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Motorola Droid X vs. Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S)

Your search for the best 3G network brought you to Verizon. Your search for the best operating system on Verizon brought you to Android. Your search for the best Android phones on Verizon brought you to… the Droid X and Samsung Fascinate.

Now what?

Although the Fascinate hasn’t yet arrived, detailed spec sheets and experience with the near-identical Captivate on AT&T make it pretty easy to measure up. Break out the calipers and scales, it’s time to see which Android superphone reigns supreme on Verizon.


Winner: Droid X

Motorola opted for a 4.3-inch LCD panel on the Droid X, while Samsung outfitted the Fascinate with its own 4-inch Super OLED panel. Though OLED panels produce more vibrant color, the screens on other Galaxy S models (namely, AT&T’s Samsung Captivate) also took on an unnatural bluish cast, rendering colors less realistic. Typically, OLED screens also tend to disappear more in the sun, but given our experiences with the Droid X’s sun-shy screen, we can call both phones a wash (literally) in the great outdoors. In the end, it comes down to size and resolution, and the Droid X wins in both regards, with 4.3 inches to the Captivate’s 4 inches, and 480 x 854 pixels to the Captivates 480 x 800.


Winner: Droid X

Both the Droid X and Fascinate share Verizon’s expansive 3G network, but the Droid X can share the love. Using an integrated Texas Instruments chip, it essentially acts like a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, doling the 3G connection out to up to five wirelessly connected devices. Of course, you’ll need to drop an extra $20 a month to flip on the ability, but the capability alone gives it an edge over the Fascinate.

Rear Camera

Winner: Droid X

While most iterations of the Galaxy S lack a flash altogether, Verizon’s Fascinate has been lucky enough to buck the trend and get one shoehorned in. Unfortunately, that alone won’t elevate it to Droid X status. The Droid X shoots 8-megapixel stills instead of 5, has a dual-LED flash instead of a single LED, and even has a hard shutter button, while the Galaxy’s multifunction key mysteriously locks the phone in camera mode instead. Bottom line: The Droid X also takes some of the best photos we’ve ever seen from a smartphone. Even if the Samsung Fascinate’s camera manages to live up the Samsung Vibrant – the better of the two Galaxy S phones currently available – the Droid X has it beat.

The only asterisk here regards the Droid X’s video quality. While both phones shoot 720p high-def footage, the Fascinate does it in 30fps while the Droid X only hits 24fps, making it look stuttery and less fluid.

Battery Life

Winner: Draw

With a 1540 mAh battery hiding under its sizable footprint, the Droid X manages to deliver 480 minutes of talk time and 220 hours on standby. Meanwhile, the 1500 mAh tank in the Samsung Fascinate should be good for 391 minutes of talk and 625 hours of standby, according to Samsung. That makes the Droid X the phone of choice for frequent yakkers, and the Fascinate better for owners who need their phones to last ages between calls. The last phone standing will depend on your own usage, so we’re calling this one a draw, but if should be easy enough to figure out which would fit best with your own habits, based on the numbers.


Winner: Samsung Fascinate

The same 4.3-inch screen that puts the Droid X ahead in one category drags it right back to earth here, quite literally. In terms of dimensions, the differences all boil down to tenths of an inch – which is remarkable given the difference in screen size – but the Galaxy S weighs a whopping 4.1 ounces, while the Droid X weighs 5.47. Ouch.


Winner: Samsung Fascinate

The family trees for both phone arcs back to the ARM Cortex A8 processor, but that doesn’t make these two equals. Motorola uses a Texas Instruments OMAP chip clocked at 1GHz, while Samsung uses its own “Hummingbird” silicon, also clocked at 1GHz. In processing benchmarks, the Galaxy S narrowly edges out the Droid X, but in 3D performance, it annihilates the Droid X – and every other Android phone in the field, for that matter. Besides real-life testing where the Samsung is just more fluid, you can clearly see the difference in AndroidCentral’s YouTube benchmarks, where it posted an average of 55.1 FPS to the Droid X’s 42.9 FPS in Neocore. By all accounts, Android doesn’t get much faster than this – for now.


Winner: Droid X

The Droid X and Fascinate both take a two-pronged approach to storage, with internal and expandable memory on board, but the Droid X offers more. It comes with 8GB of internal memory and a 16GB microSD card preinstalled, while the Fascinate offers only 2GB of internal memory and a 16GB microSD card preinstalled. Both can accommodate up to 32GB in the expandable slot, leaving the Droid X with a maximum capacity of 40GB and the Fascinate at only 34GB.

Overall Winner: Droid X

Despite the Fascinate’s superior speed and lighter weight, the Droid X still manages to outperform it in most other categories, from its larger display and superior camera to its useful Wi-Fi hotspot capability and extra 6GB of built-in storage. Gamers may find the Fascinate’s 3D prowess and vibrant colors enough to warrant a switch, but otherwise, the Droid X wins out.

Check out our full review of the Motorola Droid X.

Also take a look at our other smartphone comparisons:

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy S (Captivate) vs. Evo 4G

iPhone 4 vs. Droid X

Apple iPhone 4 vs. HTC EVO 4G

Motorola Droid vs. HTC Incredible

HTC Incredible vs. HTC HD2

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Nick Mokey
As Digital Trends’ Managing Editor, Nick Mokey oversees an editorial team delivering definitive reviews, enlightening…
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