How many Droids we got on this ship anyhow?!
July 2, 2010 8:22 AM   Subscribe

New smartphone user needs help choosing between the Droid Incredible, Droid X, and waiting on a Droid 2.

I'm new to the whole smartphone scene (I still have a RAZR I got back in 2007), so bear with me here.

Context: My company is phasing out their phone plan in favor of partially reimbursing us for using our personal cells for work as well. I'm on a Verizon family plan, so we can tack on unlimited data, texting or whatever; that is not the issue. The issue is that the smartphone world is complex and a bit scary, and I'm having trouble deciding between the Droid X, Droid Incredible, and the Droid 2.

What I'm looking for:
- Exchange and Gmail compatibility/syncing
- Decent social network integration (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Threaded text messaging would be awesome
- Built-in GPS
- A reasonably sized form factor that feels solid in my hand(s)
- Physical keyboard would be nice, but it's not a must-have

What I'm not looking for:
- Super hi-def camera/video/streaming images
- Awkward user interfaces
- Fancy WiFi tethering/hotspot capabilities

Droid Incredible: Seems to be the most reasonably sized for my small-ish hands, but I've heard rumors (even here on the Green) that it's on it's way out.

Droid X: The few pre-release reviews I've seen (e.g.) don't rate it as high as the Incredible. It also seems to be bulkier than the Incredible as well.

Droid 2: Apparently it's HUGE, plus I'd have to wait until late August, and possibly pay more.

I guess, in a nutshell, my question is this: which phone is the best for me considering my circumstances? This will likely be my last phone upgrade for quite some time, so I'd like my new phone to still be decent in a few years.

sorry for the wall of text
posted by aheckler to Technology (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Ahh sorry, the "HUGE" phone is the Droid X, not the Droid 2.
posted by aheckler at 8:25 AM on July 2, 2010

I have an Incredible. I like it a lot. Although a bigger screen might be nice, I can't see it comfortably fitting in my pocket.

On the other hand, Verizon are having a hell of a time keeping any of the newer Android phones in stock. Apparently newer Incredibles have a slightly-less-nice screen, because HTC ditched the supplier that couldn't keep up with the demand. Keep this in mind.
posted by schmod at 8:36 AM on July 2, 2010

All of the variants of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S look really nice (also Samsung was the company that was making the very nice screens for the Incredible but couldn't keep up because they are apparently focusing more on producing screens for their own phones).

Anyway, I am a fan of Android as a system (I am still using a G1, and its not nearly as nice as the newer phones and interfaces).
posted by BobbyDigital at 8:46 AM on July 2, 2010

Best answer: All three phones have Exchange, GMail, Google Navigation and threaded SMS (via applications like Handcent in the Market, assuming you don't like the default). They all also have a customized Android UI that is fairly shiny.

Droid Incredible by HTC is not exactly on the way out, there are just long delays actually getting one (you probably can't get one until August). HTC is having trouble sourcing the AMOLED displays and will start using Sony "Super" LCDs to get phones out the door. Supposedly the resolution, quality and battery life will be the same but that remains to be seen. This resulted in a SKU change that caused the rumors of the Incredible's demise.

Droid X is a monster and I would strongly suggest handling it or a similar sized phone such as the HTC HD2 (T-Mobile) or HTC Evo (Sprint) before purchase. All three are too big for me to use as a phone with my tiny hands.

Droid 2 is exactly what you'd expect: better specs than the original Moto Droid in a similar form factor. From photos it appears the keyboard is improved enough that it might be worth the wait.

A version of the Samsung Galaxy S will be launching on every carrier soon, too, but it is also packing a 4"+ screen.

My first smartphone was a Nexus One and we have a special relationship
posted by barake at 8:54 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I absolutely love my original Droid, and I'm cursing Moto/Verizon that the Droid 2 is being released so soon.

By all accounts it will fix all of the problems with the original with a better keyboard, spacing, etc., and if it comes with stock Android as opposed to crappy MotoBlur layered over it (and early reports indicate that it should) then it will be a worthy successor to the original Droid and definitely worth the wait.
posted by cvp at 9:20 AM on July 2, 2010

Android, as a platform, moves pretty fast. Stupidly fast, actually. So it's smarter to get the latest phone that's been released. Even if you're waiting a few months, you'll be slightly ahead in the long run and be included in updates that other phones won't get.

The same thing happened to me in regards to Droid or Nexus 1. Now they're both considered polky and outdated, despite the fact that all these handsets can play Quake 2 at 60 FPS
posted by hellojed at 9:35 AM on July 2, 2010

Best answer: I have an EVO, which is about the same size of a Droid X, and very much like the size. Holding an iPhone nowadays is like handling an antique that's delicate and tiny in my hand. The small screen is even smaller as Apple doesn't have a hardware back button and 10% of the screen real estate is taken up by a virtual back button on many applications.

I suggest you play with an EVO or Droid X in real life before dismissing it as too large. The industry seems to be moving towards larger, higher rez devices as a lot of consumers are unhappy with small screens when trying to read a document or browse a web page. Do you really want to sign a two year contract on something you regret for being too small to actually use? You'll find, as a smartphone user, that you'll be doing quite a bit of reading on it and that the small screens you are used to are inappropriate for its typical uses.

I also suggest you visit and read through some of the posts in the Droid X section or re-ask your question there. There may be people there with pre-release handsets who can give you a more informative answer.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: I actually just visited the local Verizon store during my lunch break. They only had dummy phones, so all I could really get a feel for was the size and sturdiness of the original Droid and the Incredible. For what it's worth though, I liked the feel of both, but the Droid keys were way too hard to press. Hopefully this will be getting corrected on the Droid 2. (I'm assuming the overall feel/construction of the Droid 2 will be somewhat similar to the original.)

Both were smaller than I had imagined them to be though, so maybe the X wouldn't be so bad...
posted by aheckler at 11:03 AM on July 2, 2010

Nthing play with both. I like the stock Android UI (Droid X) better than HTC Sense (Incredible). But, you need to judge which works better for you, and the only way to do that is to hold them both in your hands and use them for something.
posted by Citrus at 12:01 PM on July 2, 2010

Best answer: @Citrus The Droid X isn't stock android.

The Droid X does have a HDMI video out option, and a bigger screen then the Droid 2. It also comes with Swype, a special keyboard that allows you to slide your finger between letters to type, making it much faster then most keyboards. It was recently used to set the fastest record for texting speed.

The Droid 2 has a physical keyboard, and is reportedly going to be stock android 2.2, which means it's likely to see the 3.0 upgrade this winter quicker then phones with a customized UI, and start out at 2.2 while the Incredible and Droid X may still be waiting on an upgrade.

The Incredible has the nice HTC sense UI interface, but reportedly it's screens are not going to be the samsung AMOLED as on the originals, due to sourcing issues.

Ultimately, I'd recommend the Droid 2 or the Droid X. For me it comes down to bigger Screen vs. physical keyboard, and built-in swype vs. faster upgrades. I personally use Swype on my original Droid far more then I use the keyboard, and Droid X comes with Swype. But I also hate waiting for Android updates, and it seems like the Droid X is going to be worse on that.
posted by gryftir at 1:20 PM on July 2, 2010

I've had my HTC Incredible for two weeks. A friend of a friend was in a local Verizon store when they took delivery of eight phones, and let me know. I threw on my shoes and was able to get one.

I absolutely love it. I'm very impressed with the elegance of the interface as well as the build quality.

My only advice to you is to either have your charger close at hand, or do what I did and pick up several. Especially when you have 3G, WiFi, and GPS enabled, it will drain the battery far faster than a regular cell phone.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:25 PM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: For the record, I ended up going with the Droid X and I have nothing but great things to say about it. I got used to the size of it over time and now it just seems like a normal phone.
posted by aheckler at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2010

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