Apple's iPhone 4: Four Worthy Alternatives

Apple's new iPhone 4 may "change everything," but that doesn't mean it's for everyone. Here are four solid alternatives

Apple's new iPhone 4 may "change everything," but that doesn't mean it's for everyone.

The new iPhone packs an impressive high-resolution "retina display," a slimmed down profile, and a slew of software features not available in past iPhone models. It also, of course, connects to Apple's massive App Store and its many popular offerings.

Like previous iPhone incarnations, however, the iPhone 4 lacks customization controls, an open and uncensored app market, and other features available on Android-powered alternatives.

If those omissions don't bother you, then Apple's new iPhone may be the phone for you. But if you aren't fully sold on the Apple way, there are plenty of other options for you to consider.

Here are four solid iPhone 4 alternatives, based on PCWorld's in-house mobile phone reviews.

iPhone 4 Alternative #1: The HTC Droid Incredible

Currently PCWorld's top-ranking smartphone (the iPhone 4, it should be noted, has yet to be formally reviewed), the HTC Droid Incredible is Verizon's latest and greatest Android device. The phone features a 3.7-inch AMOLED display with 800-by-480 resolution. It runs on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor that should make multitasking a snap.

The HTC Droid Incredible has an 8-megapixel camera. It ships with Android 2.1 but is expected to be upgraded to the new Android 2.2 sometime in the near future.

iPhone 4 Alternative #2: The HTC EVO 4G

Tied with the Incredible at four-and-a-half stars, the HTC EVO 4G is the hot new Android handset of the moment. The EVO 4G offers the promise of superspeedy 4G data speeds, if you're in the right place -- but depending upon where you are, Sprint may or may not to deliver on those 4G promises just yet.

Either way, the EVO 4G is one powerful phone: It runs on the same 1GHz Snapdragon chip as the Incredible and has the double-snapshot combo of an 8-megapixel camera in the back and a 1.3-megapixel camera in the front. The EVO 4G's most distinguishing feature is its 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 WVGA display.

The EVO ships with Android 2.1 and is expected to be upgraded to 2.2 soon.

iPhone 4 Alternative #3: The Google Nexus One

It may not be the newest smartphone around anymore, but Google's Nexus One is still tied for a top spot with four-and-a-half stars in PCWorld's market-wide rankings. The Nexus One -- originally intended to create a carrier-independent smartphone option -- is now shifting to an in-store sales approach, with T-Mobile and AT&T being the two viable network options.

The Nexus One runs on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It has a 3.7-inch, 800-by-480 AMOLED display and a 5-megapixel camera. It runs Android 2.1 and will likely be the first device to receive the 2.2 upgrade (some users have reportedly gotten the software already).

iPhone Alternative #4: The Motorola Droid

The Droid that started it all rounds out PCWorld's current top four smartphones. The launch of Motorola's Droid marked the beginning of Verizon's Droid brand and its accompanying commercial push to make Android a household name. Though it's been nearly seven months since its release, the Droid continues to sell well, by some measures retaining the top spot as the most common Android phone in America.

The Motorola Droid runs on a 550MHz processor and has a 3.7-inch, 854-by-480 WVGA display along with a 5-megapixel camera. It also has a physical slide-out keyboard, something none of the other models mentioned here possess.

The Droid does not, however, have any type of top-secret "Soul Scanner" feature. Despite some curious reports to the contrary, I'm not convinced any device actually does.

Contributing Editor JR Raphael writes the new Android Power blog at Computerworld. In his spare time, he practices the age-old art of geek humor at eSarcasm.com.

This story, "Apple's iPhone 4: Four Worthy Alternatives" was originally published by PCWorld .

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