Droid X: Like the EVO, minus the 4G

New Droid is bigger, faster than original

The HTC EVO 4G upped the ante earlier this year for what constitutes a big, powerful smartphone. Motorola, it seems, is willing to match it

The HTC EVO 4G upped the ante earlier this year for what constitutes a big, powerful smartphone. Motorola, it seems, is determined to match it.

EVO 4G reviews are in: 'A war machine,' 'a powerhouse" and on "steroids"

Motorola's challenge in crafting a sequel to its popular Droid device has been to craft a device that stacks up well against the cutting-edge technology used by rivals such as the EVO 4G and the iPhone 4. In terms of technical specifications, the company's new Droid X phone appears to have succeeded.

For example, take a look at the new phone's screen, which measures in at 4.3 inches with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, which is stronger than both the 800 x 400 resolution on the EVO 4G's 4.3-inch screen and miles above the original Droid's 3.7-inch display. Add in an 8MP camera, a 1GHz OMAP processor, and a 16GB memory card that’s expandable to up to 40GB and you've got a device that can go toe-to-toe with HTC's powerhouse currently being offered by Sprint.

Of course, there is one major area where the Droid X does not match up to the EVO 4G and that's its ability to connect to Sprint's WiMAX network, which should be available in every major market in the United States by year-end. With Verizon not due to launch 4G LTE services until later this year, the Droid X will run on Verizon's 3G EV-DO Rev. A network. And although Verizon has gotten consistent kudos from customer satisfaction surveys for the quality and consistency of its voice and data networks, the carrier cannot yet match the raw speed offered by Sprint in areas where its WiMAX services are online.

In addition to taking on the EVO 4G, the Droid X must also contend with the iPhone 4, which has predictably generated spectacular demand in its presales figures. In this light, executives from Google and Motorola made a point of emphasizing today that the Droid X will indeed run Flash 10, the popular but oft-criticized video platform that Apple does not allow onto the iPhone. Apple has publicly feuded with Adobe by calling Flash a poorly designed program that's responsible for crashing Apple computers and that is ill-equipped for mobile devices as it sucks up battery life and has security holes. By allowing Flash onto its new device, Motorola can add it to the list of things that "Droid does" that the current iPhone doesn't.

Other key features of the new Droid X include a tethering option that will allow users to connect up to five devices to the Droid X through Wi-Fi. Verizon will offer this option for an additional $20 a month and will allow up to 2GB to be downloaded over its 3G network onto tethered devices. The device will also have a multi-touch on-screen keyboard that will give users a feel that's more like a traditional QWERTY keyboard where they can hold down the "shift" key while simultaneously punching another button. And in terms of enterprise features, the device will support both Microsoft Exchange and Gmail Enterprise, along with corporate calendar and directory applications. The device does not yet have a native VPN client.

The Droid X will ship to Verizon stores on July 15 and will cost $200 after a $100 mail-in rebate. Verizon will charge $29.99 a month for an unlimited 3G data plan and will only impose bandwidth caps on tethering and not on normal 3G data consumed on the device itself. Motorola says the device will run on the Android 2.1 platform and will feature its own MOTOBLUR overlay that acts as a social networking aggregator that lets users integrate friends' status updates and uploaded pictures from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace onto their homescreens. However, unlike on past MOTOBLUR devices, Motorola says this version of MOTOBLUR will be more in the background and will not dominate the Droid X's main display.

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