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Information Overload: Android sales continue to grow

By C.J. CASTILLO
Nov. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.


A study released earlier this month reveals the growth of Android-powered smart phones in the U.S.

According to the research firm, the NPD Group, Android phones accounted for 44 percent of smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2010. For those of you keeping score at home, Apple iPhones, powered by iOS, sold 23 percent.

When you consider the number of carriers offering Android phones, this may not come as a surprise. The trend of increased sales started when Verizon added the Motorola Droid to their lineup. Once Apple decides to offer the iPhone on a carrier other than AT&T, rumors of a Verizon partnership still abound, then it will be interesting to see how the numbers look.

While we are on the subject, I had the chance to test one of Verizon's top-selling Android phones, the Droid X.

The Motorola Droid X was released by Verizon back in July and so far, along with the Droid 2, has been one of their top selling smart phones.

The first thing you will notice about the Droid X is the size. It has a huge display of 4.3 inches and a 854 x 480 screen resolution. The phone measures 5 inches tall, 2.6 inches wide and 0.4 inches thick.

While reviewing this phone I was asked if it was easy to put in a jeans pocket. If you wear those trendy skinny jeans, no. But then again, can you put anything in those pockets? I've talked to some guys who said they had no problem carrying the Droid X in their jeans pocket. I tend to carry my phone in my purse anyway, so that wasn't an issue. The phone isn't very heavy, and it's fairly thin, except for a bump on the back of the phone where the camera is located.

The multitouch display of the Droid X is impressive, text and color is very vibrant and crisp. Although it does have four shortcut keys on the front, this phone doesn't have a physical keyboard, instead, much like the iPhone, relies on a virtual on-screen keyboard. Compared to the iPhone keyboard, I found it took some finesse to type on the Droid X. The keys were too close together and I made a lot of mistakes when typing, more than usual. You also have the option of using Swype to type on-screen, which did make typing a bit faster.

Talking hardware, the Droid X comes with a 1 GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera, which can record video in HD and has HDMI output. The camera is located on the back of the phone. It does have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. For an extra $20 a month, you can set up the Droid X to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five devices.

The Droid X has 8 GB of memory and comes with a 16 GB microSD card, with an expansion slot that can support a 32 GB card.

I didn't experience any dropped calls using the phone around Victoria and Houston. Same goes for data use. In cases when I wasn't able to get a signal on my iPhone 3G (using AT&T), the Droid X was there with its ability to connect to data and voice.

I was able to go a day without charging the battery with moderate use of apps and Internet browsing.

Although the Android OS is very powerful, I still find myself going through extra steps to access apps and features on the Droid X, when it takes less time on the iPhone. There are several Motorola and Android widgets you can add, as well as folders to organize your home screens, much like the iPhone. However, that said, I still prefer the navigation and ease of use of the interface on iPhone. I won't be trading my iPhone anytime soon, but if you are looking for an Android phone, the Droid X is a good choice.

CJ Castillo is the interactivity editor for the Victoria Advocate. You can contact her at cjcastillo@vicad.com. Please send all correspondence c/o Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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