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Motorola Droid 4 vs. Apple iPhone 4S: Verizon Smartphone Showdown
Not sure if you should get the Motorola Droid 4 or the Apple iPhone 4S? We compare specs for each phone to help you decide.
To keyboard or not to keyboard, that is the question. At least, that’s probably the question if you’re deciding whether to get the newly released Motorola Droid 4 or the Apple iPhone 4S. But keyboard aside, how does the Droid 4 stack up to Apple’s four-month-old 4S? We’ve compiled specs for each phone in the table below to find out.
Priced at $199.99, the Droid 4 is nowhere near as thin as the Droid Razr (or even the Droid Razr Maxx, for that matter). It measures 5.0 by 2.7 by 0.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.3 ounces. That extra bulk is to provide room for the phone’s incredible keyboard. The keys are chiclet-style, which Motorola claims was done to mimic a laptop keyboard. They’ve been laser cut, so they’re super sharp and precise. Coated in soft touch plastic, the keys are backlit by an LED light.
The Droid 4 has a 4-inch qHD (540-by-960-pixel) display. Motorola claims the device is enclosed in a water-repellant nanocoating, which should make it a bit more durable than the average smartphone. There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the back of the phone with 1080p video recording, plus 16GB of internal storage, and a free microSD memory card slot expandable to 64GB.
The phone is currently running Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread), which was PCMag lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan’s biggest knock against it in his review. But Motorola has confirmed that the phone will receive an update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) early this year.
The iPhone 4S ($199.99 – $399.99 with a two-year contract), meanwhile, is powered by Apple’s new dual-core A5 chip, which Apple claims can deliver up to two times more power and seven times faster graphics performance than the iPhone 4. In addition, the iPhone 4S is a world phone, meaning it supports CDMA and GSM networks. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, and is available in 16, 32, or 64GB versions.
While the specs for both phones are relatively similar, one of the biggest differences is that the Droid 4 uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network, while the iPhone 4S uses 3G. While Verizon’s 3G network offers excellent coverage, it is no match for the blazing speeds devices can reach over 4G LTE. In testing speeds on the Droid 4, we saw download speeds average around 10Mbps down. That’s significantly speedier than 3G, which averaged a just 0.4Mbps down when we tested the iPhone 4S.
So which phone is the winner? If you’re looking for excellent network speeds and a keyboard, the Droid 4 is the phone to beat right now, regardless of carrier. Still, the iPhone 4S provides an unsurpassed app experience, and is available on three major U.S. carriers. So in the end, the choice is up to you.
By Alex Colon, PCMag