QWERTY vs Virtual Keyboard
If you’re not aware, the Motorola Droid 2 Global has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. At the same time it is also a touch-screen smartphone that even supports pinch to zoom gestures. Aside from the keyboard, everything else on the Droid 2 Global’s front panel is nothing but clean display screen. Meaning, like the iPhone 4, the Droid 2 Global has no physical buttons up front.
I would have given this category to Motorola, had I not been able to see its QWERTY keyboard. What’s so noticeable about its keyboard is that its size is a bit awkward - it’s not easy to use. It’s like Motorola just tried to squeeze in the keyboard, while at the same time trying to maintain the small size and minimal dimensions of the final Droid 2 Global product.
In this case, the virtual keyboard won over the QWERTY keyboard for the simple reason that the iPhone 4 has a better virtual keyboard - in terms of design and responsiveness. The Droid 2 Global’s QWERTY keyboard did not pull this one off in favor of the Droid 2 Global.
Another interesting category which we are looking into is the way both phones handle photos and videos. When it comes to camera resolution, both smartphones have the same 5 MP resolution. However, the iPhone 4 has the upper hand for the simple reason that there is also a front-facing camera that supports video calls via FaceTime.
In terms of quality, though, there’s not much difference between the output of these two cameras. Both cameras are capable of producing high quality images taken outdoors. While for indoor shots, both phones can also capture pretty decent quality images despite being in low light conditions.
Both of the phones have cameras that can capture video. The iPhone has a slight advantage here since it supports capture and playback of 720p HD video while the Droid 2 Global can only muster DVD quality video. In short, both phones are capable of letting you capture nice looking video and it plays smoothly on both devices.
Of course, how can you effectively manage multimedia content if you don’t have decent storage capacity? This is where the iPhone 4 falters. It can only accomodate up to 16 GB or 32 GB of multimedia content which will share that space with any other content that you put in your iPhone 4 and can’t be switched. The Motorola Droid 2 Global on the other hand has 8 GB of internal storage and it has a microSD card slot which you can load up with up to 32 GB of multimedia content. In the event that your microSD card is full, you can load it up with a new one. This expands the storage capacity of your Droid 2 Global to 40 GB.
Design and Form Factor
When it comes to overall design and appearance, I will immediately give it to the iPhone 4. I’ve held both phones side by side and I would have to say that the iPhone is better looking. I’m not saying that the Droid 2 Global is ugly but I’m trying to point out here that Apple has mastered the art of design. Their products immediately get the “oh’s and ah’s” the first time you see them and that includes the iPhone 4. With the Droid 2 Global, however, it will take some time and a closer look before you can appreciate its aesthetics. At first glance it is square, blocky and chunky.
Aside from appearance, the iPhone 4 also edges out the Motorola Droid 2 Global when it comes to display. The Droid 2 Global may have the advantage with screen size but the iPhone 4 has the much talked about and well-praised Retina display which offers stunning clarity and detail. If not for the Retina display, these two phones would be on an equal footing when it comes to display. But as it is, the iPhone 4 has the edge in this department.
Software and Actual Performance
I’ve compared several Android phones with the iPhone 4 already. And as much as possible I don’t want to compare them in terms of software. I personally believe that no matter how similar the app ecosystems of iOS and Android are, there’s really no point in comparing them.
In terms of volume of apps, the App Store beats the Android Market big time. But the Android Market has been making great strides in the past few weeks. Still, the App Store beats the Android Market in numbers. When it comes to app quality, there may be more free Android apps and games but there are still more quality iPhone apps and games available on the App Store. So, alright - I’ll give the software battle to Apple.
In terms of OS, both Android 2.2 Froyo on the Droid 2 Global and the iOS 4.X for the iPhone 4 are of equal footing, feature-wise and performance-wise. This will of course change once iOS 5 is made available and Motorola issues an update for the Droid 2 Global and bring its OS up to date with Android 2.3.
Until then, we give this one to the iPhone 4.
Which is the Better Smartphone?
Forgive me Android fans, but I will have to declare the iPhone 4 as the better smartphone here. The Motorola Droid 2 Global definitely falls short against the many useful features of the iPhone 4. Although it’s better than the iPhone 4 in a few instances, what really makes the Droid 2 stand out is the fact that it is a global phone, meaning you don’t have to switch SIMs or have your phone rooted to be able to use it anywhere in the world. This feature is something which Apple will hopefully introduce in the future. The recently released unlocked iPhone 4 version is a good start. Perhaps the next iteration of the iPhone will be the first global iPhone.
Still, there’s no doubt - the iPhone 4 is better than the Motorola Droid 2 Global.