Jumat, 15 Maret 2013

#3: Motorola DROID X Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

I've own many of the Verizon Wireless (VZW) smart phones including the Treo, Moto Q, XV6700, Saga, Omnia, Touch Pro, Blackberry Curve, Storm1, Tour, etc. I also owned the first Droid (D1) and thought at the time it was the best VZW phone I've ever owned. Well, Droid X (DX) has changed all of that. The DX is now my favorite phone of all time. But is it actually "better" than the D1?!?!?!? Check out my review.

PROS

- The DX's X-tra large screen is beautiful. The touch interface is very responsive. I feels like a powerful computer in your pocket.

- DX is big but I don't think it's too big. I could actually "do" a 5 inch phone if VZW ever sold one. I use the DX one handed but I have big hands. ;-) YMMV, however.

- The screen size also makes typing on the screen easier. I usually hate virtual keyboards but I like this one.

- Web browsing on the big screen is a great experience. I can see myself not using my iPad as much now (I would take it along to the barber, doctor's office, etc.). When the DX gets Flash support, the iPad might be going to eBay. :)

- HD Video recording capability is super great.

- I actually like the new version of Moto Blur. The re-sizable widgets are cool. Plus you can remove anything you don't want to use. I guess this wasn't the case with the original Moto Blur. They just need to add a "close" button (or swipe to close) to the widgets so I don't have to reach down for the back button.

- Battery life seems pretty good, much better than the Incredible.

- FM Radio is actually pretty good.

- DLNA support will allow you to browse media stored on your computers, wirelessly.

- The DX is V Cast compatible.

- The DX has all of the standard Android functionality including the best, free voice activated GPS known to man. Need directions to "123 Main Street"? Simply press the search button and say, "Navigate to 123 Main Street". Want to know where the closest Pizza place is? Say, "Map of Pizza". Google voice navigation is unbelievably good.

- The DX includes full Microsoft Exchange support. I'm not sure if it includes remote wipe or other security features that were missing from the initial D1 release.

CONS

- I usually prefer physical buttons but the ones on the DX aren't that great. They feel cheap. Plus they are all the same height so you can't easily press the button you want without looking at the device. This takes away one of the biggest advantages of having buttons.

- Like many smart phones these days, DX doesn't have Send or End buttons. I don't understand why companies make PHONES that don't include buttons for starting and ending a PHONE call!

- Unlike D1, the DX power button is in the middle-top of the phone. This probably helps out the lefties (the D1 power button is on the top-right). However, I don't like the extra reach for the power button. I'm already reaching over a much larger device.

- Motorola has locked/encrypted the boot loader on the DX. Thus, it will be harder or impossible for third party developers to create custom roms for the DX. I think this is a mistake. Custom roms is one of the biggest reasons why the D1 was so popular. The d1 put Android on the map.

- "Free" wifi tether is not available at this time but hopefully soon.

- The syncing software that comes with DX is nothing to write home about. Syncing music, photos, and video to Android phones still remain a hassle. Google needs to develop something like iTunes ASAP. I read that they are working on a music service though...

- I find it hard to put the DX in its desktop doc.

- Haven't tried the camera much yet...

VS BLACKBERRY

I read that the growth of Android is more likely to hurt Blackberry (BB) than iPhone and I believe it. I tried many phones and always went back to the BB for it's reliable and efficient email experience. The keyboard, trackball, shortcuts, sleep case and more kept me very productive. Unfortunately, some of the BB advantages like push email, MS Exchange integration, unlimited messaging, etc. are now available on other platforms. Add to that, the BB doesn't have many of the nice features or apps offered on other platforms.

If 90% of what you do is send email and text messages, the BB is for you. Other than that, I can't really recommend a 5.0 BB device anymore. Hopefully BB OS 6 and the new web kit browser will change that.

VS INCREDIBLE

The INC has a nice screen but it's hard to see in day light. The INC also has incredibly bad battery life lol, possibly due to questionable signal strength. I have to laugh when I read about people disabling stuff on their INCs just to get the battery to last a day.

VS IPHONE

I think the DX is one of the best alternatives to the iPhone, if not the best. However, the advantage the iPhone has over the DX is really about the OS advantage. iOS offers better apps, better developer support, better integration with the desktop, and better overall user experience. The fact that Google leaves android owners to fend for themselves to sync data from the desktop is an epic fail. Sure, I can troll web forums, try several Market downloads, and get something to partially work. iPhone users don't have to do that. Within 10 minutes of getting their new phone home, iPhone owners can sync music, video, apps, photos, files, video podcasts, video rentals, files, etc. to their phone.

Also, custom roms are nice (DX doesn't even have this yet) but I don't think most consumers care about that. Flash might be a big differentiator but for all we know, Apple may soon allow flash to run on iPhone 4.

Until Google offers better desktop integration, the iPhone will maintain a significant advantage over Android phones.

VS DROID 1

This is a tough one... For me, it really comes down to how much you value the bigger screen over custom roms and/or having a keyboard. Some people may be interested in the DX's HD video recording as well. I can't say which is better because it comes down to what features are most important to you. I have to lean toward the DX being "better" at this point. The bigger screen and faster processor makes it better than the stock D1. If you hack the D1, all bets are off. However, if the DX gets custom roms, overclocking, etc., I think it will become the clear winner, at least until Droid 2 comes out. :-)

BOTTOM LINE

I think the Droid X is best stock VZW phone available. Its big screen makes it really a computer in your pocket. The HD video recording capability is great. DLNA support is great. I didn't even know an FM radio was included- nice! Battery life so far has been really good, especially considering its big screen. The DX offers just about anything you need in a phone sans the front facing camera. This one device may replace a standalone mp3 player, gps, camera, camcorder, netbook, and possibly, an iPad. The Droid X simply does it all.

Is it the best Android phone on any carrier? I haven't used the EVO so I can't say which I would like more. VZW's voice network and customer service are better than Sprint's so the EVO loses in that respect. The Incredible was crippled with poor battery life so that's a no-contest. The only real, current competition is a hacked Droid 1, if you care about hacking your phone. I personally don't care about custom roms. For these reasons, I think the DX is the best Android phone to date. However, the current champ may lose its belt to one of the many great phones that are coming out soon. But at the end of the day, the real winner is the Consumer. There will be many great devices to pick from and that's always a good thing.

TIPS

- Hitting the home button twice brings up the voice dial app.

- For free USB or blue-tooth tethering to your laptop/netbook, try PDANet.

- You can tether to your iPad! You have to jailbreak the iPad and install the blue-tooth dial-up networking. Search one of the iPad forums for details.



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