Out of the box there's not a lot to differentiate the X2 from its postscript-free predecessor. In fact, little has changed from a design standpoint, so we won't be delving quite as deep here as we did with the first X. There's much the same sleek, slim design that's thin for most of the chassis, fattening up at the top to make room for what appears to be the same 8 megapixel sensor with dual-LED flash. This protrusion makes the whole thing a bit top-heavy and a stubborn occupant of your skinny jeans if you try to shove it in head-first, but that bit of extra junk is the only bit of flab on what is otherwise a trim handset.
At its thickest, the top, it's 9.99mm (0.39-inches). Its 65.5mm width and 127.5mm height (5- x 2.5-inches) make room for a big, bright 4.3-inch LCD up front that's moved up to qHD since the X -- an impressive 960 x 540 resolution. Viewing angles are extremely good as is contrast, making this one of the best displays we've yet seen on a handset. It doesn't quite have that look
of the Super AMOLED Plus displays Samsung has been packing on phones like the Galaxy S II
or the Infuse 4G
, but its brightness, contrast, color reproduction, and most importantly resolution make it a very strong contender.
Situated beneath the bottom bezel are the same four physical buttons found on the original Droid X -- a nice touch but still a bit skinny and still a bit hard to press without really giving 'em a good squeeze. As on the original X that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's certainly an unfamiliar feel if you're used to accidentally dropping to your home screen with a wayward stroke from your thumb.
On the bottom of the left side a micro-USB and micro-HDMI port are nestled, the latter curiously situated a few fractions of a millimeter lower than the former. Details. Unfortunately a swapped orientation on these takes any hopes of compatibility with the Atrix dock and throws it out the window. Up top the 3.5mm headphone jack is offset to the left, and a shiny lock / power button is situated in the middle. The right side has only a chrome volume rocker while the bottom has, well, nothing -- just the slightest hint of a chin.
Like before, the battery cover is firmly held in place by an asymmetrical series of clasps that fit into an asymmetrical series of grooves. The 1,500mAh battery requires a good tug to extract from its cubby, showing the tight tolerances at play here. An 8GB microSD can then be slipped out, and if that seems a bit paltry in these days of the 32GB chips offered in phones like the Charge, well, it is. But, an additional 4GB of user-accessible storage lies within the phone, meaning you really have 12GB here to play with. Plus, there's roughly another 1.5GB in there for apps and such.
One thing you won't find under the back cover is a slot for a SIM card. That is, of course, because this is a strictly 3G phone in an increasingly LTE world.
Performance and battery life
The 2 in X2 of course stands for the second processor core that's been tucked away inside here, Tegra 2 running at 1GHz. As a pair those cores deliver solid performance, starting with a quick boot and extending all the way through every task you can throw at it in today's Android ecosystem. It's definitely a powerhouse, evidenced by its benchmark scores. Neocore delivered 54.6, Linpack 36.229 MFLOPS, Quadrant 2,509, and SunSpider completed in just a hair over 4,000ms. Impressive numbers.
Despite that performance the phone offers respectable battery life. It's not great, not matching the Droid Charge
or the Infuse (which, admittedly, are packing bigger cells), but the lack of LTE here means this phone should get you through a full day of typical usage. We made it through one earthly revolution and well into a second of casual e-mail and surfing usage before running for an AC outlet, but if boot up Google Nav and get some Google Music streaming in the background and you'll quickly be reaching for that car charger, as with every Android handset.
GPS performance, however, is quite good. The phone locked on to our location in seconds and refused to let it go, and kept a solid wireless connection whenever such a connection was available. Oh, and how is it as a phone? Again quite good. The earpiece speaker is loud and clear, as is the speakerphone built into the back.
We're not seeing any major differences in the camera hardware here since the original Droid X, so much of what we saw before still applies here. Images are a bit under-exposed at times but overall quality is quite good, and the triple-mic setup delivers great audio for video shooting. Curiously, though, recording still tops out at 720p despite the considerably improved pixel-pushing hardware on offer, and Motorola sadly chose to do away with the two-stage dedicated camera button. A shame for shutter bugs.