Mobile

Nexus One, Droid, or iPhone — which should you buy?

Don’t have time to read through the thousands of long, gadget-nerdy posts about Google’s new Nexus One phone flooding the Internet today?

We’ve made you a cheat sheet that compares the top three status-phones: Nexus, Droid and iPhone. We’ll also tell you which one to buy when you’re done comparing.

Price

  • Nexus One: $179 with service plan. $529 unlocked
  • Droid: $199 with service plan. $599 unlocked
  • iPhone: $99 and up with service plan. $199 for the faster 3G S model. You can buy an unlocked one on eBay.

Carrier(s)

  • Nexus One: T-Mobile. Coming soon to Verizon and to Vodaphone in Europe
  • Droid: Verizon
  • iPhone: AT&T

Size

  • Nexus One: 4.7″ x 2.4″ x 0.45″
  • Droid: 2.4″ x 4.6″ x 0.5″
  • iPhone: 4.5″ x 2.4″ x 0.48″

Weight

  • Nexus One: 4.5 ounces
  • Droid: 6.0 ounces
  • iPhone: 4.8 ounces

Manufacturer

  • Nexus One: HTC
  • Droid: Motorola
  • iPhone: Apple

Operating System

  • Nexus One: Android 2.1
  • Droid: Android 2.0, upgradable to Android 2.1
  • iPhone: iPhone OS 3.0

Screen Size

  • Nexus One: 3.7″
  • Droid: 3.7″
  • iPhone: 3.5″

Screen Resolution

  • Nexus One: 800 x 480 pixels, 267 pixels per inch
  • Droid: , 854 x 480 pixels, 267 pixels per inch
  • iPhone: 480 x 320 pixels, 163 pixels per inch

Standby Time on 3G network

  • Nexus One: 250 hours
  • Droid: 270 hours
  • iPhone: 300 hours

Internet Use battery life

  • Nexus One: 5 hours on 3G, 6.5 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Droid: 6.4 hours
  • iPhone: 5 hours on 3G, 9 hours on Wi-Fi

Talk Time on 3G network

  • Nexus One: 420 minutes
  • Droid: 420 minutes
  • iPhone: 300 minutes

Camera

  • Nexus One: 5 megapixels
  • Droid: 5 megapixels
  • iPhone: 3 megapixels

Number of available apps right this second

  • Nexus One: 21,914
  • Droid: 21,914
  • iPhone: 143,508

One Big Thing it has that the other two don’t

  • Nexus One: Slimmest and lightest
  • Droid: A real keyboard
  • iPhone: The most and best apps, says Walt Mossberg

Where can I get it?

Watch out for …

  • Nexus One: Multitasking apps is cool, but can drain the battery quickly.
  • Droid: Heavier than the rest. The camera “sucks,” says Gizmodo.
  • iPhone: No multitasking for apps. AT&T coverage in San Francisco and New York is hard-to-believe bad.

motorola-droid-verizon-wirelessWhich one should you buy? You’re reading VentureBeat, so you’re very likely an entrepreneur, VC or bizdev professional.

Get the Droid. You have work to do. Droid’s physical keyboard lets you type much faster than the touchscreens on the iPhone and Nexus One. It’s almost — almost — as good as a BlackBerry for text and email.

But most important, the Droid is the only one of these phones available with a service plan from Verizon for now. The Nexus One will eventually add Verizon as an option, and there are rumors that the iPhone will too — but is there any more discredited phrase in the mobile industry than coming soon? Verizon’s huge network footprint means the Droid will work in more places than the other two, with minimal call drops. You win.

[Nexus One photo: Engadget. Droid photo: Technetz.com]

Bonus Infographic

Here’s a chart from BillShrink comparing the phone’s features and costs. Huh, what’s this “Palm Pre” thing? :-)

nexus-one-total-cost