Our first 24+ hours with the Droid X (vs. Incredible)

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid X' started by AzJazz, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. AzJazz
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    AzJazz Member

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    First of all, to be clear: I'm a Moto Droid user. I got the Droid X for my wife. I'm very tech savvy, having hacked my WinMo 5.x/6.x phones before there were "kitchens". Of course, my Droid has been rooted for quite a while now.

    However, my wife is a techophobe (OK ... not really! But, I do try to help her out quite a bit with this kind of stuff). Her previous phone was a Moto RAZR, so she's made a huge leap forward in technology, with quite a large learning curve ahead. So, I think she's a great reference of how "out-of-the-box" usable the Droid Incredible and the Droid X are.

    I originally got my wife the Droid X to replace her Droid Incredible while it was still in the Verizon "exchange period". My complaints about the Incredible were primarily the poor battery life, and the slow (or more exactly: nearly non-existent) HTC Sense releases for newer Android OS updates.

    This posting will compare the Droid Incredible against the Droid X. This could be useful for some of you, since you might be deciding between the two phones.

    Note that this review is focused almost entirely on usability instead of a hardware/software feature comparison.

    Now that you have our backgrounds, here is our review for the first 24+ hours of Droid X ownership:

    Droid Incredible:

    • Pluses:
      • My wife found it a little bit easier to operate. The Sense interface was more cohesive for her.
      • The Incredible was a "smoother" hardware experience: The screens were snappy and seamless. No lags anywhere.
      • The home screen was prettier, and the time/weather widget was a much more fun display. The Incredible time/weather widget also handled multiple cities, which Beautiful Widgets does not. (My wife REALLY misses that, and Beautiful Widgets doesn't make her happy :()
      • The Incredible has a nicer set of (static) wallpapers. (Note: If you absolutely LOVE gray, the Droid X is the way to go) My wife felt that the Incredible was more "cheerful" and attractive. Due to the dreary screens of the Droid X, my wife thought that the Droid X actually had a much darker screen (I don't think it does, but it has that impression)
      • My wife (and I) like that the Incredible browser auto-sizes text columns whenever the pinch-n-zoom would resize the screen (Just like the iPhones and the Droid hacked ROMs did before Android 2.1 was released)
      • Easier/more comfortable to hold in hand
      • Lots of included apps.
    • Minuses:
      • There was one Sense UI that she didn't like: The dialer interface had the previous calls over the dial pad, and she mistook them for a contacts list. There were a number of times she accidentally redialed previous calls when she thought she was finger scrolling through the contact list.
      • Battery life was very poor.
      • No user manual built into the phone.
      • Outdoor visibility was poor.
      • If we kept the Incredible, we would have bought the 2000+ mA battery, which would have changed the form factor such that we couldn't use any of the Incredible accessories: the charging media dock, phone covers, or car mount. This was probably the "straw that broke the camel's back" for us.
      • Virtual keyboard predictive text is poor compared to other keyboards I have tried.
    So we picked up the Droid X a few minutes after the nearby Verizon store opened up yesterday morning. My wife was tossed during the purchase. The Droid X wasn't a clear winner.

    Droid X:

    • Pluses:
      • My wife wanted a larger screen. I warned her, "Yes, of course the Droid X is bigger. They have to make it bigger for the larger screen." At first, she didn't like how large the Droid X was in her hand, but she's used to it now, and loves the larger screen.
      • Feels more "solid". I didn't mention this to my wife, but she noticed it on her own.
      • Better visibility outdoors over the Incredible. Still a long way from perfect, but it is definitely better.
      • Battery lasts longer than Incredible.
      • Built-in full user's manual, including instructional videos. (Actually, it's an HTML document with hyperlinks to Motorola's site, so you can see pretty much the same info on Motorola's page: HERE)
      • Should be upgraded to newer versions of Android OS much faster than the Incredible.
      • My wife doesn't know this, but the predictive text on the stock Droid X virtual keyboard is insanely better than the Incredible keyboard. She'll figure this out in a few days :)
      • The Swype keyboard is very cool, and would probably be my input method of choice. I know she'll be sticking with the stock keyboard, though.
      • The keyboard cursor fine-positioning magnified pop-up is fantastic! (I've heard it is the same as the iPhone).
      • The call sound quality is one of the best I've heard on a cell phone. Motorola's noise cancellation works very, very well.
      • The pre-loaded "Need For Speed: Shift" demo game was very nice, with the best graphics I've seen on an Android game yet.
      • There's a bunch of cool additional hardware features that we are unlikely to use very often, but you might find handy:
        • "Media Connector", which searches out storage devices on your home network. I connected to my Windows Home Server to transfer files to the Droid X. Works OK.
        • HDMI output, DLNA. I'm guessing these fall more into the "Wow, that's cool!" feature set that won't be used very often in real life. Maybe I'm wrong.
      • The resizable Moto widgets have potential. Not a huge feature improvement, but nice.
      • The social networking stuff looks promising, but we haven't delved too far down that path yet.
    • Minuses:
      • It is big. Up to you whether it is "too big".
      • There are occasional, momentarily lags when moving between screens.
      • The User interface is somewhere between the HTC Sense UI and stock Android UI (being much closer to the Android stock). More techie, and my wife finds it harder to navigate for now.
      • The stock static wallpapers are just plain ugly, unless you LOVE gray and dreary metallic techie wallpapers. Definitely slanted more towards the male audience here. Even some of the stock Android static wallpapers that would be more cheerful aren't loaded on the Droid X. For the life of me, I can't figure out what Motorola was thinking here.
      • Our biggest gripe: The four physical push buttons on the bottom of the screen (Menu, Home, Back, and Search) are absolutely ridiculously TERRIBLE.
        • For one, what the freak are the manufacturers thinking with the trend of making the logos on the buttons smaller than any previous Droid phone? From about a foot away, they now all look like similar squarish blobs on the Droid X. (I think my Moto Droid was the only one that got that right: Easily visible from a distance, and not some abstract graphic.) If I'm driving a car and have to press one of these buttons while using the Navi mode, I don't know if I'll hit the right one.
        • The buttons are hard to press consistently, and now absolutely require two hands to operate: One to hold the phone securely, and one to press the button (sometimes works even better with the thumb underneath the Droid X and the index finger above to press the button using a finger-thumb "squeeze").
        • The buttons are flush with the phone microphone at the bottom, making it hard to push below. The physical buttons could have been a big improvement, but are an EPIC FAIL in our book.
      • Less included apps.
      • With the Verizon glossy silicone protective case, the power button is hard to press.
      • No included media dock app to bring up the clock while charging (without the stand). This is minor, though: We downloaded the "Dock Simulator" app, which works just fine.
    So, it's a mixed bag. When we woke up this morning, I chatted with my wife, and I asked her if she wanted me to return the Droid X to try and get back the Incredible. While she wasn't sure, she said that she thought that the Droid X "would be OK".

    Not exactly a glowing endorsement. I know that as I help my wife through the hurtles of using the Droid X, she'll become happy with it.

    But, if you have an Incredible, and are thinking about switching to a Droid X, be sure to spend plenty of time at Verizon (or with a friend's Droid X) before you take the leap. If you've never used a smartphone except the Incredible Sense UI, the switch to the Droid X UI will probably seem like a big step backwards.

    Switching may be a great move for you, or maybe not. Just don't buy the Droid X because it's the newest tech, because it isn't necessarily better.

    Cheers!

    AzJazz
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  2. DRMMR02
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    DRMMR02 Member

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    I didn't think there was anyone out there who actually used the stock wallpapers for any phone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  3. stryguy
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    stryguy Member

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    It's big is a minus? Why would you opt to buy a 4.3 inch screen phone if you don't want it to be big? That's like buying a Ferrari and complaining that it's too fast.

    The UI is horrid. Why is home the center screen of 7 ? It's such a wierd layout.

    I'll also agree with you on the wallpapers. They would have been better off not including wallpapers over that crap.

    The buttons are easy for me to use but I don't have a case on mine. The phone can left on the desk and I can operate it with one hand and work the buttons without the phone sliding around. I also can see the logo on the buttons from 3 feet away without an issue.

    Just my 2 cents to follow up your 2 cents :)
     
  4. Johnly
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    relax, it is a valid viewpoint....
     
  5. modified
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    Good write up. Droid X 6/10
     
  6. christim
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    christim DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    Excellent write up. I like how you included the link to the manual too.

    It will be interesting to see how others agree/disagree with your assessments and if they have additional items they noticed.
     
  7. Preach2k
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    Preach2k DF News Team Premium Member

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    Great Review of Both phones. But do you have to stick with the stock wallpapers? Couldn't you download some live and static wallpapers from the Droid Market?
     
  8. AzJazz
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    AzJazz Member

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    Hi, guys ...

    No, we don't have to use the stock wallpapers (and, obviously won't :))

    However, we picked up the phone, and then my wife went to work with it. She doesn't know how to take a picture on the phone yet, and is even less likely to download wallpapers for now. That will be my task.

    Again, I also wanted to give you some of my wife's experience with the point of view of somebody who is new to the whole smartphone world. Sure, I'll have a new wallpaper loaded for her before she wakes up this morning.

    AzJazz
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  9. gaggil
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    gaggil New Member

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    I also purchased a Droid X for my wife.

    I have a launch day Droid that is rooted and I love.

    I actually found the battery life to be pretty good. I charged the phone and turned it on yesterday around 5:00 pm.

    I activated the phone last night and played around with it quite a bit. I downloaded some new apps for her, setup some of the screens and played around with wifi.

    This morning the battery was at 70 percent, not too bad for being off of the charger for 15 hours and I played with it for a couple of hours.

    I found the screen to be a great size but the resolution does not look as good compared to the original droid.

    I found navigating the screens to be pretty smooth, but not as smooth as Launcher Pro.

    So far my wife is enjoying it a lot.
     
  10. Preach2k
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    Compared to my Storm 1 That is good... From other reviews I read they said that they had a full days use out of the battery after heavy use of the phone. I cant wait to get my Droid X.
     
  11. CCMDOc
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    CCMDOc New Member

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    Excellent comparison.

    I have had a MotoDROID, Incredible and now Droid X. I would be interested in reading of your impressions of photos taken with the Incredible vs X.

    Thanks for your insight.
     
  12. dieselpowered
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    Nice review...in regards to the battery life...be sure to cycle the battery. I was actually pretty impressed how long my battery lasted, then again I too came from the Incredible, lol.
     
  13. FireDroid
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    FireDroid Member

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    I actually prefer the hard buttons vs the touch of the OG Droid! I am sure it depends on hand size but I can operate with one hand no problem. I also can see them from a ways off. The one downside after using the OG is the switched around the buttons so I find myself hitting the wrong one sometimes. I am sure I will get used to it though.

    I have pretty good battery life on mine. It is no worse than D1 that I have. I have tons of stuff syncing and BT,WiFi, and sync running.

    Size is nice for my hand. I like the bigger screen, I downloaded movies that I ripped for D1 and they looked just as good if not better because screen was bigger! Mind game maybe???

    I assume that the wallpapers are lacking because it is assumed that you (consumer) will just modify with ones from the market or from your pics.

    I like that it is thinner.

    I think it takes way better pics than my D1

    I like the UI, I like that I can get to any screen with the quick select or when I hit the home button that it actually takes me to my actual home screen.

    Overall it was a nice upgrade for me from D1, I was stock as I didnt want or need to root.
     
  14. AzJazz
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    AzJazz Member

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    Battery Testing Update 2:

    I fully discharged the battery, then fully charged the battery. I also made sure that the Battery Management was in "Smart" mode.

    As I was checking my settings after the first night's battery check, I'm pretty sure that the Battery Management was set to "Performance", which is probably what really drained the battery.

    So, after getting all that set up, here are my results:

    From a full charge, and after 8.5 hours (overnight), battery level is 90%! This is pretty darned good, but it isn't an apple-apple comparison with the DI. The DI didn't turn off the networking overnight, while the DX does. As the day continues on (and the Smart Mode is less in effect), I will post more battery information.

    I can say that the DI was normally down to 60-70% after sitting overnight, so at least the with the Smart Mode + better DX battery/design, the DX is longer lasting.

    The first posting has been updated.
     
  15. JAB 67
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    I went to the Motorola on-line store, as suggested above, for a copy of the manual but stopped short when they required my birthday! WTF?
     
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