Androids vs. iPhones. The debate goes on and on. When the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. Apple was playing in a class of its own. Early Android phones were mediocre: slow UI response, lags here and there, and the overall “do-it-yourself” approach just didn’t with consumers.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you can choose from just one current model in several versions that differ very little. There are a few older models you can get from the used market, but that’s about it. “You can have any color as long as it’s black”.
Android devices, on the other hand, come in many shapes, models and colors. Various manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different screens, CPUs, memory. Vastly different quality and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, whereas you can’t go really wrong with any iPhone you can afford. Are you a techie 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 wonderful 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 made one of the best screens ever.
Android phones ship with all kinds of displays. Some of the better ones can match iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still lacking. Many applications still have low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be displayed on lower-resolution screens. When selecting an Android phone, you will have to watch carefully to get a model with a good screen. If you’re not friends with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and other specs, just get an iPhone for the best screen ever.
Pre-Installed Software and UI
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. One operating system, one UI, 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 many flavors. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and codenames. Different sets of icons for exactly the same app. Many 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 broad 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 system is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like your phone working straight out of the box, get an iPhone and begin using it right away.
Maintenance and Upgrades
iPhones don’t have a slot to use an external memory card. You’ll be stuck with the amount of memory you originally bought. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to buy another iPhone, bringing more money to Apple.
Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD extension 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 buy an Android.
With iPhones, you can’t even replace 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 money to Apple), or be shopping for a new iPhone (even more dough to Apple).
While some Android devices use similarly fixed batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the cover and throw a new battery in. A replacement battery will set you back a few dollars, allowing you to postpone the purchase of another phone some more years.
Android phones are cheaper to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones work great straight out of the box, and offer possibly the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.