Evo 4G vs. Droid X Part III: Battery Life, Cameras, and More

My comparison of the HTC Evo 4G (Sprint) and the Motorola Droid X (Verizon) continues! In the third round of this epic smartphone battle I compare the combatants’ battery life, input methods (keyboards), connectivity, and cameras. Let the battle commence!

Battery Life
With their large screens and mercurial processors, the Droid X and Evo 4G require a lot of power. Using both phones with my typical usage pattern (lots of web browsing, some foursquare check-ins, Facebook browsing, text messaging, and around 30 minutes of calls per day), I had two very different results. From a full charge, I got about 12 hours from the Evo 4G and 15.5 hours from the Droid X.

For many users, the extra 3.5 hours could be the difference between making it through the day and coming up short. I usually have to charge the Evo 4G at some point during the day. The Droid X almost always makes it to bedtime. For situations like trade shows, I can’t imagine using either phone without an extra battery. Remember, your results will vary depending on how much or how little you use your phone.

The Droid X easily wins in terms of battery life.

Input Methods
Both phones have virtual keyboards that benefit from their large 4.3-inch screens. The Evo 4G has four directional keys that allow you to move the cursor. Unfortunately, this makes for a cramped keyboard. The Droid X’s keyboard is just roomier and easier to type on. It also has Swype pre-insalled, for users the prefer that input method.

The Evo 4G is fully capacitive, while the Droid X has four mechanical buttons. Aside mechanical buttons preventing you from accidentally entering a command, I prefer good capacitive buttons. It just makes for a more unified experience. The mechanical buttons on the Droid X can interrupt your flow of typing and accessing menus. It’s not a huge deal; I just like the congruous input experience of the Evo.

Lastly, there’s haptic feedback. The Evo 4G’s is pretty subtle, while the Droid X’s is strong as an ox. Some people love haptic feedback and some people hate it. I like it and prefer the hearty feedback on the Droid X.

With its superior keyboard, Swype option, and heavy haptic feedback, the Droid X nudges out the Evo 4G on the input front.

The Droid X uses Verizon’s 3G CDMA revision A network for data. The Evo 4G also uses that tech, as well as Sprint’s 4G WiMax network for even faster data rates. WiMax availability is still relatively sparse, but it’s growing rapidly and should be in most major cities by the end of 2010. The data rates are really impressive. With the Droid X, I often struggled to get 1MB down. With the Evo 4G, I got as high as 4.5MB down on WiMax.

While Verizon’s CDMA coverage is arguably the best across America, it’s also the slowest. AT&T has faster 3G, T-Mobile has its crazy fast HSPA+ 3.5G network, and Sprint has WiMax. A year from now, the Droid X’s data rates will seem sluggish compared to the competition’s.

The Evo 4G beats the Droid X in the connectivity department, especially for users that don’t change phones until their contract expires.

Both phones feature good eight-megapixel cameras. I love the Droid X’s daytime shots and preferred its camera software. The Evo 4G is better in low-light situations. I’m going to give the Evo 4G the win here, simply because it has a front-facing camera and the Droid X does not. Video chat is poised to become a big feature; the Evo 4G is ready for it, while the Droid X is not. As a heavy Skype user, I’m anxiously awaiting a proper Skype client with video chat on Android. I truly believe that video chat will be a killer app for smartphones in 2011 (at the latest).

While I’m giving this round to the Evo 4G, I’m going to post picture and video samples so that you can see for yourself. That’ll be the next epic chapter of Robotech the Droid X vs Evo 4G fight.

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Author: RPadTV


24 thoughts on “Evo 4G vs. Droid X Part III: Battery Life, Cameras, and More”

  1. @tokz_21 That is correct, but it doesn't mean the phone is "no more". Google isn't selling the phone any more. You can still buy it from other companies. Carriers in other countries will still offer it.

  2. @rpad

    I just don't see how the phone isn't done, when Google isn't ordering anymore from HTC. They couldn't have ordered that many for their foreign markets to sell.

  3. @Ray

    I think I have asked you before, but with its release rumored to be next week and you using 2 large screen phones….How do you feel about the 5" Dell Streak?? I am almost sold on this "phone" I know it only runs Android 1.6 but they are promising (yeah right) 2.2 by years end.

  4. @tokz_21 Other companies than Google sell the phone. Nothing is stopping other carriers from ordering more. I think you're under the impression that Google is the only company that can order Nexus Ones. That's not the case.

    @SlickyFats I can't take it seriously until it has something better than 1.6.

  5. The only good part about it being Android 1.6 is that I have never used any iteration of Android yet so it is all new to me. I suppose I can't miss things I never had. Although I don't actually know the limitations of it.

    Is there a way to install the 'base' model Android onto a phone without having to use the Dell Customized one? On my BB I use and OS from another carrier but I didn't know if it was the same type of thing.

  6. @Ray

    Great comparison. I'd choose the EVO at this point. However if I'm going Android I'm taking a Galaxy model lol.


    They sell the Nexus 1 in Korea still.


    That phone is DOA. I'm not sure Dell will use Froyo or if the hardware can run it. If you are beholden to ATT check out the Csptivate. Locked boot loader but that probably won't last.

  7. @rpad

    i think i am confused. So if for example can i still get a nexus one from t-mobile? didn't i have to get one from the google site before? If none of the US carriers can get them then to me it is no more. I can't really justify buying a phone straight up, like smartguy, from one of the countries listed that is still selling it.

  8. @tokz

    I'm a tech whore. I quit smoking many years ago so now I have plenty of $$ to blow on toys lol.

  9. @ tokz

    Smartguy is also an accountant. That means he knows how to crunch the numbers in his favor.

  10. @smartguy

    i think if i quit buying comics every week or stop drinking, i could do the same. I mean come on is it necessary for me to pick up a comic every week when i should just wait for the compilation tbp. I'm a tech whore too but i also like to look for deals too.

  11. @SlickyFats Android started getting really good with 2.0. I can't recommend a device that runs anything older than that. I'm sure the hacker community will find a way to make it run 2.2, but it won't have Dell's custom enhancements (I don't know if they're good or bad).

    @Smartguy I'm interested in Vibrant, but wish it had a flash and front-facing camera.

    @tokz_21 There are still third-party vendors selling the Nexus One. You just can't buy it directly from Google anymore. For example:

    <iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=rt0b3-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=B00332YPHQ&quot; style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

  12. @rpad

    ah i get it now. Sorry for being a little dense. Hey i saw a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy are you going to get a chance at a (not a) review of it?

  13. @Smartguy

    I just checked out the Captivate. It looks pretty good, except for the lack of Camera flash (I use mine as a flash light A LOT). I was kinda just really looking forward to the 5" display of the Streak, finally a phone that's my size. The hardware is 2Gb memory and 1Ghz Snapdragon and then all the usual bells and whistles. So I presume it would run Froyo fine (if they update it)


    The Dell enhancement didn't change much from what I have read. It made everything work better in landscape mode and got around many of the problems that plagued 1.6 ( <<< I read that on somewhere). My problem is I want a new phone NOW (preferably Android). I just don't know if Dell will live up to the promised update.

  14. @SlickyFats The variants of the Samsung Galaxy S have a "night mode", which works well, but isn't as useful as a real flash. On the flip side, you also can't ruin shots with a flash. At the end of the day, I rather have the real thing.

    I'm positive Dell will get FroYo on it eventually. It will just be a rough experience until then. My friends that have used it love the hardware, but think that the software is a little buggy and sluggish.

  15. @rpad

    i posted twice and the comment didn't appear. I guess it went to the junk pile.

  16. @Slicky

    Put your hands on the Captivate man. I'd own the Vibrant if I didn't use an iMac at home. The screen is amazing. It's also blazing fast.

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