Comparing DroidX and the iPhone 4

Comparing smartphones is a notoriously difficult thing to do as there are several different Motorola Droid and Apple iPhone models. This makes the Droid Vs iPhone debate a particularly tricky one to navigate.

Apple likes to keep things simple in every respect, including model names.

Apple started with the original iPhone:

iPhone original

iPhone original

Then came the iPhone 3G:

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G

Then the iPhone 3Gs:

iPhone 3Gs

iPhone 3Gs

And finally, the iPhone 4:

iPhone 4

iPhone 4

Lets compare the most important features of the iPhone 4 against the Droid X right here on Droid vs iPhone. Some results are subjective (like video quality), some aren’t (like memory) but the results should give anyone who is sitting on the fence and hesitating on purchasing either of these phones something to think about.

In chart form here are the best performers in several categories:

Droid XiPhone 4
Text EntryDroidX
Speech to TextDroidX
Still PicturesiPhone4
Video (recorded) QualityiPhone4
Operating SystemDroidX
Overall SpeedDroidX

Some other features to consider are that the iPhone4 has 2 cameras (front and back facing). Apple’s FaceTime takes advantage of this. For those of you who don’t know, FaceTime is iPhone’s realtime video chat feature very similar to Skype. The quality is quite good, even from country to country.

While the iPhone4 has 2 microphones to help with voice clarity and quality, the DroidX has 3! Is more better? In subjective tests, the iPhone beat out the DroidX in this respect, even though the DroidX had more physical microphones.

In order to get data (ie. videos, apps, music etc.) on and off of your iPhone, the user must use iTunes, whereas the DroidX (using Android OS) can simply be connected to your computer and appear as an external storage device (not unlike a usb key). From there you just have to drag and drop. Dead simple! I prefer this system much better.

And this brings us to the physical method that each phone uses to connect. The Droid series uses a simple mini usb cable that you can find and replace anywhere (should you loose it). Most people have spares kicking around from other devices. Apple unfortunately insists on uses their proprietary cable. Loose it, and prepare to pay dearly for a replacement.

Flash has been a big issue on mobile phones. I don’t mean for your picture taking, I mean Adobe Flash which appears on many internet sites that you visit everyday. The latest version of Android now supports Flash. We’re still waiting for Apple to jump on board. Maybe we’ll see this for the iPhone5.

Historically, Apple likes to have tight control over every aspect of their products. Apple maintains very rigid control over many aspects of the apps in their Appstore as well. They approve all apps and control limits on pricing too. You may have heard of the $999.99 “I Am Rich” app which apparently only displayed a red ruby on the screen and gave the owner a secret “mantra” to say in order to keep healthy and stay wealthy. Apple pulled the app a short while after it was released, as they considered it to be a tad of a scam. It did make several sales however.

This is not the case for the Android phones. While there is a store for Android apps, you can find and download these apps just about anywhere. Is this good or bad? Well, some major security issues have been brought to light by the media. In March 2011, Google announced that they had to pull over 50 apps from the Android app market because they contained malicious code.  Google initiated a system that could remove these apps remotely so damage was minimized. Apple may get the advantage on this point of the Droid vs iPhone challenge, but time will tell if Android’s open door policy dominates the market.

In a recent survey done by Nielson, they found that 71 percent of smartphone users would buy an Android phone again. That sounds like a high loyalty rating, but it falls noticeably short when asking iPhone owners about their next handset — 89 percent are happy with iOS4 and plan to buy a future Apple handset. One thing is for sure, it’s looking like it will be a close race in the Droid Vs iPhone debate.

I can say that the iPhone4 does offer a very smooth user experience although highly lacking in customized features and convenience. The DroidX has power and offers a lot of tweak factor which ensures you’ll never get bored with it.

But it ain’t over yet…

Motorola will be releasing the Droid Bionic this summer, and this should really stir up the pot…



Chris Bishop [email protected]
Los Angeles , California , 90012 U.S.A.

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