News Analysis: Instead of retelling the Google Android-based Droid versus Apple iPhone grudge match, I'm putting the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris in the steel cage. My ground rule for testing and comparing the phones was that I wanted to turn them on and begin using them without looking at the tip guides. Call it an intuitiveness test. The Eris runs Android 1.5, the Droid runs Android 2.0. The Android operating system was a breeze to navigate on both smartphones, allowing me to flit from one application or phone feature to the next with virtually no time spent on learning how to use the devices. And the winner is ...
When I first learned of the Motorola Droid
from Verizon Wireless,
I was ecstatic for two
First, I wanted a phone based on the Google Android operating system.
Second, I wanted it on the Verizon network. The Droid offered both, so I was
keen to check it out in stores and put it on my Christmas list.
But then I heard the HTC Droid Eris
was also coming down the pike and my
attention shifted to that device. It costs $100
less, which I'm sure a lot of folks will find attractive in these
cost-constrained times. It also offers a touch screen, but no physical keyboard.
Still, I thought it was better to try both before putting them on
my wish list, so I asked Verizon for review copies. Instead of the Droid
versus iPhone grudge match retold (Robert Scoble does an admirable job here
), I'm putting the Droid and Eris in
the steel cage.
Full disclosure: I tend to be on the frugal side, so I was biased toward the
Eris from the start. The Droid is $199.99 after rebate, while the Eris is $99
after rebate. That $99 sounds a lot better.
My ground rule for testing and comparing the phones was that I wanted to
turn them on and begin using them without looking at the tip guides. Call it an
The Eris runs Android 1.5, the Droid runs Android 2.0. After using both
phones extensively for three days, I'd be lying if I could say I could tell a
difference in performance between Android 2.0 and Android 1.5.
One thing to note: Eris lets you pinch and zoom-the Droid does not currently
offer this multitouch capability. However, Phandroid
notes, "While the Android Browser doesn't
have multitouch capabilities by default, the operating system itself supports
multitouch." That doesn't help in the short term when people want to use
Still, navigating the phones was light and breezy, as I was able to flit
from one application or phone feature to the next with virtually none of what I
call "get-up-to-speed time" learning how to use the devices.
Call quality and messaging were great on both devices. I can't complain about any dropped