5 Things That the DROID Can't Do

The latest iPhone killer, the DROID, has been unleashed upon the masses! It's got all these features and benefits that the iPhone doesn't have, like swappable batteries.

Oh, thanks. I guess.

Look, I'm all about companies delivering new products that challenge the iPhone. But the DROID (and every other smartphone touted as the "iPhone killer" to date) doesn't innovate -- they're matching features and trying to convince us they can do what Apple does, and more of it. Worse, most of these "features" that the iPhone doesn't have generally kill performance and battery life.

No smartphone has yet to seriously challenge the iPhone, yet. This will probably remain true after the marketing dollars for the DROID disappear, which apparently fails to do some very basic things:

DROID can't communicate clearly
If you're gonna take on the iPhone, you need to let your customers talk on the phone. Apparently, the DROID is experiencing issues with sound. Some people on the Motorola forums are complaining of "clipping" and "echoing," a "tinny" quality to incoming sound, while "the OUTPUT quality is garbage."

Motorola's forum manager offers a solution to the echo problem, however:

"If the caller on the other end is complaining of an echo, I've found that if I quicky (sic) turn the speakerphone off and on it goes away. I've experienced that a couple of times. Otherwise my sound quality has been fine."

Good for you, corporate stooge, but probably not quite the answer your customers seek.

DROID can't focus
So, the DROID's nifty new camera that's supposed to outperform the iPhone's? Not so much. Apparently, you turn on the camera and—TA DA—the image is blurry.

Or not.


A "rounding error" bug in the DROID's "camera driver’s auto-focus routine that uses a time stamp." What does that mean? This:

Your camera will focus fine, for 24.5 days. Then for the next 24.5 days, your camera will be as useful as partnering with your 90-year-old grandma to play Scrabble.

DROID can't keep it on
Every time haters get a chance to list of the things they hate about the iPhone, invariably one hears, "You can't change the battery! OMG!"

Nevermind that 93.5% of smartphone users don't--and don't want to-- carry an extra battery around. (Okay, I made up that stat, but I know exactly one person who does carry an extra, and she's a sales director who cannot afford to run out of juice.)

So DROID, like every other "smart"phone out there, lets you swap out your battery. Unlike others, though, DROID almosts demands you keep a second battery on hand because the battery cover keeps sliding off.

Complaints range from "not very snug" to "it slid off in my hand" to "it falls off all the time when I'm pulling the phone out of my pocket."


DROID can't make people feel safe
You saw the "Stealth" commercial:

Wicked military jets dropping bombs. People fearing for their lives. Horses freaking out. Creepy sound effects and menacing music. Mystery abounds and scares the hell out of us!

Even better is the "iDon't" commercial: Starts off with an Apple-esque approach to advertising, set to lively music, but then starts listing off what Apple doesn't do (most of which is a good thing, in my opinion)...

...but then it's disrupted by the uber-creepy sounds of human-hunting robots announcing "DROID," set to some industrial nightmare scenario that simply forbids description.

Contrast that to the cute iPhone commercials that basically reassure everyone that, yes, you can do whatever you want with this thing (except ditch AT&T), you'll have fun doing it, and hey, here's some fun, pokey music to set you at ease.

Who's behind the marketing of DROID, anyway?

DROID can't get girls to like you
When I got my first iPhone, girls were all about checking it out. "Wow, it's so simple, it's like magic," they would (generally) say, awed and delighted.

Ah, that was a good time of life...

I'm not saying that every smartphone that comes out should evoke the ooos and awws of Apple's geniusphone--though if you can pull it off, you should.

I am saying that when you're going head to head with the iPhone, you have to do something different.

Don't make your smartphone look the same as the iPhone. Don't provide unessential features (like swappable batteries) and create some ballyhoo that you've one-upped Apple. Don't add "features" like multi-tasking (which kills batteries, thus the need for a second one).

Don't copy. Don't paste. Create. Think different!

Easier said than done, I know. But Apple seems to pull it off rather neatly almost every time. So why can't a dozen-plus cellphone manufacturers around the world do something compelling and innovative?

dudedrama dudedrama
36-40, M
28 Responses Nov 20, 2009

Hi! It's 2013, and I'm sure even you can now agree that the iPhone isn't the best smartphone out there.

Frankly, either one is ok. It depends on what you want. If you'd kill to look cool, then iPhone is for you. If you don't want to read a manual about hundreds of killer features, then iPhone is for you. If you're locked into Apple's fascist iTunes software/hardware dungeon, then iPhone is for you. If you want a phone that won't connect to most public computers, any game controllers, hard drives, USB drives, or...anything, then iPhone is for you. If you feel that running more than one program at a time is a "flaw", then iPhone is for you.

So, as you can see, it's all a matter of opinion.

I enjoy the debat but it is fact that Droids do more than iPhones <br />
Fact - WiFi Hospots or tethering (look i up if you a iPhone user cos you do not have it)<br />
Bluetooth thats not crippled<br />
Not tied to software program on your HOME computer<br />
If you are a Droid user try AirDroid - operate you phone from your computer over a wireless network (any wireless network not your home one with iTunes on it)<br />
Has Widgets that iPhone have really missed out on - iPhone have adopted the notification bar<br />
I thought this thread was going to be informative and does say anything about what an iPhone can do that a Droid cannot <br />
If you like iTunes, Droids can sync with it try Doubletwist<br />
Droids work with anything there are not restrictions unlike iPhones - I fond this article amusing as opposed to informative/factual

Another brainless iPhone user who bought the phone to get girls and be cool. Yeah. Good feature. If you need a phone to get girls then that is just sad. If you're simple and brainless, get an iPhone. If you're complex get a Droid.

Droid sucks so bad. iPhone is the greatest phone EVER. i don't know whats going through peoples heads to choose a droid over an iPhone and then say ITS BETTER! iPhone isn't just a smartphone its a Genius-phone :)

Sounds like whoever wrote this ran out of things to diss about the Droid...."DROID can't get girls to like you" , "DROID can't make people feel safe" Make a list of ten and I bet that "cant chop a tomato" will end up on it.

Sounds like whoever wrote this ran out of things to diss about the Droid...."DROID can't get girls to like you" , "DROID can't make people feel safe" Make a list of ten and I bet that "cant chop a tomato" will end up on it.

I dont have the Droid but use the HTC Desire, ive rooted and put my own firmware onto the device. This is something your unable to do with Apple unless you jailbreak. Ive had an iphone and the restruictions apple put on there devices is ridiculous. My HTC blows my old iphone out of the water each time. The speed is better the functionality is better and the fact i can do what i want and not what apple tells me im aloud to do pushed the android platform way ahead of the basic crap apple provides.<br />
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Sorry guys android blows the iphone OS straight out the window. Check out some of the things you can do with a rooted android phone and check if you can do any of it with your iphones.

The DROID phones have open independently developed apps so alot of the stuff on there is free. I would place my vote down on the droid any day, no questions asked. sure the iphone may look cooler, but it doesn't function cooler.

I have the I-phone now, and I am wanting to switch to the droid HTC...the blueray vision is great! lus I lose my calls all the time with ATNT and The only thing I hear the the i[hone has which the droid doesnt is face to face camera..which i dont use anyways because the quality is ******! And also because my bill with VERZION will be only 29 bucks a month for the same plane i have with ATNT for 130...so Is there really a good reason I should stay with ATNT and not switch? Plus I can't even download my apps for my i-hone anymore because my creditcard expired andfor some reason even the free ones will not work unless you have a credit card..why should I have to use a credit card for FREE APPS?!!!

I have an I-phone, but the service is ****** allot, I lose my calls and It doesn have high def like the Droid HTC does...plus my bill is like 130 to 150 a month with atnt and my bill with Verzion will only be 29 bucks a month!!! thats great! But honestly other then the droid not having the front face chat (which i never use because the quality sucks) whats the point of keeping my I-hone...I would ike someone to try and convince me please.

um if you have an iphone unless you know how to hack you have to play by there guidelines, adults get droids because you can do endless things compared to iphones by simply unchecking one box.. pansies.

um if you have an iphone unless you know how to hack you have to play by there guidelines, adults get droids because you can do endless things compared to iphones by simply unchecking one box.. pansies.

I think that these devices have pluses and minuses.<br />
Why do people argue about rediculous thing like phones.<br />
I have an iPhone 3GS and it works great for what I want to do with it.<br />
If you like the phone you are using then perfect.

Uhmmm...nooo i have the droid none of those probs my bro has the iphone it cant run 2 things at once!!!! it loses signal when u touch it...goood luck with that, andd its just pages of apps u cant costomize it, ohh did i forget it deleted all his stuff when he updated it, and!! all the apps r soo expenceive

Uhmmm...nooo i have the droid none of those probs my bro has the iphone it cant run 2 things at once!!!! it loses signal when u touch it...goood luck with that, andd its just pages of apps u cant costomize it, ohh did i forget it deleted all his stuff when he updated it, and!! all the apps r soo expenceive

Man, I guess you iClones out there break out the serious hate for anyone who dares go with something different and actually appreciate it?<br />
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Look, I know you Appleheads out there all think you're raging non-conformists (though, how you can be with all the other iSheep out there is kind of puzzling), but the simple fact is that while the iPhone does some things pretty well, the Droid phones do too. And without all that iFascism that seems built-in with Apple products.<br />
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Your review, however, is simply laughable. None of the so-called faults you listed are actually true -- unlike the iClunker antenna issue. To wit:<br />
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1. Talk volume and clarity has been outstanding on my Moto Droid 2, and I have yet to have anyone complain (unlike my old LG which was a piece of crap)<br />
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2. The camera has been very responsive, and only takes a second or two to focus.<br />
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3. The battery cover on the phone is almost too snug, as it takes considerable effort to remove it when inserting a bigger microSD card<br />
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4. Commercials? Seriously? Dude, come on.<br />
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5. Chicks? Seriously? Dude, why would you be interested in a woman who is so shallow that she decides to talk to you because of your phone. <br />
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Of course, there are some things I'd like to see ... like the forward camera for video calls like your iBone has. But aside from a few things here and there, for you to pile this hate on Droid phones shows far more about your iSelf Esteem issues and insecurity than it does about the Droids.<br />
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Grow up.

I know, I had problems with the Droid Eris. I got one in February and two months later, it started to have problems with the camera and silent calls. I went to my local Verizon store (which didn't have tech support) and told me to get another one with my insurance. I didn't cause my husband had to get his feature phone replaced with a refurbished one. And the camera didn't work on it either, so why would I bother with that?<br />
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So I got the 2.1 firmware fix for the 2.0 screw-up. So it worked fine over the summer, until last month. It started to take 10 seconds longer to anything that used to be instant. Let's just say the lighting on the camera sucks as well. Not even the brightness feature helps on a sunny day.<br />
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Also, on September 30, hubby wanted to upgrade his roach phone to the Droid R2 D2. Turns out, out of three Verizon stores, none of them carry it on the shelves. Why? I had to hassle with a sales rep about my Droid Eris not working right. He says "wait until the 2.2 fix comes out and you'll be able to move your apps to your SD card." I knew that was BS, cause they discontinued the phone and any discontinued smart-phones don't get anymore updates.<br />
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Yesterday, hubby and I decided to switch to AT&T to get the latest iPhone 4. The first camera phone I had with auto-flash. We basically got it for the face-time feature and we love it already. We both are pretty much used to the virtual keyboards anyway, cause he has a 1st Gen iPod Touch.

As an owner of all previous iphones I have to say that the phones are nice and can do most everything that you want to do. Though, the at&t service is the worst thing I have had since sprint. Outside of cities or major highways the coverage is horrid. Constant dropped calls and trying to get a signal. I don't think I have truly just picked up the phone and had good signal. On the phone side the battery life was not very good and got very bad towards the end of my ownership. Also the phone became very slow and laggy. I also found that I had to reboot the thing often to get a signal after the last ba<x>seband update, this could be just my last phone but something that drove my nuts. As for the apps, I don't like that apple limits the apps I can download. Overall good phones, but crappy service, and to much proprietary technology.<br />
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As for the droid x which I just got a week ago. The battery life is good if I dont play with it all day. The battery can be replaced which is nice for when the battery goes to crap a year from now or so. I can do pretty much anything I want with it or download what I want and do not have to jailbreak it to do anything fun. The biggest thing is that I was able to switch to verizon which has very good coverage. This is probably the most important thing about the move. Overall the phone is nice and given normal use probably just as good as the iphone. I think the carrier is the biggest gripe from me. Though, as a big handed person, I love the 4.3in screen, very nice.<br />
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I think both iphone and droid are very nice phones, the droid just suited my carrier needs better.

hmmmmm now is tht so? well if only they had an iphhone for verizion... wish they did! hey quick question my cousins obsessed with droid! but the question is: can droid REALLY do everything?

These are to great phones and if you are going to argue about which one is better then you are no better then children.

Sounds like you are sipping on some HaterAid. The Droid is great. Try it out before you make uneducated comments.

The droid doesn't seem to have any flaws. As to viruses... do some research...it won't get any. It is like saying your need an antivirus for ubuntu. I have no complaints about the droid and it is the best phone I have ever owned. As an IT major, this bad boy does what I need it to do and more. As soon as flash pla<x>yer can be installed for the android 2.0 I will never need my laptop again.

anyone who says that the iPhone isn't the best phone on the market is probably someone who is simply jealous that their phone isn't everything they expected...a good friend of mine has the Droid and i the iPhone, and there is absolutely nothing about the Droid that i like more than the iPhone...it looks poorly constructed and kind of cheap...but hey if thats what you like be my guest...i am going to stick with my trusted iPhone and continue not having any complaints, viruses, or any of that other **** the Droid is equipped with...hahaha

ive had both phones i still dont think the iphone is better. its differnt but i wouldnt say its better.

(Blackberry does all of that!)

I bought my droid on day one. My only problem with it is battery life -- severely short battery life. I haven't tested it for capacity, but it does seem to be getting better. or maybe I'm just playing with it less. I haven't had an iphone, but I have had a 1st gen ipod touch.<br />
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1)Droid can't communicate clearly:<br />
I have yet to have this problem. admittedly, I don't talk on the phone for hours. I can say that this phone is far and away clearer than my previous phone. I can also say speaker phone seems clearer than my sisters iphone 3g, though that could have to do with the network rather than the hardware. playing music through the speaker is much louder and clearer than my iPod Touch, by a factor of at least 3 decibels (depending on how I hold each item)<br />
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2)Droid can't focus:<br />
This is due to be fixed with a patch early december (11th? 7th?) the people who bought it on day one (myself included) had trouble getting it to stay focused, but that magically went away last week. haven't had a problem since, and assuming the patch comes when they say it will, this is a non-issue because it won't happen to anyone again. <br />
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3) never had the battery back slip off. it's not actively difficult to slip it off, but it does take some effort. I can't speak for anyone else's experience, but for me and the guy in the next office, that hasn't been an issue. I decided I don't trust myself around a touchscreen phone without a case though, so I went and picked one up last week. it adds a quarter of an inch to the phone's width, but I don't worry about tossing it into my pocket as much.<br />
As for battery life, if my battery turns out to be faulty, and not just because of my excessive use, I'm glad that I can return it and get a new one. The first few charges didn't seem to hold, but I haven't had that problem in the last week.<br />
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4) commercials<br />
I happen to like the droid commercials, but I didn't buy the phone because of them. I was waiting for the new generation of android products to come out, and the GPS thing sold me on getting it. <br />
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iPhone is geared towards a certain market, as are all apple products. they're elegant and simple and limited. they don't have the ability to multitask or many other things because that would make them too difficult. yeah, you can jailbreak and get a lot more functionality, but that's like using parallels to run windows xp and office on a Mac because you are required to run outlook to access and share your calendar (office 2008 has entourage, which doesn't have all the capability as outlook). <br />
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in my mind, the Android operating system is superior to the iphone OS because it can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it, no jailbreak needed. there are some things missing, but lots of free and cheap options from independent developers. Multitasking is great (yay, it auto-checks my mail every couple minutes. google voice works seemlessly, maps are awesome and haven't come out for iphone yet. Also IM. I work in IT so I have it set up with my work IM account, so that people can contact me if I'm out fixing something.)<br />
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That's not to say iPhone OS sucks. I'd liken it to Mac OS9 (no multitasking to speak of, simple, but lacking depth) versus the Android's OS X (multitasking, as simple or complex as you want, lots of open source and professional bsd/unix software if you really want to get into that).<br />
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5) I didn't pick my phone to get chicks. I didn't pick it for geek cred or for any other social reason. The people I've shown it to thought the stuff I showed them was pretty neat ("wow, that's just like my $200 GPS", ShopSavvy? pretty cool program, You get that much e-mail?, it syncs with your gmail account, so you magically never have to worry about losing numbers anymore?), but I didn't pick it up as a status symbol. <br />
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as for your obvious opinion that iPhones created this form factor, I'd like to point you to the palm pilot, which had the same general layout, and through various iterations eventually received a full touch screen. Android has a lot of benefits and detriments, but the hardware it's put on in this case happens to be superior in just about every way to an iphone 3gs. the droid is no copy. it's its own beast. It has its own apps, it has it's own interface. it says "people like hardware keyboards, so we'll give them the option of one", it says "we can fit a better camera in there and it only adds a little complexity to the software". it says "apple owns patents on "gestures" so we won't use them". it says "the ability to play music, and run IM so you can be working and listening to music and not out of touch can be considered important, so lets make it possible" It has a bigger screen, a faster processor, and removable memory. It uses everything google is known for, and is continuously getting better.

Thanks for regurgitating the same tired things that iPhone-aholics have been saying since it was introduced. You've really contributed to the debate! Do you actually own one or (as I suspect) you just read the negative reviews?<br />
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I've owned the Droid for 12 days and I have to say that it has been great. I won't compare to the iPhone cuz I've never owned one, but I know I have better coverage than my iPhone toting friends who are stuck with ATT. The voice quality is fantastic, Android 2.0 is so much better than Windows Mobile, the voice direction navigation works extremely well and the battery cover has never come off! I don't carry a spare battery and I use multi-tasking; however, when I wear this battery out (which I typically do once a year), I don't have to send my phone in to have the battery replaced! The only time I heard "Droid" was the first time I turned on the phone; I choose the sounds (FYI you can on most phones) so I found a sound I liked better. So far, the pics have been extremely good; since I haven't owned the phone for 24.5 days so the jury is still out on future picture quality. I do know that I can take photos in low light conditions because I have a flash!<br />
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I might be over-analyzing your attempt at an editorial, but it sounds like you might be an iPhone owner who is concerned that there might be a better phone than yours, or you're just bitter that someone has a phone similar to yours on a better carrier. Get over yourself...

I still love my iPhone. Please don't hate on me.