Apple iPhone 3G vs HTC Dream: smartphone showdown

Can Google's Android platform finally knock the iPhone off its perch?

Apple's iPhone 3G

Apple's iPhone 3G

Multimedia

Unfortunately for HTC this isn't even a contest. The Dream lacks a dedicated video player (apart from the built-in YouTube client), has a smaller display, uses a mini-USB headphone jack rather than a standard 3.5mm port and only comes with a 1GB microSD card for storage. Of course, the iPhone 3G is restricted due to the fact it lacks any external storage at all, but 8GB or 16GB of flash memory built-in should satisfy most users, and a 32GB model is expected in the coming months. The iPhone 3G is somewhat restricted compared to the HTC Dream when it comes to file support, though, and needs to be used in tandem with iTunes. Disappointingly, neither device features A2DP Stereo Bluetooth.

Winner: iPhone 3G

Web Browser

We were very impressed with the HTC Dream's Web browser — probably making it the second best mobile Web browser available (though fans of the Opera Mobile browser — built for Windows Mobile and Symbian devices — would probably have something to say about that). The iPhone 3G's Safari browser did have some issues with crashes and instability in earlier releases, but most of these seem to have been fixed with the latest Apple software updates. Multi-touch really comes to its own here — the pinch and expand gestures to zoom out are superbly implemented and are something that the HTC Dream lacks. Android isn’t too far behind, as the trackball is an extra addition that makes scrolling around pages easy, and page rendering is excellent. In the end, though, Safari remains unsurpassed as the best Web browsing experience on a mobile phone.

Winner: iPhone 3G

Other Features

For a device sometimes lauded as the be all and end all of mobile phones, Apple has left plenty of basic features out of the iPhone 3G. There is no way to send or receive MMS messages, no way to copy and paste text, no way to forward SMS messages, no Bluetooth file transfer, no haptic feedback, no video recording and no way to use the iPhone 3G as a modem. In addition, the battery is non-removable, battery life is poor, the included camera is outdated and lacks a flash, and call quality is below average. The HTC Dream is also missing some basics — it lacks A2DP Bluetooth, video recording isn't a standard feature and you can't edit office documents. But in the end, it has more of the basics than Apple has managed to include on the iPhone 3G.

Winner: HTC Dream

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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