Have you ever had the sort of summer where everything gets away from you? That has been my summer. Back in early July, the good folks at Verizon sent me a Droid X to play with. I realized this morning that almost two months later, I still have it. They’ve been very patient with me considering that it had completely slipped my mind.
So, what do I think of the Droid X? Well, it’s a great phone. It’s also a big phone, so I won’t be trading in my HTC Incredible just yet. I need something that fits in my pockets a little more comfortably. But if you’re into bigger is better, you may absolutely love the Droid X.
Thin form, with a bump at the top to support the camera
The Droid X is everything the original Droid (it hasn’t even been a year) should have been. The keyboard, while virtual, I found extremely easy to use. It supports Swype and while I didn’t intentionally use Swype, it certainly typed easier than even my Incredible. It could just be the form factor – no matter which way you turn it, the Droid X has a huge screen. It’s a 4.3″ FWVGA 854 x 480 resolution screen. It’s crisp and instantly responsive. Putting numbers aside, things just look pretty on the Droid X screen. It’s closest comparison would be the Sprint EVO, which has a slightly thinner, shorter form factor.
There are aspects of Motorola’s MotoBlur integrated into the Droid X, mostly apparent through a few apps and widgets. For the most part, the Droid X is pure Android though. If you’re familiar with HTC’s Sense UI for Android, then you know how different a UI can make this OS. Whatever parts of MotoBlur they added to the X, it’s few and far between. In fact, I’ve gotten so accustomed to the Sense UI, that it could be one reason I wasn’t bowled over by the Droid X.
Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve adjusted to the fact that physical buttons on phones may actually be a thing of the past. A while back, one of my favorite things about the Droid Eris was that the buttons were actually physical. There was a button for home, back, Phone, and so on. The Droid X picks up on this, with buttons for Settings, Home, Back, and Search. While the keyboard is virtual, the physical buttons are a nice switch.
With heavy usage, I’ve gotten one day of battery life out of the Droid X, which pummels my Incredible (for which I always carry a backup battery). The most draining things on the Droid X battery are using the GPS for actual navigation and using the built-in mi-fi-like 3G Mobile Hotspot. While I believe it requires an extra plan from Verizon, you can easily replace your mi-fi or broadband stick with this feature. Running a test while traveling in Chicago, my husband and I hooked up a netbook, iPad, and full laptop to the Droid X signal and had great service.
The Droid X is a speedy machine, and I would expect nothing less. I laugh a lot about the specs of the new “super” phones. Years ago I had one of the first iBooks (in orange, with a handle). These phones at least triple the specs of that machine, if not more. The Droid X has 8 GB onboard memory, 16 GB microSD pre-installed, and supports up to 32 GB micro SD – total memory expandable up to 40 GB. It has a 1 Ghz ARMv7 processor. Speedy. I sometimes look at my old/current MacBook Pro and think, “My phone might be faster than you.”
It has an 8 mp camera that works as fast as the camera in my Incredible. I turned my husband loose with the Droid X while we were on a Frank Lloyd Wright Walking Tour in Chicago and he got some great shots with bright colors. I find the camera button to be a bit stiff, but apparently its just a matter of personal adjustment. There is an HDMI out port on the device as well, which I didn’t get a chance to test. Note that an HDMI cable is not included in the box.
Photo taken with DroidX
As far as call quality, with and without Google Voice, I had great quality and no dropped calls. I had no trouble hearing anyone and they were able to hear me without any issue.
Overall, the Droid X is a great device. I hesitate to use the word “phone” anymore, as these devices are really uber-portable computers. I already have several friends who ordered the Droid X as quickly as I ordered the Incredible. While it’s certainly not the device for me, due to size and my apparent attachment to HTC’s Sense, it’s certainly a great addition to the Verizon Droid line.
It looks as if the latest batch of Droid X devices will be shipping by August 31. With a two-year contract, the Droid X retails for $199.
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