Watch our Droid X2 video hands-on

Motorola Droid X2 

Behold, the new Motorola Droid X2, nearly the same as the original Motorola Droid X. Really. OK, mostly. Quite a bit, actually. That's not to say it's not better, because it most definitely is. And that's not to say it's boring, because it most definitely is not.

The original Droid X (read our full review) is still one of our favorites of the past year. And Verizon has shown a penchant for not wanting to upset the apple cart by radically changing a successful phone -- see the Droid 2 and Incredible 2 as previous examples of that strategy. Will that be enough for you to pull the trigger on a new DX2? Let's discuss our initial thoughts after the break.

Instead of telling you what's the same, though, let's just focus on what's different.

The Droid X2 one-ups its predecessor in the processor department, trading a TI OMAP 3630 for a new dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. As far as everyday use of the phone is concerned -- e-mail, using the user interface, etc. -- you're unlikely to really notice anything. Our review unit certainly feels snappy enough, but that could be from that new-phone experience that's always a little faster. And it's got that new-phone smell.

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

The Droid X2 also improves things in the display department. It's still a 4.3-inch touchscreen, but the resolution has been increased to 540x960 (that's qHD), up from the usual 480x800 (OK, OK 480x854 -- darn Motorola and its extra 54 pixels). Does it make a big difference? Looking at the phones side by side, not that much, surprisingly. You'll notice a few subtle changes -- the notification bar is slightly thinner (but that's compared to our Droid X running the Gingerbread leak), and the icons are a tad smaller and more spaced out. Is that a resolution thing, or just a UI thing? Dunno. But we'll never turn down a higher-resolution phone, even if we can still make out the occasional individual pixel.

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

And gone is the physical camera button. We're a little sad to see it go. Was it a purely aesthetic design decision? Did it make way for the dual-core processor? Something else? All we know is we just lost a little piece of functionality, and we're sad about that.

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

Software-wise, it's running Android 2.2.2. Again, it's time new phones launch with Gingerbread. That's not to say the Droid X2 won't get a Gingerbread update -- it most certainly will -- but it's time for new phones to have the latest OS out of the box. And the DX2 indeed has Motorola's Blur "enhancements." It's got the same updated skin as we've seen in the Gingerbread leak for the original Droid X. We're fine with that. And a good number of the Blur UI features we're OK with as well.

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

Motorola Droid X2Motorola Droid X2

Otherwise, same phone, folks. Exactly the same form factor. Exactly the same look and feel in the hand, save for a couple of cosmetic differences, Faster, higher res, and the same awesome build quality from Motorola. And we're expecting better battery life thanks to the dual-core processor.

For $199 on contract, it might not quite be worth an upgrade if you're still rocking last year's Droid X. But if you're looking to move to get into the smartphone game or get into Android -- and don't mind not having LTE data -- the DX2 is unsurprisingly looking like a solid phone.

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Reader comments

Droid X2 initial review

38 Comments

If apple made the DX1 last year and then came out with the DX2 this year, the DX2 would be called "revolutionary"... And it they would sell 5 million units in 30 minutes.

Would it have killed Moto to offer some sort of aesthetic changes to accommodate the internal changes? Geesh...The original design already looked like a storage box for premium flame matches! UGH!

thanks clown, while that may (obviously) be the case, it's still the standard to get a general sense of how a phone performs.

In the last paragraph, I think you meant to write "For $199 on contract, it might _NOT_ be worth an upgrade if you're still rocking last year's Droid X."

I can't be the only one who thinks the physical buttons at the bottom make this thing look like a toy? I always though the original was kind of bland in design and I still feel the same with this one.

You're not...Physical buttons are so 2008. (Look out for the physical button cavalry. They will be here to pummel your comment into a glittery fog real soon.)

I agree, sorta. You see, EVERY time I hand my Evo to someone when showing them a video or what have you they almost ALWAYS hand it back to me immediately with a confused look followed by "I don't know what happened." More often then not they have touched the capacitive buttons at the bottom.

Aesthetically, physical buttons are not nearly as nice in my opinion anyway but functionally they are much better.

I agree, sorta. You see, EVERY time I hand my Evo to someone when showing them a video or what have you they almost ALWAYS hand it back to me immediately with a confused look followed by "I don't know what happened." More often then not they have touched the capacitive buttons at the bottom.

Aesthetically, physical buttons are not nearly as nice in my opinion anyway but functionally they are much better.

Keeping the same dimensions has some positives

Now Droid X2 users can use all the accessories of the original Droid X.
Users of the Droid X don't have to feel so bad not having the X2 :) (Most still have more then a year left on their contract)

Uhm,
"increased to 540x960 (that's qHD), up from the usual 480x800."
motorola phones are never 480x800, its 480x854

How's the battery life with the dual-core processor? Supposedly it's better, but I want to hear how it is in practice.

How about the important information? Ya know...like did Motorola cripple the phone again with a locked down bootloader.

Why is it the phones coming out are omitting the camera button? With the smartphone replacing the point an shoot cameras, to me the physical camera button is essential and a deal breaker.

You might say quality build, I say junk. Had 4, yes make that 4 DX1s. Got first one on launch day. Worked great, maybe little laggy, until initial upgrade which fried the phone. They gave me brand new one because I pay them mega bucks per year. Second one started to reboot several times a week. They gave me refurb and in two days it rebooted 12, yes 12, times. I went back and demanded they give me another new one out of box and after telling them I was leaving and never coming back they did. Don't really know about it though except it worked fine, maybe little laggy, for couple of months until I got a Thunderbolt which I paid retail for and sold the DX. Had an Incredible and sold it when got Iphone and kept DX because of size. Never had a moments trouble out of Dinc and was bad error on my part to part with it. The TB works great and is not, that's right, not laggy. Wife had D2 screen started to go black on it's own. Sold it and she now has the Dinc 2 which is also a great phone. Highly recommend HTC, the TB and the Dinc 2. Not Moto or the DX or the D2. Just my opinion. No way make that my experience!!!

yea i know what you mean.I went through 7 dx's all with screen problems or random reboots the thunderbolts abit better but still not show stopping

Why have no new phones launched with Gingerbread? Hell, it's already been updated and the only phones running it from the factory are the Nexus. ...makes no sense, especially in a time when Google gets manufacturers together for an 18 month 'update' policy. They've already failed.

Bless you Cyanogen. I'm on 2.3.3 with my Evo. :-)

The Desire S, Xperia Arc, and Galaxy S II launched with Gingerbread. It's the fault of the US carriers that we don't have those phones here yet. They have to customize and bloat them up first ya know.

Quandrant wouldn't do much cause we already know froyo doesn't support dual core. Gingerbread would be what you want to run it on anyways. But then again its just a test so it can change.

I had thought about this device to upgrade from my Incredible but I think I will just hang on to my trusty Incredible. I am not thrilled with the devices out there right now on 4G because of the battery issues and also because the 4G network still has hiccups. It will take time for Verizon to work out all the issues. So, why fix something that doesn't need fixing? I love my Incredible and it will soon have Gingerbread. So, I will wait and see what happens.

Thanks for the initial review Phil. I know beauty is subjective but I think the style is definitely good looking in a tough muscular way. Like the saying goes "why fix something if it isn't broke." I almost got the OG Droid X or is that Droid X 1? Two of my coworkers have one and an in law has one and they LOVE their Droid X! This is a very nice evolutionary upgrade, more power and better resolution although I do like having a FFC cause I am one of the few that uses that video chat feature. I have an Atrix and I didnt enjoy Motoblur at al, so I did the next best thing and downloaded LauncherPro, did that also for my Epic. I could see myself getting one of these. I LOVE Android and the choices it offers!!! Oh I LOVE AndroidCentral too:)

I have had this phone since Friday morning. It has not been that great. Every single app on my DX opens faster than the DX2. The live wallpapers are horrible and don't fit right.
(The screen is great in the sunlight and is superior.)
If you pinch and zoom in the gallery it is choppy and slow. Music will not play on any player installed without some "lag" for a split second somewhere in the song. I don't understand, the quadrant scores are 2600+ and it zips through but in the real world it sucks???? Not enough ram? Bad phone?
Thoughts anyone? Ships with a small 8 gig sd card too.

I have had this phone since Friday morning. It has not been that great. Every single app on my DX opens faster than the DX2. The live wallpapers are horrible and don't fit right.
(The screen is great in the sunlight and is superior.)
If you pinch and zoom in the gallery it is choppy and slow. Music will not play on any player installed without some "lag" for a split second somewhere in the song. I don't understand, the quadrant scores are 2600+ and it zips through but in the real world it sucks???? Not enough ram? Bad phone?
Thoughts anyone? Ships with a small 8 gig sd card too.

The battery life SUCKS big time on DX1. Colleagues with the phone hate its battery life. No real life data from AC folks