HTC Nexus One and Motorola DROID: side by side
We’ll keep this short because we went over Android 2.0 in depth in our DROID review, and covered the changes in 2.1 in our Nexus One review. Basically, 2.1 is a minor rework of 2.0 that brings an enhanced visual experience complete with 3D animations and Live Wallpapers. The most useful feature, however, is the new voice-to-text feature available in any text box. The server-side recognition works pretty darn well, and we only expect it to get better. A few manufacturers have tried to implement this in the past, but it never caught on due to poor results. Google has (as usual) nailed it and until other operating systems implement it this feature is a big differentiator for future Android devices.
The Motorola DROID is powered by a TI OMAP 3430 processor running at up to 600MHz, while the Nexus One has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon under the hood. Both have 512MB of flash memory, but the Nexus One doubles the DROID’s 256MB of RAM. These lead to a noticeably faster experience throughout the device and the HTC Nexus One trounces the DROID in performance, including web browsing. Like the display though, the DROID is no slouch and is still one of the faster phones we’ve ever tested.
Again, there is little difference in the two devices here. The music and video players are the same in Android 2.0 and 2.1 and codec support for the two phones is almost identical (the DROID “does” OGG). Both feature 5 megapixel cameras that perform slightly above-average. Indoor pictures from both produced a significant amount of noise when viewed at full resolution. Outdoor images showed similar detail and still some noise, but were better overall. The Nexus One performed better in low light situations, and with both the flash is useful only up to a few feet away. Both record videos at 720x480; the DROID records at 24fps and the Nexus One at a minimum of 20fps, though higher if conditions allow.
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