Apple’s next challenger is here. The Motorola Droid X that Verizon planned to announce next week turned up on Engadget today. How does the next Android superphone stack up to a new iPhone?

  • Size — Droid X is notably bigger than an iPhone. Its display is 4.4 inches diagonal, much larger than the iPhone’s 3.5 inches.
  • Display — Droid X’s larger screen is 854 x 480 pixels. No way can it match the smoothness of the iPhone’s 960 x 640 pixels in a smaller space.
  • Shininess — Droid has mirrored trim around its display, which unfortunately may make it competitive with the iPhone in the squinty-glossiness department.
  • Software — Engadget confirmed the Droid X prototype their spy handled runs Android 2.1 with an upgraded version of Motorola’s Motoblur software. In short, it’ll do real multitasking as opposed to the iPhone’s sort-of-multitasking, with the caveat that you can probably run your battery down a lot faster, too.The Droid X prototype had a Blockbuster app pre-installed.
  • Camera — Droid X’s 8 megapixel camera sounds better than iPhone 4’s 5 megapixel hardware, but Engadget’s spy found it harder to take good photos or shoot rock-steady video. I warn you, Nokia’s N8 due this fall will challenge everyone with its 12 megapixel, oversize-sensor camera hardware.
  • Keyboard — The Droid sports a “multitouch keyboard” and Swype software that really excited Engadget’s tester. See the video of it in action below.
  • Raw speed — I hate not calling a winner, but it’s going to be a close race between the Droid’s 1GHz ARMv7 processor and the iPhone’s A4 chip. Just as important, both phones have much better graphics performance than previous models. You’ll no longer tap and wait. Or swipe and wait.

http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/7fed83a3

http://www.viddler.com/simple_on_site/a3bdcd5b

Don’t miss MobileBeat 2010, VentureBeat’s conference on the future of mobile. The theme: “The year of the superphone and who will profit.” Now expanded to two days, MobileBeat 2010 will take place on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Register now. Tickets are going quickly. For complete conference details, or to apply for the MobileBeat Startup Competition, click here.