The Rise of the Super Androids: Droid X, EVO and Incredible

The upcoming release of the Droid X on Verizon is an obvious answer to Sprint’s EVO phone. When I received the phone, I arranged to meet with Craig (who posted on the Palm Pre previously). My goal was not to declare some kind of winner, but to look at how the two phones compare. These are part of the crop of 1 GHz Android phones that includes the HTC Incredible, and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S (under different names with different carriers). I will look at the EVO and Droid X first, and then discuss why you may not want to cancel your Incredible order yet.

Droid X and EVO Size

Both phones sport a 4.3″ screen, and are quite large. The Droid X is a touch taller and is a little thinner on it’s thin part, and a little thicker on the end with the camera:

This is going to sound weird, but these phones are at the same time startlingly huge, and not too big. I can understand why some folks might find it to be too big, but I don’t. And the screen real estate. Wow. It will be hard to go back. Here is a shot of the backs:

Controls

I love the fact that the Droid X has physical buttons for menu, home, back, and search. Craig commented that he was surprised how hard it was to push the buttons after getting used to his EVO. It’s not an issue with the Droid buttons, but the fact that he is so acclimated to the buttons on the EVO now. One big advantage of the Droid X (for me) is the inclusion of a camera shutter button. It makes the camera app more accessible (long-touch launches camera app). No physical start and end call buttons though.

Benchmarks

I am not a HUGE fan of benchmarks. I think we can obsess on them at times. But it is a somewhat objective measure. Craig had picked some benchmarks. One was Neocore, which surprisingly does not report a score. But we ran them side by side, and the Droid X slowly pulled ahead. It shows a 3D animation. Another benchmark was the Fps2d to test graphics. On this one, the Droid X buried the EVO:

It looks like this is due to a hardware setting that pegs the EVO at 30 fps. So this appears to be an issue that can be fixed. The Droid X averaged 58 fps, and surpassed 60 at times. The final benchmark was BenchmarkPI. The Droid X beat the EVO slightly here as well.

I did promise to share the one victory for Craig, the Network test. We used Speedtest.net. The EVO crushed on download speeds (and we are not in a 4G city). But, as Craig pointed out, that just proved that his Sprint phone got better reception in La Mexicana in Newport, KY than my Verizon phone, at that time. I found that this test varied greatly on scoring, though I was not able to approach his 1607 download on any of my attempts on 3G.

So those are the stats. The Droid X comes out ahead, but not enough to make it a clear winner, at least in my opinion.

EVO Perks

The EVO offers two things the Droid X does not. A 1.3 mp front-facing camera and 4G capabilities (if you live in a city with coverage). Also, the EVO has the Sense UI, if you prefer it.

Droid X Perks

The Droid X has 6 GB of internal memory versus EVO’s 512 MB. It also comes with a 16 GB SD card versus EVO’s 8 GB. I like all the extra internal memory, though when Froyo (2.2) is available, internal memory will be less of an issue.

Death of the Incredible?

You can re-read the review on the Incredible, but I think this is still a viable super-phone. It has the memory advantages of the Droid X and an 8 mp camera like both. All in a really nice compact form factor. It comes down to whether you like the size enough to carry around such a large phone. I do not find it too big, but you might. If you are concerned it is worth a visit to a store.

Battery Life

The battery life on the Droid X has been good. The first day it struggled to get through the day, but since then it easily makes a day, and I have even made it last a day and a half (I don’t leave GPS on). I also want to share that Craig has not had the battery issues others have had with their EVO. He gets a day out of his easily.

What’s Next

I am spending time working with the media sync options on the Droid X. Motorola includes some nice tools to sync media on your phone (though Windows only). I also will provide some samples and opinion on the camera (still and video). But what questions do you have? I only have a few more days with this phone. If you have burning questions, or tests you want me to perform, let me know in the comments.

Posted in: Android related, Reviews

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Tasha July 8, 2010, 6:54 pm

    I was wondering if you can take picture using this as a phone, i really would like to see how big it is especially when you use droid x as a phone. Thanks for your review.

  • amazing terrible July 8, 2010, 7:49 pm

    does the dx have a 3-axis gyroscope?

  • amazing terrible July 8, 2010, 7:51 pm

    also a small correction. the dx has 8 gigs of internal memory, not 6.

  • jt July 8, 2010, 8:06 pm

    Great review. i’m a blackberry and heavy outlook user so my big question is how does it sync up with outlook calender, memos, contacts etc.. ?

    can it do it right out of the box like the blackberry destktop manager or do we have to purchase a 3rd party app?

    Thanks!

  • Bryan Sherman July 8, 2010, 8:31 pm

    @amazing terrible:

    No gyroscope.

    You are right about the 8 GB and I am right about the 6 GB. I was referring to how much internal memory appears as available. The 2 GB must be used for overhead.

  • Bryan Sherman July 8, 2010, 8:34 pm

    @Tasha

    I am definitely doing a post on the camera. 8 mp (though default is 6 mp 16:9 aspect ration to match screen and HDTV). It is really nice for stills and video if you have enough light. I will provide samples.

  • Bryan Sherman July 8, 2010, 8:35 pm

    @jt

    Short answer, out of the box exchange support for Mail, calendar, and Contacts. No support for memos or To-Dos without 3rd-party application. It uses the Android 2.1 functionality.

  • phillip golubets July 8, 2010, 8:44 pm

    a timer
    a browser
    digital screen that cannot be scratched

  • Mark Adkins July 8, 2010, 8:51 pm

    @jt- The EVO is incredibly good at finding and importing contacts from a variety of sources- to the point that I have dozens of duplicates I still have not managed to dig all of the way out (just things like different versions of the same address or phone #).

    @ Bryan- I had a feeling, looking at the EVO, that I was looking at an evolutionary stepping stone for the Android platform- a step towards a true open source hand-held computer replacement and all-in-one electronics suite.

    It should be really interesting to see what next year brings, eh?

  • Thomas July 9, 2010, 1:53 am

    How Mac friendly is the Droid X? (Quitting AT&T and going to Verizon)

  • Bryan Sherman July 9, 2010, 10:12 am

    @Thomas

    What do you want it to be friendly about? The media sync app is Windows only, so you need to drag and drop media to your phone (which I don’t think is a big deal, but some do). As far as other syncing, Android is about the cloud. It isn’t tied to a computer. I think 2.2 (next Android Release, due this year) will let you push music over the network.

  • TGIF July 9, 2010, 2:12 pm

    How would you rate the call/audio quality of the Droid X vs. the Droid Incredible. After all, while these devices are many things, they also need to be good as phones too!

    Two other questions:

    1) Are calendar entries searchable on the Droid X? The default Android software does not include calendar in searches – a major pain if you don’t remember the date of an appointment. I know that the Droid Incredible’s Sense UI adds this capability, but don’t know about the Droid X yet.

    2) How does the Droid X’s screen compare to the Droid Incredible’s when viewing outdoors in daylight?

    Thanks for all the info in your reviews!

  • carrie waltman July 9, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I had a droid and returned it for another blackberry. I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t save emails on the droid like you can with a blackberry. Can you save emails with the droid x?

  • Andy Chen July 9, 2010, 5:54 pm

    Bryan:

    How do the four buttons on the bottom and the volume buttons feel? Clicky, squishy, no tactile sensation, etc?

  • Chris July 9, 2010, 8:37 pm

    What are the settings that Craig is using on his Evo???

  • Gray Bishop July 10, 2010, 7:40 am

    Having played with the Galaxy S in it’s T-Mobile form I’d like to see the Droid X’s screen quality compared to that. And personally I can’t wait to do a benchmark to see which processor is truly faster.

  • Bryan Sherman July 11, 2010, 5:31 pm

    @TGIF

    1. Can’t see a way to search the calendar.
    2. I have no issues in the sun with the Droid X. It is readable, not as nice as inside, but not unreadable.

  • Bryan Sherman July 11, 2010, 5:34 pm

    @carrie

    I assume you are referring to exchange mail since you referrenced a blackberry? I don’t see a way to save email in the email app. Of course my primary is gmail, so I always have access to all my mail on that.

  • Bryan Sherman July 11, 2010, 5:35 pm

    @Andy

    I like them. They are a little on the stiff side, but not too stiff imho. Definitely not squishy.

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