My new Droid X smartphone (hardware: Motorola, network: Verizon Wireless) has many nifty features. One of its most touted features is that it can serve as a 3G mobile wifi hotspot for up to 5 devices. In the promo video for the hotspot feature, the phone’s owner places the Droid X (unplugged) next to her and voilà, instant internet for all of the fortunate souls caught in the Droid X’s wifi force field.
Having had the Droid X for a little while now, I can say that the wifi hotspot works fairly well. The connection speeds are fairly quick and it works great for checking email and reading web content. Where it doesn’t work so great is when you try to doing anything that requires a fair amount of bandwidth. Watching YouTube videos and/or downloading anything large than a megabyte causes the Droid X hotspot to intermittently drop your connection. Your only recourse is to tap the 3G icon and restart the mobile hotspot service. It’s also important to note that the 3G hotspot drains your battery exceptionally fast. I only use it when I can plug my phone into my laptop. The Droid X gets extremely hot when you’re using it as a hotspot. That’s the result of copious amounts of battery charge consumption. My hope is that Android 2.2 (Froyo) will maximize battery life and fix the connection issue. Overall, the Droid X is a terrific phone….even if it doesn’t create a visible force field around you.