I bet the title of this post surprises a lot of people that visit The Gadgeteer on a regular basis given the fact that I just posted a favorable review of the iPhone 4 a few days ago. It’s true that I’ve been a relatively happy user of the iPhone since Apple released the first version back in 2007. So why am I dumping the iPhone now? And why Android?
I say I’m relatively happy because while I love iPhone hardware, I am less than enthusiastic with AT&T’s call quality and data reception in my area (Columbus, IN). I touched on this fact in my iPhone 4 review and while the antennagate issues may plague some people, I haven’t had any dropped calls with mine. But I have been putting up with clicks and other audio bleeding into my calls on a regular basis. This hasn’t been an iPhone-only phenomenon for me though. I’ve experienced these problems with almost all GSM phones I’ve tested in the last few years. I’ve been dealing with these AT&T issues for a long time because I haven’t found a phone from Verizon that has made me want to switch. Till now.
For the past 2 weeks I’ve been testing the Motorola Droid X. I didn’t think I’d end up liking it as much as I do. The last Android phone that I reviewed was the Nexus One back in March of this year. Even though I enjoyed using the Nexus, it didn’t make me want to stop using the iPhone. At that time, I was still hung up on the fact that Android apps seemed inferior to iPhone apps. I often told people that comparing Android apps to iPhone apps was like comparing Commodore 64 apps to OS X apps. I still think there is a lot of catching up to do on that front, but it’s significantly better than it was 5 months ago.
How Android and the Droid X won me over
Call quality. The first time I called Jeanne with the DX, she was like “What phone are you on? It sounds so clear”. Which was a nice change of pace from all the other times I’ve called her with my iPhone and her comment has been “Your phone is crap!”.
3G Data Consistency. AT&T’s 3G speeds might be faster than Verizon, but Verizon is way more consistent as far as actually working when you need it. There are so many times when I try to check the weather, stocks, email, etc, that my phone will just sit there mocking me. Heck, 90% of the time I don’t even see the 3G icon in my iPhone’s status bar. I love it that I can bring up the browser on the DX, point it to a page and boom, it’s loaded. Same goes for checking email or browsing around in the app market.
The display. This is the first display that has felt just as responsive as the iPhone for scrolling, pinching and zooming. Not to mention the fact that it is just plain gorgeous and HUGE.
Homescreen widgets. Why the heck Apple hasn’t added this feature to the iPhone is beyond me… I’ve always liked the fact that Android allows quite a bit of customization to the home screens. I also like live wallpaper. I know that’s mostly just eye candy and not important, but I like eye candy
The first two items are the main reasons why I’ve decided to terminate my AT&T contract. It’s going to cost me over $200 to do this, so it’s not like it’s going to be painless.
I’m not 100% sure which Android phone I’m going to end up with yet. I’m loving the Droid X, but am not sure about the size. I love the large screen, but the phone sticks out of the top my back jeans pocket and cargo pants pocket when I am walking around with it. I’d like to compare it to the HTC Incredible, Droid 2 and the upcoming Fascinate before I decide for sure. I just know that I can’t wait to make the jump and dive head first into all things Android. That doesn’t mean I’m suddenly anti Apple or iPhone though… I’m still loving my iPad and Macs, so there’s no fear of that happening.