Yes in the war of the smartphone this is the ever-dreaded question to ask. If you ask this online anywhere you get both camps up in arms about which phone is better. And although I do lean toward the Android camp it is my hope to answer this question honestly. And Android fan boys might not like the answer. Read on to find out if the Apple iPhone is better than the current Android out on the market today.
Is the Apple iPhone Better than Android?
Before I answer that question we need to try and compare Android vs. Apple. I know this is pretty broad as I didn’t really mention specific devices. But I want to address this as the “Big Picture” rather than the usual Hey My phone is better than your phone that you’ll see all over the web.
So, lets take a look at Android. What makes them great – and what isn’t so great about them. Yes, Android isn’t perfect (*gasp*) but it is definitely moving in the right direction!
What is awesome about Android is that it is super versatile. It is constantly changing and growing. And so is the hardware that Android is going on. This means at any one point of time you will see newer more awesome smartphones being released. And as Android progresses it keeps getting better and better.
The exploding growth of people using Android is fantastic! As of July 2012 58% of smartphones out there are using Android! But with growth there is a downside. A lot of people who get the phone don’t realize that they will need to eventually update the software in order to keep it not only updated but secure! Although this has been called “fragmentation” – I just call it lack of knowledge by the general public.
So – Update those devices out there already!
With Android Smartphones – there are so many different versions out there today it is mind-boggling if you go shopping for one today without any type of knowledge. You could end up with a device that you end up hating. So, do your research before purchasing your next phone. Go to review sites like Android Authority or XDA-Developers to see what is hot… and whats not.
Battery life is all over the map for Android phones. I know for my phone I can get about 4-6 hrs of actual screen time and I can usually go an entire 8 hr work day without having to get near a charger. Which is about average.
Another thing that makes Android awesome is the modding community. These people are border-line fanatical about their phones. But the good news is that they offer the ability to Root your phone, offer custom ROM’s and sometimes even better troubleshooting of issues than the phone manufacturers themselves.
Read More: Should you Root Your Android or iPhone?
They Aren’t Perfect
The bad part of that is that with the ever changing software and hardware you end up running into issues with either hardware or software not working 100% correctly out of the box.
Example: My brother has the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy SIII. He was constantly complaining of the TouchWiz interface causing him issues. When he went to make a call he would have to hit the send button multiple times before the call would go out. And he said if the phone was up and running for any period of time he would be forced to reboot it in order to get it back to working correctly.
His workaround for the issue. Install a custom ROM that removes all of the Touch Whiz junk and it runs great!
Now I attest that most of the issues Android ends up having is due to phone manufacturers messing with Android and adding their own UI – such as Samsung’s TouchWiz, or HTC’s Sense UI. That and the additional “bloatware” the carriers insist on shoving into the devices make them unstable.
Terrible Support/Lack of Updates
OK, I might get bashed for stating this. But for the most part phone manufactures and the carriers are horrid about updating their phones. I had the Samsung Captivate through AT&T and it took them almost a year and a half for them to get the phone updated to Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread.
My wife has the Samsung Captivate Glide – and although Samsung states that the latest version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is going to be released to it – as of this writing it still hasn’t been released.
I know – this is carrier specific, and other manufacturers have been pretty good about updating their devices. But for the most part – it is spotty at best, and a lot of older devices are getting left in the dust.
Loss of Value
Not to mention the value of your smartphone drops to nothing as soon as you purchase it. This is due to the fact that manufacturers are churning out devices so quickly making your current phone obsolete as soon as you purchase it.
But, take this with a grain of salt. I was able to sell my 2+ year old Samsung Captivate for $100.00
This is the phone that everyone loves to hate or just plain love depending on who you talk to. Me? Besides the fact that Apple seems to want to sue the entire Smartphone market out there with patent infringements? I actually like the iPhone. I think its great for those who want the experience of a smartphone but don’t want the generally higher learning curve required to using an Android device.
Ease of Use
Yes, I’ll say it and the Android fan boys will nay say it all day long. Apple is just easier to use right out of the box. Why? Because you don’t have the flexibility that Android has. You can’t modify every last thing on the device. You can move icons around and change some settings. But pretty much what you see is what you get.
I know…. I’m over simplifying here. But that is the beauty of Apple’s iPhone. It is deceptively simple when your using one.
With the iPhone 5 soon to be released. Apple keeps their phones updated so it will at the very least keep up with today’s technology if not slightly surpassing it. They keep their design simple and only use hardware that they know works. Even the whole iPhone 4 fiasco with the “Death Grip” was more of just a few devices having the issue and the media causing a frenzy rather than there really being a huge issue.
Apple makes sure that when you open up the box and activate your iPhone – it just works. Period.
Amazingly, battery life for the iPhone hasn’t really changed since it was introduced back in 2007. Even the iPhone 5 is going to have around the same amount of standby (220 hrs) and talk time (8 hrs) as the original iPhone. Why they don’t try and improve on that I’ll never understand.
Apple is the absolute king when it comes to marketing. They have been using the same marketing plan since they first released their Apple IIe almost 3o years ago! Try and keep their internal costs down – focus on the design and marketing and keep it almost on the bleeding edge so when they release their next device you’ll want to go out and purchase it.
I mean there is a reason there are legions of loyal fans. It isn’t just the hardware they chunk out. It is the way they give you the “whole package” into Apple’s world.
Software Updates & Support
The other thing that makes Apple great? They update their iOS and actually push out timely updates. If there is a security issue? They roll out an update. If the latest and greatest version of iOS is going to be released. They give you the update – and although some older devices might not be able to use all of the features.
Of course their support does come with a price. It is highly advisable that you get an Apple Care warranty with anything you purchase with Apples name. Unfortunately this costs around $90.00 a year for their support.
The downfall of using an iPhone? You are in what I call a “Closed Environment”. This is done for two reasons.
- It keeps it so the basic consumer can’t screw things up.
- The consumer will use/buy Apple’s other products in order to use the phone.
No Access to Hardware or Software
Holds Their Value
Yes, the iPhone holds their value due to the fact that Apple doesn’t keep cranking out 10 different models a year. They push out 1 new update a year (more or less). And this helps keep their value up instead of dropping like when you purchase a new computer, or a new car, or an Android Smartphone.
I was able to sell my then 2 1/2 year old Apple iPhone 3G for $200.00 bucks. And this is when the 3GS had already been released for about 6 months.
So Which One is Better?
In reality? If you look at the whole picture? Neither one is perfect. The way I look at it is like this:
If you want something simple and just want a phone that works out of the box? Get an Apple iPhone. You can do 90% of what Android smartphones can do in today’s smartphone world. But it will generally cost you more in initial investment. And you will have to use iTunes to manage your device.
My Recommendation? Try and get the iPhone 5 if you can find one. Otherwise the iPhone 4S is still a decent device – especially if this is your first time getting into the world of smart phones.
If you like the idea of “Open Source” and the ability to actually access the battery or be able to update your storage? If you like the ability to highly customize your phone? And you don’t care if there might be some bugs in the system? Then grab an Android.
My Recommendation? I would suggest going with either Samsung or HTC. Either manufacturer has awesome phones. The Samsung Galaxy SIII or the HTC One X are two of the most powerful devices out currently.
The bottom line is this: You really can’t go wrong with either choice – in the end its just a matter of preference.
So did I do either one an injustice? Did I forget something you think is vital to this article? Leave a comment below and let it be known! But please – keep it civil!