Androids vs. iPhones. The discussion continues. At the time the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. The iPhone was playing in a class of its own. Early Android devices were dismal: sluggish UI, lags here and there, and the overall “assemble-it-yourself” approach just didn’t with consumers.
Today, the situation has changed. With the latest iPhone being a superb device and a luxurious platform, the newest Androids leave little to be desired. Today’s Androids have no UI lags, offer most of the same apps in the Android Market, and abandoned the do-it-yourself, LEGO type approach. Today, picking one phone over another is more of a personal preference. Let’s try to find out what’s good about going the Apple route, and what benefits the Android way can bring.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you can choose from only one current model in several versions that 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 quality and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, while you can’t go really wrong with any current iPhone. Are you a techno geek or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone that flies with you. The rest will be served by Apple.
The latest generation of iPhones has a superb Retina display. These super high pixel density displays will render your apps, icons and pictures so crisp it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they made one of the best screens ever.
Android phones ship with all sorts of screens. Some of the better ones can reach iPhones in pixel density, but software integration is still lagging. 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 watch really carefully to buy a model with a good screen. If you’re not friends with numbers, icon dimensions, angles of view and other specs, just leave the Androids alone.
Built-in Software and Interface
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. Same operating system, one user interface, the same set of pre-installed apps, same icons. You can customize it by moving things around and picking 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 codenames. Different sets of icons for same apps. Completely different shells and launchers. Fully customizable: you can make Android phones look like whatever you want (and it’s not all about custom icons) – but you have to know what you’re doing. With such a broad variety, some models are simply better as in simpler to use, more stable and working faster than others. If building your very own tailored system is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like your phone working out of the box, get an iPhone and begin using it right away.
iPhones don’t don’t accept memory cards. You’ll be stuck with the amount of memory you originally bought. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to get another iPhone, bringing more dough to Apple.
Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD slot, allowing you to add more memory when you need it. With microSD cards getting cheaper every year, you will be better off in the long run if you get an Android.
With iPhones, you can’t even replace a battery. If your battery dies in some years (they all do; lithium batteries won’t hold charge after 3-4 years), you’ll be shipping your iPhone back to Apple for a “major repair” (more money to Apple), or be shopping for a new iPhone (even more money to Apple).
While some Android devices use similarly fixed batteries, most phones are easy: just lift the back cover and throw a new battery in. A new battery will only cost you a few dollars, allowing you to buy a replacement phone when you want it.
Android phones are cheaper to buy and more affordable to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones work great straight out of the box, and offer one of the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.