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Android Phones
Motorola Photon 4G vs. Apple iPhone 4 Comparison

Wirefly Learn » Android Phones

June 9th, 2011


Every new smartphone gets compared to the Apple iPhone 4. Although it’s a year old and has fallen behind newer phones in the technology race, the iPhone 4 is the standard to which all smartphones are compared. Well designed, attractive and stylish, the iPhone 4 remains the top-selling smartphone in the U.S., at the time this is written. Of course, other companies have created dozens of competing devices, many of which now have faster processors, larger screens, more memory and can connect to speedier networks. Still, the Apple iPhone 4 remains the benchmark against which other phones are measured.

The Motorola Photon 4G was just announced for Sprint. Capable of connecting to Sprint’s swift 4G WiMax network, the Photon 4G has a 4.3-inch display, an 8-megapixel camera and the ability to shoot 1080p HD video, while the iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera and shoots up to 720p HD video. The Photon 4G can hold up to 48GB of files, such as music, photos and videos, compared to the 16GB and 32GB versions of the iPhone 4. Going over the specs and features, there are many points where the Photon 4G technically outshines the iPhone 4. So how does the new Motorola Photon 4 compare vs. the Apple iPhone 4?

Motorola Photon 4G Apple iPhone 4  
Motorola Photon 4G Apple iPhone 4
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Wirefly’s Price
(as of publish date)
Not yet available Not sold by Wirefly
Carrier Sprint AT&T/Verizon
Operating System Android 2.3 Apple iOS 4.3
Interface Motorola MotoBlur

Apple iOS

Display 4.3″ TFT LCD, 540 x 960 pixels 3.5″ LCD, 640 x 960 pixels
Data Speed 4G WiMax 3G CDMA/HSPA
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1
Mobile Hotspot Yes – Optional Yes – Optional
Camera 8-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus 5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
Front-facing Camera Yes; VGA quality (640 x 480) Yes; VGA quality (640 x 480)
Video Capture Yes; 720p HD Yes; 720p HD
Apps Android Market Apple App Store
Music Player Yes Yes
Adobe Flash Support Adobe Flash 10.2 No
Storage Space 16GB onboard; microSD slot for expansion 16GB or 32GBB onboard; no expansion slot
Keyboard Virtual QWERTY Virtual QWERTY
Battery Not yet known; will be user-replaceable 1,400 mAh lithium-ion; not user-replaceable
Processor Dual-core 1GHz processor Single-core 800MHz processor
Memory RAM: 1GB RAM: 512MB
Microsoft Outlook Support Yes Yes
View Word Docs Yes Yes
Weight Not yet known 4.8 oz
Dimensions Not yet known 4.5″ x 2.3″ x 0.4″

Key Differences

  • Display: The Apple iPhone 4 leads the industry in the resolution of it’s LCD display: 640 x 960 pixels, which results in very sharp images on the iPhone 4′s relatively small 3.5-inch display. The Motorola Photon 4G has a 4.3-inch LCD display at a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels.
  • Operating system: The Motorola Photon 4G will have Android 2.3, the latest version of Google’s popular open operating system. The Apple iPhone 4 runs Apple’s iOS4.3 proprietary operating system.
  • Processor and RAM: The Motorola Photon 4G features a dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of processor RAM. The Apple iPhone 4 has a 800MHz single-core processor and has 512MB of processor RAM, giving the Motorola Photon 4 a big lead in processor speed.
  • Keyboard: Both the Motorola Photon 4G and the Apple iPhone 4 have on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboards.
  • Storage Space: The Motorola Photon 4G will ship with 16GB of onboard memory, and it has a microSD slot for memory expansion up to a total of 48GB. The Apple iPhone 4 comes in two models; one with 16GB of storage and one with 32Gb of storage. The iPhone 4 does not have a slot to increase the storage.
  • Camera: The Motorola Photon 4G has an 8-megapixel still-image rear camera, a VGA (640 x 480) front-facing camera for video chat and can record HD video at 1080p resolution. The Apple iPhone 4 has a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p HD video. The iPhone 4 also has a 640 x 480 front-facing camera.
  • Battery life: The capacity of the battery in the Motorola Photon 4G is not yet known, however it will be easily replaceable by the consumer. The Apple iPhone 4 has a 1,400 mAh battery that is not user replaceable.


Shop Now for Phones from Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Related posts:

  1. HTC EVO 3D vs. Motorola Photon 4G Comparison
  2. HTC EVO 3D vs. Apple iPhone 4 Comparison
  3. Sprint Nexus S vs. Apple iPhone 4 Comparison
  4. HTC Trophy vs. Apple iPhone 4 Comparison

21 Responses to “Motorola Photon 4G vs. Apple iPhone 4 Comparison”

  • Carlette
    December 5, 2011

    my photon keeps powering down when i am trying to make a call. this morning i was using my hotspot and it powered down in the middle of doing my work. so frustrating, especially when someone is expecting your call and the phone powers down. anything i can do to stop that short of taking the phone back?

    • Carlette, are you sure the battery is charged in your Motorola Photon? If the battery is charged, you might have a bad battery — one that won’t hold a charge. Whenever I use the hotspot feature on a phone, I have the phone plugged into the charger and have never had a problem. I recommend that if you can easily plug the phone in. Otherwise, iIf the phone continues to power down in the middle of using it, the only alternative is to take it to a Sprint store and have someone look at it.

      Bob at Wirefly

    • animosity.lol
      December 26, 2011

      That has got to do with your battery. I would recommend you replace your battery. Go to a best buy and buy one and replace since the motorla photon battery is user replaceable

  • What software is available with the Motorola Photon to sync with outlook?

    • Craig, there’s no software to sync a phone, per se. The Motorola Photon comes with the ability to sync with an Enterprise Outlook server, such as you might have at your work. In this way, you can get your work e-mail, contacts and calendar info on your cell phone. The IT department at your work can usually help you set that up.

      If you want to sync with Outlook that you use on a your own private PC, that’s something I haven’t tried and am not sure if it can be done. If you use Outlook with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or other online mail service, you can certainly sync to those — that’s pretty easy.

      Hope that helps!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I have the Photon and my girlfriend has the iPhone4, Ive had the Phonton for about 3 weeks now and I love it. I went from the Samsung Epic which was good but the battery life suck. The Photon however has a much stronger battery and super fast compaired to the Epic. Also compaired to the iPhone the battery life we found to be about the same. And thats with regular use and updating Facebook and Twitter. Also compaired to the iPhone we noticed that the Photon blows it to dust when we access the internet (regular data)and even when jacked to wifi. And I wont even mention when running on 4g!!!!!! Right now in our household Photon Rules!

  • I am the big fan of Motorola brand one week before i purchased Motorola photon 4g though I am not satisfy its blue coloring screen but since two days I am facing problem on talking, when i am using earpiece I can’t hear voice properly.

    • Das, are you talking about the earpiece built into the phone? Or an external earphone? If it’s the external earphone, try a different earphone. If it is the built-in earpiece, then your phone may be bad. If you got your Photon from Wirefly, call Wirefly and ask about returning it. If it’s less than 30 days old, you should be able to get a free replacement.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Bob, what is the brightness spec for the photon? Also what is the battery life with average use?


    • Jason, I looked for a brightness spec for the Motorola Photon and couldn’t find it. I can say that when I crank it all the way up, it is brighter than an HTC EVO 3D that is also pushed to full brightness.

      As for the battery, I don’t do any sort of formal battery testing. That said, the battery in the Photon seems to drain pretty quickly. In my experience, the Photon has to be charged at least once a day.

      Bob at Wirefly

    • You asked a question that I’ve known got a long time & that no one every asked, but heres the bright level it’s information from anandtek.they basically compare spec’s of every phone out. The brightest screen in existence had a bright level of 700 nits, that screen is thd”LG Nova” well it just happen’s to be that the droid x2 & the droid 3 both have a 698 nits brightness level which to me is as good as the 700 nit LG Nova & then comes the point that the qHD in the photon & bionic are the 3rd generation rgbw samsung pentile screen *droid.x2 & droid 3 have 2nd generation* so either the photon’s screen is still just 2 nits less than the LG Nova’s 700 nits leaving it at 698 or it’s been improved & is actually brighter than the Nova’s screen! On top of the bright levels it’s higher resolution & has higher contest levels. I wondered got a while why samsung never mentions the benefits of rgbw & the brightness which allows for reading in the sun & then it hit me , the amoled plus only benefits from black pixels because it uses no energy, but the rgbw uses no energy on white pixels & any other image that uses white to enhance it’s color’s & since there is more whites & light backgrounds this screen actually saves more battery than the amoled plus is more efficient & just like the amoled plus they can make An rgbw plus screen…but thats the problem the amoled plus is there golden child with too much time & work invested into there amoled. I know it’s way more info but it’d better to know than not.anyway hope I helped answer your question! ;)

  • Dimensions are 2.6″ x 5.0″ x 0.5″.
    Sounds like it will be bulky.

    • Fred, I have the Motorola Photon on my desk and it is less bulky than some other phones. At the moment, the Photon may be the lightest weight 4G phone with a 4.3-inch 540 x 960 display. Older BlackBerrys used to be MUCH bulkier.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • FTW iphone 4!!!

  • nothing would ever beat iPhone4

  • Douglas Kerr
    June 13, 2011

    One specification is incorrect: The video capture is NOT 1080p. It is 720p.

    • Thanks, Douglas… I fixed it.

      Bob at Wirefly

    • jonathan
      July 25, 2011

      another wrong spec is the comparison shows the iphone 4 to have a 1.2 ghz processor & then again it says it has a 1 ghz processor. when in reality it only has an 800 mgz processor, the A4 in the ipad has 1 ghz but not the iphone4 it was lowered to save battery & also because the phones apps do not need that much processing power.

      • Jonathan, thank you for the corrections… I fixed the chart. These charts and the associated text are made by an actual human (me!) and sometimes have all-too-human errors. Just let me know and I’ll fix ‘em.

        Bob at Wirefly

    • And the gps if also sGPS “SIMULTANEOUS GPS” the benefits are too many & Very good….but my laptop is down, I’m using my put phone to text & it sucks. So google .HOpeULLY you guys fInd

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