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 It’s a bit odd considering how much of a fuss Motorola originally made about being one of very few Android handsets that actually offer a camera capture button, allowing you to quickly get into the application by holding the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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  • HangFire - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    Will it be dead the second time you drop it, or will the speaker die in volume more every month that it does stay working?

    Just going by the experience on my last 4 Motorola's...
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I dropped my DX1 this morning. It was under a cheap pseudo-leather case that isn't even sold anymore. It's still chugging.

    http://youtu.be/pJTjDsWnn34
    Reply
  • HangFire - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    First or second drop? Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, July 08, 2011 - link

    Third or fourth, I lost track. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I dropped my X hard enough to knock the battery cover off once, no effect. This isn't a POS V710, it can actually take day-to-day life. Reply
  • quadrivial - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I wonder why there isn't criticism of the overheating problem? Reply
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I can't speak for a droid, but I had my v3xx for four years, and it took multiple drops and was fine. The battery cover did get pretty loose. And my wife used it for two of those years. We now both have smart phones, but that phone held up extremely well.

    If the Droids hold up like it did, then they are very durable devices.
    Reply
  • freefx - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I don't know about the X, but my original droid can take a beating. I've dropped it on concrete more times than i can keep track of. I've also dropped it while work on my roof. Tumbled all the way down the roof line and then dropped 9 feet to my concrete walkway. Battery cover came off and a barely noticeable scuff on one of the corners. My screen still has no scratches. My only complaint now is the slow processor and lack of ram.

    Considering my clumsiness, I'm hoping one of these new phones can take the some punishment.
    Reply
  • jmcb - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    Were they those thin RAZR's?

    My Droid 1 and Droid X1 has survived numerous drops with only scratches to show for it. The X face first many times. I dropped my Droid X so much you would think my Droid 1 was the newer phone.

    Going back to the E815, minus the charging port on that phone breaking almost every 6 months...Motorola has made some durable phones.

    Ask me about my Samsung Omnia 1 and drops. It didn't even make it 6 months. My Droid 1 and DX1 lasted a total of 16 months, still going strong.
    Reply
  • TechJunkie69 - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    I don't know about the Droid X case, but my Atrix is near indestructible. I have dropped it, punched it (so I have anger issues, what), even my 2 year old niece has gotten ahold of it a few times (she responsible for 3 destroyed phones already), and it still works as good as it did on launch day.

    And as far as performance, I'm running the SPB Shell 3D launcher with live 3D wallpaper and none of my apps have performance issues, except for angry birds seasons and its full page ads. The only difference between the X2 and the Atrix is the amount of RAM, which could potentially cause a few hiccups. As for battery life, I never have any issues with it. Then again I have it connected to a charger a lot (car dock, notebook, wall charger at night) so I wouldn't notice it as much as others might. Tegra 2 may not be the best on the market anymore, but it is still a solid platform.
    Reply

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