I’ve managed to find a couple of things I don’t really care for about the Droid X… but on the whole I’m really digging this damn phone.
The first thing I don’t particularly care for is how stupid hot the damn thing gets when you’re using it a lot. I’m thinking it might be the CDMA radio in it, because certain apps make it heat up fast while others you can use the thing for ages with minimal heat. The MSN app I was using for example, 30 minutes and it was uncomfortable.
As I write this post, however, the heat is barely noticeable. Not that the WordPress app isn’t fraught with it’s own difficulties…
Another issue is that two of it’s features are apparently broken. I can’t get the smart profile (turn the phone on it’s face to silence), nor the double tap to silence to work at all. Probably for the best, as some folks have had it never ring again after that (might be third party app related).
Finally, the firmware on the X from Motorola is patently terrible. Work is in progress for folks to get custom ROMs to boot, but not yet. I rooted my X simply to remove some of the bloatware – I am never going to pay for Blockbuster or city ID so I should be able to remove those fucking icons, right?
Apparently the X benchmarks a good bit slower than it should too, likely the remnants of Blur on a non-blur phone are to blame for that, or perhaps the lack of FrozenYoghurt. I’ve not really experienced any lag though, for the most part it’s a dream to use.
Still though, an option for vanilla android would be nice from companies who keep polluting the homogenous experience with their own UI tweaks. If I can get an almost vanilla Froyo on it, and add apps from there, I think I’ll be much happier.
My brother in law was petty psyched about the “places” feature, after I showed him how it worked… he spent about ten seconds screaming “KFC” at it, before I showed him “places”. Out with the family on that road-trip Branson vacation, and the needle’s starting to point to E? Bring up the gas station finder, complete with compass directions and the ability to plug it straight into turn by turn navigation. That’s cool.
The camera leaves a lot to be desired, the advertised 8MP had me thinking I might never use my DSC again… but alas, no. The mechanical shutter is nice but it’s still very obviously a camera-phone. The panoramic view thing worked pretty well even though I tried it in really low light… I can’t see me using very often though unless I magically figure out how to work the camera into taking decent pics. The flash also seems to wash out the images too easy, particularly with macro shots – also my main gripe about my DSC.
The GPS radio bug is pretty fucking annoying too – in fact for a while there I was genuinely tempted to call up and inquire about exchanging the phone because of the heat and battery issues. Turning the GPS off is a pain in the arse, but at least it can go more than five hours without a charge.
Update:I’ve played with the GPS, and while I can “reproduce” the bug, I don’t notice it in terms of battery life. I’m getting about 13-15 hours between charges out of it, and I mostly can’t put it down. I got about 5 hours of MP3 playback out of it with around 50% battery – turn off MP3s and the battery drain flatlines as expected, despite the fact the debug screen’s “running” is pegged at 100%.
One really good thing about the software, Swype. It takes a little getting used to, and there are a lot of small tricks you pick up over time (like swyping up to capitalize a first letter) but the most important thing is to just relax and scribble. It’s border-line creepy the regularity with which swype can figure out what you intended to say, so don’t sit and watch each word get entered… just go nuts scribbling with a light touch as fast as you can and then make a second sweep through to fix any errors.
It also works great with your thumb – the other day I managed to bust out a tweet using only my thumb with swype while I had my arms full of groceries waiting in line to check out. I was pretty impressed with how few errors I made and how easy it was to pilot the device with my least-deft minor digit.
Other minor grievances with this phone I suspect may be android specific platform wide issues. I would frequently leave my WinMo handset plugged in via USB to conserve battery life – no can do with the Droid. Unless you chose to have it on USB only, android OS will unmount the SD card while your PC has access to it. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for that, but it stops any custom alerts from working. Maybe there’s a way to store those alerts on the phone’s memory instead and avoid this issue, but I, was quite annoyed to miss an email by about ten minutes because of it.
On the whole though, this phone is pretty kick-ass, and I’m not really upset I didn’t get a full QWERTY with it.