Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: Review #1

This is preliminary, based on three days with the Droid X.

In short: Droid X is a fantastic phone, very customisable to what the user wants, but the iPhone does still trump for usability and simplicity. I love Droid X, and if/when Verizon gets an iPhone, I wouldn’t automatically jump back to it. It would actually be a very tough choice between the two. But I wouldn’t buy a Droid X for my Dad, as the iPhone’s simplicity would suit him better.

Droid XWhat I like:

Customisation: Incredibly customisable. I can choose what notifies me and how. I can choose not just what apps appear on what pages, but add widgets to pages. (This is an awesome feature that is much cooler, IMHO, than the iPhone “tons and tons of icons”.) The one thing that is a little tricky is getting used to where the settings live. Some live in the main Settings area and some live within the app itself. But no huge deal, really.

Set up: Set up was fairly easy for me. Added all my accounts quickly. The harder part was getting the right balance of notifications. I get a lot of email, especially through my corporate email. I don’t need you to vibrate everything time I receive an email! Or that phone would never be still.

Notifications: I love the pull-down notification window. So much better than the iPhone’s one-notification-overrides-another thing.

Display: Love the screen – it’s huge and looks way better than my 3G screen did. I know that the iPhone 4 screen is supposed to be the greatest screen ever created (blah blah blah) but I’m loving Droid X’s.

Sign in: The pattern sign in is crazy cool! Instead of a numeric code, you can sign in based on a pattern of connecting dots.

Outlook and Exchange sync: The basic integration with corporate email is okay, but not great. E.g. I can view calendar notices, and know that someone invited me to a meeting, but not reply to them. (You could reply on iPhone.) However, I downloaded the TouchDown app which integrates better than iPhone. Not only can you reply to calendar invites, but you can create them, including adding people, and syncs with tasks. This is huge for me, as I’m a big user of Outlook tasks and always found it frustrating that I couldn’t get access to my tasks on the iPhone. (There are third party applications you can use for this, but they crashed my desktop Outlook so it was a no-go.) Without a third party app like TouchDown, I’d say that iPhone’s Exchange is better, but with TouchDown, Android wins. And for the record, I’m willing to buy apps that make my life easier, so that’s not a “lose” for me.

Google Voice: The Google Voice integration is awesome. On iPhone, it would forward SMS to my phone but nothing more than that. Right now Google Voice is controlling my whole phone, transcribing voicemail etc. It’s fantastic.

Typing: Having played around with others’ Droid (the original Droid, not Droid X) I was wondering how the keyboard would go. The iPhone on-screen keyboard just seemed better than Droid’s. However, the Droid X keyboard is great, very good at predicting and correcting. I also like the way that the selection and copy/paste works.

Camera: is amazing. Zoom and flash? Awesome! Only downside is that I don’t have the steadiest hands, and it does seem like sometimes it doesn’t want to take the pic because I can’t hold the camera steady enough.

In-built navigator: I have nav in my car, but still, awesome!

Universal inbox: Pulls all your unread emails, texts, Facebook messages (etc) together from all your accounts so you can read unread mail in one place. Very cool!

Network: So far, Verizon is kicking AT&T’s ass, but to be fair, I’ve had three days on Verizon and only a few phone calls, compared with two years of experience with AT&T, where the bad may stand out more than the good. I will say though that the 3G data (e.g. web browsing) is a lot faster on my Droid X. Not sure how much is the device and browser vs. the network though.

What could be improved:

Battery life: So far, battery life hasn’t been great. I do think it will get better as I get used to a phone that multi-tasks and manage the battery better, and I also hear that Froyo will help in that respect too. I made it about half the day before it was already at 50%, and that wasn’t actually with crazy-heavy usage. My only goal is for it to be the same as my 3G was. (I could make it a day but not with heavy usage.)

HootSuite Android application: Okay so this one isn’t Motorola or Android’s fault, but the HootSuite app for iPhone is way better than the HootSuite app for Android. HootSuite for Android unfortunately only supports multiple Twitter accounts, but no Facebook accounts. This was a huge portion of my iPhone use, so I’m seriously begging for an update to this ASAP. In the meantime though, the social networks feature that comes with the Droid X does let me post to Twitter and Facebook, but only to one account of each.

User-friendly-ness: [I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean] I love Droid X so far. But I would buy my Dad an iPhone. It’s just more intuitive and easy to use for those who don’t want to put in the time to figure out all the nuances. But for those who want a ton of control over their device, Android seems better in my opinion.

5 thoughts on “Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: Review #1

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Droid X vs. iPhone 3G: Review #1 : Michele Hinojosa.com -- Topsy.com

  2. I plan to pick up an Android device imminently/ the next time I am in a mobile store. Might be something that HTC puts out. Maybe the EVO… let’s see. It sounds like a lot of fun getting it all customized. I look forward to wasting tons of work-time, going at it! Thanks for the guidance on the pros/cons, Michele.

  3. I know a number of folks who have the EVO and they all love it. I debated it but really chose because of the network, which meant Droid X. The EVO and Droid X seem very similar though, so I think it would apply to both.

  4. Pingback: Droid X vs. iPhone 3G Follow Up : Michele Hinojosa.com

  5. Thank you for the advice. I do not want to overly “complexify” things as I have a iPad 3G, which I use heavily.

    However, my new employer is willing to pay all monthly charges on a smartphone, if I pick up the cost of the phone. The exception is a Blackberry, which they would be willing to pay for in full. Summary of my potential costs: $0 Blackberry, $100 Droid X, $200 iPhone 4.

    I currently have Verizon for my personal phone. A big factor for me as I want the device to be a good phone. The other upside of the Droid is that I would have the best of both worlds (iPad device and Droid device). The downside would be that I would have to learn and synch from 2 different platforms. It may be worth it though.

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