Android or iPhone? The discussion continues. At the time the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. Apple was playing in a class of its own. Early Android devices were dismal: slow UI response, redraw lags, and the overall “assemble-it-yourself” idea just didn’t with consumers.
Hardware and Model Selection
With Apple iPhone, you have a limited choice of only several models. Or, rather, you’re limited to 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 phones, on the other hand, come in many shapes, models and colors. Different manufacturers use completely different hardware. Different screens, CPUs, memory. Very different reliability and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, whereas you can’t really go wrong with any current iPhone. Are you a techie or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone that flies with you. The rest will be served by Apple.
The newest generation of iPhones has a wonderful Retina display. These super high pixel density displays will render your apps, icons and photos so smooth it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they built one of the best screens ever.
Androids come with all kinds of displays. Some of the better ones can reach iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still lagging. Many apps are still using low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be displayed on lower-resolution screens. When choosing an Android phone, you will have to watch carefully to get a model with a good display. If you’re not good with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and other specs, just get an iPhone for the best screen ever.
Built-in Software and Interface
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 exactly the same app. Many 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 must know what you’re doing. With such a huge variety, some devices are simply better as in simpler to use, more stable 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 out of the box, get an iPhone and start using it right away.
Maintenance and Upgrades
iPhones don’t have a slot to use an external memory card. You’ll be stuck forever with the amount of memory you originally got. 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 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 dies in some years (they all do; lithium batteries die in 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 dough to Apple).
While some Android devices use similarly fixed 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 buy a replacement phone when you want it.
Android phones are cheaper to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones work great right out of the box, and offer possibly the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.