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iPhone 3GS vs. Droid: How Do They Really Stack Up?

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droid-by-motorola-front-open-vzw-eye1Our friends at BillShrink, who developed an interactive tool that lets you compare handsets and pick the best phone-plan combination, crunched the data on some of the newer smartphones and compared them with the current champion, the iPhone 3Gs. “While sticker prices are roughly comparable between smartphones, each offers its own particularly generous features,” the company says. But in the end, customers should base their decision on the total cost of ownership of the device over the entire length of their contract with the phone company. So how does iPhone 3GS stack up against the Droid, MyTouch 3G and the  Palm Pre? Results are below the fold.


76 Responses to “iPhone 3GS vs. Droid: How Do They Really Stack Up?”

  1. I just have one thing to say, and that is AT&T just recently enlightened me to the fact that my home area is now in what they call an “off area network”. So what that means is my data usage must stay below 24 megs a month or they will drop my coverage all together. I WILL NOT pay for unlimited coverage as someone who lives 25 miles from me and not get the same service. AT&T is insane if they think they can have crappy service, restrictions on data usage due to their unwillingness to increase the band width for more consumers. They will sure enough sell you the phone and “forget” to tell you that “oh by the way you live or may be in the future living in an off area network.

    So I have sold all my Iphones on EBay and went right to the mall and purchased Verizon for my whole family! I can not begin to tell you how delighted I am with the service from Verizon and the Droid.

    I have had the Iphone for 2 years and recently purchased the 3GS and had that for two months before AT&T attempted to restrict my usage. Last time I checked unlimited data means just that, unlimited? I do not care if you have to use another carriers tower, make new ones. That is not my problem, i pay my 280 a month bill every month with never skipping a beat, where is the customer loyalty?

    However, sadly enough to say if i were a huger corporation that invested millions into AT&T i very seriously doubt i would get data restriction emails.

    Several of my friends have already switched from AT&T once they saw the Droid. I suspect and rightfully so that AT&T’s profit margin will eventually take such a hit that they may have to actually invest into the consumers as consumers do them!

  2. biochemboi

    poor poor Apple…they have finally met their match and its sad that the iphone fanatics out there cant come to terms with the fact that there is a phone better than theirs and they just invested all that money into something that better pay off….But to put all the BS aside…i think it comes down to the openess of the droid software and its ability for each user to make the phone their’s and customize it they want it to be…a buddy of mind just bought the HTC Hero and wow…what an amazing phone…as for battery life they all suck, with an average user having to charge each phone (droid/iphone/blackberry) every night or even twice a day depending on usage…anyway with that all said i think the Droid is good thing for both NEW USERS and for IPHONE fanatics b/c it forces apple back into the labs to create a better device and increase the user ability to customize their phones while allowing an up coming platform to provide competetion….i would expect apple to come out with an update soon probably V 3.1.3 to either equal the ability of the droid or surpass it…what happens in the next few months are going to be very interesting!

  3. We are looking at the “Best Buy Mobile – Buyers Guide” for November 2009.

    If I am reading this right….

    It says that the Motorola Droid’s data + voice + text plan for 450 minutes of voice and about 1500 text messages is $15 cheaper than the iPhone 3Gs plan for the same amount of usage.

    Is that true? Is the Droid plan for my typical usage $15 a month LESS than the iPhone 3Gs?

    For Droid, it lists Verizon’s “Nationwide Single Line – Connect Plan” for 450 minutes as $69.99… which includes unlimited text messaging within the US, and unlimited data and mobile email.

    For iPhone 3Gs, it lists AT&T’s “Individual Plan for Apple iPhone 3Gs” for 450 minutes as $69.99… But then you have to add Text Messaging plan for 1500 text messages at $15.00…. A TOTAL of $84.99 per month….

    Notice that the total is $15 LESS for the Motorola Droid on Verizon.

    Also notice that the text messaging is UNLIMITED on this Verizon plan…. not a limit of 1500. ….which is nice… to never have to worry about going over…. with Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc.

    Am I reading this right? Is this booklet correct?

  4. the one thing people overlook is the service. The droid runs on verizon,the most relaible service and certainly the most widely covered. I am a little jealous of the 80,000 aps that the droid users will miss out on, but the camera, battery life and especially the service will be an investment

  5. I am with Verizon but decided to hold off on the IPhone. It is an excellent device but just could not get the coverage needed when I traveled in the mountains of Colorado.
    The Droid will be my choice. Main reason. GPS maps with urn by turn that interfaces with voice commands for FREE!
    That is an awesome advantage over the other carriers. Also I was going to the Sprint plan but since most of my calls are NOT mobile to Mobile it did not make any sense,.
    Also I have never had a dropped call with Verizon here in town or on travel and customer service is always good. So will stay with Verizon again even though my contract has been up for over 5 months now. I was just waiting for a good Telephone.

  6. timjones17

    Droid may be as expensive as the iPhone 3GS, but you can run different apps on the Droid at the same time, as opposed to the iPhone where you can only run one app at a time. The Droid has a 5 megapixel camera, as opposed to the iPhone’s 3 megapixel. And you can get apps for the Droid from different places, as opposed to the iPhone where you can only get apps from the Apple app store. If you’re making the jump from just a phone, to a smartphone, go with the Droid, or look at other smartphone out there. You get more with the Droid for the same price.

    • I hear you won’t be able to talk and do anything else, such as maps or Internet, at the same time on a Droid. Is that true? Bear in mind that the iPhone’s lack of multi-tasking of user apps (i.e. not including built-in Apple apps) was done on purpose to save on battery life and push notifications was developed in its place. That’s not to say that full multi-tasking won’t be available some day when it makes sense to do so.

      As an iPhone developer, I’m glad that all the apps are in one place. I’ve had to do minimal marketing and have seen impressive sales income. I can’t complain. Why are sales so good? Well, for one, everyone knows exactly where to find them. They’re all in one place!

      • timjones17

        Oh so, the iPhone doesn’t have such a good battery then- oh ok. Then, why didn’t Apple make it so, so that users have the option of being able to take out a dying battery and replace the dying battery with a fresh battery on the spot, and recharge that dying battery? And where did you hear that you won’t be able to talk and do anything else, such as maps or Internet, at the same time on a Droid? You sure can. In fact, it is the iPhone that lacks multi-tasking of user apps. From the consumer’s perspective, being able to buy apps only in one place seems really limiting. That’s like only being able to buy shoes from a Nike store, and only Nike shoes are sold. Why can’t users also go to a developer’s site and download apps directly from the developer? So, Apple want a cut in every iPhone app sold? Why is Google Voice not available on the iPhone? And how come Flash is not available on the iPhone? So, really Apple is about limiting customer choices, that Steve Jobs knows it all on what is good for the consumer? Consumers- stay away from Apple. Oh yeah, Apple did lose the desktop operating system war to Microsoft.

      • I’m a droid user, first I will start off by saying, I’m not going to be like most of u on here who are completely non objective. It looks like everyone here either loves or hates xx device….

        But to respond, ryan u keep saying you can’t talk and do anything else on the droid, this is simply untrue, idk where you’re getting your info from. But the droid is built for multi tasking, I have been talking on speaker phone while using the browser to search the internet many times, I also pop my droid in its gps car cradle (something iphone wouldn’t even know where to begin with) and have speakerphone convos while using gps nav same time…you csan easily stream pandora via its widget while sufing the web or sending a txt with absolutely no interuption. So I’m not sure where u keep hearing how crappy te droid is.

        I fully agree with 1 thing u did say, and everyone here should listen and try to have a little more fact based debates rather than one sided opinions cuz they love their device….but what you said was “to each his own”….for real, everyone is gonna like something different for different reasons.

  7. I have an iphone and would not trade it for anything in the world because I AM HAPPY. But I have to admit the Droid sounds like a very intelligent alternative to the iphone,Pre and Mytouch. This phone has potential to create it’s own masses (such as we iphone loyalist).
    To me that’s a win win situation for everyone. This phone will force Apple to up the bar by the time my contract ends and come out with a beast. With that being said I am rooting for this phone and congradulating Verizon on one hell of a device. Come on guy and girls, stop being in denial. GPS? Turn by turn that interfaces with voice commands?? Are you seriously gonna act like that isn’t huge?? That would have saved me $380 dollars (Garmin T765 Nuvi). Stop bashing other peoples choices and be at ease in the notion of more than one excellent choice for everyone depending on the individual. Verizon with its almighty network doesn’t work in my basement. AT&T does, and does it well. I love what I’m hearing about this phone and hopefully it can put pressure on Apple to get in bed with Adobe so we can get flash… Now that would make the Droid a Godsend for us iphoners
    And people who get mad or say idiotic remarks about people who KNOW HOW TO USE AN iphone and love it, seem a bit slow- to invest so much negative emotion over someone elses phone. It’s actually sad and funny at the same time…

  8. Where I live, Verizon is the only one with towers, so they are teh only one that works here. I am glad that they are finally coming out with a phone that can be compared with the iPhone. The Verizon Droid has one main feature that the iPhone does not have: It woks in my neighborhood and in my house.

    Lets see how they market it now. Remember that Apple almost went out of business because of their marketing strategies. They finally got it right with the iPod and that saved them. Now because of that, their computers are being noticed and are picking up market share . So far, very few people even know about the Droid. It can only become a top seller if people know about it.

    Competition forces all companies competing to work harder to creat a better product. Now that there are phones that can compete with the iPhone, it will be interesting to see what happens now.

  9. HTC Hero is better than this whole lot in my opinion. and is confirmed that HERO is getting an Android 2.0 upgrade, which directly match the Motorola Droid…not to mention the HTC sense UI on top (which is totally awesome!!)

  10. The Free Thinker

    Alternative. It’s a good thing. No alternative? Imagine that: Life without choice. I’d rather kill myself. So I’m happy we have the iPhone and Android. Give me more choice. Much more.

  11. iPhone is king????? Get over it!!! iPhone owners refuse to believe that anything is better than the “phone” they just invested a lot of money in. I am so sick of hearing about the iPhone and it’s not even that great a device. However, if I was an Apple follower who could not see past the iPhone, I might see things a little differently too. There is more out there people.

  12. Sprint released it’s highly acclaimed first Android phone Oct 11th, the HTC Hero, and has another one coming Nov. 1, the Samsung Moment. With Sprint’s Any Mobile, Anytime, calls to any US wireless # on any network are FREE! If you make most of your calls to wireless numbers, you could save $1,200 over a 2-year contract on Sprint’s plan compared to the Verizon Average Usage Plan in the chart ($50/mo cheaper!), with the Everything Plus discount.

    Comapre the Hero and the Moment:
    Both phones have:
    Google ingeration
    The Android Market App Store with access to 10,000+ apps
    Outlook Integration syncing E-mail, Calendar, and Contacts
    Expandable Memory up to 32GB
    WiFi with 802.11 b/g
    Removable Battery
    3.5mm Headset Jack
    TV, Music, GPS
    Sprint Visual Voicemail
    Sprint Navigation
    Sprint TV (streaming and on-demand video)
    Sprint Movies
    Sprint Radio
    Sprint NFL Mobile Live
    NASCAR Sprint Cup
    Sprint’s 3G EV-DO
    Device Cost: $179.00 ($100 mail-in-rebate may apply)

    The differences:
    Features HTC Hero Samsung Moment
    Camera/video recorder: 5.0MP 3.2MP
    Camera Flash: No Yes
    Messaging Integration: Yes No
    slideout QWERTY keyboard:No Yes
    AMOLED screen: No Yes
    User Interface: HTC Sense-49 screens Standard Android-3 screens
    Broswer: Flash Lite support No integrated Flash Lite
    Processer: 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7600 800MHz
    Battery: 1500mAh lithium ion 1440mAh
    Talk Time: 4 hours 5.5 hours

    To sign up for unlimited text/data plans starting at $59.99/mo (a $10 discount) (there are also family plans available at a discount). Go to: Enter: [email protected], CID: 483. Get the HTC Hero Android phone -AWESOME! with up to 49 customizable screens for all the widgets and apps you can think of. Or the Samsung Moment Android phone is coming this Sunday, Nov. 1 (has a slide out QWERTY keyboard).

  13. My personal list of why I will not get a IPhone.

    IPhone for Windows likes to use MS Outlook (via itunes) for address, calendar and notes. But MS Outlook isn’t free, and not the easiest tool for those functions. Is it really too hard to leverage something else for those functions and include it ?

    IPhone sync’s with outlook address book on Windows by default but mangles the phone entries. I had to install a third party app to get the address book entries grouped.

    IPhone Notes application is lame, I can’t even categorize the entries, or mark any as private. Guess that is too hard to code.

    IPhone Photo app does a lousy job on organizing pics into albums.

    IPhones does not have a todo list, which I used on my Palm Clie a lot.

    IPhone does not support Flash, guess we don’t deserve Flash

    IPhone calendar does not have a week view. Guess that was too hard to code.

    IPhone has a lot of apps, but 99% of them are junk/filler apps. Be honest about their usability and how much money their developers make.

    IPhone’s battery is so good that you never have to think about pulling out and replacing it. Heck sending it off in the mail to get the battery replaced is ok, as it gives you good down time for other stuff.

    Not sure if the Droid does all those but I am more than willing to give it a shot in November.

    Break the cycle and stop pretending that Apple only produces great stuff. If that were true then the Time Capsules would not be dying left and right, and my daughter-in-laws one year mac’s screen would not have gotten screen burn in. Nothing like a ghost image to ruin a $2k machine.

    Life free or die a slave to a corp that cares more about its image then its customers.

    • Hey, whatever makes you happy. No matter how great anything is, there’s always someone who hates it. That’s human nature. Some people actually enjoy their Macs and their iPhones. Sometimes Apple products fail, just like some Dell and HP products, but if you’ve ever had to deal with the manufacturer when you have failed hardware, …, well you only have to look at surveys to see that more Apple customers report better customer support satisfaction than Dell, HP, etc.

      I also think that there are a lot of junk apps, but what I consider the good apps, you’d probably consider junk too. So, again, to each his own. The fact is, Android now was 10,000+ apps and a lot of those will be “junk” too, but again, if you take all the apps that I like and all the apps that you like and put them together, some of it will be junk to other people.

      Good points raised on the sync’ing with Outlook though. I’m not sure why Apple took that route, especially, as you’ve mentioned, it’s not free. Organizing photos is poor on the iPhone itself, but it’s very easy to organize if you use iPhoto. I guess the Mac users have an advantage when it comes to using an iPhone, go figure.

      It’s probably too late now, but your daughter-in-law should have called Apple as soon as she noted the screen burn in. iMac’s have a one-year warranty, 3 with AppleCare.

      Good luck in your search for Utopia. :-)

    • I also find it amusing that one major complaint from many people is that Apple only sells premium hardware and that they should sell cheaper stuff like netbooks and cater to the “I don’t want to pay more than [fill in your limit]” for a computer. Fair enough.

      Now that Apple is catering to the “I only want free and 99¢ apps” crowd and allowing variety and a range of cheap to moderate to expensive apps, we keep hearing “oh, there is so much junk out there”

      That’s what Mac users have been saying all along about PC’s … “there’s so much junk out there”. Now do you all get it?

  14. Not an apple fanboy

    Huh? No mention of Droid’s display which is two times better than iphone’s.

    Okay, I am now ready to hear fanboy’s reply as to why the screen resolution doesn’t matter.

    • To me, it only matters if the device is significantly larger in terms of physical screen dimensions. I’m someone who really doesn’t care much for the extreme of everything. That is, I don’t think a 5MB camera will server me that much better (I’d rather my iPhone had a flash first), nor do I think a higher resolution would do much more for my movie viewing pleasure. I guess it depends on what you use your device for. I use it much more for e-mail, podcasts (some with video, but those are usually news), Internet, FB and other social networking, finding my way around, … so a faster data connection is always welcome, and I’d rather see processor speed increases and better battery life before more screen pixels.

      Disclaimer: not a fanboy, just a peeved ex-M$ user. :-)

  15. what will drive Android adoption is the: user interface and Android app store. I haven’t seen reviews of either, but both would be extremely helpful. For instance, i love the iPhone because the app store and iTunes integration is awesome. It makes me hesistant to switch to Android-based phones.

    Hard to weight the pros of cons of dumping iPhone/AT&T with this info. Much thanks!

  16. i have multi-tasking on my iPhone via JB of course but yes multi-tasking is a seriously overrated feature when most current gen phones still have horrible battery life!!

    • The “king” please, as time goes on (just like now) the competition is finding ways to make the i phone obsolete.. Now let me introduce to u the droid!!! Something the I phone can’t compare to, I’ve had both and the i phone isn’t even close to the droid!!

  17. “But in the end, customers should go for the total cost of ownership of the device over the entire length of your contract with the phone company.”

    Sounds, Penny wise, pound foolish to me.
    Or how much has the price of the contract influenced your decision to drop the iPhone?
    If you look at it as a small computer buy the best one that does what you need it to do. I for one can think of a 100 things I could program if the iPhone had none native apps multitasking support. That would be my reason to drop it for example, but I also need mutli-touch. Just for some processes I have my work flow adopted to. So I already changed things around and adopted and picked up some new things.
    Contract price should certainly on the list. But it’s not the only criteria.

  18. At some point, gauging battery life in terms of talk time is going to cease to be useful. As far as I’m concerned it already has. I have the lowest available minute plan for my smartphone and have never exceeded it. More important is how long the phone will last when being used for all those smart things – especially if you’re actually using the multitasking options. And believe me, when an iPhone (original flavor) is downloading a podcast, getting mail pushed out and delivering a push notice while you’re surfing the web and listening to tunes, you’re multitasking no matter what the chart claims. And your battery will s-u-f-f-e-r.

    • Well said! Just goes to show that while the industry has heavily latched on to the ability to multi-task, it really isn’t that big of a deal on a smart phone. Only few apps really need them, such as IM clients, but with push notifications, your battery lasts longer in the end.