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Droid X in a nutshell

This review is intended to give you an idea of what to expect when you start using the Verizon Droid X Smart phone as well as give some tips as to ways make it run a bit faster and preserve battery life.

Operating System
The Droid X runs on the android operating system based off of Linux. The fact that this is open source gives you endless choices for free apps written by developers, usually ad based, but surprisingly stable and useful considering that they are free. These and all other applications are obtained through the Android Marketplace.

Application Review
Being this was technically my first smart phone I was extremely pleased to find out that purchasing applications required a credit card and was not just tacked onto your monthly bill, giving you a lot more control over how much you spend on apps.

Another pleasant surprise was the addition of Google Maps which replaces VZ navigator and is free as well as opposed to the 9.99 a month charge required to run VZ Navigator. VZ Navigator did run more stable than Google Maps, but in the time that I have been using it (only 2 months) there has been a few updates that have improved stability. As far as ease of use, I found Google Maps to be much more user friendly, more options, and more enjoyable features.

The recent release of Android version 2.2 (Froyo) added more features to the Droid X even though it was one of the last Android phones to receive this update OTA (over the air). The main addition was Adobe Flash 10.1, which is something IPhone users are still not able to use. The web content on the Droid X was surprisingly fast and extremely user friendly before this update, so this just took something good and made it better.

Being that the operating system is based off of Linux, all major changes made to Phone require Root access something denied by default. There are ways to gain Root access but for the purposes of this review, and due to the fact as this does void your warranty, we will not be discussing them.
There is a built-in VPN application that comes with the Droid X but unfortunately it does not support Cisco group authentication at this time. Being that I need that to test its functionality I have not had a chance to see if this works, but from what I read there are a lot of issues with this. Hopefully this is something that will be improved upon in the future.

Battery Expectations
Battery life is always going to be an issue as you are not using just a phone, but in reality a tiny laptop with voice capabilities. My first Droid X, which I had to return as there was a pixel out, would last a day at most. But since I received my second and made some modifications I now easily last a day sometimes two. If you have not had any phone like this, that may not seem like a lot but this is what is to be expected with a phone that does this much.

You should first go through the applications and remove any applications that you do not perceive yourself using. While you should keep in mind if you do not recognize the application, you may want to leave them alone as they may provide functionality to another part of the phone. Also without a car charger if you are going to use Google Maps there will not be much battery life left. Also do not setup social networking apps if you don't intend to use them often as this will eat up battery life.

Free apps are great but the ads attached will eat up battery life as well, I noticed that I was a lot more careful with which apps I downloaded with my second phone and battery life improved dramatically, always read reviews and research before you install and app. If there are apps you downloaded, but do not use, remove them.

On to the fun stuff
With a Droid X setup properly you should be able to do the following with little or no setup:
Access your home PC with remote desktop.
Wirelessly Tether to your device anywhere you have a 3G connection and get speeds averaging at 2.0 MBPS which is pretty quick for a cellular connection.
Play plenty of free games.
Manage your personal and work e-mail.
Manage your calendar.
Send text messages from your phone or a number you choose through Google voice.
Make calls using your phone or a number you choose through Google voice.
Access all areas of the web through the stock browser or a variety of free browsers available in the marketplace.
Get turn by turn navigation directly from an address off a website or by inputting your own destination address.
Place a call from a phone number off a website with a simple touch.
And these are just the basics.

For those a bit more advanced you can increase the overall speed of your Droid X by editing internal parameters to auto-kill ghost apps and background apps. Also through a terminal emulator you can run Linux commands. Lastly to kill ads even in ad based apps, you can edit the hosts file.

This may seem like more of an advertisement than a review but I assure you this is just my thoughts, experiences, and knowledge of the Droid X in the 2 months I have owned it. I hope you have found it informative and enjoyable.

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