Whether you’ve used a smartphone for years, or you’re considering buying your first you might be asking yourself “Should I choose Android or iPhone?” and rightly so, these are the two heavy weight operating systems of the smartphone world.
Choosing between Android and iPhone could be a bigger decision than you think, especially since each type of smartphone has different functionality. Depending on your everyday needs for a smartphone if you choose the wrong operating system, you might find yourself making a costly mistake, quite literally with modern day smart phone prices!
It’s an argument that will always divide opinions, and if you’ve come as far as this article it’s probably safe to assume don’t want opinions you want the facts. This article aims to break down each of the options, and give you a better insight into which type of device you need.
The Best Android and iPhones
Why the Comparison?
The real reason that Android and iPhones are compared would be due to their popularity. Regardless of which smartphone you choose to buy, chances are you will either end up with an iPhone or a phone that runs Android.
Comparing iPhone with Android is actually slightly unfair. An iPhone is a model of phone from a single manufacturer; Apple, who run the operating system ‘IOS’ on each of their iPhones. Android is an operating system, run by a variety of smartphone manufacturers including the likes of Samsung, HTC and Google.
This just goes to show how much of a heavy weight Apple are in the smartphone market, a single manufacturer running their own operating system, competing against everyone else.
The standout competitor to Apple are Samsung, who don’t hold back when it comes to their rivalry, as you can see from this advert for their Samsung Galaxy range.
What should I consider when choosing between an Android or iPhone?
Price (Android Win)
Firstly, your main consideration needs to be how much money you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking to save yourself some money then you might consider buying your phone instead of taking out a contract.
Apple are notorious for boasting some of the more highly priced phones. This is especially true since the release of the iPhone X, Apples flagship phone proving to be considerably more expensive when compared to its Android counterparts.
On that topic, if you’re looking for something cheap but cheerful then it’s likely that you might steer towards an Android phone. You can get your hands on one of the cheaper android handsets for under 100 bucks. If you’re set on getting an iPhone then you’re more likely to be looking at three or even four times as much for their budget model.
Communication (Apple Win)
We’re guessing that one of the reasons you’re looking to purchase a smartphone is to be able to communicate. Smartphones allow you to do this through messaging apps, video calling and social media.
Social media applications are available across both platforms, likewise with messaging applications. Popular apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are available on both Apple and Android.
However, when it comes to built in messaging consistency can be an issue for Android devices.
iPhones all come with iMessage installed on the device. So when messaging other people with Apple devices consistency is maintained, allowing for features such as read receipts, stickers and GIFs to be utilized.
There can be some confusion in this department for Android phones. Each Android smartphone manufacturer have their own built in SMS messaging application. Messaging people with Android devices from different manufacturers can limit functionality like emojis and stickers.
Furthermore, Facetime is a popular video calling applicaion. Due to this being an Apple application it’s unavailable on Android devices.
Android have the option of using Skype for the same functionality (available on iPhone), but its slightly more effort to configure. Skype requires you to download the app, sign up for it and then import usernames for contacts.
Facetime doesn’t require any type of sign up and you can make calls using the numbers in your contact list.
Due to consistency between inbuilt messaging and Facetime functionality, Apple is the comfortable winner of this section.
Customization (Android Win)
It’s important to consider whether you will want to customize the user interface of your phone. By this we mean consider how much freedom do you want over your phones’ look and how you use it. You may be looking to alter your smartphone in order to tailor it to your every day needs. Android allows you to choose some pretty neat widgets for your home screen, where as Apple is slightly more locked down in this aspect.
Storage (Android Win)
Storage space is an important factor in choosing a smartphone. You need to consider what you’ll be using the phone for. If for example you’re planning on storing thousands of photogrpahs and music tracks, you’ll need something with good storage space. The issue with choosing an iPhone is built in storage. Apple have a tendancy of manufacturing phones with limitations on storage. This means that with iPhones once you’ve filled your storage space, you need to remove stuff to clear up room for new files.
Android phones however, often offer expandable storage along with built in memory. An example of this is the Samsung S8, which comes with 64 GB internal memory. If you filled this space you could add a memory card and get additional space, without needing to delete anything.
Use and Limitations (Android Win)
This section refers to what each operating system allows you to do with it. Now this may not make much sense to the first time smartphone buyer but stick with us. Lets start with putting music on your phone. If you plug an Android phone into your computer, it will act like a hard drive. This means you can just add music into your music folder and away you go.
iPhones however, are slightly more restrictive. In order to add Music on to the phone you need to download iTunes on the Computer. After doing this you need to add the music (same goes for other media such as video) to your iTunes library. After you’ve done these prerequisites you can ‘Sync’ your phone with your computer and the media will transfer.
This is a small difference but it makes quickly adding media to your device much more difficult, and time consuming. This is especially irritating if you’re in a rush to go somewhere and want to quickly update a playlist.
Another example of an iPhone constraint is simply connecting a pair of headphones. Apple seemingly aim to move towards wireless headphones so much so, they decided to remove the headphone jack from some of the newer iPhone models. This means that headphones can no longer be connected into iPhones with a regular headpone jack.
No disrespect, Apple are industry leading innovators and wireless headphones probably are the way forwards. However, for people who haven’t made the jump to wireless this is problematic. They find themselves having to use an adapter (shown above) which goes into the Apple charge slot. Not only does this extend the amount of cable that is present when using headphones, it means one extra thing to remember if you want to listen through headphones.
Android’s playstore allows its users to download new apps for their device. However, android phones are not limited to the content available in the app store and can also download apps published elsewhere such as through website links for example. Apples appstore is slightly more restricted in this sense, only allowing applications within the appstore to be downloaded on to devices. Despite this being a content limitation, it can be seen as a plus as far as security goes within the device.
Variety (Android Win)
The advantage choosing an Android device over an iPhone is that you have much more variety. As previously mentioned, Android is an operating system used by many manufacturers, iPhone is produced by Apple; a single manufacturer.
So if you’re looking for an Android phones, you’ll have more options to choose from. However, iPhone also have started releasing budget phones alongside their flagship models.
Resale Value (Apple Win)
This is important if you’re looking to upgrade your phone on a regular basis. It’s important to know that your phone will hold some value a few years down the line. iPhones seem the better option in this department, holding their value pretty well compared to Android phones.
Support (Apple Win)
Likelyhood is that when you purchase a new phone, you’ll be expecting it to work perfectly. With the high prices of smartphones, it’s important that you get the support you need when things don’t go to plan.
This is where Apple shines. There are Apple stores in most major cities, with ready trained tech gurus on hand for fixing everything Apple. They even have a booking system for appointments so you can schedule your visit around your everyday commitments.
The issue with comparing Android vs iPhone on support, is it’s a bunch of manufacturers VS a single manufacturer. We can judge how Apple treat customers, but Android phone manufacturers are harder to judge. There’s such a wide variety of companies producting Android devices, it’s impossible to gauge an overall level of support.
Samsung Experience Stores are the next best thing to an Android Apple store equivelant. However, we aren’t comparing Apple and Samsung we’re comparing all Android suppliers. Other manufacturers such as Huawei, Motorolla and HTC don’t rival the Apple store presence. For this reason, Apple have the support area.
Battery (Android Win)
Smartphone features such as HD screens, and app background usage means it’s easy to quickly use up your battery. This is why it’s important to choose a device with a good battery life.
Modern smartphones offer power saving modes. These allow you to sacrifice functionality, such as app usage and brightness in return for extended battery life. This is a pretty affective way of prolonging the battery life on your smartphone. You’ll be glad to hear that both Apple and Android offer this mode. Whichever option you choose, you’re likely to have this functionality on your smartphone.
In the past typically Android have been superior when it comes to charging. Fast charging has been available for a few years now on Android devices. Apple have only recently bought into this idea from the iPhone 8 onwards.The downside to this is that Apple users face additional costs for fast charging chargers. This is something that has been typically included for free with Android devices.
Again, the variety factor comes into consideration. If you’re buying an Apple device then you’re limited to the number of devices you can choose from. In essence, this also limits your choice of battery capability.
Combining Androids wider range of battery options, and a few years fast and wireless charging experience they get the win.
You’ve made your choice, which one should you buy?
We’re hoping by this stage you’ve made your choice between Android and iPhone. In this section we break down what we think are the best flagship phones from Apple and Android.
Apple iPhone X
Featuring face ID, surgical-grade stainless steel and wireless charging, the iPhone X is a major upgrade from its predecessor. Apple touts the iPhone X as an innovation in technology and design, with its intuitive navigation and sleek Super Retina screen, the iPhone X provides one of the most immersive smartphone experiences around. With the iPhone X users and phone become synchronized as one unit. Available in two colors, Space Gray and Silver, the iPhone X comes with these specifications.Check Price on Amazon
- Standard 64 GB with an optional upgrade to 256 GB of storage
- H: 5.6 in. (153.6 mm) W: 2.79 in. (70.9mm) Weight: 6.14oz. (174g)
- OLED Multi-touch Super Retina HD display with a 5.8in. screen
- Screen includes 2436 x 1125 pixel resolution at 458 ppi
- True Tone and Wide Color Display and 3D Touch
- 12 MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras; optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10xP
Easy set-up; Users have the ability to set-up using old iPhone, wirelessly transfer all apps, settings, backgrounds, passwords, etc.
Vibrant and clear screen
Removal of the touch ID and bezel meaning the iPhone X has a smaller “footprint,” while maintaining a larger screen size
Uses True Tone technology like the iPhone 8 to mimic lighting conditions around it and adjust white balance.
Video capabilities are increased including a 60p 4k video recording
Increased RAM size to 3GB and new Bionic Chips makes the iPhone X one of the most powerful smartphones on the market
Increased battery life only two hours to provide a complete charge.
User adjustments are a must with this new phone. New interface and no home button means key features such as the Control Center are harder to reach and use
Expensive price which means users must buy a phone case. iPhone X did not fare well in drop-tests, rating it the “most breakable iPhone ever.”
All glass design
Face ID can feel slow and unreliable, sometimes not opening as quickly as Touch ID.
Apple’s iPhone 8 boasts an all new glass design, powerful camera and wireless charging. The True Tone technology automatically adjusts white balance to match any surrounding light. This technology enhances viewing experience for the user, adding brilliancy and vibrancy without glare. Portrait mode provides sharper foregrounds and naturally blurred backgrounds for photos. iPhone 8 introduces the A11 bionic a chip that provides a faster CPU for the phone. A11 has four efficiency cores that run up to 4 times faster than the A10. Available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray the iPhone 8 contains the following specifications:
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- Optional 64GB or 256GB storage
- H: 6.24in. (158.4mm) W: 3.07in. (78.1mm) Weight: 7.13oz. (202g.)
- 5.5in. Retina HD display with LCD Multi-Touch IPS technology
- 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 401 ppi
- True Tone display and Wide Color display with 3D touch
- Dual-domain pixels provides wide viewing angles
- Dual 12mp camera wide-angle and telephoto cameras; digital zoom up to 10x; six element lens
- Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
- Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting
Versatile device that runs faster and smoother; ability to make calls, play games, take pictures, show movies
Wireless charging; easier charging; works with any pad using Qi standard.
Upgraded Bluetooth and wireless radios, better speakers
Ability to shoot in 4k video at 60 frames per second or 24 frames per second
Can artificially change the light in a photo using Portrait Lighting
iPhone 8 plus shines when using augmented-reality apps
Offers a lot of the same things an iPhone X would
Large white bezel takes away from the immersive experience of using a phone
lacks the iPhone X camera features
larger phone compared to the iPhone X
Apple iPhone SE
Containing the A9 chip, Apple’s iPhone SE offers a powerful machine in a very little package. At only 4 inches, the A9 give the SE remarkable power, speed and responsiveness. Using apps and playing games is not a problem with this instrument. The Retina display provides sharp and vibrant visuals. With SE and its powerful core, users can capture 4K videos and live photos. A 12-megapiel camera ensures crisp detailed photos and videos with four times the resolution of 1080p HD video. Available in Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold, the SE has the following specifications:
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- Storage capacity options of 32GB or 128GB
- H: 4.87in. (123.8mm) W: 2.31in. (58.6mm) Weight: 3.99oz. (113g.)
- 4in. Retina display with widescreen LCD Multi-Touch and IPS technology
- 1136×640 pixel resolution at 326 ppi
- Full sRGB standard
- Fingerprint-resistant oleo phobic coating
Ease of operation and portability
Integration of SE smaller size with the power of 6S; provides all the power of the latter with the comfortability of the former.
Great front and rear cameras
Low price point
Long battery life
Powerful processor able to keep up with new iPhones
Smaller screen size
Front facing cameras (1.2mp) not as good as the cameras on the (5mp) 6S and (7mp) 7
Rattling home key
Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes in two versions. The S8 and the S8 Plus. Both devices boast use of an Infinity Display. Samsung claims the S8 contains the world’s first ever Mobile HDR Premium certified smartphone. With Quad HD+ Super AMOLED the S8 and the Plus version provide a brilliant and detailed videos, games and shows. The S8 takes amazing photos and uses an enhanced front-facing screen from previous models so that selfies are better. Iris scanning is also featured on the S8 enhancing security for the phone. The S8 also introduces Bixby, a personal assistant that allows the use of voice commands. Available in colors such as Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Artic Silver, the Samsung S8 and S8 Plus have the following specifications:
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- 64GB of storage on both models, with 4GB of RAM
- Samsung S8 Dimensions- H: 5.86in. (148.9mm.) W: 2.68in. (68.1mm) Weight: 5.5oz. (155g.) Samsung S8 Plus- H: 6.3in. (159.5mm.) W: 2.9in. (73.4mm.) Weight: 6.1oz. (173g.)
- Samsung S8- 5.8in. Dual Edge display with 2960×1440 pixel resolution with 570ppi
- Samsung S8Plus- 6.2in. Super AMOLED display with 2960×1440 pixels with 529 ppi
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 12mp camera with front-facing 8mp camera
- Expandable storage with up to 2TB
- 4k video capture
Stylish design; edge to edge display is perfect; AMOLED display is bright, crisp, and vibrant with excellent detail
External storage options
Water-resistant and wireless charging are exceptional
Powerful Processor using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
First smartphone to utilize Bluetooth 5.0 providing faster pairing and connections
Poor battery life
Fingerprint sensor placed in the rear of the phone making it an awkward place to reach it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
With the motto, “Do bigger things,” it’s easy to see why consumers have fallen in love with the Galaxy Note 8. The Note 8 boasts a 6.3in. screen with the Infinity Display, providing a beautiful and amazing visual experience, but still fits in the users hand. The larger screen also provides more space to use the S pen creating more flexibility for the phones use. Note 8 utilizes App-Pair functionality so users have the ability to use two apps side-by-side simultaneously. Available in Midnight Black, Deepsea Blue and Orchid Grey the Note 8 contains the following specifications:
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- Optional 64, 128 or 256 GB storage with 6GB of RAM
- H: 6.4in. (162.5mm) W: 2.94in. (74.8mm.) Weight: 6.9oz. (195g.)
- 6.3in. Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display 2960×1440 pixels with 521 ppi
- Infinity Display provides a bezel-less, full frontal glass screen
- Front-facing 8mp camera; rear camera 12mp; Optical zoom at 2x
Infinity Display provides gorgeous and detailed visuals all while providing an immersive experience for users
S-pen has a better design allows for better response and more efficiency
Dual-camera setup; this setup has a both a telephoto lens and wide angled lens, for amazing detailed photos
Bluetooth 5.0 connection
Support for both wireless charging and fast-charging
Small battery size
Rear placed fingerprint sensor is awkward and not user friendly.
No stereo speakers, though the phone is impressive in other ways, sound is not one of them.