Search Engine

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Motorola Droid X2 Report

The Motorola Droid X2 struck from the middle of nowhere, and we're here to report that this was a worthy surprise. While the phone may appear unchanged on the outside, Motorola has made several tweaks under the hood, including a 1GHz dual-core processor and 4.3-inch qHD screen. Although the 8-megapixel camera remained unchanged sensor-wise, Motorola improved shot times by adding Continuous Autofocus into the mix, though we didn't see 1080p video recording this time around. As Verizon's first dual-core phone, the Droid X2 goes head to head with the Motorola Atrix 4G for AT&T and T-Mobile G2x, though you'll notice one crucial spec—the Droid lacks 4G connectivity. Verizon is leaving that to the Droid Bionic, to be released in the coming months, but if you can't wait that long or don't need 4G, the Motorola Droid X2 (specs) is a top-notch entertainment powerhouse.


The Droid X2 cannot be discerned easily from the original Droid X unless you look super closely at the "2" positioned next to the "X" on the back of the phone. That means the phone rocks the same grippy matte black finish, HDMI terminal, and tangible Menu, Home, Back, and Search buttons. Even the 8-megapixel camera and dual LED flash are located in the same position, and we get the classic half-back panel housing the 1500mAh battery.

Mirror Mode

Mirror Mode »
But the big news on the design front this year is the X2's 4.3-inch qHD capacitive touchscreen display, which features 960x540 pixels and 16 million colors. This is a 26% pixel increase from the original Droid X, and the phone's screen was noticeably sharper. The Droid X2 also offered a mirror mode that enabled us to connect the phone to our HD monitor via the HDMI port for a supersized view of the phone in action. We couldn't figure out how to transfer sound for video playback and gaming, but hopefully this is an easy fix.

For memory, the Droid X2 is set to ship with a 16GB MicroSD card in its 32GB capacity slot, though we were shipped a device with an 8GB card. In addition to the lack of 4G, the phone suffers from the absence of a front-facing camera, which are two primary factors within the current top crop of advanced smartphones. It was not a hindrance for us because the phone proved itself as an overall powerhouse without the need to video chat or connect to an LTE network. Verizon is leaving that up to the Bionic.

Software and Interface

While the X2's Android 2.2 platform is in the midst of being phased out by 2.3 Gingerbread, users can expect an upgrade within the near future. But the pulsating heart of this speedy phone was its 1GHz Tegra dual-core processor (1GHz at each core). Needless to say, we were able to fly around actions and commands on the X2 without any problems. It bested its predecessor, if you can even believe that, and we never felt the need for more speed. Dual core goodness never tasted so good, and the Droid X2 proved that it could hang with the Atrix 4G and G2x.


Apps »
In addition to the standard Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and 3-axis motion tracking, the phone had DLNA connectivity for wirelessly streaming content to other devices and Micrsoft Exchange support. However, parts of our phone-based browsing experience was not so standard. The dropdown menu was stylishly translucent, our Applications icon was redesigned, and a handy "All Apps" dropdown menu was embedded within the Applications menu, enabling us to view All apps, Recent, or Downloaded. An Android Market shortcut icon also resided in the Applications dropdown menu, making it easier to download new content. These were subtle changes, but they added to our overall Android browsing experience.


The Droid X2 handles the Internet flawlessly, as we could pinch and zoom with ease and double-tap to zoom with text wrap in a matter of moments. Thanks to Flash 10 support coupled with dual-core power, videos started right up within the browser and played with perfectly synched audio from the get go. The bookmarks toolbar was also fashioned with individual icons for each page that could be scrolled through much like a refined Camera gallery. Meanwhile, webpage history was clustered into packs that could be "opened" to view all pages from one day in the gallery format as well. However, we would have liked a Refresh, Back, and Forward trio of buttons, as our general browser experience was a bit dry. Hopefully, Gingerbread 2.3 will dazzle this up.

Multimedia and Productivity

There's no doubt about the fact that the Droid X2 is a multimedia powerhouse, ultimately giving the HTC Thunderbolt and Droid Charge some serious competition. Any game we downloaded from the Android Market performed at its peak, whether it was Need For Speed Shift (which came preloaded as a demo), Cordy, Speedx 3D, or Glow Hockey. Framerate and graphics were stellar, and we spent quite some time pushing with X2 to the limits with 3D games (check out demos in our video review). When it came to videos, the phone never hiccupped while playing back YouTube clips in High Quality.

The phone came equipped with a typical Android Music application, though it also offered Slacker Radio, Amazon MP3, and Pandora from the Android Market. Additional preloaded content included Blockbuster, Amazon Kindle, and Verizon's full suite of V CAST applications. We loved the fact that Quickoffice came preloaded for working on Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and PDF files, but the Droid X2 also received support for the business user. It not only offered Microsoft Exchange support, but the phone was enterprise-ready with security and IT-grade policies.

Call Quality/Battery Life

The Droid X2 received the same three-microphone setup with noise cancellation technology that placed the phone at the top of the call quality list. Honestly, like the original, our Motorola Droid X2 review unit produced some of the best call quality we've ever experience on a phone. We tested it by cranking the music up to 11 and asking the other party if they could hear any background noise when we spoke. Nothing at all, even with booming bass and screaming treble in the background. You will not be let down with this phone when it comes to talking.

Battery life was also improved, thanks to the X2's efficient Battery and data manager application that allowed us to set the battery usage to four different modes—Maximum Battery Saver, Nighttime Saver, Performance Mode, and Custom Battery Saver. This was the same system we saw on the Atrix 4G, and it worked wonders. Bravo to Motorola for addressing one of the most pressing issues within the smartphone world.


One of the other major changes on the Droid X2 was its faster snapping time in camera mode. Motorola claims up to 44% quicker time between shots, and that's due to the phone's new Continuous Auto Focus. We liked the Continuous Auto Focus, for the phone rarely took a blurry shot, even in low light. However, it was obvious that Motorola was cranking up the ISO, for even focused images appeared blurry at full resolution, due to the noise.

The X2's 8-megapixel camera was a decent all-around shooter, but it certainly wasn't the best. It needed help in low light, and 720p HD video clips froze frames and jumped at times (view photo and video samples). That was not good. Also, certain features like Exposure was hard to access, requiring us to head into the Menu in order to implement. Finally, we couldn't toggle the video light on or off during recording, and the camera was devoid of touch focus. Motorola needs to work on its cameras, for phones like the G2x and iPhone 4 are still ahead of the pack.


We will commend Motorola for updating the Gallery. Now, we could view images from our social networking friends, personal library, personal online collections, camera roll, or DLNA servers (the latter option allows users to connect to DLNA-enabled media servers via the Wi-Fi connection, and as such requires supported equipment). Rather than having to hunt down pictures, the X2's Gallery wrangled them all together in a highly intuitive interface.

Motorola Droid X2 – infoSync Diagnosis

At the end of our journey with the killer diller Droid X2, we can safely say that this smartphone is a definite improvement over the first-generation Droid X. It's faster, more capable for business, rocks a nicer screen, and will soon be receiving Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Though we welcomed the addition of Continuous Auto Focus in the Camera department, Motorola still has a ways to go with its cameras in order to compete. However, the revamped galley was a big improvement. Let's also not forget about the X2's enhanced battery life and exceptional call quality.

Yes, this is a worthy upgrade from your outdated phone, though if you're looking to drop your old Droid X for a Droid X2, you'll have to think about the upgrades and if they would benefit you. Obviously, everyone would like better battery life, a faster processor, and latest OS version heading their way. The Droid X2 is a winner in our book.

Price and Release Date

The Motorola Droid X2 will be available in Verizon Wireless Communication Stores on May 26 2011 (already available through Verizon's online store), selling for $200 with a new two-year contract.


Post a Comment