Impressive Camera, Physical Buttons

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-06-24 Print this article Print


5. Three microphones

The Droid X is designed to be an entertainment device. Aside from its video capabilities, that focus shines through in Motorola's decision to offer three microphones in the smartphone. According to the company, one microphone is to capture sound while recording video, another microphone faces the inside of the device for narration, and the third microphone is put into use while making calls for noise-cancellation purposes. The iPhone 4, on the other hand, has two microphones that are primarily used for noise-cancellation. A third microphone would be nice.

6. A healthy supply of physical buttons

Apple makes it clear with every new version of the iPhone that it wants it to be a software-centric product. Because of that, it only offers one physical button on the face of the device. But for productivity's sake, it doesn't make much sense. The Motorola Droid X, on the other hand, offers a home button, a search button, a menu key, and a back button. Rather than force users to find those keys on the touch screen, they're placed just below the display for easy access. That should make for a more productive use of the phone. Going forward, Apple should consider adding more physical buttons. Yes, it would change the design of the iPhone, but if it makes for a better device, who cares?

7. Camera quality impresses

Apple goes out of its way to market the iPhone as a device that people will want to use for multimedia purposes. And yet, the iPhone 4 only boasts a 5-megapixel camera. The Droid X, on the other hand, offers an 8-megapixel camera, complete with image stabilization and a 1/1000 shutter speed. As appealing as the iPhone 4 is, the company's decision to offer a relatively underpowered and obsolete camera in the device is questionable. More and more consumers are using their phones as their main cameras. Wouldn't it make sense to offer the best camera possible?

8. Removable media support

A key issue with the iPhone has always been that it doesn't support removable storage solutions, such as microSD. The Droid X, on the other hand, allows users to save up to 24GB of data on the device by way of 8GB of on-board storage and 16GB of microSD storage. That's an important consideration. Users don't always want to be tied to a hard drive or a USB connection just to get data off a phone. The Droid X makes taking important information from the user's phone and placing it on their computer quite simple thanks to the microSD card. Going forward, it would be nice to see Apple add support for microSD.

9. Widget support

Widgets are still missing from iOS. That's a shame. A viable part of the Droid X's operating system is the inclusion of widgets to make it easier for users to quickly get information without being forced to open an application to do so. In the Droid X, users can open their home screen and have up-to-date information, such as current weather in the area, without being forced to open any applications. It's a small gripe for sure, but it's something that Apple has inexcusably ignored with each new iteration of its mobile OS. Hopefully iOS 5 will offer widgets.

10. Digital Living Network Alliance Support

When Motorola announced this week that DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) support was coming to the Droid X, it was a major milestone for the entertainment business. DLNA allows users to take multimedia content from a device and stream it to another product in the user's network. Although the feature is used mostly in home-theater settings, it could be appealing to those that have DLNA-equipped devices and like the idea of taking content from a mobile phone and playing it on other devices in the home. The iPhone doesn't offer that kind of functionality. Admittedly, it's a feature that is attractive to niche audiences for now. But as more and more people start streaming content and become more sophisticated in their tech choices, DLNA could be a major component in that. And so far, only Motorola stands to gain from that trend.


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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