Touchscreen phone comparison Q3 - U.S. carriers

Touchscreen:

There are two main types of technology for touchscreen displays: capacitive and resistive. The more common resistive screen has several layers, one of which is electrically conductive and another which is resistive. When pressure is applied to the screen these two layers touch and the panel interprets the resulting current change. These displays work off the force exerted upon them, and any force such a stylus or gloved finger will work. A capacitive screen is coated with an electrically conducive material which sends a constant current across its sensor, giving it what is known as capacitance. When another object possessing capacitance, such as a bare finger, interacts with the display, the sensors interpret the change. Capacitive screens are more precise, but they cannot be used with objects that don’t exhibit capacitance which is why they do not work with a stylus or gloved finger. Not such a big deal in Miami, but a real concern in Minnesota.

The iPhone uses the more precise capacitive display, whereas the Vu, Dare and Instinct all utilize resistive screen technologies. The iPhone- at least the first time around- paired excellent software with this more precise input method, and the result was the best interface mobile users had ever experienced. This time around Apple is having issues, and the iPhone 3G at time exhibits lag and unresponsiveness that the original never did. It is not consistent, but there are times when we’ll press an item and the screen won’t respond, or other times when the button animation plays but it takes a second or two or five before finally performing the action. Given the performance of the original, however, we are inclined to chalk this up to software issues. The 3.5” display uses 16 million colors at a 320x480 pixel resolution, producing brilliantly vivid and detailed graphics. It is by far the best of the four units.

The Vu and Dare appear to have identical screens, as they have the exact same specifications (262k colors, 240x400px resolution, 3” in size,) come from the same manufacturer and most importantly perform the same. Both phones offer haptic feedback, meaning that the screen vibrates slightly when pressed. This is a very nice feature which supposedly lets the user know the press has been registered. While a good idea in theory, it does not translate to real world experience on these units. With both phones we’ve gotten haptic response, button animation and even audio confirmation…but nothing happened. This becomes especially frustrating when messaging, and typing with any speed and accuracy is impossible.

The Instinct also uses resistive touch with haptic feedback, but with a much better result than the LG phones. It is slightly larger at 3.1” and 240x432px, but still features 262k colors. We encountered slight lag every so often, but when we got haptic feedback our presses were always registered. When both are running properly the iPhone is noticeably smoother than the Instinct, but the gap between the two is narrow. As we’ll touch upon later we prefer the Instinct for messaging, and as of right now the Instinct is an overall better experience because of the iPhone’s software issues. Still, we know that when Apple gets them sorted out the iPhone will again be the best out there.

Rating: iPhone 5, Instinct 4.5, Dare 2.5, Vu 2.5

Design:

All four phones feature a large display at the expense of a physical keyboard, and as you might expect the designs are relatively similar. The iPhone is the largest overall, with the Instinct slightly taller but significantly narrower. The Vu and Dare are both considerably smaller than the other two.



In terms of in-hand feel the Vu and Dare are both remarkably light, almost to a fault. The Vu feels especially cheep; it’s constructed almost entirely of hard plastic, with only a chrome ring around the side to break up the monotony. The Dare at least has a soft-touch finish to give it a more reassuring feel, but even still its casing is harder than soft touch finishes we’ve seen on the Treo or Q, for instance. Their lightness and overall plasticy feel make the plastic screen more apparent, and on both there is more screen flex than we’d like, especially the Vu. Both phones could have done with some extra weight. We think the Dare would probably hold up better to everyday wear and tear, but wouldn’t feel comfortable dropping either one.



The iPhone 3G uses a glass display panel, making it the heaviest of the four units at 4.7oz. It is also tied for the thinnest unit at just 12.3 mm. Its edges are beveled, which lets the phone rest in the hand more naturally and makes it feel thinner than it really is. It’s construction is top notch; though we would never want to throw anything this beautiful around we feel the iPhone could stand up to it. Our only complaint is that the phone is a bit wide for the average person. Those with larger hands will probably appreciate the added width, but for most people, including the overwhelming majority of females, the phone is too wide to be comfortable holding for long periods of time.

The Instinct has the same plastic screen as the Dare and Vu, but there is less flex to it resulting in a more reassuring feel. Whether or not this has to do with the Instinct’s better touchscreen performance we’re not sure, but none-the-less it both feels and performs better. It’s taller than the other three units, especially the LG phones where it is 0.5” taller than the Dare. It has significantly more weight than the LG units, but is 0.3 oz lighter than the iPhone. It is the narrowest of the four phones however (tied with the Vu at 55mm) and just as thin as the iPhone. The solid weight, thinness and narrowness give it the best in-hand feel of the three phones. Like the iPhone, the Instinct’s build quality is top notch and we have no misgivings about its ability to withstand wear and tear.

Rating: Instinct 5, iPhone 4.5, Dare, 3.25, Vu 2.5

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174 Comments

1. unregistered

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.

2. unregistered

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

3. unregistered

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..

18. unregistered

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.

41. unregistered

DARE is so much better than the other ones! No questions asked.

54. unregistered

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

95. unregistered

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.....

103. unregistered

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.

117. unregistered

the glyde and instinct use completely different screen technologies. glad you based your opinion of the review off of your ignorance.

151. unregistered

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: Dec 17, 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: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

The Instinct comes with a stylus and it works on it...only the iPhone has a capacitive touchscreen of the four phones.

4. unregistered

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.

27. unregistered

indeed. my thoughts exactly...

36. unregistered

Cause the dare sucks

42. unregistered

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: Apr 29, 2008

its not a pda you moron, so I suppose you wont be looking into it...

132. unregistered

they gave it a 9 out of 10 in their review. That's usually a good score

5. unregistered

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.

6. unregistered

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.

7. unregistered

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.

9. unregistered

As Jeremy Clarkson said, "California, the land of fake teeth, plastic breasts and plastic houses" "Built in California...but manufactured in..China"

10. unregistered

Just another example of American education.

14. motoman117

Posts: 15; Member since: Jun 22, 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?

16. unregistered

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

23. unregistered

#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

31. unregistered

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...

34. unregistered

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

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