How does the new iPhone 4 stack up against Android flagship phones?

June 7, 2010: 5:22 PM ET

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the latest in the iPhone franchise today on AT&T's network.  How does the iPhone compare to the high end Androids from HTC?

If you are a specs person like me, it always helps to have a datasheet on each phone and network's devices.  Luckily, TiPb.com has already put a comprehensive list together of the smartphones and their features:

A few things stick out at me from the beginning:

  • Screens: Android phones have a bigger screens (huge in the case of the EVO) while Apple's (AAPL) is a higher pixel density with its retina display technology.  While the higher pixel density may render images and text much better, from a normal distance away, that won't matter and size will be more important.  For people with big or clumsy fingers, the bigger Android devices will also alow them more room to make mistakes when typing vs. the tighter iPhone controls.
  • iPhone is definitely not in the lead on network.  In my particular area, Sprint is much faster than AT&T (ATT) and Verizon (VZ) and they have 4G on offer in other areas as well.  IT does have 802.11N however which allows extended range of Wifi and faster speeds.
  • Camera: megapixels don't matter, so it will be up to independent tests to determine if the iPhone's 5 megapixel camera can match the 8 megapixel ones on the EVO and Incredible.  Apple seems to have put in a lot of work on this camera so it should be at or near the top in camera quality.  It also has the better quality video camera.
  • Having a front camera is nice and the iPhone joins the EVO as the only ones in this bunch with front facing cameras for video chatting.
  • Hotspot beats tethering.  EVO and Froyo OS upgrades on other Androids will allow  this, iPhone will not, though Apple could easily offer it as an update with AT&T's blessing of course.
  • On video recording, the iPhone has everything beat and editing with iMovie will be incredible experience for a smartphone.  Android only has a year to catch up.  I expect some sort of cloud thing from Google
  • FM radio is nice, especially in case of emergency.  The strange thing is that iPhone has the hardware, Apple, just hasn't enabled it.  This is something that could come down the line.
  • In size Apple loves to have the thinnest stuff.  I don't care.  Otherwise, it is pretty similar to the Nexus and the Incredible.   Weight is a biggest issue and they are all about the same, except the EVO which is over an ounce heavier.  iPhone is the next heaviest and the other two are just slightly lighter.
  • The processors are pretty lined up with Qualcomm Snapdragons matching up very favorably against Apple's A4 in tests.
  • The platform OS is probably the biggest differentiator where Android is more configurable and has a stronger Cloud offering, iPhone is easier and more seamless.
  • Battery life.  In my experience, iPhone has bested Android in battery life.  While the Incredible might be close to iPhone on battery life, the EVO is a mess.  iPhone 4 will only widen the gap in Apple's favor.
  • On price, these are all pretty even across the board, with the Nexus One being a bit cheaper on T-Mobile.  Sprint (S) does offer better pricing on some of its services and also offers 4G.
  • If you want to use Adobe's Flash or a MicroSD card, your only choice is Android here.

Overall, today's introduction from Apple was a good one, especially in the areas of screen, camera and form factor.  The bar has been raised in some areas and it will have to be determined if Android can match and exceed the iPhone in the coming year.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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