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May
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

The Motorola Droid X2 has only been out for a day now - and still can't be purchased via Verizon brick-and-mortars yet- but we've already managed to land one for review. I haven't had much time with it, but I do have some unboxing and hands-on pictures to go along with the initial impressions.

I'm not going to run through the unboxing in words because... well, it's me taking something out of a box.

wm_dabox wm_phone_boxopen wm_box_contents wm_phone_onbox

The first impression: it feels light. Not quite as light as the Droid Incredible 2 (4.78oz), but at 5.47oz it's certainly lighter than my daily brickdriver EVO (6oz.). It's big, but the same size as the original DX; if you didn't have a problem before, you're probably not going to have a problem now (I don't). And as with the original DX, it has that lovely lady lump for the camera.

wm_side_ports

Check it outtttt

It's a pretty dramatic lump in terms of size, but generally speaking, you probably won't actually notice it. Even when you lay it down, you can't tell it's angled up. I'm not really sure how it works out that way, but I'm glad it's not obnoxious. Other notables: the volume rocker is on the top of the right side, power/lock button top-center and headphone jack to the left of it, and HDMI/microUSB ports on the bottom left (shown above).

wm_it_takes_two_baby wm_motorola

Powering the phone on takes about 30 seconds until you can use it - not bad at all, but that time will increase as more apps are installed and accounts are setup. It's also not as fast as the fastboot found on new HTC devices, but it's still faster than the Android devices of yesteryear. Speaking of the devices of yesteryear... this certainly isn't one. They've essentially taken the shell of the Droid X and given it all new innards:

  • 4.3" qHD (540x960) LCD
  • 1GHz Tegra 2 (dual-core)
  • 8GB mSD card, 4GB internal (12GB total)
  • 8MP camera (720p video recording) with dual LED flashes
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Android 2.2 (Gingerbread update is promised)
  • NinjaBlur

This isn't the first dual-core device I have used - I've played with many, especially at CTIA - but it's the first I have had a chance to review one. And I've got to say: Motorola definitely hasn't nailed it here. Specifically, it doesn't feel as "snappy" as it should, and while I haven't used a DX in a few months, I don't know that the X2 feels any faster than the X. Even the Droid Incredible 2, with its much more graphically-intensive UI, feels faster despite having only one core. That just doesn't compute (no pun intended) to me. I'll go into more detail during the review.

Now, with that said, I'm going to backtrack a bit and say that I only notice because I'm actually seeking flaws. I'd estimate that literally 99% of users wouldn't notice or care, so take the above with a grain of salt. In other words, I certainly wouldn't consider this a deal breaker.

Moving on: NinjaBlur seems to actually be fairly agreeable, if a bit lacking in the customization options department. It provides a needed improvement in Froyo's visuals department, and the widgets are useful and attractive. As for the screen... I swear that I can see the pixel gridlines on parts of the screen that my eyes aren't focused on.

wm_homescreen_social wm_homescreen_3

A few other closing comments, mostly about performance: the browser scrolls like crap. Also, I expected dual-cores to mean I could run a LWP without a performance hit - not so. And finally, battery life worries me here. I (rather stupidly) didn't check where it was out of the box, but I'm already at 50% on 2 hours of moderate use, WiFi, and GPS. Granted that included setup and sync, so who knows.

wm_appdrawer wm_browser wm_about

Based on the above, it may seem like I have a negative impression of the X2 thus far; actually, quite the opposite. It seems like a pretty solid device, and certainly not one I'd mind owning (concerns about hackability aside, that is). The update to Gingerbread (Android 2.3) should also bring a lot of performance and minor UI improvements, thereby addressing what are the only real flaws I have with the device thus far.

wm_dx2_vs_evo

Be sure to check back for the full review in a few days!

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://goo-inside.me/ DrMacinyasha

    So what's the status on the bootloader et. al. on this beastie? Locked down like a mother f*cker?

  • BillW

    What's an LWP? How does the high res screen look?

    • BillW

      Also how much RAM does it have? 512 mb?

      • Aaron Gingrich

        I believe 512MB of RAM, though I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer. LWP is Live Wallpaper. And the screen is alright... as I said in the post, I can see the grid lines between the pixels. I need to give it more time before I can comment further, really.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Verizon really does stink all their devices are nothing more than last years specs. Yeah ok dualcore for the droid x2 it's still only a 3g device. with the same 512 of ram definately nothing to write home about. Evo 4g rules android till the Htc Evo 3d comes out on June 4th 2011 then we are going straight for the Samsung Galaxy S2 just to pimp slap that device. Evo 3d wil rule android for the summer of 2011

    • http://none James Hill

      Evo? haha.. Listen here, Wimax is pathetic 4g in the first place. Sprint reception is horrible compared to Verizon's and since LTE basically 'pimp slaps' Wimax, until Sprint gets a real network, phones on Sprint are basically last year's specs. I have no idea why people buy phones on sprint, which uses old technology like Wimax. LTE is the future and Spint knows this. They are investing into building a LTE network to compete with Verizon. Until then, phones on Sprint are yesterday's news.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        I would agree had I not tested Verizon's network myself. Yes, it's faster and better when it works, but it drops out so much and doesn't come back for so long as I'm moving around the Bay Area that it's just too frustrating to use. I tried both the Tbolt and the new Samsung 4G/3G hotspot. Sprint at least stays up, so my vote is for Sprint at the moment.

  • Nate

    You CAN see the gridlines... or at least what looks like them... b/c it's a pentile display :(

    • Bill W

      Ugh you're kidding - pentile?

    • David Ruddock

      It's definitely pentile - 2 sub-pixel.

  • PSco

    I had the DX for a while and got rid of it. I don't know what moto does (software wise) to Android but I have NEVER had a smooth experience with that phone. It always ran poorly. Motorola really needs to give up on skinning Android because they are awful at it (my opinion). And I don't think its a coincidence that Google hasn't had moto build a Nexus phone.

    • JayMonster

      That is sort of unfair, really Moto had the first "Nexus" with the original Droid. I have had the X since launch, and oddly enough it ran better (in my opinion) pre Froyo. But that was because of the carp that VZW added to the mix. Bloatware (like the custom Skype Mobile) that launches and chews memory whether you want it to or not. It is true that Blur is a bust, but change Launchers and shed the awful Blur Widgets and the performance was great... until VZW got greedy with their crud. (Which is getting worse each seems with each phone... 17 bloatware apps on the Charge? They are out of control!)

      • PSco

        I agree, the OG droid was definitely a successful phone but the actual Nexus one was a straight up Google phone from the Hardware design to the OS. Moto just seems to have its own idea of what Android should do and in my experience they do it poorly. If any hardware company has the green light to skin Android, Give me touchwiz 4.0 or the new HTC sense but I dont see myself ever getting another Motorola device.

        • JayMonster

          That is true, the OG Droid hardware was designed by Motorola, but that doesn't change anything. The Nexus S is a Samsung design.

          My guess is that nobody will get a "second" Nexus device until "all" the *top line* vendors get one shot at it.

          I am not disagreeing with you on whether Blur is done poorly, but if you think TouchWiz is "done right" well... then I am just going to laugh. (not crazy about Sense either, but at least it isn't a cheap, slow ripoff of iPhone, like TouchWiz is).

          Everybody has different tastes, and you are certainly entitled to your's, but personally I will take the superior hardware done by Motorola over anything that Samsung puts out. And I don't think in any case it bolsters your "reasoning" that Motorola doesn't have a "Nexus" device. Google has come to them for a flagship, not once but twice.

  • JayMonster

    They beef up the specs, but cut the internal storage and microSD card sizes in half? That is lame.

    By appearances shown it doesn't look like they did anything with the widgets which is sad, because they had to be one of the most disappointing (and dysfunctional) parts of the original X. It may also be part of your battery concerns since the original X widgets were resource hogs and battery killers.

    Looking forward to the more complete run through and review.

  • Steve

    Out of the box, my DX sucked too. Nothing was as snappy as I thought it should be, and battery life was crap (I was lucky to get a full day on minimal usage).
    However...and I know, this is almost a stock comment for all rooters/Rom'ers, a custom ROM does WONDERS for a phone. I can usually go almost a full work week doing only minimal charges (15-20 minutes 2x a day driving to and from work).
    I have a feeling once some good ROM's start showing up for it, performance and battery life will get much better. If you're going to run it stock though...ehh, who on this site runs their phones stock?