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Motorola Droid X2 Review – X2remely Good Upgrade

Motorola-Droid-X2-Home-ScreenWait a dadgum minute, it’s already been a year since the original Droid X barreled out of Motorola’s Batcave? My, how time flies within the smartphone world. This year, the company tosses us the Motorola Droid X2, and in a new-Android-per-week market, one must wonder if the phone has the stamina to face Verizon’s 4G giants like the HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung Droid Charge. The Motorola Droid X2 gets a dual-core processor, which aided overall speed and multimedia performance, but we also get an improved 4.3-inch qHD screen—a display we’re seeing on the high-end devices of today.

Motorola also tinkered with the Droid X2’s 8-megapixel camera, granting it Auto Focus for quicker shot times. Unfortunately, the phone’s camera sensor remained unchanged, so image quality was identical to the original X’s mediocre shots. The Droid X2 retained Android 2.2, but a 2.3 upgrade to Gingerbread is rumored down the pipeline. Other than its additional power under the hood, the Motorola Droid X2 was not a prodigious divergence from the original Droid X, and its lack of 4G connectivity limited it to the 3G crowd. But who really needs 4G at this point in time? The Motorola Droid X2 is still one of the super powers within the smarphone circuit, but its competitive company is growing increasingly stronger by the day. Let’s find out if the Motorola Droid X2 is right for you. For 99 bucks on Amazon for existing customers, it might be hard to pass up.

Motorola Droid X2 Pros

• Dual-core processor quells the need for speed
• Killer diller qHD touchscreen display
• Auto Focus in Camera mode
• Upgrade to Android 2.3 on the rise

Motorola Droid X2 Cons

• Still 3G
• Android 2.2 out of the box instead of 2.3
• Same lackluster image quality from camera

Best For: Gamers, Movie Addicts, Power Junkies

Website: Motorola Droid X2 for Verizon Wireless

Suggested Retail Price: $199 with a new 2-year voice and data plan; $119 for new customers on Amazon and $99 for existing customers on Amazon

Hardware

Motorola-Droid-X2-SlantAside from the mini “2” printed next to the “X” on the back of the phone, you won’t be able to tell the X2 apart from the first generation Droid X. The same grippy texture and sloped architecture are present again this year, and the phone’s rather large and awkward dimensions remained identical. Like its originator, the Droid X2 is not as pocket friendly, due to its bulging camera hump, which houses the same 8-megapxel/dual LED flash shooter as last year. I liked the addition of Auto Focus, but wish Motorola improved the sensor for better image quality. There’s no front-facing camera this year, which is odd and refreshing at the same time. Motorola chose not to chase the front-facing fad, and for that I commend them. I’m a fan of tangible buttons, and I’m glad Motorola carried over the physical Menu, Home, Back, and Search buttons. Rounding out the rest of the design, the Motorola Droid X2 is equipped with HDMI, USB, and 3.5mm audio terminals, as well as a large volume rocker and Power/Lock button.

Motorola-Droid-X2-Exposed-BackFor storage, the Motorola Droid X2 comes with a 16GB MicroSD card out of the box, and that’s a fairly standard capacity in this day and age. Its battery is the same 1500mAh pack as last year, though we noticed a boost in battery stamina, thanks to the phone’s advanced Battery and Data Application Manager. We could now set the phone into four different modes—Maximum Battery Saver, Nighttime Saver, Performance Mode, and Custom Battery Saver, just like on the Motorola Atrix 4G. Fortunately, the Motorola Droid X2 gave one of the best call quality performances, thanks to its three-microphone system and noise cancellation technology. Honestly, there are few phones that can match the X2 when it comes to calling. Other connectivity included Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and DLNA.

But the showstopper in this section was the Motorola Droid X2’s shiny new 4.3-inch qHD capacitive touch display. The screen’s 960×540-pixel array was a 26% pixel count jump from the original X’s display, and I noticed that the resolution was definitely sharper and more defined. Of course, the honorable mention goes to the X2’s 1GHz Tegra dual-core processor with 1GHz at each core. Let’s find out how the new hotrod engine did.

Software

Motorola-Droid-X2-All-Apps-MenuThe Motorola Droid X2 uses Android 2.2.2 as its steering wheel right out of the box. The good news is that Motorola refrained from installing the RAM-sucking MOTOBLUR and stuck with its minimalist platform, just like the original X. I know you’re chomping at the bit for Android 2.3, and although the Droid X2 does not offer it out of the box, there should be an upgrade on the rise quite soon. I’ll tell you right now that the Motorola Droid X2 was fast as hell, and proved to be even quicker than its predecessor. I was able to soar through swipes and taps without the phone even hiccuping. Pinching and Zooming and Flash content were flawless in the phone’s browser, and the Swype keyboard was a nice option for texting. I also liked the swanky translucent dropdown menu bar, as well as the “All Apps” dropdown menu embedded within the Applications menu. Here I had the option to view applications segmented into All, Recent, and Downloaded, and it was nice to have the extra organization. An Android Market shortcut also sat within the dropdown menu, and the X2 was notably more convenient than before.

Motorola-Droid-X2-Battery-ModeOne of the coolest things about the Motorola Droid X2 was its Mirror Mode. I hooked it up to my HD monitor via HDMI and could view the X2’s screen on my giant display, which was great for watching movies and viewing slideshows. The only problem was the fact that I couldn’t get sound while playing videos, so hopefully this is an easy software fix down the road. I will say games like SpeedX 3D and Glow Hockey were awesome on the giant monitor, and for that, Mirror Mode was worth it. Let’s Golf 2 came preloaded, but it was a demo version and useless after one hole. In addition to Slacker Radio, Amazon MP3, and Verizon’s V CAST family, the Motorola Droid X2 was a bit more business savvy this time around. The phone not only gave us Microsoft Exchange support, but it was also enterprise-ready with security and IT-grade policies. Yeah, the Motorola Droid X2 is even more of a rockstar than last year.

Conclusion

The Motorola Droid X2 is the kind of upgrade any consumer would want from any product in any market. I’m really impressed with the fact that the company did not just slap a meaningless front-facing camera on the front and give it some sort of pointless software fluff like a new annoying widget suite. This upgrade comes from within—more power under the hood, a more efficient battery, superior screen and enhanced business support. The Droid X2 also gave us the same fantastic call quality and tacked on Auto Focus for quicker picture delivery.

Motorola-Droid-X2-BackI was not impressed with the Motorola Droid X2 camera’s image quality, so that’s one arena the company can improve upon. Also, the phone’s peculiar design and size could use an architectural revamping. Lastly, maybe a little more memory out of the box would be nice. Other than that, I had nothing to complain about. The Motorola Droid X made significant waves when it was released last year, and the Droid X2 is just a fortified version of the legend. The real question is whether or not the Droid X2 is worth dropping your X for. I say no. The Droid X is still a great phone, so save your Benjamins and precious contract months for a 2012 model that will most likely run circles around the current crop. But, if you’re looking for a new phone and don’t care about 4G like the majority of the population, the Motorola Droid X2 is a killer option. Plus, it’s only $99 on Amazon, and that rocks.


Mike Perlman

Mike Perlman grew up in Nintendo Land and developed a relationship with all things electronic and nerdy early on in his childhood career. Today,...

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