July 15, 2010, 4:49 PM — The Droid X, which may be the toughest smartphone yet to effectively challenge the iPhone , went on sale at 12:01 a.m. today, starting with customers lined up outside a Columbia, Md., Verizon Wireless store.
The early buyers said the Droid X's large 4.3-inch screen was a big draw. They also like the touchscreen's responsiveness and the fast 1 GHz processor.
"It has a larger screen than the iPhone and the touchscreen is very responsive," said one early buyer, Danny Choy, who bought his Droid X at a store near Miami and was interviewed by phone. The iPhone screen is 3.5 inches.
Choy said he tried a cousin's iPhone and found its touchscreen keyboard hard to use. After only a few minutes with the Droid X, he found the Swipe typing application helpful for quick and accurate message writing.
An undergraduate student in biology at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Choy plans to use the Droid X mainly for access to medical applications and social networking. The iPhone was never on his buying list, he added, because his cousin has had reception problems over AT&T's network, while Choy has had no connection problems over Verizon's network on an older Samsung phone.
One buyer at the Columbia store, Tanya Schools, said having the ability to use the Droid X as a Wi-Fi hotspot to other devices was part of its allure. "With work and everything, I need Wi-Fi and I need the hotspot," she said in a video recorded by Verizon and posted on its site. "I need things to be fast. The EnV3 didn't hold up to that standard, but I've come in twice and played with the Droid X demo, and I'm blown away, absolutely blown away."
Verizon officials said they were excited about the early turnout. They said the Droid X had sold out in some stores, but customers could order units to have them delivered to their homes.
The Droid X, manufactured by Motorola, sells for $200 after rebate and a two-year agreement with Verizon. It runs Google 's Android 2.1 operating system, but will be upgraded over the air to version 2.2, probably by late August. At that time, it will also be possible to download Adobe's Flash 10.1 media player to the device.