Gallery: Droid vs. iPhone - battle of the screens

Gallery: Droid vs. iPhone - battle of the screens

Summary: A gallery that compares the screen of the new Droid from Motorola and VZW to that of the iPhone. I'll warn fans of the iPhone that it's not flattering.


Much has been made of the screen on the new Droid smartphone from Motorola and Verizon Wireless. The 854 x 480 pixel, 3.7-inch panel is 273% larger than the iPhone's 320 x 480, 3.5-incher and is setting itself apart as one of Droid's flagship features.

Droid's screen features a whopping 410,000 pixels compared to the iPhone's 150,000 - and more pixels means more screen real estate and more detail. The Droid's larger, higher-resolution screen is better suited for viewing Web pages and separates itself from the iPhone in screen intensive tasks like photo, video and gaming.

I've posted a brief gallery comparing the two screens. Some highlights are after the jump... on the Droid (top) and the same video running in the native YouTube app on the iPhone (below).

More pictures are in this gallery.

Chart: Skatter Tech

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

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  • Oooooooohhh!!!

    I really dig that grayish, yellowish hi-res screen!
    • My first thought, too...

      I looked and thought, "Yuck! Yellow instead of white and crappy contrast levels." I guess that's just one more example of something looking VASTLY better on paper and sucking in reality.
    • What's the dif?

      I agree. For a moment I thought the bottom pictures were the Droid
      screens. I had to look twice to figure out it was my iPhone!! I can't see
      the improvement!
  • when people do photos like that it's kind of useless...

    ..aren't they? you don't see it at a one to one
    size and you don't get a good sense of if the
    more pixels actually makes sense at that small
    size or if the iPhone resolution is enough or if
    the droid is overkill.

    in your photos the droid screen, whites look very
    yellow.. is that actually the case or is that
    your photography?
  • Some inaccuracies here

    First of all, the Droid screen may have 273% more pixels but is NOT
    "273% larger". DUH. Why don't you measure and compare the actual
    physical size, in square inches of the screens? The iPhone screen is wider
    and shows more "below the fold" when held horizontally.

    Second, the YouTube video sample looks a lot better on the iPod: bigger,
    clearer, better color space. You can't make out the on the Droid.
    Those extra pixels are not doing much good.

    Third, the color is much crisper and whites are whites instead of yellow
    on the iPhone. Not an iPod killer yet.
  • iphone much better

    is it only me or does the iphone always look much better,
    clearer, brighter and shows more information in
    the webbrowser at a glance? is it possible that once again
    talking points from a feature list, screen sizes and resolution
    numbers don't mean anything in the real world?
    • More pixels != screen quality... nor is a larger physical size.

      Though some believe otherwise.

      And doubled resolution means smaller text. There's nothing wrong with iPhone's resolution -- I never liked the AT&T Fuze's 640x480 either... (liked the Tilt, however)

      But the key issue is color clarity. iPhone's screens are white. Droid's screens are a disgusting yellow.

      In short; wholly agreed. Raw numbers mean nothing when combined to the complete whole. That's why a March 2009 iMac with 2.93GHz dual core processor feels infinitely faster to Vista on a 3.6GHz quad core (faster clock multiplier AND bus, 266 vs Quad's 400MHz)...

      OS X on the o/c Q9650 and velociraptor would scream. It screams on the Nehalem processor too... :D
  • For having more pixels ... the Droid has a horrible display

    If the pictures are accurate, those extra pixels must be in paper only .... because the difference is a million times clear.

    - Yellowish white.
    - Blurry display.
    - Bad imaging.

    For a phone that claims to have a much better display, it definitely appears to be inferior to the iPhone.

    On top of everything, today came out the fact that Verizon's "unlimited" offer has a monthly cap on usage (w/ some unconfirmed rumors that it includes wifi usage), yet it cost the same as the iPhone on everything.

    In the end, it appears that the iPhone with ATT is still a much better offer and the Droid may not be a competition after all.

    Sad, very sad. I was hopping that competitions would lower the cost of services and devices for all of us. But it appears that all the hype about the Droid faded away as soon as facts took over fiction.
  • RE: Gallery: Droid vs. iPhone - battle of the screens

    Ya if those pictures are accurate Motorola get shafted on its displays 'cause I barely see a difference. In fact on the Youtube shots the iphone looks better even with an 'inferior' display.
  • Get somebody who knows photography!

    Get tripod, use decent camera, position the screen so that it would not be distorted, use the same white balance setting, jeez
  • Regardless of the terrible photos

    There should be progress over time. This phone is coming out 4 months after the iPhone. One would expect a better screen. However, if your photos are a true indication, that is not the case.
  • Are the images reversed?

    I would liken the upper image to old 4:3 tube TV vs the latest HD television. I looked at the gallery, and yep, if this is simply not a bad phone or weird display settings, iPhone wins hands down.

    • I think your correct for the last image.

      The first two images have the Droid on top but it appears that bottom image in this story that the Droid is on the bottom since the Droid screen is wider than the iPhone so my guess the Droid is on the bottom. I wished that Jason would mark them so people would know since there no good indicator which screen is which.
      • Not Reversed

        The iPhone is on the bottom, and the Droid is on the top. The difference
        is that the iPhone has a YouTube App (defaulted in the iPhone OS, you
        can't even delete it), the Droid is showing YouTube via a browser. Not
        sure that this is a fair comparison. But the pictures are tagged in text
        above and/or below the photos.
  • RE: Gallery: Droid vs. iPhone - battle of the screens

    The gamma on the Android is just plain horrible. I think
    Apple fit the pixels to the device quite well and then
    concentrated on quality in the screen which apparently
    Motorola didn't. NZ (if I may invoke his name) often rants
    about the resolution on his HTC phone yet in my
    experience with hand held devices resolution Apple's 175
    ppi is pretty good. Any more than that and even if you say
    there's more 'real estate' seen it becomes problematic
    viewing it, at least for these old eyes.
    Here's hoping that your photography caused the gamma
    shift and that the phone is much better
    • One has to wonder

      if he used the iPhone to take the picture of the Droid, and the Droid to take the picture of the iPhone.
      Michael Kelly
      • They are both in the same frame

        So I doubt it, but that would put the proper spin on his opinion wouldn't
        it? I've no delusions about the quality of camera in my 3G iPhone. It's not
        a top notch camera, but then it's a freakin' phone! When I want to take
        quality cameras i get out my 10mp Cannon and shoot. If I'm out and
        about and want to capture something on the fly, I use the iPhone but
        don't expect it to be a great shot.
        • How can you tell they're in the same frame?

          It looks like the screens were cut and pasted into a black background to me. Not being able to see the phone outlines, it's tough to tell how they were assembled.

          But yes it would be nice if a professional camera were used in this comparison, but we don't know.
          Michael Kelly
          • Indeed we don't know

            The real test would be to head on down to your local mall and put the two side by side and see with your own eyes. I would assume he is not trying to be deliberately deceiving and the pictures indeed reflect some obvious quality differences. As anyone who has used a DSLR camera and compared that to a sub $200 pocket camera with the same pixel count knows, pixel count does not equal image quality. It looked good on paper anyways.
  • RE: Gallery: Droid vs. iPhone - battle of the screens

    Obviously he had the brightness turned down or had autolevel brightness on, creating that yucky yellowed out view.

    The size of the standard uTube image was about right, but the clarity way off. A more telling challenge would have been to run HD utube (the apple won't) and fill the whole screen with hi-def 16:9 playback.

    As for screen size, remember way back when you got your first 800x600 monitor - how VGA paled beside it... same thing here except the apple doesn't even have 640x480.

    Speedwise, both phones feel similar, but the Droid multi-tasks beautifully and lets you switch back and forth between your last 6 tasks with ease.

    The camera is nice (given the tiny little lens that phones use) and the flash is very handy. Photos and video look great on the screen and the phone even ships with a "power" widget that lets you turn your brightness up without going to setup, so there's not really much excuse for seeing images like the ones above.

    The power widget also lets you turn your wifi, bluetooth, GPS, and sync on and off at will. The push email is not affected by turning off sync, so you can still get your corp. email.

    iPhone doesn't have to worry about the Droid yet, it will still sell everyone it makes, but for a lot of things, the Droid is a much better choice. It reminds me more of the coolest laptop I ever had, but with good call quality - and fewer dropped calls.