Which is Better, Android Or iPhone? [Opinion]

I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to publish my thoughts on the whole Android (or more specifically the Samsung Galaxy S3) or iOS (again, more specifically the iPhone 5). I’ve read a tonne of articles, some supporting Samsung and others supporting the iPhone and reading through the comment sections of these articles, there is always a plethora of ‘discussion’ between Android & iPhone fans.

So in this article I’m going to be as un-bias as I possibly can, weighing up actual facts, figures and features in order to explain my opinion. I want to stress that this is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less. There’s no denying that both the S3 and the iPhone 5 are both great phones – the sales figures prove that but some people prefer the S3, others the iPhone 5.

My personal preference is the S3 and before the hate messages come rolling in, let me explain why…

Screen Size

Screen real-estate is very important to me. I regularly use my phone for surfing the net, sending emails and taking down notes etc. For me personally, the larger 4.8 inch screen (as opposed to the iPhone’s 4 inches) fits comfortably in my hands, especially when composing emails in landscape mode.

Personalisation

The personalisation options available in Android far outweigh those of the iPhone. In iOS you can change your background and that’s about it. If I had an iPhone (which I did have for over a year as my work phone), it would look like every other iPhone out there. Whereas on Android I completely change the look and feel of my device. For example, I really don’t like Samsung Touchwiz overlay but rather prefer the stock look of Android. So I changed it using a free app called Go Launcher Ex.

I can also change backgrounds, lock screens and even the icon theme that is used on my device. This means that I can make the UI look & feel how I want it to rather that being the same as everyone else. This is also one of the reasons why I prefer Linux based operating systems as a pose to Windows or OSX.

Battery Life & Charging

I don’t like to be tethered to a charger if possible, so the increased battery life of the Android S3 (11.4 hrs talk time & 790 hrs standby) compared to the iPhone 5′s 8 hrs and 225 hrs respectively are a deal breaker for me.

I also like the fact that the S3 uses the standard mini USB port for charging which means that I can use the same cable to charge my phone, tablet & SatNav when in my car or via my machine in work. The Apple connector would be a problem as I would have to carry more cables around with me. However, this would be less prevalent if I had all Apple devices as I could use the same cable for them all, but I’d still need at least 2 cables as I can’t use my SatNav with an Apple cable.

Default Features

I’d like to stress the word ‘default’ here as I think that out of the box the iPhone is lacking some features that I would personally say are a necessity on any smart phone. The lack of features in iOS like the ability to attach any file to an email, social network sharing and being able to browse the file system are an absolute deal breaker for me. I’m glad to see that in iOS 6 you can have multiple signatures for your email accounts though – that’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Now I know that there is almost certainly an app for every missing feature that I have listed above (except for the file system browsing) but personally I think that if I am going to pay a lot of money for a phone that is ‘smart’ then I would expect to be able to attach files rather than having to look for and spend even more money on an app that will enable this feature.

Lack Of A Usable Home Screen

Most people have a tonne of apps, games & tools on their devices, but I would say that the vast majority of use a select few of these on a regular basis. For me, that’s were a useful home screen comes in. The fact that in iOS I can’t create ‘short cuts’ to my most used apps and also useful widgets like power management and settings is a real frustration for me.

When I had my iPhone I used to waste so much time searching through the numerous menu’s for the app I was after. Even when I knew where they were on the devices menu, I’d still sometimes have to ‘swipe’ through numerous screens in order to find the right one. In Android all I have to do is hit the ‘short cut’ and my most commonly used apps are loaded.

Advanced Uses

This is the last but by far most important reason why I prefer Android over iPhone. This will only really be of any interest to a small percentage of ‘techie’ users that like to ‘fiddle’ with their device. The vast majority won’t and I totally get that – that’s why you guys are happy with your iPhones. But I personally want this functionality and I just can’t get it with an iPhone.

I’ve already mentioned that in Android I can do a lot more to personalise the UI. But I can take it one step further, in Android I can load completely custom versions of Android that have less ‘bloatware’ (Samsung are terrible for adding a tonne of crappy apps that you don’t want or need) or have a certain look & feel to them. CyanongenMod would be the most popular I can think of. It’s a highly developed version of Android that comes with no bloat. It’s designed to ‘be how Android was designed to be’.

What I Don’t Like

No Operating System is perfect and both Android and iOS are no exception to this rule. Most of this article is information of were I think Android surpasses the iPhone. I wanted this last section to be a little bit about were I think Android could be improved or what I think the iPhone does better.

  • Updates - Vendors like Samsung & HTC are notorious for not being very good with system updates. For example, I am still waiting for a Jelly Bean update on my S3. iPhone’s aren’t subject to this problem as Apple handle both the hardware and the software. This means that iPhone users get their updates to the latest version of iOS (provided their device supports it) as soon as it’s released. However, I do have the option of putting a custom version of Jelly Bean on should I want to – I shouldn’t really have to do this in order to get the latest version of my chosen OS though.
  • Storage - This is really a double edged sword. The iPhone has always had plenty of internal storage. The iPhone 5 ranges from 16GB right up to 64GB. The latter is ample if you ask me, but if you have the 16GB version and use it as your iPod also, I think you’re going to struggle. My Android S3 has 16GB of internal storage but I can easily increase this with an SD card (which I do). You can’t do this with the iPhone, but with the higher end models having a whopping 64GB then I don’t see this as being a problem – plus you don’t have to pay out for a memory card either.
  • Build Quality - Both the Android S3 and the iPhone are stunning devices. However, the iPhone does destroy the S3 in the build quality stakes. When I removed the back panel of my Android S3 in order to insert a new memory card, the plastic felt extremely thin and flimsy. You just don’t get this with the iPhone, as with all Apple products the hardware is very well made.

Conclusion

Both the Android S3 and the iPhone have the pro’s and con’s. But for me the advantages of owning and Android device far outweigh those of owning an iPhone. I’m sure many of the people reading this article will disagree but hopefully some will agree. As I stressed at the beginning of this article though, these are only my personal preferences.

What do you prefer and why? Tell us in the comments below…

Which is Better, Android Or iPhone? [Opinion]
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
  • Agreed

    Android all the way.. locked into the Apple ecosystem? No Thanks.

  • http://tech89.com/ Ulrich Gero

    Well said!
    It looks like you think as I do – I mean, a cellphone must be a thing with which we can do everything and feel free when we’re doing especially the UI. We must be able to change it, this why I chose to use an Android based smartphone.
    I think Apple must be a little open, allowing users to change the user interface with other apps like we do with our Android smartphones.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Any company that is not giving me options to make their product more fitting and function able to what I do on day-to-day basis is not worth it for me. Apple in my opinion is acting like a master by building a cult-like community around their products.
    People can simply get a better phone with Android. They are lots more choices too when it comes to hardware. If you like the metal premium feel, HTC has a phone for you.
    I personally prefer the stock Google phone, thereby interacting with the OS directly without a skin in between. :)

  • Himdeep Rekhi

    This is probably one of the most balanced review about Android vs ios that I have seen. Although you were basically comparing Samsung S3 vs iphone 5 but IMHO this applies to tablets as well.

    If we include tablets into the mix, then most Android tablets offer some kind of USB support &/or micro SD which is great for adding more storage cheaply & grab files off your friends. Dropbox or other form of cloud storage are free only for certain limit & then you shell money & need to have wi-fi. The idea is great but this is not the future yet. So having an iPad with max 64 Gb sort of restricts you whereas with Android tablets you can have as many add-on storage as you want which you can access any time offline. Not to mention, one can obviously use cloud storage as well.

    Secondly, Android mimics PC’s more than ios does. Funny as ios is developed by Apple, a computer tech company & Android is developed by Google, a content centric company. For ios to function at its best you need itunes which I find complicated, a bloat-ware & very unintuitive whereas Android has drag & drop feature after your tablet/phone gets recognised as a storage device. You can create your folders & put your stuff in & then use app (even different apps for same purpose) to open it. I personally find this easier than syncing.

    Thirdly, because Google has ad-supported model you can get lots & lots of free apps. Although, this fragmentation thing has been cried a lot but personally, I haven’t really seen it as a problem. The apps I have download works just fine. Out of let’s say 100 odd apps that I installed, only 5 failed or had constant force closures but that is pretty much it.

    Apple make wonderful, compelling & beautiful products but somehow they are just not compelling enough for me. Either it is the price or functionality which eventually sways me to Windows & Android (although truth be told I am eyeing that new 2012 iMac. They are just gorgeous & I don’t like the interface of windows 8). So maybe in few years, I just might have a Mac but will I move to other i’s remains to be seen.

    • http://www.refugeeks.com/ Kev Quirk

      Very well said Himdeep. I didn’t want to get into the whole iPad vs Android tablet arguement so I thought it best to leave comparison to both sides flag ship device (or what I perceive them to be anyway).

      Great comment though, thanks for sharing!