Camera and Multimedia:

It seems like each new smartphone is in a race to include a higher megapixel camera than the one before it. The Motorola DROID X is now the second Verizon device to come with an 8MP autofocus camera, after the HTC Droid Incredible. The camera app takes about 2 seconds to open on the DROID X, which is one second faster than the HTC Droid Incredible. The screen shows an outline of a white box in the center, which is where the camera will focus by default, but you can drag it around the screen to change where the focus-point is. You then press halfway down on the red shutter button for it to focus on whatever is in the square (turning it from white to green), which takes about a second, and then press the button the rest of the way to snap the image. Images taken outside in bright sunlight were properly exposed and have pretty accurate color representation and saturation. The photos are on the softer side but still pack an enormous amount of detail, making them look stunning. As a comparison, images that were taken outside by the HTC Droid Incredible are sharper, but lack the accurate colors and tonal balance that is present on the DROID X. So between the two, we prefer the outside images produced by the Motorola DROID X more. While indoors, the DROID X produces accurate colors when using the flash (which also does a decent job at illuminating the scene), while the Droid Incredible has more of a green hue. There are also a bunch of different settings for the camera on the Motorola DROID X, including 8 scene modes, 8 color effects, 6 picture resolutions, review time, face detection, and ISO, as well as being able to take 360 degree panorama images, self portraits, and multi-shots.

Videos on the Motorola DROID X can be recorded in up to 1280x720 pixels at 24fps, as well as 720x480p at 30fps, 640x480, and QVGA. There are also five different scenes: everyday – for capturing audio from all directions, outdoors – for reducing wind noise, narrative – for commenting on the scene, subject – that records audio from the front of the camera, and concert - for capturing music. There are also the different color effects, video modes (normal, message, slow motion, fast motion), and the ability to turn the LED light on and off. We recorded two videos while outside. Both were at the highest resolution (720p), but one was using the everyday scene and the other was using the outdoors scene. The playback of both videos on the phone looked quite good, but when viewed on a 24” PC monitor, the quality was just not there, as the videos were grainy and not as smooth as it would have been at 30fps. Though we did notice that the outdoor mode did successfully help reduce wind noise. At this point, the DROID X does take the highest resolution videos of any Verizon phone, but the quality just isn’t near what you would get using a dedicated HD camcorder. We can see it being used for YouTube posts and taking impulsive videos to playback on your HDTV via the HDMI, but we doubt anyone would use it to record their wedding or vacation videos.

Motorola DROID X MB810 sample video at 1280x720 pixels resolution. - everyday scene
Motorola DROID X MB810 sample video at 1280x720 pixels resolution. - outdoors scene

Motorola has taken the liberty of replacing the standard Android 2.1 3D Gallery app with one of their own. It has categories for camera, tags, folders, all phones, all videos, and copy protected. When the DROID X is in portrait mode, it shows images in a grid view, but when turning it to landscape, it changes to a 3D scroll effect, similar to what we saw with the web browser bookmarks. Tapping on any image brings it up to full screen, where you can pinch-to-zoom. For playback of our own ripped videos, the DROID X supports H.263 and H.264 encoded MP4 videos, WMV, and DivX encoded AVI. Our test videos in 720x306 at 1500kbps looked excellent on the large display, and played smoothly without any dropped frames.

One area where Motorola should have done some tinkering was with the Music Player. Though we can’t complain too much, as the stock Android 2.1 player does provide basically everything you need, by listing your music by artists, albums, songs, and playlists. There is also handful of equalizer settings, though you really can’t hear any difference unless you are using a headset. Music playback through the rear speaker was loud, but it sounded ‘thin’ and not as full as music played by the HTC Droid Incredible and Motorola DROID. But once you connect a headset, it solves the problem. Furthermore, when a wired headset is connected, you can access the FM Radio, where it can auto scan for station, or you can tune them in manually and set presets. Our local FM stations came in clear on the Motorola DROID X with better reception than the HTC Droid Incredible. There is also the option to play the FM stations through the phone’s rear speaker, but you still have to keep the headset connected, as it uses the wires for the antenna.

The Motorola DROID X is the first smartphone on Verizon to come with an HDMI port, though it requires a Micro HDMI Type D cable (not included), and supports 480p, 576p, and 720p output resolutions. You can use it for viewing pictures and videos from your phone to your HDTV, but copy protected videos, such as those from the VCast app or new Blockbuster app cannot be played through it. Furthermore, we were pretty let down by the Blockbuster app, as the prices are $3.99 for a 24 hour rental, and can go from $10-$18 to purchase. In addition, the app does not support streaming and has to download the full movie via Wi-Fi first. At this point we can only hope Netflix is working on something better. The Media Share app and DLNA feature work hand-in-hand, allowing you to connect the Motorola DROID X via Wi-Fi to other DLNA supported PCs, HDTVs, network drives, video game consoles, and other phones. With it, you can share and stream pictures, videos, music and other files to and from the connected devices.


Naturally you can download and install apps from the Android Market, but there are quite a few apps already on the Motorola DROID X, including Google Talk, GMail, Google Maps 4 with Navigation, QuickOffice for viewing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Acrobat files, Skype Mobile, City ID, File Viewer, Blockbuster and VCast Video. The DROID X is also one of the first Android smartphones to support Verizon’s 3G Mobile Hotspot app, which will allow you to connect up to 5 devices to it via Wi-Fi, which intern get connected to Verizon’s data network through the phone. This service costs $20 per month, but is limited to 2GB of data. This feature was originally $40 a month and came with 5GB of data when introduced on the Palm Pre Plus, but was later changed to free to help the Pre Plus sell.

The Motorola DROID X is one fast device that comes equipped with a Texas Instruments OMAP 3630 1GHz processor and a dedicated SFX530 GPU. Add to that the 512MB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and 16GB microSDHC card (up to 32GB supported). We ran the Quadrant benchmark program, which tests the CPU, memory, I/O, 2D and 3D graphics, and got a score of 1263 on the DROID X, while the HTC Droid Incredible got a significantly lower score of 523, and the Motorola DROID was even less at 347.



1. spydablac

Posts: 6; Member since: May 18, 2010

Iphone 4, Evo 4g, and Driod X all get the same rating...

14. jonniedough

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

The big three X,I4,Evo all good news for us......

23. de2philly

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

My same thoughts exactly.. how do they all get the same exact rating... should be like EVO - 9.8 Driod X - 9.5 iphone4 - 9.0 IMO

25. ilikesmrtphnz

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

IMO... that's how it definitely should have been

33. BlackSirius16

Posts: 84; Member since: May 21, 2010

DROID X - 9.8 EVO - 9.5 iPhone 4 - 7.5

2. anarkie

Posts: 48; Member since: Jan 28, 2009

I think we need a 3 way tie-breaker. Please send me each phone and I will volunteer to sacrifice my time and efforts in making a final decision.

24. de2philly

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 30, 2010


28. AaronWasHere

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

LOL, well played.

3. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

phonearena, you actually listened to me!!!!

10. JDubreno005

Posts: 25; Member since: Jan 07, 2009

amen, me too

4. lookitdisguy

Posts: 32; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

Hopefully T-Mobile can get a phone with a rating like that cause I'm jealous now.. They are the only network to not have an awesome phone right now cause the HD2 was never an option for me because of the windows OS.. It's either Android OS for me or switch and try the Apple OS again...

39. BlackSirius16

Posts: 84; Member since: May 21, 2010

be on the lookout for a Nexus two or something

5. dyster

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Review is ok. I don't see a point of further comparison because you can't buy Ip4, X, Evo from the same carrier. All the carriers now have good offerings.

6. Fallout

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 22, 2010

Nice review Hope everyone's happy now


Posts: 147; Member since: Sep 22, 2009

I want this phone now! But I'm not eligible for an upgrade til 2/11..UGH!!

21. gomets15217

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 13, 2008

my upgrade is july 16, 2010. GUESS WHAT PHONE IM GETTING.

29. AaronWasHere

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

an LG Voyager?

8. shaunieo

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 04, 2009

As one of the few AT&T fans on here who defends the blue, i will point out that we let anyone who was eligible for upgarde this year get the new Iphone. Not sure if Big Red did that or not, but they should...........

9. LGVX1993

Posts: 260; Member since: Jan 27, 2009

Yeah they're doing that for the Droid X too.

18. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

Yeah the sooner they sell them the more they can get out the door before everyone realizes you can't make phone calls.

41. Mightymack

Posts: 74; Member since: Jul 16, 2010

i got mine on upgrade!

11. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

i am honestly surprised they gave it this high of rating. seems like each VZW phone that comes out phonearena cuts them off at the knees. i'm presently surprised.

12. greyhulk

Posts: 184; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

Is it just me, or do all of the photos look like crap? They're kind of blurry. I hope that's not really going to be the quality of the camera. The original Droid wasn't that great, but I was hoping Motorola would fix that in future phones.

16. rhand

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

I agree ... the photos look terrible. This is a major disappointment. Wished they'd put some effort into making a better quality camera instead of just cramming more megapixels onto the tiny light sensor just to please the marketing department.

17. Hello-dirt

Posts: 102; Member since: May 02, 2010

I am going to guess that you have seen what you get: a high megapixel rating that only works in strong light. My Evo is the same-8mp quality only if subject not moving and in bright light and a 720p video that stutters. Phone specs are becoming like HP ratings for cars, inflated to help sell the machine.

22. greyhulk

Posts: 184; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

The odd part is, they said the photos look "good" in their review. I have read all of the Droid X reviews. The sample pictures are a mixed bag on all of them. Some of them look really good, others look like crap (like the ones here). Many of the reviewers slam the photo quality. It reminds me of all of the reviews and sample photos on the original Droid. But hey, at least you don't have to hold it a certain way to make phone calls, right?

34. BlackSirius16

Posts: 84; Member since: May 21, 2010

idk why these photos are terribel but the ones on engadget, Boy Genuis Report, and gizmodo are all way better try looking their for actually photo quality

13. ace1122

Posts: 237; Member since: Mar 23, 2009

Now all we have to wait for is a phone comparison between this and the iphone- not like they're gonna even tell us the winner but i bet the winner will be the one who can at least make calls.

15. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

This phone is like a giant when you compare it to my ARIA - looks great, though.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Say hello to the big three. EVO, iPhone 4, and Droid X.
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP
  • Storage 6.656 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1540 mAh(8.00h talk time)

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