Almost exactly one year ago we reviewed and thoroughly explored the Motorola Droid X. At that point, its 1 GHz OMAP 3630 made it a competent performer and a worthy successor to the original Motorola Droid, and likewise competition for 1 GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon. A lot of things have changed since then, and and it’s time for the original Droid X to finally get replaced with something even more powerful, the Tegra 2-packing Motorola Droid X2.

Motorola seems to have taken an ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ approach with the X2, as the new handset is superficially identical to its predecessor. In fact, it’s literally the exact same size, shape, and weight. I borrowed a friend’s Droid X and stuck the X2 alongside it for comparison. With both turned off, I doubt most people could tell the two apart. 

The X2 even fits inside the original X case and uses the same battery. The only physical difference between the X and X2 is that the dedicated two-step camera button is now gone. It’s a bit odd considering how much of a fuss Motorola originally made about being one of very few Android handsets that actually offer a camera capture button, allowing you to quickly get into the application by holding the button, and make captures without tapping the screen and potentially losing the shot. 

The nice thing about the two phones’ superficial similarity is that cases are backwards compatible, though you’ll get some useless bulge for the absent camera button. I stuck the X2 in my friend’s X case, and it fit perfectly inside. Likewise, the X2 uses the same exact BH5X 5.6 Whr battery that the original X used, so if you’ve got extra batteries laying around or are replacing an X, you can continue using them. 

I see a lot of people carrying the X around just about everywhere - it’s clearly a hugely successful device for Motorola. Building some rapport with end users by keeping the design the same and doing things like using the same battery are a good way to keep people that bought Moto buying Moto a second time. It’s nice to see that we’ve moved on (at least somewhat) from the era where upgrading handsets meant having to re-buy almost all accessories but the charger. 

Physical Comparison
  Apple iPhone 4 HTC Thunderbolt Motorola Droid X Motorola Droid X2
Height 115.2 mm (4.5") 122 mm (4.8") 126.5 mm (4.98") 126.5 mm (4.98")
Width 58.6 mm (2.31") 67 mm (2.63") 65.5 mm (2.58") 65.5 mm (2.58")
Depth 9.3 mm ( 0.37") 13.2 mm (0.52") 9.9 - 14.4 mm (0.39"-0.57") 9.9 - 14.4 mm (0.39"-0.57")
Weight 137 g (4.8 oz) 183.3 g (6.46 oz) 149.2 g (5.26 oz) 148.8 g (5.25 oz)
CPU Apple A4 @ ~800MHz 1 GHz MSM8655 45nm Snapdragon 1 GHz OMAP3630 1 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 Tegra 2 AP20H
GPU PowerVR SGX 535 Adreno 205 PowerVR SGX530 ULP GeForce
RAM 512MB LPDDR 768 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2
NAND 16GB or 32GB integrated 4 GB NAND, 32 GB microSD class 4 preinstalled 8 GB NAND, 16 GB microSD class 4 preinstalled 8 GB NAND, 8 GB microSD class 4 preinstalled
Camera 5MP with LED Flash + Front Facing Camera 8 MP with AF/Dual LED flash, 720p30 video recording, 1.3 MP front facing 8 MP with AF/LED Flash, 720p24 video recording 8 MP with AF/LED Flash, 720p30 video recording
Screen 3.5" 640 x 960 LED backlit LCD 4.3” 800 x 480 LCD-TFT 4.3" 854 x 480 LCD-TFT 4.3" 960 x 540 RGBW LCD
Battery Integrated 5.254 Whr Removable 5.18 Whr Removable 5.65 Whr Removable 5.65 Whr

There’s so much that’s similar between the X and X2 that it’s easier to just call out what all is different. First off, the X2 of course is built around a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H SoC, which consists of two Cortex-A9 processors alongside a ULP GeForce GPU. There’s still 512 MB of LPDDR2 present. We’ll talk about the SoC and performance more in a bit. The second huge change is a that the X2 includes a qHD (960 x 540) LCD display with an RGBW PenTile subpixel layout. That’s up from the FWVGA (854 x 480) display on the Droid X. Again, we’ll talk about what all RGBW means in the display section, but this is similar to the display which Motorola shipped in the Atrix. Third, the X2 has an improved camera, which at first glance looks the same on paper (both are 8 MP with AF and dual LED flash), but as we will show later, produces much higher quality images. 

Hardware Overview: Continued
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  • bplewis24 - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    I wonder if the updated version of Blur is the reason for the additional memory usage? Reply
  • wpwoodjr - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    No, if that were the case the memory would still be counted in the Running Services report. The "missing" memory is probably used by the graphics card. I like the Moto "Home" app (especially the "Groups" feature and the "Recent" group) and some of the widgets. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    Where can we download the Basemark apk? Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    I like the closing thoughts, every new device doesn't have to one up the last one in every last category, even amongst the high end... As phones get more and more advanced they also get more personal, and so does the choice between them. A lot of people won't see LTE for a year or longer, they're far better off with this than any of the current LTE VZW options.

    I'm not even with VZW btw, so personally I could care less, more choices are always a good thing for the consumer tho. Speaking of choices, the one thing Android desperately needs more of right now are high end phones sized at 4"or less. I'm a guy, I enjoy my 4.3" device, but the vast majority of women I speak to would never buy something larger than an Atrix and even that's pushing it. Yet many of them still want a device with the latest CPU, video recording capabilities, etc etc.

    Anyway, as far as the review... I loved the part about the video recording issues and the SD card, that kind of in depth stuff (not to mention the usual barrage of tests) is why AT phone reviews are second to none. Keep up the good work!

    Oh and any word on the EVO 3D review?
    Reply
  • Vinny DePaul - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    Droid X2 been around for awhile. Many web sites already have Droid x2 review. At first I thought it is a Droid 3 review. Reply
  • NeoteriX - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    And all the other sites have about 2/3rds less content, testing, and original information. Those are the breaks for quality reviewing. Reply
  • wpwoodjr - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    This is by far the best, most educated review. Reply
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  • toilkenn - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I've had the DX2 for about two months and I've already had 3 replacements. I originally got this phone as replacement for my original Droid X which locked up when I downloaded the 2.3 (gingerbread) update to it. Needless to say, I would rather have my old droid x back! The dual core processor is fast and you can tell this phone has a lot of potential, but it has a lot of bugs in the software and Motorola has yet to announce when they push the 2.3 update out for the DX2. Its kind of sad the the DX has the 2.3, but the DX2 doesn't.

    Also the camera and camcorder are really bad on this one. They are a lot clearer and all but the camera is bugging and hesitates a lot when trying to capture footage and all. This is critical if your trying to catch a shot on the fly and you can't because all of a sudden your phone wants to act up. They should have left the dedicated camera button on, but I guess they have their reasons for doing so. All the phones that I have had reset ted on me randomly during calls or watching video and the phone itself gets really hot at times. I believe when they send out a firmware update, all these issues will be fixed, but until then, i would recommend the Droid 3 instead.

    By the way, motoblur really sucks on this phone too. The Droid 3 has a revamped moto OS and it seems more fluid and stable than the Droid X2 OS!
    Reply
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