I Need a New(TeeVee) Phone. To Droid or Not to Droid?


droid-by-motorola-front-open-vzw-eyeAfter slogging through two iPhone-less (s AAPL) years, my contract with Verizon (s VZ) is up and finally — FINALLY! — I can catch up with the Techno Joneses and get the Jesus Phone. But with Verizon (s VZ) and Motorola (s MOT) launching their Droid line of phones today, suddenly, I’m not sure what kind to get, especially since I’ll have a newteevee slant to my usage. I could use some help from you, the reader.

To set the stage, I only use my phone as a “phone” for work, for personal use, I generally prefer texting. I’m interested in apps, and I use a Mac and Gmail. Here’s been my initial thinking:

Reasons to Get a Droid:
-Verizon’s network is better (or so the snarky commercial tells me)
-I’m already hooked in with the Verizon system
-Video recording is 720×480 at 24 fps (quite nice for those impromptu video interviews)
-5 mega-pixel camera (iPhone has 3.0), with image stabilization and location tagging
-YouTube baked right in
-I can play my cat videos on a 3.7 inch 854×480 screen (the iPhone is a 3.5 inches and 640×480)
-It’s on an open platform that many people (hopefully) will be developing all kinds of cool stuff for in the coming months

Reasons to Get an iPhone
-Not first-gen hardware
-Plugs into my existing Mac ecosystem at home and work
-Plenty of apps already available
-YouTube baked in
-Video recording with not-quite-livestreaming apps available

I’ve heard mixed things about the iPhone. Om chucked his, but other friends of mine still love theirs and don’t even mind the cruddy AT&T network. With the Droid not available until Nov. 6, I realize that you probably haven’t used one yet, but speaking in broad terms, what do you think? Should I avoid the Droid or does the Droid pwn the iPhone?


Gary Wilkes

The video capabilities of iPhone seem to be better over all…

as of last week I was seriously considering signing up with AT&T to get an iPhone, but it would be nice if I could get something comparable and stay with Verizon

Janko Roettgers

Here’s the real question: Do you want a keyboard?

I have a G1, really like Android, deal with the sometimes sluggish-ness of the phone, envy some of the smooth iPhone stuff, really dig Google Voice (unless it doesn’t work, which happens), play around with video apps occasionally, take a lot of pictures and wish I had a better camera …

But after using the G1 for a while and having had chance to directly compare it to writing emails on the iPod Touch I must say: All this stuff doesn’t matter. Go for the phone with the keyboard, then enjoy the rest.


Ever heard this before? I love my iPhone. I hate AT&T. I love coding and I’m hoping my wife opts for the Droid so I can tinker with it when she isn’t using it. Voice nav on Google maps? I see the TomTom going bye-bye. Since AT&T has such terrible coverage, I’ll get to use her Droid plenty. “Honey, I haven’t got a signal. Can I use your phone?” One more year and it’ll be my turn to get an Android phone.


If you don’t get The Droid now, you may not get it until after Christmas. Do you want to take the chance? Just get it now and enjoy it while you can.


I love my iPhone most of the time. I have the 3G, not the 3Gs, so some things have been fixed, but the biggest weaknesses of my phone have more or less all been addressed by the Android. A physical keyboard will be huge…I’ve gotten adept at the iPhone’s, but I still don’t love it. The Droid gives you both. The camera is terrible. Droid fixes that. Those are small gripes, and not the end of my world. What kills me, though, is the network. I left Verizon for AT&T so I could get the iPhone, and if the droid can give me most of what the iPhone does, I’ll gladly switch back.

The big things for me right now are the ability to sync with a Mac, and the availability of the few really excellent apps that I use every day.

Also, for as much of an Apple fanboy as I used to be, they’ve had a paradigm shift in the past few years (really since itunes has become their principle revenue stream), and they’re not the open software company they once were. Everything is getting painfully controlled, and it sometimes makes me feel like it’s not really my phone at all, but just something Apple controls that I get to play with, so long as I play by their rules. Now, Verizon is very guilty of doing that same thing, and they’ve got a big history of crippling devices or making you pay to get features back, so time will tell whether the Android promises of being “open” are actually fair and accurate. If they are, that’ll be the big push it takes to get me out of my iPhone and back to Verizon. Their coverage is just too good.

I say give it a few weeks, and see how the reviews come down after these go to market. Reviewers will see highlights, consumers will find the bugs quickly. The iPhone won’t disappoint you, but AT&T will. Especially if you spend any amount of time outside of urban areas. If the Droid can deliver the features you need, and give you Verizon’s network, it’s just the smarter play in my book.

Chris Albrecht

That’s probably what I’ll end up doing. I’ve waited this long with a dumb phone. What’s a couple more weeks?


Well, there’s more to photos/video than megapixels so 5 versus 3 isn’t a sufficient comparison. We’ll have to see how it performs. As of now, there are more NewTeeVee-ish apps for the iPhone, without a doubt, over Android. For livestreaming, you can jailbreak. But there’s much more freedom under Android. And background apps.

Personally, I think I’m done with physical keyboards. I don’t text much, but my tweets have the same 140 character limitation and Chris’ SMS. Virtual keyboard is perfect for short messages.


Three months ago, I could have purchased a new phone and started another two year contract with Verizon. However, their phones weren’t worth giving up my Treo 700p. I did try the htc Imagio for about three weeks and loved the way the htc felt in my hand, sturdy, yet compact. However, I HATED the Windows OS and returned it yesterday. I have been consumed with finding the right phone, and it looks like 11/6 Verizon will be out with their droid(s), FINALLY! However, the Motorola droid looks unimpressive and, well, cheap. I am hopeful that they will also launch the htc droid phones at the same time, or I will keep on waiting until something better than the Motorola, pictured in the releases, comes along. Forever waiting! AHHHHHHHH!!!


I have been using an Android phone on T-Mobile for almost a year now… and I think its a great phone. I have never used an iPhone for more than a few minutes so take my opinions for what they are.. biased

But here are some points..

  • To me the physical keyboard is a big deal

  • I like Google products (i.e. gmail, calendar, maps, Google voice etc.. ) I believe it makes me more efficient and the Google Phone has a better tie-in to Google products than the iPhone.

  • PDA Net is an app that allows me to plug my phone to my laptop and provides an internet connection via T-Mobiles network.. I am under the impression Apple will not allow this App on its phone (without jail breaking).

  • I am a Java developer so I more interested in developing for the Android.

  • Verizon is said to be on a faster track to 4G than AT&T

I dropped Verizon for T-Mobile so I could get the G1.. Loved the phone.. Hate the T-Mobile network coverage. I will be paying the T-Mobile early termination fee on November 6th and getting the Verizon droid.


android wins for gmail integration. also seamless sync w google calender and contacts.

Chris Albrecht

That is a pretty big draw, given how much communicating I do through the G-apps.

Russ Turley

I’m 1 year into my iPhone/AT&T contract and wishing I had stuck it out with Verizon. I switched because of the iPhone and I’ll be switching back because of AT&T.

In another year there should quite a few cool Android phones to choose from, but the Droid looks like the best one to date. Google Maps with Navigation is a killer app.

Chris Albrecht

The buzz from our GigaOM Mobilize Conference earlier this year was that 2010 will be a big year for Android. Agreed on Google Maps with Navigation (now what do I do with the Garmin?).

Comments are closed.