Review: Motorola's Droid X is a high-quality smartphone, but with so many Android 2.1 devices launching on the market the device would have best been served with Android 2.2, which boasts browser speed, enterprise messaging and other improvements.
I covered the launch in New York City and know full well the Droid X, which is launching on Verizon Wireless' massive network July 15 for $199 with a $100 mail-in rebate, is being upgraded to Android 2.2 this summer.
Like its Android 2.1 predecessors that require enough processing power to handle the OS and apps, the smartphone is powered by a 1 GHz processor. It also has 8 GB of onboard memory and a 16 GB memory card, expandable to 40 GB.
The device, at 5 inches long, 2.6 inches wide and one-quarter inch thick, fits just comfortably enough in the average hand. A black, rubbery enclosure keeps it just light enough, at 5.47 ounces. This backing accommodates the glossy glass display, which is unfortunately a ripe haven for fingerprint oils.
The phone boasts a beautiful 4.3-inch screen (another nod to Evo 4G) with WVGA 854-by-480 resolution to let users capture high-definition videos at 720p for playback on HDTV. Eventual Flash Player 1.1 support will only make this display more useful.
I tested the video quality and found it to be often great, but sometimes grainy. Folks writing about how these new Droid and iPhone gadgets could put Cisco's Flip out of business may be onto something. I have an older model flip sans HD and the Droid X blows it out of the water with video recording and playback. The sound is crisp, but I'll note more on that later.
The device has an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1/1,000-second shutter speed. Honestly, picture quality put my Canon PowerShot to shame, and using the panoramic view and slideshow mode for videos and pictures together in a seamless fashion demonstrated just how much of a delight this device can be for amateur photographers.
The Droid X has three microphones. One mic is for speaking into the phone for voice calls, another faces out to pick up voice for video shoots. The last one is a noise cancellation mic, which is crucial for quality calls and video shoots.
Call quality was excellent. I used it in the quiet of my own home, in several car rides and in a busy mall and restaurants with no issues. I only dropped a call once made from the woods of a mountain in western Massachusetts, where I lost total signal for one minute.
That car ride to Massachusetts from my home in Connecticut was where I put the Droid X to the test this past weekend. I turned on the Droid X at 8 a.m., made some calls but put the device's battery to serious task by using Google Maps Navigation to direct me to a campground buried in the woods.