Motorola DROID 2 vs Motorola DROID X

Introduction and Design

Separated by only a month, two prestigious Android based smartphones from Motorola are currently at the forefront of the whole Android lineup. The one-two punch combo from Motorola may have surprised many, especially when there is so much competition from all sides, but the tandem will undoubtedly attract customers thanks to their high-end status. There were some people who were quick to snatch the Motorola DROID X when it was released over a month ago; especially when it provided a refreshingly new take on Motorola's DROID line. However, Big Red didn't take too long in bringing the Motorola DROID 2 out to the market in order to provide customers the two best Android options that money can buy. On one hand you've got the gargantuan sized DROID X boasting a ton of features that seem to gravitate toward multimedia conscious individuals. While on the other, you've got the refreshed DROID 2 that eloquently improves in many categories over its predecessor. If you happen to still be deciding on which DROID to go with, now is probably the good time to pit these two against one another.


These two handsets couldn't be anymore different from one another from simply taking a quick glance at either of them. The DROID 2 of course packs a landscape QWERTY keyboard that caters to those who prefer the presence of actual buttons when typing something out. By no means is it bulky too since it looks and feels more like the normal sized device between the two, plus, it retains the overall design of its predecessor and continues to exude a fine looking industrial design. Come to think about it, the DROID 2 slides into any pocket very easily since it's only 0.54” thick – impressive when you factor in the keyboard it carries. Some people may require two hands to hold the DROID X in place since it easily dwarfs the DROID 2 in terms of overall size. Despite that, it still resonates a quality design that's even more impressive since it tallies in at 0.39” thickness. The DROID 2 is heavier as it hits the scale at 5.96 oz versus the DROID X's weight of 5.47 oz. There's no arguing that Motorola placed a lot of love in the creation of both devices, which is evident in the premium materials employed on them, but after checking out the fresh looking DROID X, it's easily the fan favorite with its awe-inspiring looks.

With the rapid pace of display technologies continually being pushed to the limit, the 3.7” TFT display found on the DROID 2 is considered normal sized while the 4.3” TFT display with the DROID X is situated at the upper end of the spectrum. Even though the DROID X provides more real estate, both offer a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels – making them the most pixel filled screens seen on any Android smartphone.

However, doing the math will blatantly show that the DROID 2 has a higher pixel density on paper than the DROID X – but still, it doesn't really factor in that much. Looking at both displays from a distance of 1 foot, there is no distinguishable difference with the naked eye. But when we set the brightness to the highest level, we can visually see that the DROID 2 has a higher contrast ratio – it's evident when you look at the color black as the DROID 2 looks more natural. Regardless, they still provide support for 16.7 million colors and offer good viewing from all angles.

Without a doubt, we definitely prefer the tactile feeling physical buttons used on the DROID X over the touch sensitive ones with the DROID 2 which can sometimes be accidentally pressed. But of course, the DROID 2 has the convenience factor since it packs a usable landscape style QWERTY keyboard – making it the prime candidate for those who don't like relying on touchscreens. Aside from that, the DROID X utilizes larger sized buttons for the volume rocker, two-level shutter key, and dedicated power button. The DROID 2 uses the same set of buttons, but they weren't as easily accessed since they are smaller and more flush to the surface. Additionally, they both feature a 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port for charging/PC connection, but the DROID X has some inclusions that can't be overlooked. Such as a micro HDMI port to easily share media content and 3 different microphones – the regular one, another for noise-canceling, and a directional one for video recording. Following the DROID X's theme of bigger is more, we're treated to a higher 8-megapixel auto-focus camera over the 5-megapixel shooter on the DROID 2 – thankfully though, they both offer a dual-LED flash. Finally, the handset's internals and batteries are well protected thanks to their metal like rear covers.

Motorola DROID 2 360 Degrees View:

Motorola DROID X 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Features:

As it stands right now, there is one major reason to choose the Motorola DROID 2 over the DROID X – it's because of the tasty frozen yogurt is has to offer. Android 2.2 Froyo is the sole differentiator between the two handsets, however, the DROID X is expected to receive the upgrade treatment very soon, and thus bringing an identical platform experience. But when you look down at it, they both employ the MOTOBLUR-like customized experience that strongly provides for some unique widgets that can be re-sized to accommodate your personalized taste. Powered by 1GHZ OMAP processors, the devices are able to move about the platform with relative ease and with no distinct differences in performance. However, we did run a benchmark test and found that the DROID 2 with Android 2.2 earned a Quadrant benchmark score of 1371 versus the DROID X's 1251 with Android 2.1. So yes, the DROID 2 slightly edges out when it comes down to the numbers, but honestly, you're not going to see any subtle differences between actual usage with both phones.

Naturally, the DROID 2's inclusion of a physical keyboard offers users an additional input method aside from the touch options that the two present. But you can't count out the DROID X in this category – especially when it boasts a large size display that produces finger friendly buttons for typing over the DROID 2's actual physical keyboard. However, it's worth noting that the DROID X has a better typing performance when it comes down to using any of the on-screen methods. Pitting it against the DROID 2's QWERTY keyboard, we're amazed that the sizable real estate does play a major factor in comfortably typing with the DROID X. Interestingly enough, we found our pace to be much faster on the DROID X since it doesn't require any force from your fingers to register a touch. As much as the DROID 2 can claim some bragging rights with the convenient option of a physical keyboard, the DROID X is also a definitive choice for text messaging individuals.

Internet and Connectivity:

On the surface, web browsing on either handset is accompanied with a fantastic experience that closely replicates the look and feel you get out of the desktop experience. Upon closer inspection though, you can visually see that the DROID 2 has one compelling feature that trumps the DROID X – it has support for Flash 10.1; so it'll basically present you with that realistic experience. Although some will find it to be a compromising factor, it does impact the DROID 2's performance a little bit since we noticed a slightly choppier experience scrolling when there is Flash content running. Still, the fantastic resolution they boast will make it considerably easy for the eye to scope out all of the fine details on a web site. But of course, the DROID 2's reign is looking to be short lived since it's expected for the DROID X to receive support for Flash 10.1 with its upcoming Android 2.2 Froyo update.

These two Android smartphones share a common bond with their dual-band (800/1900 MHz) radios with 3G speeds courtesy of EV-DO revision  A connectivity. Alternatively, you can opt to rely on using their built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n to gain data connection when the network isn't present. Plus there is also Bluetooth 2.1 on board that will allow you to connect a mix of wireless headsets to either smartphones or wirelessly transfer files. And of course, you can't go wrong with either of them thanks to Mobile HotSpot functionality on board that will allow you to share your 3G connection over Wi-Fi with other nearby devices. Even though both provide DLNA support, it's worth noting that the DROID X has a micro HDMI port which will easily allow you to share content with a television – something that's missing on the DROID 2.

Camera and Multimedia:

In another battle where we see one phone boasting a larger megapixel camera, we always have to remember that it doesn't necessarily always dictate a better performance. The DROID X's 8-megapixel camera might capture some looks from shoppers versus the small 5-megapixel shooter on the DROID 2, but don't let numbers fool you when they get down and dirty in taking photos. To tell you the truth, there isn't a big difference between shots taken outdoors as they both presented some great details and color reproduction. Images captured indoors were also similar, but the dual-LED flash on the DROID 2 looks to better illuminate shots in low light situations. Moreover, the DROID 2 handles better in taking closeup or macro shots seeing that it's able to focus a lot better – thus capturing a lot more detail over its higher counterpart. Nevertheless, both provide for some great looking photos that are worth sharing with friends and family.

Finding ourselves once again in a similar situation, the DROID X clearly has the numbers to back itself up as 720p high definition is available. Comparing that to the DVD like quality (720 x 480) video capture on the DROID 2, there is no reason why someone would choose this over the DROID X. Again, numbers don't foretell the true video quality actually seen captured by both smartphones. It's rather difficult in choosing which one is better, especially with the smoother looking videos produced by the DROID 2 since it captures them at the rate of 29fps – compare that to the slower pace of the DROID X at 23fps. We can conclude that the DROID X has a slight edge when it comes to detail, while the DROID 2's video is smoother.

Motorola DROID 2 sample video at 720x480 pixels resolution
Motorola DROID X sample video at 1280x720 pixels resolution

Since the two DROID smartphones pack the same customized Android experience, there is nothing different to be found on their music players. Though, it should be pointed out that the DROID X can access FM radio when you connect a pair of headphones to it – something that's not offered by the DROID 2. Audio from the DROID 2 sounded just a tiny bit louder than what's emitted by the DROID X – partly due to the large grill found on the DROID 2 versus the smaller cutout notch with the DROID X. Still, both are equally enjoyable and don't really sway us to one side more than the other.

Are you kidding? Combining their fast CPUs and detailed displays, there is no denying the kind of worthwhile experience you'll get out of watching videos with these two DROIDs. Loading up a movie trailer encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution, we witnessed nothing but a satisfying experience since playback was smooth with no faults to be found with either handsets. But when we fathom about which one is more conducive for this purpose, it can easily be seen that the DROID X's larger display makes for an enjoyable experience since your eyes won't have any problems seeing anything. Still, the DROID 2 is a respectable device to watch videos when it shares a common bond with its resolution – but it has an edge in color production thanks to its better contrast ratio.

When it comes down to storage, the DROID X is preloaded with a 16GB microSD card which is more than acceptable during these times. Looking towards its other half, the DROID 2 packs an 8GB microSD card and an additional 6.2GB of internal storage out of the box – summing up to a decent size.


Calling quality has to go to the Motorola DROID X with its near flawless performance all around that makes conversations on the phone such a pleasant experience. Naturally, the earpieces on both handsets are able to emit an almost deafening loud tone, but there is just some static noise that can be heard on the DROID 2 – giving its counterpart the slight edge. Not only that, but we'd imagine that the noise canceling microphone on the DROID X supplements its performance over the DROID 2. When using the speakerphone, both were quite manageable in hearing voices, but the DROID 2 is able to pump out slightly louder tones, although they tend to sound somewhat strained when volume is placed to its maximum setting.

Motorola is known for producing handsets with stunning receptions seeing that they've been in the business of making radios for a long period of time. Neither handsets displayed any major fluctuations in signal strength or dropped any calls during our testing in the greater Philadelphia area.
Fortunately, we managed to get at least a solid day of usage on both smartphones as we set them to automatic brightness. However, it seems like the DROID X just has a little bit more juice in its battery pack – which makes sense when it has a larger capacity battery. Regardless, they will provide ample time with normally usage, but expect them to drain faster if you're a heavy user.


As we look back, both devices have their strengths and weaknesses, but we feel that the Motorola DROID X is the more compelling smartphone since it has additional curb appeal over its refreshed brother. In reality, it radiates that same aura that surrounded the original Motorola DROID – especially when it packs a substantial wow factor from a first glance. However, you still can't count out the DROID 2 since it's a pretty solution for heavy text messengers and users who demand a relatively compact handset.

It also has the slight advantage with the latest build of Android on board, but the DROID X isn't too far from receiving its serving of the same tasty dessert that will bring it to the same level – erasing any advantages with the DROID 2 in that arena. When they're priced equally on-contract at $199.99, it makes for one difficult decision when they're both regarded as premier offerings. In any case, you can't go wrong with either of them – perhaps because they are built from the inside out with plenty of love and dedication. Ultimately, they further a strong showing from Motorola as their DROID devices have become vigilant figures in the Android community.

Motorola DROID 2 vs Motorola DROID X video comparison:

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