Motorola’s Droid X smartphone launched July 15 from Verizon Wireless, which is selling the device online here and in its retail stores for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year customer agreement.
The device is powered by a 1 GHz processor and Google’s Android 2.1 operating system, though an upgrade to Android 2.2 will be available next month over the air.
Endowed with a 4.3-inch screen an 8 megapixel camera, the Droid X is a smartphone with a multimedia focus, recording HD video at 720p HD and offering an HDMI out port to let people play their shoots on a bigger screen.
eWEEK tested the Droid X and found the video and camera capabilities solid, if not excellent.
Call capabilities and quality are a question mark these days in light of Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna issues.
Verizon mocked the iPhone 4 issues in an ad by promising the Droid X would let people talk to each other. The handset employs a double antenna and three microphones for regular talking, video chat and noise cancellation.
Other things consumers should note: the Droid X battery life is very good, and sometimes great depending on usage. That is, it’s much better than Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G, and as good if not better than the smaller HTC Droid Incredible Verizon sells.
eWEEK used the device heavily for several hours, running Google Maps Navigation and browsing several videos and Websites such as ESPN.com with the turn-by-turn directions running in the background. The Droid X battery lasted a full day, needing a recharge after 10 hours.
Consumers may also use the Droid X as a WiFi hotspot for up to five devices, a feature eWEEK tested here with mixed results.
One thing prospective buyers should be pleased to learn is that Verizon is promising the Droid X will be available for all who want it, unlike past shortages of the Incredible and, most recently, Sprint’s dearth of Evo 4G devices.
There are 8 GBs of memory onboard, with a 16 GB memory card, expandable up to 40 GB with a 32GB SanDisk microSDHC card. This will cost data-hungry users $99 with the Droid X sale, $149 separately.
Customers who purchase the phone will pay $199 at point of sale but will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card, which may be used as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.
Customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan, which starts at $39.99 per month, and an e-mail and Web for Smartphone plan, which is $29.99 per month.
The optional 3G Mobile HotSpot service costs $20 per month for 2 GB.