My Thoughts on the Droid X vs. HTC Evo 4G

Why the Change?

Actually, I’m not really changing. My employer pays for us to have Verizon service. I bought a Droid X shortly after it was released and put it on the company plan. I guess the company is trying to decide whether to move to Sprint and so they shipped out demo phones to have some of us “power users” (that’s me) test them out. I’m more than happy to “help” (heck yeah I’ll play with your new gadget).

Some Notes on the Change

Moving from the one phone to the other was no trivial task.
Some of it was easy. I entered the same Google account and all of my purchased apps were available for download again, but I had to re-download them all and all the free apps I had to find again. Obviously, everything that I do in the cloud (or what we’ve been calling the Internet for years) is super easy. Otherwise, I had to enter in all my user names and passwords. I had to select all my preferences again.
By far, the hardest transition so far has been getting used to the fact that the buttons on the phones are arranged differently. The Droid X, which I’ve had for 6 months or so, has the buttons in the order: menu, home, back, search. The Evo has them: home, menu, back, search. Which do I prefer? I don’t know. I think the Evo’s order makes a little more sense, but I’m used to the Droid by now. Either way, I would suggest one or the other give in and they standardize a little.

What Do They Have in Common

  • No discernable difference in general speed. I haven’t had any issues with the processor being unable to keep up with an application so far.
  • Both have great, big screens.
  • Both feel nice and substantial, neither feels cheap or like it will break easily.
  • I don’t feel like either phone has adequate battery life. For the way I use my phone–a half-dozen phone calls a day, a half-dozen checks of social networks, a couple Foursquare check-ins, 1-2 email checks in the evening and 1-2 searches to prove a colleague wrong–neither phone could make it a full 24 hours without a charge.
  • I have an iPod Touch and iPad. I’m familiar with the iOS apps available. Only, I don’t really use a ton of apps. Android has everything I care about: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Tripit, Mint, Evernote.


A picture of the Droid X taken by the Evo

Droid X

Pros

  • Verizon network – seems a bit more reliable
  • Dedicated camera button
  • Love the sideways docking (made possible by the ports on the side of the device)
  • Power and navigation buttons very easy to find in the dark or when someone calls you out in a conference call and you’re muted and need to unmute quickly. [Note: it looks like Motorola’s next generation of phones is moving toward the capacitive buttons like HTC uses]

Cons

  • Feels significantly bigger, though it is less than 1/2 inch bigger from top to bottom and the same width. It is thinner at its thinnest, and just about the same thickness at its thickest. Personally, I prefer the HTC’s uniform thickness.
  • Not only does it feel larger, it isn’t “balanced”. The phone is a bit top-heavy (as its profile might suggest). Because of this, it doesn’t feel as “natural” in your hand.
  • Minor note: as you can see I’m working hard to make my Droid X look like the out of the box Sense UI. I’m using ADW.Launcher and an app to do the clock/weather. Frankly, even with all of that, it isn’t as sexy as Sense UI.
  • If I drop my Droid X, which I try not to do but it happens sometimes, the battery door has a tendency to fly off. Sometimes the battery even flies out. The Evo’s battery door was next to impossible to open, so I suspect it won’t suffer the same problem.


A picture of the Evo taken by the Droid X

HTC Evo 4G

Pros

  • 4G Network makes web stuff lightning fast
  • 4G hot spot would be super sweet (if it were enabled)
  • Very refined looks and styling
    • Great use of screen real estate
    • Sense UI is much prettier and friendly than the Blur UI. So far Sense UI is the best home screen app for the Android (and I’ve tried Launcher Pro, ADW and a couple others).
    • Balanced.
  • Front-facing camera should be cool, but for what? Skype doesn’t use it, only Qik, but who uses that?
  • Okay, so this thing has a “kick stand” which I want to love. I bet I would on a plane watching a movie, but so far I haven’t had any real reason to use it.

Cons

  • Heavier, but balanced (see Cons of Droid X)
  • Connection to 4G network takes some time and (even here in the suburbs of Chicago) comes and goes.
  • Home button doesn’t wake up phone from sleep, which I use all the time on the Droid X to check the time or wake the phone during a conference call to unmute. In fact, the power button (which is the only way to wake the phone) is harder to locate.
  • No sideways docking
  • The phone has a uniform thickness, except the camera lens sticks out a few millimeters. That’s not really a problem, but is this thing going to get all scratched up after a while?
  • It feels like, so far, the battery life isn’t so good. I charge both phones all day while at my desk, but the Evo seems to die a lot more often than the Droid X.
So here is the big question: what phone to go to next? For sure, my next phone will be on a real 4G network (not a 3G network that has simply been re-labelled 4G). This means WiMax or LTE. If we’re staying on Verizon (and if you’re asking, I think we should) then do I go HTC Thunderbolt or Motorola Bionic?

So, what do you think ?