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Phone Shopping -- 2 worries re: Droid X

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by tystevens, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. tystevens

    tystevens Member
    Thread Starter

    Hello all. I'm shopping for new phones for my wife and I. I love most everything I've read about the DX, and have been very impressed by the few minutes I've spent playing around in the Verizon store. My Verizon contract expires mid-November, but obviously I'm within the upgrade window w/ Verizon and can get the DX for $150. Worries I initially had about ease of use of Android, size of the DX, and so forth have mostly been appeased. It has come out as my favorite Android phone, and I think I like its strengths better than the iPhone 4. I have no brand preference or biases, having never owned either. That said, I have 2 concerns about going DX that I hope you can help me get through.

    1) I worry about the operating system getting left behind over the next 2 years. Seems that Motorola is less likely to support new Android OS's that might come out over the next 20 months. With Apple's performance over the last few years, it seems quite certain that an iPhone 4 will be upgraded (if only once a year) and will be less likely to become obsolete over a 2 year contract. I guess I could "root" (or whatever its called) the DX to install an upgraded OS if Motorola didn't, but I'd rather not get into that -- I'm not too techie, and I seem to cause myself problems whenever I try to modify electronics. Especially with 4G and/or LTE, Android 3.0, and other upgrades likely due in the next 3-6 months, I'm worried a little bit - kind of feels like I'm buying a phone that is already on the way out, and big changes may put it far behind as soon as next summer. I mean, I don't have to have the latest and greatest, but I don't want an obsolete and unsupported phone, either. Of course, there will probably never be a time when there isn't something later and greater looming on the horizon.

    2) Lack of accessories. Kind of a silly concern, but the iPhone has such a wealth of cases, exercise bands, you name it. Probably not a deal-breaker, but I and my wife hope to use our phones running/biking -- we're especially interested in arm-band cases or something similar. Seems like DX offerings are limited, and with a death date already announced and a somewhat unique shape of the back of the phone, designers might be inclined to ignore the DX. So far, my limited internet searches haven't shown great exercise bands or other active-style cases. Have you DX owners been able to find what you want/need to use your phone as you want?

    Thanks in advance, and in all likelihood, looking forward to joining the DX club very soon!


  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Android Enthusiast

    1) Motorola and HTC do a terrible job with updating them. They still do, but in essence when a phone is released, its already being replaced in a months time with a new better. Compare this to the annual iPhone being released. Android does get quite fragmented which is a problem.

    2) The reason the iPhone offerings are so widespread is the same reason as above, they don't need to make new cases and augment their manufacturing process for each new Android phone that is released every 2 weeks.
    Foxgguy2001 likes this.
  3. Foxgguy2001

    Foxgguy2001 Newbie

    I think with the OTA updated and all that being a relatively new endeavor for cell phone manufacturers and contracting companies this is something new for most of them... I don't think there is an easy way to alleviate your concerns in that regard. No matter since there are a range of manufacturers and hardware there will always be some lag time between updates.

    I've been pretty happy with the accessories I've found...but now that I look for armbands...(i hadn't looked yet) the variety is certainly lacking...I'm sure that'll change though, I've found a few that'll suit my needs, but nothing slick and polished like a Nike armband or the like. However in regard to cases, skins, docks, cardocks, etc... I've found there is plenty out there.

    hope that helps! I do feel comforted by how incredibly fast the platform and app/community has grown, and I'm sure we'll not be disappointed by the new hardware and software to come.
    Quintessence likes this.
  4. bugeyeblue

    bugeyeblue Well-Known Member

    1. The original droid is still getting updates. And if the x stops getting them, root it and play it that way if necessary.

    2. There are a few good companies like seidio and otterbox that have cases in the works. There will probably never be as many options for any android phone as there will be for any iphone, but i think you'll make due with what's available. Its not that bad.

    Good luck, hope you enjoy whatever you pick.
  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Android Enthusiast

    I can only imagine an armband for this phone. Strap it to your thigh or something, it would otherwise be pretty crazy compared to most peoples' arms.
    Dmordarski likes this.
  6. esn

    esn Android Enthusiast

    The Droid X is one of the few Android devices that didn't have major issues from launch. The only two issues I have are the speaker volume and reboots and both of these are being addressed in Septembers update to fryo 2.2. As far as accessories go there are pleanty of them out there just google it the web is flooded with them. No matter when you buy a new device a bigger and better one is just around the corner you can't go wrong with the X IMO.
  7. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert

    Some thoughts for you:

    Longevity of development is a tough thing. I'm hoping that the Gingerbread release will assist in that since hopefully it will do away with custom overlays, which will reduce the amount of effort it takes a manufacturer to push a new software release. This is a big unknown.

    However, keep in mind what's actually happening here. You're getting a phone with an embedded OS whose primary value comes from expandability via third party development. That third party development isn't going away. An in many cases, OS upgrades aren't beneficial to old hardware. The original iPhone runs slow as a dog with iOS 4. Even the iPhone 3G has some slowdowns with iOS 4. The 3G is 2 years old. So, there's some perspective to be gained in recognizing that after 2 years, technology is moving at a speed where we will simply have devices that are obsolete. However, many of those 3G owners are very happy still. The phone still works. They still get apps and games and utilities. So will Android.

    The Droid is a year old and it got a FroYo release. I fully expect in a year we will be in a similar position and Motorola will provide accordingly. I do not fully expect that in 2 years, Motorola will still be providing OS releases. Maybe they will. But I don't expect it.

    This is a time where buying a smartphone may see it obsoleted in a year. The iPhone will be the same way: if LTE is rolled out across major carriers, then yes, you'll see an explosion of LTE phones. But the iPhone won't be any less obsoleted by that. So you have to make your choice: do you continue to wait, or just buy a phone and use it?

    There's always something better on the horizon. I settled on a DX because I saw a good form factor, good hardware, and a good build quality with virtually all of the features I wanted. I am under no illusions that I'll have the top phone in a year. I have no expectations that in 2 years, I'll still have the latest and greatest OS. I have a very good phone right now. There is value in simply having what you need right now - next year's phones are still going to be obsolete 2 years from now.
  8. willyjay

    willyjay Newbie

    You could opt for a 1 year contract, which will give you an upgrade at discount pricing in 10 months. I ordered the DX on-line and the 1 year price was $30 more than a 2 yr. Or, get the 2 year contract and you should be able to get an annual upgrade (every 12 months) at discount pricing. The only issue is you don't get the extra $100 with the new-every-two plan. I just kind of scratched that seeing as I prefer the option to get a new device every year If I choose.

    Just my $0.02
  9. Old Man

    Old Man Android Enthusiast

    1. Amazing how Motorola gets blamed for this when it's Google that controls the OS version releases. However, Google has apparently taken the complaints about the periods between OS updates to heart and I don't think you'll see major OS updates as often. That also seems to be part of their argument for trying to eliminate third party UIs. I think the goal is to make it much like computers where it is simply the hardware specs that limit the Android OS version that can be loaded and run.

    LTE is a different matter as that will require new hardware. The only way to address LTE compatibility would be to wait until LTE phones are released (probably some time next year) and even then, the first phones will likely have separate LTE and CDMA transceivers.

    2. Where have you seen a Droid X "death date" announced? With several hundred thousand sold, I would expect third party suppliers to be offering many Droid X accessories.
  10. deadinside

    deadinside Well-Known Member

    As far as accessories are concerned, since the Dx is new, they are just coming out. They are also joining the line-up of large screen android phones. I am sure similar accessories will be out there.
  11. tystevens

    tystevens Member
    Thread Starter

    Wow, thanks for the insightful comments. Very much appreciated.

    In response to a couple of comments:

    1) The end of life date has been published here (I think) and on other forums, as well as commented on by various blogs and tech sites I've read. March of 2011. I guess, who knows exactly what that means as far as support and so on. But I guess an 8 month production run is probably typical; the Droid was only slightly longer than that.

    2) Arm-band functionality -- I think I could pull it off, but yeah, I guess my wife would probably need an backpack rather than an arm-band! Again, accessories aren't a big deal, and I still have my Shuffle that I'll use for running and stuff if I need to. As long as I can find decent protective cases and maybe a hard weather/crash resistant case for mountain-biking and camping (looking forward to various GPS and training apps!), and I have seen those on websites, I think we'll be adequately accessorized.

    I'm just kind of new to the smart-phone world, so I haven't been paying attention over the last few years. So it seems that there is a lot of new stuff coming up in the next 6 months. I expect that has been and will always be the case, however. I do get pretty wrapped up in researching new purchases, and sometimes suffer paralysis from information overload. And as mentioned, at some point, I guess you just have to go with what is out there -- can't always chase rainbows, and I don't really want to use my Centro (current phone) for another 6 months waiting to see how the market develops.

    Thanks everyone.
  12. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert

    Uh. What?

    Google releasing an OS update doesn't mean that particular devices will get it. It's Motorola's issue if they choose to not roll it out to a particular device.

    How else do you possibly explain the fact that FroYo has gone out to a number of other devices but not to the DX? It's because Google rolls out the OS, but the individual manufacturers supply the driver sets and UI integration for it. Even the Droid, which has vanilla Android on it, didn't get FroYo as soon as the Nexus 1 did. It's not like Google releases the OS and then the phones just pick them up.

    There have been several threads about this. It's no great surprise - it's a year out from the release date and Verizon is simply expecting to no longer be selling the DX in a year.
  13. nj02vette

    nj02vette Android Expert

    1. Software updates like iOS4, which many 3G and 3GS owners are rueing that they ever installed.

    2. Plenty of accessories on ebay, but I doubt you'll find an armband for the X.
  14. Foxgguy2001

    Foxgguy2001 Newbie

    urdaddi likes this.
  15. TheXFactor

    TheXFactor Android Enthusiast

    #1. That's why I wish Motorola had kept their grubby little mitts out of the Android OS with this Blur crap. Same with the rest of these phone makers dabbling in UI overlays. You are at the mercy of these fools.

    You will always see stock android phones (are there any left besides the N1 and the original droid?) get updates beforehand. I am of the opinion that these UI overlays should be an option to install. Update the OS, gimme it now. Update the UI and I'll take it or leave it. But because google has it's head up its ass that's not the way it is.

    Instead, you have to wait for an update so they can also update the sometimes crappy UI (Blur) that is integrated into the OS. Pretty shitty for the end user.
  16. tystevens

    tystevens Member
    Thread Starter

    Nice find Foxgguy. I hadn't thought of cross-shopping for Evo products, either -- some would definitely work due the similar size.

    You're all not giving me any good reasons not to place the order! Looks like DXs are shipping "by" 8/10 today, according to the Verizon website. Thanks again for all the help.
  17. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert

    FYI, you're always at the mercy of "these fools."

    Custom overlays, of course, take longer to update - but there are ALWAYS driver updates and testing that needs to occur before they can release software.
  18. tystevens

    tystevens Member
    Thread Starter

    On this note, is there any reason to believe certain mfgrs will be better or worse about getting updates through? On one hand, I'm inclined to wait a bit and see the Fascinate, which "should" be out next month. On the other, it seems logical that Samsung, with all of its other products, might not be as quick to update as, say, Motorola, where (mostly) all they do is phones. I know there's only a year or so of data to work with on Android updates, but are there some that have been quicker and more reliable than others?
  19. TheXFactor

    TheXFactor Android Enthusiast

    Ahem! Not always, if you root. Besides, that's why I posted these UI enhancements should be separate from the OS, always.
  20. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert

    Right, I just meant - and you probably know but not everyone does - that Google releasing an OS doesn't mean the phones automatically can run them. It's not just UI enhancements that each manufacturer builds into the OTA push, it's a driver package too.
  21. RichSz

    RichSz Not Entitled

  22. Ninja Monkey

    Ninja Monkey Android Enthusiast

    Who keeps a phone for 2 years anymore? I'm lucky if I keep one for a year. There will always be something coming just around the corner to replace what you have.
  23. Quintessence

    Quintessence Android Enthusiast

    The end of life seems to be around 8 months for Android devices, as you said. This is mainly due to the influx of newer and greater Android devices being released constantly. Again this is a non-issue for devices such as the iPhone.

    However, there are some good GPS/training applications out there, such as MyTracks. Yet, being an avid cyclist and runner, I have yet to find an app like MapMyRun or MapMyRide on the Android system, which on the iPhone, takes all the information from the workout, etc.

    That being said, I love my Droid X. I am not going to downtalk you from purchasing it or whatnot, just giving you a critical review of the device so you can best make your decision on the phone.
  24. TheXFactor

    TheXFactor Android Enthusiast

    I left it out, not intentionally but I was referring more so to the X. Motorola did it with the original droid, stock, plain jane, vanilla android. The X should have been that too. I accept the fact that it isn't the way it is...an option to have it like that with the X would make it better.
  25. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert

    Totally agree. I think it's ridiculous that they integrated it so deeply into the system when there was really no reason to. They can easily load custom launchers and widgets and whatever over the top of the UI without actually integrating it deeply into the system, and that would release the UI from the OS and would allow them to process Android releases past when they actually want to invest development resources into updating the UI.

Motorola Droid X Forum

The Motorola Droid X release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 512GB RAM, TI OMAP3630 processor, and 1540mAh battery.

July 2010
Release Date

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