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Verizon iPhone 4 vs. Motorola Droid X

Matth3w

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See full review here:

http://fromandroidtoapple.blogspot.com/

I believe that I have come full circle. I absolutely hated Apple products (except for basic iPods) up until the iPad came out. I tried the iPad out in Best Buy and was amazed. Ever since, I have been on the iDevice bandwagon. I still won't use a Mac computer, but as far as the mobile devices go...

Anyhow, being that I've been an Android user for so long, I figured I'd post up a comparison between the two for those thinking of switching but might be on the fence.

Display

Hands down this goes to the iPhone 4. Yes, the screen size on the Droid X is much larger, but the quality is much better on the iPhone and that makes all the difference to me. Text, pictures, and everything is much clearer. Think about it this way: would you rather have a 55" non-HD TV or have a 46" 1080p HDTV...that's about the difference to me, and for me, I'd pic the HDTV over the non-HD any day of the week.

Keyboard

This is HUGE for me. The number one frustration I have ALWAYS had with the Android OS and even aftermarket keyboards is the phone always seems to lag because I type on it too quickly. This is NEVER the case with the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and probably the primary reason I switched.

Also, the keyboard works wonderfully. Somehow, and I can't figure out how Apple does it, but no matter how big the keyboard is on the Android, I can always type faster on an Apple keyboard. It boggles my mind.

In addition, the Apple devices NATIVELY support Arabic keyboards, something that Android devices still cannot do, last I checked. This is also a huge deal breaker for me.

App Store

As an Android user since it's inception, I can say for certain that the Apple App Store is far superior. However, it has also been around for longer so there is a possibility that the Android store will catch up some day. But for now the App Store isn't inherently better, it's just that there is a bigger market apparently so developers are most likely to develop an app for iDevices FIRST if not exclusively. I can't count how many times there was an awesome app in the app store that I waited over a year for to come to Android.

The downside is, many apps on the Apple Store are more expensive than apps on the Android Market. For example, you can get Google Sky Map for free on the Android Market, but you have to pay for some sort of equivalent on the App Store.

I still find the App Store far superior.

Navigation

Hands down, any Android device wins in this category. The iPhone has some great GPS apps available, but most of them are between 30 and 60 dollars, whereas every Android device comes with Turn by Turn Google Maps navigation...something I never felt the need to stray from. Right now I am using a cheap (or maybe it was free?) Mapquest Navigation app for the iPhone. It works decent, but it's nothing as good as Google Maps TBT that comes with Android.

Speech to Text

Nonexistent on the iPhone and Dragon Dictation is worthless, so hands down this goes to Android.

Fragility

The iPhone definitely seems less durable than my Motorola Droid X. It also looks more quality, but if you drop it, I'd say you're done for. I bought the Square Trade warranty for $99.

Widgets

Most people say that the Android has widgets and that makes it better, but frankly, most Android widgets suck and just drain the battery so I don't miss them at all. Yeah you can have the weather right on your desktop, but I can get the weather from an app in one click. If you're jailbroken you can add the weather to your lock screen anyhow.

Fluidity

I don't know how they do it, but no matter how fast of an Android phone I've had, nothing compares to the lagless nature of iOS. I've overclocked my Android phones, optimized, you name it. Still not as seamless as iOS.

Loudness

The iPhone seems to be a lot louder than my Droid X in terms of ringtones and call volume. This wasn't a deal breaker for me by any means on the Droid X but it was worth mentioning if you have that issue.

Notifications

The Android devices tend to have better notification systems. The pop ups on the Apple devices can be annoying and of course most Android phones have some sort of LED that let you know you have a notification without having to turn on the screen.

Camera

Despite the megapixel difference, I don't notice a picture quality difference. If I want to take a high quality picture, I'm not using a phone camera anyhow.

One thing I thought would be irrelevant to me would be the front facing camera. But as it turns out, having one is just awesome. I use FaceTime all the time because I live thousands of miles away from my family. Today I chatted with my cousin while she was at my grandmother's house and I was able to see them for the first time in months and I also gave them a tour of my new house. Very spiffy.

If you aren't frequently separated by distance from your family/SO this might not be a huge deal to you, but it's a pleasant surprise for me.

Email

If you have GMail, the Android phones are going to be inherently better at handling your GMail. However, I had many problems with the GMail application on my Android device, and I wasn't alone. No solution was ever really found, but sometimes at random messages would get stuck in the outbox even when on full signal with wifi. It appeared to have something to do with the way Android OS handled cache but we never really pinpointed it. It was few and far between, but it happened.

Facebook

I know some old geezers hate Facebook, but the Facebook app for the iPhone is infinitely better than the app for Android. You can tag photos, and actually get regular notifications, unlike the Android version. Why such a difference I have no idea...

Reception

EDIT: I went into the office today where I NEVER had signal with my Droid X. I would have to lean out the window just to send a text. Today with my iPhone I texted, played Words with Friends, got emails, sent emails, and made a few flawless voice calls. I was the only one in the entire office (including one of my NCOs that has a Droid X) that could do any of that. Everyone else had to go outside to make calls. Granted, my battery drained like a mofo, but it was too easy to plug the phone in next to my desk. People were borrowing my phone all day to make calls to soldiers. Very odd that this should be the case, but for whatever reason it is.

Flash Player

This was always a huge contention to people, that the iProducts can't play Flash. I had Flash on Froyo 2.2 Browser on my Droid X and it was HORRIBLE. Make no mistake about it, it's about money for Steve Jobs/Apple, but at the end of the day he is still right - Flash is garbage on mobile devices. Period. Most websites with Flash have flash ads, flash banners, flash menus, etc. The phone ran like utter crap trying to process all that junk. Most of the good websites have HTML5 anyhow - even the porn sites. lol


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pigeon

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This was really helpful. Just curious, did you root your android by any chance? I'd like to see a comparison between the rooted droid and the jailbroken iPhone. That would be interesting (at least to me haha).
 
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Matth3w

Matth3w

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Yep, it was rooted. Still not better. Actually, much worse. I've never had anything but problems with rooted Droids.
 

loco

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i also switched from droid to iphone 4 on verizon. so far, i totally agree with the posters opinions. there are some things i greatly miss about the droid like google navigation, led notifications etc....

but overall, my iphone 4 experience has been very good. i also have a co-worker that just got the droid x. that sucker is huge !! as big as it is, the screen is no where near the quality of the iphone.
 

rynorod32

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Thanks for that informative post. I know those who are thinking of upgrading to one or the other would definitely benefit from what you posted.

As far as my experiences, I agree that the the Droid X is not as smooth as the iPhone 4. I almost got the Droid X, but after playing with it at the store, I wasn't impressed compared to the IP4. The lagginess of the X convinced me to upgrade to the IP4.
 

EWyatt

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Thanks for the great write-up Matt.... I had a Droid X and like my iP4 better. Unlike you, I had a real problem with the Android GPS function on my Captivate but the Droid X's was slightly better. Overall, everything on my iP4 is great except for the Apple iOS' lack of folder accessibility and iTunes, which I will never be comfortable with.
 

dtrust

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Matt,

Right on with everything in your review. You've managed to express all points so clearly.

I have all the same likes and dislikes for both systems. It'll be interesting to see how I (and others) feel after having the iPhone for a few monthes instead of a couple weeks. I have a feeling it'll be a positive feeling overall.
 

Col.bris

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Interesting post and well thought out Better than some I have read. I am open minded about both products many Android users will try to tear you down but at the end of the day you are a user not some magazine editor sitting at a chair looking to try to get attention by writing a bad article. I have owned over the years every thing from 3 blackberries, Sony, nokia, Samsung and 3 iPhones. personally I love the iPhone 3GS as it just works no hiccup. I will upgrade this year but as I have an ipd not looking to do it in near future will wait and see. Thanks for posting
 

JDJERSEYBOY

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excellent ..... my buddy is due for an upgrade and he was looking for a good break down of both of these. i will pass this along to him.......thanks
 

jkhonea

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I carry the Inc personally and the iPhone 4 for my wife. The iPhone definitely is much more solid. Better construction, smoother operation, everything. I've got the Inc rooted and found a core of ROMs that get CLOSE to the stability and smoothness of the Apple but none of them are completely there.

Both phones serve a great purpose. A JB iPhone and rooted Droid should be close as far as potential. Overall, I think a new user coming in would need to be more technically inclined to get the most out of the Droid while the iPhone simply works straight out of the box.
 
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Matth3w

Matth3w

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I am going to update the first post. I went into the office today where I NEVER had signal with my Droid X. I would have to lean out the window just to send a text. Today with my iPhone I texted, played Words with Friends, got emails, sent emails, and made a few flawless voice calls. I was the only one in the entire office (including one of my NCOs that has a Droid X) that could do any of that.
 

Westwoodhomes

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I am new to this forum and new to the iPhone. I have been a loyal Verizon customer for a number of years which is why I have just now purchased an iPhone. I have had both the Droid and Droid X. Both are still being used, my daughter has the x and my wife has the Droid. In my opinion the iPhone is hands down a better product. The app store is far superior, the os is more stable, the display is significantly better, battery life is better. Both my android phones hung up every time I tried to use google search. The iPhone is just very well thought out and everything just works the way I would expect an apple product to.
 

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