You have to hand it to Motorola; as little as a year ago their future looked bleak. Android was still in its infancy and lacking polish, mainstream devices running it were few, and there weren’t public or visible signs of any forthcoming devices which would challenge the dominance of BlackBerry or iOS, especially from Motorola. A few months later, they launched the Motorola Droid, and a few months after the floodgates opened up - out has poured a steady stream of relatively polished devices running Android 2.x. It’s been breakneck almost, with new flagships every 3 months on average - the latest is Motorola’s Droid X on Verizon - henceforth just 'X.'

You also have to hand it to Verizon for getting its act together. Previously, they were infamous for crippling device hardware and OSes - the Touch Pro notoriously lacked an entire row of keys, and half the RAM. Their smartphone lineup also used to consist entirely of BlackBerries and Windows Mobile devices. That’s all changed.

Since the first Motorola Droid, they’ve been probably the single most vocal proponent of Android, embracing and billing their lineup of “Droids” as serious iPhone alternatives. The unique combination of being the largest carrier and the largest 3G footprint (and the  perception of having above average coverage) has resulted in massive growth of the Android platform. That’s definitely a turnaround for two giants.

Eight months after launch, the Motorola Droid is now a relatively old piece of kit. It’s amazing how fast the market is moving - the fact that an 8 month old handset is now obsolete is a testament to just how breakneck this pace is.

Motorola and HTC are now locked in a battle for dominance of the Android segment on the nation’s largest carrier. On one side is the HTC Incredible, on the other is the X and eventually the Droid 2. Across the aisle at Sprint, HTC has the EVO 4G. If you’re interested in a smartphone of the Android variety, you’ve got the most options ever right now, and the X is the newest contender. Let’s dive in.
 

Form Factor and Build Impressions
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  • numberoneoppa - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Can't wait, I look forward on your impressions on Samsung's touchwizz overlay, from what I can tell, it rather hurts the GUI performance. :( Reply
  • Zebo - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Would be nice if these smart phones reviews had a large table for quick access to pro's and con's of each phone.

    Each box/catagory in the table could be based on 1-10 with a little narrative or to as simple as just check mark for superiority.

    Hey it's a perfect review so i had to make something up to nag about:)

    Droid X seems to be top dog android...- Evo is unsuitable you actually USE the phone's unlimited plan with it's poor batt life but just as nice too. Hard to pick.
    Reply
  • radium69 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Thank you Brian & Anand, for this in depth review.
    I find your articles to be very interesting, and well written!
    Keep up the good work!
    Reply
  • mvmorr01 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Thanks, cool app! Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    (quote)"The Droid X is the spiritual successor to last year’s Droid."(/quote)

    Actually, I'd say the upcoming Droid II is the sequel, as it has a fully tactile keyboard, as opposed to the touchscreen Droid X. I'd say the Droid X is a new product rather than a successor.

    I'm waiting to see what the Droid II can do --I won't buy a smartphone that doesn't have a physical keyboard.
    Reply
  • tbuck79 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    I have a Droid X, the WiFi is terrible on my Netgear Router but at work on a Linksys router it's fine (both are single band N), however, using any WiFi the distance is really bad with the X, compared to an iPhone 4 in my other hand, the iPhone can get MUCH farther away from the AP than the X, could you guys see if there is an actual problem with range on the X? Reply
  • WaltFrench - Saturday, July 24, 2010 - link

    you must be holding the X the wrong way. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    The Droid and the Doid X are both Android 2.1 and both are soon to be upgraded to 2.2 (mine already is). The run the same apps and do the same things (weather or not you like Motoblur and find it an advantage is up to you). The Droid will basically do everything the Droid X does - just not quite as fast. So "obsolete" is a matter of perspective. That's what Verizon and Motorola would like us to think. They just love people like your friend who ditched his Droid for an Incredible and now wants to ditch the incredible for a Droid X.

    Lets face it - it's evolution not revolution. If you are always trying to have the latest cool gadget, you are always going to end up disappointed and with a much thinner wallet.

    Good review though. If I were buying today I'd probably go with the X. But with another year to go before the next upgrade, something else will come along long before I'm ready to buy.
    Reply
  • digipro55 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Incredibly well written and through review. I can admit I didn't understand all the jargon in the performance tests but it certainly is a wealth of knowledge concerning the best Android phone on the market. Thanks again for a very informative review Reply
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Hey Brian, just to let you know, the mini-HDMI to HDMI cables are available at Monoprice, but of course it sounds like you were looking for one ASAP from a B&M store :). So I guess if you know you'll need one, you can order one, but it also looks like they're not terribly commonplace as you mentioned as they're kind of expensive on Monoprice compared to standard HDMI cables. Reply

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