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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  • Swift2001 - Saturday, July 24, 2010 - link

    I'm not stuck with that ridiculous red blob on the front page, am I? Don't know about you, but I don't want to turn my eye into a bloodshot beast's eye.
  • GEverest - Sunday, July 25, 2010 - link

    Is there some way to attach the Droid X to a tripod or something equivalent? I sing in a quartet and we often want to take a video of us singing to review how we look and hence improve.
  • GEverest - Sunday, July 25, 2010 - link

    Will it be possible to upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2 (Froyo) and eventually to 3.0? I presume it is a software upgrade.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - link

    Motorola has promised it will see 2.2 later this year. 3.0 is unknown, but probably a batter than even chance. If whatever security they use is circumvented and custom ROMs can be flashed then you will probably be able to run whatever you want.
  • lukeevanssi - Sunday, July 25, 2010 - link

    it is possible but not in the moment.
    the droid is like a iphone
    iphone took about 3 months to unlock and another 2 months for the internet to work on tmobile.
    the droid took 2 months to find a flash to metropcs (which has been found).
    the code for the internet and mms for flashed metropcs droid has not yet been found or solve.
  • markomd - Sunday, July 25, 2010 - link

    It really is a lovely little machine but it won't integrate vertically with my all-Mac system. Too bad it doesn't run on OS 4.1 or I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Alas, I must wait until Steve and company fix iPhone 4 and make nice with Verizon.
  • silverwarloc - Monday, July 26, 2010 - link

    Great review btw...but, I wanted to know the problems that have been posted on youtube concerning the screen flicker. Is this rampant? Or isolated?
  • Brian Klug - Monday, July 26, 2010 - link

    I haven't seen any screen flicker on mine, even almost a month later. I'm guessing it was just a bad batch of displays. I haven't had any of the display issues I've seen floating around. I should have made note of that, but if it was broken I would've definitely called it out.

  • crunc - Monday, July 26, 2010 - link

    I got to know anandtech from their iPhone 4 review, which put all others to shame, and here again they've done a bangup job. The thought and detail put into these reviews is just amazing.
  • halcyon - Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - link

    Could you please compare to Samsung Galaxy S variants as well?

    It spanks these babies (sans iPhone 4) on almost everything, afaik, battery, screen, cpu/gpu...

    It'd be interesting for comparison purposes.

    Also, Galaxy S is available almost everywhere in the world, Droid X has very miniscule availability in some parts of the US only.

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