The battle of the 4.3 inch screens- EVO 4G vs. Droid X

The summer is turning into quite a battlefield, with Android phones popping up left and right.  There are a lot of superphones out there, and they all want your dollars love.  So you have decided that you want a monstrous, 4.3 inch screen.  There are two choices currently, the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint and the Motorola Droid X on Verizon.  They have entered the arena, and are waiting in their corners.  FIGHT!!!

Similarities

Both phones come to this battle geared up with 1 GHz processors, Android 2.1, 8 MP rear-facing cameras, HDMI out (to watch your movies on the big screen in 720p resolution), huge 4.3 inch screens, and great multimedia options that are still uncommon in Android-land.

The Fight: Hardware

The Droid X has something that I really like: physical buttons.  Mind you, they both have physical buttons for things like power and volume, but I miss the physical click of the Android navigation buttons.  My current phone, Acer Liquid, is lacking those (it has capacitive buttons like the EVO).  This is of course a personal preference thing.

The Droid X is also physically bigger.  It’s thinner than the EVO for the most part, although that camera bulge definitely adds some girth.  I’m told that the camera bulge on the Droid X is actually a great way to pull the behemoth out of your pocket; it gives your fingers something to latch onto.

As for the feel of the phone, they both have soft-touch backs.  The EVO 4G feels somewhat more squishy, and the Droid X seems to have more friction.  For all of the above things, I think you need to see and feel them yourself.

The EVO 4G has a couple of things that the Droid X are lacking.  Namely, a front-facing camera and a kickstand.  The front-facing camera means that we are finally in the future.  You can look forward to future apps utilizing that for video-conferencing/calling.  The kickstand is also pretty cool for desk-clock, alarm clock, and movie-watching functionality.

The Droid X’s OMAP processor tends to do better in benchmarks, and may well be faster/more powerful than the EVO.

Round 2: Software

Both are running 2.1, but with very different skins.  The EVO uses HTC’s Sense UI.  The Droid X uses what is pretty much a renewed version of MOTOBLUR, but Motorola is refusing to call it that.  They both offer lots of interesting widgets and UI customizations, this also falls under the personal preference umbrella.

The camera apps both support tap-to-focus, where you can select the spot on the screen where you want the focus to lie.  Unfortunately, the Droid X camera can be a little slow, or sometimes even unresponsive, but in my opinion it takes better pictures than those of the EVO.

Now for the phone dialers.  They are both pretty nice, but the EVO has a phone-keypad search doohicky.  From the dialer you can use the phone keys to search for a contact, on the Droid X you just have to go into the contacts screen.  Definitely not make-or-break territory, but a nice feature nonetheless.

Both of them have a Wi-Fi hotspot app, so you can use your 3G or 4G data to get your laptop (or iPad) on the internet.  This costs extra to use for both of them.

Knockout Round: Service

4G.  Do I need to say more?  OK, fine.  The EVO has the capabilities for 4G service, but that is only offered in certain markets, but Sprint is expanding coverage.  Unfortunately, you must pay for “Premium Data” even if your market does not yet have 4G.  While Verizon does not yet have 4G and the Droid X does not have 4G capabilities, they do have great 3G service pretty much everywhere.

The Conclusion

I don’t really have one for you.  I think most of these differences are at the personal preference level.  If you like to hack your phone (install custom ROMs), I recommend only that you NOT get the Droid X.  You have probably heard about the eFuse controversy.  Motorola is locking down the bootloader on the Droid X and it will be very difficult to hack.  Otherwise, I’d say go to each of the stores and play for a little while.  See what you like.

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