Friday, June 4, 2010

HTC EVO 4G vs. Motorola Droid: Cellphone Smackdown

Since I received both Verizon's Motorola Droid and Sprint's HTC EVO 4G phone at the GoogleIO conference, why not compare the two phones?

Larger and more sensitive screen (4.3 inches)Notification light is always on when the phone is plugged in (it does not flash for notifications when charging)
Sometimes challenging to find the button to wake phone without looking
  • 4G drains the battery rapidly
  • 3G battery consumption seems typical
  • I've noticed more issues with crashing apps
  • Soft keyboard has arrows for cursor positioning
  • Can get special characters and numbers with a long touch on soft keyboard
  • Two cameras, 8 megapixel with flash, and 1.3 megapixel forward facing
  • Integrated kickstand (landscape orientation only)
  • Sense UI
  • Red trim around the rear camera and kickstand
  • Fast data connectivity and CPU
  • Available WiFi tethering app
  • Notification light not shared with charging light
  • Hardware button for camera shutter release
  • Less precise screen
  • Positioning the cursor in text is challenging unless you use the D-pad on the keyboard
  • Easier to find button to wake phone without looking
  • It's easy to accidentally press the volume buttons when plugging the phone in
  • Slightly thicker than the EVO
  • More narrow screen than an iPhone (3.7 inches diagonal), making the portrait soft keyboard narrow
  • One camera: 5 megapixel with flash
  • Standard Android UI
  • Physical keyboard, although the keys are nearly flush to the surface of the keyboard
  • Directional pad by the keyboard
  • Gold tone on the rear speaker and camera button (which flakes off the button)
  • Slower than the EVO
  • No WiFi tethering app
  • Have capacitive touch buttons for home, menu, back, and search, although the order is different on the two
  • Use the same thin USB connector for charging and connectivity
The EVO definitely has exceeded the Droid in wow-factor and technology. On the other hand, there are a few areas where the Droid wins in the physical design department. The notification light is separate from the charger light on the Droid, and the wake/lock/power button is easier to find due to the positioning of the protruding headphone jack next to it. The lock button on the EVO doesn't protrude much, and there aren't any good landmarks to find it by touch.

Don't think the Droid wins on everything in the ergonomics department, the EVO still has a more ergonomic soft keyboard, and a more accurate and precise touch screen. Also, I'd rather use the EVO soft keyboard than the Droid hardware keyboard any day. Sorry to the physical keyboard snobs!

The free service on my Droid recently ended, and I admit I'm a little sad even though I still have free service on the EVO. I think that the way the Droid slides open and the hint of gold mesh on the back reminds me of the communicators from the Original Star Trek series. Dorky, yes, but also nice. I think I'll get over it, the EVO is pretty killer.

Win: EVO 4G