Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Android (HTC Dream) vs Apple iPhone 3G -A Comparision


Google's Android operating system for smartphones is almost ready and it is touted to be the most dangerous competitor to Apple's own iPhone 3G, not considering Microsoft's Windows Mobile 7 yet. Last week, we did see some leaked snapshots of the HTC Dream - the first Android powered smartphone, which is to be launched in a couple of months. Now, if Google's and partly HTC's reputation is anything to go by, we can be almost sure that the Android powered Dream should most probably be an iPhone 3G killer. In this article we try to pit Android based phones (the Dream, as of yet) against the Apple iPhone 3G.

As the HTC Dream's hardware specs are not yet clear, we will mostly concentrate on the software and operating system front. Also, the hardware comparision between the Android based phones and the iPhone 3G isn't fair at all as there will be many Android phones coming out in the next year from most of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, each with a wide range of hardware components so the iPhone 3G probably doesn't even stand much of a chance on the hardware front. Still, for the sake of fairness, we try to pit the iPhone 3G against the HTC Dream when it comes to hardware.




Design:
When it comes to design, the iPhone 3G wins hands down against the HTC Dream. The leaked images of the HTC Dream reveal a kiddish design, with rounded edges and a hideous sliding QWERTY keypad implementation. HTC's design team could certainly have done a much better job with the first Android phone. The Dream has evoked very similar reactions from across the internet. The build quality does seem to be decent though. Also a bigger display size would have helped it a lot. Also, the iPhone excels when it comes to hardware components, except for some drawbacks like the camera, but overall it is superb. What it lags in are the software restrictions. We would surely hand this one to the iPhone 3G.
Winner: iPhone 3G

Hardware:
Considering the specs of the Dream, it seems to have superb hardware, very much in the league of the iPhone - Capacitive Touchscreen, 528 MHZ Qualcomm CPU, 128 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM and probably some accelerometers and sensors thrown in. What adds to it's appeal, is that the Dream will have a full fledged QWERTY keypad which is much more suited to text input than the iPhone's touchscreen input. It should also probably have a 3.2 MP camera with erm.. video recording support. It should also support A2DP profile with Bluetooth. Having said all this, we would like to point out that the iPhone has superb hardware, no doubt. But the Dream supposedly gives us what the iPhone doesn't - a QWERTY keypad, better cam, A2DP and much more.
This one, we feel, should go to the HTC Dream.
Winner: HTC Dream (Android)

OS and Interface:
The iPhone 3G has the best interface yet, when it comes to smartphones. It's new MultiTouch interface completely revolutionized the way people look at touchscreen phones. It has superb animations and menu transitions that were unheard of in smartphones. However, looking at the several Android demos and videos online as well as studying the SDK Emulator closely, we can say that Android too excels in the interface department. It has various 3D effects and animations all strewn across it's menu and settings. It closely matches the iPhone in this aspect, if it doesn't actually surpass it.
Also, when it comes to the core Operating system, Android is way ahead of the iPhone OS X in terms of features and capabilities. Almost every setting is configurable and you can actually tweak and alter the internals of the operating system to your liking. This is very much a better option to the 'closed'-ness of the iPhone 3G.
Winner: HTC Dream (Android)

Application Support:
The Android powered HTC Dream seems to be the clear winner in this aspect. It will have much better software support and availability than the iPhone thanks to its open nature. It will also have the much needed multi-tasking support which is missing in the iPhone. In direct competition to the hugely popular Appstore, the only means to get applications and games for the iPhone, Google has announced the Android Market for application distribution which functions quite similarly to the Appstore.
As Android is expected to be backed by many open source loyalists and developers, it will have better support communities and forums. This should prove to be a major boost to the whole software development and distribution process of Android. On the other hand, Apple is, in a way, restricting application development for the iPhone by screening the applications and approving only some of them by some shady criteria. Also, comparing the SDK's of both Android and the iPhone, we feel that Android's SDK is much better than the iPhone's. Creating applications for Android is much easier as it uses a custom language very similar to Java, syntactically and conceptually. One more point for Android.
Winner: HTC Dream (Android)

Multimedia Capabilities:
In the multimedia wars, it should be a tough fight, with the Dream having a slight edge over the iPhone. We can safely assume that Apple would definitely take the crown easily from the HTC Dream in the sound quality department, it is an iPod after all. In the video department, both should perform almost similarly, with the iPhone 3G gaining slightly again, anyone can vouch for it's video playback quality. Also, we would like to assume that the iPhone 3G should have a better display than the Dream. However, the Dream would definitely support a wider range of formats and codecs, and also offer a wider choice of audio and video players, while the iPhone is and will be restricted to it's native formats and default audio and video players. This should level the playing field for both the giants.
Also, considering the larger picture, Android as a whole will definitely win this war, as it will also have multimedia centric phones being rolled out, but we give this one to the iPhone 3G for the sake of fairness.
Winner: iPhone 3G

Other Features:
The HTC Dream should give us most of the features that the iPhone 3G misses out on. As mentioned before, a QWERTY keypad, Bluetooth with A2DP and file sending support, a better cam with video recording and hopefully AF and Flash, multitasking capabilities and better internet capabilities. Agreed that the iPhone's Safari is the best mobile web browser yet, but Android's browser based on Webkit seems to be equally capable as well. It may even surpass Safari in some aspects, judging by the browser's performance in the SDK emulator. It does support Java and should include support Flash as well by the time it comes out. Android will also support a version of Opera Mobile.
It will definitely support setting MP3 files as ringtones, ;) and has much better graphic capabilities, both software and hardware. Also, we do hope that the Android won't have any of the infamous bugs the iPhone 3G has - faulty chips, mediocre reception and security threats due to buggy software.

Adding to these reasons, Android will run on many phones, ranging from the cheap to the wildly inexpensive and cover a wide range of hardware. It will have built in support for most Google products - Gmail, Orkut, GTalk etc. By observing the positive response at the launch of Google's Chrome, we can definitely say that this feature will be very well received.


Winner: HTC Dream (Android)

Overall Winner: HTC Dream - Android
Digg it:
http://digg.com/linux_unix/HTC_Dream_Android_vs_iPhone_3G_A_Detailed_Comparision

Conclusion: As shown above, the HTC Dream (Android) beats the iPhone 3G, 4-2. Many of the points mentioned above may seem to be biased, especially to iPhone fanatics. Please note that it isn't possible to make a clear and unbiased decision yet as the HTC Dream isn't out yet. We will surely make changes to the article when the Dream is out and also post a more detailed comparision. Leave a comment if you like this article or otherwise.


29 comments:

cab said...

Are you seriously saying a product that has neither been mass-tested or sold is better than the iphone...

really...did google personally cut you a check or do you whore for free?

HOW in the world with a straight-face and a modicum of decency expect to claim a product that which has to be SEEN!!!! is a superior product, yet the world has seen one poorly produced test-video which was far from impressive....

and impressive is an understatement, the whole android concept better be otherworldly..

jonahan said...

Really .. The blog Android Geek picked the Android phone .. holy shit .. what a revelation.

Oen said...

I was okay with what you were saying till: "It will have much better software support and availability than the iPhone thanks to its open nature."

I actually use Linux daily and love open source. I often find though that products are not updated, do not look as nice, and require many additional programs to be installed to get running correctly.

With the App Store people are making money, which drives them to improve and update their applications. In open source I have seen programs get an update every 6 months or more because the developers are not making money.

Lastly I hate in one way that Apple has to check each application before approving it. The good part though is no one is going to install a virus on my phone. If this phone does take off, I foresee people trying to take advantage of that.

Anonymous said...

Your evaluation of 'Design' and 'Interface' seemed to concentrate on superficial qualities, such as looks and animations. Design, however, is about behaviour and thus the way things 'feel', even more so than the 'look'.

So please evaluate consistency and HCI factors, too, when comparing the devices.

Anonymous said...

As someone with ties to developers on the Android team, I have first hand testimony that Android is not going to be an iPhone killer.
Yes, it's going to be cool, but it's not going to be as polished and neat as the iPhone. It may offer more features (although I would hardly call a QWERTY keyboard a feature, given the iPhone's excellent automatic typing correction), more customization and most certainly more "geek-appeal". It will attract a different crowd than the "trendy" iPhone users. Maybe some developers will love it, but I don't think the apps on Android will rival the iPhone apps.

Anonymous said...

This review = Fail

Your a tool

James said...

A terrible review, but I'm still getting the G1/Dream.

Anonymous said...

Heh. This blog is called "Android Geek" - who did you think was going to win? I just love the fact that they give the victory to Android in the UI-category.. hoho, what rubbish :)

Lea said...

Wow, the i phonites sure get testy, huh? Cultish, even.

Anonymous said...

i dont have an iphone but I am not an idiot...

This is not an iphone killer... HTC builds a sub par device..

And google is lil behind the curve...sorry they are chasing apple's tail on this one.

Don't claim to be an iphone killer with an ugly clunky, and from what i seen a terrible UI...is this device even multi-touch? lol

this is what HTC said about its OWN DEVICE!!!



..."The exact specifications and details are a MYSTERY left to your imagination. You’ll have to wait until later this year to learn just what you’re getting with the HTC Dream".....

REALLY...the specifications are even a MYSTERY to HTC...

sounds like EPIC fail...when a manufacturer is unsure of their product...LOL...I am sure you are going to defend google by saying well its software related...

well if you pay attention to stuff like WWDC. not only is apple sure of what their device will do many, many months ahead of a product, THEY DELIVER those features...

sounds like a massive bomb to me...
but that's just an opinion of UI designer/industrial designer who common sense can parse the rhetoric most people spew...

this is just one of those cases..i like google and use its frequently but it does mean they are capable of developing software and hardware..

Charlie LIndahl said...

As of today, the iPhone (even the 3G) won't do tethering. This lack of tethering has killed the iPhone for me completely.

Anonymous said...

the iphone has a 670mhz processor and the android has a 528 MHZ processor which to me is the most important piece of hardware

Ren said...

I am really looking forward to the release of Android. I've been keeping an eye on some of the mobile technology forums and I'm excited to see the OS evolve.

I've used HTC phones for about 2 years now, and yes, they are notoriously bulky and slow. The great thing about the software is that (in theory) other hardware manufacturers will be able to use the system on their phones. The HTC Dream may not be the prettiest thing out there, but it's something to start with.

The market will grow, just give it some time. It can't slay the iPhone overnight.

wannabsmart said...

screw apple, can't wait. Apple is way to clocked down/limited and the fanboy's disgust me, that more than anything would be why I would get the Google/Android PHone ANY day ovber Apple, the "innovator" LMFAO - only if you believe the BS that comes from steve jobs reality distortion firled, nothing"cool " aboiut having an iphone IMO. I will wait for Android to mature and get it probably as my next phone. I want CHOICE, and I dont want to pay for every song that I get on the phone, I want to download songs from soulseek etc and out them on there, apple gets $0 of mine , they screwed me bad by not honoring their warranty ( yeah my 7 days old ipod broke and had a MINOR scratch on the back) - THEY ALL DO - it was designed to do that so they could steal my $200 that's how it see it.

Anonymous said...

I kind of doubt the Usability parts as well... let us check the use case for zooming in a part of a web-page:

1. Double tap the general area.
2. Hold a button for a second, then repeatedly tap zoom button, then manualy center area.

Uhm... I think no.1, the iPhone way wins.

Anonymous said...

Most biased preview i've ever read. Come on the thing isn't out yet and making big speculations that it will be better than iphone. This is not even a preview, more of living in our own little world. Come on get some hard evidence....

Anonymous said...

Is this article a piss take?

I don't think I'll be trading in my superb iPhone 3G anytime soon for an unseen Android phone made by HTC.

smokeonit said...

what an idiotic review...

i love good reviews, with lots of criticism... not this one... LOL...

Anonymous said...

this guy is not a geek he's just a F@##ing idiot who waste people time in reading his shit!!!

Anonymous said...

This review is almost correct.
it should have been 6-0 in favour of the Android. :)
The only 2 things the iPhone/3G has over this is:
a) 3mm larger screen
b) better looking design (not functional)


Its hilarious reading the angry apple fanboys react lol

Anonymous said...

iPhone read Sony PlayStation

Android read Sega Saturn

The only chance any of these so called iPhone Killers have is that iPhone is on AT&T in the States, but in the rest of the world where iPhone is on better networks nothing is going to catch iPhone!!!

Anonymous said...

Great article you got here. I'd like to read a bit more concerning that theme. The only thing this blog misses is some photos of any devices.
Nickolas Watcerson
Phone jammer

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Android said...

Did you ever finish a SyncML based engine for Android? I want to be able to sync my G1 with my company's Oracle Calendar (it'd be an extra bonus to have this imply that my calendar data was in turn being synchronized to Google Calendar, but that's a secondary result).

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Shend said...

maybe it is a lot of features in the android-like features found on the iphone, but I hope this issue can be resolved as soon as possible.

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