Physical Comparison:
 
Physical Comparison
  Motorola Droid Nokia N900 HTC Droid Incredible Apple iPhone 3GS
Height 115.8 mm (4.56") 110.9 mm (4.36 ") 117.5 mm (4.63") 115 mm (4.5")
Width 60 mm (2.4") 59.8 mm (2.35") 58.5 mm (2.30") 62.1 mm (2.44")
Depth 13.7 mm (0.54") 19.55 mm (0.78") 11.9 mm (0.47") 12.3 mm (0.48")
Weight 169 g (6.0 oz) 181 g (6.38 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz) 133 g (4.7 oz)
CPU Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 @ 550 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 @ 600 MHz Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 @ 600MHz
GPU PowerVR SGX 530 PowerVR SGX 530 Qualcomm Adreno 200 PowerVR SGX 535
RAM 256MB LPDDR1 256MB LPDDR1 512MB LPDDR1 256MB LPDDR1
NAND 512 MB + microSD 32 GB + microSD 8GB + microSD 16GB or 32GB
Camera 5.0MP with Dual LED Flash 5.0MP Tessar with Dual LED Flash 8MP with Dual LED Flash 3MP
Battery Removable 5.18 Whr Removable 4.88Whr Removable 4.81 Whr Integrated 4.51Whr
Resolution 3.7" 854 x 489 LCD 3.5" 800 x 480 LCD 3.7" 800x480 AMOLED 3.5" 320 x 480 LCD
PPI 266 267 252 165
Digitizer Capacitive Multitouch Resistive Capacitive Multitouch Capacitive Multitouch
 
OMAP 3430 Continued:

As enthusiasts of the N900, Palm Pre, and Motorola Droid alike know, the 600 MHz clock is somewhat conservative, as many have been able to get up to 1 GHz relatively easily with custom ROMs and other kernel patches. In fact, the OMAP 3440 has a recommended clock target of 800 MHz, some 200 MHz higher than the recommended 600 MHz target for the OMAP 3430. Notably, the OMAP36x series running at 45-nm has recommended clocks of 720 MHz for all but the highest end OMAP 3640, which is 1 GHz. It's entirely likely that the difference between the  OMAPxx40 and the lower clocked OMAPxx30 for each process target is binning, possibly explaining why some are able to get devices running at even over 1 GHz.

Of course, the primary comparison for this generation is arguably Qualcomm's popular Snapdragon SoC. The primary differences between these two popular SoCs are two things: the Qualcomm SoC includes celluar modems, but more notable is the difference in GPU. We've talked briefly before about how the QSD8250/QSD8650 both include Qualcomm Adreno 200 GPUs which are actually re-branded AMD z340 GPUs brought over with the IP Qualcomm bought when it acquired AMD's handheld graphics and multimedia assets division. Interestingly enough, the AMD z340 is related to the Xenos GPU in the Xbox 360. Standards support wise, however, the Adreno 200 and PowerVR SGX 530 both target OpenGL 2.0 ES, but performance wise we now know the PowerVR SGX 530 is superior performance wise over the z340. Keep in mind the iPhone 3GS has a slightly higher spec'ed version of PowerVR SGX GPU, an SGX 535.

cat /proc/cpuinfo on the Nokia N900

It's difficult to be absolute about how much the performance delta between the Adreno 200/AMD z340 and the PowerVR SGX530 really is, as so much of the difference is the result of driver differences. Add in further complexities surrounding how well implemented features are on different smartphone OSes, and it becomes even more challenging to give you a real objective answer. Point is, without a common software stack, it's difficult to give a solid benchmark. That said, it's hard to argue that Imagination's PowerVR SGX series isn't faster in practice across the board.

cat /proc/cpuinfo on the Motorola Droid

Of course, the untold story here is that although the 3430 ships with modest clocks (which the Motorola reduces by 50 MHz), it has seen largely uniform overclocks to 1 GHz. In fact, what's really interesting here is that in principle, a 1 GHz OMAP 3430 should outpace a 1 GHz Snapdragon SoC in a number of use scenarios because of the vastly better GPU onboard the 3430.

Similar SoC: Meet the OMAP 3430 The Hardware: Motorola Droid
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  • tarunactivity - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    a notable omission:

    The FM receiver on the N900 requires Bluetooth to be switched on. So if you want FM, you need to plugin your earphones + enable bluetooth.

    Kind of counter productive , if you ask me,and surely a waste of power.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Ahh, you're totally right. I think I glossed over that because I already had Bluetooth on, but it makes sense now since the FM radio is on that same piece of silicon.

    I wonder how much of a difference it makes on battery - had it disabled for those other tests of course.

    -Brian Klug
    Reply
  • asdasd246246 - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    I'm sure the Nokia has sweet hardware, but it's still all plastic..
    Plastic screen that will scratch the first 10 minutes you own it, and a friend has a similar model without a keyboard, and the plasticness is so horrible I shudder.. -_-
    Reply
  • legoman666 - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    I've had the N900 since last November. No screen protector, no case. Not 1 scratch. So speak for yourself, maybe you ought to put your phone in a separate pocket as your keys. Reply
  • legoman666 - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    back: http://imgur.com/tf6RE.jpg

    front: http://imgur.com/XDsyI.jpg
    Reply
  • akse - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    The case is somewhat plastic yeah.. but it hasn't really bothered me so much. I have only a few tiny tiny scratches on the screen, you can only spot them by mirroring a clean screen against bright light.

    At the back I have a few bigger scratches because the phone fell on concrete..
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    I have a 1200-series Nokia phone, which I keep in the same pocket as the keys, and the display is in a serviceable condition after more than two years of abuse Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    Actually, the Symbian OS- Nokia's No.1 Smartphone OS is more open with entire OS(including the core APIs) being Open Source. Symbian is more open than Android. Reply
  • Talcite - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    That's only true for symbian^3 and newer OSes. Only the Nokia N8 is currently shipping S^3 I believe.

    You should also mention that the Maemo 5 OS has many binary packages to get all the cellular hardware and PowerVR GPU working.

    Anyways, it definitely has more support for the FOSS community than android though as far as I know. You're free to flash your own ROMs without needing to root it and you don't need to do weird stuff with java VMs. Just a simple recompile for ARM and support for Qt I think.
    Reply
  • teohhanhui - Friday, June 11, 2010 - link

    Nokia N8 is still far from "currently shipping"... Reply

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