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Tech Report – Motorola Droid X2

The onslaught of Android smartphones is relentless. While Apple plays its annual and increasingly-tired wait-and-see game with the iPhone, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and the rest keep churning out Android phones at a startling rate.

In just the last month, we have seen the Samsung Nexus S 4G, the Samsung Infuse 4G, the Samsung Droid Charge, and the HTC Droid Incredible 2, to name just a few. And now into the iPhone void comes yet another fully-loaded Android smartphone – the Motorola Droid X2.

When the original Motorola Droid X came out in July of last year, it was memorably described by PC Magazine as the “Hummer of smartphones.” Its massive 4.3-inch high-resolution screen helped make the concept of watching full-length and sporting events on a smartphone almost normal, and helped cement the notion of Android phones as a creditable alternative to the all-conquering iPhone.

Since then, the Android platform has gone on to overtake Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry, and Nokia’s Symbian to become the best-selling mobile operating system in the world.

In light of the pressure on smartphone manufacturers to maintain or increase market share, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Motorola Droid X2 is just another phone, particularly as it lacks 4G capability. But instead, the Droid X2 can be considered almost a best-in-class 3G device, one that combines all the great features and apps that have fueled the surge in smartphone demand over the last 12 months.

In terms of size, weight and screen size, the Droid X2 is almost identical to its predecessor. This is not a delicate device. Instead, it’s a big chunk of in-your-face hardware that will require its own pocket, and not a small one at that.

Motorola did upgrade the quality of the screen, introducing a qHD 540x960 resolution display. It’s still not as sharp as the iPhone’s Retina Display or some of the new Samsung models, but it’s more than adequate for web browsing and movies.

Like the Droid X, the X2 has an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash. It can also record 720p HD video. There is also built-in HDMI Mirror Mode, which allows viewing of photos, video, and movies on an HDTV with an HDMI cable (not included).  Strangely, there is a front-facing camera but it’s not activated for video calls or self-portrait shots.

However, Motorola has dramatically improved things “under the hood,” adding a dual-core processor and a new graphics processor, so the Droid X2 offers faster performance, quicker browsing, and a better gaming experience.

The Droid X2 comes pre-loaded with the Quickoffice suite, the Amazon Kindle app for Android, Skype Mobile, Slacker, and various Verizon services, such as V Cast Music and Video, and VZ Navigator. There is also easy access to the Android Market with its hundreds of thousands of third-party apps.

Another much-needed improvement is battery life, with early tests suggesting that one charge will keep the Droid X2 going for a full day, given average phone usage and data transfer activity.

All things considered, the Motorola Droid X2 is a great example of why Android phones have become so popular. If you can do without 4G, then this a phone that’s hard not to love.

The Motorola Droid X2 is available online now and in stores on May 26. It costs $199.99 and requires a  two-year Verizon contract.

Comment by Geekbabe, posted 5/26/2011, 10:39 PM:

The Droid 2 is my current phone,I rather enjoy the heft of the Motorola Droids, they are like iron horses!Mine has been dropped a few times with no damage. Battery life has been my biggest complaint, if Motorola has managed to address that issue,Droid X2 is certainly worth a look!
Comment by carissa, posted 5/24/2011, 9:25 PM:

Yup. I never wanted to switch to AT&T so I waited for the first round of Incredible's to come out. TOTALLY happy... WITH the computer part of it. I am Totally UNhappy with the PHONE part of it. Love to hear whether the incredible 2 fixed all the dumb phone issues. LIKE turning OFF when I place it on my shoulder, or muting every other 5 seconds. I would LOVE to test drive a new incredible 2... see how it compares. My husband has the HTC EVO (for sprint) and he doesn't have these issues?
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