Androids vs. iPhones. The debate goes on and on. When the iPhone was first released, there was really no competition. Apple was playing in a class of its own. First Android phones were dismal: slow UI response, lags here and there, and the overall “do-it-yourself” approach just didn’t with consumers.
Today, the situation has changed. With the latest iPhone being a great device and a luxurious platform, the latest Androids leave little to be desired. Today’s Androids have no UI lags, feature most of the same apps in the Android Market / Google Play store, and went away with the do-it-yourself, LEGO type approach. Today, choosing one phone over another is more of a personal preference. Let’s try to find out what’s best about going the Apple route, and what advantages the Android way can bring.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you’re limited to only one current model in several versions that, honestly, differ very little. There are a few older models available from the used market, but that’s about it. “You can have any color as long as it’s black”.
Android phones, on the other hand, come in all sorts of shapes, models and colors. Different manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different screens, processors, memory. Very different reliability and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a market research, whereas you can’t really go wrong with any iPhone you can afford. Are you a techno geek or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone you like best. The rest will be served by Apple.
The latest generation of iPhones has a great Retina display. These super high pixel density displays will render your apps, icons and graphics so smooth it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they built one of the greatest screens ever.
Androids come with all sorts of displays. Some of the better ones can match iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still something to work on. Many apps still have low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be shown on lower-resolution screens. When selecting an Android phone, you will have to look carefully to get a model with a good screen. If you’re not good with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and technical specs, just get an iPhone for the best screen ever.
Built-in Software and Interface
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. One operating system, same user interface, the same set of pre-installed apps, same icons. You can customize it by moving stuff around and choosing a few icons on your own, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to do.
Androids come in all sorts of flavor. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and revisions. Different sets of icons for same apps. Completely different shells and launchers. Fully customizable: you can turn an Android phone into pretty much whatever you want (and it’s not all about custom icons) – but you have to know what you’re doing. With such a huge variety, some models are simply better as in easier to use, more stable and working more reliable than others. If building your very own tailored environment is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like it working out of the box, get an iPhone and start using it right away.
iPhones don’t have a slot to use an external memory card. You’ll be stuck forever with the amount of memory you originally bought. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to buy another iPhone, bringing more dough to Apple.
Most but not all Android devices come with a microSD slot, allowing you to put more memory when you need it. With flash memory getting cheaper every year, you will be wealthier in the long run if you buy an Android.
With iPhones, you can’t even swap a battery. If your battery goes bad in some years (they all do; lithium batteries die in 3-4 years), you’ll be sending your iPhone to Apple for a “major repair” (more dough to Apple), or be on the market for a new iPhone (even more dough to Apple).
While some Android phones use similarly user irreplaceable batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the cover and throw a new battery in. A replacement battery will only cost you a few dollars, allowing you to postpone the purchase of another phone some more years.
Android phones are more affordable to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones work great right out of the box, and offer one of the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.