You have to hand it to Motorola; as little as a year ago their future looked bleak. Android was still in its infancy and lacking polish, mainstream devices running it were few, and there weren’t public or visible signs of any forthcoming devices which would challenge the dominance of BlackBerry or iOS, especially from Motorola. A few months later, they launched the Motorola Droid, and a few months after the floodgates opened up - out has poured a steady stream of relatively polished devices running Android 2.x. It’s been breakneck almost, with new flagships every 3 months on average - the latest is Motorola’s Droid X on Verizon - henceforth just 'X.'

You also have to hand it to Verizon for getting its act together. Previously, they were infamous for crippling device hardware and OSes - the Touch Pro notoriously lacked an entire row of keys, and half the RAM. Their smartphone lineup also used to consist entirely of BlackBerries and Windows Mobile devices. That’s all changed.

Since the first Motorola Droid, they’ve been probably the single most vocal proponent of Android, embracing and billing their lineup of “Droids” as serious iPhone alternatives. The unique combination of being the largest carrier and the largest 3G footprint (and the  perception of having above average coverage) has resulted in massive growth of the Android platform. That’s definitely a turnaround for two giants.

Eight months after launch, the Motorola Droid is now a relatively old piece of kit. It’s amazing how fast the market is moving - the fact that an 8 month old handset is now obsolete is a testament to just how breakneck this pace is.

Motorola and HTC are now locked in a battle for dominance of the Android segment on the nation’s largest carrier. On one side is the HTC Incredible, on the other is the X and eventually the Droid 2. Across the aisle at Sprint, HTC has the EVO 4G. If you’re interested in a smartphone of the Android variety, you’ve got the most options ever right now, and the X is the newest contender. Let’s dive in.

Form Factor and Build Impressions
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  • jeffjcom - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Monoprice cables are Mini not Micro.
  • MrPete123 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    A little bit off topic but....I haven't seen any mention of Android 2.2 and battery life. Do we know if executing code significantly faster allows the CPU to sleep more often, saving power? Or perhaps there's other power saving alterations in 2.2?
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    I'm interested in this as well. Maybe update the Nexus One review with this info?

  • stlc8tr - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    "It’s interesting that Motorola is sticking to FWVGA - this is admittedly exactly 16:9 aspect ratio"

    Well, I guess it depends on how digits of precision you're using. 854x480 is actually 16:8.992974. :-)
  • soydios - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Whichever author wrote that, you are not being too picky about the short 3-foot length of the included USB cable. 6 feet or bust. I'd say that the majority of us like to have the phone on the nightstand or desk while it's charging, not on the floor next to the power socket.
  • Piano Man - Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - link

    Now this is what I call a smartphone review. I'm glad that these smartphones are getting full review treatment like they were computer systems. Since I got my Moto Droid at work 7 months ago, I think about 25-30 more have followed suit. I really thing these phones are gonna become our primary all-in-one electronic system sooner than we think. Glad they're getting the review they deserve. Please keep it up for the future biggie's (Samsung Galaxy, and the new OMAP processors).
  • jleach1 - Thursday, July 22, 2010 - link

    "droid x lastest longest on a single charge"

    not sure if this was an accent -=D
  • dumpsterj - Thursday, July 22, 2010 - link

    man i want this phone lol. I was gonna wait to see how windows phone 7 works out cuz i love zune . However it seems verizon is pissing all over microsoft lately with the kin and i wonder if vz will even get the damn phones.
  • VashHT - Thursday, July 22, 2010 - link

    Anyone else notice there evo benchmarks a lot better in this article than in the official evo review? It seems like the updates might have actually helped it out, it went from being slower to the incredible to faster in this review (in browsing tests I mean), you guys should update your evo review with the patches,i think they fixed the few little flaws the evo had when it first came out.
  • One43637 - Thursday, July 22, 2010 - link

    Great to hear Brian. I just picked up a Vibrant after owning a G1 for the duration. Phone is great, and I was pleasantly surprised how unobtrusive TouchWiz 3.0 is. Phone does not feel cheap at all, just because it has a plastic back.

    Can't wait to read your review and Froyo!

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