Oct 28 AT 3:31 PM Taylor Wimberly 54 Comments

iPhone 3G S vs Palm Pre vs Motorola Droid

So you need a new smartphone and you can’t decide which to get (hint: go Android). The new Motorola Droid enters into a smartphone marketplace dominated by AT&T’s iPhone and Sprint’s Palm Pre. But how are consumers supposed to compare the offerings when the providers make it nearly impossible to make apples to apples comparisons on plan options?

Our friends at BillShrink have made the process a little easier by providing a nice infographic with the latest smartphones. They offer a free personalized cost-saving service designed to help people lower their spending by monitoring over 10 million wireless plans.

BillShrink has launched the first-ever handset selector interactive feature that let’s you search by features and then matches you to the best phone and plan.

Check out their comparison below and let us know what you think. I’m not surprised that VZW has some of the most expensive rate plans, but they do have the largest 3G network.

Come back later today for our own in-depth look comparing all the carrier data plans.

You know which phone we like.

You know which phone we like.

Full size image here.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.brennanmceachran.com Brennan Mceachran

    The Pre doesn’t even have 300 apps? That’s embarrassing! I think iPhone just passed 100, 000 apps but it looks like Android will be catching up very quickly.

    • http://davehong.yelp.com Dave H.

      To be fair, a lot of the apps on the iPhone App Store and Android Market are garbage! (There are good apps in there too, don’t get me wrong.)

    • http://technogeeknotes.tumblr.com Toby Overstreet

      Palm Pre was released this year last June. Yes Palm has been around for a long time but Palm just released a very new OS called WebOS that they never had done before. I remember when I got my first G1 in November last year, it has about 100 to 150 apps and it is over 10,000 apps within a year from the first release, thanks to the large Google Community. Palm Pre will have that much next year and the Pre community has been growing. Give some time. But it grows to 600 apps now in both App locations: App Store and Homebrew App Gallery now. Yes, the official App Store by Palm has 358 apps now. That info above was outdated. It has grown pretty fast.

  • halo0

    That chart is incorrect. A 900 minute plan on Verizon with unlimited messaging and 5GB of data is $89.99.

    • tke789

      That is true for a dumb phone. Unfortunetly, smart Phones are a different story. All smart phones on Verizon have an additional $30 charge per month for full internet and email access.

  • http://www.icanhasbottle.com Jeff

    Yeah, thats pretty sad for the pre. It would be great if this table also showed the minimum plan price. I am not much of a talker so the cheapest voice plans are always the ones I get.

    • http://a-gnu-hope.blogspot.com Ploni Almoni

      Sprint’s cheapest unlimited data+text plan (text is always unlimited with the data plans) is $69 for 450 minutes. Not including taxes and fees of course. There are Android phones on Sprint, the HTC Hero has been released on Sprint, and the Samsung Moment is coming in the first half of November. (I think the 1st) They don’t have the nice OMAP CPU that’s in the Droid though.

  • iHEART_android

    android has over 10,000 from what I have seen in the market place

    • Bob

      Dave mentioned on the bottom that a lot of apps listed are also just themes/addons/etc. for any specific app, but yeah its probably more than 10k but I wouldnt count it as 14k individual apps. Though I’m sure it’ll reach that number soon enough.

      Realistically though I personally will never use more than say… 20-30 apps.

  • s15274n

    Yeah, a lot seems off on that chart.

    • Josh

      Not only is the info sorted in a strange way but there are phones, notably the HTC Hero and the BlackBerry Storm 2 that are not included. I assume it’s because the Pre and Droid are “flagship” phones but since when have publicity stunts actually mattered to users?

  • Xeos

    This graphic uses outdated iPhone and Pre information, and some of it is downright inaccurate.

    • eddie rocks

      Can you be specific about inaccurate information? Thanks.

  • jlciii

    For existing iphone 3gs users, is that above list that compelling? Maybe, for some users, the ability for 5Mbit vs 3Mbit pictures, maybe multi-tasking is a big deal – or maybe the opportunity to dump AT&T might be compelling…

    but it doesn’t sound earth shattering to me.

  • droid
  • kayakj

    for defense of the pre… it did come out 3 months ago…

  • Jensen

    Android app and games right now ; 14.214 !


    • Dave

      Remember that a lot of the entries are for add-ons – like all the themes for home replacements and skins for keyboards etc etc – they should probably not be counted.

  • Dave

    Wait! Is that chart saying that the average user pays $110 a month on top of the $200 sign up fee? That’s a crazy amount to spend on a _mobile_ and, if true, Americans have far too much money

    • BackInAction

      Those numbers look right. We don’t have too much money, we are getting ripped off. The $200 is for the phone and approximately $15/month is the **hidden** phone payment which (until recently on T-Mobile) could NOT be avoided even if you bought your own phone.

      FWIW, $30/month for unlimited texting is crime. Period! Screw Apple/ATT’s exclusive deal, the Gov’t should crack down on unfair [based on bandwidth usage] charges like $30/m unlimited texting. A 1 minute phone call transmits more data than 1000 texts according to Consumer Reports. And there is a good chance that 1 min phone call is probably “free” (mobile to mobile, nights, weekends, circles, etc.).

      • Dave

        Do you really need the government to protect you from getting ripped off? If it’s more expensive than what you’re willing to spend, take your money somewhere else. It’s called capitalism.

        • BackInAction

          But you can’t go elsewhere. And the problem is we are play X per KB for voice and 100X per KB for texting. Not to mention we have to play $30/month for unlimited data as well (for this phone). If nothing else, the $30/data ought to be cover the unlimited texting.

          What if gas stations charged $2/gal if you put it in a car, but $20/gal if you put it in a motorcycle?

          one more thing to add to my response to Dave, there is also $30/m mandatory data charge on the phone as well. You don’t see that in the Sprint case as they only have “all in one” plans.

          So, the breakdown looks something like this…

          $35 one time sign-up fee (activation, sometimes waved depending on who you are talking to when you sign up)
          $200 to “buy” the phone

          $15/month — hidden phone payment
          $30/month — unlimited texting
          $30/month — unlimited data (mandatory with “SmartPhones”)
          $35/month — 900 min voice (typically includes free nights and weekends and free mobile-to-mobile, and sometimes free calls to a “circle”)

          What you don’t see in the chart is that there will be another $8+/month in “fees” and “taxes”.

          • Dave

            Supply and demand though right? The only reason they can charge that much is because people have the money and are willing to spend it on a phone. I agree you guys are getting ripped off, but I still think you have too much money if you can drop this month a month on just one form of communication.

            To put it in perspective, in the UK I paid roughly $200 for the phone, no activation fee and no network switch fee to port my number. I now pay about $35 a month for 300 texts, 200 minutes and 500MB of data.

            Yes it’s possible to pay more for more texts/minutes/data (e.g. $45 a month would get you a free phone unlimited texts, 900 minutes and 500MB), but those numbers get me through the month quite easily.


          • BackInAction

            We have plenty of carriers that offer inexpensive plans with lots of unlimited everything, but there phones are crap.

            Ex. Straight Talk (Wal-Mart’s new contract-less plan) has $45/m unlimited everything (does it have 3G or just EDGE? who knows). And $35/m for 1000 min, 1000 txt, 30MB. But they carry 3 phones. None of them are “SmartPhones”.

          • Pieter

            but see thats what dave is saying. this is the way capitalism works. you want a smart phone –> supply-demand has proven that people are willing to get ass-raped for a smart phone –> so you have to get ass-raped for a smart phone.

            smart phone is a luxury, the government isnt gonna do shit about that. maybe you can get a big corp (google) to bring out an excellent cheap smart phone, but then you would get many people that complain about the small strip of constant advertising at the bottom of the screen.

          • Fred

            But in the US we have the corporate controlled FCC. The US has crony capitalism–a compliant regulatory environment. If none of the carriers that support smart phones offer ala-carte style plans like are available in the Euro Zone then we can’t have them. There are work arounds like gVoice and gizmo, etc. But the carriers do exploit the consumer and the US government now works to protect corporate profits not consumer choice.

  • jason

    doesn’t the iPhone turn-by-turn navigation cost extra though?

  • Straightening You Out

    WMA support on the Droid: Does this include protected WMA support? If I can side load Rhapsody tracks onto the microsd card, I may switch from WinMo.

  • JAG

    wanna get the DROID now

    • Ben


  • Derek

    What does it matter how many apps Android has, the Droid only has 256MB of app storage. What a freaking joke! With the iPhone you can use the entire 16GB for app storage if you feel like it! Some games on the iphone take up over 700MB, the Droid couldnt even do that. What a joke Google and Android are. I was really wanting to get off AT&T, but not until they fix that.

    • Derek

      Oh, yea, go ahead and tell me that you can “root” the phone and get around putting apps on the SD card. But who wants to buy a brand new phone then have to “root” it and void the warranty.

      • Pieter

        nobody was gonna tell you to root your phone derek. but i would like to recommend that you take your bitch rant somewhere else.

      • Ulvhamne

        You dont have to root the phone for that. Just buy one that comes unlocked. For instance geekphone one or an android developer phone. Not harder than that. :) No rooting required.
        I wouldnt be too surprised if it ends up being a builtin thing in android down the line.
        Not to mention android phones coming out in the near future with a lot more built in memory.

    • http://technogeeknotes.tumblr.com Toby Overstreet

      Are you kidding me? 258 MB RAM space for Droid apps? But I thought Droid has 16 GB storage? What does that used for? photos and music only? I am surprised. When I had my G1, I can use external storage for apps. I know Droid has an external storage, correct?

      UPDATED: I realize that 16 GB storage is an external micro SD storage for Droid. It has 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM

      You are right, iPhone can use 16 GB for apps, photos and music. Same with Palm Pre with 8 GB.

      • http://technogeeknotes.tumblr.com Toby Overstreet

        I had to take a bit back what I said earlier. When @Derek said it has 256 MB of app storage, at first I was stunned to learn that, but I decided to go on a little research a bit. I realize that Droid and Palm Pre has the same internal memory RAM – 256 MB. For my Pre, it works very well with no problem. I am sure that Droid should do the same (I hope). I believe that 256 MB RAM should help to run programs effectively and smooth on the phone, correct?

        Palm Pre has 8 GB internal storage. I do still save my apps on that storage. However, Droid has a better and large storage 16 GB, but it is an external microSD card. It should able to save apps on that external storage, too, correct?

        Well, with all of new mobile phone technology, I am still trying what mobile phone has, such as internal, external, storage, and such. I have a hard time to think what is good and what is not good. I also am still learning what internal MB can do on the phone, like @Duke said 256 MB storage for apps.

        Again, if my Palm Pre has 256 MB memory RAM, then it went really very well with the WebOS running and multi-tasking with few cards at once!

  • worldbfree4me

    I’m happy with my Pre, I cannot fit the 258 offcial apps or the 300 home brewed apps on board anyway. The Apps I do have installed, get the Job done. I’m a power user who likes to tinker and the WebOS quickinstaller/Preware enables me to patch just about anything to my personal liking(precentral.net). Try that on an iDont! The jury is still out on Android, so I’ll reserve my judgement for later.


    you should have used the HTC Hero as Sprint’s phone. That is a real competitor to the IPhone.

    • Attackcenter

      The Hero is a fine phone but it has a slow processor than the Palm Pre or the Droid. The Droid, Iphone 3GS, and the Palm Pre have the Cortex A8 Processor which is currently about the fastest available. People have also complained that the Hero seemed slugish. The Droid is first high end Android device that is able to compete with the Iphone 3GS. The Hero is good, but it’s not a high end phone.

  • Attackcenter

    I do agree though that the HTC Hero would have been a better choice to use than the Palm Pre, since the Palm Pre seems headed for failure unless someone can buy them and pump some money into them. Even then, the current outer hardware of the Pre is not high end and comparable to some of the competition. The inner hardware of the Palm Pre is high end. But with only 8gb internal memory, No SD Slot, it’s too late, and too little.

  • http://none Fair comparison

    I didn’t see a category for media player or PC-based media software. The iphone works with itunes and replaces my ipod. Can android do this out of the box?

  • Toronto Guy

    seems pretty obvious to me iphone has them all beat, and I think Apple will pull away even further. Smart company, simple the best product on the market. In Canada, things are not so bad. I’m with Rogers and my iphone, plan and customer satisfaction is right up there! I think it’s a shame that it took Apple to rock the mobile world and do it right. Everyone else will play catch up for years to come.

    • Ben

      Toronto Guy, some in the United States would say that you’re fortunate you have Rogers as your carrier. What their concern may be with with the fact that AT&T is the only carrier for the iPhone family of SMART-Phones. While I am an avid iPhone-fanatic, I am lukewarm with AT&T. Me personally, I am a firm believer that the SMART-Phone I use must be “A+” and I can deal with a B-rated carrier. However, I cannot and will not be patient with the reverse a B-rated SMART-Phone and an A-rate carrier.

  • R

    Many errors on this chart. I will point out a couple for the Pre. First: the Palm Pre has Sprint navigation that does have VOICE command turn-by-turn navigation. Second, the cheapest plan Sprint offers is 69.99 for 450 minutes and unlimited txt, data, web, nights/wkds, and UNLIMITED MOBILE-TO-ANY-MOBILE. yes, that’s correct, you can call ANY mobile, regardless of carrier, for unlimited minutes on this plan. That is the best deal around, because very few people who would want this caliber of smartphone are spending 450 min/mo calling a landline. I consider that plan to be equivalent to the iPhone 3GS 900 min and the Droid 900 minute plans. THe cost savings are HUGE and much more than reported in this chart. And last I heard, Palm was adding 50-100 apps a week now, due to developer input. Hopefully people check facts on their own and don’t reply on this outdated and incorrect chart.

  • gettingiphone3gs

    Im going to be spending the money on the 3GS. I dont have a lot of money so for me I dont feel like screwing around. Im in Canada and spent a l o t of time reading reviews and comparing phones and plans and its clear to me that iPhone 3GS is still the better phone. Apple delivers consistent products time and time again. If “droid does” you can assume it wont be long before apple does. The reason the phones doesnt do some of the shit mentioned is because most people dont want it. Its like they searched high and low for a bunch of random shit iPhone doesnt do and then put out a commercial. Sorry but iPhone ftw im not wasting my money on something that didnt do what the iPhone did when it came along, which was change everything. Droid needs to do a lil more than take pics in the dark or have multiple aps running.

    • Ben

      There are no visually noticeable difference between a 3.0 (iPhone) or 5.0 (Droid) megapixel camera. Unless you’re viewing these photos in sizes in excess of an 17″ x 11″ sheet of paper or screen. What phone screen is that size? However, there is a noticeable difference with the fact that you can or cannot edit video taking by your phone. So iPhone 3 GS has the Droid beat in this aspect and this is definitely something “Droid does-NOT”.

  • Jon

    The storage numbers are misleading. Droid only uses 512mb of its 1GB internal memory to store apps, iPhone uses all available memory.
    Yes, Droid multitasks, BUT, it CANNOT do voice & data at the same time as does the iPhone so the iPhone multitasks where it counts. Try using your Droid GPS while you’re on speaker phone. Cannot be done.

    • Ben

      I agree with Jon, however, it’s not just with the Droid. The issue with not being able to multitask between phone usage and apps occurs with the entire Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. AT&T 3G network allows the SMART-Phones to multitask phone usage and apps to be functional at the same time. While using my BlackBerry Storm as a phone and I hang up from a call, any and all of my newly queued up inbound emails, SMS/MMS texts, BlackBerry Messenger messages then pop-up. Verizon Wireless’ network is not really SMART-Phone friendly. This is one of the hold out reasons between Apple and Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless’ roll out of their LTE network sometime in the future will finally address this issue. Again, this is a classic example of why all other SMART-Phones are playing catch up with the iPhone.

  • Ben

    I don’t trust the Droid. The Droid is being pitched in the United States by Verizon Wireless. They were also the same ones who pitched and said that the BlackBerry Storm was “THE iPhone-Killer”. Therefore the credibility for the Droid’s roll out is lost and none existent. Before looking at any other SMART-Phone, I would seriously analyze those units: comprehensive reading, full research, holding and playing with an actual LIVE version in-hand (in-store or a friend’s/coworker’s), speaking with current users (those who aren’t employees of the manufacturer, carrier, or retailer). I’ll admit that my experience of more than two years with the ORIGINAL iPhone spoiled me and skewed my expectations of any subsequent SMART-Phone which I may own or use. After many numerous issues with the BlackBerry Storm (which were unresolved by both the carrier and BlackBerry as well as those issues which eventually were addressed after many Verizon Wireless/Black Berry technician support calls, in-store visits, updates, recycles, and unit replacements), their “iPhone-Killer” was all smoke and mirrors. After giving ample time of more than 6 months, I’m willing to pay the contract break fee and return to AT&T, purchase the new iPhone 3 GS and be done with all of the headaches. If you’re considering the Droid, keep in mind that Verizon Wireless WILL NOT support any of the Google Applications that come pre-installed, nor will they support any of the after-market Google Applications. Those applications are considered third-party and ALL third-party applications are not supported at Verizon Wireless. Why is this an issue? Well, the Droid is fundamentally functioning on Google tidbits and applications. At least with the iPhone, it functions on many applications supported by Apple… and you’re able to use Google applications similar to those for the Droid. While there is no guarantee that Apple will support Google or third-party applications, those applications do not comprise the iPhone as it does with the Droid.

  • arms

    I’d preffered android

  • KaaJamm

    I am happy with my 32gig iPhone and believe it or not the AT&T coverage in my area is excellent
    Seems like every phone company is trying to copy the iPhone. The Droid is another knock off.

  • http://Website ohnoitsaspider

    The Droid actually also has expandable storage up to as much as they can make a micro SDHC card and Android has 32,000 apps

  • http://facebook.com/iphoneviet iphone 5

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