Tech Tips

How to Choose Between iPhone and Android

iPhone vs. Android

Even if you don’t follow the heated debates between rabid iPhone and Android fans, you still need to pledge allegiance to one of the two brands when it comes to picking a phone for yourself.

While these two titans of the smartphone industry each have their own pros and cons, which one you put in your pocket depends on what features appeal to you personally.

Especially if you plan on purchasing a new handset to Bring Your Own Phone to a network, you’ll want to buy the most suitable device you can.

Let’s check out what makes these two brands tick so you can decide which side of the fence you’re on. There’s no shame in either choice, but it’s best to be fully in-the-know.

Prices and Device Options

Before we even mention features, let’s get price out of the way. No point in getting you excited for a phone only to say that it’s out of your price range.

While iPhones only have a few selections of modern handsets available at a time, Android has a vast array of choices from multiple manufacturers. The number of options for each brand should factor into which one you decide to purchase.

iPhone Prices and Device Options

At the moment, the latest iPhones are the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8+.

The iPhone 8 will run you $699-$849 depending on how much storage you need while the 8+ costs $799-$949.

Meanwhile, the iPhone X will set you back $999-$1149. Yikes.

iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 is a slightly cheaper option for those who want the “newest” iPhone.

These prices can certainly be prohibitive. Not everyone has pockets deep enough for a $1000 smartphone, and even if you do, there are more essential things to spend money on.

Of course, the prices go down significantly if you’re willing to use an older generation iPhone, and buying refurbished models will always yield lower costs.

You can also opt to purchase the iPhone SE, which is a great budget option if you’re dead-set on having an iPhone but don’t want to pay through the nose for the latest and greatest model.

While some may consider iPhones luxury items and therefore worth the cost, others see them as overpriced for what they offer. This comes down to both taste and wallet depth, but many people are willing to pay the price purely because of brand recognition.

For this reason, try to make your decision based on the facts rather than popularity. What’s right for everyone else may not be right for you.

 

Android Prices and Device Options

In contrast with iPhones, which only have a handful of modern handsets, you can find the Android operating system on numerous devices from different makers.

This can make finding an average price challenging, but also displays one of Android’s greatest strengths: versatility.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the latest Samsung flagship. But it is just one of many, many options.

Because so many companies make Android devices, it becomes easier to find one that fits your price range.

The Samsung Galaxy S9, for example, is Samsung’s newest smartphone and costs from $720-$840. Make no mistake, the phone is nice. But if you can’t afford that price point, it doesn’t really matter how cool its features are.

Instead, you could look at something like the OnePlus 6, which costs only $530-$630 depending on storage. This is a powerful and reliable phone with performance rivaling that of its more expensive competitors but at a reduced price.

If that’s still too expensive, there’s no shortage of cheaper, older Android handsets that will work just fine for everyday use.

The main takeaway here is that Android phones offer plenty of pricing options because of how many devices run the operating system. With a bit of research, you’ll be able to find whatever you need in your specific budget.

 

The Interface

Let’s face it, smartphones all basically look the same on a surface level. While some phones may look subjectively nicer than others, they’re all still just rectangular black screens. They may vary slightly in materials or size, but they all have the same core design principle.

It’s what’s under the hood that counts, and the differences between the iOS and Android operating systems (OS) will inevitably be what pulls you one way or the other.

 

iPhone’s Operating System: iOS

Many iPhone users enjoy iOS for its sleek and clean interface. Navigating around the phone is easy, making it the go-to option for those who just want to jump into using a smartphone without having to learn too much.

Apple provides frequent updates for their OS, addressing bugs and adding new features with each release.

At the time of writing, more than 89% of iPhone users have updated to the latest version of iOS. This shows that overall, Apple users trust the improvements that updates bring. If staying up to date is something you’re into, you’ll enjoy how often Apple amps up their OS.

iPhone interface
The interface of iOS is clean and simple.

Unfortunately, Apple isn’t too keen on giving users the ability to backtrack to older versions of iOS should they wish to do so.

This can be frustrating, as older iPhone models may experience performance decay if they try to run newer versions of iOS. For this reason, many users opt not to update older devices to preserve their performance.

The user interface of iOS also suffers from a lack of customizability. If you like what comes pre-packaged, you’re golden. But if you don’t, tough luck. There’s not much you can do to change the base appearance or layout of the OS.

Despite this, it’s hard to argue that the interface isn’t smooth and well-maintained. If you don’t care to change what many already view as perfect, you’re sure to enjoy what the iOS interface has to offer.

 

Android Operating System

If iOS’s claim to fame is refinement, Android’s is unmatched customizability.

With countless widgets and APKs to choose from, your phone becomes a sandbox where you can make anything you want to happen, happen.

While some may dislike the stock Android interface, a bit of elbow grease can have it looking exactly how you want it. If you’re someone who likes tinkering around with your technology, you will love the freedom Android gives you.

Android Interface
Android’s interface looks like whatever you want it to.

Android can also perform feats that break the boundaries of what a smartphone should be doing, like mine cryptocurrency.

It is refreshing to know that as an Android user, older iterations of the OS are not off-limits. You can go back and download any version you want, so avoiding performance degradation becomes far easier than with iPhones.

It’s not all sunshine with Android, however. Updates for the OS are infrequent, which leaves some users wanting.

Additionally, the interface can be rather complicated for people who aren’t especially tech-savvy. Some folks don’t want to have to mess with their phone to make it look nice, which is an understandable position.

Finally, because of the vast range of different Android devices, the OS runs completely differently depending on what phone it’s on. This inconsistency can be off-putting, as you play a game of roulette with less mainstream devices, hoping that quality is up to snuff.

Don’t let this deter you, though. Android’s interface is as great as you want to make it, and with its incredible flexibility, the world is your oyster.

 

Security

As much of our day-to-day activities have transferred from the real world to cyberspace, so too has the need to guard against those who would do us harm.

Staying safe while browsing the web on your smartphone has become a top priority, especially with our information becoming increasingly more accessible on the internet.

It’s important to know what your smartphone’s security capabilities are and use them to keep your device safe.

 

iPhone Security vs. Android Security

Because of their extremely tight security, iPhones enjoy a distinct lack of viruses. This is owed to iOS’s nature as a closed source operating system, meaning developers do not have access to iOS’s code

Meanwhile, Android is open source and therefore anything a developer creates for it can create a potential hole in security. While this does allow for greater developer freedom when creating new apps, it also makes Androids far more vulnerable.

IOS updates frequently, meaning that there a smaller window for baddies to create malicious viruses that work on each version. Meanwhile, Android updates come more slowly on certain phones, allowing viruses to develop and take advantage of security holes.

Also, because more people use Androids than iPhones, malware authors are incentivized to target Android more than iPhone. Not terribly reassuring.

While threats can be mitigated by staying on your toes, it’s always good to know where your phone’s specific weaknesses lay.

 

Hardware

Remember how I said earlier that all phone designs are basically the same on the outside?

Ok, well forget I said that for like the rest of this section.

The hardware of different smartphones can differ wildly depending on manufacturer, operating system, and included features. A Samsung Galaxy will look different than a Google Pixel because they each have different capabilities. While I stand by the fact that they look basically the same, sometimes the slight differences make a big impact.

 

iPhone Hardware

Apple is as well known for taking hardware away as it is for adding it.

Case in point, the iPhone 7 started a trend of “no more headphone jack.” Now you can only connect headphones via a lightning connector dongle or through Bluetooth earpods.

But they’ve also added a slew of other features like wireless charging capabilities, a display that matches the color of your environment, and much nicer dual-cameras to replace the standard single camera.

iPhone X's two lens camera.
The iPhone X sports a dual-camera and an edge-to-edge display. Finally.

Additionally, iPhone X is the first iPhone to ditch bezels (any space on your phone’s front that isn’t screen) in favor of an edge-to-edge display. Seeing as this is probably the new look for future iPhones, Apple has finally joined Android in making all-screen phones.

In general, Apple is relatively slow to get hardware features that Android users have enjoyed for a while, but if you’re okay with lagging a bit behind the pack, you probably won’t mind too much.

The cameras on modern iPhones are always top-of-the-line and will serve you well during day to day use.

Battery life, on the other hand, has historically NOT been iPhone’s strong suit. While iPhone models these days can still manage to last around a day with normal use, Android phones can sometimes last several days with no top-up. If you’re usually around a charger, you shouldn’t mind. But for those of us on the go, it can be a major hindrance.

 

Android Hardware

There are as many hardware features in Android as there are phones running the OS, so it’s no surprise that pinning them down can be difficult.

Most popular Androids will, of course, have all the standard modern smartphone utilities like touch-ID and a high-quality camera. But some Android devices like the Oppo Find X push boundaries with wacky stuff like an all-screen display with a camera that slides out of the phone’s center.

Android phones are generally more willing than Apple to experiment with hardware technology that’s right on the cutting edge, but not fully perfected. Features like wireless charging and facial recognition were in Android phones before the iPhone, but they were not as refined as they are now.

Wireless Charging
Wireless charging is a handy, albeit imperfect, step towards the future of smartphones.

If you want to feel like a pioneer of new phone features, Android’s offerings will scratch that adventurous itch.

Android camera quality varies depending on the individual model. Newer and popular designs have put a lot of effort into their cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 being top contenders. Overall, you can usually count on a usable camera no matter what model you buy.

As far as battery life, Androids perform well. Some models can go a few days at a time on a single charge, which can be convenient if you’re moving around a lot during the day.

 

Useful Features

Alright, so maybe your mind isn’t made up yet. Maybe these major points haven’t swayed you one way or the other and you’re still waiting for something to tip the scales.

There are some neat little perks to either platform that set it apart from the competition. Take a look at them and see if they help you make a decision.

 

iPhone Perks

Probably the most useful luxury the iPhone offers is iMessage.

iMessage grants a way to send text, picture, and video messages seamlessly between Apple devices, something Android has yet to top.

You’ll find a great many people claiming that iMessage alone is a reason to have an iPhone. You can see when your message gets delivered and if the recipient is typing back to you. The whole experience is lightning fast and extremely smooth.

This ties into what’s commonly called the Apple Ecosystem; iOS ties perfectly in with other Apple devices such as the Mac computer, Apple Watch, iPad etc. If you already own a Mac or any other Apple device, getting an iPhone would complement it nicely by being able to share information and account profiles between devices.

 

Android Perks

The sheer customizability of Android means that its perks are limited only by the imagination of developers.

Android’s open-source nature means that a whole bunch of options are available in terms of apps. Android developers are less restricted than Apple developers, so apps can directly alter your user interface.

Android also supports expandable storage whereas iPhones are stuck dealing with whatever amount they had upon purchase. This means you don’t have to worry about purchasing the highest storage capacity possible when buying a phone.

Many Androids also have removable batteries that you can replace on your own whereas iPhones must get their batteries replaced by Apple. Seeing as phone batteries degrade over time, being able to replace them at your leisure is a huge bonus.

 

The Final Verdict…

…Is of course yours to make. While I’d love to tell you that the secure iPhone is far better than the vulnerable Android, I could also say that the flexible Android utterly destroys the restrictive iPhone.

Some qualities will be deal-breakers while others will hold an irresistible allure. The distinction is up to the user.

It can be helpful to walk into a tech store such as Best Buy and try a demo of different devices. I know it’s tempting to make a snap decision based solely on this amazingly well-written article, but trust me, make a choice AFTER you do some field research. You’ll be happier with your choice that way.

 

Bring That Phone to Q Link

And hey, if you’re looking for a network to pair with that new iPhone or Android, Q Link Wireless has you covered!

If you qualify for government benefit programs or have low-income, come on over to Q Link.

Just check your phone’s eligibility to see if it can get onto our network, free of charge.

We’re excited to see what phone you pick!