Touchscreen phone comparison Q3 - U.S. carriers
The mobile industry has been struggling with merging cell phones and mp3 players for years. Carriers and manufactures alike have gone as far as to launch music stores, but nobody has ever gotten the player right. Along comes the iPhone, and not only do you have a revolutionary phone but also arguably the best music player ever, phone or not. To be quite blunt, no manufacturer has come close to replicating the multimedia experience of the iPhone, and this section will pretty much be a comparison between the other three phones. Video codec support is weak, but otherwise the iPhone’s media playback is perfect in every way.
The Instinct and Dare both run carrier media players, whereas the Vu runs a native LG player. All three have their shortcomings, most notably in file recognition. We loaded the same six albums on each device. All six were in .mp3 format, properly tagged with artist, album, track title and number information, and each had embedded album art. The iPhone read everything flawlessly.
The Sprint Music Store player performed the best of the three despite its overall sub-par performance. It recognized tags on three of the six albums, and album art for 1.5 albums. Art was not displayed properly however, the image was way larger than the allotted space and it appears that the file must be a certain resolution. It did recognize track numbers, so when you chose to play an album it plays in the proper track order.
The Vu was the next best, slightly ahead of the Dare. It only recognized two albums, and only one had album art. When the album is recognized it does play the tracks in the proper order, otherwise it plays the unrecognized tracks in alphabetic order. We did have an issue with one of the albums skipping, making it unlistenable, but the other five performed fine. Unfortunately the battery has to be removed to access the microSD card, and even then you’ll need a long nail or a paperclip to pop the card out.
Bringing up the rear is the Dare and its VCast Music player. It actually recognized four of the six albums, but no album art. Even though it read the album and artist info, it didn’t read the track number info though and plays in alphabetical order. Further adding to the frustration, the Dare does not recognize folders, which meals all the music has to be sideloaded loose. Unless your files are all named with the artist, album and track number it gets very messy. The player does make use of the accelerometer, and when rotated the orientation will follow suit in all four directions. While in landscape mode the album art of the previous and next track are displayed semi-transparent and in the background, like we first saw on the Venus. However, you cannot swipe between them like on the iPhone and it didn’t actually recognize any album art, so all we got were some grey music notes.
Despite being multimedia oriented phones, none of the four feature stereo speakers. The iPhone appears to have a pair at the bottom, but in reality the right hole is the mic and only the left hole is a speaker. Despite this it is pretty loud, and without external speakers will get the job done. The Instinct’s single speaker emanates from the earpiece and is pretty good, though at the highest setting has some slight distortion. The Dare has a decent speaker, but it sits on the back which means it gets muffled when you set it down. The Vu is a bit quieter than and not as full as the others.
The iPhone, Instinct and Dare all feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Instinct, Dare and Vu have stereo Bluetooth. Sound quality was fine on all four, though the iPhone may have been slightly better. We’re sure an audiophile would have issues with that statement, but to our commoner ears all four devices sounded good enough.
Rating: iPhone 5, Instinct 2.5, Vu 2, Dare 1.5
We found some interesting results here. We tested several different MP4 videos in combinations of resolution, frame rate and codecs (either H.263 or the higher quality H.264). The Dare could handle 320x240 video with H.263 codec at 30fps. The Instinct and Vu were able to handle 320x240 in H.264 up to 60fps, the highest we test for. The iPhone was unable to handle any of them. It should be noted, however, that we use Videora to convert videos to iPod/iPhone compatible formats and they look flawless, though the process takes slightly longer than the video’s runtime.
The Vu and Instinct both have the ability to play live TV, but the Vu is much better at it. Supporting MediaFLO, the Vu has a dedicated network for high-quality TV whereas SprintTV runs over Sprint’s data connection at only 15fps. The Instinct can also get on-demand clips, as can the Dare via VCast Video. Both were of equally mediocre quality. The iPhone has no video services beyond side-loading.
Rating: Instinct 5, Vu 4.5, iPhone 3, Dare 1
The Dare leads the pack with a 3.2-megapixel, autofocus camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics and an LED flash. The Vu has a 2MP sensor, also with autofocus, and the Instinct and iPhone have 2MP sensors without auto-focus. In a surprisingly close battle the Dare edged out the iPhone for overall image quality, though the iPhone outperformed it at times. Both produced crisp, clear images and the iPhone may have slightly better color saturation and representation. The Vu lagged behind the pack, with harsher images and the Instinct was the worst of the four.
The Dare wins points for its plethora of options and its very cool image editing mode. The Vu also has plenty of options, though no on-board editing software. The Instinct and iPhone both are option-less. The iPhone loses more points due to its inability to record video. The Dare bests the other two with its ability to record slow-motion video at 120fps.
Rating: Dare 5, iPhone 3.75, Vu 3.5, Instinct 2.5
whoever wrote this review is an idiot and an apple fan boy how can a phone get a perfect 5 in almost everycatagorey, no phone is perfect especially not the Iphone. WOW can i get an unbiased review please. this is just rediculus cell phone reporting/reviewing.
i have been reading reviews from alot of different sites n everybody has rated the iphone as the best phone out of all touch phones....there is even like 5 youtbe videos that has all the phones ( iphone...instinct...vu...dare...) n all of them says that the iphone is the best...there are only 1 or 2 things that the iphne doesnt have n the things that it does have tops the other phones.....just stop hating and face it...the iphone is the best n no phone can beat it when its hacked
i don like iphone and i don use iphone and i'm a big verizon samsung i760 fan.. but there's one thing i agree.. the iphone is the best touch screen phone out there.. so don be mad at this article #1..
they are not saying it is perfect. they said the top phone in each category would be the standard. that means the top phone got 5 by default. it may have barely beat another phone in a category but it still beat it and got the boost to a 5.
DARE is so much better than the other ones! No questions asked.
i'm not going to get into a fanboy pissing match about the I-phone ruling the world and everything else sucking.... But what i noticed during this review, is when reviewed by itself the Dare was highly reviewed and 95% of the"issues" mentioned in this review were never brought up in the other one I'm not saying the Dare is the best phone in the universe or that the I-phone sucks, it just seems more than a little biased that the Dare is trashed in this review in order to make the I-phone and even the instinct look like much more superior products This lowers my opinion of this site's reviews considerably
and im not saying that the iphone is the best in the world becuase there are some features i world take from the dare the vu n the instinct to make my perfect....to b honest there is no prefect phone it is all in who ownes it.....
I dont think u all read the last page of the review. On a average score rate basis, the instict is the best of the four. Dumbasses learn to read before you start making judgements and all the iphone freaks are stoooopid.lol
107. lessthanzach1 (unregistered)
This review is a wonderful way to market the cruddy INSTINCT. We have the verizon GLYDE by samsung and if that screen is anything like the INSTINCT's then it is indeed no comparison to the lg or iphone touchscreens. This review sucks.
the glyde and instinct use completely different screen technologies. glad you based your opinion of the review off of your ignorance.
Ok, because VZW has a crappy phone from Samsung, then this review sucks. Makes a lot of sense. How about you at least check the Instinct out before you spout idiotic comments. If you did, you would see there's no comparison between the two.
173. soundofclocks (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Dec 2008)
Actually, the person who wrote this article is an idiot b/c the Dare is the ONLY one of the 4 phones that uses a resistive screen. The iPhone, Instinct, and Vu ALL use capacitive screens. Try using a stylus on any of the phones but a Dare and see if it works.
174. SellPhones82 (Posts: 565; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
The Instinct comes with a stylus and it works on it...only the iPhone has a capacitive touchscreen of the four phones.
this review is hilarious. this same site gives the iPhone 3G a rating of 8 and the LG Dare a rating of 9 in their individual phone reviews. Yet, when they compare the two, the Dare scores below a 3 out of 5 in most categories??? That doesn't make any sense.
indeed. my thoughts exactly...
Cause the dare sucks
iphone sucks! DARE kicks everyones A@@ BEST PHONE hands down :-)
75. a1016neo (unregistered)
BYE BYE TROLL! STOP POSTING THIS GARBAGE ALL AROUND PHONE ARENA! I will look into a Dare once it gets a proper browser & E-mail, multimedia, 3rd party apps, and exchange support....
98. LessthanZach (Posts: 106; Member since: 29 Apr 2008)
its not a pda you moron, so I suppose you wont be looking into it...
they gave it a 9 out of 10 in their review. That's usually a good score
Why did the iPhone always comes out on top in these sites? It's because all these so called news blogs are AMERICAN websites. They will hype up American junk more than Asian excellence. These stupid Americans lost out in the auto industry with their sub par build quality so now the only thing they have is the iPhone. Apple is the one American company they think will save them from their reputation of mediocrity. It's so sad really.
The iphone was built in California... but manufactured in "el Asian Excellence of China", where nearly all the cheap crap in America comes from. YAY!!!! This site is full of Verizon Wireless fanbois' and Verizon Wireless Employees, iPhone Reigns supreme.
So you are saying that Americans are so inept that they can't even make their own junk? They have to use slave labor? Where do you Americans get your money to buy your horrible Iphones, Starbuck's, Big Macs and gas guzzling SUVs? Can't be from selling your houses. Oh that's right, the credit card companies.
As Jeremy Clarkson said, "California, the land of fake teeth, plastic breasts and plastic houses" "Built in California...but manufactured in..China"
Just another example of American education.
14. motoman117 (Posts: 15; Member since: 22 Jun 2008)
you guys are so pathetic. get over yourselves. the first comment is just a moron. You see, if you were SMART, and you did RESEARCH you would see that American cars actually DONT have sub par quality. but no, all you morons go out and buy your priuses....the hidious, expensive, japenese prius. When guess what, the saturn aura hybrid costs $10,000 less and gets same fuel economy. Saying that this review is biased is just crap. I hate the iphone, have posted it many times, but the fact is, its the best touchscreen phone on the market! Hey man, which would you have picked to win the comparison. Jeez, get real. I hate apple, and the phone is way overhyped, but is still good. Of course, you throw in a touch diamond and Xperia X1...hehe, forget it. What are you anyway, french?
Hey #14 you need to do some research on cars. The prius base price is 3000 less than the aura hybrid, and the prius can get nearly 50mpg in the city, the aura will be lucky if it can get over 30 on the highway. lol always good to have your facts straight before you make a big post like that. Oh and btw im american and i have a japanese car so i must be a moron. Anyway, ill agree that the iphone is prolly still the best touchscreen phone, but that doesnt mean i like it :D
#14 - about the cars ... american cars are way too huge on fuel consumption u cant ever compare it with a european car or a japaneese... america is the most poluting country in the world big cars, big engines, big fuel consumption, low performance i hate american cars... i dont have anything with american people but the cars.......... it makes no sense
ya good luck getting your iphone 3 g to work.... i have 3g service everywhere i go east west north south you get here and there its sad really, i have an ipod touch that has everything an iphone has and it still runs better...
ya number 23 america isnt the most polluted country its asia...i mean they have to shut down half the city over there when the olyimpics are goin so people with asthma can actually compete haha they def didnt do that over here
I am AMERICAN and I have to say that AMERICAN products SUCK big time including iphone!!!
Ummm, #1, actually look at the overall charge, Instinct gets more 5s than iPhone 3G did... I have an iPhone 3g and an Instinct and both does really well. iPhone is definetely the best ATT phone right now (comparing all the touch screen ones), and iPhone is definetely the best multimedia phone in the market right now (compared to all phones from all networks that does video/music), that's a no question about it. If you have still contract with Sprint, Instinct would be the best phone for the network. Dare is probably the best for Verizon but it really falls short even comparing it to Instinct (I had the chance to play with it for more than 5 hours). Before you put down a phone and it's feature, go and really play with it with unbias mentality. I'm no Apple fan but I think iPhone does what it promises to do (even my battery, 3g works better than my Tilt, Blackjack, Razr phones)
The Instinct won this review. It had the best average score of the four.
130. bornlikethis38 (unregistered)
Product quality varies between items and companies not countries. I love my Saturn. I'm not prejudice against foreign cars. Why does poor fuel economy matter so much in the over all quality of the car. American automobile companies choose to make cars with less fuel economy. I'm sure the business have good reasons. Just be patient with them. Fuel economy only becomes an issue when oil prices are high. The thing that does matter between cars would be the reliability, and in my studies they aren't very far apart, Tho foreign cars with the exception of a few companies and some american companies are excellent in reliability. But don't go insulting them. If you have ever taken a business class you should understand to be patient with business.
hey 34, Asia isn't a country.
Everything else that's not U.S. is just another country so get over it :)
"america is the most poluting country in the world" Wow. You're dumb. America has the highest standards in the world for pollution and safety, hence the reason why we don't get a lot of the fancy european and asian cars. They other countries get better feul economy because the cars don't have to carry around so much more weight from safety and emmissions equipment. Why don't you check out the pollution from China or India sometime and then say that America's is still the worst.
I know!!! When is the last time America came up with ANYTHING?? All america has ever brought to the world is airplanes. Autos. Fiat currency. The stock market. Computers. The internet. Rock, jazz and hip hop. Gee...it actually seems like maybe America is actually innovative. So go ahead and continue to bash America with your thinly veiled jealousy. The funny thing is, we buy imports because we can appreciate quality wherever it is from. Pity you can't do the same. And for the record you can bash SUVs Big Macs and Starbucks all you want. They're waning in popularity here and growing everywhere else...wonder what that means??? Perhaps you should let go of your dichotomous thinking and realize that people are the same everywhere. America is a giant social experiment and almost everyone was invited. To hate a people for what leaders do is ignorant and shortsighted...and is this phone forum??? That being said: iPhone is great! Apple is an innovative and great company. The Instinct is a great phone too. I personally like Sprint because the fundamentals of the company are digital consistency. It's built on a strong network. It's just too bad that 1 man took the helm and crashed the plane into the mountain. And got several million dollars doing so. Gary Foresee practically ruined a great company with his megalomaniac ineptitude. Perhaps Dan Hesse will be able to restore the company to its former strength. The Instinct is a step in the right direction. And if anyone on this page knows how to read the Instinct rated highest. And also, condemning Americans for liking our 2 top choices for phones is ridiculous. Try building a network like Japan has on the footprint of America. The telecom industry has done very well considering all of the conditions placed upon them such as 911. Not 9/11, 911.
Its because we like personal space. It's really that simple. If ANY country came out with a car that looked sexy, had power, lots of room, and had good gas mileage we would buy them by the millions.
172. sgdhgsdgc (unregistered)
actually its because we are to lazy to make our own products
8. G. Clooney (unregistered)
Oh my God! Is this a phone head to head comparison? Why there was not a comparison category for sound quality?, signal reception?, Network? battery? Isnt those things the most important thing of a phone? Let me guess, the iphone is the worst of all those categorys so thats why it wasnt put. This comparison is like reviewing mp3 players only in categorys like, UI, internet browsing and video features.
i think the Dare would be rated higher if they compared those categories. Signal Strength is very good. Verizon Wireless (Best). Sound Quality and Battery life, iono.
huh... nice catch, i thought this review was pretty biased before, then i realized they skipped over everything that matters on the phone..being able to use the phone i like the I-phone, it's a cool phone, but this peice must've been sponsored by Apple because the Dare & Instinct got shafted the vu got what it deserved though
if you ever used ATT's 3G phones, you would know that majority of 3G Touchscreen PDF phone's battery sucks, other than the HTC 8525, the Tilt's battery and network quality is worsen than the iPhone 3G. So, if you have been using these equipment for long, you would know iPhone 3G isn't that bad at all... You gotta change your mentality when you are using a better technology. As mentioned, I have the Instinct and the iPhone both are pretty good and if you do look at the final average ratings, Instinct beats iPhone. So there isn't any bias toward iPhone... learn to read people.
136. G. Clooney (unregistered)
The problem with the iphone battery is not battery life, is replacement...
RE: Why there was not a comparison category for ... battery? A: There was a battery life comparison at least for talk time... after all... it is a phone 1st. (Yes, more info such as standby/video/music time would be nice.) B.J.
11. The Administrator (unregistered)
While I do think this review is accurate, I think PhoneArena needs to do a way better job in terms of their reviews. Most of them are incredibly bias, especially towards Nokia and Apple: and this pretty apparent. The phone's individual subscores need work too... like the Dior scores are very inaccurate. My head just shakes with most PhoneArena reviews...
Oh and don't forget the anti-verizon bias. While I'm no verizon fanboy, they are the only carrier that has decent service where I live. I'd buy an iPhone in an instant if it was on Verizon. But yeah, I'll never trust Phone Arenas reviews. I'm just here for cell phone news. :P
You just helped me make up my mind to remove this site from my bookmarks. I have several phone blogs and wanted to clean a few site that were dead weight...thanks
yea this site is so incorrect im not hatting on any phone i think the i phone is cool but i dont like att and dont think it is the best so im with verizon and i on a dare and it is amazing it has way more feature then this site tells u and the music crap is wrong it is only jumble if u just drag and drop it to the memory card on the phone if u use v cast it work like a charm puting it in alphabetical order and every set just right. if there going to do test they need to do them right and explore every aspect of the phone and tell us from there.
13. TNT (unregistered)
I have VZ but Ill admit the iPhone is supreme. Regardless of the missing features (which hasn't stopped millions of people from buying it), it truly has set the standard for any touch screen phone. I wish it were offerd on the network. . .
ha ha it's called DARE!
19. Bornlikethis38 (unregistered)
the dare and vu had better photos than iphone and instinct. iphone has boring user interface because you can't put a photo on the main screen. I guess i just like pretty things, maybe I'm simply a traditional guy that likes his backgrounds to say something about his personality. I like the Dares interface cuz it looks kick as* and new. I can agree with the touch screen section, i had never learned about that technology before. I do think that the person who wrote this article is an apple fan and mostly likely uses an iphone so he uses that on a daily bases resulting in a uncomfortable learning curve for the other three phones. Making him enjoy them much less. just think of the beating a poor windows mobile pro phone would have taken from this apple fan. And to the naive iphone children out there: to say the iphone is the "best" is illogical. Each phone serves as a favorite to another who requires that choice phone meet their perspective needs. iphone has only caught one due to the success of the ipod and the cult pack of Charles Manson like followers. People always want to be liked so they experience what another individual has discovered and together as a unit of strength denounce competitors. be fair and logical. I welcome any response to this comment at: "email@example.com"
I agree completely with you. I just want to see this head to head redone once the Touch diamond comes to VZW.
26. michias (unregistered)
"iphone has boring user interface because you can't put a photo on the main screen" Do you mean as wallpaper? If so you are wrong; you can and it is quite easy to do -- but you have to either take some pics from the iPhone or "sync" them on with iTunes on the computer (a Mac anyway; I imagine you can also with Windows but I haven't tried}.
The Touch Diamond is coming to VZW? As muh as I have Verizon they have the network. WHEN!!?!!?????!!?!!??
76. a1016neo (unregistered)
iphone interface is boring??? The iphone is known for it's superior UI over other phones and sadly nothing is even close with the Ui of the iphone...
115. bornlikethis38 (unregistered)
Dude. I'm talking about the style, not the ease to use it. Actually i hate the way I have to Navigate the software to use it quickly and efficiently. To me any user interface is easy to use. The learning curve is what counts. Spend enough time with any phone and you will be an expert on using it. And everyone today wants there demands met immediately and are not patient enough adjust to a learning curve. They sacrifice the attributes of a phone that can better suite their lifestyle for user ability. and i still stand by the psycho-analysis that most people, especially adolescences and young adults, want what others rave about.
116. bornlikethis38 (unregistered)
I tried doing it on too separate occasions and I couldn't do it. thanks for informing me. I guess I was wrong.
120. bornlikethis38 (unregistered)
Can I just complain about something? iPhone: 9.Limited application store. I have nothin on this one. 8.No haptic feedback. It would be a nice touch but the the more efficient touchscreen technology makes up for it. Even though I have been hearing about a lot of iPhones freezing and the touchscreen malfunctioning. 7. No video recording?! Wow. Video is so much fun to record. Cell phones are supposed to make life fun as well as make calls. 6. Can't stream to a bluetooth stereo headset to listen to music. Music people would really find this useful. 5.No voice dialing. I wouldn't use it, but know a lot of people who use it with nearly every call. Missing this feature is really important. 4.No cut and paste. Now come on! My Samsung Sync lets me cut and paste. This is the kind of feature that is extremely useful for anyone and everyone 3.Can not use as modem. Useful for only a certain type of people. Not important. 2.No multimedia messaging. What!!! On the best multimedia phone ever! I don't believe it! But it's true. I'm use apple fans are irritated because they keep hearing about this fault. This kind of feature is so useful and fun to use. It really is a major dive in usefulness of this phone for most people. Even if I was an apple worshiping extremist this alone would drive me away. And don't go telling me you can just send it in an email because that would be part of data plan. Which so many people just can't afford to tax onto their already high priced plan and 200 dollar phone. But unlimited txting plans are only at 10-25 dollars. Much more economic. 1.Locked. I don't believe in locking a GSM phone with a SIM card. It's unethical and cruel. But its not really a big deal if your happy with AT@T. To view the video I got these from from is top hater choices from is on CNETTV.COM