A non-techie, feminine review of the Droid X

I purchased my new Android phone this past Thursday and below is my non-techie, feminine review of the Droid X.  But before I begin, some quick disclaimers:

  1. As the title of this article suggests, I don’t pretend to be technical nor do I pretend to be an early adopter of technology.
  2.  My last phone was the Palm Treo 755p, so going from that to the Droid X was a pretty significant jump in technology.  I hated my Treo so badly that at one point I wrote the President of Palm a letter (the thing kept erasing my contacts!).  I have to get credit to Palm though, they called me to talk it out.
  3. I really wanted an iPhone.  I love my iPod, but AT & T’s service in Battle Creek is terrible and I got sick of waiting for Verizon to get it, so I went with the Droid X.  
  4.  I haven’t read the manual yet, so some of the issues I have below might be addressed in that.

Now that we got that out of the way:

Price

This is probably the most frequently question I get asked. For $247 and the renewal of my two year contract, I received the Droid X, a case of my choice (about eight to choose from), ear buds, the home charger, the car charger, and three screen protectors. Personally, I felt the price was very reasonable.

Eventually, I will need an extra USB cable for my computer so that I can charge it while at work. 

Look

Size

The first thing I noticed was how huge the screen is. The whole phone is about the size of my hand.  This larger screen size is fantastic for watching videos, zooming into my emails, and looking at photos (the resolution for each of these is excellent), but it is also an adjustment.  For example, I used to clip my Treo on my slacks or skirt at work. It was a little bulky, but ok. With the size of this device, it would look ridiculous to have it clipped to my hip, so it will have to be carried or put in a purse. 

Weight

I disagree with the early reports that the Droid X is heavy.  The weight is comparable to other smart phones.  It’s not uncomfortable at all.

Overall design

I prefer Apple’s sleek design to the Droid X. The Droid X looks less stylish and more like a utility item, but the purple silicone case that I got with the phone makes it more attractive and feminine.

Screen

Screen resolution is excellent.  The screen size is also fantastic (as previously mentioned). 

Wallpaper

I love the living wallpapers!  I chose the Grass theme and love it.  The sun rises and sets on my phone in sync with the time.  It’s very fun and very pretty.

Main utilities

Call clarity

Call clarity is very nice. It’s much better than my Palm Treo.

Battery Life

I haven’t had a huge problem with the battery life. I plug the Droid X in when I get in my car and sometimes while I’m at home.  I usually am at about 80-90% because of this. 

Screens

There are a total of seven screens that I scroll through. The multiple screens are excellent. I like to keep my main screen clean from apps, so I appreciate the fact that I can put the apps I need on a separate screen.

The turning of the screen to portrait or landscape is very accurate and very useful.

Keyboard

The keyboard is easy to use, although it’s still taking some adjustment from the Palm. With the Treo, I used my nail to tap the keys. Now, I need to use my finger. 

Sounds/Ringtones

The ringtones are fine and easy to hear.  However, even for a marketer, the constant branding for Verizon Wireless gets old.  It says “Verizon Wireless” sometimes when I unlock my phone, when I call someone, and when I receive calls. This is very annoying.

My big complaint here is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to designate sounds for when you receive and e-mail or a text.  I would really like to have a different sound for each, or, better yet, be able to silence the notification for the e-mail (keeping the flashing green notification light) and only have a sound for texts. 

Camera

The camera is only shooting at 6mp (I’m guessing I need to up this to get to the full 8mp?) but isn’t the easiest to use.  My friends and I have tried several times to take photos and the camera makes a loud beep but then won’t take the photo.  When that happens, there’s no indication on the screen as to why it won’t take the photo.  However, when it does take a photo, the picture quality is very nice (see below for a picture I took of me).

A photo of me taken with the Droix X

Media player

The media player was probably one of the biggest downsides to getting a Droid X for me because I love my iPod and iTunes and didn’t want to give them up. Luckily, I found an app, iSyncr, which allowed me to load my iTunes playlists (my full library wouldn’t fit) onto the phone. The app directions weren’t perfect so it took me some time to figure it out, but once I did, it was seamless.

The media player works very well.  The sound from the phone is good and it works well with my car stereo system (with a tape/ac adapter).  The media player shows up on your main screen when you are using it and you don’t have to unlock your phone to skip forward in your playlist. However, you DO have to unlock the phone to scroll through your playlist or switch playlists.  This adds an extra step and extra time with your eyes off of the road.

Contact merging

Merging my contacts from Gmail and my other social networking sites is fantastic.  Sometimes it creates multiple entries, but not often. And, if someone has a photo on Facebook or Twitter, it shows up as their photo in your contacts.

Weather updates

The weather update screen that came preloaded on mine can’t pick up my city, or the nearest Metro City to me so this feature is basically useless unless I want to torture myself with cities that have much better weather than mine.

Calendar

The merging of the calendar with Google Calendar is seamless.  I do wish I could figure out a way to change the default settings to create an e-mail and a phone reminder each time I have an appointment though. This gets old very fast.

Another simple, but nice feature of the calendar is that, if you put in your zip code, it displays the weather/weather forecast on the day you are looking at. That has been very helpful for planning trips to the golf course.

Pre-loaded Social Media Outlets

So far, I’ve only messed with the Facebook part of this and wasn’t too happy.  I could only do limited things on it and had trouble pulling up things on it such as photos of friends. I downloaded the app for Facebook, but had similar issues.  I finally resorted to using the browser and logging in that way to see what I wanted to see.

I also tried posting something, but in the midst of trying to figure out how to use the post filtering mechanism (which I still can’t figure out how to do), I posted only the first three letters of what I wanted to post. I tried to go to my profile and delete it, but found out I couldn’t do that from my phone either, so I had to wait until I could get to my computer.

Overall

Overall, I’m very happy with the Droid X and it’s a huge step forward from the Palm Treo 755p I was using.  A lot of the problems listed above I’m sure could be sorted out with a simple look at the manual or a Google search, but the point is, it takes time. With that said, I love the phone and am happy with my purchase. 

If you’ve been around me lately, I’m sure that you were subjected to the “see my phone!” excited speech. And, if you see me soon, you will also probably be subjected to it. If so, bear with me.  It’s not often that a non-techie like me gets the latest toy.

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