Motorola’s Droid X has certainly made somewhat of a splash in the smartphone world. Touted as a perfect competitor to the iPhone 4, it has made waves where others have not had the gall to even try. The Droid X and the iPhone are both legendary in their own right, however, which one comes out on top in key areas of typical smartphone performance?
Size Does Matter: Display
When it comes to displaying all of the cool graphics from the Internet and gaming, which is no doubt a big part of every smartphone owner’s life, the display size, resolution and clarity makes a big difference. The Motorola Droid X has a 4.3 inch touchscreen with a WVGA resolution of 800 pixels by 600 pixels, which is equal to that of the HTC HD2 and quite impressive. Especially when it is compared to the iPhone 4, which only has a display size of 3.5 inches.
However, since resolution is a contender as well, it is obvious who the winner is here because the iPhone 4 uses a “retina” display. This display is made to simulate the vision of the human eye and the resolution changes depending on how far away the smartphone is held from the eyes.
Let’s Play: User Interface
The Droid X is an Android smartphone, period. The iPhone 4 uses the Phone OS, which is indicative of a few “preferentially motivated” problems. The Android OS 2.1 is currently awaiting an update to 2.1 Froyo, although 2.1 is certainly worth using. It has numerous advantages over the iPhone’s OS including Swype, which is a way to use the onscreen QWERTY keyboard without needing to remove the finger from the screen itself. While this is initially set as the default input type, users can switch back and forth between Swype and regular touch, which includes multitouch. Additionally, Android also offers MOTOBLUR, which has a special navigational input bar.
The iPhone 4 OS has made a great leap into the multitouch world with its newest release. Additionally, it now offers the ability to multitask with some applications and of course, there is the iPhone App Store of which over 100 thousand applications are available free or for a price, whereas the Droid X Android Marketplace only offers a little over 65 thousand. There is no clear winner here, since Android is faster and more versatile, but iPhone 4 has made a comeback and is now offering more features than ever before.
Who’s the Super Hero? Speed & Power
As for the power behind the two most powerful smartphones on the market, it takes some serious processor speed and battery power to do the job. Droid X features a TI OMAP3630 1 GHz processor, which makes this a much faster Droid than the original. Not much lag time is noticed, unless the app drawer is being used, otherwise the browser and multitasking is quite responsive. The iPhone 4 uses the same processor as the iPad, both of which are based on the ARM Cortex A8 and in the iPad, it clocks in at just under 1 GHz. In using the iPhone 4, while it is somewhat faster than its predecessor the iPhone 3GS, it still lags behind the Droid X by a mile. Clear winner here is the Droid X for suing the best a processor can get.
The battery power for Droid X is an impressive 1540 mAh Li-Ion, which holds for a period of 480 minutes talk time and 220 hours of standby time before charging is needed. The iPhone uses a 1420 mAh Li-Po, which is standard for anything Apple. This battery lasts for up to 14 hours of talk time in 2G mode and 7 hours in 3G mode and standby time is about 300 hours, making the iPhone the winner of this battle.
Let’s Talk: Connectivity
The connectivity of any smartphone is what makes it a smartphone and unfortunately, this relies a lot on the carrier involved in addition to the features offered on the smartphone itself. Both smartphones offer the standard Wi-Fi 802.11, GPS, and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR in addition to both of the smartphones having the ability to tether the phones through the computer.
However, Droid X works as a hot spot for other devices and the iPhone 4 does not. Additionally, it is not new news that the iPhone 4 is carried exclusively by AT&T, which is known for fast downloads, but an inability to handle a large network data load. However, when it comes to Verizon, the network is much larger and can handle more data usage, although downloads are slower.
The iPhone 4, according to recent news reports, has a serious flaw in its antenna, especially considering that using the phone makes the signal weaker (!?!). Yes, it is true and Mr. Steve Jobs has not only admitted to this one fatal flaw, but he has also released a guard that will apparently shield the phone against its flaw.
The problem is that the iPhone, when held a certain way in the left hand, stops the phone from receiving a cell signal and cutting off the call or making it difficult to talk. The guard will apparently keep the hand from touching the area In question. This one, while based mostly on preferences, technologically speaking goes to the Droid X for the extra, almost super hero tethering and hotspot abilities, not to mention the lack in signal strength flaws.
Aside from having all the cool applications and programs to play with, not to mention surfing the Internet and doing all the other cool things a smartphone can do, a smartphone should look good as well. When it comes to looks, the Motorola Droid X is black, red and shiny, while the iPhone 4 is its typical black or white. In this writer’s opinion, the Droid has it on the looks, but then again, the Goth look is right up my alley, so I may be biased in the looks department.
As for the overall winner of this competition, it is basically a tie, although given the fact that Motorola’s Droid X is due for an update and will have even more features to play with, not to mention the fact that the first shipment of the smartphone already sold out, it may have an edge over the iPhone 4 overall. Ultimately, the choice is yours and simply a matter of preference. Choose wisely and happy phoning!
Verizon: Motorola Droid X Full Specifications
Apple: iPhone 4 Full Specifications
Jason Cross, “Does the iPhone 4 Really Have a Retinal Display?” PC World
Daniel Ionescu, “Apple responds to iPhone 4 Antenna Problem, ” PC World
Joshua Topolsky , “iPhone 4 Review,” Engadget
Chris Zeigler, “Motorola Droid X Review,” Engadget