Motorola DROID, Apple iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre: side by side

Introduction and Design
Have in mind that in Europe, the Motorola DROID is released as the Motorola MILESTONE. Although they are almost identical, there are a few differences between the two phones. You can learn more here.


The smartphone war is in full swing with nearly every major domestic wireless carrier calling one handset on their lineup as their premier smartphone. This past year we’ve seen some fantastic products delivered by various manufacturers that truly offer an immerse experience that caters to the needs of individuals. Unlike the PC market where one or two platforms dominate the scene, mobile phones offer users a variety of operating systems to really provide their own unique experience. Palm came out of the pits of nowhere to launch the Palm Pre on Sprint where it received praise for its revamped platform in the form of WebOS. Soon afterwards, the Apple iPhone 3GS for AT&T was released that built upon some of the successes of the previous incarnations to deliver a faster and responsive interface. Finally, Motorola also sprung back to life with the best Android handset to date with the DROID for Verizon Wireless. We’ll compare and contrast these premier devices and see which ones really cater to the specific individual.


The Apple iPhone 3GS really didn’t change in design from the previous generation, but it still exudes one of the best looking and constructed smartphones out there. The chrome bezel outlining the sides accents well with the hard plastic used for the rear – it still radiates a sense of fashionable appearance from afar. Between the three, the iPhone 3GS has the brightest screen – which can cause you to squint if you view it in complete darkness.

With a slightly more pocketable form factor, the Palm Pre integrates a sliding out portrait QWERTY to its stone polished look; making easy for those who prefer a physical keyboard to input characters. Although the black shiny plastic material doesn’t give off that high premium feel, we question its durability over time – especially the sliding mechanism holding the phone together. Having the smallest screen size, it still does not deter us from being able to clearly see text on-screen.

Then there’s the Motorola DROID which will appeal to those looking for something with an industrial design. You get a sense of relief of quality construction and premium materials when you first hold it in your hand. On top of sporting the largest and most detailed touchscreen, it tucks away a QWERTY keyboard that’s roomier than the one of the Palm Pre.

One item that’s a standard feature on all of them is the 3.5mm headset jack – so picking up your own pair of headphones and using it on any of the phones won’t be an issue. While the Pre and iPhone 3GS stick to using physical buttons for just about everything, the Motorola DROID ditches it with touch sensitive ones. Although it works well most of the time, there are instances when it is accidentally pressed causing you to lose focus on what you are doing.  The Pre adds in the gesture area which give you finger friendly method of navigation or accomplishing certain functions. Both the Palm Pre and Motorola DROID will make it easy for everyone with their microUSB ports. With the iPhone however, you’ll have to put up with Apple’s proprietary standard. Finally, the Pre and iPhone 3GS limit you to the amount of memory you have because there’s no expandable source. Luckily for the DROID, it’s more flexible with its microSD card support – so you can even swap out cards at will. The Palm Pre is by far the most compact and doesn’t feel too overbearing in the hand. If text messaging is your kind of thing, then the Motorola DROID will be able to accommodate you with its full line of QWERTY keyboards. Finally, the iPhone 3GS has a uniform body that still can appeal to almost anyone thanks to its solid construction.

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