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What phone should I get?: Hero / Droid / Nexus One

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by s0311, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. s0311

    s0311 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    hi, I am new to the forum and i am looking to buy my first android phone. I'm in the UK so network providers won't really affect my decision. I have decided to get either the HTC Hero, Motorola Droid/Milestone or Nexus One.

    Here is a list of the positives I made of each phone:

    Motorola Droid/Milestone (

  2. Blackbrawler

    Blackbrawler Member

    By looking at your pros i say you should go with the Nexus one because the pros for the Motorola Droid really the same as nexus one except worse.

    Even though the hero is cheaper (and you get a better cellphone company) the nexus one kills it in every way. Also you forgot to mention the 1ghz snapdragon processor as a pro.

    I have no idea how long it will take for 2.1 update but they do already have Roms for both phones. Even though none work 100%. I think Droid update might be jan 22nd (rumour).

    So yeah nexus one if those are your pros.
  3. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    If you can afford it, nexus 1. If you want to save alot of money and wait get a hero or magic. The droid is pointless at that price unless u really need the keyboard.

    You could probably find a Hero for 200 if you look hard enough. I'm also selling my samsung galaxy for 200, which is the same as a hero but with LED flash, 8gb built in flash (and external sd too), AMOLED screen, and 1500mah battery (vs the 1340 one of the hero).

    Like I say go one extreme or the other, going for the middle will cost u alot and ou'll be pissed off if you get left behind with updates!

    Remember there's always custom roms for all these devices too.
  4. PiggyGirl

    PiggyGirl Member

    The Droid since it will probably eventually get 2.1 so it will then likely have 5 bullet points in its favor, compared to the others' four.
  5. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    But the nexus one has 2.1 already :)
  6. thecrazing

    thecrazing Member

    You definitely do not want the HTC. Yes, Sense is pretty great. But, one of the huge advantages of Android is tinkering around with things. Likely, you will find solutions that meet or exceed Sense. But! It won't be out of the box, and if you've never found yourself enjoying tinkering with things, then don't count this as too much of a pro.

    But! Sense will mean that you are behind everyone else in terms of the latest OS from here on out, and there will be occasions when that matters. IIRC, the Droid Eris is Sense on 1.5. (It's the only Hero variant I'm personally familiar with. It was released the same time as the Droid proper. If the Eris ever gets 2.1, it will be a good case study as to how long something takes for HTC to Sense-ify these days.) I can tell you right now that you do not want to be on 1.5. The difference between 1.5 and 2.0 in terms of what it means to you is simply huge compared to the difference between 2.0 and 2.1. Yes, those of us on 2.0 are still drooling to have the latest and greatest, but I was constantly shocked to discover what the Droid could do, that was not available on 1.5. It in no way ever seemed worth it to me for the Sense UI. For anyone curious, I have not rooted my Droid, so that isn't factoring into my comparison.

    So the real decision is between the Nexus One and the Milestone. Voice to Text certainly seems like a software factor only, so I can't imagine it not making it over to the Droid's 2.1.

    Unfortunately, as you might have predicted, the real issue at hand are how the phones feel. I'm not quite sure how the Milestone is now being sold in the UK, but if it's possible to find one in a brick-and-mortar store, I really would consider it worth the trip. The Milestone has the physical keyboard and an on-screen soft keyboard, so you can use it to compare the two methods. Mess around with both. Chances are, both will feel slow and awkward. Chances are, you'll have made a couple of errors with both. And chances are, you'll have made (more) errors on the soft keyboard and been more confused by them (for lack of a better word), whereas on the hard keyboard, you'll have known you hit a different button than you meant to.

    Are you willing to spend time adjusting to one more than the other? If you prefer the hard keyboard, is it worth the heft, and is it worth the limitations a slider can put on accessories like cases?

    Now, bear in mind, you will improve with both. Also bear in mind, you can slightly or wildly modify the soft keyboard (like dragging your finger across the letters without picking it up, and then often choosing from a list of words the phone has decided you meant to 'write', Swype).

    Personally, even given everything I just brought up, I prefer having a hard keyboard, and I've grown fairly accustomed to this one. Sure, they really should have used one of the blank spaces for a .com and/or a smiley, and sure, the buttons are shallow, and small, and with hardly any gaps between them at all, all at once! But.. I dunno man, I've come to like it more and more. And while of course some of that might be my bias to want to like my own phone, it's still something one can get very used to. It wasn't long before I surprised myself with how fast my fingers were now gliding across the keys.

    Admittedly I haven't forced myself to just pick one soft keyboard skin and let my fingers learn it, and admittedly up until very recently I used a thicker, harder fingerprint shield, but I personally have gotten faster faster with the hard keyboard than the soft, so much so that it makes up for the added size of the phone. Moreover, I think the differences in size are somewhat overstated.

    tldr; I can't stress enough that you don't want the Hero, and the most important differences between the Milestone and the Nexus One are how they feel in your hands. You simply have to use a Milestone, and preferably both, for a few at least 30 seconds before making this decision. If you can't find one in a brick and mortar store in the UK, wait until you see someone use one in the street.
  7. TheBrit

    TheBrit Android Expert

    Hey! I like my Hero!

    If I was on vanilla 1.5 then I would probably not like it as much. Sense is brilliant. HTC are known to be working on a 2.1 with Sense for the Hero - so I can wait a while.

    If T-Mobile for whatever reason end up not supporting 2.1 on the G2/Hero then I'll probably head on over to Modaco or XDA_devlopers and pick up a custom ROM.

    Having said all that: the Nexus One would be my choice if I were buying a phone today.
  8. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    my battle would be between the acer liquid and the nexus
  9. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    I still say Nexus over the Droid without any question. The Nexus has a 1ghz processor and is supported by google. Its their flagship android device. It'll always get all the updates first. AND you can security unlock it out of the box, so no pissing about waiting for some new root exploit!

    You're decision seriously should be between Nexus or something used really cheap (Hero, magic etc) to bide your time for nexus prices to go down, or the next gen of phones in spring/summer.
  10. vincentp

    vincentp Android Expert

    I guess the biggest question is this; do you want a physical keyboard?

    If the answer is yes, get the Droid. If no, get the Nexus One. I think the Hero should be your third choice regardless, the other two phones are newer. The difference in speed between the two is not tremendous, though the N1 is definitely the faster phone. The Droid's screen is still probably a bit better from what I've seen, and AMOLEDs don't perform as well in bright sunlight if that makes a difference to you. My guess is the battery life is roughly the same on the N1 as on the Droid based on the information I've seen, so that's probably not an issue. Droid will be getting 2.1 relatively soon so the OS comparison is moot. Also, if you can get the Milestone and not the Droid, you'll have built in Multitouch, which is a nice addition.

    Both the N1 and Droid will be getting Flash 10.1 as soon as its available and likely will perform much better in Flash applications than the Hero. You can't go wrong with either of those phones, IMO.
  11. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    Yeah very good point. Physical keyboard has to be the decider.
  12. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Android Enthusiast

    IMO, the N1 obsoletes the Hero at this point. The only thing the Hero has going for it is native Sense UI, and from what I hear from Hero / Eris users:

    - Sense is slower than stock Android
    - You'll always be last to get official updates since HTC has to update Sense
    - There are custom ROMs with Sense if you really want it on another device

    So I'd say choose between the Droid and the N1. Pick based on personal preference, you can't really go wrong either way. You can expect new tech around the corner all the time so if you're waiting for the absolute best device to emerge you'll be waiting forever.
  13. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert

    it should also be taken in to account that the nexus is a hell of a lot prettier than the droid

    plus it's got a cooler name - image people, image!
  14. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    You really cant compare the Hero/Magic/Galaxy etc in the same group as the droid or Nexus. Both the N1 and droid are alot better than those phones.

    However you can pick up a Hero/Magic/Galaxy for less than half the price of the droid or nexus. So if you look at value for money _then_ I think the Hero/Magic/Galaxy win.

    Thats why i think choosing either range has valid arguments. It all depends on if you really want/need the latest features and cruicially if you will be happy to use custom roms to get you updates faster or not.

    Decision 1: Price range: [Hero/Magic/Galaxy] OR [Droid/Nexus]

    Decision 2: Which phone in the price range you chose?
  15. iclickjohn

    iclickjohn Member

    engadget did a podcast review from CES and spent a LOT of time talking about N1. Basically the four of them well maybe three didn't like the form factor or buttons that felt wrong. They liked the Droid just as well. The 2.1 update is coming very soon to the droid. Between now and the 22nd (supposedly). The Nexus is coming to Verizon later this Spring. You can listen to the podcast I think it was Thursdays show. I think that an android phone is android. I wouldn't say that one is more or less android. As long as the hardware supports it, the update will "do" the same. the faster processor may "perform" better. i.e. animated home screens, moving between apps, etc. so the Droid, from what I understand, will do the same things as the Nexus, but not as fast. And fast is arbitrary some times. I have heard that those who have put the 2.1 on their Droids have noticed a quicker response from it.
  16. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    Get yourself an iDroid. ;)
  17. thecrazing

    thecrazing Member

    Some of this might be because I own the Droid, but, I sorta seriously disagree with all of this. Yes, it's the model that Google is now touting. But it simply will not be case that the Nexus One will get 2.2 or 2.1.1 before the Droid/Milestone. It's far, far more likely that Google will choose a manufacturer (I guess it's Samsung's turn?) and work very, very closely with them on a pure Google Experience high end model, and that phone will launch with 2.2, and then the Milestone and N1 will be updated subsequently, and simultaneously.

    It somewhat easier to unlock the device, but don't confuse it with the Geeks Phone One. (FYI; Especially you're getting it subsidized from T-Mobile, don't expect to be able to load a custom ROM as soon as you hook it up.)

    Yes, it has the Snapdragon.. But it also doesn't have as many dedicated processing chips, like, no GPU. Or at least, it hasn't been discovered in the couple of teardowns that make the web, and it hasn't made it to press releasses. Now, in terms of exactly what gets you more bang for your Mhz, I have no idea, and its far more likely that you'll use the speed of the CPU more than some occasionally rendering power. But it's a mistake to give the impression that you have to trade so, so much for a physical keyboard.
  18. amnesia

    amnesia Member

    The Nexus being released hasn't changed my mind on a Hero in a couple of weeks.

    I much prefer the ergonomics of the HTC model, it fits my hand well and looks different from an iPhony etc. 2.1 will probably arrive sooner rather than later to round off the package.

    That said, I can see myself getting a N1 when the price comes down a bit.
  19. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    I suspect with it being a google phone there will be a branch on their source tree. So even if their official releases are a little behind you'll always be ahead with custom roms.

    You can unlock the bootloader on the nexus (and loose waranty) from day one, and there's already custom roms for it because of that.

    I really cant imagine google releasing 2.2 (for argument sake) on some new phone and leaving the nexus behind for more than a week or two. It would be a marketing nightmare for them.

    Then on top of that you have the entire xda-dev community on it, with cyanogen already days away from multitouch. Droid has a big following but its not HTC.
  20. thecrazing

    thecrazing Member

    That Google is selling it from their own online system does not mean it's being given more Android OS attention that the other phones, it just doesn't. Am I saying that when a 2.2 phone comes out, the Nexus won't ever get the update? No, not at all. I think 2 weeks is a fairly appropriate timeframe. But I am saying that the Droid will also get 2.2 at the same time. As long as you stay away from Sense or BLUR, the phones won't really have that much separation.

    The Droid couldn't be rooted on day one, but since we're far past day one, why does that get into consideration when someone's making the decision today?

    The point I'm really trying to make is that nothing is a bigger weight in making the decision that the differing form factors, especially slider hard keyboard vs a single slate soft keyboard. The phones are so, so similar in all other regards that this should be the only deciding factor for someone if they don't have to worry about carriers, or are already committed to a carrier.
  21. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Android Enthusiast

    The price of the phone pales in comparison to the price of the 2 year contract it comes with. To me that's a non-factor.

    In my personal situation (Nov 6, when I was comparing the Droid and the Hero), the Hero is a $100 phone with a $70 / mo Sprint contract over 2 years, and the Droid is a $200 phone with a $75 / mo Verizon contract over 2 years. Comes out to $2000 for the Droid and $1780 for the Hero (before taxes and fees). To me, the superior internal specs + slide out keyboard + stock 2.0 (at the time) + better network was well worth the 11% price difference.

    The fact that the Droid came with a 16 GB microSD shortened the gap even more.

    Plus, after I just endured a 2 year contract with a Helio Ocean (a phone I loved for ~2 months, lived with for ~10 months, and dreaded for ~12 months) I made sure I was going to pick a phone that I could see myself being happy with for the duration of the contract.
  22. PiggyGirl

    PiggyGirl Member

    It's definitely better to truly enjoy the device & service than save what amounts to a few dollars a month, but I didn't realize Verizon had a plan that low.
  23. iclickjohn

    iclickjohn Member

    OK I think I've got the analogy. Think of the sexiest bikini in the whole world. two years ago it was worn by a nice model. a year later an even sexier bikini came out and worn by WOW an even better looking model. But both the new and the original models got the new bikini. The old model didn't look "quite" as good as that WOW model even though both were now wearing the new bikini. A YEAR LATER. . . . a NEW TOTALLY amazing bikini is introduced on the catwalk of a New York Runway. Bazinggg. People are melting in their shoes. THIS is the most amazing bikini and I fell to my knees when I saw the most gorgeous model wearing it. WELL. . . the first model got the same suit and the second model got the same suit. But boy did they ever look well, do like stretch marks??? Uoo that first model, not so pretty, even though she is wearing that amazing bikini. The second model, can't hold a candle to the gorgeous new model even though they both wear the same bikini. Right now it's a toss up. You could go gorgeous WOW in amazing bikini or you could go with the second model, she can go topless if she wants but doesn't have to and in the end has the same bikini anyway. "the next time you slide open that Droid keyboard, think of THAT" lol
  24. kam187

    kam187 Android Expert

    No you're right. All i'm saying is that Motorola could stop proactivly updating the droid with alot less embarassment than google could with the Nexus. So you're probably spot on, both phones will get releases at roughly the same time, but imho google will continue to support the Nexus for a long time just because it has their name on it. Motorola may or may not.

    Yes it gets consideration, BUT it uses an exploit to root it. That means motorola could activly persue closing this down. For example Hero's are not security unlocked, and orange forced HTC to enhance security and shut it down in the next rom. The same could happen with the droid.
    Sure you could find another exploit and root it again, but what if you can't?

    With the Nexus this will never happen because google _allow_ you to have it unlocked as a feature.

    I disagree that it should be the _only_ deciding factor. Its a weigh up at the end of the day. How much do you want a keyboard? Are you willing to sacrifice 450Mhz cpu speed? 2mm thickness?
    For one person they may be willing to sacrifice the keyboard for the clock speed, for another sacrifice the keyboard for something as trivial as the colour! Saying they are so similar, and implying you can forget the rest of the stuff is a bit silly. Yes they are similar but one is definatly a measuarable amount better than the other in one regard or another. In some regards droid wins, in other nexus wins.

    Once you involve a contract etc, it gets very comlicated to compare because everyone's situation is different. I'm not trying to say anyone is stupid for buying one phone or not buying it, or buying a hero last year. I'm just saying today, as it stands if you were to buy these phones a used Hero is a total bargain for what you get. At the 200 ish EURO mark, what you get for your money is alot!
    I totaly understand if its not enough for you, or you just must have the latest phone (like me :p )
  25. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Android Enthusiast

    You're wording those things as a negative to make it seem like something is being sacrificed.

    * The 450Mhz difference isn't a factor until apps and benchmarks show significant improvement on the Nexus over the Droid. For example, it may take my Droid .5 seconds to perform a certain task and your Nexus .4 seconds. Nobody would notice such a subtle difference.

    * Meanwhile, what CAN be said is that a beefier processor will consume more power than a smaller one. If the Nexus and Droid have the same battery life, HTC had to cut corners elsewhere to make it happen.

    * Thickness is no concern of mine either. Having more to grip isn't a bad thing when you're talking about phones that are susceptible to major failure after a drop.
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