Due to a fortunate (for me) need to get a new phone for my princess, an opportunity arose. My wife was finally interested in getting a SmartPhone due to all the things I had told and shown her I could do with my original Droid, and the little one had be pestering us to get her something other than the Blitz pre-paid she has had for the past year. So, we shifting things around. The princess got the LG enV Touch that the wife had originally selected for herself, the Wife took command of the Droid, and that gave me the opportunity to go out and pick up the newest member of the Droid family of phones from Verizon Wireless, the Droid X.
For those that haven’t already seen or heard about the Droid X, this is one BIG phone. It sports a 4.3″ screen, roughly the same size as the HTC Evo available on Sprint. This is a huge plus for some, but a major drawback to others. Those with small hands or tiny pockets may find this phone unmanageably large, but at the same time it is easy to look at and read apps and websites from thanks to the larger size, and typing on the virtual keyboard is easy for even the most ham handed of us that have trouble typing on a smaller screen,
Like the Evo, the Droid X currently runs Android 2.1 (with 2.2 promised as an update later this summer). The Droid X includes a customized interface from Motorola (an improved version of MotoBlur, though Motorola is reluctant to use that name on the interface) that adds some functionality to the base Android operating system and a bit of eye candy for the iPhone envious types. 2.2 is supposed to increase speed, and I am curious just how much faster this phone can get, because with the 1GHZ OMAP processor supplied by Texas Instruments and the fact that Blur interface does not slow down the phone as much as Sense does on HTC phones like the Evo makes this phone crazy fast to begin with.
Call quality (yes iPhone users, some people actually care about call quality) is good, but not nearly as close to perfection as the original Droid was. That phone was as close to landline quality as I have had in a mobile phone. The X is good and better than many mobile phones out there, but just not up to the bar set by its older brother. The phone also has 3 microphones, the standard to speaking of course, a second for noise cancellation (which works, though not as well as most good noise cancelling Bluetooth headsets), and a third for shooting video.
The Droid X sports an 8MP camera (which is curiously defaulted to 5 MP), and HD video capture, which you can playback either through the HDMI output or through DLNA for those who have such enabled devices (I do not, so I couldn’t test the DLNA). As I mentioned, the Droid X has 3 microphones, and in a very nice (and smart) move, enable you to use the one on the back (where the camera is) if you are trying to record the sound from the source of the video, or you can enable it to use the standard phone speaker (on the face) if you are narrating what you are taking shooting in your video. It is not an earth shattering feature, but one that shows some forethought, and almost makes up for the fact that the Droid X does not have a front facing camera like the iPhone 4 or the HTC Evo.
The phone is incredibly thin, except for a protrusion at top where the camera and flash is housed. Since they took up that much space I was hoping that the camera performance (one of the weak spots of the original Droid) would be improved. And it is… somewhat. They camera is still a little sluggish in focus and shooting and while once again, daylight performance is good, in poor light the camera does not perform as well. Video performance however is as good if not better than any smart phone I have seen so far.
One of the biggest fears of a phone with a screen this large (and one of the biggest complaints most people have about the Evo) is battery life. Battery life on the Droid X is not as good as an iPhone, but better than the Evo, and actually (and quite surprisingly) about as good as the original Droid, that is to say, it will get you through the day with moderate use. A larger capacity battery will be offered later (presumably with a custom back cover replacement) that is supposed to offer longer life and only add a few millimeters of thickness to the phone if you actually need more time.
If the size is an issue, you may wish to wait for the Droid 2 which is anticipated to be released in mid August (sadly, the original Droid has not been served its end of life papers, and while you still may be able to find it in some stores or authorized dealers, I would be wary of recommending somebody buy of phone that is already discontinued, especially when you factor in the 2 year contract), or the Samsung Fascinate (I will have a review of this phone soon as well)… or if you can be patient enough for it to (finally) get back into stock, there is always the Droid Incredible. But if you want someething that can double as a small eReader (thanks to the Amazon Kindle app or Barnes and Noble Nook app), can play video (or the TV.Com app from CBS Interactive) that you can actually see and not have to squint, the the Droid X is an excellent member of the Droid line of Android phones from Verizon Wireless.