Android or iPhone? The debate goes on and on. When the iPhone was first released, there was really no competition. Apple was playing in a class of its own. Early Android phones were dismal: sluggish UI, redraw lags, and the overall “assemble-it-yourself” idea just didn’t with consumers.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you’re limited to only a single 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 devices, on the other hand, come in many shapes, models and colors. Different manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different screens, CPUs, memory. Vastly different reliability and usability. Getting an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, whereas you can’t go really wrong with any current iPhone. Are you a techie or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone you like best. Others will be served by Apple.
The newest generation of iPhones has a great Retina display. These super high resolution displays will display your apps, icons and graphics so crisp it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they built one of the best screens ever.
Android phones come with all sorts of displays. Some of the better ones can reach iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still something to work on. Many apps still have low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be shown on lower-resolution displays. When selecting an Android phone, you will have to look carefully to buy a model with a good display. If you’re not friends with numbers, icon dimensions, angles of view and other specs, just leave the Androids alone.
Built-in Software and UI
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. One operating system, same user interface, the same set of pre-installed apps, exactly the same icons. You can customize it by moving things around and choosing a few icons on your own, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to do.
Androids are available in many flavors. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and codenames. Different sets of icons for same apps. Many different shells and launchers. Extensively customizable: you can turn an Android phone into pretty much whatever you want (and it’s not just 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 robust and working more reliable than others. If making your very own custom environment 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.
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 money to Apple.
Most but not all Android devices come with a microSD slot, allowing you to put 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 die in 3-4 years), you’ll be sending your iPhone back to Apple for a “major repair” (more dough to Apple), or be on the market for a new iPhone (even more dough to Apple).
While some Android phones use similarly user irreplaceable batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the back cover and put a new battery in. A new battery will cost a few dollars, allowing you to postpone the purchase of another phone some more years.
Android phones are more affordable to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones are perfect right out of the box, and offer possibly the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.