Review: Motorola DROID X2

  • May 29, 2011 11:37 am

The recipe: dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3″ 540 x 960 display, 512 MB of RAM, and up to 38 GB of total storage (6 GB internal + 32 GB external). Sounds like a winning formula does it not? If only things were so simple.

We’ve got a DROID X2 in house and we’re pretty sure you’d like to know about it. Jump inside for the full rundown…

Hardware

Whether you’re looking to upgrade from the DROID X or are new to Android altogether, the Motorola DROID X is a hulking device worth a hard look. For starters, it’s thin. But not only that, it’s a thin phone with the hardware listed above plus 8-megapixel camera and 720p video recording to boot. So no, it’s just a rebadged DROID X with a dual-core processor. It’s a full on beast!

We like the use of soft touch plastic. It makes the phone easier on the eyes and simple to hold without having to worry about drop accidents. The 540 x 960 qHD display is nice and clear, though a tad washed out while the dual-core power within powered us through everything we threw it with ease.

Camera

The 8-megapixel camera on the DROID X2 is one of the nicest Android cameras we’ve seen to date. Coupled with the higher resolution screen, both taking and reviewing pictures is a visual treat. In the same token, the resulting pictures are vibrant and crisp, if not a touch dark.

Video

Video recording was as the “720p” alluded to — stunning. While on-the-fly focusing left a bit to be desired, the overall presentation was certainly worthy of the “HD” moniker.

Display


4.3″ of 540 x 960 glory! It’s certainly more crisp than your standard Android device which rocks 480 x 800 resolution. However, we have noticed that compared to both the lower resolution Android displays as well as Samsung’s AMOLED displays, the qHD on the DROID X2 is rather dull in color — certainly not as bright as the AMOLED on Samsung DROID Charge we also have in house. But to be clear, we didn’t really notice this discrepancy until we held the devices side by side.

Software

Unfortunately, another flagship Android device has left Google’s castle without the latest and greatest 2.3 Gingerbread update (ships with Android 2.2 Froyo). However, said update is expected in the coming weeks and therefore isn’t that bad.

Moving past the main OS, Motorola and Verizon stock the DROID X2 with plenty of in-house software including various VZW-branded apps and services. While we don’t use any of the pre-loaded apps on phones — Ever — we know someone may find their presence useful.

With that said, the combination of speedy dual-core processor and still plenty capable Android OS 2.2 results in a rather lag-free user experience. Slow downs and stutters were virtually eliminated thanks to the powerful hardware and completely non-existant when we swapped out the stock launcher for our personal favorite, Launcher Pro. (On that note, we’re not sure why, to this day, the stock Android launcher is so laggy even on hardware as powerful as the DROID X2.) Apps opened quickly and switching between multiple simultaneously running apps was handled effortlessly.

Call Quality & Battery Life

For a phone with two cores and massive high resolution display, we’re quite impressed by the battery life we’ve seen so far. A days worth of (~10 hours) of moderate to heavy use left us with roughly 15-20% battery remaining at the end of the day. Try as we might, we couldn’t stretch two days out of the DX2.

Meanwhile, call quality is unchanged from recent VZW Android devices. Earpiece volume is loud and clear with speaker phone is itself clear, but also much louder. +1 Moto and Verizon.

Conclusion

Should DROID X owners upgrade? We’d say yes every time just because that’s who we are. But if you stop and roll though the features added to the DX2 you’ll see it’s actually a toss up. The dual-core processor definitely adds more power and speed to general navigation and games alike. Likewise, the 540 x 960 qHD display pumps out clear visuals that we could stare at all day. But in the end, it’s a rather minor upgrade, especially if you’re tired of the original look of the DROID X.

But most importantly, the lack of LTE is a buzz kill. We here at GS feel every smartphone on VZW (unless it’s an entry level tweener phone) should have LTE from here on out. Manufactures and carriers obviously feel differently. Nonetheless, we see the lack of LTE as a con.

As you work through a potential purchase of Motorola’s latest DROID X2, remember that a price of $199 on contract makes a rather compelling story. We just with it had LTE.

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Author: Mike Norris

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!