After checking for system updates for the past few days, and drooling with jealousy from those included in the "soak" test group, I was finally treated to a system update (Version 2.3 aka "Gingerbread") from the folks at Motorola. A list of new features can be found here. For a review and reflection from hands-on experience, please continue reading.
Cool and refreshing
Easily the most noticeable changes come with the appearance of the operating system after the update. From little changes like a refreshed clock font to (finally) the removal of the white notification bar to the teal accents on the 3G, Wifi, and antenna strength icons, the look and feel of Android indeed received a minor facelift. Moto Blur (Motorola's add-on to Android) added some refinements with their custom widgets now rotating with cube style animations. Speaking of animations, though, I do miss the "some window animations" setting that has since disappeared. It is all or nothing now, and the animations seem a bit less fluid, so much so that I have elected to turn them off entirely.
Speed is what we really want
Aside from the animation issue mentioned above, I have found the Gingerbread update to be snappier and the best place to experience this is in the web browser. Little touches in the interface design (i.e. updated spinning wheel and cleaner progress bar) have improved the look, but "under the hood" changes have provided a fast and robust browser experience. Launching the app drawer (through the new and customizable dock) is super fast, and the ability to sort apps into groups and quickly open the Market through a dedicated button have all been supportive of a faster experience when using the Droid X.