Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: The Back Story

Recently I made the switch from an iPhone 3G with AT&T to a Motorola Droid X with Verizon. There will likely be a number of posts of the transition, as folks sure do seem curious!

A little background: In the United States (where I’m located) the iPhone is exclusive to the AT&T network. Unlike in other countries where you can get an iPhone on any network, if you want the device you need to be with AT&T. My husband and I were with AT&T prior to the iPhone, using Motorola Razr. We weren’t thrilled with them to begin with, but stayed when the iPhone was released. Our frustration with AT&T (even back then) was the network quality. We frequently raised our eyebrows at the AT&T “network with the fewest dropped calls” tagline. Not in our experience … !

We jumped on the iPhone bandwagon with the 3G. Now, let me say very clearly: I really like the iPhone. The switch wasn’t motivated by a hatred of the device itself. My two years with iPhone were mostly enjoyable ones. It synced my work and personal email. It gave me on-the-go access to my calendar. It let me access Twitter and Facebook and mobile banking. It was my first smartphone, and I loved it. But as far as making calls go, well …. it wasn’t actually so great at that …

About a year in to our two-year contract, I’d had enough. I called AT&T and they blamed it on the device. Their argument was that because I got so many dropped calls in all different places, it had to be the device, not their network … even though I was on their network in all of those places. So I followed their advice, had to completely factory restore the phone (massive pain, by the way, since my contacts weren’t synced with anything) and nothing changed. In fact, the Genius Bar tech looked at my phone data and said I’d dropped 20% of my calls in the last week. Sadly, that actually sounded a little lower than usual. I also had a wonderful conversion with an AT&T employee that went like this:

Me: “So what if I restore my iPhone to factory settings, follow all the instructions both you and Apple give me, and nothing changes. You’re telling me that you will do nothing about this?”
(I had asked about them waiving the early termination charge, or
anything, really!)

AT&T: “Yes, that’s right.”

Now, at the same time, my 3G had become very buggy. Buttons becoming unresponsive, text taking a long time to type, etc. (I heard, from those who switched to 3GS, that it was much more stable and responsive, but the 3G did seem to be on its last legs.)

A few months shy of our contract expiration date, iPhone 4 came out. I was torn. On the one hand, I wanted off AT&T. On the other hand, it did look good. On the other hand, I actually wasn’t as blown away by as I had expected iPhone 4. (Wow, I have a lot of hands …) Given the anticipation, I expected more. You can read my thoughts on it here. I will, however, confess: I actually pre-ordered one. Okay, another confession: I actually pre-ordered TWO. (One for my husband, one for me.) But I couldn’t stand to go pick it up. It gave me an uncomfortable feeling, like I was a fool who had been duped.

So I left the iPhone 4, and started researching Android. It seemed like it might fit for me. I’m a huge fan of Google Voice, which I heard integrates well. Based on the devices on the market, and upcoming handsets, I chose Droid X.

Which brings us to now. We ordered our Droid Xs on a Sunday, they arrived on Thursday. Verizon had set us up with temporary numbers until we port over our AT&T numbers, so until our contract ends (a week after receiving our Xs) we are using the temporary numbers to get used to the phone. (Naturally, if we port our numbers to Verizon even a day early, AT&T will charge us $60.)

But you want to hear the best part? We signed up for AT&T U-Verse at a time when AT&T were giving you $400 in gift cards to sign up. We paid for our Verizon Droids with AT&T’s $400!

So this brings me to the actual review …

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