Comparison: Motorola Droid vs. iPod Touch

[ad name=”Amazon Apple iPod Touch 32GB”]

[ad name=”Amazon Motorola Droid X”]

A friend of mine recently asked if she should buy an iPod Touch or a Motorola Droid.  While these are two completely different products, one being a wifi-enabled MP3 player and the other being a full-featured smartphone, a choice definitely still exists.  So without any further adieu, here’s what I had to say about the two of them!

I bought my 16GB iPod Touch two summers ago and I used it like crazy.  Since I didn’t have a smartphone back then, I basically used it for everything.  The apps are fantastic, battery life is great, and let’s not forget that the Touch is still a really nice MP3 player.

On average, I used my Touch 90% of the time for apps and the internet, and the other 10% was for music/audiobooks.  The one real downside of the Touch is that a wifi-only device, so once you hit the road you won’t be able to use most of the internet apps.

I bought a Droid about two weeks ago.  It’s amazing.  It’s exactly the type of phone I’ve always wanted – highly customizable, very fast, and has huge potential for growth.

Since you’re trying to figure out which one to buy, here’s some things to keep in mind about the devices:

ipod-touch-large

– Both have apps.  Touch has way more, but Droid’s app store (called the Android Market) is steadily increasing.  The nice thing about Android phones is that the app market is completely open, which means there are no barriers to entry for a software developer (unlike Apple, who requires an arduous approval process).  If a developer wants to make something for Android, boom, it’s done.  Huge potential for growth here.

– Both support the basics.  They can both play music (although the Touch is probably more refined when it comes to a straight MP3 player).  They both have apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, web browsers… pretty much anything you can think of.

droid3-vert

– Battery life will be much longer on the iPod Touch, but keep in mind the Droid is also a full-featured cell phone which uses most of the juice.

Here’s where they’re pretty different:

– Touch has Google Maps, but no GPS (and you can really only use the maps when you have a wifi connection).  The Droid uses your cellular network and has a built-in GPS, so not only can it show you maps, it can also do turn-by-turn navigation (which is free!).  It’s a straight-up GPS, and I used it on my last trip to Minneapolis as a total replacement for my old GPS.

– Droid has a cellular network. This was implied before, but this means you’ve got an internet connection anywhere where you go.  Verizon’s network is really impressive, and you’ll browse websites on the Droid just like you would at home.

ipod-touch2

– Touch is much simpler and easier to use.  For a person like me this can be frustrating (I like menus! And settings!), but you can’t beat it for ease of use and using it for what it was intended – enjoyment.  The Droid, on the other hand, lets you customize basically every facet of the phone (and the things you can’t change can typically be modified with apps from the Android Market).  This is a blessing and a curse – even I found the Droid to be a little daunting when I first started using it.

– Droid has a camera (5 megapixels), the Touch has no camera.

– Both are touchscreen devices.  They both have “virtual keyboards”, which are keyboards on the touchscreen, but the Droid has an actual slide-out physical keyboard.  I’ve never had one of these before and I really like it.  A lot of people complain about the keyboard though, so your mileage may vary.  The Droid offers both landscape and portrait virtual keyboards in almost all applications, but the Touch only offers landscape virtual keyboards in applications that support it.

droid2-open

– As for size, they’re about the same dimensions but the Droid is much thicker (again, the cell phone is the reason for this).  The Droid is heavier than the Touch.

– Droid supports a bunch of Google services out-of-the-box (Android was designed by Google).  This means that Gmail, Google Calendar, your Google contacts, and several other services are automatically synchronized to the phone and are deeply integrated.  This makes it really easy to manage your data.  Touch can do these things too, but it’s more “added on” and not as smooth in my opinion.

– Total cost of ownership: the iPod Touch costs around $300 and that’s all you’ll every pay to use it (excluding purchases from the app store). The Droid costs $200 with a new 2-year contract, and you’ll need a voice plan (starting at $39.99/month) as well as a data plan ($30/month). That puts the total cost of ownership for the Droid at about $1,040 for the first year (includes price of the phone) and $840 for successive years (network charges). Plus tax.

[ad name=”Amazon Apple iPod Touch 32GB”]

[ad name=”Amazon Motorola Droid X”]

Overall, I’ve loved both of these devices.  I still use my Touch (mainly because Audible.com DRM-encrypts their audiobooks and they don’t support Android yet – that’s another rant altogether) but for all intents and purposes, the Droid gets all of my attention.

I love being connected everywhere I go, and the Droid does a fantastic job of integrating all my Google services, Facebook, Twitter… everything.  It’s a fantastic device.


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Comments

44 responses to “Comparison: Motorola Droid vs. iPod Touch”

  1. Krysti Avatar
    Krysti

    If you owned an iPhone vs an iPod touch you may have different opinions when comparing to the Droid 🙂 I think they are a much closer comparision, and thank goodness for the competition the Droid is bringing!

  2. Krysti Avatar
    Krysti

    If you owned an iPhone vs an iPod touch you may have different opinions when comparing to the Droid 🙂 I think they are a much closer comparision, and thank goodness for the competition the Droid is bringing!

  3. @shrnmc Avatar

    Thoughtful comparison; thank you! I have the Touch, considering the Droid, but hate the idea of making my Touch (which I love) obsolete!

  4. @shrnmc Avatar

    Thoughtful comparison; thank you! I have the Touch, considering the Droid, but hate the idea of making my Touch (which I love) obsolete!

  5. Jc Avatar
    Jc

    I don’t see a reason for this comparison. You’re comparing a phone to a media device. Why not compare phone to phone and compare using an iPhone?

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      The comparison was by request. It does show that some consumers would just as well have a wifi-enable MP3 player over a smartphone.

      1. Eric Avatar
        Eric

        I searched for this exact comparison which I found to be excellent, but jsut gave me more to think about. The reason for the comparison is that I am locked into verizon for a few reasons, so I can't get an i-phone.

      2. lynn Avatar
        lynn

        Thanks Evan … this is the EXACT info i was looking for. I am locked into Verizon, so i cannot go to the iPhone … your honesty and detailed description of the two devices is greatly appreciated!!

  6. Jc Avatar
    Jc

    I don’t see a reason for this comparison. You’re comparing a phone to a media device. Why not compare phone to phone and compare using an iPhone?

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      The comparison was by request. It does show that some consumers would just as well have a wifi-enable MP3 player over a smartphone.

      1. Eric Avatar
        Eric

        I searched for this exact comparison which I found to be excellent, but jsut gave me more to think about. The reason for the comparison is that I am locked into verizon for a few reasons, so I can't get an i-phone.

      2. lynn Avatar
        lynn

        Thanks Evan … this is the EXACT info i was looking for. I am locked into Verizon, so i cannot go to the iPhone … your honesty and detailed description of the two devices is greatly appreciated!!

  7. KAREN Avatar
    KAREN

    Thanks for this comparison. I was debating on an iTouch or Droid for my 17 year old son who is a senior on his way to college… I think I will go with the Droid for the GPS and connections anywhere. We already have Verizon as our family cell phone carriers and did not want the iPhone.

  8. KAREN Avatar
    KAREN

    Thanks for this comparison. I was debating on an iTouch or Droid for my 17 year old son who is a senior on his way to college… I think I will go with the Droid for the GPS and connections anywhere. We already have Verizon as our family cell phone carriers and did not want the iPhone.

  9. Ed Imbier Avatar
    Ed Imbier

    I am looking for a replacement for my iPod Touch. One that has audio and still image recording that the Touch doesn't. Using the Droid or the upcoming HTC Android phone (5 home screens) is an option. One can buy the Droid for $350 with a data only plan ($30/mo) and get the camera, built-in mike and related apps. Multitasking and navigation are just great in the Droid.

    Apple has been trying to maximize profits from the iPod line with Steve Jobs ill, rather than giving the consumer new capabilities. Now the tech industry is starting to pass them by. If Google adds an iTunes like store for music and audio and video podcast management, it will be a different ball game.

  10. Ed Imbier Avatar
    Ed Imbier

    I am looking for a replacement for my iPod Touch. One that has audio and still image recording that the Touch doesn't. Using the Droid or the upcoming HTC Android phone (5 home screens) is an option. One can buy the Droid for $350 with a data only plan ($30/mo) and get the camera, built-in mike and related apps. Multitasking and navigation are just great in the Droid.

    Apple has been trying to maximize profits from the iPod line with Steve Jobs ill, rather than giving the consumer new capabilities. Now the tech industry is starting to pass them by. If Google adds an iTunes like store for music and audio and video podcast management, it will be a different ball game.

  11. Vincent Avatar

    Thank you! I was dealing with this recently and your article helped. I was up for contract renewal with Verizon but wanted an iPhone. My solution was to buy a iPod touch and get a barebones phone from verizon that will support tethering (nV3). I have two nV3's on a family shared plan for about $100 a month (1400 minutes plus friends and family circle…they are our only phones but we never go over minutes).

    I now have the option to turn tethering on/off for a month at a time…no commitment. This costs about $40/month. So my nV3 can share its internet connection with the Touch! Viola! Internet access for the Touch wherever I go. 5gb/month is the limit, though

    One time cost: $278
    That's 2 phones with voice and messaging. They each cost $4.50 because I signed another 2 year contract.
    That's one iPod touch 3rd Gen – 32GB – for $269 (doorbuster special on Thanksgiving).

    Monthly cost: $100/month when I don't want the iPod connected. $140/month when I do. That extra $40 also can provide internet to my laptop on the go.

    1. kyle Avatar
      kyle

      Download a little app called Pdanet for blackberry or Android and get free tethering 🙂

  12. Vincent Avatar

    Thank you! I was dealing with this recently and your article helped. I was up for contract renewal with Verizon but wanted an iPhone. My solution was to buy a iPod touch and get a barebones phone from verizon that will support tethering (nV3). I have two nV3's on a family shared plan for about $100 a month (1400 minutes plus friends and family circle…they are our only phones but we never go over minutes).

    I now have the option to turn tethering on/off for a month at a time…no commitment. This costs about $40/month. So my nV3 can share its internet connection with the Touch! Viola! Internet access for the Touch wherever I go. 5gb/month is the limit, though

    One time cost: $278
    That's 2 phones with voice and messaging. They each cost $4.50 because I signed another 2 year contract.
    That's one iPod touch 3rd Gen – 32GB – for $269 (doorbuster special on Thanksgiving).

    Monthly cost: $100/month when I don't want the iPod connected. $140/month when I do. That extra $40 also can provide internet to my laptop on the go.

    1. kyle Avatar
      kyle

      Download a little app called Pdanet for blackberry or Android and get free tethering 🙂

  13. Rayne Avatar
    Rayne

    Thank you for doing this comparison. While I can agree that it's not helpful to everyone, it really was for me. Our Verizon contract is up and there was never any question as to us buying the new Droid phones as we enter into our next contract. I was stuck with the question of, would the iPod Touch bring something to the table to make it too worth the purchase? Since I have 2 children (18 and 19), I was looking at another $600 investment. My kids have never used the MP3 players on their phones in the past, so it's nice to know this phone may change all that. I've decided to stick with the Droid only and to spend that $600 on something else for Christmas instead.

    Thank you so much!

  14. Rayne Avatar
    Rayne

    Thank you for doing this comparison. While I can agree that it's not helpful to everyone, it really was for me. Our Verizon contract is up and there was never any question as to us buying the new Droid phones as we enter into our next contract. I was stuck with the question of, would the iPod Touch bring something to the table to make it too worth the purchase? Since I have 2 children (18 and 19), I was looking at another $600 investment. My kids have never used the MP3 players on their phones in the past, so it's nice to know this phone may change all that. I've decided to stick with the Droid only and to spend that $600 on something else for Christmas instead.

    Thank you so much!

  15. Charlotte Homes Avatar

    Great job on breaking down how these two compare head to head. I'll have to forward this to my son. I am lost when it comes to all this stuff but I think he will be able to relate to it.

  16. Charlotte Homes Avatar

    Great job on breaking down how these two compare head to head. I'll have to forward this to my son. I am lost when it comes to all this stuff but I think he will be able to relate to it.

  17. Felicia Avatar
    Felicia

    Thanks for the comparison…it was exactly what I was looking for as I was considering getting both. Right now, I think I'll just keep my ipod Classic and shuffle, and get a droid instead of itouch and droid.

  18. Felicia Avatar
    Felicia

    Thanks for the comparison…it was exactly what I was looking for as I was considering getting both. Right now, I think I'll just keep my ipod Classic and shuffle, and get a droid instead of itouch and droid.

  19. Shawn Avatar
    Shawn

    This is a great comparison but it lacked information about memory size. I'm guessing the comparison is based on a 16gb iTouch (not the 8, 32 or 64gb) since the Droid only has 16gb built-in (expandable to 32gb). I bought a 32gb iTouch almost two years ago (Verizon customer that didn't want to switch carriers for the iPhone) and the Droid back in November. I love the Droid; its is an amazing smartphone. However I still have to use my iTouch more than I had anticipated since its able to hold my entire music, video and photo collection, which at 20gb is not superhuge but more than the Droid can carry. This will be resolved when 32gb memory cards are available but this additional cost (probably close to $100 if not more) is another factor in the iTouch/Droid comparison if you, like me, have a decent size media collection and want an all-in-one phone/multimedia player.

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Thanks for the great feedback and information!

  20. Shawn Avatar
    Shawn

    This is a great comparison but it lacked information about memory size. I'm guessing the comparison is based on a 16gb iTouch (not the 8, 32 or 64gb) since the Droid only has 16gb built-in (expandable to 32gb). I bought a 32gb iTouch almost two years ago (Verizon customer that didn't want to switch carriers for the iPhone) and the Droid back in November. I love the Droid; its is an amazing smartphone. However I still have to use my iTouch more than I had anticipated since its able to hold my entire music, video and photo collection, which at 20gb is not superhuge but more than the Droid can carry. This will be resolved when 32gb memory cards are available but this additional cost (probably close to $100 if not more) is another factor in the iTouch/Droid comparison if you, like me, have a decent size media collection and want an all-in-one phone/multimedia player.

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Thanks for the great feedback and information!

  21. Ujas Avatar
    Ujas

    Thanks, that really helps. I'm actually considering getting the droid, but I already have an ipod touch and a cheap phone with texting, which is enough. I'm just afraid of making the touch useless if i get the droid, which I shelled our $300 for last year, and now I'd have to pay an additional $360 a year with the droid. Do you know if its possible to get the droid without a data plan, and have it operate all data only when wifi is available? That's how I use my ipod touch right now anyway, and i've been fine like that since there's wifi almost anywhere I go (home, college, etc.)

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Glad you found this comparison useful. Unfortunately, Verizon requires that you purchase data plan with the Droid, even though it is capable of being used on Wifi only.

  22. Ujas Avatar
    Ujas

    Thanks, that really helps. I'm actually considering getting the droid, but I already have an ipod touch and a cheap phone with texting, which is enough. I'm just afraid of making the touch useless if i get the droid, which I shelled our $300 for last year, and now I'd have to pay an additional $360 a year with the droid. Do you know if its possible to get the droid without a data plan, and have it operate all data only when wifi is available? That's how I use my ipod touch right now anyway, and i've been fine like that since there's wifi almost anywhere I go (home, college, etc.)

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Glad you found this comparison useful. Unfortunately, Verizon requires that you purchase data plan with the Droid, even though it is capable of being used on Wifi only.

  23. David Avatar
    David

    Enjoyed the article. I currently own the droid and was thinking about getting a ipod. Since reading this, I am pretty much sold on getting the touch. The features and apps are an added bonus but the storage and capabilities are great. Thank you very much.

  24. David Avatar
    David

    Enjoyed the article. I currently own the droid and was thinking about getting a ipod. Since reading this, I am pretty much sold on getting the touch. The features and apps are an added bonus but the storage and capabilities are great. Thank you very much.

  25. Patti Avatar
    Patti

    Awesome! Exactly the info I needed to make a decision – Droid it is!!! Thank you!

  26. Patti Avatar
    Patti

    Awesome! Exactly the info I needed to make a decision – Droid it is!!! Thank you!

  27. Alexis Avatar
    Alexis

    so witch one is better the iPod touch, or the Droid Phone?

  28. Evan W. Avatar

    The answer is a bit complicated, mostly because it depends on what you want to use it for. Most simply:

    If you don't mind paying $30/month (plus your regular phone bill), the Droid lets you access the internet and used applications from _anywhere_. It plays music, the user interface isn't as nice as an iPod touch. The Droid can do everything an iPod Touch can do, plus make phone calls, and also has wifi.

    Once you buy the iPod Touch, you don't need to pay for it anymore (besides any apps you buy). You can access the internet with wifi, which can be found all over the place, and it has access to Apple's App Store which is still significantly better than the Android Market and has a lot of great apps.

    Personally, I used my iPod Touch all the time when I had a regular phone (not a smartphone). It was basically my smartphone, but I was limited to wifi and I couldn't take it everywhere with me because of that. When I was due for a new phone, I bought a smartphone (the Droid) and I now use that 95% of the time.

    Hope that helps!

  29. Alexis Avatar
    Alexis

    so witch one is better the iPod touch, or the Droid Phone?

  30. Evan W. Avatar

    The answer is a bit complicated, mostly because it depends on what you want to use it for. Most simply:

    If you don't mind paying $30/month (plus your regular phone bill), the Droid lets you access the internet and used applications from _anywhere_. It plays music, the user interface isn't as nice as an iPod touch. The Droid can do everything an iPod Touch can do, plus make phone calls, and also has wifi.

    Once you buy the iPod Touch, you don't need to pay for it anymore (besides any apps you buy). You can access the internet with wifi, which can be found all over the place, and it has access to Apple's App Store which is still significantly better than the Android Market and has a lot of great apps.

    Personally, I used my iPod Touch all the time when I had a regular phone (not a smartphone). It was basically my smartphone, but I was limited to wifi and I couldn't take it everywhere with me because of that. When I was due for a new phone, I bought a smartphone (the Droid) and I now use that 95% of the time.

    Hope that helps!

  31. Amy Avatar
    Amy

    Thanks so much for this article! It was exactly what I needed! I have a hard time justifying the monthly cost of the Droid after data plan, etc. so this makes it much easier for me to decide. Thanks so much!

  32. bree Avatar
    bree

    Thanks! I have a phone with easy texting but I was wanting an itouch and a new phone. Maybe I can get both in the droid!

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