Droid X Day II: The Droidinationing
Because I’m getting lots of e-mail from people who want to know more about the Droid X, presumably because they are in the market for a new cell phone themselves, some more thoughts on the thing. Note that some of these thoughts will be about the Android platform in general, not just about the Droid X.
1. First, the coolest damn thing ever: Google Goggles, which (for those of you who like me a day ago and hadn’t really heard of this thing) does a creditable job identifying things when you take a picture of them with your phone and send it along to Google’s server farm. I spent a fair amount of time today wandering about the house to see what things Goggles recognized and what it didn’t. Art posters on the wall? Got the artist and the original picture. Book covers? No problem. The cats? Well, apparently Ghlaghghee isn’t famous enough for the Google servers. But two out of three isn’t bad.
2. Second thing I like: The Droid X has mobile hotspot capability, which I paid for, and which is paying off right this very moment because my broadband is down for some unfathomable reason, and I’m using the mobile hotspot to be online. The hotspot has a bandwidth cap of 2GB per billing cycle; since I don’t really plan on downloading lots of data-intensive stuff on it I suspect that will be just fine. I travel enough at this point that having a mobile hotspot to call my own will be worth it; I’m looking forward to not paying for hotel Internet anymore.
3. The Android interface and apps are nice but also generally a shade less slick than their Apple counterparts. That said, they’re slick enough and miles ahead of the apps on the Storm, so I don’t think of this as much of a problem, actually. I also notice that a lot of apps in the Android market are priced a couple of dollars higher than their counterparts in the Apple app store, and I do find this a bit annoying.
4. I’ve found the Droid X actually very comfortable to hold and use. The reviewer whining about the size seems even more non-sensical to me two days in; the thing fits well in my hand and the ridge in the back (where the camera juts out a bit) gives it a secure feel in the hand whether one is holding it vertically or horizontally. The screen looks great and things are easy to read on it and my ability to handle it with a single hand continues unabated. Basically I think the size complaints are bunk.
5. Some things I don’t like so far: I think the physical buttons on the phone are a little wonky, although part of that is me used to a slightly different function configuration on the Storm. I also notice the browser takes a while to access and load sites, even when wifi is on. Some of the apps could use better internal navigation. The camera is adequate but not great. I’ve played with the Swype keyboard and am a bit underwhelmed with it; I can type faster the old-fashioned way. The Droid X does not make me either smarter or more attractive.
But in all so far a very worthwhile investment and something I suspect will fit my needs for a smartphone very well. If you’re in the market for a new phone and are a Verizon customer, I’d say it’s worth checking out.