Droid X Delivers Features for Work, Entertainment

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-15 Print this article Print


5. Swype, anyone?

Motorola is delivering a new way to type out messages in the Droid X. Dubbed Swype, the technology allows users to place their finger on a letter, and without lifting that finger, drag it from one character to another. The company claims that it makes it much more efficient to type out a long e-mail or just about anything else text-related than tapping different letters and numbers on a virtual keyboard. That said, the Droid X also comes with a traditional virtual keyboard for those who want to be able to type the way they might have learned on the iPhone. Whether or not Swype will take off is up for debate, but if the Droid X is popular enough, it should help the technology's chances.

6. A better camera than the iPhone

It's worth noting that the Droid X will come with a vastly improved camera over anything Apple offers in the iPhone. Currently, Apple's iPhone 4 boasts a 5-megapixel camera. It's an improvement over the old, 3-megapixel version, but still far behind the Droid X's 8-megapixel camera. And although some folks say that megapixels don't play a crucial role in the quality of a picture, megapixel count has been a selling point for camera makers for years. The average, novice consumer sees more megapixels and thinks that device is better than alternatives with fewer megapixels. It's a simple way for Motorola to best the iPhone. And it should work quite well.

7. The WiFi hot spot feature to best them all

Apple's iPhone supports tethering, which allows users to connect the device to a computer and use the smartphone as a modem to access the Web on a PC. It costs an additional $20 per month. That's certainly a nice feature, but it can't compare to the Droid X's WiFi functionality. For the same price every month, Droid X owners will be able to share their 3G connection wirelessly with up to five computers at a time. So, if the Droid X owner is in an area where WiFi isn't available and is with a group of friends, five of them can connect to the Web over Verizon's 3G network. Not bad.

8. Social integration

It might not be the flashiest feature, but it's worth noting that the Droid X's Motoblur software includes social integration features to extend what owners can do with the device out of the box. In fact, users can add their Facebook news feed and Twitter timelines to the Droid X's home screen. Twitter and Facebook users might quickly find that such functionality is highly valuable. After all, rather than being forced to open an application just to view what's going on with friends, the Droid X will allow users to quickly glance at their home screens to see what's going on. It's a nice option.

9. No physical keyboard

The Droid, Motorola's most popular smartphone to hit store shelves before the Droid X, features a physical, slide-out keyboard. For consumers and especially enterprise customers, that was a nice feature. Rather than type away on a sometimes-annoying virtual keyboard, the smartphone allowed for more accurate typing on physical keys. Unfortunately, Motorola decided not to offer a physical keyboard in the Droid X. To past iPhone owners looking for something new, that's not such a big deal. But for those folks who currently own a BlackBerry or another device featuring a physical keyboard, it could be a problem. Admittedly, Motorola is trying to market the Droid X as an iPhone alternative, so it would make sense to drop the physical keyboard. But it still would have been nice if it the company included it.

10. Verizon's network

In the mobile space, it's hard to determine which carrier provides the best service. After all, in some areas AT&T has the best coverage, and in others, Verizon Wireless has the best coverage. In either case, on a national level, most folks can agree that Verizon has the most reliable and robust network out of all the U.S.-based carriers. Luckily for Droid X owners, Motorola's smartphone runs on Verizon's network. That could be a major selling point for some customers. Those who don't want to get bogged down in a contract with AT&T will be able to get a Droid X and go with Verizon. That's not to say that Verizon is so much better-most carriers are difficult to work with-but if coverage and service robustness is what consumers are looking for, the Droid X will deliver it, thanks to Verizon Wireless.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, 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 http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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