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02 Dec 09 Droid vs iPhone Holiday Gift Debate

So the holidays are here, and you want to find that perfect gift for a loved one.  A smartphone has to be at the top of the list for any gadget savvy family member.  But the big question is, which phone do you buy?  To be honest, this year your choices are really between the iPhone 3GS and Droid if you want the best smart phone for your money.  So how should you decide which phone meets your giftee’s needs?

Well, by considering which phone offers the features that will matter the most.  While both the Droid and iPhone look similar, and even operate similarly, they differ on some key issues that tend to be very important to user taste.  First off, the service providers.

Droid is on the Verizon network, which is widely regarded to be the best cellphone network.  This is because Verizon has the broadest coverage across the United States.  AT&T sort of pales in comparison to Verizon’s coverage area.  Many iPhone users complain about a high rate of dropped calls.  Something Verizon users don’t complain about as often.

Which is where you should consider, how much are they actually going to use this smartphone as a phone?  If you think your target audience would prefer to text or use the 3G network for email and internet, opposed to phone calls, either phone works.  AT&T has issues with dropped calls, but not with texting, etc.

Another major difference is that the Droid has a hardware keyboard accessable by sliding the screen aside.  This could be a great advantage if you can’t stand touch screen keyboards.  And let’s face it, touch screen keyboards usually leave something to be desired.  But the problem with slide features in phones is that they usually wear down and break quickly.  This means your Droid could have a shorter lifespan than an iPhone because of the sliding motion.  Even when protected by warranty, that’s still going to be a hassle.

The iPhone also has one other major advantage, and that’s the iTunes App Store.  The iPhone has over 100,000 different applications for every variety of uses you can think of.  The Droid store only offers 10,000 at the moment.  Apple as the more popular retailer will be the more likely to keep expanding it’s applications quickly.

So as an overall verdict, if you want the best gadget to play with, go for the iPhone.  The network isn’t as good, but more applications means more entertainment, and access to iTunes means more accessable music and videos.  But if you actually want to make calls with your phone, the Droid is your best bet for the Verizon network.

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