Droid XNAME: Motorola Droid X


PRICE: $199.99 w/ two-year contract


FUN FACT: It's on back-order for the second time this summer, with new shipments arriving September 15—maybe not so much of a fun fact, but the good news is that people are all over this thing.



THE BACK STORY: The original Droid made noise late last year, serving as a stepping stone for the future of Android smartphones. This summer, Motorola has released two new Droid phones: the Droid 2 and Droid X. We checked out the Droid 2 yesterday, and now it's time to put its stepbrother to the test. Can this all-touchscreen Droid keep up with the big dogs in the smartphone game? Check out our full review below and after the jump.

DOPE:

Yes!!! A slimmer design: Compared to its predecessor, the X is way slimmer and lighter. It weighs in at 5.37 ounces and measures 5 inches tall, 2.6 inches wide, and 0.4 inches thick. For the Droid X, Motorola eliminated the original Droid QWERTY keyboard, which was crap anyway. This helps keep the X slim. The soft-textured plastic coating adds a smooth, sturdy feel to the phone, and the bump at the top rear of the phone allows for better grip when using the camera and video functions.

Message-Mania: The Droid X has a unified inbox that combines all emails, texts, and social network messages, and a count symbol appears at the top of each icon to display the number of unread messages in each category. If you're not in the mood to read Facebook messages, customize the email account notification status to your liking. You can also flag and move messages from folder to folder.

Impressive processor: The 1Ghz TI OMAP 3630 CPU (that's just the name of the thing, don't worry) pulls enough horsepower to speed through web pages, emails, and all seven home screens. The phone's pinch-zoom function runs smoothly, and there is minimal lag when you switch between or scroll through the phone's numerous apps and widgets. There are also three different power settings to keep you from draining the battery too quickly.

Multimedia features: This phone was built for the mediaphile, not just for messaging and social networking. The 8-megapixel camera features a dual-LED flash, and produces large and high-quality snapshots. It's not amazing in low light, but it does the trick. Also, the HD video recorder dishes out quality videos with a 720p output. Both the still and video camera modes offer face detection, flash, autofocus, digital zoom, and the ability to put effects on your content. There's also an HDMI port that allows for HDTV connection and high-def viewing.

Droid X (1)

NOT SO DOPE:

Unpolished user interface: Similar to the Droid 2, Motorola's MOTOBLUR UI combines all social networking updates/feeds, but can create a cluttered mess on your homescreen(s). Assigning widgets and customizing app icons can seem sluggish at times. In addition, windows like the content folder extend past the title bar, a glitch in the UI's design. The Twitter application on this phone also lacks an @-reply tool, kind of a bummer.

Extra charges: Verizon charges $20 per month for 2GB of tethered data. Translation: You can use the Droid X to connect your laptop to the Internet, but it's going to cost you an extra 20 bills per month.

Battery life: Motorola's fact sheet claims the phone supports up to 480 minutes talk time and 220 hours of standby time. Unfortunately, the web browsing, messaging, and media playback eat up a large chunk of power. Then again, that's the deal with most smartphones on the market.

Mehhh first-party apps: With an app store swarming with over 100,000 apps, we expected a much better variety of pre-installed apps. Motorola's RSS reader presents the dullest UI of any smartphone news reader we've encountered and it fails to distinguish read/unread links, leaving repeat users guessing. The My Verizon app and VCast-promoted Blockbuster app (which might be useless once the company files for bankruptcy in September) don't help the cause. Play the third-party field!

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FINAL SAY: The Droid X is definitely an improvement from the first Droid, but it's not on the same level as the Droid 2. It is, however, one of Verizon's best handsets. It provides a fancy multimedia experience on a responsive and clear 4.3-inch LCD TFT touchscreen, and allows for several connection options to keep the thing moving along. The phone comes pre-installed with Android 2.1, but you might be able to find the FROYO OS upgrade that leaked online not too long ago. An official update should be available sometime in September. It lacks a front-facing camera, updated OS, and a QWERTY keyboard, but Droid X still marks its spot as a worthy upgrade to the O.G. Droid.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE DROID X AT VERIZON!

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