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Palm Pre vs Motorola Droid

Palm Pre shot from Mobile World Congress.
Image via Wikipedia

PreThinking has a comparison between the Droid and the Palm Pre, here are some of the highlights of the comparison:
One area in the phone department where the Droid takes an edge, is on the amount of time you have to wait to actually get into a call. For some reason the simplest app on the Pre, the ‘Phone’ app, seems to have quite a bit of lag. The Pre’s phone app takes 1-2 seconds longer to load then the Droid and it takes longer to switch between screens such as, recent calls, the dialer, and the contacts list. Also the Pre is lacking a favorites list which comes in handy when you have hundreds of contacts. When scrolling through the contacts list on the Droid it feels much smoother and has virtually no lag or skips. The Pre’s contacts list within the phone app has quite a bit of lag and skips often. The Pre isn’t completely out of it in the phone app though. There is nothing more rewarding than sliding out the Pre’s small keyboard in portrait mode and typing a name to immediately get results within any part of the phone app. With the Pre you can basically start typing any time when in the phone app or on the home screen. When using the Droid you have to be specifically in the contacts list and either slide out the big keyboard in landscape or hit menu then tap search. Other than that the phone apps work as they should and both offer excellent quality calls as long as you’re in a decent coverage area.

The Pre and Droid both have the TI OMAP 3430 which is also seen in the iPhone 3GS and have 256mb of RAM and 512MB of ROM. Other than their processing chip the Pre and Droid are two very dfferent beasts. The Pre comes with a 3.1 inch screen that is displayed in a colorful 24bit 320×480 resolution HVGA display. The Pre, because of its smaller screen and high color density, actually looks better than other phones with similar resolutions like the iPhone and G1. The screen is a plastic capacitive multitouch screen which has a bit of roundedness to it. The Droid has a 3.7 inch WVGA display at 854×480 Resolution. The Droid has a glass capacitive screen with multitouch (YES IT DOES HAVE MULTITOUCH) and is completely flat with a bezel around the screen that has about a 1mm lift. There is no doubt the Droid has better quality video playback when it comes to videos you put on the phone itself as well as videos streamed from YouTube. The colors are more accurate, sharp, and the videos are always nice and big due to the large screen size.

Both phones have a hardware keyboard which sets them apart from the all-powerful iPhone. So which keyboard is better? It really all depends on your personal preference. The Pre has a portrait slider that can seem a little cramped but once you get used to it you can fly. The Droid has a landscape slider that can seem a little too spread at times but once you are used to it you can fly. Neither keyboard is the best at what it is. For example the portrait keyboard the Blackberry Bold/Tour has is the one to beat in the portrait department. As far as landscape QWERTY goes, the Droid’s keyboard is not nearly as good as the TouchPro 2 slider and personally I don’t think it’s even as good as the G1 keyboard. Though Motorola did away with the chin that the G1 had, there is still a 4 way directional pad to the right of the keyboard which causes your right thumb to stretch farther than your left while typing. Both keyboards require a little bit of attention while typing because there isn’t a whole lot of difference in feel between the keys. I find myself being able to type just over 40 words per minute on both keyboards which is just fine for me. The Droid has a bit of an edge because it also has a virtual keyboard in both landscape and portrait mode. This keyboard is NOT a better alternative to either the Pre or Droid’s hardware keyboard but it is convenient and useful when making quick notes or a text.


WebOS and Android are so similar and so different at the same time it really is hard to tell which is better. They both have their strong points and they both have their weak points. WebOS is easier to use and a bit easier on the eyes when it comes to the UI. Android allows you to do a lot more customization and tweaking but is a little bit less user friendly. Android has behind it the fact that it is an open source operating system and there are multiple manufacturers working on putting out the best Android devices possible. Palm is working on getting its WebOS into customer’s hands and only has two devices. There is room in the market for both platforms. If I had to recommend a phone to someone just joining the smartphone community for the first time, I would feel obligated to recommend the Pre because of how easy it is to use. If I was recommending the phone to someone who loves customization and is coming off another platform, I might recommend the Droid.

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