned, the Droid-X had 3 mics, and one is used for noise-canceling, and during my headphone sound test, I was able to clearly hear the birds singing and chirping in our back yard. Now, the iPhone 4 does have one very big advantage over the Droid-X, a front facing camera. If you are using video phone or Skype, that would be a handy feature to have, to be sure.
Ok, so Android does not have a million apps like the iPhone. Oh, boo hoo. There are thousands of apps and I'm sure there will be millions at some point but who really cares. It took me over an hour to go through just the free apps offered in "The Market". I found a dozen or so that I started with, and most of them were fun, entertaining, informative or whatever they were suppose to be. I'll just get into a few specific apps in this review, and the rest ~ download them and see for yourself. The Droid-X had 8GB of internal memory dedicated just to apps and the operating system. That doesn't really sound like a lot to me, as I have a T-byte drive on my PC and it is somehow getting filled up with who knows what. But, after downloading apps all day, I still had 6.26GB remaining, so I guess I shouldn't worry too much about it ~ download away!
Verizon hooked me up with both Google gMail and linked in my Comcast email account. I haven't used the gMail account but the Comcast account works flawlessly and pressing a single email icon retrieves my inbox. Also, one of those 5 menu screens I previously spoke of contains the inbox right there on the menu screen, so what could be easier. Of course, this is only a copy of the email so I have to delete emails in two places now, but that is not a big deal to me. For those of you who get 100s of emails a day (and I know who some of you are), you would be advised to download some sync software, otherwise you will be spending a lot of time managing your email files.
The primary reason I wanted an iPhone was for the music. My wife and I have several iPods and we use iTunes to manage all of our music, so I was a little worried about how that would all workout with the Droid-X. My previous experience with cell phones that play music (i.e. LG Versa & ENV2) is that they Suck (yes, that is the technical term). So I was forced to carry the cell phone and my iPod when I went on any trip or walked the mall, or whenever I wanted to listen to some good ole rock `n roll.
Those days are over. My very first downloaded app was DoubleTwist, which is free. It has both a PC and phone component. Once you download the PC component, it auto-syncs with your iTunes library, and builds links to all songs stored in iTunes with the exceptions of songs purchased through the iTunes store. As soon as I hooked the phone to my PC via the supplied USB cable, it began to download [sync] all of my music to the SD Card in the phone. I have almost 3,000 songs so that took a couple of hours to complete. Please note that all Verizon phones want you to download V-Cast, but avoid the temptation since that software, well how should I say it, well it sucks too.
Once all of my music was downloaded, I just touch the DoubleTwist app icon and I am off and listening. I only use the shuffle function, but DT imported all of my playlists, so there are lots of options regarding how to select and play your music.
The unexpected bonus is that the other Music player app that was preinstalled in the Droid-X also plays my music, and I can even play it when the phone is in the multi-media charger by pressing the > music icon. What could be easier.
Another free app you simply cannot live without if you are a music lover. Once you download the software, you can pick an artist or category of music and Pandora Radio will dynamically build you a playlist. There is a 30 second commercial every 15 minutes or so, but someone has to pay the bill for free music, so I did not find this too annoying.
I have the Nokia BH-905 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones, and I was able to pair these headphones to my Droid-X on the very first try. Now, with those other phones (the ones I previously mentioned that sucked), they would switch to mono every time I turned on the music, and if you pressed pause, then goodbye music. Ugh. The Droid-X interacts with my Nokia headphones seamlessly (have I used that word here before?) All functions [volume, next song, last song, pause] work from the headphones as well as directly from the phone (I have trouble calling the Droid-X a "phone" because that does not begin to describe this device). With those other "phones" the music would often skip, stutter, or even squeak. None of these "special effects" have occurred since I starting using the Droid-X. The sound for both my music and Pardora Radio is incredible. I've never heard better sound quality from any MP3 music player, and I've owned quite a few of them. Speaking of seamless, I got a phone call while listening to my music, and it automatically switched over after a couple of beeps ~ so be carefully if you are singing along to the music as I was at the time ~ oh embarrassment!. Once the caller "hung up" the music starting playing again, from the exact point it left off, and I was back to my singing (but I have decided to keep my day job). I will eventually learn how to turn-off the phone's auto-answer while I am in music mode, since there are definitely some people I don't want to talk to (most have 877 numbers).
Anytime you run multiple apps concurrently, you drain the battery (battery 101). Just make sure that you don't leave the apps running, which is not always as easy as it sounds. Since the Droid-X is a multi-tasking device, you can be playing music, downloading apps, and navigating through your email at the same time. If the battery becomes an issue, download Advanced Task Killer and use that to terminate unwanted app run-on. Personally, I do not find that the battery discharges any quicker than those other lesser phones (those phones that suck, remember).
Upgradable SD Card
The Doid-X comes standard with a 16GB "user" memory card installed. I opted for the 32GB upgrade since I am known as a data snob and carry around an 8GB flash drive in my pocket. After loading my 3000 or so songs, I still had over 5GB left on the original 16GB card, so maybe I didn't need the 32GB card after all. I'll throw it in a drawer and if I ever need it, I'll just pop it in, re-sync my music and I'll be set for another 4000 songs or 40 hours of video. Now the lesson learned here is that you should go with the original 16GB card and not pay the $100-150 for the 32GB Upgrade if you don't need it today. As we all know, next month it will be $89, then $79 and within a year you'll probably be able to buy it for a $1 or so. But hay, we are all entitled to make a mistake, and this was mine.
3G Mobil Hotspot
Now I did have to pay the $30 per month for the unlimited data plan, but I did not pay the $20 for the 5 user WiFi hotspot upgrade. Let someone else pay for their internet connection ~ not me. The Droid-X does come with WiFi built in and I have already connected to both my home network and TGI Friday's network. It takes less than a minute to connect. The only advantage to the WiFi connection vs. the phone network connection is the download speed. However, I could not tell much difference in the speed, so the only time I will probably use the WiFi is on a plane, or some other special situation where my phone service is not available. Note: Using the WiFi feature does eat the battery, so be careful out there.
Multi-Media Docking Station Accessory
The other accessory I opted for in my "bundle" was the multi-media docking station. Yea, I love it. When you dock the phone to the station, it automatically turns into a giant clock/weather station. Even with music going and the display running, the phone charges in no time, unlike my last phone that took literally hours to charge through the PC USB connection. The docking station also provides for an HDMI connection, so if your Droid-X is located near a PC that has an HD Input (My Sony Does) or an HD TV monitor, you can stream your videos or photos to that output device through the push of an icon or two. Wow, What power!
* Bigger than a Breadbox ~ Yes
* Better than Sliced Bread ~ Yes
* Able to leap tall building ~ You Bet
* Do I love it ~ Ahhhh Yes
It's a little Droid computer than happens to also be a phone July 27, 2010
Reviewer: Mark Rogers "Learned the hard way...so you don't have to" (Beautiful Bucks County PA) -
-Sweet little Android that sets-up easy
-Big Clear Screen
-Plenty of apps with new ones daily.
-Excellent 3G and Wireless Speeds
-Good camera stills and movies
-Does it all
-There is very little not to like- but preferences will make some people give negative reviews:
-it's too big (I waited for big)
-it's too heavy (ditto)
-it's not as good at ____ as... (user preference)
-Verizon is moving to tiered Internet pricing
Summary: Let iPhone fanatics call theirs a phone- this is a little computer that runs an operating system that isn't Windows or Mac. And it's the best non-Mac screen size and res for computing and video/photo functions. The first one that ever made phone web-surfing make any sense to me.
This gizmo & it's Droid relatives mark the beginning of the rise of Android as THE portable open-source operating system and will be incorporated into and compatible with upcoming Chrome Operating System. Many Developers will write for Android from now on- not just for phones but for future personal computers, Pads and smart devices too. This Droid and it relatives should make Microsoft wet its pants. Don't bet against Google on this one.
I get the best phone reception I have ever had, the video and stills are good (not great, but hey, the thing is 4+ inches long and less than half an inch thick).
I LOVE this damned thing- I bought two more for my daughters and hope we all get grand-fathered in on unlimited Verizon Internet when they start metering your Internet access.
Not Perfect- but what is? It will take awhile for all of it's mysteries and glitches (and Andoid 2.2 in less than a month) reveal themselves. For now, the thing WORKS WELL as wireless computer, camera, and phone.
The best phone at VZW, and possibly even the market. July 17, 2010
Reviewer: Mike S (Florida) -
The Droid X is definitely deserving of a 5 out of 5. Personally I dislike the five star review system because I think a 10 star rating is easier to interpret and its rare products deserve 5 out of 5. for those of you who like the 10 stars, I give the Droid X a 9 with point removed for the negatives below. This is my first Android phone purchase and Motorola and Google really hit it off. I will say that I have demoed a Droid Incredible for an entire day and the X wins hands down.
As a small history, I have had the Blackberry Pearl, Curve, Tour and a lot of other non-smartphones. Blackberries are old, sluggish, buggy, and outdated. The only reason I loved my BB was for the BB messenger, however I can easily live without it thanks to the plethora of advantages of the Droid. The Droid X is by far the best phone I have ever purchased. everything from managing your calendar, to email, texting and calling is so simple and takes few taps. i use gmail, google calendar, voice, contacts, and maps religiously. Having a phone that integrates those services natively with the phone makes the Droid really worth it. also, APPS are on the android marketplace are way cheaper than on the BB. Plus, this phone is 10x faster and doesn't lag when running them. the droid x's browser is actually functional compared to the BB, and I haven't had any trouble viewing any websites. the browser is super fast as well. I also don't miss having a physical keyboard or the trackpad either because the Droid's touchscreen is pretty dead-on accurate. I frequently found myself typing the wrong letters with the BB's keyboard, however I dont have any trouble typing with the on screen physical keyboard and misstype much less often.
I give the android operating system a 6 out of 5.
=screen is extremely bright and clear..."oooo's" everyone who sees it.
=touch screen accuracy. outstanding. phone is simple to type on and tap.
=call clarity - out of all of the phones I have had, especially the BB's; this phone has the best call quality and signal reception. Further, the speakerphone is outstanding.
=internet speed is blazing fast compared to any BB on market.
=SWYPe is a really cool feature for typing that while takes some getting used to, can be a lot easier to type once you get the hang of it. if you are not using swype, but the regular keyboard, suggestion show above the keyboard that are actually pretty helpful and more often than not, the word I was looking to type.
= android OS. runs fast, isolates frozen programs without having to restart phone. easy and intuitive interface and simple to learn.
= wifi works well but eats up battery
= phone feels really sturdy and doesn't feel like it will break if dropped...i don't plan on testing this.
= voice command recognition is outstanding and it rarely doesn't understand you. 1 try is usually enough. I wish my car had such good voice recognition.
=++++ NO Pocket dialing!!! this phone doesn't pocket dial like every BB or other phone I have had so no more worrying about someone I haven't spoken to in three years hearing everything I say.. there are two sets of locks to prevent against this and they really work.
= If you are a BB user like I was, this phone will do everything a BB could (except messenger) but better, faster and easier.
=Battery life. The screen is so large it must eat up a lot of the battery. perhaps i've been using the phone more than usual in the first few days, but I have to charge it within 4 hours of using. considering the heavy use, the battery is doing well, however it leaves a lot to be desired if you are on the internet or making phone calls. i think a phone should be expected to last at least 6 hours with moderate use throughout the day. there are apps available that let you terminate background tasks that helps conserve battery. this does seem to help.
=size is a bit large, however it isn't wide and doesn't feel heavy. can feel a bit bulky in your pocket though.
=while this doesn't affect my rating for the phone, the marketplace frequently has a lot of spam applications but they usually get brushed to the bottom. also, some big companies still have yet
=fingerprints and other oils are common on the screen which can get a bit annoying
=phone gets a bit hot after some use.
=the wall charger included with this phone is ridiculous. at three feet short, your phone pretty much has to be attached to the wall. plus it is a standalone wall plug that plugs into a usb cord. makes for carrying the charger around with you a pain.
=apps that come preinstalled like blockbuster cannot be removed. I have tried reinstalling and updating, but they will not be deleted.
Overall, if you use google's services, then you absolutely want an android phone. If you have Verizon and want the best smartphone they offer, Get an Android phone. Having used the Incredible for a day, I would absolutely not recommend that phone over the X. I find the the larger screen on the X, the call quality and touch screen are better. it is worth it hands down. Easily, Verizon's best offering at the moment. While another reviewer on here recommended waiting a few months because VZW is rolling out LTE/4g, I have to say, I am glad I didn't wait and purchased now. This is the best phone I have used and I can't live without it now having experienced it.
eXtremely buggy October 12, 2010
Reviewer: MAL (So Cal, USA) -
This phone is very impressive and it could easily have earned five stars. When I first purchased the phone, I thought it was the most amazing portable device I have encountered. In the second week of ownership however, things went down hill. I have had multiple issues with the phone and have spent several hours on the phone with customer support and at the Verizon store trying to resolve some reoccurring problems.
One of the biggest concerns about the Droid X is the size, it is on the bigger side when compared to most other phones on the market today but it is not too big. The Droid X easily fits it all my pants pockets, including jeans. The Droid has a a gorgeous 4.3" screen, 16:9 widescreen 480×854, which was the main selling point for me. After trying multiple phone with Verizon and other carriers, this was the first touchscreen phone which I have had no trouble composing messages. Not only is it easier to type on this bigger screen, the Droid X multi-touch support feels very responsive and intuitive when browsing the web. Videos look great on the Droid X and it makes for a wonderful portable GPS navigation system. One of my favorite features on the phone is the Google Sky app which is an interactive celestial map for the phone. Instead of considering it a big phone, think of it as an ultra portable tablet.
Unfortunately, the interface on the phone is not stable, at least not since the most recent update. I know my issues with the phone are not isolated because I was able to find multiple forums with other Droid X owners complaining and looking for solution with the exact same problems I have come across. Some of the issues I have encountered include loss of phone functions, losing the ability to stream music/videos and having the camera/camcorder fail on me. These issues have come and gone, usually a hard or soft reset of the phone alleviate these issues, it is a pain though having to restore your settings after a hard reset. At first I thought my phone was defective, but after swapping my first phone for a second Droid X, I was still experiencing some of the same issues. So far I have only downloaded a few apps from recommended and reputable sources such as Google, Pandora and Rovio; I bring this up because every time I contact Verizon regarding a newly discovered problem with the phone, they are quick to blame the phone user for downloading a malicious app.
I have been able to stabilize my Droid X the last few days with an app that was recommended by Verizon. I installed the Advanced Task Killer application, and my phone has worked fine since then. Based on my experience, the phone can not function without this application that shuts down other apps that are running in the background but are not in use.
I am on my third week with the phone and I am considering returning it while it is still under the 30 day return policy. I hope that Motorola will be able to address the software issues with the Droid X with future updates. I feel that I will be taking a huge risk with the Droid X if I decide to keep the phone.
Day 21 and I am on my third Droid X. I must have jinxed myself with the above review because my phone started experiencing a number of issues right after I wrote it. Spent a couple of hours with technicians from Motorola and Verizon later that day, they both blamed each other with the issues my Droid X was experiencing. Motorola blamed the network and Verizon blamed the update which did not appear to download properly on to the phone.
I am hoping that third time is the charm. If the phone can remain functional, it may be the best phone released to date. It is disconcerting how easily the phone can become bricked from a poorly implemented update from the manufacturer.
So I decided to keep the phone, love the GPS features and having access to the web on a decent size screen on the go, and my third DX appears more stable that the last two. Still experience quite a few hiccups with the phone, like assigned ringtones not working occasionally, but nothing that interferes with the main functions of the phone, at least not for the most part.
I was hoping that future updates would stabilize the phone but it has not happened yet. I wanted to give this phone a higher rating with my love/hate relationship with it but if anything, it deserves a lower rating (my rating of this product has been dropping with every new problem I am discovering, initially gave it a 5 star). With the latest updates, the phone recently developed the tendency to reset itself when texting. Contacted Verizon, they said it is a common software problem with the latest update, they gave me a list of things to do to try and fix the reseting issue. If this does not work, I will be going in for a 4th DX.
It was a mistake keeping this phone, will be getting my fourth one in the mail soon. The problems have become worse, the phone constantly reboots on its own, apps are not functioning properly, apps open by themselves (a common problem according to Verizon tech support), txt messages duplicating or sending several hours late, etc.
fantastic smart phone July 17, 2010
It is a great phone, iPhone4 apps are having a edge above the droid x apps. But for me
good consistent signal strength is more important. Reception is cool. Definitely morotola
has been in the Antenna business for over 50 years, simple proof is I can hold the phone the way I want it.
Very fast browsing, and cool email checking.
Worthy upgrade from Droid Incredible August 15, 2010
Reviewer: Wayne Schulz "mas90 accounting software guru" (Glastonbury, CT USA) -
I have been using the Droid X for about a week. Prior to that I used the original Verizon Droid and the Droid Incredible. Both were good Android phones but I found the Droid had sub-par audio quality when I used it and the Droid Incredible Sense UI (which I did re-skin with Launcher Pro) was more work to get around than a more (but not totally) stock Android.
So I upgraded to the Droid X.
Audio quality in my testing is much better. It's likely due to the extra microphones that help to drown background noise. The navigation is smooth and quick. I never had problems with lags on my prior to Verizon Androids either.
What I really like is the bigger screen. The device is naturally larger (to accomodate the big screen) and I've not found that to be a problem. More screen real estate makes it easier to read email, visit web sites and arrange icons on your desktop.
The stock Motorola UI is pretty good. I've since replaced it with Launcher Pro and the only thing I really miss is the contact widget. I'm awaiting the next upgrade to Android (Froyo) which will deliver the ability to place a direct link to a specific contact number on your desktop.
Battery life has been as good or better than the Incredible. I find that whenever I've read a gushing review about great battery life that the reviewer follows up with some type of "of course I'm shutting everything down -- GPS/WIFI -- when not in use). I'm not really micromanaging the power and in regular use I'm getting about a day (5am to 5pm). You'll do better if you shut some of the things like GPS/WIFI down when not in use (which my personal pet peeve is that I shouldn't have to shut these things down - after all it's why I bought a smartphone in the first place).
The Droid X is a great upgrade. No concerns on the size being too large. I actually believe that you'll see more competitors adopt the 4 to 4.3" screen size as a standard.
Impressed November 26, 2010
Reviewer: liverleef (louisville, Ky United States) -
I've had this phone for about 2 weeks now. I use my phone for both business and entertainment and it performs both functions very well. Email works well. I find it easy to search for email, to flag important email and to mark email as unread. I can also open most attachments. You are notified of new mail by an audible alert, a small green flashing light and an icon in the upper right (naturally you can configure these notifications in the settings. The calendar also is acceptable. I was impressed with the battery life. I can make it through a whole day on a charge. It is better than my palm pre and my pre had a larger battery I bought from Seidio instead of the stock battery. Also, I love skype, this is one of my favorite tools. It works beautifully on the Droid X. I was blown away at the call quality. When not using skype, the call quality is still good, love verizons network.
I make lots of calls for work, especially conference calls. This is why skype is so handy. However, I did learn one super cool trick. I got a google voice number and added that number to my Verizon friends and family list. I then put an app called flex dialer on my phone which can route any call I make through the google voice number. This means no outgoing calls are counted toward my minutes no matter who I call or how long. I can turn this feature on and off with a widget. This comes in handy if I know I'm about to make a long call with a client.
I was particularly impressed with the app market. I have an ipod touch so I'm familiar with what is in the apple app store and android apps are just as good. Yes android may have fewer apps but the good ones, the ones you are really going to need or want are likely going to be there. One of my favorite apps is the skyfire browser. I love having flash on my mobile phone, it really makes your web browsing experience closer to that of a real PC.
Leaving a Palm Pre for a Droid X had me worried about two things, inability to multitask and pocketability. The Pre did both of those things. Droid X can't multitask like the pre and that is frustrating at times but all the other features really make up for it. As far as size, yes it is big but not too big to stick in your pocket. In fact I had it in the pocket of my dress shirt at work when I was waiting for my case to arrive, no problems. I've grown to love the big screen and after having used it, the screens of other devices seem tiny.
A few things I'm not crazy about. The keyboard. In landscape mode the keyboard takes up way too much of the screen. It makes it hard to navigate through the paragraph I'm typing. Trying to scroll back up and look at what I've typed and then move my cursor to a different paragraph is a very clumsy process. My other gripe is the camera, it isn't bad but I was expecting better. Nobody needs to lecture me that megapixels are not the only feature that impacts picture quality. I know that. I just thought that if Motorola was going to make an 8 megapixel camera, they would have a final product that could take better pictures than this. They aren't too bad but they are a little more sensitive to motion than my last camera phone. Also they can be grainy if there isn't sufficient light.
I have a love/hate relationship with motoblur. This tool pulls your facebook contacts into your address book. This is cool since many of my coworkers are also facebook friends. Now I see their facebook picture when they call me. I also see their facebook update in my contacts. Neato! On the downside, like most people I have some facebook friends that I havent seen in 20 years and I don't want them in my contact list. I cannot figure out a way to get these fools out of my contact list. Yes, I can hide them, but that isn't what I want. If any of you Droid X users out there have any suggestions for me please speak up.
The New Benchmark For Multimedia Smartphones October 8, 2010
Reviewer: Philip R. Heath "Gadgets, Music, & Books" (DFW) -
* Great call quality
* Solid overall messaging
* Android OS
* Android Market and tons of free apps
* Rich multimedia experience
* Free navigation software
* Exchange support from stock app is lacking even with Froyo
Bottom Line: The Droid X is great multifaceted smartphone that will become an integral part of your daily life.
My detailed usage based review follows.
Call Quality: Let's face it. It doesn't matter how cool all of the other features are if a phone doesn't perform well on the original intent of cell phones. The Droid X, however, happens to excel in this area. I had a Motorola flip phone about five years ago, and I loved the call quality it provided. It doesn't matter if it is a regular call, speakerphone, or on Bluetooth, the Droid X has outstanding voice clarity and volume on both ends of the call.
Form Factor: One of my biggest worries with the Droid X was how big it is. To satisfy my concerns, I went to a Verizon store and asked if I could see what one would feel like in a case attached to my belt. It is by far the biggest phone I've had lengthwise, but I haven't found it to be a problem. It also feels good in your hand much the same way that the Harmony One Remote does (see my review). Don't fear the bulk of the Droid X because what you get in return is well worth it.
Bluetooth: Speaking of Bluetooth, I started out by pairing the Droid X with my [[ASIN:B001GD87QO Jabra EXTREME Bluetooth Headset]] (see my review). While I had read inconsistent information on this topic, my experience is that voice commands worked over Bluetooth. The Bluetooth radio (even if not connected to a device) does put an extra drain on the battery of the Droid X. I keep it turned off unless I am planning to use a Bluetooth device.
Messaging: The Droid X has support for a myriad of messaging capabilities including text, G-Mail, and Corporate Exchange Servers. While Android provides a Universal Inbox, I prefer to view messages separately by type. Fortunately Android lets you access your message the way that you want to. I have to admit that I was hesitant to go with the Droid X for messaging because I have had an LG V, EnV, and a BlackBerry Curve 8330 (see my reviews) so I was very attached to a phone with a physical keyboard. However, I have been very pleased with the virtual keyboards on the Droid X. I enabled Swype entry which allows you to trace the letters of the word you want to type and automatically adds spaces between words. I played with this feature in a Verizon store before purchasing, and I would recommend anyone who is hesitant to do likewise. With my text entry concerns addressed the Droid X is a highly capable messaging phone. One final note, though, is that the Exchange support is pretty sketchy with the stock client after I upgraded to Froyo. I will be purchasing either RoadSync from DataViz or Touchdown. I have trial versions of both installed. Each works well at a basic level, but there is a cost difference.
Android: I'm combining a few attributes here. The Droid X comes with 7 home screens preconfigured, but users have almost limitless customizing capabilities on how the screens are laid out. I use very few "widgets" (Motorola or Android) because most of these maintain data connections or otherwise drain the battery. As such I lean toward application shortcuts instead, and I get my information on demand. The great thing is that you can tailor your user experience to suit your needs and concerns.
Also, coming from a BlackBerry I was absolutely thrilled with Android Market. There is no comparison between Android Market and BlackBerry App World. Whether its performance or selection of apps, Android Market wins in a landslide. Also as one would expect, Google provides apps that are only available for Android such as Sky Map which is very cool. There are also apps aplenty for news, sports, weather, social media, and the list goes on and on.
Multimedia: This is the first phone that I've given serious consideration to multimedia on. The stock music app is OK, but there are many alternatives available for free from Android Market. I am currently using MixZing which produces good sound, good features, and a decent user interface. Android market also has apps for Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Last.fm to name a few. I don't think the sound on mp3's is as good as it is on my [[ASIN:B001CB0RSG Creative Zen X-Fi MP3 Player]]. The X-Fi processing produces a quality of sound that is hard to beat. However, I will be switching my mobile video watching (mostly from Amazon Video On Demand) from my Zen X-Fi to my Droid X because the screen is much larger. I can also watch HD videos too. I can't do the quality of the display justice in words. You've just got to see it. When connected via Wi-fi, I love watching YouTube videos with the "HQ" option turned on. The multimedia experience on the Droid X is really, really good.
It is also great on the capturing side. The 8 Mp camera takes sharp pictures, and I was surprised at the quality of video capture. I have used the [[ASIN:B003UH0Z9Q Fosmon HDMI to Micro HDMI Cable (5 Feet)]] (see my review) to view both on my Magnavox TV, and the results are unbelievable.
Navigation: I am also shocked at how much better Google Maps performs on the Droid X vs. my Curve. I'm sure some of it has to do with the increased horsepower on the Droid X. The navigation app is also pretty well done for something that is included with the device. It is not as full featured as a Garmin, but it should satisfy most basic navigation needs. It does give spoken turn by turn directions, and I found the routes to be pretty reasonable. It's hard to argue with having one less device to carry and not having to pay anything additional to do it.
Games: I'm not the biggest gamer in the world, but there are plenty of free games in the Android Market that appeal to me too. I have word and number games along with various card and domino games.
Overall: The Droid X is a must have device. It does so many things well without messing up the basic phone functionality. I'm very pleased with having made the switch from my BlackBerry, and I have not looked back. Highly recommended.
Pros vs Cons October 5, 2010
First the cons:
Its slim, but 2.5" wide and 5" tall. People with small hands and pockets may want to consider this strongly.
Its weight and hard rubberized exterior without a lot of flash can be considered can be considered a negative or well appreciated depending on how you look at it.
It has a thicker section to house the camera module and power button dead center on top. I find that it doesn't detract much with gripping the phone in calls and provides a tool to grip it while pulling it out of the pocket or pushing the power button as you place it back in your pocket, which is actually quite different then I first expected. Its main negative at this point has to do with its lack of symmetry top to bottom detracting from style.
The 8MP camera does not do well in low light and has a lot of digital noise typically. Its OK for on-the-go everyday stuff and app functions, but I don't see it taking the place of a standalone camera for showing off your photography.
With an extended battery, power users will still have to charge your battery every night, so its average and 'good enough' I suppose. Compared to other android phones, this might be considered great, but compared to something like the iPhone 4, its a definite negative. At least its user replaceable...
Your going to have to deal with blur, but you can skin it with launcher pro.
Bloatware is standard and cannot be removed without voiding warranty and some tech skill, but the only really pervasive bit of that other then icons taking up space is Skype mobile (doesn't do video chat either) constantly running as a service. I personally prefer Google talk and voice for those functions, very highly recommended.
No front facing camera means you need a mirror for video chatting.
HDMI only works with Gallery app so far, and even then... glitchy. Aftermarket apps have to come to the rescue and, for that matter, Droid X has one of the best. :)
A lot of settings that can get confusing for the average user and its taking Motorola a while to get rid of the fairly serious glitches that have occurred thus far with this phone. Currently among the big issues, you will still have a time stamp problem with text messages without an aftermarket fix (recommended anyway).
Now for the pros:
Beautiful large screen with a fast accurate touch sensor.
Speech to text and swype make for a very friendly experience entering text.
Voice recognition commands accurate and fast.
Calls are clear and reception has been very good, better then expected in the worst of places.
The apps all seem to run beautifully for the most part on this still young handset. I can place VOIP calls, outgoing texts using data, edit and create word documents and powerpoints, integrate all my social networking, watch a flash video or play a game, connect display to a TV, and do so much more. The apps available so far have given a lot to brag about to Android smartphones IMO.
It has Bluetooth support for keyboards, mouses, hands free devices mono and stereo, and more.
With HDMI out and aftermarket apps, you can treat it like a very small netbook. Just amazing for net and entertainment, almost to a fault.
In conclusion, I really like this phone. It was hard choosing between this and the Evo 4G which still has its winning points being front facing camera and data not interrupted by CDMA, but the Droid X has proven more then satisfying.
I would have rated it higher if Verizon had not crippled the HDMI, added bloatware, and Motorola communicated better with consumers about progress on fixing major problems. Worth the price I paid with renewing my contract easily. So glad tiered data plans being put into place by Verizon has not killed off the unlimited data plans (yet).
Motorola QC is still an issue July 23, 2010
After a week of having the phone i got what i call the "black screen of death" from the camera. Apparently the shutter is stuck and the camera and camcorder no longer work. I have soft reset and hard reset the phone and even updated the firmware. this seems to be somewhat of an issue if you check blogs etc. Other than that the phone works great. however that being said this should not be happening. I was reluctant to by another Motorola phone after having bad experiences with their phones. After many years of staying away, i thought i would give them another try, but its just business as usual. When i called verizon they said that they never heard of the problem (they always say that). I asked if they read their website blogs and they said yes. I then said "there are compaints on your site" about this same problem. At that point all i heard was silence on the phone. Companies seem to be pushing out known defective products; Ex: IPHONE 4 becuase consumers tolerate it. I will have to wait at least a couple of weeks for another phone.
Better than imagined. July 19, 2010
Reviewer: G. Young (Spokane, WA) -
Got this phone last Friday and have been messing with it all weekend. It's my first "smart phone" since the days of Windows Mobile 6 or so. This thing is a mini laptop. It's amazing all the things that it can do, and do them so well. Almost anything you can think of (and some things you hadn't, but are just as cool anyway) is available to run on your phone. The display is huge and amazing. Battery life could be a bit better, but that comes with the huge processing power and screen. I've read that this phone does better than most in its class in that regard too. Really nothing bad about it at all. If you're on Verizon and you've even considered this phone, get it as soon as possible because they're going fast and they're better than you can imagine.
So much better than the Iphone August 19, 2010
Reviewer: AG in LA "AG in LA" (Los Angeles, CA) -
I had to choose between this and the Iphone. Here's why I chose this:
1. Larger screen. 4.3" vs. 3.5" is a huge difference. With a 4.3" screen I can surf the web without having to constantly squint and zoom. With the Iphone's 3.5" screen, the text (although in very high resolution) is so small that it really strains your eyes.
2. Verizon's unlimited internet. My Droid X is running nonstop, as I listen to internet radio, watch internet television and so on. ATT has a 2GB per month limit, even though they charge the same price.
3. Apps. Droid has a HUGE library of applications. Not as much as the Iphone, but as much as you could want. And the good news is lots of good Droid apps are free!
4. Flash. It is simply ridiculous of apple to try and boycott flash. With Droid 2.2 (which offers Flash 10.1) you can surf all the websites without having to miss out on the cool flash content.
I also had to choose between this and the Droid 2 (this is thinner and has a bigger screen, and I don't need a slide out keyboard), the Samsung AMOLED Droids (this has a slightly bigger screen and slightly higher resolution, although they have a much lower SAR rating, so this was a tougher call) and the HTC droids (this is equal or better in every category).
So bottom line is this: The only phone that you would get instead of this is one of the Samsung AMOLED Droid phones. Don't get the iphone for reasons above. Don't get the Droid 2 (if you want a keybaord get the Samsung Epic 4g). Don't get the HTC stuff. Possibly get one of the Samsungs due to their lower SAR.
Really nice phone July 18, 2010
Reviewer: B. Evan (Philadelphia) -
I'm not much of a reviewer, and I've only had this phone for a couple days, but I've been enjoying it so much I felt like writing one.
First thing I noticed when I picked up the phone was how SMALL it was. Seriously, after reading so much about how large it is, I was expecting some huge monstrosity that I could barely fit in my pocket. I was pleasantly surprised.
As for build quality, this phone feels solid. Has some nice weight to it, but not too heavy. Just feels like its made out of quality materials, not cheap plastic like my last phone.
I really enjoy having the hardware buttons. The four front buttons make navigating the phone simple. The camera and volume rocker are properly placed and the power/lock button is right on top of the phone.
This is my first phone running android OS and I am thoroughly impressed. I am coming from a phone that was running Windows Mobile 6.2 and was worried about possible loss of exchange functionality. However, this phone synced right up with my corporate Exchange server including calendar.
The navigation throughout the phone is intuitive. Customization is high, yet done in a way that makes it very easy for the user to understand.
Also would like to mention that I am simply blown away by the number of free apps in the Android market. I highly recommend TeslaLED for a flash light app that uses the phones camera flash.
Default weather app isn't as cool as I've seen on other phones. Its provided by accuweather and doesn't have the nice animations I've seen on phones such as the EVO. But, I'm sure a trip to the market can fix that.
Camera could use more manual options, I was disappointed when I chose the macro scene which sets the flash to auto and that cannot be changed.
Sending video messages could be improved.
Maximum media volume is somewhat quiet.
The most awesome phone I have ever owned! October 4, 2010
Reviewer: Chris Jaronsky (NJ, the garden state) -
***Disclaimer*** I am not a technical genius. I do not understand the words and phrases I read on techie websites. I do not use this phone to its fullest capacity. But, I do know what I like, and I like this phone. ***End disclaimer***
This is the best phone I have ever owned. I used to think my last phone, the Blackberry Storm, was the best phone, but after using the Droid X for two weeks I am thoroughly impressed! I will list a few of my pros and cons.
-Google Maps is awesome. I use verbal commands and the phone will give me turn by turn directions, it will type out texts, it will google search for me, and it does it all without having to take my hands off the wheel and start typing in commands.
-SWYPE is very cool too. Instead of using my thumbs to type or text, I hold the phone with one hand and use the index finger of my other hand to swype along the screen from letter to letter. It is much faster than typing. I love it.
-Camera. The camera is an 8MP digital camera with a lot of options and effects. It takes great pictures. I do not think of it as a "phone with a camera" but rather as a "camera with a phone." It also takes some very impressive HD video. And you can email the videos on this phone. My Blackberry Storm took videos, but I could not send them.
-Internet. The Internet is way better on this phone than on my Storm. It is like I am surfing on a small computer, not a phone.
-Apps. Loading apps could not be easier. How cool is it that you just scan a barcode for the app and the phone takes you right to the download page for that app? Pretty friggin cool!
-Ringtones. I still do not have this figured out to my liking. This is the one area where the Storm was a lot easier. I could easily set profiles for notifications, set different rings for voice or text, or my favorite, set the phone to phone calls only at night so some random email does not beep in the middle of the night. I have downloaded a few ringtone apps but have not been able to get them set up the way I like yet. I am still working on it.
-Holsters. I cannot find a holster for this phone that is acceptable. I have been using the "slide it in my pocket" mode, but that does not always work out for me. I am pretty active during the day and the phone will sometimes get banged up in my pocket. The market has the plastic clip-in cases that leaves the phone exposed. I have read many reviews on those and it seems the phones sometimes falls out of the clip. That is not acceptable to me. Plus I like the phone to be covered in case I rub against or bump into something. I have come across a few fully enclosed holsters, but they are not something I want to wear on my belt. One was black leather with gold stitching and a huge gold medallion on the side. It looked like a friggin man purse or fannypack. Now I am not normally self-conscious about how I look, but I am not carrying around a man purse or fannypack. I also do a lot of trail running, so the phone would fly out of my pocket, and any holster would have to be secure.
To recap, I love this phone.
I found a free app called "Quick Profile" in the marketplace and I was able to set up profiles for my rings and notifications. I now have one named "phone only" that is basically just my phone, no other notifications at all. Which is great because that is how I always set my blackberry at night. No sleep disturbances for junk emails at night! And if someone needs to get me in an emergency, they can call me. I was also able to set up a few other profiles for "office" which is mainly vibrating and low ringtones, and "loud" which is for outdoors, and everything is set to vibrate then loud ringtones and notifications.
Now if I can just get the holster thing figured out, life will be perfect, again.
Long live the king! The king is dead. July 16, 2010
Reviewer: Chad A. Hasselius
If Apple can be faulted for valuing style over function, Motorola can be faulted for the exact opposite. Nearly everything about this phone has been put together with function in mind- from the awkward bulge in the back housing the camera and antenna, to the awkward locations of the buttons on the sides of the phone, to the rubber bumpers on the front of the phone above and below the screen, and even the relatively bloat-free Motoblur interface.
One notable exception is something you don't even notice until you pick up the phone. The back of the phone is actually made with anodized aluminum, coated with a silicon-like substance for better grip. The aluminum offers better stiffness and rigidity in a smaller, lightweight package. It also isn't very good for reception, although I haven't had any reception issues yet. It is fairly expensive to fabricate cases about of anodized aluminum too. Aluminum is more expensive than steel for example. It conducts heat very well, so the back does heat up at times but it cools down quickly too.
While the screen is large, the overall size of the phone is not. Compared to the dimensions of the Iphone 3G or Iphone 3GS, it has the same width and is only a half inch longer (10% longer.) The thickness is the same too, except for the area of the bulge. See the photo I uploaded above for a visual comparison.
Surprisingly, the bulge in the back actually helps you hold the phone to your ear. When you put your index finger under the bulge it rests on your finger. But it isn't very aesthetic, and even worse it exposes the camera to scratches since the bulge is what lays on the table. Laying the phone down with the screen up leaves it more vulnerable to breakage than if it was screen down too. But the way this phone was designed, laying it screen down will scratch the screen.
In case you haven't seen videos of it taken apart yet, you should know it is very well engineered. You can tell by the way it's put together that they weren't designing 10 other phones at the same time. The Droid X doesn't need a bumper case to get good reception either. Motorola has been making high quality phones ever since the RAZR in 2004. The 1st Motorola Droid was the best selling Android-based phone for most of the last year, though marketing had a lot it do with it. The processor the Droid X uses is a 45nm processor with an ARM Cortex A8 core, while current phones with Snapdragon processors (such as the Evo and Droid Incredible) are 65nm with ARM v7 type cores. So the Droid X processor should be faster and more efficient than most other phones out there, except for the Iphone 4 processor which is similar in every way except for faster graphics (PowerVR 530 vs PowerVR 535.)
However, the battery savings of the efficient 45nm processor are offset by the large screen. The screen is a major source of battery drain for smart phones, but you should know Motorola's estimated 8 hours of talk time and up to 220 hours (9+ days) of standby time is plenty. It does take a couple of hours to fully charge the Droid X though, which is longer than I thought it would. Although the screen doesn't have as many pixels as the Iphone 4's screen, there are a couple of prime benefits to having a larger screen. Because of it's large size I find myself not putting the phone so close up to my face anymore. This is easier on the eyes, and doesn't trick my mind as much into thinking it is earlier in the day than it really is. Anybody who has been up really late after being in front of a bright screen knows what I'm talking about. Also, the larger screen space would help with playing games on the Droid X too, if Android developers would come up with any good games to play on it. The screen is crisp enough to view 720p high definition videos on it. And there is a noticeable difference in web page rendering speed with this 1 Ghz processor over my old phone with a 600 mhz processor, and same 3G type connection.
You would think the larger screen would help with typing text, but I find I have to move my fingers further distances between keys which makes things slower. This is alleviated with Motorola's Swipe feature though. Swipe allows you to not need to ever lift your finger off the screen. It is off by default, but should be on by default. Some people say Swipe is the Droid X's best feature. Personally, I find the voice recognition software to be even more innovative and useful. Voice to text has worked flawlessly for me. The only trouble with Swipe is you have to go back into settings to turn it off again if you want it off for user names and passwords and other stuff keyboard typing is better for. It should be more seamless.
High definition Youtube is another great feature that isn't available on other phones, such as the Iphone. Now, if we could only watch Hulu and/or Netflix on the Droid X that would be really great. The Android operating system is definately more capable than the Iphone OS- from the widgets, to the included navigation software, the voice recognition, faster browser, and so on... But it is also less simple and less intuitive to navigate, especially when using the web browser, accessing stored files, using the Google Maps, etc.
Would I recommend the Droid X? Only if you absolutely needed a phone right now, which I did. Verizon says their 4G LTE network will be launched in up to 30 markets by the end of the year, covering 100 million people. It will be faster than the Wimax 4G networks AT&T and Sprint have rolled out, which are technically just really fast 3G networks. Around the time 4G is launched, HTC will have 4G phones out with dual core 1.5 Ghz processors on it. Motorola is planning a 2Ghz phone by the end of the year. We're talking 2 times the processing power and at least 2-4 times the internet connection speed. This will allow things that would previously have been unimaginable, such as streaming 1080p high definition movies to your phone and sending it to your big screen TV via HDMI. 4G will also bring about the end of unlimited data plans though, so you will pay more if you capitalize on that speed advantage. And if you live in an area where 4G won't be rolled out for awhile, this may not be as important to you.
I'm giving this phone 4 stars because I think the case could have been styled a little better, and in a few months it will be obsolete. If you get a new phone around the Christmas season it shouldn't be obsolete for a couple of years.
Update: Since writing this I have noticed the phone will drop it's connection and reconnect about a half dozen times a day, even within a pretty stationary location at my house. Other phones have not done that. I'm not sure if it is a software issue or connection issue.
Update: Text to voice is a really nice feature. The phone will actually tell me verbally who is calling just before playing the ring tone. It will say their name if they are in my contact book, or it will say their number if not. It also verbally tells me when the connection is dropped. Pronunciation is about the same as a Tomtom or Garmin navigator unit.
Update: The battery life is real good when talking on the phone and when on standby, because the screen is not on. This is why Motorola lists those specs only. When the screen is on I'd estimate battery life to be about 4-6 hours depending on how many apps you have running in the background and how bright the screen is. For most people this will probably be all day battery life, unless you play games or surf the internet for more than 4 hours in a given day or spend a lot of time outdoors where the screen brightness is turned up.
Update: The software is not completely bug free. In the last 5 days I've had the video player freeze up twice (had to reboot the phone to get it working again) and the browser freeze up a few more times. I'm hoping it will be more stable once the Android 2.2 update comes in a month or two. I will update then.
Update: I commented before about the lack of Hulu or Netflix. At the time I hadn't checked out the Blockbuster app. You can indeed rent movies from Blockbuster over your phone. However, movies cost 4 times more than Redbox to rent. The movies don't stream, so you have to download the whole movie file first before it plays. And you have to download with a WiFi connection, you can't download with your Verizon connection. I am hoping for more capabilities when Flash arrives with Android 2.2.
Update: Motorola has limited HDMI output to user generated pictures and videos (the pictures and videos you made yourself on your phone.) You can not stream the Blockbuster movie to your TV via HDMI. Why did Motorola even include HDMI then? My HP laptop does it just fine, but Motorola is worried about copyright issues. Ironically, an illegally downloaded TV show or movie without a copyright stamp on the file will play just fine from what I've read.