Droid X - One Year Later


  1. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    Well, I've now officially had my Droid X for one year...

    ...well, actually, I've had this one (my third) for about two weeks.

    Boy, oh, boy do I wish I had one year's worth of information to go on when I purchased this junker. Let's run down the list of common problems.

    First, if you've owned your Droid X for more than six months and use it with any regularity at all, I have bad news for you: Your screen is damaged.

    Don't believe me? Open your browser and go to the Google homepage. Then tilt your phone around a bit and look under the area where you swipe your thumb to unlock your phone. Notice the unnatural brightness? Every single Droid X I have ever encountered (including my first two) has this damage. It's simply a byproduct of using the phone.

    Which is likely due to problem No. 2: The battery REGULARLY overheats. 10-15 minutes of use (or 120 seconds of use in a low signal area) turns your phone into a small pizza stone capable of crisping up a fine Neopolitan pie. A common theory is that this excessive heat, when combined with regular use of the screen, causes the bright spots mentioned above to "burn" into the screen near common points of contact.

    (Sub-problem: Low signal area? That means anything other than 3G. I can't recall the last time I was able to do anything successfully on my phone (other than placing a call) using 1X speeds.)

    Problem 3: When the Droid X moves through a no service area, it often acts as though it is completely disconnected from the Verizon network even once it has moved back into an area with a 1X or 3G coverage.

    What do I mean by this? The problem to which it most compares is when a computer remains connected to an active wireless network, but for some reason believes it has no internet signal. This happens with my MacBook all. the. time. I have to cycle my Airport card to get it to start properly reading the wireless network again.

    The Droid X is no different. I live in D.C. and often traverse parts of the Metro rail system that rob my phone of ANY signal. Once I move back into an area WITH signal, I often have to cycle my phone in and out of Airplane mode to get it to start recognizing the 3G signal it's displaying in the upper righthand corner of my screen.

    Speaking of Airplane mode, has anyone else noticed a severe lag with this feature? Today (I $#!% you not), my phone remained fully connected to by Bluetooth headphones while claiming to be in Airplane mode. Only once I manually disengaged the bluetooth settings did this stop.

    Sometimes it takes as long as 45 seconds for my phone to switch to airplane mode.

    Problem 5: The phone often shuts down/restarts when playing music. This is usually accompanied by the battery overheating. I have experienced this with the Stock Music app, Pandora, with Bluetooth headphones AND regular headphones. The phone will suddenly stop playing music. When you look down at the screen, it's either gone very dark (as in, not off, but lacking any brightness) or it's already begun it's reboot cycle. This problem has been reported far and wide across the interwebs.

    Another problem is it's shoddy Bluetooth capabilities. So you know, I use a set of Motorola S9-HD's, a product designed by the self-same company. At first, I used the homescreen toggle to connect with them. When I noticed how often this failed, I started opening Bluetooth settings directly. Often times, the phone connects to just Phone audio or just Media audio rather than both. Sometimes neither. When THIS seemed to fail as often as the toggle, I started long-pressing the S9-HD's in the equipment queue and selecting "Options" so I could literally watch the phone try to connect to first Phone and then Media audio every. single. time. I use my headphones. This still is not perfect, and it's about 3x as time consuming as the "easy" toggle widget.

    Speaking of Widgets, has anyone ever used a widget like ScoreCenter without having to constantly remove and replace it? I have had problems with a number of widgets that are set to update automatically. They freeze up with regularity. Once frozen, I must either restart the launcher or the device, or remove and replace the app on the screen.

    And, finally, speaking of freezing, boy does my phone freeze. A lot. Before I figured out the Airplane Mode signal cycle trick, I had to do a restart or even battery pull on my device 2-3 times a day. I spend more time during my commute restarting my phone than using it.

    On a related note, many apps freeze up when you use them in a low signal area and must be Force Stopped and restarted in a 3G area, otherwise they will continue to make the phone over-think (and heat up). The most common offender for me is Google Voice, which is ESPECIALLY frustrating. Essentially, my phone regularly freezes in the process of sending text messages. Yup. Text messages. The wheel spins for 30 seconds, and then I know it's time to go in to the settings and Force Stop Voice for the nth time today, this week, this year...

    All I can say is that I wish I had bought an Incredible. Less powerful? Sure. But I don't know many owners who aren't satisfied. It takes every fiber of my being not to want to destroy my Droid X and urinate on it's mangled form, and this is a device for which I paid $200 down and another $75 a month for two years.

    And my brand new refurb, just two weeks old, is not better with the vast majority of these problems than either of my previous two models.

    At least I have another 5.5 months before I start noticing the compulsory screen damage...

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  2. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me like you have a fair number of related problems. If your phone behaves badly every time you lose signal, I'm not surprised that some apps go crazy and heat up your phone, or your automatically updating widgets sometimes crap out, or your phone freezes a lot, or whatever.

    Incidentally, I have exactly zero of these problems with either Droid X I owned, and I just passed this list onto two X-owning coworkers who have not observed any of them either. Oh, and our screens are all fine (though mine is a refurb now and is only a couple months old - my original developed problems with the hard buttons).

    So... sorry you're having so many problems. It's not universal, though.
  3. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    I know I am a n00b in one sense, but I've heard Droid X users say this before, and then I show them on their own phones how they are wrong.

    I have had two prior X's. Both had the same brightness issue under the thumb. I have other friends with X's. ALL of them have this brightness problem.

    I watched an online tutorial about Gingerbread for X. Guess what? That guy's screen showed notable brightness under the thumb area as well.

    It's really only noticeable on white/light grey screens, but it's damage nevertheless and it's not just in "faulty phones." It's a hardware design flaw that affects every single Droid X. The only way I could imagine avoiding it is to somehow NEVER overheat the battery.

    You can see it a bit in this blurry image of YET ANOTHER person's Droid X under where it says "3G" in the center of the screen:
    [​IMG]

    And another (more subtle) towards the center where the unlock swipe bar would be in the section where it says "Build Number":
    [​IMG]

    It's not just my phone. I'd think that was more likely if I hadn't seen it on both phones I've owned previously, and every single other Droid X I've physically encountered (literally).
  4. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    Sounds like we have the same phone. Mine does all of that. No data at all on 1X, slow cycle thru of Airplane mode(which you shouldn't have to be doing anyway). Bright spot on screen(although I don't use a screen lock). Hot battery. Occasional lock ups and and occasional loss of 3G in a very strong 3G area.
  5. binary visions

    binary visions Well-Known Member

    I believe you. I just went and personally inspected all of our phones on white screens and can't identify any bright spots. Now that I've said that, though, I'll probably find one on my screen soon enough and it'll drive me nuts :D
  6. PACAnesFan

    PACAnesFan Well-Known Member

    I have a 'first run' Droid X purchased about 10 days after launch. No screen issues here.

    Overheating? I don't have so many issues with that. The phone does get hot when used (about 90C), but nothing out of the ordinary. I have problems when it is in the sun attached to a charger. The temp will get to around (130C). The battery will not charge in this situation [not a problem, but a safety feature].

    I do have some signal issues with the 3G/1x. I think it is not totally related to this phone though. At my home, I have no issues. I just got back from vacation in Minneapolis where I got the dreaded 3G/1x cycling.

    Music app reboots? Yep. Known problem. A simple work around is disabling backlight timeout. It seems to fix the issue using the stock app.

    I also have the S9's. I haven't experienced any issues with pairing. I turn on the BT of the phone, then whatever I am pairing to.

    The Wi-Fi to 3G connection exchange is broke, for sure. No argument here.

    Airplane mode is kind of related to signal strength. In a solid area, mine will go into Airplane mode within 10 seconds. The problem lies in flaky signal areas. There are a lot of things that happen, from disconnection from the 3G network, to shutting down the radios. For a comparison, my mother's Fascinate is comparable when put into airplane mode as far as times go.

    Widget freezing? I do have some issues with that. The Google News and Weather app doesn't update properly. This is a known and reported Google issue. The rest are pretty solid, but I really don't run many widgets.

    The rest of your issues, I have not seen. Overall the phone isn't the worst I've owned. I would rate it as a 6/10. I haven't seen a smartphone yet that I would consider over a 8 at this point. They all have their own issues.
  7. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    I find this especially appalling. No phone worth it's salt should have to cycle in and out of Airplane mode in order to re-connect with a network.

    First, it's not intuitive. The trick makes a certain sort of sense, but I only learned about it because a friend far geekier than I showed it to me because he was having the same problems with HIS X. Before I learned the trick, I had been restarting the phone.

    Point being: What average person would think to do this?

    Second, it just shouldn't happen, period. I shouldn't have to wonder whether or not I can use the internet on my phone every time I walk out of an underground train station. If the phone says "3G," complete with arrows pointing in both directions, I shouldn't be struggling with apps and browsers telling me I have no internet signal.
  8. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    Again, I am surprised when people report this as I have (again, literally) never encountered a Droid X without this problem. The paranoid part of me is already starting to notice some "brightening" after a few weeks with my newest device.

    Honestly, I feel this also might be tied to air quality, as crazy as that sounds. I live in DC, and in the winter I had fewer problems with connectivity.

    This summer? Almost ANY barrier seems slightly too restrictive for the S9-HDs. My pants pocket (about three feet from my head) occasionally causes the signal to flicker in and out. If I rest my hand on that pocket, it gets worse. If I am carrying beer on that same side of my body? Forget enjoying more than 3 seconds of uninterrupted music at any time.

    And my devices should be in decent shape. Headphones I've had since February, and this refurb is just over two weeks out of the box.

    I just feel... I dunno... kind of ripped off.

    For the first two weeks I owned the thing, I started to consider forswearing Apple and never getting an iPhone. I was impressed with myself for waiting past the Incredible to get an X.

    Now? I envy, every single day, my girlfriend's Incredible. (Yes, that sounds raunchy.) I wonder if I should have waited the extra 6 months for the Verizon iPhone. I expect my phone to fail multiple times a day.

    I think that whenever you spend more time force quitting, rebooting, remove/replacing, and troubleshooting than you do USING THE DEVICE AS INTENDED, you've got yourself a fairly awful product.

    I don't wish to go back to not knowing bus times, or not having access to instant info, etc., but I'd like to spend 2/3 of my commute listening to music rather than 2/3 trying to get the Music app to run through my headphones without crashing. I'd like to exit a subway in a strange New York neighborhood and not worry that my Maps won't be able to find the internet while the signal reads "3G" and I wander around for 10-15 minutes broadcasting "Mug me!" as I struggle to cycle through Airplane mode.

    etc.
  9. PACAnesFan

    PACAnesFan Well-Known Member

    Air quality/obstacles are big parts of Bluetooth signals. Bluetooth is low power. It almost needs to be line of sight. That is universal across the board with all phones.

    A coworker brought this up to me as well. Comparing to iOS, it is on the 5th generation that has been around since 2007 (I think). Android is 2 years younger and only in it's 2nd-3rd Generation (Original Droid, Nexus One, etc. being in the first and X, Inc, Fascinate being the 2nd, and Thunderbolt, X2, Inc2, Charge, upcoming Bionic being in the 3rd.) Android has grown up and shown a lot of capability. Now it's time to polish it.

    Needless to say, Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich phones are going to be tellers for the future of Android.
  10. RichSz

    RichSz Not Entitled VIP Member

    I firmly believe the OP is encountering all of these problems. It sucks when someone has such a bad experience.

    I have had none of them. Though I don't have BT headphones, my phone has never failed to connect with my car and has never randomly disconnected. I thought I had the screen damage, but it must have been hand oil because a quick wipe on my jeans evened that display right out. I rarely lose connectivity and never have issues when entering service area. My battery has never overheated. The phone does occasionally get warm when a lot of network intensive activity goes on but never hot enough to be described as a "pizza stone" (yes, I recognize the hyperbole). No problems playing music. No restarts or needed battery pulls.

    I may have one of the few good ones. Based on all that I've gone through with this phone, I still have never had a better phone (came from an iPhone 3GS). If I could upgrade tomorrow, I would probably hold off because this one works so well for me. I'm not even a fanboy, if something better came out, I'd jump all over it. Just haven't found anything better yet.

    Again, it sucks you've had such problems and I have no explanation for the differences you're seeing compared to mine. I hope you find a phone which works for you.


    PACAnesFan:
    As an aside, 130C = 266F which is above the boiling point of water. If your phone got that hot, you would burn yourself. I suspect the units are actually in F.
  11. PACAnesFan

    PACAnesFan Well-Known Member

    Correct. Oops. My bad.
  12. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    Another strange Bluetooth issue: The NPR app sometimes boots my S9-HD's off of "Media audio" (but not "Phone audio") in between stories. It's always a little embarrassing to have some story suddenly start broadcasting out of your pocket at the train station.

    Seems unique to the app, but it could have something to do with jumping from stream to stream on a playlist.
  13. WTF

    WTF Well-Known Member

    I know some people have experienced problems with the Droid X, but I just want to share an opposite view...

    Got my DX back in mid-September last year, never had to return it. I can't see the screen problem the OP mentioned in his first post - my screen looks great. I have heard that there were some problems with early models but perhaps I lucked out :rolleyes:. I also haven't noticed any overheating issues, and signal has always been strong even when hiking up in Rockies (I've had 3G at points at the top of the Continental Divide where my previous Palm 755p wouldn't have any signal at all).

    BTW, I use Bluetooth a lot while in my car (hands-free setup) - never had any issues with it either, no poor connection/dropped calls. Based on my experience, I'm very impressed with my DX - best phone I've ever owned. It isn't perfect - no phone is, but even with its faults its still the best performer I've found after having it for a year (well, 10 months...)
  14. kishin14

    kishin14 Well-Known Member

    My experience with my X over the last year could not have been more different. I got it at launch in NYC. I was 33rd in line at the Verizon store on 5th and 42nd street. It was the first device I ever waited in line for so my expectations were high.

    All I can say is... this phone has changed the way I live my life. It has become my primary device for accessing news, keeping in contact with friends and coworkers, sending and receiving email and watching media. In fact, I feel less complete when it's not with me. I know that I might have felt the same way with any similar spec'd smartphone that came out around the same time, but this is the one I got and I don't regret it one bit.

    As for the problems you listed above, I have only experienced one on a recurring basis and that's the stock music player issue. I haven't had this problem on my current rom, but I don't remember it happening often enough to bother me on the stock software.

    The only time I've ever had a really hot battery is when I was doing rom stuff, like backing up my current rom then install a new one and then reinstalling all my apps after that. I really can't recall a time when my battery overheated from playing music, but I rarely play music for more than an hour at a time. Though, like I said, this has become my main device for watching movies and TV show and I've never had the battery overheat on me during playback of any full-length film.

    I've only experienced 3G issues occasionally. Most of the time, it connects fairly quickly when coming out of a dead zone. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I live in NYC and take the subway. You get no signal undergound most of the time. However, there are a few stations that are close enough to the street that you will get a signal while you're at the station. Sometimes, my phone will actually connect to 3G during the 20 secs or so that train stops at the station to pick up passengers. I know this because I have received notifications that I have new mail while I'm waiting for the train doors to close.

    As for the screen issue. I did as you asked and I really could not see anything and like I said, I've had my X since launch. I'm not saying it doesn't existing, but with as much video watching as I do on my phone, if it was doing any noticeable damage, I think I would have perceived it by now.

    I'm sorry that your experience has been so terrible. I wish it could be more like mine. For the record these are the most important things I need my phone to do:

    1. Play various media files well (MP3s, MP4s, MKV, AVIs...)
    2. Corporate email
    3. Sync my GApps (gmail, calendar, tasks, books)
    4. Accessing various news feeds
    5. Banking
    6. Check my investments
    7. Get facebook feeds
    8. Look cool

    My X does all of these tasks without issue 98% of the time. To be fair, I use third-party apps for many of these functions. MXPlayer for vids, MoxierMail for corp email, Minimal News widget and Pulse for news, Go Launcher's facebook widget for getting feeds, and various roms, themes, wallpapers and custom icons for looking cool.

    I've been eligible for an upgrade (through my wife) for three months now. But my experience with the X has been so enjoyable that I've decided to wait until something really amazing comes out, maybe the SGS2. Whatever I end up getting next, I know it's going to be tough giving the X away, even it it is just to my wife.
    XBarbarian likes this.
  15. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    The faster Airplane mode is the via the power button way of getting to it. I always ignored it in the past but I use it now because it seems to be faster....oh, WHEN my power button works. Add that to the list of problems. But my phone did get wet and that caused that to go bad.


    Forget that idea. Just had to do it and it took forever. Had to switch 3G off to get Airplane mode to switch on.
  16. thatperson

    thatperson Well-Known Member

    As for the bright spots on the screen, do you have a screen protector on? I have one on my phone and anywhere I touch the screen alot it has a brighter appearance and the rest of the screen. But as soon as I replace the protector, it returns to normal. It's just that you are wearing the protector out at that place and it is letting more light out.
  17. TheTalmidian

    TheTalmidian Member

    No, it has nothing to do with screen protectors.

    I know I'm new here, but I'm not an idiot. (Though I realize you're being friendly.)

    It's an area of the screen, under where the swipe-to-unlock bar appears. After months of use, a spot (or spots) in that area become unnaturally bright. Most people simply don't notice it, but as I've said, I have yet to encounter a single Droid X that wasn't fresh out of the box that didn't have this issue.

    I've had two Droid X's. It happened to BOTH of them. My friends have Droid X's. Happened to ALL of them. And you can see what I'm talking about in the images posted above.
  18. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    Bright spot. No screen protector.
    Pull down the notification screen and I bet you can see a bright spot about an inch above the (-) sign. Sorry. You see it forever now :)
  19. thatperson

    thatperson Well-Known Member

    Nope, I just checked mine and there is no bright spot there with a new protector on. (i'm not going to take it off to check under it.) I have also had my X since Jan.

    Not sure what it could be then.
  20. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    It's really no big deal. Doesn't affect the phone one bit. I keep a weather widget over it on the main home screen. Can't tell then.

    I've kept my original phone. I don't return something unless there is REAL problem. Helps to keep all of our costs down. Wish everyone did.
    ozzzy3z likes this.
  21. spb21

    spb21 Well-Known Member

    I do have a bright spot on a white screen. It is only noticeable if I look for it in the place the OP described. If not for this thread I wouldn't have noticed.

    My experience with this phone has been, at this risk of theatrics, life changing. It is by far the best phone I have ever had.

    But I use the phone under very different circumstances than the OP. I never use blue tooth, I never go through tunnels, I rarely lose connection, I rarely play music and I use few widgets.

    I have had some issues with widgets going flakey and needing to be removed and replaced - some I've given up on. I had a time for a few months when I wanted to smash the phone. It turned out to be an issue that was easily fixed uninstalling and reinstalling Launcher Pro Plus.

    Thanks to all for keeping this civil. I'm not sure why criticism of a phone shouldn't be, but unfortunately people often get very defensive in these types of discussions.
  22. mortymouse

    mortymouse Well-Known Member

    I love the X, its the best phone I have had to date. The X has been a smartphone that has yet to become irrelevant and that keeps me with it a long time. I got it launch day, returned it after and then got another. My wife has had her original since launch day.

    Love the X
  23. trophynuts

    trophynuts Well-Known Member

    i am on my second DX. I got a Brand New replacement a week after launch. You know if your within your 30 days you get a brand new one not a refurb. ...however i have just now within the last couple of months developed problem number 1. The lil spots on the screen.

    I would call and ask for an insurance replacement but i don't want that pos DX2. If i knew i would get another DX1 i'd be all for it. But for now i think i can live with it.
  24. wsbsteven

    wsbsteven Well-Known Member

    I had the bright spot issue but I returned it for a refurb just before my warranty ran out. The person helping me out with it said he didn't see what I was talking about but the manager that happened to check on us saw it right away without telling him where they were. Mine was a launch day unit for reference.
  25. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH VIP Member

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