Droid X review

Droid X review

Come next week Verizon users still waiting for a mythical iPhone 4 all their own will get Motorola's latest, greatest new Android offering -- the Droid X -- to hold them over. And Verizon users with no interest in anything Apple will have the new king of Google's ever growing hill to play with.

The original Motorola Droid on Verizon was arguably the first smartphone to really give the iPhone 3GS a run for it's money. However, it came out months after the iPhone 3GS when hype had abated somewhat, and it's Droid Does list included things like multitasking, which iOS 4 now Does Too. That means while Droid X is a better, badder phone, it has a tougher challenge ahead of it as well.

If size matters, the Droid X is bigger... 4.3" of screen but with less pixels, at a lower density, and without iPhone 4's IPS Retina Display panel.

It's got a bigger 8 megapixel camera on the back to iPhone 4's 5 megapixels. But iPhone 4 has a back-illuminated sensor that isn't as chopped up, which should mean better low-light pictures, and iOS 4 camera software while less feature-filled still seems to produce better images with just a touch of the tap-to-focus-and-balance. iPhone 4 also has a front-facing camera (and FaceTime), Droid X don't.

3 external mics on the Droid X, including one for video camera work trump iPhone 4's two mics. iPhone 4 does have a gyroscope, though. And yeah, Droid X has got dual antenna. Ouch. Otherwise they're both monsters on the spec sheet.

In terms of apps Apple's App Store still wins on sheer number, though Google's Android Market retains bragging rights on being more open.

Droid X is only running Android 2.1 Eclair right now, though a turbo-boosting 2.2 Froyo update is on the horizon. So, a lot may come down to whether you like Droid X's "don't call it MotoBlur" UI, which seems quicker and cleaner than the CLIQ if not as spartan as the original Droid. iOS 4 on the other hand is iOS 4, there's only one iPhone and one interface on the market at any time.

Strangely, that may mean the Motorola Droid X will face stiffer competition from something other than Apple's iPhone 4. Verizon already has the HTC Droid Incredible, Sprint the HTC Evo 4G, and every carrier and their subsidiary seems poised to get a Samsung Galaxy S class-device, including Verizon with the Facinate. As we've mentioned before, in a world where Apple releases one major iPhone a year, and Android can drop 8 news phones in a weekend, it gives any one new Android as much competition from within as without. And that's great for Android lovers.

So is the Droid X currently iPhone 4's big nemesis? If you live in the US and don't want AT&T, it's definitely a phone to look at if you're in the market today. If not, wait a week or more. AT&T might drop a tower in your backyard and Google might just drop 5 more Android's on another carrier.

Great time to be a consumer!