Droid X2 review
The original Droid X was a fairly successful device, giving users a large, fast device on a very reliable network. Motorola has been kind of disappointing lately, though, and mostly because of the skins it puts on its devices.
The Droid X2 follows in much of its big brother's footsteps. The newest iteration looks almost exactly like the original, with the only two differences being the removal of a camera shutter button on the right side, and the addition of Droid X2 in red on the back. However, it is an entirely different beast than the first Droid X. Read on to find out why.
The Droid X2 is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor. This is a dual-core 1GHz processor, and obviously, it puts a lot of emphasis on 3D graphics and overall performance. 512MB of RAM helps to push out the most of that chip, and you've also got 12GB of storage space. What you put in that space is completely up to you, but I think I'd be using most of it up on the amazing shots I took with the device's incredible 8MP camera. To view those photos, you get a 4.3" qHD display, running at a resolution of 540 x 960.
Running on Verizon's CDMA network, the Droid X2 is available to purchase for $199.99 on a two-year contract. And since it is, indeed, on Verizon, call quality was fantastic and signal was always in the four to five bar range.
The only problem I encountered was due to Google Voice and a prior blogger's decision to tie his GV account to a review unit's number, rendering the phone absolutely useless. Thankfully, I was able to get everything resolved in a timely manner, thanks to Verizon's absolutely wonderful technical support. It's always nice to know that some companies still have great customer care.
Design and Quality
So, with the specs out of the way, we can take a look at something that's probably very familiar to all of you: the Droid X2's design. To be honest, this is one of the most plain devices out there in terms of coloring and design, but that's exactly why I love it so much. Some other phones use varying colors and design methods to try to make a phone look great, but it usually fails miserably. Here, though, everything just looks like a professional phone. To show you really how plain it is, let's first look at the front. Up top is an earpiece and an LED notification light. You've also got Motorola branding, but that's really it. That, and the screen, which I'd like to get to a little later.
On the bottom of the front, there are four physical buttons. Physical! I can't tell you how much I hate capacitive buttons on Android phones. They work sometimes, but I need my means of moving around my device to be as reliable as possible. Thankfully, the Droid X2's buttons are 100% reliable. The only problem I have with physical buttons is the audible clicking noise that each press gives off. I understand that this is probably common knowledge, but if you need something that can be completely silent during meeting or the like, then this is definitely not your first choice.
The top is clean, as well, with only a power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack to occupy the space.
On the right side, there is simply a volume rocker. That's it. I will say that it's definitely one of the best volume rockers out there. I know it seems silly to mention such a seemingly unimportant detail, but there are a lot of phones out there with really loose rockers. The Droid X2's is really tight and never misses a press . . . or a beat, if you're into puns.
On the left, there is a simple microUSB port and a mini-HDMI port. To the right of HDMI is a lanyard slot. I had to mention it since the picture kind of makes it look like a speaker grille.
Rounding out the exterior is what's included on the back. Above "with Google" is your speaker grille. The hump houses your 8MP camera and LED flash. But let's quickly get to what's really impressive about this device, shall we? Soft-touch plastic backing. Remember how I complain about every device that has a hard, shiny plastic backing? It's so refreshing to have a device that can still look brand new after only a week's use. It really doesn't matter how disgusting your hands are; as long as you have soft-touch on your device, it will look beautiful.
The Droid X2 features a new display technology called qHD. It runs at a resolution of 540 x 960 and things are sharp! Colors pop; blacks are black, whites are white, etc. And although you all hate when I say the name, I'm gonna go right ahead and say it: this screen beats the Retina Display, hands down. The latter is sharp, sure, but it's just not as as vivid. And honestly, even though the X2 may not be as pixel dense as the iPhone, you can't notice a difference at all.
In terms of brightness, it's very comparable to Samsung's Super AMOLED display, although the AMOLED is still a bit brighter. Honestly, though, the qHD display is the better of the two, and it's because of the sharpness and the color reproduction I say that. Really, you need to see this screen in person sometime. Head down to your local Verizon store and play around with it.
If you have been following Motorola lately, you know that they're arrogantly confident about their MOTOBLUR skin. It sucks, too, because it's really such a horrible decision on their part to keep it. In fact, it was only recently that Motorola decided to do away with the MOTOBLUR name in an effort to hide the fact that their phones will still have the skin on them from people who are less tech-savvy than others.
Truthfully, MOTOBLUR isn't as bad as it used to be. While it's still not a good skin at all, it's definitely usable. It might be from that Tegra 2 processor, but apps generally open speedily and other OS-related tasks are snappy, as well.
The complaint I do have is the bottom "dock" that the phone, camera, messaging, and app tray icons are located. It looks fine, sure, but you can't replace those icons with any of the ones you want down there. For instance, I hardly ever talk on the phone unless the person I'm needing to communicate with must go that route. I primarily use email and texting, so why can't I have my email client's icon down there instead of the stupid phone one? Android is all about openness, and some of the stuff manufacturers do with their devices just makes me feel like Android isn't open at all. And I know I shouldn't have to feel that way.
When talking about battery life and Android devices, you usually stop short, just like the batteries do. I didn't test the original Droid X, so I'm just going on what others had said, but apparently that device had fantastic battery life. Unfortunately, that's one of the traits Motorola and Verizon only gave to the bigger brother; the younger sibling was left out. Starting out its day at 8:00 a.m. with a full charge, my test unit didn't make it through lunchtime. Which is disappointing, especially considering the fact that the original had such stellar battery life.
Besides the awesome screen and incredible performance, the Droid X2 also touts an 8MP camera with LED flash. It takes pictures incredibly fast and with some of the highest quality I've ever seen in a smartphone camera. Here are a few samples:
The Droid X2 almost sums up what is best about the Android operating system. Great hardware and pretty great software, but that MOTOBLUR skin keeps it from being my next phone. It's okay for average users, but let's be blunt here: none of us here are average users. I can't wait for Motorola to unlock the bootloaders on its devices, because the Droid X3 should have a Kal-El processor in it, and you can unlock it to its fullest potential then.