Last June, I complained about the overused phrase "iPhone killer." I argued that it elevates the iPhone to a place that it doesn't deserve. Yes, it's a great device in many ways, but it's not the pinnacle of cell phone achievement.
As it turns out, I was a little ahead of myself. In the two-and-a-half years since the first iPhone , was born, I've seen quite a few supposed iPhone rivals pass through CNET. But I had to wait until two weeks ago before a real challenger finally landed on my desk.
The Motorola Droid challenges the iPhone on more fronts than I've seen from others--it has some multitouch, the display is magnificent, and it's packed with a multitude of features. Granted, its media player can't quite compete, and it didn't win our Prizefight, but it bests Apple's device in overall performance. And really, the iPhone won that Prizefight by the thinnest of margins.
As you can imagine, CNET readers had passionate opinions on both sides of the battle. Some praised the Droid before even touching it, and others wondered how we could dare suggest that the iPhone was deficient in any way. I have to say the latter camp was a little more vociferous--perhaps Verizon touched a nerve with their its snarky ad campaign (they aren't any snarkier than the "I'm a Mac" commercials)--but the Droid got people riled up on all fronts.
In the back and forth, however, an important point gets lost. It's not about which device is better, it's about which device is better for you. Some will prefer the iPhone and some will prefer the Droid. There's plenty of room in this world for more than one good phone.
Apple fans shouldn't reflexively slam the Droid (seriously, there's no reason to feel threatened) and Google Android devotees shouldn't cheer for the iPhone to be vanquished (schadenfreude is not charming). Each device can can excel in its own way, and not every phone will be perfect at everything. It's all part of the gadget world. And that's OK.