Although Motorola's brand new Droid X smartphone and the original Droid bear similar names, they are very different devices.
After playing around with both devices side-by-side for about a half hour this morning, it became clear that the Droid X should really not be seen as a sequel to the original Droid but rather a different model of smartphone altogether.
Let's start with the obvious: The original Droid has a physical slide-out keyboard while the Droid X relies solely on a touchscreen. This in and of itself isn't really a loss for the Droid X, since the first Droid's shallow keyboard was one of the chief complaints about the device and the Droid X's touchscreen is large enough to make it easy to work with for people with large hands.
Speaking of the screen, it's absolutely huge, registering at 4.3 inches with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. Flipping the phone sideways provides a terrific video experience as the phone presents a bright, clear picture with vibrant colors and definition. The huge screen might not be for people who want a device that fits easily into the pockets, of course, but it is certainly a plus for people who love mobile video.
Despite the fact that the Droid X has a larger screen than the Droid, it actually weighs less, registering at 5.5 ounces compared with the Droid's 6 ounces. This is mostly because the Droid X doesn't have a thick slide-out keyboard to deal with and the device overall is less awkward to work with despite its bigger frame.
On the downside, some have complained that the device comes installed with MOTOBLUR, Motorola's social networking aggregator that lets users integrate friends' status updates and uploaded pictures from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace onto their homescreens. However, this shouldn't be a deal breaker since Motorola has kept MOTOBLUR more in the background on the Droid X than it has on past Motorola Android devices such as the Motorola Cliq, where MOTOBLUR was the default overlay for the phone.
So what's the final verdict? Well, Apple's iPhone 4 antenna problems have given rival brands a rare chance to pounce and take away potential iPhone customers, although recent surveys suggest the iPhone is still far and away the most coveted smartphone on the market. Still, any opportunity to dent the iPhone's armor is rare and the Motorola Droid X could be in the best position to take advantage of it, especially since it hasn't experienced any of the supply shortage problems faced by HTC's two big new smartphones, the Droid Incredible and the EVO 4G. And while the Droid X certainly won't be able to "kill" the iPhone, it could at least trip it up and take its lunch money.
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This story, "Droid X vs. the Droid: Key differences emerge" was originally published by Network World.