My wife and I are currently Verizon customers and are looking to upgrade our phones. We've looked at the Droid and the IPhone and had a demonstration on both. I've seen a professional comparison at PhoneDog.com, but want to know from real users why we should upgrade to a Droid instead of an IPhone? We realize Verizon has less issues with dropped calls etc, but from what I've read here there are still a lot of problems with Droid's, and I think a lot of that may be because it's still so new and not all of the kinks have been worked out.
My wife wants a phone that's fairly easy to use out of the box.
So, we're not trying to start a war, but want opinions of people that have compared both and picked the Droid over the IPhone and why they chose Droid.
Number One Reason is the high quality of the Verizon network - the only time I get dropped calls is when I'm talking to one of my friends with an IPhone. After all, the purpose of the phone is to make/receive calls - all the rest is fluff. A close second is the open nature of the OS and the friendliness of the Droid - The out of box user experience is very high and the phone is very sturdy. And don't be fooled by the Apple App Store - there are thousands of free Android apps also.
I have a Moto Droid and really like it. I also have 2 iPhones (wife and daughter). I also purchased the iPhone the day it came out 2 years ago. You said your wife is looking for a device that is easy to use. Hands down, get an iPhone. It is the device I recommended to my wife when she wanted a phone, and she has learned to use many of the features of the phone because it is so logical. The iPhone is a truly polished device with really no rough edges, and in 2 years never really had problems with voice calls (the network is not as problem plagued as some would have you believe).
Another respondent said it’s a phone (Droid and iPhone) and the primary purpose is making calls; not correct. These are small handheld computers and for non technical users, iPhone must be the device.
I am a software developer and the Droid is perfect for me, but it is not really as logical to use and polished as the iPhone (perfect for me but not for many users). I can see where this could be confusing to some. The Android OS has a way to go before it will have true mass appeal. Additionally, the Apple ecosystem is best set up to handle users like you wife(regular users) and they do an amazing job at support; something that Google, Motorola and Verizon really can’t and aren’t prepared to do.
Both of the OS’s are based on Unix variants, but the iPhone has years of fine tuning advantage over Google.
Lastly, the Apple app store is amazing, whereas the Google marketplace is good but not in the same universe.
Having said all this, I would buy a Droid again (in a heartbeat) as it’s really a very powerful device, but it reminds me of a Windows computer in its immature state and as a result is more difficult to use than an iPhone, which is really very easy.
Sorry for the long winded reply and I hope this helps you.
1) Verizon's network - seriously it rocks. No, it's not perfect. But it really is the best. Their customer service and website, not so much.
2) MULTITASKING!!!!!!!!! Seriously, this is HUGE!!!!!! You can do all sorts of things on an android phone all at the same time. Listen to music, edit a document and get updates on sports scores at the same time.
3) Widgets. I don't think the iPhone OS allows widgets on their home pages correct? This is huge for me. No need to actually open an app to get a summary of information. For instance you can have weather widgets, sports scores widgets, photo widgets, mail widgets, etc. etc.
Android is very young so no, it's not as polished as the iPhone and there are surely more hiccups and bugs as the android has to support MANY different hardware platforms, but as it ages it's going to get better and better.
Network, network, network!
The Verizon commercials about maps, as silly as it sounds, are true!
The bottom line here is that unless you live along Northeast coast, Florida, Texas or California, you are unlikely to get reliable 3G service if at all on AT&T.
Unfortunately, I must carry around an AT&T Blackberry for work in addition to my personal Verizon phone and the differences in 3G coverage are stunning. I am working in PA for a few months and I cannot drive 15 miles in any direction and maintain 3G coverage on my Blackberry running on AT&T. As a matter of fact, the area I am in JUST got 3G 5 months ago and I am 40 miles from Philly, not in the mountains of West Virginia!
Network, network, network!
The Verizon commercials about maps, as silly as it sounds, are true!
Out of everything, I want to agree with these two sentences the most. A phone is only as good as it's network. I strongly believe that. On the flipside though, it depends on what you want your phone to do...
I've had both the iPhone 3GS and all Android phones (Aside from the Nexus and Behold II...yuck). I may be biased, but I really can't stand the small sandbox that Apple places people with iPhone's in. Don't get me wrong, I have said it many times before on this board, the iPhone is a good piece of hardware. But there's something to be said about an Open Source (a nod to somegirl) system that just kind of grabs people, and it's a difficult clutch to get out of.
You see, Android gives people the freedom to do pretty much anything they want with their phones. That goes true for any providider/manufaturer/developer that gets their hands on Android. I enjoy the fact that I have the freedom to do anything I want with my phone. I like having the freedom to use third party programs, not being tied down to just iTunes, or anything Apple branded. I love the fact that Android allows developers to create whatever they want -- they don't tell developers "No you can't put that on the market" (Apple, I already have parents thank you very much). I like the way I can change the face of Android at any time. With Android, you can make it personal, partial to you. With the iPhone OS, its like you're playing with a doll that tells you what to and not do to it.
Android is still very much in it's early stage. But I can tell you that it's nothing like the way it was back when the G1 Was first released. The rapid growth is startling, it's burgeoning and garnering so much attention it's silly.
Android devices do pretty much anything that the iPhone can do, if not, more.
But at the end of the day, it's what YOU want, and what fits YOUR needs.
There isn't a single point I'd dispute in Stevehy's post above.
And while there's little doubt that Verizon's overall network is superior to AT&T's, it's also worth noting that if you use your phone 99% of the time where AT&T has good coverage, the fact that you can get great 3G coverage in rural Montana on Verizon but not on AT&T is irrelevant.
I wouldn't give up my Droid for anything else out there. But I, too, am a software developer and I'm perfectly willing to deal with the immaturity of the Android platform and marketplace. If my top priority were high quality business support, I'd have a Windows Mobile phone or a BlackBerry. If easy access to every consumer app were my highest priority I'd have an iPhone. And if it bothered me to update a dozen apps a week on my phone (as it would my wife), I wouldn't have a Droid.
As it is, my Droid meets my business needs (mostly) and provides all the toys I care to use. (But I'm not a single 20-something, much less a teenager who has to worry about exceeding 500 text messages a month. And I don't play games on my phone.) In addition, it's a device whose potential is considerably greater, imo, than devices on any other platform. And I value that.
Now if I could just find an application that splits the dinner bill unequally among six or more diners, I'd be a completely happy camper. (There are at least half a dozen apps that provide that functionality on the iPhone and they're easily found for both WM and BB devices.)
Yes it is true Apple has a year up on Android in cell phone operating system building. And because they are a marketing giant they have more apps and I suppose to some more importantly more games and silly content. The interesting thing is Android is and will be more compatible with more outside devices and software. My Droid opperates very much how I would expect a Linux phone to operate except I don't have a terminal to work with. Because of that I imagine it is more user friendly than what I would want from a Linux based phone.
Now as to which is easier to use and functions better that is personal preference. I hate the iPhone. I have tried to use it, tried to figure it out and it just seems anti-intuitive to me. I have a hard time with it. The Droid just makes sense to me. I picked it up and knew how to use it. For me it was what I wanted/expected from a smartphone. Any issues I have had have been so minor none come to mind and are nothing I wouldn't expect from a phone. Some people swear by the iPhone and can't stand the Droid they are generally die hard AT&T customers and pop culture lemmings. It must be the best because everyone has one and look at the schnazy ad campaign. I respect the iPhone for what it did in opening up the networks to smarter smartphones but it isn't for me.
Honestly the AT&T network is top of the line. The fact that there are holes in the 3G coverage isn't an issue because Edge is ok for most uses. In this big war what Verizon isn't telling everyone is that for what 99% of us use our phones for Edge has fine speed. What AT&T doesn't tell you is you can only use data and voice at the same time in areas with 3G coverage. The reality is the advantages to the AT&T network (and there are some they are faster and they do have simultaneous data and voice capabilities) are only in the little blue spots, and the advantages to the Verizon network is they have high speed 3G coverage in more of the country. There are places where you can only get AT&T and there are places where you can only get Verizon both are quite capable. Now what no one is telling you is that the majority of the problems people are having with AT&T network are actually iPhone problems. There is a design flaw that makes the iPhone slower and less reliable. Now AT&T does have more dropped calls than Verizon and even in my area where there is great coverage there are dead spots where your call will go out every time and you just either need to not be on the phone when you drive through there or be prepared to call back when you get through it. Verizon doesn't seem to have those here.
Now my wife says that the best phone she has played with and used is her Blackberry Curve 8530 on Verizon. Aside from the occasional e-mail outages it is the greatest thing since sliced bread to her. I personally can't use it for much. My next phone will probably be something like the Nexus 1 or the next generation or whatever is the best touch phone available in mid-2011. I almost never use the hardware keypad. So it really comes down to personal preference. iPhone 3Gs and Droid are pretty comperable. Best I can tell iPhone 3G and Droid Eris are close I believe. Though I think the Eris wins hands down in that comparison.