Motorola DROID and HTC Droid Incredible: side by side
When the Motorola DROID A855 was introduced last year it came with Android 2.0, but has recently been updated to Android 2.1, which also comes on the HTC Droid Incredible ADR6300. The key difference is that the Motorola DROID keeps the user interface as stock Android “Google experience”, but the HTC Droid Incredible includes the HTC Sense UI (very similar to the one on the HTC DROID ERIS) which adds extra functionality and personalization to the device. For starters, the Motorola DROID only has 3 homes screens that you can swipe between, but the HTC Droid Incredible has 7 home screens to allow for more desktop widgets and program shortcuts. Also, the HTC Droid Incredible includes 7 scenes, which alter the overall appearance of the home screens to allow for even greater customization, which you can change between or save a current scene at any time. We also like that the HTC Droid Incredible includes more desktop widgets than what’s found on the Motorola DROID, including Friend Stream, which continually pulls updates from your social networking sites. Additional software benefits that the HTC Sense UI includes is better integration with your contacts, as you can view details, messages, emails, updates and events, photos, and call history for each one separately. Unfortunately, neither device comes with the slick 3D Program Launcher that is included on the Google Nexus One.
The HTC Droid Incredible has 7 home screens that allow for more desktop widgets and program shortcuts
The web experience is also pretty similar between the two devices, as they use a WebKit based browser that has support for multitouch pinch-to-zoom. The only benefit is that the browser on the HTC Droid Incredible also includes Adobe Flash Lite 4.1, which allows for some embedded Flash files to work in web pages, but it is still quite limited. Future support for Flash 10.1 is included on either browser.
Both the Motorola DROID A855 and HTC Incredible ADR6300 are well equipped when it comes to their multimedia capabilities. Image viewing and video playback is standard, which we tested using a H.264 encoded MP4 file with 720x306 resolution and 1500kbps sample rate. The HTC Droid Incredible also supports TV out with a wide variety of formats (NTSC-M, NTSC-J, PAL-BDGHIN, PAL-M and PAL-N) but a cable is not included, so we guess that it will be available as an accessory.
The music player on the HTC Droid Incredible is laid out slightly different than the one used by the Motorola DROID, but offers similar features, such as viewing audio files by artists, albums, playlists, songs, genres, composers and purchased. Music playback through the rear speaker on the Motorola DROID is a bit louder than the HTC Droid Incredible, but both sound good and distortion free. The HTC also adds an FM Radio Tuner, but it requires you to use a wired set of headphones, which is used as the radio antenna. We tested it out with two sets of earbuds, and most radio stations would not come in, and the ones that did had a large amount of static, which is uncommon as south FL has dozens of strong-signal radio stations.
A picture is worth a thousand words…but the image quality says a lot too. One area that is lacking on the Motorola DROID is the camera program, as it only has a handful of settings, such as for the resolution, flash mode, scenes, autofocus, etc. Thankfully the HTC Droid Incredible includes more options like the ISO, metering mode, and review duration, which make it more advanced. Also, when capturing an image with the Motorola DROID you use the two-stop shutter button on the side: pressing it down half-way to first focus, then all the way to snap the picture. The HTC Droid Incredible continually focuses on the center of the image, but you can tap anywhere on the screen to change your focus point to another area (which is nice if the subject is off-center), then press the optical pad to capture the image. Since the Motorola DROID comes with a 5MP camera, and the HTC Droid Incredible has an 8MP camera, we were eager to see which device captured the best images. (You can also check out our Q4 Cameraphone Comparison.) Images that were taken by the HTC Droid Incredible outside on a sunny day are sharper and clearer than ones taken by the Motorola DROID, but the HTC has a tendency to overexpose some areas while the Motorola will look a bit dull in its colors. When moving indoors the differences became less apparent, as both show a lot of grain and have difficulty focusing in low-light conditions. Each camera is paired with a dual-LED flash, and as we discovered, the one on the HTC Droid Incredible is brighter and has a larger effective range, but you’ll need to make sure the subject is at least 4 feet away; otherwise it will come out overexposed by the flash.
Darkness with flash
Indoor samples shot with the Motorola DROID
Darkness with flash
Indoor samples shot with the HTC Droid Incredible
Video recording is supported by each device. The Motorola Droid can record at 720x480 resolution at 25FPS, with embedded audio at 16kHz, and with a total data rate of 3Mbps. While the HTC Droid Incredible records video at 800x480 resolution at 28FPS, with embedded audio at 8kHz, and with a total data rate of 2Mbps. So what does all this mean? Simply put, the HTC is capable of recording at a slightly higher resolution than the Motorola, but when viewing them on a PC, the video recorded by the Motorola DROID looks sharper and overall better than the video recorded by the HTC.
Motorola Droid sample video at 720x480 pixels resolution.
HTC Droid Incredible sample video at 800x480 pixels resolution.
We believe that the HTC Droid Incredible ADR6300 captures the best overall pictures, but the videos recorded by the Motorola DROID A855 look a bit better. So you’ll have to ask yourself which is the most important to you.