Went from iPhone to the Droid when it was released - impressions

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 13, 2007
2,940
518
Ive owned every single model of iPhone ever available. I guess you could say I have a slight cell phone obsession haha.

When comparing these phones, its relatively unfair. The iPhone is an aging design and at this point, its due for a revision. Nevertheless, I will review them anyway.


OS

The droid OS has its ups and downs. At first sight it has a decent look and feel, but not quite as snappy as the iPhone 3Gs. Page transitions do stutter a little bit, but apps load nearly instantly. Home replacements fix this (such as home++, panda home, etc) and allow you to theme your phone accordingly. Being an open phone, you also have control over far more options in your settings app. The iPhone OS (due for a revision also) is incredibly snappy, but it has its drawbacks. It can only run 1 app at a time unless you void your warranty and jailbreak the device. This was designed this way to save battery life, and you use the push notifications to get your data when the app is closed.

What most people dont know about the droid is that background apps hardly take any power at all (unless its an IM app). The way the OS is designed, apps in the background go into a dormant state drawing nearly nothing in regards to battery life. The one thing I miss most about the iPhone is IM apps using push notifications.

Rooting your Droid device also allows for even greater customization such as overclocking, tethering etc... much like the iPhone.

Advantage - Droid, but I am sure the next iPhone will be amazing.


Apps

Obviously the iPhone has an incredible amount of applications to pick from. Though it has a vast variety, I find myself only using around 10 apps at most from the App store. All but 1 of them (beejive) is on the android, so in my case, there is not much difference. Games clearly have a huge advantage on the iPhone because there are frankly... thousands to pick from.

Advantage - iPhone (no shocker here) but in my case, they are even since I have all my apps.


Aesthetics


iPhone has had roughly the same design since its release, and for good reason. Its a nice smooth design, very comfortable in your hand, and it looks classy. The droid is more of an in your face type design, with a slide out keyboard. I actually love the droids design, and I have come to love the keyboard. You make far less typing mistakes on it, and it has a nice little control bad that makes NES roms incredibly easy to play.

The display on the Droid makes the iPhone look like a toy. Its brighter, far more resolution, and far more accurate. iPhones screen isnt even in the ballpark here.

Droid also has a removably media card and battery. 32GB sd cards should be out sometime this quarter, so the memory aspects will be equal.


Network

In my area (Allentown PA) the network differences are staggering. My 3Gs gets roughly 800kbs download on speedtests app and 250kps upload. My Droid gets around 2mbps download, and 900kps upload. Both phones have 5 bars of 3G.



Conclusion


For me it came down to network and customization.

My iPhone was notorious for having calls drop left and right. Everyone I know has had this issue one time or another and that cant be blamed on Apple. The blame here is solely on AT&T. The network speeds are also greatly different in my area, maybe due to the amount of iPhones, but who knows.




Customization on the Droid is simply amazing. You can do basically anything to the phone if you know how and have your phone rooted. For me, the next iPhone needs to make leaps and bounds with their OS to swing me back. Give the iPhone themes, folders, widgets, and the ability to run some apps in the background - maybe have a menu much like push notifications where you can choose which apps remain on, but dormant much like droid.

iPhone looks to be coming to Verizon also, so that will make the decision all the more difficult. iPhone 4G should be something special!
 

vinay427

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2008
701
0
Wow, thanks a lot for the great info! I'm looking into an Android device, and first hand experience is quite useful.

The speed difference really is staggering! It's 4-5 TIMES faster! It's faster than my home connection! I really have to try streaming videos on that!

Same here, 4.0 really has to be a major revolution for me to even consider the iPhone 4G. It better have background apps, a notification bar, themes, and the rest that you mentioned.
 

kgeier82

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,012
0
I bought a droid last week, and returned it.

The OS was nice, but using google with ical was crap.
There was a definite lag on the homescreen of the droid compared to 3gs.
battery was much worse testing all week.
Music player, meh
and finally, the WORST feature, the keyboard design, terrible.

I wanted to like it, and I tried. Im considering the nexus1 when V gets it.
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 13, 2007
2,940
518
I bought a droid last week, and returned it.

The OS was nice, but using google with ical was crap.
There was a definite lag on the homescreen of the droid compared to 3gs.
battery was much worse testing all week.
Music player, meh
and finally, the WORST feature, the keyboard design, terrible.

I wanted to like it, and I tried. Im considering the nexus1 when V gets it.
1- I dont use iCal with a google device. I use the free google calendar in gmail. Works just as well.
2- Home replacements fix the lag. Home++ is gorgeous.
3- Battery is better than the 3Gs for me. Way better.
4- Music player plays music... Not sure how thats a meh? I phone has fancy graphics which you dont normally give a crap about when you are LISTENING to music.
5- Keyboard - love it now. Takes a little getting used to, but its really handy to have. And great for NES roms ;)
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
I bought a droid last week, and returned it.

The OS was nice, but using google with ical was crap.
There was a definite lag on the homescreen of the droid compared to 3gs.
battery was much worse testing all week.
Music player, meh
and finally, the WORST feature, the keyboard design, terrible.

I wanted to like it, and I tried. Im considering the nexus1 when V gets it.
1- I dont use iCal with a google device. I use the free google calendar in gmail. Works just as well.
2- Home replacements fix the lag. Home++ is gorgeous.
3- Battery is better than the 3Gs for me. Way better.
4- Music player plays music... Not sure how thats a meh? I phone has fancy graphics which you dont normally give a crap about when you are LISTENING to music.
5- Keyboard - love it now. Takes a little getting used to, but its really handy to have. And great for NES roms ;)
Translation = all comes down to personal preferences

Woof, Woof - Dawg
 

caf9128

macrumors member
Nov 25, 2007
56
0
I have an older phone with TMobile, and have been waiting for the right smartphone. I've been using a Touch for the last 6 months and really like it, but have not been too keen on going to AT&T.

Anyway, I heard a lot of buzz about the Droid and was really impressed with it when I tried it in the store, but it just didn't seem like quite the right phone for me, especially since I'm not a keyboard kind of guy.

Sort of on faith (since I hadn't tried one in person, of course) I ordered a Nexus One on Tuesday, and received it Thursday.

Bottom line, I think it's fantastic. The screen is noticeably sharper than the iPhone/Touch screen. The color saturation especially is richer. And as others have said, the thing is REALLY fast. The Droid has a 550 MHz processor, the 3GS has a 660 MHz processor, and the Nexus has a 1000 MHz processor. I think there is a definite difference.

I also really like the hand feel of the Nexus--it feels really quality and the form factor is great. I do find the lack of multitouch zooming in native apps annoying, but not hugely so. You just tap twice to zoom, so not really a deal breaker. I love the way you can have one panorama like picture that you can scroll sideways over the five home screens. Really cool

It's kind of boring to talk about phone function, but the Nexus works really well as a phone. I'm not sure whether it's the active noise suppression system or what, but the voice clarity is excellent. I'm anxious to try it in a crowd or other environment to check that out further.

All in all, I give two thumbs up to the Nexus. It will be interesting to see whether the specs of the iPhone 4G meet or exceed the Nexus.
 

kgeier82

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,012
0
1- I dont use iCal with a google device. I use the free google calendar in gmail. Works just as well.
2- Home replacements fix the lag. Home++ is gorgeous.
3- Battery is better than the 3Gs for me. Way better.
4- Music player plays music... Not sure how thats a meh? I phone has fancy graphics which you dont normally give a crap about when you are LISTENING to music.
5- Keyboard - love it now. Takes a little getting used to, but its really handy to have. And great for NES roms ;)
Well good for you ? :)

The keyboard I would never be able to fix, and on a contract device, thats just a no go. My hands are somewhat normal sized too...Just didnt like the keyboard in general...Still a nice phone though!
 

AuburnApple

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2008
63
0
Great comparison, thanks! Really it all seems to come down to how you use your phone and where you are. For me, I have great coverage with my iPhone where I am, but I would like to be able to actually use my phone when I visit my parents in the boonies. I've played with the Droid quite a bit as my girlfriend has one. She really doesn't like the Droid OS and really prefers the ease of use of the iPhone's OS, but she refuses to switch from Verizon. Personally I like the Droid OS, but not enough to switch. One of the biggest issues I would have currently with the Droid is storage. I like to have lots of music, podcasts, and videos on my phone; and right now that is limited with the Droid. Sure, 32 GB SD cards are coming out now, but that's another $80-$100 you have to spend. One other thing... I'm no great prognosticator, but I forsee Android's multi-platform strategy resulting in a similar situation we see with Windows vs. OS X. Having a limited hardware base like Apple can be a big advantage when designing or updating an OS. It's not good enough for Android or other phone OS's to be just as good, because an Apple update is always just around the corner. Anyway, right now I love my iPhone enough to where I'll put up with AT&T. Hopefully (soon) Apple and Verizon will be friends and make us all happy. When that happens, ring the death bell for AT&T.
 

optophobia

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2007
879
24
Hudson MA
One quick question.

Can you use google maps with GPS and other navigation apps with GPS on your droid. If so is the GPS functionality included in the data package or do you have to subscribe to VZ navigator?

n/m - I found the answer. it IS included...
 

Knolly

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2007
610
0
Yep, I really want to ditch my iPhone but am waiting for the right Android device for me. Basically, a combo between Droid and the Nexus One would be amazing. The main thing that is stopping me from getting the Nexus is its lack of AT&T 3G (or if they came out with it on Verizon that'd work too) and its lack of keyboard.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
I am tired of repeating that jailbreak does not void warranty, when you restore the phone.
 
The display on the Droid makes the iPhone look like a toy. Its brighter, far more resolution, and far more accurate. iPhones screen isnt even in the ballpark here.
It's worth noting that your use of the term "accurate" comes from the much more subjective area of aesthetics but does not take into account actual real-world functionality. A recent study has noted that the iPhone touchscreen sampling rate is much higher and as such, far more accurate than the Droid. For me, this is an important distinction. Hopefully Droid can overcome this with future software updates. I'm doubtful though.

iPhone touch screen trumps Droid, Nexus One, Eris?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=846434
MOTO Development Group in a study published Saturday has given the iPhone top marks for the quality of its touchscreen. Comparing it against multiple Android phones -- including the Nexus One, Droid and Droid Eris -- the hardware consultants found Apple's screen is the most accurate and lets users draw smooth, straight lines regardless of how quickly the finger moves or how much of it is in contact with the display. The Droid Eris and Nexus One were next with some erratic behavior with partial contact, while the Droid produced a similar effect no matter what contact has been made.
~ CB
 

Jimmy James

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2008
4,600
2,926
Magicland
Thank you. Great review.

It's not an unfair comparison at all. If one is in the market for a phone immediately these are 2 top picks to choose from right now.
 

ntrigue

macrumors 68040
Jul 30, 2007
3,804
1
I had to check the date of this post. The Droid is not competition to the iPhone.

• Android 2.x is a OS mess. Icons can be any size. You can have duplicates of an App.
• Interface lag even with a Snapdragon processor.
• Who cares about a high contrast OLED? Video looks great on iPhone and it syncs media though iTunes.
• Malware was just released by Droid09.
• Did you see the touchscreen review?
• In Monterey CA my network speeds were exactly the opposite.

The list goes on but I'm bored...
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
Nice review by OP. I wanted to add one thing to people comparing different phones.

Integrated flash storage is NOT equal to SD cards. Unless I'm completely mistaken, the flash is going to run its tasks faster than SD. This is a consideration when playing media or doing stuff like games. I doubt it'll make a difference on Web browsing or e-mail, but it's worth taking into consideration.

This seems to be an easy way of cutting cost without the plebians really noticing. I like the aspect of adding some storage, but I don't like when models like the big, bad Google-backed phone come with a crappy amount of onboard storage and leave the rest to expansion cards. That's so 1999.
 

Ish

macrumors 68020
Nov 30, 2004
2,055
463
UK
Useful comparison for those looking for something different. However . . . aging design? :rolleyes: as in this year's design look's like last years?
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 13, 2007
2,940
518
It's worth noting that your use of the term "accurate" comes from the much more subjective area of aesthetics but does not take into account actual real-world functionality. A recent study has noted that the iPhone touchscreen sampling rate is much higher and as such, far more accurate than the Droid. For me, this is an important distinction. Hopefully Droid can overcome this with future software updates. I'm doubtful though.

iPhone touch screen trumps Droid, Nexus One, Eris?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=846434


~ CB

I was talking about the color...

Useful comparison for those looking for something different. However . . . aging design? :rolleyes: as in this year's design look's like last years?
As in - no removable battery or memory card. Memory card not THAT big of an issue, but seriously, why remove useful design features?
 

jcia

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2009
36
0
Using data while on a call

I don't live in the US, but for me the biggest issue in Verizon (from what I read) would be that you can't use data (google maps, safari, etc.) while on a call, that is one of the main things I need on my phone, I'm sure a lot of people also need this, is it a problem embedded with the technology that Verizon uses? or a software update could fix this? How do you go around this problem? I mean, do you guys really never need to use data while on a call? Cheers.
 

TeamDNA

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2009
252
0
blah blah blah.. still doesnt beat jailbreaking ..cant even come close to a jailbroken iphone..

Jailbreaking does not void your warrenty if you restore.. i have returned my iphones a few times and guess what they were replaced because i restored .. and NEVER any problems so please stop trying to scare people ... Jailbroken iphone wins always
 

wkearney99

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2008
44
1
Bethesda, MD USA
Jailbroken iphone wins always
What "wins" is a vendor that doesn't treat you like a criminal and actively release updates that destroy your efforts to use your device freely.

Google has made an incredibly smart move with Android. Sure, it'll have some rough spots but there will be hundreds of different vendors delivering Android-based solutions (media players, picture frames, remotes, home controllers, etc).

A smart consumer will take a diverse market with hundreds of companies and thousands of engineers trying to create viable products over proprietary solutions that treat you with such hostility any day of the week.

And frankly a great many of the apps on itunes are junk. There's an old analogy about horse crap and ice cream. Add even the smallest amount of crap to ice cream and nobody wants it. Add TONS of ice cream to crap and, guess what, still nobody wants it. Anyone playing numbers game based on apps would do well to second-guess their logic...

The dirty secret behind AT&T and the iphone isn't just the network. Looks like the radio in the phone itself sucks too.