With its audacious ad campaign for the Droid, Verizon has poured $100 million into trashing the iPhone and touting the Motorola device as the superior (and mas macho) smartphone alternative. So which is really the champ?
In its latest smartphone ratings out today, Consumer Reports gives the decision to the iPhone 3G S over the Droid -- but it was hardly by a knockout. The Apple device edged out the latest would-be iPhone killer in CR's zero to 100 scoring system by only a point, 74 to 73. (The iPhone 3G scored a 73.)
Both phones received top marks in areas like display, navigation, Web browsing and multimedia, while also getting dinged for less than outstanding voice quality. Even within categories where both earned high grades, each had relative strengths and weaknesses.
"Both had displays we judged to be excellent, though for different reasons. iPhone's display proved to one of the brightest and easiest to see under most lighting conditions, while the Droid's was the clearly one of the sharpest we've seen on any phone," stated a blog post by CR's Mike Gikas.
The smartphone ratings were grouped according to carrier. While the iPhone and Droid were rated the best devices for AT&T and Verizon, respectively, the HTC Hero was Sprint's top handset (69), and the Motorola Cliq (71), was T-Mobile's. That means Motorola winds up with two of the four highest-rated phones across the major carriers, highlighting its comeback as a high-end device maker.
Taking a more holistic approach to the ratings, what would happen if you added CR's recent cell service satisfaction scores with the smartphone numbers? Verizon/Droid would come away with a cumulative score of 148 to 144 for the AT&T/iPhone combo. The two phones will just have to keep slugging it out in the consumer marketplace.