We have been testing the Motorola DroidX and the HTC Droid Incredible since their launch last year. These two phones are both fantastic even by today’s standards. There have been several next generation smartphones released that have some faster processors and some newer features, but ITRW (in the real world) these phones can still hold their own and you can buy one for a fraction of the price the latest models cost.
At dropSKIP, we are fans of the HTC Sense UI interface add-on that comes on the HTC Android devices, so much so that we found some great aftermarket add-ons for the Motorola Android phones which allow them to mimic the Sense UI, it is not the same, but some of the stuff, mainly the on-screen clock and weather are very similar. Just in case you wondered how the Motorola DroidX looks like HTC Sense UI, (See above photo) we used the add-on product called Beautiful Widgets.
After several months of using both the DroidX and the Droid Incredible we must say, these really are fantastic phones, still. The Droid Incredible has a smaller but much brighter screen at 3.7 inch diagonal and is one of the first phones to use the AMOLED technology, brighter, vibrant color, really clear, super high contrast ratios. The downside of AMOLED is bright sunlight viewing. The DroidX has a big 4.3 inch TFT screen, although the colors and black levels aren’t nearly as nice as the Droid Incredible, the TFT screen was easily viewable outside in bright sunlight. Don’t get me wrong, both work well outside, just the TFT has an advantage in bright sunlight. The AMOLED screen of the Incredible is the closest thing to an iPhone Retina display in terms of clarity and is beautiful.
The DroidX is a bigger phone, (see photo) it also weighs a bit more and the case is metal vs. the Incredible’s plastic case, both are very nicely built and are tough but the DroidX feels more solid.
We dropSKIP’d both units 3 times from 4.5 feet and then skipped them across the floor over 10 feet. On both phones the battery door came off once. These are about the toughest phones on the market today, even vs. the latest generations. We’ve used these phones everyday for nearly 8 months, they still look almost brand new and they’ve hit the ground many times over.
DroidX earned a dropSKIP rating of 39/100
Droid Incredible earned a dropSKIP rating of 37/100
For reference, iPhone4′s have a dropSKIP rating of 33/100
Both units come with 8MP (Megapixel) cameras with flash, both can shoot 720P video. (thanks to the upgrade late last year on the Incredible) The DroidX has an external camera button on the side of the case for “instamatic” type shooting and the Incredible does not.
The DroidX has 4 mechanical buttons and the Droid Incredible has 4 pressure buttons on the bottom edge of the glass for the classic Android functions.
Both units run Android 2.2.x (Froyo)
Both units come with 8GB (Gigabytes) of internal storage and you can add up to a 32GB microSD card. The DroidX had a 16GB card included, the Incredible had only a 2GB included. (Different promotions at different resellers may change the included memory card. If you plan on storing lots of music, video and photos, just max the unit out with a 32GB card.
The HTC Droid Incredible comes with a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU
The Motorola DroidX comes with a 1GHz OMAP 3630 CPU and a dedicated SFX530 GPU.
We use the Quadrant benchmark tool for testing processor, memory, graphics and I/O speeds and the DroidX scored a 1324 and the Incredible a 527.
Although both phones still feel very zippy by modern standards, (yes, nearly 8 months has gone by since these phones originally shipped) the DroidX scored higher due to the graphics processor. In every day use, you will have trouble seeing much of a difference.
The HTC Sense UI interface really makes the Incredible a pretty awesome user experience. The included apps and UI nuances are first class. Out of the box the Incredible is setup nicely. The DroidX falls down here, if you want anything close, you have to download some add-on widgets but even then, it’s not the same. The Motorola Blur interface is a few generations behind Sense UI in terms of functionality. We see the Blur interface catching up slowly on newer phones but HTC keeps pushing ahead as well.
Long document typing clearly goes to the DroidX, the native keyboard is easier to type lengthy documents on it, requiring less special key combinations for punctuation and other special characters whereas, the Sense UI interface keyboard isn’t nearly as easy to work with and takes more practice. On our typing speed test the DroidX wins with two different tests being completed in half the time as it took on the Droid Incredible. (Aftermarket keyboard layouts can easily be added to the unit to solve this)
In our “left in the car” heat test, we were able to get both phones to drop to reduced functionality, a mode that tries to save the phone electronics from overheating due to extreme sunlight/heat. Both units recovered from the overheat state quickly but the DroidX appears to have permanent headset speaker damage from the overheat. Given the fact that this unit can be mounted in the window with a Motorola window suction mount for GPS use, we hope this was a one-off issue. Unfortunately we don’t have a second phone to test this again and its pretty cold outside!
Both of these phones are so evenly matched, it really comes down to personal preference on what works best for you, larger or smaller, brighter or softer? Outside sunlight? They are both very durable, batteries work well, even 8 months into our extended use, we are still getting almost the same battery life as when they were new.
Currently you can get the Droid Incredible from Verizon on a 2 year contract deal for $99 USD and the DroidX is $149 USD. If you look around online you can get them for even less and refurbished options are also available from Verizon dropping the prices to sub $50 dollars in their new “Certified Pre-owned devices” area on their website.