It’s been less than a week since my initial purchase and product review of the Motorola Droid X smartphone from Verizon Wireless and I have to say it’s been quite the pleasure learning to use it on the fly.
“Seriously?” I love that ad.
Yes, seriously. This is one of the most intuitive phones I’ve ever used and it is only the second of two smartphones I’ve ever owned. The Samsung Omnia was my first and it almost turned me off to smartphones but input from my family & friends helped me jump on board the Droid wave. I picked up the Droid X smartphone, but because of my situation between work and home, I have been in a constant state of frazzled mode as I packed and participated in an ill-fated road trip and helping my family with an overflow plumbing problem that soaked their house. I’ve been a bit busy. I only had a few hours here and there to tinker with it but the phone is so easy to pick up and engage that it’s been a pure pleasure to learn. If you remember, it took about 10-hours to figure out the basics of the Omnia where as here, a few minutes out the door and I was making phone calls and checking email.
I don’t know where to begin so I’ll just start rattling off what comes to mind and go from there.
Droid X Phone OS:
It’s a Google Droid OS and it’s Unix based. Right there I’m more confident in the OS as Unix crashes compared to MS crashes are like… um… huh. It’s been my experience that for about 100 system crashes in a small user network I used to administer, Unix fails maybe once. Unix seems more robust and streamlined so I don’t feel too worried. I did lock the phone up once trying to tinker with a service or setting that I was only curiously playing with. (I don’t remember the service. I was in the middle of a car emergency from my road trip! I didn’t know what key-combination worked for a hard-reset so I pulled the battery and replaced to start over.)
Droid Touch Screen
I touch and drag and the screen drags, just like it is supposed to. I’m not used to that. With my Omnia, I’d touch and drag and find myself selecting either what I touched or what I dragged over. I could never get the drag function or scroll feature to ever really work well without getting tricky. The Droid X screen has been 99% flawless in this category.
Phone Hard Buttons
The Phone has a set of hard buttons on it. The most important that I’ve discovered are on the face of the phone at the bottom. There’s a “Menu,” “Home,” “Last Page” & “Search” button. These are pretty critical at times and saves you time when navigating. These are not screen-touch buttons but actual hard buttons.
The one thing I didn’t catch on to immediately (remember, I’ve been in this on-the-fly mode) is that the left-most button, the “Menu” button will have different menus pop up during different functions. When your Gmail is up, it brings up other Gmail options that you don’t immediately see. In the “Maps” mode, it brings up options for that app. So it is with most other apps that the menu button will bring up functions specific to where/what you’re in.
The “Home” button takes you out of whatever mode/app you’re in and splats you back at the home screen.
The “Last Page” button will, well, as far as I can tell, take you back one page or app interface. Continued pressing of the button acts like your PC’s browser button and continues to go back through the various screens, apps or options you’ve traversed.
The “Search” button pulls up the Google Search window that you will also see in the first screen that is to the left of your home page. (I call it L1) Of the five screens, there’s two to the left, two to the right. My references will be L1, L2, R1, R2 and Home, in an upcoming review.
The power button is on top of the phone. When the phone is active, a quick press puts it to snooze mode. Waking it up involves pressing the ‘Home” key and touch-sliding the lock symbol to the right. If you want to silence the phone so the ring doesn’t perturb anyone, quick press the “Home” button, and touch-slide the speaker symbol on the right side of the screen to the left.
Droid X Reception:
At home or work, my old smartphone, the Samsung Omnia had 0 or 1 bars of reception showing while indoors. (it was on the same service provider I have used since 2000, Verizon Wireless.) My Droid X at work has 2 & 3 bars at work, and 3 or 4 bars at home. I’m not sure if I’m comparing apples to apples, but it looks like the Motorola Droid X has superior reception. (My phone prior to the Samsung was a Motorola RAZR and it had great reception as this Droid does.)
In my next Droid X user product review, I’ll be talking about my experiences with the different Menu Screens that are to the left and right of the home screen.
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screenshot of buttons from Droid-Life.com