Ever since apple came out with the iphone, I’ve been wanting a super phone. But since it was only available with att, I have been holding out. Why? Well back when I had cingular wireless (which was later bought by att), they made a ridiculous claim that cell phones are not meant to be used indoors. That completely insulted my intelligence, so I vowed never to go to att even if I really liked the phone. So I was waiting for an iphone equivalent. Now I think I have found it with the Droid X.
First, apple has been well known for it’s packaging, and the Droid packaging is as minimal a you can get. The box is almost the same length and width as the phone (about 1 inch wider), with no plastic packaging to cut yourself with.
Transferring service to the new phone was easy. There is now no reason why you need to go into a phone store if you know exactly what you want. You dial a special number and they take care of the rest. Transferring contacts and calendaring is also painless if you have google sync, since everything is on the server … Just sync it.
Ok now to the features. First it’s got a huge 4.3 inch screen, which means it’s physically bigger. This makes the iphone look like a toy. After playing around with the Droid X, then viewing my friend’s iPhone, I have to squint at the iPhone. When I carry around my Droid X, and when others see it, the first reaction they have is “wow, that’s huge” … err, the phone that is … hehehe. But actually, it’s not that incredibly huge. It’s a little larger than your wallet, so you could easily put it in your back pocket. Plus, when I go on my bike rides, it fits comfortably in my jersey pocket, with no worry about it falling out.
It’s also pretty thin, actually. It’s a little more than 1/2 inch thick, with is smaller than the original Droid (they can accomplish this since it doesn’t have a slide-out keyboard, which saves on space and on weight). Oh, and it is a little lighter than most people think.
The camera … so it does have a 8 mp camera, but by default it’s set to 6 mp. You have to go into the settings, and change it (they figure you’re going to take so many pictures that you’ll run out of space) … come on, it’s got 16 GB flash space … besides, you can offload that to a PC. So the first thing to do is change it to 8 mp (Thanks to Cali Lewis for the tip). One thing that I wish it had was camera on front and back facing … this made taking self portraits (without a timer) a little difficult (but that’s being just a little too nit-picky). This does also mean you cannot do videoconferencing from the phone. Oh well … like I’m really going to do that?
The panorama feature on the camera is excellent. It actually uses the internal gyro to synchronize the panorama shots from one frame to the other. It actually let’s you know when to take the next shot, instead of guessing. Can’t wait to try that feature out.
Video: it’s got 720p video capability, and it even includes an hdmi port. One problem … I don’t have an hdmi TV! Well, I guess that’s next on the list of toys to get.
With the Verizon service, they have a partnership with Blockbuster, so you can rent/buy videos, download them online, and view them from the phone. I just downloaded “Up in the Air” and the quality is great. However, there is one problem … playback is not viewable on hdmi. What??? What’s the point? So I guess you’ll just have to view the movie on your phone only. I’ll have to find an hdmi monitor to view, so I can see how it looks with the hdmi output. This is one big feature the iPhone doesn’t currently have … but I imagine that’s coming around the corner in their next hardware revision.
Now as far as apps are concerned, Apple does beat it hands down … but there are still a large number of apps available for Droid. I mean it is open source, so just give it some time to catch up. So far, my favorite app is Buzz Feed, which has a bunch of the latest viral videos, and it’s cool to just view the latest right on that app. It’s not the most productive, but it is by far the most entertaining (for me, at least). I haven’t gone around to downloading any games. I guess I should …
Typing … so not used to typing on a screen, it took me a little while to get used to this. I kept fat fingering, so I ended up having to turn the phone sideways, just to avoid backspacing from fat-fingering. Even with that, it’s taking me some time to get used to. Then, I found, by mistake, how to enably swype. This is pretty cool that is on the Droid, and not on iPhone. This allows you to trace over keys of a word, and it will type it on the screen. You effectively don’t have to lift your fingers off the keyboard to continue typing. This is really cool, but it can drain the batteries a little more (so there is a little bit of give and take there). This is not available on the iPhone, because they don’t allow third party vendors from writing to their keyboard. Since Droid allows you to write to it, that’s why it’s available there. This does take some getting used to, but just like anything new, once you get the hang of it, it’s not that bad … plus, it’s really slick.
I also tried to create this blog entry completely on my Droid X. However, some of the apps don’t have the same functionality as their counterparts on PC/MAC. So although it’s cool to have the WordPress app on the Droid X, I cannot say that it will completely replace the PC … but that’s only because the functionality of the apps themselves are not up to snuff.
I also found that some videos cannot be played on the Droid X (even those that are on youtube). That’s a bummer. It will actually tell you that the video cannot be played on the mobile device.
So am I glad I got the Droid X? You bet … it was a major upgrade from my Blackberry Pearl to the Droid X. Now, do I regret not getting an iPhone? Nah, I don’t think so. Even though the iPhone has more apps, and may be a slightly slicker design, I really can’t complain about the Droid. Having tight integration of Google apps, like gmail, youtube, etc … is a big plus. Even though it looks huge compared to other phones, it does fit snugly in my pocket. It’s perfect in my jersey, so I think I’m a Droid convert.