The most common question for beginner smartphone owners is whether to buy an iPhone or an Android phone. But in its nature, the iPhone vs. Android discussions are never-ending. Some prefer iPhones over Android phones and vice versa. Android and iOS are currently the top mobile operating system, but the market has some little players you probably never heard of.
This article doesn’t guarantee that it will put a rest on the iPhone vs. Android debate, whatsoever. We’re going to look at the two smartphone platforms pointing out which offers better in different aspects. Each OS has its pros and vices.
Ease of Use
This is the first and most important thing to consider while shopping for a new gadget. Is product X easy to use? Or will I have to sit down for hours perusing through the manual? In terms of ease of use, it’s no secret that iOS products just work. The iPhone is pretty easy to use. That’s not to say a beginner will have it difficult using their Android phone. Android is easy to use, as well.
Android fans boasted about the home screen widgets for a long time, but with iOS 14, iPhones got it too. The only missing thing on iOS is the plenty of customization options that have been at the core of Android since the early years.
If you love crafting how you want your phone to look like, Android is the way and only way. You can download and use a custom launcher and even flash and install third-party custom ROM. Custom launchers specifically bring plenty of customization options on Android.
You’ve heard it many times, “iPhones are expensive.” That is true. And the price never seems to catch a breath. But wait? Are we comparing with competing flagship phones and not some mid-range Android smartphones? Not really. Surprised? Okay, let’s put it in context.
For instance, the latest iPhone in town, iPhone 12 Pro Max, has a starting retail price of $1099 / £1099 / AU$1849. The top competitor running Android, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, costs $1399.99 / £1199 / AU$1999 for the same 128GB onboard storage and 5G support. You see now? But keep in mind, this does not always pan out to be true.
That’s why when you hear fanboys battling over who’s expensive and who’s cheap, consider comparing the two strictly.
Debates whether the iPhone is expensive always arises because we’re comparing the latest and the powerful iPhone with high mid-range smartphones. Because when it comes to price, the difference is becoming blurry day by day. But you can get almost everything offered on a premium phone on a high-end mid-range Android phone.
Android has emerged as a cheaper alternative because there are many phones out there starting at a low price of $50, at times less than that – with pedestrian specifications under the hood.
So is the iPhone expensive? Not always. Is Android cheaper? It depends. But Android offers plenty of options to choose from depending on the budget.
For quite some time now, new iPhones have not had the most impressive design than Android counterparts. Even as of 2020, the same is still the case. Android phones now come with minimal bezels, edge-to-edge design(if you want it), and even innovative selfie camera design like pop-ups, hole punch, etc. On iPhone, even the latest iPhone 12 Pro Max, you still get the (ugly?) notch, and Apple has just revamped the old design from the 2014 iPhone 4S. That may not sit well with every user.
In the Android world, options are plenty, which gives Android an advantage over the iPhone. Want a sturdy rectangular design with a pen input? The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has you covered. Need a sleek phone that folds into half? The Galaxy Z Flip, Z Fold, or Motorola Razr is available. It’s an endless list of options. But Android does have a good number of poorly designed phones as well. Especially if you’re shopping for devices under $200.
When it comes to timely software updates, Apple has the upper hand. Although Google, the Android owner, releases software updates in time, most phones are made by third-party partners. When Google releases a software update, most Android manufactures take their time to integrate the new changes in their customized Android skins. This takes time and is the main reason why most users receive updates late.
Some Android manufacturers also never commit to shipping updates. Others have a comprehensive portfolio of devices and only give priority to their expensive phones. For Apple, they have a few phones, and they have full control over their ecosystem. Therefore, it makes it easy for Apple to provide updates four-five years later after launching an iPhone.
For Android, most manufacturers ditch support after two to three years. In fact, as of today, Android phones running the latest version (11) are less than .5%. Most Android phones run outdated software — a common case for years.
iPhones have iCloud, and Androids have Google Drive, Photos, and many options depending on the manufacturer. Google Photos works as advertised and offers unlimited free storage. The big win for Google Photos is the ease of accessibility while using different platforms. iCloud does work well, but once you’re out of the Apple ecosystem, problems set in. iCloud is also not available on Android. But Google Photos can be used on the iPhone.
Also Read: How to back up your Android phone: A Complete Guide
The closed nature of the iOS ecosystem ensures that the iPhone is secure. However, that is not always the case. But the bottom line is; iPhones are more secure than Android phones. When most Android phones are running outdated software, what can you expect?
Over the years it has become common for Google to purge malware-ridden apps available on Android’s official application store, Google Play. If you’re using an iPhone, you’re typically more secured as Apple has put in place a very strict review process on apps listed on the App Store. But don’t think iPhones are 100% secure from malicious actors. No software is ever fully secure.
Bloatware is a big issue on Android-powered smartphones. Bloatware on Android comes in different shapes and sizes. From carrier-specific apps to some popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix. We’re not saying iPhones are clean of bloatware – they do ship with some too. But not like what you’ll find, especially on cheap Android phones.
Also Read: How To Speed Up or Slow Down Netflix Playback Speed
Google Assistant vs. Siri
Let’s get this straight first: Google Assistant is way better. Google’s A.I. assistant is also arguably the best in the whole industry. Siri works okay, but it’s not comparable to Google Assistant. But you don’t have to choose between the two because Google’s Assistant is also available on the iPhone.
In terms of raw specifications like the battery, wired and wireless fast charging, headphone jack, etc., Android is a clear winner. Mainly because there are more options. You can snap in a microSD card to have lots of more storage, use your wired headphones(not at all times), and connect to a plethora of other accessories via the universal USB ports.
iPhones don’t ship with a headphone jack and limit on the gadgets you can connect with. Android accessories are also cheaper, unlike those meant for the iPhone. iPhones can lag too when it comes to implementing some features.
Also Read: iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone 12: Which One Should You Buy?
For instance, the recent iPhones added 5G support, nearly two years after it was availed on some Android phones. There’s no high display refresh rate on the iPhone – even in 2020!
But the iPhone does offer one of the best displays on the market and the best processor. On the Android scene, results are mixed. But premium Android phones do guarantee the best displays and run the latest high-end processors from Qualcomm. And they also include enough battery capacity as well.
Speaking of battery capacity, you might find yourself charging your iPhone more often than an Android phone. iPhones have a poor history of including small-sized batteries. A good example is last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max, which shipped with a 3969mAh battery — the highest we’ve seen on an iPhone. In contrast, Android phones offer massive battery capacity up to and beyond 5,000mAh. And it doesn’t cost much, a $300 Android phone can even pack a 6,000mAh battery.
Conclusion: iPhone or Android?
It depends. Each platform has its strongholds and weak points. The most important thing is what you’re willing to spend and the most important thing in a smartphone. If iOS matters, iPhones are there, and if customization is your thing, Android is the way to go. In that fashion. Just know what you really cant compromise.