HTC Nexus One and Motorola DROID: side by side

HTC Nexus One and Motorola DROID: side by side
The DROID is the U.S. variant of the Motorola MILESTONE. For more information on the MILESTONE, check its review here.


Android has caught fire in mindshare over the past few months, thanks in part to two crucial devices running the platform: the Motorola DROID and the HTC Nexus One.  The former has been blasted into our consciousness by an advertizing onslaught from Verizon Wireless, whereas the latter has been more quiet, only touting itself via web ads.  With two well-spec’d devices spearheading the Android revolution the inevitable question is: “which one do I choose?”


Neither of these devices is pretty.  The Nexus One is an uninspired slap of AMOLED, whereas the DROID’s gaudy black and gold color scheme gives us bad 80’s flashbacks.  Both devices are dominated by their 3.7” displays, but the Nexus One wraps it in curves while the DROID frames it with right angles.  In terms of display quality the Nexus One is the clear winner with its super-vibrant AMOLED panel, but the DROID is still a top 3 display on the market and manages to pack in 54 more pixels (480x854, compared to 480x800 on the Nexus One.)  AMOLED allows for better brightness, making the display readable in sunlight, as well as for a much wider viewing angle.  That it is less power-hungry doesn’t hurt its case either.  It’s like choosing between a BMW and Ferrari; we’ll take the Prancing Horse every time, but should get stuck with the Bimmer we won’t complain.

Usually curves lead to better contouring of the hand, and sharp lines make for a less natural feel (see: GSM vs. CDMA Hero) but we actually prefer the DROID to the HTC Nexus One in our hands.  The Nexus One is oddly balanced, and we found it liked to make its way to the floor more often than any phone we’ve tried.  The Motorola DROID, on the other hand, fits quite comfortably and securely in our mitts.  The DROID is noticeably heavier, but with a glass display and metal casing the extra heft is the result of quality materials.  The Nexus One didn’t feel cheap by any means, but we almost always prefer a metal frame over plastic.

The DROID of course features a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard, something that would usually be an advantage to an all touchscreen device.  Not so much here though; the keys are so flat and close together that it is almost impossible to type without looking.  We actually found ourselves preferring the onscreen keyboard, and after awhile didn’t even bother to slide out the QWERTY anymore.  We will say that the 5-way directional pad does offer some functionality for the gamers out there.  The slide mechanism is pretty nice as a whole.  Although it isn’t spring-assisted, it is super smooth and offers a perfect amount of resistance all the way through the slide until it nicely clicks into place.

In terms of buttons both are pretty identical.  The DROID offers a dedicated camera key along the right side, but both have identical capacitive navigation buttons below the display, a volume rocker on the side and a power button up top.  Each feature a 3.5mm headset jack and 5 megapixel cameras with LED flash.  The DROID features a dual LED flash, while the Nexus One offers a dual microphone (one on the back) for active noise cancellation.

HTC Nexus One 360 Degrees View:

Motorola DROID 360 Degrees View:



21. Sweeny Russ

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 21, 2009

I have the droid, call quality is an issue though I just flash the 2.1 nexus rom on it yesterday so it may or may not be better, you have to have the mic in perfect position next to your mouth or you sound like your talking through a tube, but I think it to be hardware related. That's why my work phone is an HTC imagio. It syncs seamlessly with outlook, call quality is perfect, and unlike the droid the light sensor is smart enough to know when the phone is up to my cheek so I don't end the call suddenly. Don't get me wrong the droid is a perfect toy and overall it completes tasks slightly faster than my imagio, but I only have to reset the imagio maybe weekly vs. the droid I get stuck in weird places several times a week.

18. SamTime

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 07, 2009

17. SamTime

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 07, 2009


16. SamTime

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 07, 2009

I could've sworn PhoneArena said the complete opposite about the DROID's call quality in their review... Edit: And here it is: Despite it being a fully feature Android device, it is important to see if it works well for making phone calls of course. Chatting with friends is a pleasant experience on the Motorola DROID because of the powerful speakers emitting strong tones. Being able to hear a caller won't be an issue with the DROID – thanks to its loud earpiece speaker. Voices sounded loud and clear – except for a slight static noise that can be faintly heard at times. On our callers end, they mentioned that our voice was clear and distinct with no issues on their side. Switching to the speaker phone will result in the same manner we had with the media players – it's just too loud and produces crackling sounds on the highest volume, so you have to turn it down some. Fortunately it still manages to work well during our conversations. Overall, you really can't mistake what your callers are saying. We paired a Plantronics Discovery 925 headset and found it a bit unsettling when the DROID was unable to get voice dialing to work. Seriously WTF was this writer looking for? LAN quality voice calls??

20. PaulRivers

Posts: 11; Member since: Jan 22, 2010

Yeah - one review applauds the Droids voice quality, another bashes it. Makes you wonder if 2 different people did the review and one or both of them got paid off by one of the manufacturers doesn't it?

14. BigRed83

Posts: 144; Member since: May 19, 2008

I've had my DROID since launch, and am very pleased with it. Put it this way; I still own it. It's better than my Storm 1 was (though I still like that too). I also like the Touch Pro 2. I guess you could say I like technology. Is the Nexus One better? Not with the connectivity problems folks have been having switching from 3G to EDGE frequently. We will see how it does on the SUPERIOR network. Does it cost more? Yep. You also get what you pay for. It's that simple. Sure, Sprint charges fer less to try to grab/keep customer base. Tried them lately? Call their Customer Service? No, thanks. Been there, done that. I'm happy with Verizon, and see myself staying there for a long time. Also looking forward to LTE. THAT will be a kick.

11. dennismc

Posts: 6; Member since: May 12, 2008

I have had this phone for 1 month now and my call quality has been excellent.I dont know what the reviewer is talking about its better than my Blackberry Storm .geez.

12. vzwman

Posts: 385; Member since: Oct 26, 2009

Wich phone?

13. dennismc

Posts: 6; Member since: May 12, 2008

Motorola Droid

10. Homotechual

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 27, 2009

Cliq is not a midrange phone, The call quality on my Nexus is amazing. Nexus/Tmobile FTW

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

interesting, the Cliq's call quality is exellent and its concidered a "mid range" phone... lol

6. vzwman

Posts: 385; Member since: Oct 26, 2009

i own a droid and the phone call quality is awsome in my opinion, no problems here!!!

9. Striker13084

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 30, 2009

mine too

19. totes_magotes unregistered

i have a droid as well, and have not experienced any of the issues they claim while testing.

22. Dood

Posts: 269; Member since: Mar 23, 2009

I have a few, but nothing too insane...

23. MichRick1

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 26, 2010

I have had my droid for about six weeks and talk an average of two hours per day. My call quality has been excellent, without exception, and I have never experienced any garbled or dropped words whether I am calling in state or across the country. In fact, I think my droid is the easiest phone to hear on I have ever owned. The speaker phone is also exceptionally crisp and clear and without doubt the best speakerphone I have, even better than my landline phone.

4. Ray

Posts: 62; Member since: Apr 30, 2009

people with tmobile do you choose the nexus one to own or the hd2???

25. macron2000

Posts: 81; Member since: Sep 07, 2009

My girlfriend is going to hold out for HD2, especially with the updated specs (even though she can careless about that). Windows Phone just works out better for her.

3. pathmarkpolice

Posts: 102; Member since: Feb 05, 2009

Motorola usually has good call quality and I've noticed that Nokia is usually hit or miss with theirs, as most manufacturers are. Call quality on the cliq is good, I don't know about the nexus one, but the droid is kind of static-y, I placed a few calls on it in my area.

2. fsjon

Posts: 120; Member since: Sep 03, 2009

Funny how both behemoth of a smart"phone", failed at the most important aspect of it being a my eye, both are not desirable since I can't even make a phone call on it(don't want to miss a whole sentence of a conversation, or shift the phone slightly and I can't hear a thing). Should I just get an awesome netbook/internet table, and just carry lots of quarters with me instead?? I guess I could wait for the Nokia N900(to be subsidized). Nokia has the rep. for best phone call sound quality.

8. Striker13084

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 30, 2009

Yeah, I agree with you. However, the users of these devices don't use many minuites, they text and do the web more. I know that I talk alot less on my Droid then when I had a regular phone.

15. jwl3429

Posts: 36; Member since: Sep 28, 2009

i have a Samsung omnia 2 from verizon and after having talked on both a droid and nexus one. i feel if you want a good smartPHONE that has call quality equal to a land line the omnia is the best choice

24. macron2000

Posts: 81; Member since: Sep 07, 2009

Yes, every nokia I've used has had excellent call and speaker quality. And true, I use less minutes on my Droid these days, but when I do make a call, I'd just like for it to be clear. I probably shouldn't admit this, but ever since switching to the Droid, I find myself going out of my way NOT to have to make a call for that very reason (people saying I sound "underwater" or robotic).

1. Sashin

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

The Droid is running at 550mhz. Noob.

5. mr. anderson

Posts: 92; Member since: Apr 16, 2009

moto underclocked it to 550, but its actually a 600mhz processor

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