Gadgetell Review: Motorola DROID X with Verizon Wireless

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For those of you that have been holding out for this day, the moment has arrived: your DROID X is here. For Motorola the Droid platform has really taken off and allowed the brand to reinvent itself and completely remove memories of the RAZR. Admit it, you had one. With this being the sequel to the original Droid there have been a lot of improvements and more room for you to take full advantage of the ever growing 90,000 app strong Android Store: new 1GHz processor, 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities, expandable mini SD memory and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 ready. (Editor note: Flash 10.1 capable, when Froyo arrives)

Form and Function

From appearance to actually handling the phone every assumption confirms the obvious, the Droid X is a large phone. It measures in at 5.0 x 2.6 x 0.4, weighs 5.4 ounces where the first Droid came in at 4.55″ x 2.35″ x 0.55″ and 6.0 ounces. If you were in middle school growing half an inch, broadened shoulders and gained a some weight these numbers would be a good thing, if you’re a phone this may not appeal to everyone.

The Droid X’s screen is 4.3 inches and has a 16:9 format displaying a consistently rich color WVGA 854 x 480. Even thought dpi has been bumped down 37 points to 228 from the first Droid, it will take a pretty particular eye to notice an ounce of difference. Still a fantastic display regardless.

On the right side of the phone, you will find all your traditional soft keys. Top right a universal volume control for ear and speaker volume control and the X has also retained the cleverly placed camera button. Front side you will find another set of soft-touch keys however forget everything you learned from your original Droid. Positions for all buttons have been given a new home with the exception of the Search key. The Back has been replaced by Option, Home has taken the place of Option, and Back is your new Home key. Old: Back, Option Home, Search. New: Option, Home, Back, Search. Study up.

Flip the Droid X over to see 8 megapixel camera capable of capturing 720p video paired with two extremely bright LEDs for illuminating any subject matter or studio apartment depending on your immediate needs.

Finally on the left side you’ll discover the mini USB charging location and below that a micro-HDMI output. A pretty unique technology for mobile phones but the HDMI output is not like plugging in a laptop. Connect the micro-HDMI and HDMI cable into a TV, the phone home screen won’t display however once any media is selected to play the picture will immediately be displayed on the TV in 720p. Don’t tell your digital camera.

The Innerworkings

Shipped with Android 2.1, the software carries an excellent presentation and is very snappy. Customize all seven home screens to your hearts desire with the ability to move apps, add widgets and even folders. The Droid X comes pre-bundled with the official Twitter application and Facebook too (honorable mention Myspace). Upon initial startup, the phone will prompt you to load these networks and depending on how you look at it conveniently or inconveniently add your follows and friends to contacts. If you are like me and consider this is 100% nuisance, you will need to take a few extra steps in account settings to remove the import.

Separate from that, all your traditional e-mail services are straight forward to setup exchange included. After setting those up, I highly recommend visiting the app drawer and dragging the Universal Inbox to your home screen to effectively manage all accounts. Again keep in mind if you are running Facebook and Twitter, your messages from these services will also pull to this inbox. Configure as necessary.

Regardless of how much each home screen is changed, shifted, modified the phone dialer, app drawer and phone contacts will remain at the bottom for easy access.

Final Touches

From a smart phone perspective, the latest installment of Android packaged with the Droid X is a combination that cannot be ignored. As far as technology is concerned I would not consider this phone on cutting edge of all that is geek but definitely a front runner. With features like three microphones, one noise canceling and two customizable for input, these are the kind of common sense yet untapped functions advanced smart phone users are wanting.

Computing power of the Droid series is probably the strongest out there but probably like many Android-heads out there, some may pass up the Droid X for smaller offerings like the Droid Incredible or even hold of for the Droid 2. What will you do?

But if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a Droid X today, don’t forget to check your OTA updates!

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  • Matt Hamann

    Here are some corrections for your article:

    1. The phone isn't Flash 10.1 ready. It won't get that ability until the Froyo OTA is released sometime later this year.
    2. The screen's aspect ratio is not 4:3, but is actually 16:10 (which is pretty standard these days across wide-screen devices; as opposed to 16:9).
    3. Motorola never had anything called a "RAZOR." It's a "RAZR"
    4. This is *NOT* the sequel to the original Droid. This is really just a new model in the Droid line-up. The Droid 2 will be the sequel and debuts later this year.