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Motorola Droid X

Motorola’s yet another Droid offering is the Droid X for Verizon. It is much similar to the Droid but is been bettered in its features. It includes 4.3 inch touch screen and an 8MP camera which is capable of HD video capture. The phone also includes HDMI output, DLNA support apart from offering some enhanced multimedia features. However we cannot claim that it does not lack any features. It lacks features like 4G support, front camera that the similar looking Evo 4G from HTC has included. Droid X will be available for $199.99 along with a 2-year contract with Verizon after a $100 mail in rebate starting from 15th of July this year. Preorders cannot be done but Verizon has said that the current customers whose contracts are to end this year end can wish to upgrade for the device without any penalty.

Design:

Motorola and Verizon combination has always been big, first the Motorola Droid and now the Droid X. It measures 5 inches in length, 2.6 inches in width while the thickness is 0.4 of an inch and it weights 5.47 ounces. It is lengthy than the Evo 4G but less in thickness. Despite weighing 5.47 ounces, it gives a light feel to hands but one hand operation is difficult especially if you have smaller hands. You have to squeeze it into your pant pocket but however it is not that bulky as the Droid as it does not include slide out physical keyboard. A slight bump at the back houses a camera and flash but the bump is not that high to spoil its beautiful design. With a soft touch finish at the back, Droid X overall give a solid handset.

It is true that it might give an awkward feel when taken up to your ears but the gorgeous touch screen makes forgive everything. Droid X’s 4.3inch display is the same as that in Evo 4G but looks bigger, made possible by the thin border. It has a WVGA resolution meaning 854x480p and displays brilliant, crisp colors. There is no need to worry about reading text on such a big screen. It is of course a multi touch display and hence you can press two buttons at once and also supports pinch zoom. It is no surprise that it includes a proximity sensor and in built in accelerometer which responds effectively whenever you change the orientation.

Two keyboards are available; one is Swype and the other the standard virtual keyboard. You should be aware for the Swype, the method of dragging your finger all the way to form a letter without lifting. It might give you a crazy feel but we are sure that you will be a favorite once used to it. Not to worry, if you are not satisfied with it as the virtual keyboard is very much responsive compared to the Evo 4G. Just below the display are four shortcut keys including Menu, Back, Home and search but they are hard controls and not touch sensitive like in Evo. Motorola has done a good job in putting hard button as they can be used with out even looking at them. Controls on the right side of the phone are for volume and camera activation. Power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack are present on top of the device while the HDMI port and Micro USB port are present on the left spine.

Out of the box, you get a USB cable, AC adapter, microSD memory card (16GB) and a manual.

User interface:

Droid X runs on Android 2.1 along with Motoblur revised version. The latter is not that special like you would have seen in Backflip or Motorola Cliq but does include widgets with the possibility of resizing them such that they don’t occupy much space on the screen. From the seven widgets available, you can choose one to load with Android widgets and on each home screen, at the bottom, you’ll find a tool bar that will show you on which screen you are in. The tool bar makes easier for switching between home screens as you just need to press the corresponding button. However we miss the Leap screen feature which shows a thumbnail of each screen and we can switch by just tapping on them.

Droid came with the stock Android UI and 2.1 might be too much for Droid users but all many other Android phones, the user interface is customizable and hence dig deep inside until it becomes comfortable for you.

Features:

Droid X comes with Android 2.1 but Motorola and Verizon have plans to update it with Android 2.2 Froyo at the end of this summer. If it is updated, then the browsing experience will be very much similar to a PC, you’ll get more camera features and more importantly the AFP 10.1. But we are sure you will have no time to master the features that Droid X includes now. With the On Demand app, you can browse and download movies and once purchased, you can watch them on a bigger screen using the Blockbuster software.

The phone despite including an 8MP camera also has a 3-mic system which records the best audio possible. These two together gives you a choice to make movies on your own. Features like wind noise reduction and specific subject audio capture are included and you cannot find such features on any other camera phone. Features like face detection, LED flash, digital zoom and auto focus can be applied when using both still camera and when recording videos. Only disappointment is the lack of front camera but Motorola has ensured that it will include that feature in its future devices.

Onboard memory on the Droid X is 8GB but the external memory can be expanded up to 32GB. It is good that Motorola has included a 16GB microSD memory card in the box. You can easily share the photos using Bluetooth, upload them to social networking sites or mail them despite transferring them to other display devices with the help of DLNA compatible device. Droid X has security features like wipe and remote password control which is good news for corporate users. You can choose the mails you receive to be put into one inbox or separately.

Skype Mobile and Conference calling are applicable. Other notable features include GPS, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc. Droid X can also be used as a hot spot for five devices but to use this feature, you’ll need sign up for the Mobile Broadband plan that costs $20 every month for 2GB data and if it exceeds the limit, you will be charged 5 cents every 1MB.

Performance:

Call quality is great with clear audio on both caller and receiver ends. There is some back ground noise but not that distractive. It is very difficult to find out whether the other end person is speaking over the microphone or loudspeaker as you cannot find any difference if they switch. However if you listen clearly, there is a slight hollowness. The speakerphone offers plenty volume to overcome sound environments.

You should be well aware of Verizon’s 3G network reliability and with no surprise websites load in just half a minute or so. YouTube videos took no time to buffer except for a one or two seconds lag at the start. Video quality is what annoys being murky. MP4 videos however look better. Photos quality could have been better with the 8MP camera. There is a bit of shutter lag but if you are ready to wait for a few seconds, you can achieve good results. Shooting in darker conditions will not be a problem with the flash.

Droid X runs on a 1 GHz TI OMAP Processor which makes the phone very much responsive. It is not lightning fast as the Incredible but multiple tasking is possible with small delays. Droid X offers a talk time of 8 hours and standby time up to 9 hours on 3G.

Filed in: Gadgets

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