Verizon Droid vs. Google Nexus One: The Provisional T-Grid

By  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

For the past two months, Verizon Wireless’s Droid by Motorola has had the privilege of holding  the undisputed title of Coolest Android Phone on the Market. But its reign may be short, if everyone’s assumption that next week’s Google Android event turns out to be the unveiling of Google’s Nexus One (aka “the Googlephone”)  turns out to be accurate.

The Nexus One remains unannounced, but there’s information (or alleged information) about it all over the Web. So it doesn’t seem premature to put together a provisional T-Grid comparing it to the Droid. The Nexus One data here is culled from sources such as Engadget and Gizmodo, and for now, you should pretend that each and every field has an asterisk next to it indicating that it’s not confirmed.

What are the key differences between the two phones? The Nexus One (which lacks a physical keyboard) is apparently thinner and lighter. It’s supposedly got an OLED screen which is said to be gorgeous. It runs on T-Mobile’s network rather than Verizon’s (it’ll reportedly only work on AT&T in sluggish EDGE mode). And it’s allegedly got a very fast CPU (1-GHz?) and twice the RAM of the Droid. Plus a newer version of Android that’s been further tweaked by Google.

Okay, enough apparentlys, supposedlys, reportedlys, and allegedlys. Info after the jump–I’ll update it once Google has weighed in…

This T-Grid is a work in progress, subject to expansion and revision.

The phones
Verizon Wireless Droid by Motorola
Verizon Droid
Google Nexus One
Google’s Android 2.0
Google’s Android 2.1
Early January, possibly by invitation only
U.S. carrier
Verizon Wireless
$199.99 with two-year contract after $100 rebate; $559.99 contract free
$179.99 with two-year contract; $529.99 contract-free
$89.98 per month (450 voice minutes, unlimited Web and e-mail, 5000 text messages); other plans available
$79.99 per month (500 voice minutes, unlimited data, unlimited text messages); other plans not available
$529.99 version unlocked, contract version locked
Looks greyish in photos
Size and weight
4.56” by 2.36” by 0.54”; 5.96 oz.
4.68″ by 2.35″by 0.45″; 4.59 oz.
Included memory card, slot type
16GB, MicroSD
4GB, MicroSD
Screen size, resolution, and technology
3.7″; 854 by 480; LCD
3.7″; 854 by 480; OLED
CPU speed
550 Mhz
1-GHz (?)
It’s hard to sum up in a chart; Android Market occasionally has apps yanked but apps can also be distributed outside of it; apps can customize interface and otherwise tweak OS; Verizon Wireless rep told me she knows of no apps forbidden to use Verizon network
Similar to the Droid, probably
Multi-touch touchscreen (but UI uses only single-touch), onscreen keyboard, and slide-out physical keyboard
Multi-touch touchscreen (but UI uses only single-touch), onscreen keyboard
Micro USB
Micro USB
Proximity sensor
Wi-Fi and GPS
Got ’em both
Got ’em both
Compass (magetometer)
I’m still not sure
Headphone jack
Standard 3.5mm
Standard 3.5mm
Voice dialing
Not sure
Visual voicemail
Not sure
Voice recording
I’m not seeing it as a standard feature
Not sure
5 megapixels; 4X digital zoom; dual LED flash; autofocus; scene modes; does 720 by 480 video at 24 fps
5 megapixels; 2X digital zoom; LED flash; autofocus; not sure about video capture
Quad-band GSM
Use as tethered modem?
Through third-party apps at least, I think
Removable 1300mAH; up to 385 minutes talk time; 370 hours standby
Removable 1400mAH; not sure of life yet
Copy and paste?
Note-taking app
Not standard
Not sure
First half of 2010, supposedly
First half of 2010, supoosedly
Web searching
Yes, via Google, with voice search
I’m guessing Google will provide it
Web browser
Webkit-based browser
Webkit-based browsser
IMAP, POP, Gmail
Probably similar to Droid
Microsoft Exchange support
Instant messaging
Google Talk, others through third-party apps
Probably similar to Droid
Office Apps
Microsoft Office-compatible and PDF viewers, but no editing
Probably similar to Droid
Turn-by-turn navigation
Yes, in Google Maps
Probably similar to Droid
Music player and Amazon music downloads; supports MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, OGG, MIDI
Music player, presumably wit Amazon music downloads; MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, OGG, MIDI
Video player; YouTube; no standard store for buying commercial content; supports MPEG-4, H.263, and H.264 formats
Probably similar to Droid
Wireless syncing
Yes, including Gmail/Google Calendar and integration of Facebook friends
Probably similar to Droid
Desktop syncing
No, although you can copy files over via USB
Probably similar to Droid
Application store
Yes, through Android Market; 16,000+ apps so far
Same as Droid
Any additions, corrections, or questions?

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Sean Says:

    Note that about half of the big hits against the Droid (lack of global usability, multitouch, etc) are remedied in the GSM Milestone model. Should be interesting to see what happens to Milestone pricing after the Nexus launch, as it currently seems to run nearly $600.

  2. Dan Noble Says:

    I like the ethics of Google. They will have me as a customer.

  3. Brad the Dad Says:

    Droid does have a compass…make use of it with a free compass app from Android market.

    Note taking app: Evernote available for free from Android market.

    If there are tethering apps I’d like to know…Verizon says they are making it available in early ’10.

  4. DZ Says:

    CPU speed may not be a good comparison as they are different chip architectures. No way the Nexus is 2x as fast, but that’s the implication. Sort of how the Hero has a similar clock speed as the Droid, but the Droid runs circles around it. Also how/what handles video/graphics will impact performance.

  5. Austin4195 Says:

    there is tethering app called pdanet there’s a free version but you cant get on https sites and if you get it make sure USB debugging is on

  6. Steven Says:

    Good article, Harry. I found it while doing a search for droid vs nexus one on google. I’m going to be following you on twitter.

    Fwiw, these are a comparisons that I had rolling around in my head, but it was nice to see them on paper. I didn’t know that the nexus one had twice the RAM. That’s sweet. It seems as if the contrast is speed vs. keyboard and CDMA vs. GSM. Perhaps the OLED is an issue, I’d have to see it.

    As I understand it, the HTC Incredible is the Verizon version of the Nexus One (rumor), so I’m waiting before I upgrade. Android seems to be the OS of the future, huh? WM is outdated and MS dropped the ball bigtime.

  7. Bosefasaurus Says:

    The display specs for the Nexus One are incorrect. The correct resolution is 800×480. Not 854×480. The Droid has the higher resolution and the tried and tested LED screen. I’d recommend giving the AMOLED technology at least a generation of phones to get all the kinks worked out.

    As far as gaming is concerned, no comparison to the Droid. It has a dedicated GPU where the Nexus One does not. Any gamers out there will remember the comparison between 3D CARD Quake 1 and software Quake 1.

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