Droid X Review Hands-on User Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 07-15-10, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

The Droid X was officially released today (July 15th 2010) by Verizon
And, yes, I stood in line with the rest of the local geeks to get my hands on the latest. 3 Hours later, and another 3 hours of learning how to work it, I thought I'd provide a quick hands-on look at how it functions.

The first question - why review it on HTS? Well, this is the first phone to support HDMI playback and that puts it squarely in the category of a media source - a portable one at that. It plays full HD video direct out via an HDMI cable (An extra $20 purchase after Verizon discount).

Without going into details on commonly known Droid features, the experience is incredible. A 4.3-inch, FWVGA 854 x 480-resolution screen makes for a great experience and the capacitive touch is very responsive. Haptic feedback with each touch gives a nice response to pokes.

HDMI output looks great - only tried a 720p video so far, documentation is a little unclear as to what resolution it supports but it looks nice. I would prefer a component connection as I doubt this doues 1080p anyway but hdmi is convenient. Media playback is clearly something they thought through as there is an entire homescreen dedicated to organizing audio and video. Interestingly, Blockbuster video is supported right out of the box.

Video Specific:
Note that even though Blockbuster video is pre-installed, it requires an immediate update to begin using. Not a big deal but worth a mention. Also note that it also requires a WiFi connection and so far, I have not found a backdoor that lets you use it over 3G - perhaps a precaution by Verizon to keep down bandwidth usage over their network. Activation requires you signing up on your PC (or through your phone) and then entering the proper pin into the droid X. I was never a blockbuster on demand customer so I had to sign up for a new account. Please be aware that your username is your email address and you MUST be on a wifi connection for device activation to succeed. A big let down is that while you can rent a movie (over wifi) to watch on your phone (rent or purchase), hdmi output for the movie is not supported so you cannot hook it up to a TV and watch that downloaded movie. The only bright point here is that it says "at this time" - implying that is something coming in the future??

The camera included is 8MP and frankly is really good for the incredibly small (standard) lens size. It does have two flash LEDs though and it takes very nice low light pics within a few feet. It also records 720p video and has three microphones built in to keep ambient noise low while capturing what you want. Video is exceptionally good, and with 24GB built in there is plenty of room and easy to upload to a home computer or store online with the built in facebook integration.

One of the most impressive things is the nice integration of all my contacts - on phone, facebook, twitter, and gmail all go into a single "pile" and are easily search-able.

Last (there is lots more to review, but I'll do that on another forum as this one is not specifically for phones) - the integrated SWYPE text entry gives the interface a huge advantage over previous droids. It allows a seamless and extremely fast text entry by swiping past letters on the keyboard with a single continuous drag. It only took a few minutes to learn - frankly it reminds me of the old palm script but is word based and not letter based so it is much faster. VERY nice.

David Feller
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-15-10, 04:31 PM
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Re: Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

Thanks for the review David... pretty neat phone... uh... toy

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-21-10, 08:57 PM
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Re: Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

Picked one of these up too and I must say it is an impressive phone/multi media device.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-21-10, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

I hadn't intended to make this a recurring segment, but after using the phone for a bit now, I thought I'd add a list of what I consider absolutely essential applications. I suppose these might be android in general, but with the big Droidx screen, some of these end up being pretty specific.

Expense Reports:
expensify - Absolutely incredible capture receipts, categorize them on the fly and upload a pic of the receipt (turns out that is all you need per IRS). Note that I tried pro-on-go expenses first as it claimed to be able to actually read the receipt BUT it never (as in never ever) worked, and it was incredibly expensive. This program does much more and is free to the user. If a company adopts they charge a low flat rate per reviewer but for small business I actually couldn't possibly ask for more. www.expensify.com

Google apps - android is, in fact, google so obviously they have some good ones but they are not pushy and you have to go discover them so a little heads up here is actually essential:

maps (comes set up by default) - but if you havn't used it all I can say is that Garmin and TomTom are doomed. Perfect turn by turn, searching, and awesome capabilities.

goggles - take a pic of about anything - a business card, a sign, a logo and it figures it out and gives you info on that - take a pic of a restaurant and it gives you their hours and menu. Hold it up and twirl about and it superimposes business names on the screen as you point to the buildings - pretty amazing.

shopper - take a pic of a barcode, product, or book and it will find all the other options to buy that thing - instant price shopping

Voice - google voice gives you a single number that stays with you forever - dial it and it finds you home, work, cell etc. It also replaces your voicemail with theirs - transcribes all voicemails and sends them to you via SMS - I hate hate hate voicemail and this fixed that for me. Top #1 recommendation

Tikl - instant "walkie talkie" PTT for your phone

Calendar (gmail) integrates seamlessly - be sure to share your calendar with others and then you can invite them to meetings, they accept on their phone etc. Very cool

gtasks - integrates the google task list (appears in the calendar online app) right as a widget on your desktop.

MyBookDroid - take a pic of a book or its ISBN barcode and it organizes your collection - share it all up on google books and even keep track of loaner books. You can even keep a wishlist. My wife and I are big readers and this one was absolutely essential.

And one goof-off one -
The facebook widgets that come preloaded are not great - download the official one from the market - all in one. big upgrade.

And, later this month, froyo (2.2) will be automatically installed and flash will work on this baby - hold on to those bandwidth limits cause hulu is coming!!!
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-24-10, 11:22 AM
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Re: Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

I got a Droid X last week and so far I am very happy with it and the fact that i did not go with the EVO or Iphone instead. Now I just have to learn everything. It's a deep tool. I've only DL'd a few apps so far.

Advanced Task Killer is an absolute must from what I've heard. Your phone will end up running a bunch of things in the background just like a computer and these will hog the memory and keep the processor going, burning up the battery. I've been able to get significantly increased battery life by setting this to turn off apps after 30min without use. Just make sure you leave important things like text and alarms to always on.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-07-11, 12:50 PM
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Re: Droid X Review Hands-on User Review

Sonnie wrote: View Post
Thanks for the review David... pretty neat phone... uh... toy
I couldn't agree more. I am beginning to like this android phone day by day. I am tired of people giving me advices to buy Iphone, maybe this is a decent one for me to have.
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