Motorola Droid X: 10 Important Features Every Owner Should Know

News Analysis: With the Droid X launch on July 15, potential buyers will need to be informed about what it will, and won't, offer. Check out this list of items that make Motorola's Droid X unique.

With the Motorola Droid X hitting store shelves on July 15, a new battle and what will surely not be the last is erupting between the new smartphone and Apple's iPhone. Although the iPhone will likely take the day when this generation of smartphones passes into history, Motorola could sell far more Droid X units than some folks might think.

After all, the company is building upon the success of the original Motorola Droid. It's also delivering an Android-based device, which should help its chances of attracting consumers, given the recent success of Google's mobile operating system. The Droid X is arguably the most capable Android phone on the market. It's the obvious alternative to the iPhone for consumers who don't want to get caught in AT&T's grasps.

Realizing that, it's time for consumers and potentially enterprise customers, to be informed on what the Droid X will offer them after they buy it. There are some obvious advantages to buying the Droid X, like the device's 4.3-inch display, but there are also some less-known features that could make the smartphone a far more viable choice than customers might have originally thought.

Let's take a look at the features that every Droid X owner should know about before running to the store to pick up Motorola's latest smartphone.

1. The big screen

The first thing that will jump out at consumers upon buying the Droid X is its big display. According to Motorola, the smartphone boasts a 4.3-inch display, making it noticeably larger than the iPhone's 3.5-inch display. All that screen real estate really is important. Considering Motorola is trying to position the device as an entertainment product, having that larger screen to view movies and television shows will appeal to users. Plus, it will give owners more area to use the device's virtual keyboard, potentially making it a bit easier to type on the Droid X. Screen size matters to the average smartphone customer. And for now, Motorola has the iPhone beaten.

2. HDMI-out

A key component in the value proposition for the Droid X is its ability to deliver entertainment to consumers. That's precisely why Motorola added HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) functionality to the device. Upon connecting the Droid X to an HDTV with an HDMI cable, users can view HD content from their phones on a big screen. The phone even includes DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) support, allowing users to stream HD content to other DLNA-capable devices. Since such a focus on HD content is relatively new in the smartphone market, Motorola might have a hard time selling customers on it. But given the fact that the device boasts a 720p video camcorder, users might quickly find that snapping a quick video with the phone and displaying it on an HDTV is much easier than downloading it to the desktop and burning the content to an HD disc. HDMI-out might not be the flashiest feature, but it eventually could be one of the most coveted options.

3. Android 2.2? Not so fast

As much as consumers might want to be able to run Android 2.2 on the Droid X at launch, it won't come with it. Instead, the device will run Android 2.1 until Google releases the latest version of the mobile operating system. It's not such a big deal-Android 2.1 is a fine version of the operating system that's doing a good job of competing against iOS-but most consumers (and rightfully so) want to be able to run the latest software Google is offering. When Android 2.2 eventually makes its way to the Droid X, the software will include support for Flash. At that time, just about any site on the Web will be capable of being displayed on the mobile Chrome browser. Until then, Droid X owners will have an iPhone-like browsing experience, since the vast majority of videos and games on the Internet will not work on the phone's browser.

4. Access to the Android Market

Apps are quickly becoming a key component in the success or failure of smartphones. Devices like Palm's Pre and Pixi failed partly because of their lack of available applications. Even RIM's BlackBerry is under siege because consumers find more to like in other smartphones that have bigger app stores available to them. Luckily for Droid X owners, the smartphone is capable of running apps available in Google's Android Market. Google's mobile marketplace isn't nearly as big as Apple's, but that probably won't matter much to most users. More and more companies are bringing their iPhone apps to Android. In fact, the Android Market is growing at an extremely rapid rate. And considering all the iPhone favorites, like Twitter and Facebook, are available in the Android Market, most users will be satisfied with what they find in the store.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...