iPhone vs. Evo: on usability, dropped calls and carrier choice

A reader gives us his take on the Evo v. iPhone debate and how the Android loses on crashes and usability but wins in the dopped calls department -- because it doesn't have any.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

A guest blog from an Apple Core reader that asked to remain anonymous, responding to my first look at the Evo 4G, published on Thursday June 3, 2010.

I bought an EVO the other day but kept my 3GS to run my own comparisons.  You've missed the biggest advantage of the EVO over the iPhone 3GS -- no dropped calls. I can't go an hour on the iPhone without a dropped call. Haven't had a single once since using the EVO. That is a fantastic advantage.

However, this is where you and I part ways.  In most other ways I prefer using the iPhone.  Everything is better integrated and it's simply more comfortable carrying and operating the iPhone.  Sticking the EVO next to my head reminds me of the early days of the cell phone when there were big bricks.  This sucker is large -- too large.  Then again, I don't consider my phone a wonderful option for watching video for long periods of time.  If I need to watch something on the go, the 3GS is good enough.

Also, I'm not so into Google as the center of my scheduling and contact needs.  The MobileMe feature on the iPhone is a better option in my opinion because, once again, iTunes integrates everything with my Mac in one fell swoop.  It's a thing of beauty.  With Evo, my Contacts, Calendar, Music, Photos, and Videos don't all sync in such a simple and straightforward fashion.

Let's put it this way: I'm far more of a techie than my wife and mom. I'm willing to put up with a few extra buttons and settings. But these ladies have NO tolerance for anything even remotely non-intuitive.

You may think "the war is over" but folks like my wife and mom (who are massive fans of all things simplistic) won't be switching anytime soon.  And they'd just as soon stick with their flip phones than jump on board Android and Windows.  They love The Steve's view on software and hardware: Brain dead simplicity.

And I haven't touched on the Apps themselves.  While I get dropped calls on AT&T and my iPhone, I never have crashes.

In only a few days, my EVO has asked me to "force quit" numerous times.  I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary and these were with apps that came with the hardware.  This was a far cry from what I'm used to expect from anything coming out of Cupertino.

So, if "no dropped calls" is the main focus, EVO wins.  But for the non-techie PDA consumer, I don't think the EVO is going to soar as high as you do.

Here's what I wrote back:

That's a fair and accurate assessment.

I showed my Evo to my techie wife and she hated it. I wrote that off to learning curve (everything is difficult the first time).

Then I had to loan my HTC Incredible to my cousin when the battery died on his iPhone. Two hours later he was (sort of) trained. So I hear you.

At the end of the day competition makes both platforms better and the consumer wins.

I just wish that Apple would stop dissing Google and that they'd kiss and make up so that the iPhone would get Google Maps (for real) and some of the other Google goodness. Then it would be the best of both worlds.

For the record, I haven't had any "force quits" (that I'm aware of) on my Evo 4G to date, although Qik has been a little wonky in my video call testing.

He later emailed again to say:

A day (and an iPhone 4 announcement) later, my decision to return the EVO haunts me. Dropped calls galore on my 3GS.  Still not a one on my EVO. I need to decide:  Am I a professional Realtor who needs a reliable telephone first...or a boy who would love to have a gyroscope for awesome gaming and a super thin and durable thing of absolute beauty that runs my mobile office effortlessly.

Damn Apple for sticking with AT&T. I truly hate them for this. It's like if Microsoft only let people play the Xbox on TVs connected to the worst local cable provider.

Oh yeah, and I still really don't like carrying the EVO around in my pocket.  Way too big for my comfort level. By contrast, hardly am aware of 3GS.  Love that about it.

Good analogy about the carrier issue too. With Apple, you're stuck with AT&T. If you want another carrier you're going to be using Android or something else. Did Apple renew AT&T's exclusive contract for the iPhone? If so, I'm guessing it's because AT&T is the only carrier that would agree to pay Apple's commission. What else could it be?

I can see how a single domestic carrier could be good for Apple's bottom line, but I can't see how locking customers into one abysmal carrier is good for customers.

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