Motorola Droid X vs. HTC EVO 4G vs. Dell Streak

By Ryan Whitwam

Can the new Droid X unseat the HTC EVO 4G from its throne as the most desired Android phone?

Verizon and Motorola are set to announce their next big Android initiative on June 23rd. The Droid X (previously known as Droid Shadow) is set to take the smartphone market by storm. With a new high-end handset coming out every few weeks, it can get confusing. The Droid X looks to be an exciting addition to the Android family. Now that some tech blogs have had managed to get some solid details on the phone, we can lay the whole landscape out for you. 



pixel density. Still, we expect the Droid X's screen to look fairly crisp and clear. The HTC EVO is sitting in the same neighborhood at 4.3-inches and 800x480 resolution. One thing we have noticed with Motorola's choice of the slightly taller resolution, called FWVGA, is that it makes those scrolling menus in Android easier to use. Those extra 54 pixels usually mean you can see a whole extra menu item without scrolling. It's a small thing, but we prefer it.

The Dell Streak is the other conspicuous entrant in this screen game. The Streak packs a 5-inch 800x480 screen.  So this is the same as the EVO in resolution, and slightly lower than the Droid X. With the larger panel size, the pixel density will be a little lower. For most this won't be noticeable, but an astute observer could probably tell the image on the Streak is slightly less crisp than the Droid X. However, the Streak does run on a modified Android interface to take better advantage of the extra screen size. It will allow more widgets and icons on the home screen. At 4.4-inches the Droid X is starting to look like it's wasting screen real estate with the standard Android 4x4 home screen grid.

External Design

There's not much unexpected here. The Droid X is a slate form factor, like the Streak and EVO 4G. There are several things to note however. The standard Android buttons appear to be actual buttons on this phone, as opposed to the capacitive version we've been seeing lately. This probably means you can wake up the phone by pressing one of these instead of just the dedicated power/wake button up top.  


OMAP chip. If so, it's likely to be the OMAP3640. This, like most mobile CPUs, are actually systems on a chip (SoC) that integrate the CPU and GPU on a single die. One of OMAP's strengths is the robust PowerVR GPU it uses, which is capable of OpenGL 2.0 and higher. 

The HTC EVO 4G and the Dell Streak both run on a Snapdragon clocked at 1GHz. The Snapdragon is also based on an ARMv7 core, but it's made by Qualcomm. We feel the overall difference in the CPUs will be negligible, but the Snapdragon runs on a slightly slower AMD z430 GPU. Though, it does still support advanced graphics through OpenGL 2.0.  

The difference is not as stark here as you might expect. Any difference in snappiness will most likely come from how well the modified Android UI is implemented.  

The Operating System

The original Motoblur

The social widgets in the old Moto interface were particularly bothersome. They made the homescreen look messy and the design was fairly unattractive. The new social widgets look very sleek by comparison. Dell's user interface for Android seems closer to the original OS, though it is still based on Android 1.6. Dell went for a utilitarian aesthetic, unlike HTC and Motorola. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, with its custom social networking widgets and settings shortcuts. 

One interesting addition for the Droid X is a battery manager application integrated with the device. There are built in profiles for performance, smart, and battery saver. Presumably, this changes the CPU clock speed. This is functionality other phones require root access to utilize.  

This new Motorola phone, like the Cliq XT, will include the Swype keyboard software. This is an alternative to the usual method of hunting an pecking we've become used to. You just draw a line passing over the letter of each word, and the software works it out.  
The other text entry option on the Droid X appears to be a real multitouch keyboard. By real, we mean that if you press two buttons simultaneously, both presses are recognized. Sometimes this is referred to as chording. This is something the stock Android keyboard, HTC Sense keyboard, and Dell keyboard do not do. Chording multitouch is useful when typing quickly, as one finger may not leave the screen before the other has landed.  

The Camera

The Droid X will have an 8MP camera just like the EVO 4G. The shots we've seen appear to be of solid quality, but we won't know for sure until we've spent some quality time with the device. The image sensor is also capable of recording 720p video, again, just like the EVO. The video was reportedly slightly crisper than the EVO's, but there were some white balance and exposure issues. The Streak however, has only a 5MP camera on the back. 

There does not appear to be a front-facing camera on the Droid X as previous leaks claimed. This is perhaps where the Dell Streak and EVO 4G can differentiate themselves. Both these phones have lower resolution cameras on the front of them for self portraits and video chats. We're not sure how we feel about video chat on a phone just yet, but at least the option is there on the Droid X's competition. 

new widget in Android 2.2. Could there be some Motorola chicanery here? 

The screen is probably going to be pretty lust-worthy, and easily a match for the EVO 4G. Motorola seems to be going all out in the hardware department to beat back HTC's Android dominance, and we love the competition. The 4G service with the EVO is certainly a selling point if you actually have it, but Verizon's network is strong in most places. Will you be running out to get a Droid X, or is the HTC EVO 4G still king?     
Image credit: Engadget