Saturday, February 12, 2011

DroidX vs iPhone

Being the "phone tester" for our company has enabled me to try out a number of different phones over the last three years: Motorola Q, Droid, Blackberry Tour, Blackberry Pearl, Droid Incredible, DroidX and iPhone - all on the Verizon network. I was iffy on every phone until I got my hands on the DroidX. What a great phone! My love for the DroidX made me a bit apprehensive moving over to the iPhone. But how could I comment on phones without trying out the market leader?

I will basically keep this commentary between Android/DroidX and iPhone. Blackberry is a dying breed, they need to change something fast or they'll be left in the dust. There is too much functionality in these other little devices that people can not turn down. I realize that corporations have a lot invested in their BES servers but over time, these will go away. I am making a huge assumption that Android and iPhone will embrace the security control that Blackberry Enterprise Server has over everyone else. That is the only thing they have going for them.

There are plenty of articles out there about how great these phones are, I'll just bitch about them:
  • GPS Navigation: The iPhone does not have free turn by turn navigation like Android. This is my favorite feature of Android devices. You can throw away your car GPS if you buy an Android phone because the GPS/Google Maps navigation is that good.
  • Shortcut Menus: The iPhone does not have a "long press" shortcut menu. This is another great Android feature that Apple should incorporate into their phone. It is kind of like the right click in Windows, gives you a quick list of common tasks based on what you hold your finger on. Another shortcut menu I love in the Android devices is the pull down menu from the top. It's a very quick way to respond to different notifications. The iPhone doesn't have anything like this.
  • Voice Recognition: The voice recognition on the iPhone is inferior to Android. With Android, you can speak a text message and it is incredibly accurate. This was a feature I ended up using all the time but have to give up with the iPhone.
  • Email Sub Folder Message Notification: Here is the situation, you use Outlook/Exchange and you have server side rules that shoot emails into specific sub folders based on certain criteria. For example, all emails from "Dan" automatically go to the "Dan" sub folder. The problem comes in when Dan sends you a message....Android and iPhone do not notify you of the new message. This is the only other feature I like in Blackberry devices. I ended up finding an app for Droid called "Touchdown" that replaced the native email client. This app would show all your sub folders in a filtered view so that it appeared you just had one big inbox. When new messages arrived in sub folder's you are notified. This app got around the issue of sub folders. The iPhone doesn't have an app that does this (that I have found). What they do is give you a notification that a new message has arrived and you have to manually browse to the sub folder to get the message. What a pain in the ass.
  • General Interface: I prefer the iPhone over Android. The interface is very sleek and things seem to be very intuitive. This goes for most Apple products I have owned. Add a long press menu and this category goes to Apple hands down. I found the widgets that Android has kind of clunky and not very aesthetic.
  • Message/Missed Call Indicator Light: The iPhone does not have one! I loved being able to look across the room at my DroidX to see if I received an email or had a missed call by that little green light.... the iPhone requires you to manually unlock the phone and look at the home screen. However, you can jailbreak the iPhone and use an app to gain this functionality.
  • Stability: The DroidX required occasional reboots due to system lock ups. The iPhone has not done this to me yet...
  • Market vs App Store: For the most part, if there is an Apple app, there is an Android app (except of course for my Touchdown app!). From a security perspective, it seems Apple does a little better job vetting the apps that are approved for download. The Android market is like the wild west, anything goes so you may be buying a farting app that is also stealing your email in the background.
I'm really on the fence with these two devices even though it sounds like I'm bashing the iPhone. There is something about the iPhone that is sexy and draws you in. A few months with the iPhone might help but that DroidX was pretty nice!


Back to the DroidX. The gmail/gtalk integration is so much better and I missed too many little things about this phone. I think it's official, I'm an Android dork.


Trevor said...

I'm not sure if the feature was there when you tested the phones, but regarding the subfolder push, the iphone does support this by going to settings, mail, then the account and you can choose which folders it will push.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all full of shit! I personally prefer my Blackberry because for me,my security is everything.

Example Android:
The government has already been caught snooping in peoples email accounts at Google...that alone makes me NEVER want to trust the screw that.

Example Iphone:

Iphone still has security issues..

Craig said...

Everything is vulnerable, dude.

Here is your BB getting pwned:

And again:

And again:

Unknown said...

A few corrections:

- GPS Navigation: [Google] Maps on iPhone doesn't do this by default,'s Google, and they now compete with Apple and want to retain that feature for Android phones. There are *free* apps, however, that offer a similar turn-by-turn experience.

- "Shortcut Menus: The iPhone does not have a "long press" shortcut menu." The iPhone does have this functionality, actually: simply hold the home button down and the 4 most recently used apps (icons) appear at the bottom of the screen.

- Voice Recognition - I think we all know what Apple has done to improve this (Siri).

Otherwise, thanks for the article/breakdown.

Craig said...

James - Valid points but I still prefer the actual "Google Maps" over the other options I've seen on Iphone. The shortcut menus are not the same on iPhone as they are on the Android, its more of a shortcut menu or a "right click" type of menu in Android. The Siri stuff is great, I think that's a major improvement. I also love the fact that Google finally made a very nice Gmail app so that you dont have to keep using the mobile web version. I may have to switch back....again...