Droid Eris vs. Droid


DroidvsErisTomorrow marks the launch of Verizon’s first two Android phones. I have spent over a week with the Droid, but have only had the Eris for a couple of days. Since Verizon decided to call their first Android phone the Droid, and add that name to all successive Android phones, I will be referring to the Motorola Droid as simply Droid, and the Droid Eris as simply Eris.

I am still wrapping up the full review of the Droid, and want to spend a little more time with the Eris before finishing that review, so I will not have both reviews in time for tomorrow’s launch. Now I doubt you all are on the edge of your seat waiting for my final reviews, but if you are anything like me, you like all the data you can get. So with the caveat that I have not spent much time with the Eris, I want to give you information on which of these two excellent phones are best for you. I will not be declaring a best, because that is just silly, it depends on your specific wants and desires.

So we are going to start with the basics. You like Android, you want to get a new phone, and you are on Verizon, or don’t mind switching.

Why You Should Buy a Droid

You want the biggest, highest resolution screen. The display on the Droid is simply stunning. It is 3.7″ WVGA (480 x 854 pixels).

You want the fastest processor. The Droid comes with a 550 MHz processor versus Eris’ 528 MHz processor. Using Linpack for Android the Droid scores 4.507 Mflops/second versus Eris’ 2.315. But this only rates the floating point computing power. Part of the improvement could be a better interpreter in Eclair. I include results from Benchmark by softweg at the bottom of this post. I was surprised how poorly the Droid scored on graphics performance, though that could be because of the higher resolution screen.

You want an Android 2.0 (Eclair) device. Droid ships with Eclair, but HTC is working on updating the Sense UI for Eclair, and will should release an update. Verizon has announced that an update for the Eris to Eclair is coming in 2010.

You want the most memory. I actually used a widget called Internal Memory Widget. It displays how much memory (i.e. RAM) you are using and how much is available. The Droid shows 261 MB available, and the Eris 159 MB. But the G1 (or at least my G1 on Donut) only has 74 MB, so 159 is a big step up.

You want the most storage. The Droid comes with a 16 GB SD card, while the Eris has only an 8 GB card. But, it’s an SD card, you can upgrade it later if you need to.

You want a physical keyboard. Eris does not have a physical keyboard, but it’s not like any mobile phone’s keyboard is touch-typing ready. This Droid’s seems a step down form the G1 (though that could still be because I have used the G1 for a year).

EDIT (how did I forget this?):
You want turn by turn navigation. Droid has the very cool new turn by turn navigation from google, but whenever HTC upgrades their Sense UI it will should as well.

Why you Should Buy an Eris

Size matters to you. This is the smallest, sleekest Android phone on the market. It seems even smaller because of its tapered corners, but the Droid is not exactly huge.

It is a sexy, sexy phone. Sorry, cannot find a better explanation. I love the lines, I love the rubberized exterior, I love the Sense UI. But, if you like a more industrial design, the Droid is more in your line.

You want the Sense UI. It’s only available on HTC phones, and it is a great interface. But it is built on top of Android, so with every new release of Android you  need to wait for the Sense UI to be updated to the new OS.

You want a better low-light camera. I will definitely test it more, but the Eris phone seems to handle low light much better than the droid, even at the same MP. This really showed up in Shop Savvy. But, this is your phone. You can buy a separate camera.

You love widgets. The Sense UI has 7 screens to the Home view. This compares to 3 for the droid. In addition, there are a number of HTC widgets that are just fabulous, including ones to display contacts, mail and messages.

You want to save $100. The Eris is going to be $99 versus $199 for the Droid. But, this is a 2-year contract, that works out to a little over $4 a month so you don’t want to be penny-wise, pound-foolish.

You want your Exchange calendar events to appear on the same calendar as the rest. On Eclair, Exchange calendar events show up in the Corporate Calendar app, not the main calendar. Eris places them in a unified calendar, color-coded. But, it’s not always bad to separate your work and personal calendars.

You like a physical Call and End button. I miss the call and end button on the Droid. I am just used to tapping call to bring up my phone and contacts list, and the end button to hang up. But, that is a preference thing, you may not care.

You like your Home button on the left. For some reason the Droid chose to swap the back and home buttons. I found this very annoying, and goes against other Droid phones, and even other phones on the market. But, it’s not like you will be switching phones constantly, you will get used to it.


These are two really strong phones. I thought this was going to break down to choosing a power phone versus choosing a lite version. The Eris really holds its own against the Droid making it a difficult choice. Not really a bad thing.

You should also know that there are rumors that Verizon may release 1 or 2 more Android devices by the end of the year. I have no inside knowledge, no Verizon rep or PR person told me this, but you can see the rumors out there. But, how many times have folks known Apple was releasing a tablet? There is always going to be something better coming out, at some point you need to buy.

Good luck deciding between these two excellent phones. I don’t think you can really go wrong with either.

Graphics Eris Droid
Total graphics score 113.90 16.92
Draw opacity bitmap
(MPixels per sec)
56.26 5.05
Draw transparent bitmap
(MPixels per sec)
13.40 5.30
CPU Whetstone
Total CPU score 166.45 410.22
MWIPS DP (MWIPS(DP)) 11.66 31.31
MWIPS SP (MWIPS(SP)) 12.93 30.91
MFLOPS DP (MFLOPS(DP)) 2.28 3.73
MFLOPS SP (MFLOPS(SP)) 3.05 4.89
7.85 22.15
8.47 20.99
Total memory score 149.34 285.99
Copy memory (Mb/sec) 135.70 259.88
Total file system score 36.25 70.36
Creating 1000 empty
files (sec)
8.74 6.26
Deleting 1000 empty
files (sec)
3.25 4.47
Write 1M into file
1.51 2.66
Read 1M from file
71.43 138.89
SD card perfomance
Creating 250 empty files
10.05 13.41
Deleting 250 empty files
15.65 11.05
Write 1M into file
3.31 12.12
Read 1M from file
55.56 129.87
Posted in: Android
{ 121 comments… add one }
  • matt February 5, 2010, 3:18 am

    im at day 14 with my moto droid. i do love this phone. however, the slideout keyboard is useless to me as well as it is to many others. and the slider seems to be getting looser over time. i dont like how it “wiggles” a bit and that when closed i feel it pushing down slightly when texting etc… i feel this will be an issue over time so i am highly considering returning for the eris. what is motorolas thing with keyboards? seriously. this phone would be an easy decision for me if it did not have this feature. 2.0 is a must for me so i am stumped. i need the voice navigation. (car home app) is there SOLID proof yet that it WILL have 2.0 upgrade soon?

  • Poe February 8, 2010, 11:22 am

    I have the Droid and my daughter has the Eris… We were both due for upgrades and my contract was up. So I ended up getting the 2 phones for $99.00. I was expecting to pay $199.00 for just the Droid.
    I love this phone.. but I also love the Eris… I do find myself using the touch keyboard more than the physical one.. It is small and doesn’t feel as nice as my Voyager did. But so far that is my only complaint.
    My daughter was worried that like the Venus was to the Voyager.. the Eris would be a dumbed down version of Droid .. she is very happy with this phone .. I don’t think she has complained once.. and that is a feat in itself!!

  • kaci b February 15, 2010, 9:05 am

    I have the eris and I love it. I went from just a regular texting keyboard phone to a modern sleek all touch-smart phone. I love it. However, I would recommend a car charger, as I had to go on a one hour trip yesterday, going to a concert, and it died after 7 hours and I. Did not use it that much. I expected it to die fast but not that fast. There are ways to make the battery stay longer though. I’m actually on my eris right now… it s so easy to type with.

  • Dave February 15, 2010, 2:22 pm

    Droid vs Eris… Eris

    I bought myself a Droid and my wife the Eris. Of course I needed to have the biggest baddest phone and she could have the sub-par phone. I think it turned out the other-way around.

    I’m actually switching out of my Droid to an Eris. A few reasons why…

    Messaging: Droid cant send out ring tones or other audio clips, it seems that the Eris has a better mms system. (although the video isn’t as good as the Droid)

    Widgets: HTC has been in the Android game a little longer and seems to put in widgets that are more user friendly. Simple things like a voice recorder and weather display you have to download on the Droid while its already available on the Eris. The clock feature comes with a stop watch, and timer. The widgets and software just seem a lot more seamless. I can go on but you see what I’m getting at.

    Keyboard: A waste of space. I NEVER use it, I actually find it more cumbersome to use than the touch screen. Further more, there is no spell check feature associated with it.

    Buttons: The power button on top of the Droid is awkward. Sounds dumb, but its not a natural feeling in terms of phone usage. I also like having a physical call and send button. The track ball I find very useful, and for blackberry users going to an Android platform, the track ball makes the transition a little easier.

    In the end the Eris is a much sexier phone that is much more user friendly. It feels better in hand than the Droid and is smoother to operate. It comes down to personal preference and after playing with both phones for 3 months the little things about the Eris were the big difference.

  • Gary February 17, 2010, 11:32 am

    I have to totally agree with this commment. I also had to have the Driod and my wife got the eris. (man was she gripping about that) But once we started using the phones some how the gripping stopped. as she loves the phone. lol the gripping has changed to “when are you going to take the droid back and get a eris”

    From the stats at the end of the review it is amazing at how well Eris did with file operations. completly blowing away the droid in many areas.

    So I will be going to VZ today to return the droid and go the the “subpar” Eris wich is SO MUCH BETTER. its totaly the little things about the phone. I have downloaded a lot of apps and widgets just trying to get the Driod to work more like the eris but apparently HTC hired all the people with common sence and left the rest to right apps for the droid.

  • dean olson February 22, 2010, 9:23 pm

    Eris will not only go to 2.0, but 2.1, maybe even before the droid. But honestly… i would stay with what ever terrrible phone you have and wait for the nexus one, which will be the best phone in the history of the world.

  • Della February 23, 2010, 4:04 pm

    I am trying to absorb all this tech info and was wondering if there is somewhere to help the technically ignorant types (ME) understand where all these different items fit in the grand scheme; What is android compared to droid and droid eris, what is Sense and elcair? I think I get some of it but really want some clarity? Can anyone point me somewhere that I can get the big picture? I am getting lost, although I’ve been waiting along time wanting an iphone to come to Verizon I am now really thinking I want the Droid (a friend just got one and I LOVE it) I just want to understand everything about it…

  • fee February 28, 2010, 5:56 am

    Truth be told if you’re a power user the droid is the clear choice the processor and screen alone is the big difference. For normal users the Eris is great. People whine to much about the hardware keyboard yeah it suck for the first couple of days, but you get use to it like every other phone.

    For the power users that are down grading for cosmetic alone, enjoy you’re Eris when it can’t be updated to 3.0 do to hardware difficultly.

    And to the guy complaining about home screen, mms and transfers there is an app for all the above on the droid.

  • elena March 1, 2010, 6:57 pm

    I am in love with my droid. I had an eNV before this so the droid is a big upgrade. Both of my parents have droids and they love them also. I like having the actual keyboard like I had with the eNV. It is a lot of phone to get used to but I needed a lot of things. I am a very busy college senior and the speed of the phone helps with checking my email and getting things done quickly. I love everything about this phone. Its size makes it a little harder to loose and makes me remember that it probably should no be put into my back pocket. I have friends who had an eris but switched to the droid because of how awkward it was to not have a keyboard. It is not a big deal that there is not a spell check when typing with the keyboard like when I am typing on the screen but that is fine since I know how to spell without it.

  • Dawn Holland March 3, 2010, 5:36 pm

    I received the Droid Eris because me and my sister renewed at the same time and it was buy 1 get one. After getting it I am absolutely thrilled. i could not be happier with my phone. I was worried about battery life but it is not as bad as I thought. I am anxious to get google turn by turn though because I used the heck out of my VZ Navigator on my Blackberry.

  • MartyD March 11, 2010, 7:13 pm

    I understand Android phones have voice recognition when searching the internet. Does this show location of search noting the units GPS? Is the GPS real location or triangulated?
    Does Android accept docs to go?

  • Joshua M. March 15, 2010, 3:42 am

    I own the Eris, and mannn do I love it. I have a friend who had the Droid and after playing with my phone for awile she went back to Verizon and swapped for an Eris lol. its sleek, sexy, everything is just seamless. Eris comes with 1.5 installed but I flashed my ROM and now its running 2.1 with HTC Sence…totally worth it. Verizon is supposed to be releasing an OTA update but I just couldn’t wait. Sickest phone I’ve ever owned 😀

  • Diaen March 17, 2010, 4:06 pm

    I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Droid Eris! It’s awesome! It’s a great size, smooth, sexy. In the beginning, it’s kind of hard to handle, but you get used to it, and you will not want to let it go as it becomes your personal little side kick! It takes GREAT pictures, has many apps available. If you like facebook, or Gmail, Google talk, twitter, etc., this phone has it all and it makes it so much easier to use all of these things and it has so much more! Great phone, would NOT change it to a Droid, I find the keyboard useless as my friend has one and she never uses it. Battery life is pretty bad, BUT carry your charger around with you, it’s a USB so that’s very helpful. Overall, this phone was THE phone for me.

  • Christopher March 26, 2010, 10:12 am

    I got the motorola droid and my friend who is on my plan got the droid eris. I tested her phone out, and while I like hers too, I love my droid. The thing I like about the eris is that it comes pre installed with user friendly widgets and multi touch (aka pinch to zoom). But the droid does have apps that can be downloaded to utilize these features. Where the droid is better is processing power. I have found that the droid runs much faster than the eris. The videos also look alot more clean. Plus, Im not a big fan of widgets anyways because they drain your battery life. My friends eris is always running out of battery while mine is running strong, and we work together, so I know for a fact they are off the charger at almost the exact same time. Also, the droid’s operating system is better. The droid runs of the android 2.0.1 operating system and is soon getting the 2.1. ERIS is running of version 1.5 because the ERIS has the preinstalled HTC UI, so the UI has to be updated before they can release an OS update for the ERIS. Droid is superior, but honestly, either one is a great choice. I love both phones, and I will buy droid phones from verizon as long as they continue to make them

  • silver April 2, 2010, 2:13 am

    To the guy up there called Fee:

    The update to 3.0 when it comes will be when all of these phones fall out of spec anyway. The Moto Droid has the better specs but honestly youre gonna feel lag one way or another on any of these phones. I just picked up my Droid Eris a week ago and have been amazed at what it offers for the $30 I paid. I’ve solidly recommended this phone to all of my friends and family. Sense UI is slick, the experience is great even at 1.5, and it generally performs like no other phone I’ve owned before.

    Go Eris!

  • nieko April 4, 2010, 10:57 pm

    in response to fee, i heard you load and clear on that one. I am definitely a power user and aslong as phone has the physical capabilities i’m looking for as far as hardware is concerned then i can make the phone OS wise the best their is. I have the choice of getting any phone i want this year in june for graduation and i am definitely going with the droid, not the droid eris. I’ve already started on the droid version of my website to be fully adaptable benefiting all droid users with free downloads of everything for the droid.

  • shootzie April 16, 2010, 4:46 pm

    i got on here to decide which one i wanted. i feel like the biggest argument for the droid is its processing power, and its video capabilities. but when im looking for a phone, i dont look at those things. i have a laptop for that, and i guarantee that my laptop is faster than the droid.

  • Shell April 21, 2010, 2:51 pm

    Very good point shootzie… good point in deed. Eris it is for me, the Android HTC phone. 🙂

  • Vannessa April 21, 2010, 5:47 pm

    i love the droid eris, it is so slick and smooth. Its fit right up my………. phone cover. It also replaces my cobb webbed covered vibrator under my bed.

  • justin foss July 1, 2010, 2:54 pm

    you cant even compare these 2 phones..ok.. so the eris has 7 homescreens and alot more widgets.. the droid has a 5 megapixel camera with dual led flash.. it has way faster processor and has a higher resoulution screen with over 16 million colors which makes watching videos amazing.. it has a 3.7 inch touch screen which is way better then the tiny screen on the eris… also there is rumors that the droid may be getting updated to 2.2 froyo and will include motoblur one of the best social networking things that motorola supplies… so stick with the droid… and lastly the battery life on the droid is great and sucks on the eris… and i will tell you the truth.. i had the eris before i got the droid and i experienced so many problems with it… it broke once then i got a replacement phone.. then it broke twice and i got another replacement phone.. then the sound wasnt working on it and it was freezing like crazy the third time i got the phone.. then i was done with the eis and i got the droid

  • Seattlebobby August 10, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I have been reading these entires and am intrigued at what the challenges are out there. I have been a die-hard Verizon customer for years and find that the service has been good.

    I have the Eris:

    Now understand, I am far from a techinical guy, which it seems some of you are. I appreciate that. I imagine that my challenegs with this phone are somewhat rooted in my “non-techie” personality. I am the average joe and I am a salesman. I love the fact that I now have a smart phone and can follow my work email, facebook, twitter etc etc from my phone.

    I have some issue with this phone and I am just not sure if it is “user error” or there is something wrong with it. I love the apps, I love the things that this phone can do (and there are probably 1,000 things it can do that I don’t even know about)…let me explain my challenegs: 1. Battery life is horrible – contstantly charging it. 2. Biggest issue: Sometimes it seems like the phone has a mind of its own: When I have the headset plugged in for pandora for example, or the charger plugged in, the phone either does things on its own, or doesn’t respond at all. It will dial without being prompted to, it is impossible to text or type antyhing while having something plugged in. It literally goes haywire. Do I have a lemon? Is the phone bad? I have little patience, and when I pay for something, I want it to work effectively. I reguarly have messages come up like “Error, this process has been stopped…” or something like that. Previoulsy, I had a Voyager (Don’t even get me started on that POS), and I could send video messages with no problem (Up to 30 seconds worth) but with this phone, if I take a video of my son to send to my momand it’s more than 8 seconds, my Eris can’t send it. it “exceeeds the message size” (Is there a setting?) My friends can send video up to a minute long on their phones. I also can no longer send a picture with a sound attached. (again, user error?)… The phone does seem to be slow in it’s processing. Does anyone offer a class that helps non tech guys like me get the most out of their phones? It may be part phone issue and part ME issue….

    Again, not a tech guy at all, I just want my friggin phone to work!

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