My Thoughts on the Motorola Droid X After One Month

It’s been 30 days since I terminated my contract with AT&T, ditched the iPhone 4, signed up with Verizon and purchased a Droid X. For the most part, the move has been a good one. Verizon’s call quality and 3G coverage in my area are significantly better than AT&T. But has the transition been all rainbows and unicorns?

My decision last month to terminate my AT&T contract wasn’t out of the blue. I’d actually been considering it for a really long time. I just didn’t want to deal with the early termination fee or the fact that I’d have issues doing reviews of GSM devices once I made the switch. I decided that having better/faster data capability and call quality was worth the price of admission, and finally made the move after having the opportunity to test a Droid X.

The Droid X is very nice. I really love the display and the fact that I can customize the home screens with widgets to give me exactly the info I want to see. I love the fact that I don’t have to deal with crummy call quality or people always asking “what’s that clicking in the phone?”. I also enjoy being able to use apps that require a data connection, without needing to be connected through WiFi. The other day I was driving and need to find quick directions, I was able to get the info I wanted in about 5 seconds by using the Google Voice Search. I doubt the iPhone would have been that fast. At least not in my town where 3G coverage is spotty and not reliable at all.

So after 30 days, I am not sorry that I made the switch from AT&T to Verizon. But I’m not going to lie and tell you that I don’t miss the iPhone. Because I do – quite a lot actually. Mainly I miss the iPhone hardware. The size and feel of the device in my hand. The biggest hardware feature that I miss is the camera. The Droid X camera is slow to launch and although it does take decent photos, it doesn’t do quite as well as the iPhone camera. Especially in low light. You also can’t capture close up video with the Droid X like you can with the iPhone. The iPhone will allow you to focus in on a specific point while recording, just by tapping the display where you want focus. I miss that feature.

Another hardware issue that I’m having with the Droid X, that I didn’t notice quite so much with the iPhone 4 is battery life. It seems that the Droid X is pretty thirsty with the juice. Some days I’m lucky to get through one full day without needing to plug in. I don’t keep GPS or WiFi turned on and I don’t make many calls so it’s odd to me that some days the battery seems to drain significantly faster than other days when I’m doing the same basic tasks.

I used to complain a lot about the quality of apps in the Android App Market and I am happy to say that they are getting better and better every day. That said, I still do find myself wishing that I had some of my fave iPhone apps and games on the Droid X. Even though Android phones are getting more and more popular every day, it seems that whenever someone is talking about a really cool app, it’s for the iPhone and not Android.

So when it comes right down to it, I am happy I made the carrier switch. But if the iPhone becomes available for Verizon, I can definitely see myself getting one again. At least that is the way I’m feeling right now. Who knows how I’ll feel if/when a Verizon iPhone ever becomes a reality.

Posted in: Android related, Articles, iPhone, iPad, iPod

41 comments… add one

  • Heath September 26, 2010, 5:31 pm

    Shame AT&T was bad for you. I have read independent reviews of the speed of AT&T vs. Verizon and AT&T was rated consistently faster in many US cities (just not yours it seems.) Elsewhere in the world the Android, and just recently Nokia, experience offers a diluted iPhone experience for a diluted price and that seems to be the draw. I expected the iPhone camera to be better despite the higher ppi on the Android device so its nice to get my suspicion confirmed. There is so much more to the iPhone experience than Android has to offer I have found. It seems that because people don’t know how much more there is to the iPhone experience, they are happy with the Android experience. I wonder how many would go Android after enjoying the breadth and deapth of iPhone if AT&T was like other GSM providers in Europe and South Africa?

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  • chrisbaker3 September 26, 2010, 6:39 pm

    Nice writeup. The DroidX is bit of a battery hog, but believe it or not, it has the best battery life out of the Android handsets currently available.

    Widgets, true multitasking and the screen all conspire to kill your battery. The extended battery does help a bit.

    I’m a DroidX owner too and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

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  • moi Ici September 26, 2010, 6:44 pm

    Nice balanced review on the switch. I have an iphone 4 and have looked at the droid x and other Verizon android phones just out of curiosity. They are nice phones, but I like the fit and finish of the apps on the iPhone and the phone itself. I’d love to have an android phone or pad to play with though.

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  • easy September 26, 2010, 7:12 pm

    Just to point out, with the Droid you can actually change your own
    battery. Expand your memory…up to 40 gigs, with just a
    bigger screen…and you now have Froyo 2.2…. with an upgrade
    soon to follow.

    This alone should make any owner of the Droid X very happy.

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  • johnnaryry September 26, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Battery Life: Welcome to Android! I have 3 batteries for my phone AND travel with a charger…

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  • Jason September 26, 2010, 7:59 pm

    Strange, my battery life is great. Also a test was done with the top tier Android phones and the Droid X actually came in 1st place when it came to battery life.
    http://www.androidpolice.com/2010/09/24/battery-lives-of-8-flagship-android-phones-tested-and-compared-lcd-wins-amoled-loses-droid-x-takes-home-the-crown/

    Maybe you should check your settings and what apps you are running in the background. It may also be your battery because I leave all those things on wifi, gps, bluetooth and again no problems. As far as the camera goes, yea I agree it could be faster, but then again I didn’t get the Droid X for the camera. I got it for the HDMI, 4.3″ screen, wifi tethering and Adobe Flash 10.1.9. Those things did it for me and the “apps will come”, just give the devs some time.

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  • Jeff September 26, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Not sure where it is that AT&T is supposed to be faster than Verizon Droid, nowhere anyone I know lives; the iphone reception is a notorious misfeature, and in my high-up midtown Manhattan office the AT&T users don’t even get phone signal. I can’t compare the phones myself, since up until last week I was using an ancient “Pocket PC” whose keys were sticking, and Julie’s review got me to go to the Droid X, I couldn’t be happier. I got a small Cinch power supply that recharges the Droid several times before it needs to be recharged itself. I upgraded to Android 2.2, which seems to have given me QuickOffice as well, and have downloaded free scientific calculator and math programs, a finance program that tracks my portfolio prices and company news, internet radio, and a nice voice entry translator that actually seems to work. The voice entry software seems to work very well, even for some odd proper names (but not others). The camera is fine for me, though not so good for low light, but it might keep me from hauling a Flip and Sony camera around most of the time. I’m just trying to stay away from downloading too many gee-whiz apps that will actually prove pretty useless (though Google Sky and ShopSavy (the barcode scanner) proved irresistable). If the cost of data on the phone’s WiFi hotspot were more reasonable I’d go for it, and I hope pricing will eventually come down, that will make this feature irresistable.
    Biggest negative: by the time I figure out how to use everything, the technology will be obsolete, and I’ll have to learn the Droid XXX or whatever.

    Jeff

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  • pete September 26, 2010, 10:12 pm

    I got rid of ATT years ago, and when I talk to collegues, I’m glad I did. Running 48 states and wearing out batteries when they go on/off line evey few miles did it for me. I’ve made 3 coast to coast trips with Verizon, and haven’t had a connection, clarity, or dropped call problem yet.

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  • tom September 26, 2010, 10:15 pm

    Get Advanced App Killer pro, and put the widget on your home screen, every time you go to put it back in your pocket click the widget. I’ve been going all day and I’m showing 90% battery, and that’s with about an hour of YouTube viewing.
    The Droid does allot more stuff in the background and those helpfully Widgets arw a drain to, I’ve had mine for a while and still find new ways to save the battery life.

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  • Kevin September 26, 2010, 11:50 pm

    I’ve had my Droid X for about 6 weeks and, like you, am pretty happy with it. I came to it from a BB Storm which died after 18 months.

    I played with iPhones in the store a couple of years back and had lots of people I knew who just loved them, and a few who didn’t because of some limitations. However, you have to give Apple full credit for the phone it designed and how it revolutionized the smartphone industry. Jobs is a perfectionist – AT&T not so much, so the device is the leader in the space.

    Having said all that, there was much to recommend the Storm but the Droid X is so sweet by comparison and the battery life is reasonable given its features. My BIGGEST disappointment with the Droid? The camera. Hands down, the 8 MP device – especially in low light – is hardly an upgrade from the 3.2 MP Storm camera. Fact is, the smartphones are phones/app devices first, and cameras a distant 3rd.

    Love my Droid!

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  • Scott September 27, 2010, 12:28 am

    I too switched from ATT to Verizon but my switch was a little different. I had been itching to use Android and tried two Samsung Captivates. I returned both and had all but given up on Android until I setup a Droid X for a coworker. After playing with that Phone for an hour I was hooked. Every friend and coworker I know has ATT. My entire family has ATT. This phone was so good I switched. I am not sorry for one second. Do not mistake these comments the iPhone is a fantastic phone. But this phone is flat out better. There are things that the Iphone does better but most things it does not. I will not go into all the things it does better because that debate has been heard many times. The one thing that Iphone users cannot debate is that this phone customizes everything. I have the ability to choose a Browser, Maps, text, or voice each time or by default like a PC. It’s great. I use google voice as my text client and I don’t pay for text. It is the default text client throughout the phone. That is what makes Android special.

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  • xiaoa September 27, 2010, 2:36 am

    it is hard to tell which is better for me, i am now use a iphone 3g,i want to buy a new phone, but i am hesitating which one i will buy the next phone between iphone 4 and Droid X, after read your article, i think i will choose to buy a iphone 4, at the same time, i read some article about the Aneesoft iphone video converter which is a nice tool. I think i will buy both them.

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  • carl September 27, 2010, 3:13 am

    I love verizon and I love the droid x..it’s the best phone I’ve ever owned..i switched from the incredible and I never looked back..i love the bigger screen it’s brilliant for web browsing and videos..the droid x is plenty fast and where I live I get 2mega bytes per second down..the iphone 4 just plain out sucks..my cousin has one and we’ve done comparisons and in all comparisons the x has dominated except front facing camera lol..i hate how everything is do restricted on the iphone..android is far superior in every way I rest my case (:

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  • John_F September 27, 2010, 8:01 am

    Ten days ago I went from a simple phone, iPod Touch and MiFi to the Droid X. Of course I miss some of the Touch’s apps, I’d gotten used to them! Size differance is still taking a little to get used to. But am I glad I went the way I did? Of course! I now carry only one device and it does everything I need it to. Yes, the apps do need to mature a bit, but I remember the Palm Pilot days, so I appreciate the variety and the pace they are maturing at. Battery life is tight, but even playing with it, I’ve made it through the day. Saying that I will admit, though I’ve yet to need them, in addition to the charger I have at home, I have one on my desk, in the car, and a battery based charger in my bag. 3G, all the time. Mobile Hot Spot, better then the MiFi device I had. I missed Stanza, only for as long as it took me to figure out I had more options on the Droid! For the first time since it died, I no longer miss my Tungsten T. The iPod Touch, though nice, just wasn’t quite as flexible, the Droid X is!

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  • Julie September 27, 2010, 8:13 am

    I’m currently testing a Samsung Fascinate and the battery life on this little guy seems pretty amazing – at least so far. Today is the day I’m actually going to start using it. I’ve been carrying it around in my gear bag with me since last Monday or Tuesday. I charged it the day I received it and almost a week later, it’s at 50% power. Gotta love that AMOLED display too.

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  • Jayanta September 27, 2010, 8:32 am

    iPhone is one of the greatest gadget in planet earth. It got so much to give u can’t even imagine before using. I love my iPhone.

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  • 1000Acres September 27, 2010, 9:05 am

    Excellent review. I’ve been with AT&T since the old Cingular days because Verizon doesn’t work where I live. AT&T is great in this area, but around Seattle, etc., are continual dropped calls and clicking. I have thought about Motorola, but after your review and comments, think I will stick with HTC, currently the Desire (Android). The only complaint is battery life. I took an extra battery on a recent trip to Europe, but commonly used up both batteries in a day while walking using the GPS, maps and directions. Held the Nokia N8 at a Heathrow display; it felt like a clunk but camera was interesting. So, now I’m considering the HTC Desire HD with 8 mps camera and large format. I think there is nothing available that comes close to the HTC form-fit. Will stick with it until something better comes along.

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  • kryptik September 27, 2010, 9:26 am

    I carry both types of phones. My Android is a Droid Incredible, and my iOS is the 32GB 3GS. Hands down I prefer my iPhone. As it stands, I rarely even pick up my Android, with the exception of needing to put it back on the charger. I have noticed Verizon’s data is much slower, even with full bars, than the data on my iPhone. The main reason I bought the Android was to have a fall back when in areas with no at&t coverage. So far, that is a fail. Generally, the Verizon phone loses service before the at&t phone does. As I have never had a dropped call with my iPhone, I can’t really compare that aspect, and I have never had any clarity issues either. The Droid is fun to play with, but on the list of mobile devices I carry with me, it’s found its home a few notches down the line of what I like to I pull out of my bag. First is my iPhone, then my iPad, with the Droid coming in just ahead of my PSP Go and Nintendo DSi. Nice phone, but not really my bag of tea. Yet I still own it…

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  • Marc September 27, 2010, 1:03 pm

    I’ve noticed the difference in batter life as well. I think it has something to do with apps or features running in the background. Rebooting the phone on occasion seems to solve the problem, and I can easily get a full day of use from the phone with a lot of use

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  • Bob Deloyd September 27, 2010, 1:37 pm

    @Julie
    “But has the transition been all rainbows and unicorns? ”
    God I love it; what a great line Julie :)
    Nice review too…

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  • Jeff Hollaway September 27, 2010, 1:53 pm

    If it were possible, Droid X would be my phone choice. I really like the way it looks. The bigger the better!

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  • James September 27, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Yeah, I’d follow Tom’s advice about getting the Advanced App Killer pro widget. Multi-tasking is nice but it can cause you to use more power than needed unless you shut those apps down when not needed.

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  • Steve T September 27, 2010, 3:44 pm

    I ditched my Iphone and greatly prefer my Droid X. I had no problems at all with the AT&T network it was all about the features of the Droid X on Verizon. I sum it up for friends this way: If you hate technology and just want to use the thing, go Iphone. If you don’t mind a steeper learning curve ultimately you can do a lot more with the Droid X since your choices are determined by you not Steve Jobs.

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  • johann September 27, 2010, 4:22 pm

    gotta love the built in wifi tether function. im an apple fanboy through and through. but the android does trump the iphone in terms of overall functionality. didnt get the 3g ipad since i can just tether when i need to. saved me $130 in the process.

    now that i have my ipad… i feel that its a bit backwards that i need to plug it in to sync lol.

    a good app to monitor battery and cpu usage is “systempanel”. this should let you capture rougue apps that eat battery and cpu time. pair that with “locale” or “tasker” to get your BT, GPS, wifi to trigger on/off automatically then you are set.

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  • Julie September 27, 2010, 9:05 pm

    @Bob ;) I try my best. Thank you :)

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  • Jason Muhammad September 28, 2010, 12:50 am

    Since I installed Profiles and Advanced Task Killer on my Epic 4G my phone uses between 3.5-5% per hour. I have yet to do any video watching, chats or any heavy activity. I still have (and use) my Ipod Touch and my Palm Centro.

    The Apple hardware and software work much better but they are limited. Believe it or not, my Centro can go DAYS if the cellular radio is off. There are many features on my other two devices that I still struggle to get on my Android. I hope 2.2 improves it and I will definately consider a larger battery (if/when it comes).

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  • johnny September 28, 2010, 10:05 am

    i heard the droid x update was out on the 21st its the 28th and i still havent got it im just wondering if there is a reason for this please help ive been unpatiently waiting i keep thinking my droid x is broken i was thinking that its because i live in arizona and it might not be out here yet but if you can help it would be very much appreciated yhank you.

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  • Julie September 28, 2010, 4:28 pm

    @Johnny Did you go to the Settings > About Phone (the last entry) and System Updates?

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  • Danni September 28, 2010, 6:43 pm

    I wasn’t into the Blackberries or iPhones but I was due for an upgrade and my hubby and the Verizon salesclerk talked me into getting the Droid X and I must say that I’m glad they did. I adore it. My only complaint is that it seems to me that Apple is cornering the market on the really great apps and it is ticking me off. As you said, whenever I hear of a really cool app that I’d like to have, it’s for the iPhone or iPad only.

    Who do we need to complain loud enough to, in order to correct this? I remember when most of the cool programs were being made for PC’s only. Apple users complained vehemently and that has since changed.

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  • Heath September 28, 2010, 9:04 pm

    Only the Android Market will resolve that. When it matures (if it matures) and evolves from a hobbyist environment with mostly free apps to one where developers can earn more money, where users have one-click payment options and malware/parkware/steal-your-dataware is taken seriously. It’s about the attractiveness of the platform which is curently fragmented, where screen sizes and resolutions are so beautifuly diverse, where versions of Android vary widely, with long and uncertain/unavailable upgrade paths, so that dev X writes for ver 2.whatever that only so few % of all Android phones have because of this or that reason. So it’s just not worth it. What some Android geek needs to come up with to solve your issue is a virtualization app. Now that would be cool! But then you would have to have the latest dual core 1GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM on ver2.3 WowYo in order to run it which would only be available on handset This on day X all still on a plastic screen with a battery life that can be improved by app H…

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  • Anon September 28, 2010, 11:07 pm

    @Danni
    considering the fact that appstore is already a mature market, it doesnt surprise me.
    do take into consideration that at the rate Android market is growing and outpacing the rest, it is only a matter of time before it matches appstore, let alone dwarf it.

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  • Dewey September 29, 2010, 3:04 pm

    I leave the GPS on continuously to do location aware things. Out of the box I was getting 10.5 hrs on my Droid X. After Froyo update I’m getting 20.5 hrs.

    Yesterday I read news for an hour, listened to music for 2 hrs, talked for about an hour, checked email frequently and did some navigation. I went to bed with about 10% remaining after 14 hours.

    I don’t like Froyos inability to kill apps -I’ve had an app go nuts consuming battery, but overall I’d say my Droid just went from marginally usable to very usable.

    The screen is the biggest power sink, followed by the GPS.

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  • Danni September 29, 2010, 3:37 pm

    I’m a little too impatient to wait for the market to play catch up. LOL!

    I have a Netflix account, have had it for years. So I called Netflix and politely told the young lady in customer service to document on my account that I have a Droid X and I really would like an app so that I too can use my Netflix account on the go as iPhone users can, who pay exactly what I have to pay and really would appreciate Netflix providing the quality customer service that I am accustomed to by expediently providing that app.

    When enough Droid X owners/Netflix account holders do the same, we’ll get our app.

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  • James September 29, 2010, 4:42 pm
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  • Heath September 30, 2010, 12:38 pm

    It seems the US market is indeed unique: http://www.techztalk.com/techwebsite/07-22-10-apple-ios-4-vs-android-2.2-which-is-better

    Android has found its place at the base of the smartphone heap in multi-carrier nations.

    Annalist consensus is that AT&T is hurting Apple and fueling Andriod only as long as AT&T holds exclusivity, but expect users awaiting iPhone on their carriers (of which most have Android smartphones) will migrate to iPhone for the genuine experience. iPhone is seen as the phone to ‘kill’ hence the abscense of an ‘Android killer’ but the ongoing search for an ‘iPhone killer’ with the exception of the geek community who embrace the ‘open’ nature of Android. Most users don’t want to have to manage their multitasking, battery life, app security etc.
    Android is 2.2 is still unsuitable for security conscious Corporates.
    It must be noted that affluent/discerning geeks hack iOS as well to get the ‘open’ experience.

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  • Heath October 1, 2010, 2:15 pm
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  • michelle October 1, 2010, 5:28 pm

    My Droid x is a battery hog as well, with or without running apps. I am trying my best to like it over my crackleberry, However I have difficulty seeing the applications during daylight???

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  • Heath October 1, 2010, 6:30 pm

    It seems Android migration from iPhone and claims of Android outselling iOS is hyped up geeks and Google/Android fans: http://www.beatweek.com/uncategorized/7080-iphone-and-ipad-each-outpacing-entire-android-platform-in-web-usage/

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  • coolfx35 October 2, 2010, 9:40 am

    Hello all, New user to the android OS and I love the speed with my DX. Much faster than my storm! I had a heck of a time getting my phone since i’m stationed in Alaska. You know the whole ship to family in the lower 48, activate then ship to me! It was well worth the wait, I love droid x in terms of apps, widgets, security, everything else you can imagine. I want to share http://www.droidxforum.com it’s really useful.

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  • Julie October 2, 2010, 10:07 am

    @Heath No, not really. Like the article mentioned. Most apps on all platforms do this. I’m not naive enough to think otherwise.

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  • John January 29, 2011, 2:06 am

    I was happy as could be for a few months after getting my Droid X. Now, not so much. I still love the big display, but…it’s disappointingly slow in doing things like populating app lists when I want to add a widget or shortcut…so slow that I sometimes think the phone has powered off. Sorry, but just plain sucks. Now, I have a real issue: I was cleaning up some files, deleting a few items I don’t need. I wasn’t messing with any apps, just deleting music files and a few documents. Somehow, just doing this has hosed it. Screens are unresponsive. the Gallery app says “loading Media files” and hasn’t done it yet (after 1 and 1/2 hours.) If simply deleting files is going to make this run like a piece of crap, then—it’s a piece of crap. Is it the phone? Is it Motorola? verizon was notorious for queering phones before releasing the; is it possible V did something to this? Is it a flaw in Android? One minute the thing is working great (except for the aforementioned slow app lists) and then i delete a damn music file and nothing works. That’s the kind of crap I expect from Microsoft, and now….Android too? I’ve never been so damned frustrated.

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