Verizon's latest Android smartphone is one big, bad (as in good) Droid

Motorola Droid X Review 

Droid X does it bigger. Take everything you've come to know and love about Verizon's Droid line of Android smartphones -- starting with the original Motorola Droid then taking a step forward (or sideways, some might say) with the HTC Droid Eris and Droid Incredible -- and crank it up to 11. The screen size. The processing power. The camera. The screen size. It's big, it's powerful, and it's threatening to vault the Droid line to a whole new level of popularity, which is saying something.

So let's dive into the Droid X, available July 15 for $199 on contract. After the break, the biggest phone to hit Verizon -- literally -- since the Droid line was born last year.

The Droid X cheat sheet

Everything Droid XHardwareSoftwareAppsCameraForums

The Motorola Droid X in 10 minutes

Make no mistake about it, this is a lot of phone. And while it doesn't deviate too much from the standard Android experience, there are some features that may be new to a good many of you. We'll get through a good number of them in a quick 10-minute overview.


[YouTube link]

And if that's not enough for you, check out our initial hands-on immediately after the Droid X launch event in New York City.

Droid X hardware

There's no avoiding it -- we're going to have to compare the Droid X with the HTC Evo 4G on Sprint. Both are the first 4-inch-plus phones on Android (Find all of our Evo 4G coverage here), and they're clearly making up the top rung of the platform ladder. (The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S line should join them shortly.)

From left, Motorola Droid X, Sprint Evo 4G, Google Nexus One
From left, Motorola Droid X, Sprint Evo 4G, Google Nexus One

The Droid X is big. Stick it next to the Evo 4G, you'll see right away that it's even bigger. Taller, anyway, but the Evo is a tad wider. Where the Droid X makes up for it is in thickness. Or, rather, how thin it is. Spec-wise, they're both listed at a half-inch thick. But the Droid X feels a bit thinner, thanks in part to the bulbous reverse chin at the top. And that's not a knock. The thicker part where the camera's housed gives your fingers a place to rest when holding the phone, which is a little easier than having a plain flat back. It also keeps you from sticking your finger over the camera lens, which is a real problem with the Evo, particularly when snapping pics.

Motorola's long been known for its stellar build quality, and that continues with the Droid X. Whereas the original Droid was a hulking piece of metal and glass, the X is, well, a hulking piece of glass and plastic. But the two have a very different feel. It's not as cold (if there is such a thing for a smartphone) as the Droid.

Motorola Droid X
The menu, home, back and search buttons

The capacitive buttons of the Droid and Droid Incredible have given way to plastic physical buttons. They're not bad, though they've got a bit of wiggle to them and feel a little out of place for Motorola hardware, which usually is among the most sturdy in the smartphone realm.

(Fun fact: You can set the Home button to do things when double-tapped. By default, it launches Voice command. But you can change it to launch the browser, camera, dialer, etc. Go to Settings>Applications>Double tap home launch.)

Motorola Droid X power button and 3.5mm headphone jack
Motorola Droid X power button and 3.5mm headphone jack

The power button is in the center of the top bezel, which takes a little getting used to -- it's almost always either on the left or right on other smartphones. The 3.5mm headphone jack also is up top, and you get a pretty standard (if a little small) volume rocker on the right-hand bezel, along with a button to launch the camera app and snap pics.

Motorola Droid X camera button and volume rocker
Motorola Droid X camera button and volume rocker

The left-side bezel houses the microUSB port for syncing and charging, as well as the microHDMI port. As with the Evo 4G, the Droid X doesn't come with a microHDMI cable, and they can be a little hard to find, even with the carriers conveniently selling them.

Motorola Droid X microUSB and microHDMI ports
The microUSB and microHDMI ports

The rear of the phone is pretty clean. There's the aforementioned reverse chin, the 8MP camera with dual LED flashes, a stylish battery door that shows now sign of coming loose by accident, and there's a fairly large speakerphone port. There's also another pinhole that is the third of the Droid X's microphones. There's one directly under the buttons on the front of the phone (used for voice calls), another on the top bezel (for noise cancellation), and the third on the back is for use by the video camera.

Motorola Droid X rear viewMotorola Droid X rear speaker and microphone
Battery door, rear speaker and video recording microphone

Droid X battery door removedDroid X battery and MicroSD card
Battery and microSD card removed

Slide off the battery cover -- which appears to be part of the antenna system -- and you have the 1540mAh battery, which you remove with a handy pull tab. And you're going to have to remove the battery to get to the included 16GB microSD card. The phone will handle up to a 32GB microSD card, which should be more than enough for all the music and movies you're going to want to store on the Droid X.

And speaking of music and movies, let's talk a little more about the Droid X's 4.3-inch screen. Everybody's getting all obsessed over screen specs these days. LCD. OLED. AMOLED. Super AMOLED. Pixel density. And Apple with its ridiculously named "Retina display." And we understand. You have to have something to make your phone stand out a little bit.

The Droid X's screen is 4.3 inches of liquid crystal display under Gorilla Glass, at 854 pixels high by 480 pixels wide. Yeah, that's the same extra 54 pixels that the original Droid has. That works out to about 227 pixels per inch. No, it's not as dense as the iPhone 4's 326 ppi. (Motorola has been touting that the Droid X has more than 400,000 pixels, which is true. The extra 54 pixels on the vertical axis give it a total of 409,920, as opposed to the 384,000 pixels in a traditional 480x800 display. Will you notice? Nope.) The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio, same as widescreen movies.

Motorola Droid X in sunlight
Decent in sunlight

And there's the technical argument to be made that OLED and AMOLED are "better." Fine. For what it's worth, I'm plenty happy with the Droid X's screen. Its whites seem whiter than my Nexus One and Evo 4G. There's not a great deal of difference between its lowest brightness setting and its highest, but I've had nary a problem leaving it set to automatic. And it performs better outdoors than AOMLED. Really, I'm less and less concerned about screen technology than I am with battery life. (More on that in a bit.) It's not going to matter how great the screen is if you can't turn it on.

The bottom line on the screen? It looks great. We're really not going to worry about pixel density, and neither should you.

What's under the hood

The Droid X sports a TI OMAP 3630 processor running at 1GHz, and on top of that it has a dedicated graphics chip, a PowerVR SGX530, if you must know. For those who don't speak geek, know this: It's fast. And we're talking muscle car fast. It already flies in daily use, and this is without Android 2.2 and its speedy Just-in-Time compiler, which acts as sort of a supercharger for apps. (See our benchmark tests.) And as for gaming well, this beast gets it done. (See our gaming demo on the Droid X.)

Gaming on the Droid X
Gaming on the Droid X

Storage memory for the operating system and apps is as high as we've seen on a smartphone. All 8 gigabytes of built-in space on the Droid X are available to Android for apps, and only apps. The Droid X comes with a 16-gigabyte microSD card on which you can keep music and photos. But the microSD card also will be used by the phone's apps to store data. It's kind of weird setup, because you're you're going to be hard-pressed to fill all 8GBs of on-board space with apps (unless Verizon and Motorola know something that we don't about the future of Android). RAM clocks in at 512 megabytes.

This is all powered by a 1540mAh battery -- not merely 1500mAh, like a lot of batteries, Motorola will tell you. Getting through a full day of relatively normal use -- for me, that's e-mails, texts and Twitter, with just a few phone calls -- was pretty easy to do. But you're going to need to keep an eye on how many accounts the phone's hooked into. (More on that in a bit.) Keeping a charger or an extra battery on hand isn't going to be a bad idea, but neither is the Droid X a huge battery hog.

Motorola Droid X Battery Manager

To that end, Motorola's included a "Battery manager" feature. There are three pre-programmed modes -- Performance, Smart and Battery Saver. Smart Mode lets you set a schedule by which the phone's radios will be turned off, saving the battery. By default, it's set for 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., but you can reschedule for whenever you want.

Motorola Droid X Battery ManagerMotorola Droid X Battery Manager

Droid X software

The Droid X is launching with Android 2.1 (Eclair), which was a little bit of a surprise given that both Andy Rubin -- the head of Android for Google -- and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen were on hand at Motorola's launch event. That pointed toward a possible Froyo (and Flash) launch. Alas, we've got Android 2.1, Flash Lite and a bunch of good customizations from Motorola. An upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo) has been promised for "later this summer."

It's not Motoblur

Droid X Homescreens
The seven default home screens on the Droid X

If previous Motorola software customizations -- Motoblur -- have left a bad taste in your mouth, we don't blame you. But there's really none of that in the Droid X. It's not Motoblur, and Motorola's gone on record saying as much. (Caveat: Yes, if you open up the files in the ROM, a lot of the widgets are named "Blur." Get over that.) What you basically have is a slightly tweaked Android user interface. There are seven home screens on which you can put icons, widgets and shortcuts.

Droid X buttons

The first difference you're likely to notice are the three large buttons at the bottom of the screen. They take you to the phone dialer, application launcher (or drawer) and contacts. We'd prefer to see the contacts button swapped out for something else (say, the browser, like in Android 2.2), as your contacts are easily accessible from the phone dialer. So, it's kind of redundant. Motorola could easily change that if it wants, or you can install a new launcher from the Android Market, such as ADW.Launcher or Launcher Pro.

Droid X homescreen indicators

Swipe left or right through the different home screens and the bottom phone-apps-contacts buttons change to an indicator showing you where you are in the series of screens. That also lets you hop from one screen to another, meaning you don't have to scroll through all of them to get from the far left to the far right. And that's nice. Pause a second, and the three buttons reappear. (And you'll have to wait for them to show up before diving into the app launcher, or you can press the home button twice to get to your apps.)

Widgets get even better

Having one widget with multiple size options is nothing new. But Motorola's made changing sizes stupidly simple on the Droid X. Tap and hold on a widget until it vibrates. Then lift your finger, and you'll see little arrows appear in the four corners of the widget. Simply drag from a corner to resize, much like you might resize a window on a computer. If the widget can't be resized -- either it's not designed for a certain size, or there's no room on that particular home screen -- it'll tell you. OK, it's kind of a small thing and not something you're likely to use all that much, but it's a very cool addition and adds sophistication to Motorola's customizations -- something that was sorely lacking in Motoblur.

Droid X widgets resizeMotorola Droid X widget resize

Not every widget you may have on the Droid X can be resized, and Motorola has put its custom widgets in their own section. Again, attention to detail.

Motorola widgets

As for the widgets that Motorola's included by default, they're pretty good. Their style is consistent with the theme of the operating system, though they're a little heavy on form and slightly less so on function. The calendar widget, for example, could stand to show a little more information. It just feels like a slightly inefficient use of space. That's just a minor niggle, though.

Another nice little tweak from Motorola: You can swap the position of widgets and icons on-screen, which you can't do in stock Android.

Included apps

The Motorola Droid X has access to the Android Market's 68,000-plus apps, of course, and it comes with a few of its own, too.

  • Motorola Droid X wireless hotspot3G Mobile Hotspot: For an extra $20 a month, you can use your Droid X as a Wifi hotspot, with a 2GB cap on the data. (It's 5 cents a megabyte over that.) Setup is easy and takes just a few taps. Remember that you'll be using Verizon's 3G data, as the Droid X (or any other Verizon phone, for that matter) doesn't have 4G access.
  • Amazon MP3 store: Buy music.
  • Backup Assistant: Mainly used to help move contacts from older Verizon devices. If you're already using Android, you likely won't need this. And the backup features in Froyo should make it even less necessary.
  • Blockbuster: Movies on your phone. Start at $3.99 to rent, and $9.99 to buy. The rental window is 30 days once the transaction is completed, and you have 24 hours to finish the movie once you start it.
  • City ID: Phone number lookup.
  • DLNA: Multimedia streaming.
  • Emergency Alert: Just like it sounds, nationwide emergency alerts. Let's hope it's never used.
  • Files: Yes, there's a built-in file browser.
  • FM Radio: Yes, it works. (Why do people keep asking this?)
  • Media Share: A way to share files, photos, etc. between devices. It's kind of a pain.
  • Messaging: Kind of a universal inbox app that gives you access to messages other than gmail.
  • My Accounts: Quick access to the accounts hooked into the Droid X, without having to dive through the settings menu.
  • My Verizon: Access to your account and services.
  • Skype Mobile: VOIP Calling. Doesn't do video just yet.
  • Social Networking: Ties all of your stuff together.
  • Voice Command: Just like it sounds. Tell your phone what to do.

Available accounts

Droid X accounts

Out of the box, the Droid X hooks into the accounts you see above. Like we stated above, the more accounts you're hooked into, the more data you'll be pulling down in the background, and thus you're likely to be pulling more from the battery.

The Droid X camera

Motorola Droid X 8MP camera and dual flashes 
8-megapixel camera with dual LED flashes

The Droid X sports an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flashes on the rear of the phone. It's housed in the hump at the top of the phone, which helps keep your grubby fingers out of the way. And because of the hump's slight angle, the lens is kept clear when the phone's resting on its back, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about scratches.

Motorola Droid X camera

The camera app can either be launched through the app launcher, a home screen widget, or through the button on the side of the Droid X. The button is a two-stager. To launch the camera app, you have to push it all the way. When taking pictures, you press the button halfway to focus, then all the way to snap the picture. You get an audible tone when the camera's focused.

Droid X camera settings

By default, the Droid X shoots pictures at a 6-megapixel resolution, and not the full 8 megapixels. That's still plenty big for most smartphone-quality pictures, and it keeps the image size in the Droid X's widescreen format. Pictures are geotagged by default. As for photo quality, it's pretty darn good. Still not as good as a DSLR, but it could easily replace a basic point-and-shoot. The dual-stage shutter button takes a little getting used to. But it quickly becomes second nature.

Droid X camera effects

The Droid X's camera app is just about the best we've used. It's simple, but full of features, including a number of effects that you can apply on the fly. Switching to video recording (which by default is set to the full 720p resolution) is done by an easily accessible button on the bottom right of the screen. No hunting through secondary menus. You also can switch on the dual flashes when recording video.

Motorola Droid X photo gallery

The camera gallery app is smooth and reminiscent of Apple's Cover Flow. We'll let that slide as it works very nicely.

Sample pictures and video

By default, the Droid X takes pictures at the 6-megapixel resolution. Thumbnails open the full image in a new window.

Droid X camera sample picture at 6MPDroid X camera sample at 6MP

Motorola Droid X camera sample picture at 6MP Motorola Droid X camera sample picture at 6MP

Taking pictures at the full 8-megapixel resolution gives you a larger image, but you lose the widescreen aspect. Thumbnails open the full image in a new window.

Motorola Droid X camera sample picture at 8MP

Motorola Droid X sample camera picture at 8MP

Video can be shot at a maximum resolution of 720p.

The Droid X keyboards

The Droid X doesn't have a physical keyboard, and the phone's sheer size helps ease the transition.

Droid X stock keyboard with multitouch

The phone actually comes with a couple of keyboards built in. By default, there's Motorola's custom job, which features honest-to-goodness multitouch. You can hold down the shift button and press a another key at the same time. As far as on-screen keyboards go, it's pretty darn good, though we're not fans of having to go to an alternate menu to type numbers and symbols. They should be options when you hold down on a letter.

Droid X Swype keyboard

And then there's the uber-popular Swype keyboard, which Verizon and Motorola have also included. It's a breeze to use on the large screen. And you can still get to Android's speech-to-text functions with it, too. (Press the microphone button.)

Other odds and ends

  • Phone calls: Crisp and clear, exactly like we've come to expect from Verizon.
  • Speakerphone: Not as loud as we've come to expect from Motorola. That's not to say it's bad, it's just not the knock-you-on-your-butt feeling we've had from previous Motorola phones.
  • Media sync: When plugged into a computer, the Droid X has options for PC Mode, Windows Media Sync, USB Mass Storage and Charge Only.  It's a tad confusing, and we'd rather just move files manually. But we're binary like that.
  • GPS: Works as it should, though it's turned off by default. You'll need to go into the settings and activate it (and the aGPS).
  • Sounds: Yes, the "DROOOID!" sound is still here.

The wrap-up

It's tempting to call the Motorola Droid X the latest biggest and best Android smartphone -- a lot like we did the Sprint Evo 4G, and Verizon Droid Incredible, and the ... OK, so we're going to do it again. The Droid X is the latest biggest and best Android smartphone. Its 4.3-inch touchscreen shines, Motorola's on-screen customizations don't overpower the experience (or get in the way like Motoblur), the camera is above-average, Verizon's network is still arguably the best, and so on and so forth. But you want some comparisons with other Android phones, right? Let's break it down:

Droid X vs. the Droid Incredible

The Droid X is bigger, has a similar 8MP camera, doesn't run HTC Sense (that's not a knock on Sense, but we understand not everybody likes it), shoots 720p video and can serve as a Wifi hotspot (two things the Incredible are rumored to get soon). Something they both have in common, of course, is that you can't actually buy either one just yet. The Droid X will be available July 15, while the Droid Incredible remains on backorder while it gets a screen refresh. If we had to pick one? Probably the Droid X, if only because it likely will have better availability at launch.

Droid X vs. the Sprint Evo 4G

Theses two are on a more level playing field. Both have a 4.3-inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GHz processor and Wifi hotspot. The Droid X feels thinner in your hand, but in actuality it's larger than the Evo. The Evo's not-so-secret weapon, however, is Sprint's 4G Wimax network. It's still being rolled out, and speeds can vary greatly. But it's better to have the option for 4G than not. The Evo has a front-facing camera (if you're into that sort of thing) and recently got a software update that improved battery life and helped its operating speed. Both phones have HDMI-out. In our minds, it's pretty much a draw.

Droid X vs. the Samsung Galaxy S

Verizon's getting the Galaxy S as the Fascinate, and it's going to be a touch decision. We've had hands-on time with the Fascinate, but it's going to take a more in-depth look to make a decision. The Fascinate has a slightly smaller screen at 4 inches, but some very unofficial benchmarking shows it a running 3D graphics a bit quicker. It's going to be a very tough call for those on Verizon, and it's a credit to the carrier that it's carrying two phones that have so many similarities.

So should you buy it?

We could keep comparing the Droid X to every other Android phone out there, but it really comes down to a few things.

  1. Are you fine with an on-screen keyboard?
  2. Are you OK with a 4.3-inch screen?
  3. Do you get good service from Verizon where you live and work?

Answer yes to those three questions, that should pretty much seal the deal.

So, yeah, it's the latest biggest and best Android smartphone. And we'll likely say the same thing about the Galaxy S class that's coming later this summer. We're in an interesting time with Android, with every carrier stepping up and providing compelling top-end smartphones. Motorola fans should be plenty happy with the Droid X. And in an age when smartphone shelf life is measured in a matter of months (if not weeks), the Droid X likely will be a talker for some time to come.

 

Reader comments

Motorola Droid X review

73 Comments

Damn...good review. This will be the top phone for a while. It's crazy how there's now a phone larger than the Evo.

The size of the phone is larger (actually taller) but they have the same screen size. The X just has more real estate on the top and bottom for some reason, IMO too much extra space wasted.

Actually, the screen is a little longer on the Droid X than the EVO, which is why it's a 16:9 aspect ratio display vs 5:3 on the EVO.

And I'm guessing here, but the extra top and bottom space are there to give the two antennas a clear shot at the world...they won't work so well when underneath a capacitive display.

Great Review. I am a Nexus One owner but if I had to choose between the Evo and X I would go Evo. The front facing camera would be what pushes it over the edge. It's a great option to have.

I think you want to correct the #2 question at the end. It should say something like "Are you alright/do you want a phone with a 4.3" screen?" Otherwise you'll need to change your question "Answer yes to those three questions, that should pretty much seal the deal."

Nice review.

Although in the X vx Incredible section (towards the end) it says "has a camera with a higher resolution". They both had an 8mp camera so that would be an incorrect statement.

Can't decide if I want to keep my Incredible (which I love) or trade in for the Droid X (assuming it hits within the 30day window).

Excellent and thorough review, thanks for detailing some of the nuances of the Motorola phone.

Can you confirm that this does indeed have the 6-axis accelerometer/gyro chip? Until now, I've always assumed it was only tri-axial accels in the X.

TIA

EDIT: just confirmed that the X only has a 3-axis accelerometer via spec sheet on droid-forums.

For media sync... Windows Media Sync is good for those users who want to subscribe to Rhapsody To Go(which Verizon rebrands and sells as Vcast with Rhapsody) which allows you to download (to your PC) an unlimited number of songs to your PC and sync with up to 3 players. These files are DRM'd WMA's... If you try to transfer or sync these files using USB Mass Storage mode, the DRM will not allow them to be played on the phone... Hence Windows Media Sync being added...

Question... Under "Included Apps", the listing for SKYPE says "VOIP Calling. Doesn't do video just yet." Skype on current VZW android and Blackberries, it wasn't VOIP, it used VZW's voice service from the Droid/Berry.. Is it fully VOIP Now?

I'm highly impressed with the array of Android devices coming to market. My EVO impresses me, and the Droid X has some features I'd like to have, as well.
If these phones get much bigger, we'll be able to purchase waterproof cases and use them for surfboards, or add wheels and take them to the local skate park.
I can't wait to see these phones running 2.2! They're going to fly.

You can run the Droid X version of Swype on your EVO! It's all over the boards, look for it. The addition of that mic button has made Swype absolutely perfect for me.

Uh, Linkage? All I have seen "all over the boards" is the multitouch keyboard from Moto, not the mic-havin' Swype. Is that package actually ALL the keyboards (including the swymic)?

Nice phone, crap carrier. I looked at V and no matter how I play with the options when I try and come up with a plan that matches my T Mobile plan it always costs me 3 figures a month. Anywhere from $100 - $120. My T Mobile plan runs in the $70 range. That said I'm dropping t mobile and going Sprint in a couple months because I can get more for again around that $70-$80. But Verizon. No one I know has Verizon without getting a deep discount through this business or something. Unless you have that discount you get seriously bent over to get that fantastic network and IMHO I'll deal with a a bit slower, less consistent network vs. having to drop around 1200-1440 a year for a phone with net access.

Well, ya pay for what you get. Me and my wife pay about $200 a month for our family plan for 1400 minutes and unlimited text/data. With the "circle of friends" or whatever they call it we never go over in the minutes.

We were up in the Pocono Mountains and for the whole trip I had 3G coverage, at our camp site neither my brother with T-Mobile or his friend with Sprint could get 3G coverage and sometimes the T-Mobile phone couldn't get any coverage at all.

Verizon may cost more, but they aren't lying when they say they have the best network. I might have dropped 2 calls since I got service with them a year ago and haven't been to a place yet where I can't get 3G (not including basements, elevators, subways and such). Well worth the extra cash in my opinion.

By that thinking if they offered a $500 a month service and a guaranteed that a call would never drop it would be worth it. I'm already nickled and dime to death between internet, TV, netflix, utilities, Sirius, Onstar, Tivo, etc, etc, etc Its just another overpriced service. You may get what you pay for, but again at 3 figures a month for just phone\txt\and internet on the device....it is by far the most expensive carrier in the US.

The big difference here is that Verizon ISN'T the most expensive carrier. They're the same per month as ATT (or within $5 with a smartphone)

But Verizon still offers unlimited data (the only real difference between the two plans)

They're not cheap, and if Tmobile or sprint work in your area, they are great alternatives. But on a family plan with Verizon, with 4 smartphones and a basic phone, with 1400 minutes and unlimited texts, it costs us around $50 a month per person. And since I live in an area where everyone else (including att) struggles so any "cheaper" option would be wasted money for me.

The most important thing for people to do is find what networks work best where you need them FIRST before you consider pricing. Because saving $30 a month isn't worth not being able to use your device.

Echoing what others have said, damn good review! Thanks for taking time to walk through features that some might see as simply nuances of the device.

I am curious about that bull's eye editing circle. How do you move it around? I assume by your finger. I'm interested to know how precise it is. I'm surprised Moto didn't add some sort of on-screen pointing control to more accurately move within the screen. I find moving around in the Incredible screen is pretty accurate, but still need the optical track pad to fine tune. (Although, I've been infuriated by the Incredible's track pad at times.)

I feel for ya....I love to looks of the "optical joystick" on my incredible but compared to an actual trackpad its less functional, but it manages to help out and look sexy so I'm ok with it :P anyways......I've had my incredible since launch day.....and I can't justify selling this sleek phone to get another Motorola .....I had the Droid and was not impressed ..... reviewers make the incredible seem like the redheaded step child, I am probably the only person that finds the incredible superior to the x ....but hey I'm entitled to my opinion .....each to their own

Funny. I, too, have had the Incredible since launch day. I have no complaints. Again, my only draw to the Droid X is the larger screen...and HD video recording. I don't really use the phone that much, so the screen (size) is paramount. I like the Incredible's 3.7" screen, but the extra real estate of the Droid X would better complement my activities on the device.

Decent review, however there are 2 things you missed.

In the end, the comparisons against the incredible and the EVO should mention the significantly faster processor on the X. This is a pretty major point, and may sway some purchases.

On the Fascinate comparison, they both have pretty comparable processors, however the Fascinate is likely to be a much more hackable phone, as the bootloader is not encrypted. This should be mentioned as it may be important to many users as well.

Other than that, great review.

can any of your incredible owners tell me what i should do? I currently have one on order but don't know if I should change it to the droid x. please help!!!

As with anything, it's going to boil down to your personal preference. I have an Incredible, but would like a larger screen. Simple as that. So I will likely pick up the Droid X next week and give my Incredible to my son. If you're still waiting/deciding next week, I plan to post a first-person comparison of the Incredible to the Droid X on my blog.

I really appreciate the Incredible, for it's speed and size. I am really wrestling with the idea of carrying the Droid X. I already hate to have stuff in my pockets. The Incredible is light and thin enough that I don't mind. The features are great and the camera is pretty decent (subjective photographer's opinion). The battery life could be better, but I get a full day's use out of it now.

In the end, you will need to put your hands on both and see what feels right to you. They will, essentially, do the same thing. According to reports, the Incredible may get an update to allow 720p video and add mobile hotspot capability. If that holds up, it's a matter of size, not substance for these two devices. Check how the materials feel to you, too--if that's important. The knock on the Incredible is that it feels 'plasticky' to some, though I find it to have quality materials.

I hope this helps.

i have had the incredible nearly since the launch, and i'm actually glad i have it and not the X. i'm not the heaviest of users, but there's a couple of things that i enjoy about it that aren't on the X. i like that the size is smaller and more manageable in your pocket and hands. i'm sure some people will have something to say about this, but i think the optical trackball has underrated functionality. at first when i got the phone, i dismissed it pretty quick, but have found over time that it actually makes itself really useful for detailed selections, which i've yet to do as effectively with my fingers. i use it maybe 10% of the time, but when i do, i'm really glad it's there. lastly, i really like that the four buttons at the bottom aren't physical, from an aesthetic and functional point of view. it's nice that they interface the same as the rest of the screen and you're not having to press them to break from the physiology used with the rest of the screen. i don't know, for my money, i'm still very happy with the phone and am actually glad i have it and not the x. (unless i'm harboring some secret jealousy in my subconsciousness somewhere...).

the only thing that has concerned me, is that the Incredible might be left behind in certain updates, simply because it's perceived as the little redheaded brother, but thus far, that's not been the case. in a market where there's always a bigger, faster android phone coming out, i'm a staunch defender of mine.

Also if you like sense or not. I for one do not like sense so i go for stock android of as close as i can go to stock. I know there are launchers like LauncherPro but that is my opinion.
And i know for a fack the droid x is better build quality than most any htc device.

Incredible will be getting 720p video capture at some point, and it seems like swype will be available for all eventually, so the questions is, do you want a big screen or a huge screen? as far as i'm concerned that's your only real choice. I love my incredible and although the X is cool, i'll stay with what i have, happily

I don't understand is why everyone says that the Evo is better because of the FFcamera. There is a reason why Motorola didn't include one in it .Yes it would've been great for video calls but as you can read Skype Mobile will have tht real soon.

This phone is a SUPER beast period! I can't wait for the launch on 7/15 but I'm not eligible for upgrade til 7/2011. Still going to see it and test it@ the Verizon store nearby.

See y'all on the 15th.

I brought that topic up because where I work and play at in Miami/SoBeach(yes we got Lebron James) because co workers/friends of mines have the Evo as well as the iPhone4g bragging about the FF Camera.I told them there's no need for it on the X,though it won't be a bad idea.

Nonetheless,I got til November to get my upgrade baby!!Happy Bday to me.

I'm so ready for this phone currently have an incredible that my wife wants so that bd boy is mine. Droid x here I come

as far as the hump goes, like phil said he likes it for phone calls so it does not slide out of the hand. and it is not noticiable.

Good review! The Droid X sounds a lot like an Evo with these few differences:

Evo: 4G, front camera, kickstand
DroidX: Slight increase of screen res, faster graphics processor

Of course, they are on different carriers, so it won't come down to a choice for most people. Looks like both are winners! However, I do NOT like that "hump" on the back of the DroidX for the camera.

thanks for the great review Phil. one question i had was about the RSS Widget, can you add your Google Reader account to this widget? I havent been able to find any information on this.

For the EVO, I personally really like simultaneous voice and data which most seem to miss in their comparisons. I had Verizon for a long time but would never (on CDMA) have this capability and really got tired of the high monthly cost. Also being in a 4G market with my Evo, I really appreciate the faster speeds I wouldn't realize on the Verizon network for quite some time.

That speed on a phone will be less than a year, not quite some time. and if you live where i do most of the so called 4G is spotty at best and isn't even in teh whole city. So i will go with more reliable coverage for now then i will get LTE which is not going to be run by only one company but around the world.

couple of questions..
What is the little hole next the 3.5mm earphone jack ??
South of the HDMI on the cornor what are those two small recesses ??
Does the Swype keyboard have the touch vibration like my i920?
Thank You for the great Video.

The recesses are a little notch for a wrist-band or similar dangly thing to be strung through. Girls will generally hang stars or small pieces of jewelry from it for show. The small hole by the headphone jack is one of the three microphones for noise-cancellation of wind and background noise. I'm pretty sure you can enable the vibration on the swype keyboard, but I'm not 100%. Hope this helps.

I went over to Sprint for the EVO from Verizon from the Storm 2. That phone was a waste and doesn't compare to the EVO. I had Sprint before and never should have left. I have traveled around the country and never had one issue with Sprint's service. I pay about $87/month for Sprint total coverage with 450 anytime to talk to my mom. I now live in Denver and believe me Verizon dropped a lot of calls in Denver especially off of I-25 and places in even downtown Denver while costing $25 more a month for less service. The EVO is hands down and awesome device and the Storm 2 was not even close. I'm sure the Droid X will be a great device similiar to the EVO but I will take Sprint any day over Verizon as they are in the process of getting better each week with their service. People need to go to Sprint before they decide they want to raise their prices. If I was still with Verizon I absolutely would get the Droid X.

I don't knw about that, nice review but I guess I made the right choice with the EVO cause the dx looks like its missing so key features I've gotten used to with my EVO it'll b a nice phone though for Verizon

i'm not fully familar with htc sense compared to not having it. does it only vibrate when you hit a button? if thats all it is that doesn't seem like you would choose htc sense over something else. unless i'm missing something??

I dont understand. Yea the Inc might be getting a software update where it gets 720p recording and 3G Mobile Hotspot.

And ppl think thats all the X has over the Inc....

Hardware advantages cant be fixed with a software update.

Just listened to the podcast where Mickey said the picture of the keys looked like "poop." I wanted to see for myself, and sure enough - the DroidX pictures look uniformly terribly.

A comment stated:

"I don't understand is why everyone says that the Evo is better because of the FFcamera. There is a reason why Motorola didn't include one in it .Yes it would've been great for video calls but as you can read Skype Mobile will have tht real soon."

Maybe I am missing the point, but without a FFCamera, wouldn't Skype Mobile on the Droid X be useless for video calling?

So I have to leave a comment to be entered into the contest? hmmm.

In all seriousness this review helped me decide on the droid x, while no phone is perfect, this phone does seem to have a lot going for it.

I want a large screen for ease of viewing/reading. Easy typing, good performance. Battery life and being pocket-able are two unknowns at the moment

Coming from BB to Droid. The two reviews I just watched were the two best reviews I have seen for any smart phone (or going back a few years cell phone). I have been watching quite a few reviews of the X and by far, this was the best.

The extra real estate makes me really, really sorry this thing doesn't have a front-facing camera. This thing is literally perfect besides that one flaw. Why should I shell out 200 bucks and upgrade from MotoDroid to Droid X? Yeah, the camera and screen are amazing. But I think the only thing that would push me over the edge is a front-facing video with Skype.

One item that was mentioned in passing should be better known. You get a full GPS program for free.
I tried it today. I had to wait a few minutes outside for it get my location, but I won't have to do that again when I'm starting from home (I can't talk to the satellite from my apartment as the building is a 100+ year old factory with lots of iron).
It worked fine. The screen is big and the words can be set to quite loud.
I had a GPS program on my BB, but it costs $100 and is not movable to another phone.

I have one peeve. I've been told by 2 Verizon sales people that I should not use a case with a magnet. They say it can kill the battery quickly and do a few other bad things. I've got a temporary "holster" at the Verizon store and am waiting for a company I like to make a case with a Velcro flap.

Overall I'm happy.

Not to take away from AC, they give a personal feel to the reviews which I love. However, if you want a highly technical review of the X, you may want to try anandtech.com's review. They do more than smartphones though, that's a new addition to the site. They are mainly computer hardware reviews, and the best in the biz if you ask me.

ive heard this phone is the shit is that true thinking might get it if they dont have the thunderbolt by may i might get this instead