iPhone vs. Android: Which is better?
The iPhone’s TouchID fingerprint sensor makes bypassing the annoying lock screen a breeze. Some Android phones have a similar feature. Other Android phones have a “Smart Lock” tool that uses face recognition or location to bypass the lock screen, but it’s a less secure option.
Favorite contacts are laid out much better in Android, smartly laid out according to the people you call most frequently. But FaceTime is the iPhone’s killer feature.
Both Android and the iPhone show you the time when you press the lock button. But many Android phones do time keeping better. Motorola, Samsung and HTC have smart covers and sensors that automatically show you the time when you pull the phone out of your pocket. Android also has a super-dim “daydream” clock that stays on when charging on your nightstand.
There are terrific Android cameras, and there are awful Android cameras. The iPhone’s camera is consistently great. Yet managing photos is a much better - and cheaper -- experience on Android. Google Photos gives you unlimited free storage.
Apple has finally begun displaying lowercase letters on its iPhone keyboard when you’re not using capital letters. But Android’s stock keyboard is still better than Apple’s, including swipe gestures and -- most crucially -- punctuation on the same screen as the letters.
Apple and Google both have fantastic app stores. But Android is far superior at organizing apps, letting you put important stuff on the home screens and hide less useful apps in the app drawer. Also, Android’s widgets are much more useful than Apple’s.
The iPhone’s active notifications let you respond from within the notification without opening the app - something Android lacks. But Android lets you set which notifications are “priority,” automatically sending them to the top of the list (and minimizing less important messages). It’s also easier to clear Android notifications with a single swipe.
Android has an excellent music-playing app in Google Play Music, which offers an impressive list of free, ad-supported music. Apple has Apple Music, which has no free option but integrates impressively well with your iTunes downloads.
Android uses Gmail as its main mail app, no matter what email service you use. It’s pretty bare-bones if you don’t use Gmail, but Android’s “material design” lets you browse folders or switch accounts from any screen with a quick swipe to the right. Unlike Android, Apple’s mail app automatically recognizes your Exchange settings, but it takes a lot more taps to navigate.
Google Maps is the best mobile app ever designed. It’s available on both the iPhone and Android, but it’s only used natively on Android. That means Siri can’t use Google Maps - only Apple’s improving but still inferior Maps app.
Android’s contacts are much easier to navigate, and its large photos make it easier to find who you’re looking for. The iPhone automatically connects with Facebook and other social networks to populate your contacts’ photos. Most Android phones require a separate app to do that.
Search is Google’s bread and butter, but Apple’s Spotlight searches more stuff than Google does: email, podcasts, notes, reminders, calendar events, texts and voice memos. Still, Siri’s “proactive search” is limited: it only surfaces contacts, apps, nearby attractions and news. “Google Now” works like a Vulcan mind meld, eerily searching for flight reservations, sports scores, transit routes and news stories before you think of them.
The iPhone has a physical switch. On Android, you have to log into your phone, press the volume button, and tap the bell to set it to vibrate. Some Android apps, however, let you automatically set your phone to vibrate in certain situations - when you arrive at work, for instance.
Android’s voice “assistant” types as you talk, and works offline. But Siri has a fun personality and understands natural language a bit better than Android.
Android’s default Messenger app is pretty and perfectly serviceable, but iMessage lets you send free texts and voice messages to other Apple customers - even from your Mac. Google Hangouts lets you combine texts and Google Hangouts messages in a single app, and send them from your computer if you have a Google Voice account. But it still feels like a work in progress.
Specs are Android’s biggest advantage over iPhones, but do users care?
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As important as “specs” are to screens, speakers, cameras, and other electronic components, the related concept of “diminishing returns” always looms large. Short for “specifications,” specs define a product’s performance characteristics, while diminishing returns suggest that there’s some performance level beyond which further improvements aren’t adding anything important enough to justify their added expense. Once a component reaches the point of diminishing returns, typical users stop caring about or being willing to pay for further improvements.
One example: a smartphone screen with more pixels per inch than the human eye can perceive at a usable distance. Is there any point to further increasing the level of detail, or will there be little to no return — either benefit to users or profit to vendors — from doing so?
Smartphones are bundles of components that are individually at various states on the diminishing returns curve, though not always in ways that are obvious to either users or vendors. A screen, for instance, might reach detail parity with the human eye, but have a low refresh rate, sub-optimal color rendition, or high energy consumption. More disruptively, the screen might lack a feature that suddenly becomes important — say, the ability to fold, remain fully usable outdoors, display glasses-free 3D, or remain “on” at all times.
Other smartphone components are changing faster than screens. Cameras are presently seeing massive changes in raw pixel counts, depth sensing abilities, and throughput, enabling slow motion and up to 8K video capture. AI cores are rapidly growing in tera/trillion operations per second (TOPS) counts, while multi-core CPUs and supercharged GPUs are similarly pushing pocket devices into laptop (and sometimes better than laptop) computing territory.
So even if smartphone sales have plateaued, it’s clear that smartphone innovations haven’t stopped. My big question is whether any of these new technologies will actually move the needle, either for the size of the smartphone market overall or for Android’s market share relative to iPhones. Even if individual technologies continue to advance, it’s possible that overall smartphone performance has reached the point of diminishing returns, such that every new feature addition from here on out won’t really increase sales in any meaningful way.
Qualcomm deserves a lot of credit for trying to move the market forward. At last December’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, the company introduced the Snapdragon 865 and a variety of related innovations, setting the stage for the 2020 release of phones with 100-megapixel cameras, console-rivaling graphics, and laptop-beating computing capabilities. Some of these changes represent major steps beyond the latest iPhones’ performance.
But will Android users care? Will iPhone users on the edge consider switching?
Specific specs matter; so do specific users. We may have reached “peak screen” for the general population, such that bolstering the current resolution, color accuracy, brightness, and refresh rates beyond current levels won’t matter to most people. Yet a subset of users, such as gamers, might really appreciate smoother refresh rates or better colors.
The same people who value further screen performance improvements may similarly appreciate continued CPU and GPU bumps that move phones further into console performance territory. But they may or may not also care about other spec improvements that could be important to attracting other customers, such as camera performance bumps.
This is why we’re beginning to see some interesting splits in the Android phone market that aren’t yet evident in the iPhone market. Qualcomm has targeted specific chips, such as the Snapdragon 855+ and 765G, directly at the makers of gaming phones. These chips offer performance boosts over the latest 8- and 7-series chips, and as the company revealed last year, the prospect of graphics driver performance updates independent of Android as a whole.
At the same time, there’s a Snapdragon 865 with even more horsepower. It’s intended for premium flagship phones, enabling crazy levels of camera throughput and AI performance, with no shortage of gaming performance. The 865 is benchmarking just under 600,000 on the Antutu test, compared with the iPhone 11 Pro/Apple A13’s just under 500,000 score, and closer to the latest iPad Pro’s score of just over 700,000. If you’re a Geekbench fan, the 865 is roughly tied in multi-core performance with the A13, hitting just under 3,500 points (versus around 4,500 points for the iPad Pro). My guess is that Apple’s A14 will more than catch up here.
I’ll similarly put cellular performance differences aside for the time being. At this point, top Android phones have potentially huge 5G advantages over 4G-only iPhones, but real world 5G performance remains uneven from country to country, city to city, and neighborhood to neighborhood. Apple will almost certainly catch up on cellular speeds in September.
The camera spec gap is likely to be much larger between Android phones and iPhones this year. Apple’s strategy of sticking with and optimizing 12-megapixel sensors is already being challenged by 100-megapixel camera phones, with at least one 200-megapixel model promised for this year. These new devices deliver raw detail differences Apple cannot match, either with software tricks such as Deep Fusion or otherwise, unless iPhone 12 models adopt similarly high-resolution sensors.
Granted, Apple users generally aren’t obsessed with specs. The company has effectively taught millions of people not to care about raw numbers, or at least not to obsess over one or two deficiencies, because they don’t tell the complete story of a product’s performance. Even if the latest iPhone’s CPU or wireless performance isn’t up to snuff with a top Android phone, that’s not going to cause most iPhone users to abandon ship.
But if enough of a flagship Android device’s specs — ones that aren’t just examples of diminishing returns, and are properly marketed to users — leapfrog Apple’s for more than just a single phone generation, the status quo may change. We probably won’t know for a year whether this is happening, as Android phones with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865 processor are just rolling out, and the performance gap may well be eliminated — or tilt in Apple’s favor — by September, when the iPhone 12 series debuts. In the meanwhile, it’s going to be worth watching both the specs and the sales of new Android phones again, to see whether any or all of the latest hardware actually makes a difference in the marketplace.
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Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?
If you’re buying a new smartphone today, chances are extremely good it will run one of two operating systems: Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. These two platforms account for virtually all new smartphones shipped in the last couple of years, according to the IDC. In fact, the “other” category is so small that it doesn’t even account for 0.1% of sales.
That’s some serious dominance by the two biggest players, and the good news is that both smartphone operating systems are excellent. They have quite a bit in common with each other, but there are some important differences you’ll want to consider when you’re trying to decide between these twin giants. We’re going to pit Android against iOS in several categories here and pick a winner for each one.
However, don’t go into this expecting there to be a black and white answer. Ultimately, the best platform for you depends on — well — you. Pick the things that matter most to you and count the wins in those categories, and you have a personalized recommendation.
Apple has always been at the high-end of the market in terms of pricing, but the iPhone X took things to a whole new level with a starting price of $1,000. Apple’s iPhones haven’t gotten much cheaper since, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,100. They do come a little more affordable, but not by much. The iPhone 12 starts at $800, and the iPhone SE (2020) — the cheapest iPhone Apple sells — starts at $400. Apple continues to expand its offerings, but $400 is as cheap as it gets unless you delve into the secondhand market.
For sheer scale and variety, nothing competes with Android. You can spend a lot if you want to — for example, Samsung’s cutting-edge folding Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G costs $2,000, but there’s also a huge selection of good, low-cost handsets as low as $100, from a wide variety of different manufacturers. The platform has also been deliberately optimized to run on low-end hardware with the introduction of the variant OS Android Go. Finally, Android’s lead in free apps also makes it the natural choice for the budget-conscious.
Apple’s iOS is an exceptional OS, but the high entry point has always been one of its biggest issues. Apple’s iPhone SE and iPhone 12 make that entry point lower, but it’s still not a match for Android’s massive range of affordable devices. Whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $2,000, there’s an Android phone for you. iOS can’t say the same.
Let’s start with a look at the numbers. This is roughly how many apps you’ll find in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store:
- Android apps: 2.7 million
- iOS apps: 1.82 million
However, numbers aren’t the best metric because most of us only use a handful of apps, and the most popular ones are available on both platforms. Traditionally, iOS has been a more lucrative platform for developers, so there has been a tendency for new apps to appear there first, but that’s changing as Android’s market share continues to grow. In the U.S., iOS still leads the way, but developers elsewhere are increasingly targeting Android first.
Luckily, both operating systems have been taking more precautions when it comes to malicious apps and spyware, making apps safer to download than ever.
The Play Store still has a higher percentage of free apps than the App Store. But the best mobile games still land on iOS first — and they don’t always come to Android, even if Android has plenty of great games. Ultimately, quality beats quantity, and so this is a narrow win for iOS.
It’s difficult to organize millions of apps and games, and neither Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store does it perfectly. Overall, we think Apple’s App Store provides a better browsing experience on your phone and does a better job with curated recommendations. The Play Store is easier to search and you can queue and install apps from the web browser on your PC or laptop.
We like the fact that you can buy apps using your fingerprint via Touch ID on iPhones, but you can set up the same thing for the Play Store on Android phones with fingerprint sensors. The Play Store wins points for having a no-quibble refund policy within two hours of purchase. There are some questionable apps in both stores, but Apple is generally stricter about blocking certain types of apps. That can be a good thing for overall quality, but it’s a bad thing if you’re into something like game emulators for classic consoles. The iOS App Store edges the win for usability and curated content.
Alternative app stores and sideloading
It’s relatively easy to sideload apps on Android. Tick a box in the settings, download an APK, and you’re set. There are also a lot of alternative Android app stores beyond the Play Store, but sideloading can open you up to the risk of malware and isn’t worth worrying about for most people. Apple is opposed to third-party app stores, and if you want to access them, you’ll have to jailbreak your iPhone. If you want a wider choice of apps and easy sideloading, then your winner is obvious.
As the newer navigation system, Apple Maps did not have a great start, but it has improved significantly. Key features are similar: You can download maps for offline use, get accurate estimates based on current traffic conditions, and find turn-by-turn directions for driving or walking. Apple has even closed further in on Google Maps by adding cycling directions and more improvements in iOS 14. You’ll also find public transit and ride-booking integration. They all work well and should get you where you’re going.
It used to be that Google Maps would win this category hands-down — and while it’s still generally our map app of choice, Apple has made some huge strides toward parity in the last few years, and Apple Maps is now at the point where it’s a serious competitor. We would still personally download Google Maps, even on an iOS device, but if you chose to go with Apple’s map app over Google’s, then you wouldn’t be getting an inferior product. Right now, Google Maps still has a small advantage due to its larger database of reviews and businesses, but its lead has narrowed a lot, and we expect to see this category fall into being a tie eventually.
Battery life and charging
As one of the biggest complaints from smartphone owners, battery life is a huge factor. It’s difficult to compare the two platforms because there’s no common hardware. iOS is optimized to squeeze the most out of the battery per mAh rating, but you can buy an Android device with a much bigger battery that will easily outlast the iPhone.
Both Android and iOS allow you to see your battery usage at a glance, broken down by app, but only Android shows an estimate of how much battery life you have left. They both offer power-saving modes that can extend your battery life by limiting performance, connectivity, and other power-sapping features, but precisely how it works is generally more customizable on Android.
For a long time, Android had an advantage in the charging department, because many Android phones offered fast-charging capabilities and wireless charging. However, Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone X, and even the iPhone SE (2020) adopted wireless charging and fast charging, so they’re not that far behind. It’s worth noting that you have to buy the fast-charging adapter separately for some iPhone models, whereas it’s usually provided in the box with an Android phone. Apple supplied a fast charger with the iPhone 11 Pro, but that was one of the last iPhones to come with any charger. From the iPhone 12 onwards, you’ll have to buy a charger separately, as iPhones now only come with a Lightning-to-USB-C cable.
However, Android fans shouldn’t sneer at iPhone lovers too much, as Samsung is following where Apple has led. The new Galaxy S21 range comes with no charger in the box, and, as with the headphone jack, we’ll probably start to see this change echo across to other manufacturers.
This category is far from clear-cut, but comparing similarly priced Android phones with iPhones, you can find a phone with a larger battery if that’s important to you, and they tend to have fast chargers included in the box (for the moment), so Android gets the win.
Apple’s iOS offers consistent and timely software updates and security patches. If you want the same experience on Android, then you have to buy one of Google’s Pixel phones or a phone running Android One. This is how iOS version shares break down according to the official Apple Developer website:
- iOS 14: 80%
- iOS 13: 12%
- Earlier: 8%
So, around 80% of all iOS devices are now running the latest version, and the numbers are even better when you look at devices introduced in the last four years. For those devices, 86% run iOS 14, 12% run iOS 13, and only 2% run an earlier version of iOS. That’s impressive.
Is Android up to a similar standard? No. Android 11 is now available, but don’t expect it to spread to a majority of devices for a while. Our Android stats come from Android Studio and don’t seem to be updated as often as Apple’s iOS distribution numbers. Android 11’s distribution stats seem to be out now, but we wouldn’t expect it to move into double digits for a while. Heck, according to Android Studio, it’s struggling to hit a single percentage point.
- Android 11: <1%
- Android 10: 8.2%
- Android 9.0 Pie: 31.3%
- Android 8.1 Oreo: 14%
- Android 8.0 Oreo: 7.3%
- Android 7.1.1 Nougat: 5.4%
- Android 7.0 Nougat: 7.5%
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow: 11.2%
- Android 5.1 Lollipop: 7.4%
- Android 5.0 Lollipop: 1.8%
- Android 4.4 KitKat: 4%
- Older: 1.9%
While there are some notable exceptions for Google’s own Pixel phones and those running Android One (like many of Nokia’s phones), if you want the latest features, bug fixes, and security updates, then you should choose iOS.
This has always been one of Android’s main strengths. It’s very easy to customize your phone — you can set up the layout you want on your home screen, add widgets and shortcuts, and even change your entire user interface with launchers.
iOS 14 was something of a revolution for iPhone users, introducing far more support for widgets on the iOS home screen. While initially, this seems more like a bit of fun, some users have taken advantage of widget-customizing apps to dramatically change the look of their devices. However, it’s still not up to the level of Android, which allows for third-party launchers that can completely change your phone into something else entirely. If you want a phone that embraces tinkering, or a truly unique, personalized look for your home screen, then Android is the platform for you.
The perception that Android is more complicated than iOS prevails, but there’s no need to dive into customization options. Both platforms offer a good range of accessibility features.
If you’re looking for a device for an elderly relative or a technophobe then you’ll find some specialist offerings on Android, but they tend to scale down what’s possible. Manufacturers like Samsung also include options like “Easy mode,” which makes the interface bigger and simplifies the whole experience, or you can opt for a third-party app to do the same. There are lots of good apps aimed at the elderly on Android and iOS, regardless.
Ultimately, iOS is simpler and easier to use in some important ways. It’s uniform across all iOS devices, whereas Android is slightly different on devices from different manufacturers. We also think iOS is less cluttered and more streamlined than most Android phones, although Google’s stock Android is every bit as elegant and accessible.
While Android has come a long way from the old days, it’s still not as accessible as iOS’s very simple interface. iOS wins here.
Calls and messaging
Basic calling and messaging functionality are good on both platforms, but it can be confusing on Android. First, Google appeared to be folding everything into Hangouts, which allows messages, SMS, video chat, group chat, and more via Wi-Fi or your data network. Then it released Allo and Duo, and now it is retiring Hangouts — but wait, it also shut down Allo as well! Messages is the default texting app, and that now seems to be Google’s main messaging app, and has received RCS support. However, you’ll find many manufacturers like to offer their own alternatives. Many Android phones come with their own messaging and dialer apps in addition to Google’s messaging apps, making the whole confusing situation even worse.
iOS, being controlled directly by Apple, is a lot simpler. FaceTime and iMessage come pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad, so it’s remarkably easy to connect with your friends and family. While iMessage is very easy to use, it works best when communicating with other iPhone users, creating a culture of blue versus green bubbles. You’ll find third-party app integration, fun stickers, GIFs, and much more in iMessage. We give iOS the win for its consistency and ease of use.
The default email apps on Android and iOS are very easy to use and quick to set up. You can pull in multiple email accounts and view them in a single inbox if you desire. Android and iOS have a huge range of third-party email apps available as well. However, Gmail is a stronger default email app than iOS’ Mail. Since Gmail is the most popular email address system in the world, it makes sense that the Gmail app would be a winner. You can also add email addresses from different providers in Gmail with ease. The intuitiveness of the app with other Google Suite apps sets it apart from the rest.
The only issue is that Android phones often offer alternative email apps made by the manufacturers, which may or may not be good.
This is a difficult category to call. In the past, we’ve argued that Apple does the best job capturing lighting, coloring, and other details, but the latest Android smartphones are casting a lot of doubt on that assertion. Google’s Pixel 5 boasts an excellent camera, but so does the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
While most of the current crop of Android flagships sport good, or sometimes great, cameras, there’s a fair bit of variance, and the camera quality of many midrange devices doesn’t come close to the quality of iPhone cameras. As you’d expect, most budget Android phones have lower-quality cameras.
The camera apps on both platforms are very good and very fast. For ease of use and best results without tweaking, the iOS camera app takes the cake. There’s more variation on Android simply because manufacturers tend to add their own camera apps with lots of features, some good, some a bit gimmicky.
We used to grant this one to iOS for pure consistency, despite the strengths of phones like Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy. However, times have moved on, and a lot more Android manufacturers can put up a fight against Apple’s excellent cameras. This has to be a tie.
If you use the Photos app in Android, then you can automatically back up all your photos and videos. You can back up photos and videos at the original resolution with iCloud or Google Photos, but you only get 5GB of free space with iCloud, compared to 15GB with Google.
This category is complicated by the fact that the default on iOS is iCloud, but you can also use Google’s Photos on iOS. However, since most people go with the default option, we’re giving Android the win here.
Apple is still lagging when it comes to cloud storage and automatic backups. Google offers 15GB for free and has cross-platform support. You only get 5GB with iCloud, and it only works with Windows, Mac, and iOS.
If you need a lot of additional space, Google One charges $2 per month for 100GB ($20 for the year), while Apple charges $1 per month for 50GB or $3 per month for 200GB. Apple’s price for 2TB jumps up to $10 per month. Google will also give you 2TB for that price, but you can get a discount if you pay for the year, which costs $100 ($8.33 per month).
Android’s cloud storage is easier to use and more effective than iCloud. You can also use Google Drive on an iPhone, whereas iCloud is iOS only.
You can do many of the same things with Apple’s Siri as you can with Google Assistant, but Siri is more like a straightforward helper for setting calendar appointments, searching the web, or making calls. Google Assistant has an extra layer. It can preemptively offer useful suggestions, and it has a more conversational side that offers up entertaining games and contextual information based on what you’re doing. It’s smarter and more versatile than Siri.
The addition of Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12, which allows you to set up voice commands to trigger groups of automated tasks, is a big step in the right direction and Siri is also beginning to make more suggestions based on your iPhone usage. For now, however, Google Assistant can do more and seems to be improving at a much faster rate, offering things like call screening and the ability to make reservations for you.
Much has been made of the supposedly “toxic hell stew” that is Android, but the threat of malware is exaggerated. The truth is that most people will never encounter a problem because they don’t go outside the Play Store for apps. Specific manufacturers like Samsung have taken extra efforts to beef up security for the enterprise market. But the slovenly nature of updates on many Android devices can seriously delay important security patches.
Speedy updates are now more important than ever because security breaches are becoming more serious. Android tends to lag in the update world — that is, unless you have a stock Android device like a Pixel or a phone running Android One. That lack of update speed tends to mean Android is less secure to emerging threats. Because millions of Android phones are still running software that’s years old, they can be vulnerable to serious hacks like Heartbleed and Stagefright.
Apple is firmly entrenched in corporate America and has also worked on improved security for general consumers, most notably with Touch ID and FaceID in the iPhone X and later. The tight oversight that Apple has on apps and the ability to push updates out to more devices more quickly gives it an edge over Android. The company also encrypts data in iMessage and its other apps.
Apple prioritizes user privacy, so you can feel safe knowing your personal data is not stored or read by Apple. It is all encrypted, too. Meanwhile, Android encrypts some data, but your privacy is less protected. Google mines your data for information that it can use to sell better ads and market products to you. Your data is also stored and read to provide you with a better A.I. experience.
Google claims it is committed to fully protect user privacy and still provide the A.I. services it offers, but some security experts and Apple argue that Google presents a false choice between A.I. and privacy. Apple even went to war with the FBI to guarantee your right to encryption. It’s hard to beat that kind of dedication.
There’s no denying that iOS is the most secure platform and the one that best protects user privacy. If you care about your privacy and security, go with an iPhone.
Rooting, bootloaders, and jailbreaking
We’ve looked at how to root your Android phone or tablet before. It’s not for everyone, but if you want root access and complete control over your device, then rooting is the way to get it. Rooting gives you access to more apps, the latest OS updates without waiting, new software skins to get the aesthetic you want, the chance to get rid of bloatware from carriers and manufacturers, potential tweaks to boost your device’s speed and battery life, and more.
Many Android OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) also offer a way to unlock the bootloader, which determines how the OS loads up on your device. Apple is completely opposed to this kind of thing. Jailbreaking is an option for iOS, which lets you download and install apps from outside the App Store and bypass some other limitations.
Cases and accessories
The average iPad or iPhone owner spends more money on more things than the average Android device owner, and Apple has built up a great ecosystem of peripherals for its phones and tablets. There are far more peripherals and cases aimed at the iPhone than any other device, but a major flagship like the Samsung Galaxy S21 would be a close second.
On the other hand, Android devices have adopted the Micro USB or USB-C standard, whereas Apple insists on its proprietary Lightning cable. This means it’s much easier to find a charger if you’re not an iPhone owner, and often means you have to splash out on an overpriced Apple adapter. Peripheral manufacturers may still go after iOS as their main target, but it’s very rare to find something without Micro USB or USB-C support.
Another mark against Apple is the abandonment of the standard 3.5mm audio port, as begun with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. You did get an adapter in the box with a new iPhone for a while, but Apple no longer includes it, so you’ll have to buy the dongle and, even if you do, it’s easily lost. The choice of headphones sporting 3.5mm audio jacks far exceeds those with Lightning connectors. Of course, Android phones continue to ax the headphone jack in favor of USB-C and Bluetooth audio, so this is lessening as a point against Apple.
It’s also important to note that Apple’s ecosystem of products all work together exceedingly well. The iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook, and HomeKit products all work together in perfect harmony. MacOS, WatchOS, iPadOS, and iOS are all well connected, making it easy to have all Apple products on the same page. If you’re already invested in a MacBook or iPad, then an iPhone would allow all of your devices to work well together.
Since Android phones are produced by many different manufacturers, product ecosystems vary. Samsung has a great ecosystem, for example, and Android phones have support from Home, Chromecast, and Wear OS. However, it’s not quite as seamless as it is with Apple.
Overall, taking all available accessories into account, you have more choice with an iPhone, so iOS takes the win here, but with caveats.
Numerically speaking, Android wins 10 categories and iOS wins seven, but iOS wins in some of the more important categories — we don’t think rooting or alternative app stores are as important for most people as accessibility or security, for example. However, it’s very difficult to compare the two. Because Apple controls both the hardware and the software of their devices, you’ll find iOS offers a more uniform experience across devices.
A straight comparison of the latest versions of Android and iOS wouldn’t be very representative of most people’s experience, because most Android devices aren’t running the latest version. The experience you get is further complicated by the fact that most Android smartphone manufacturers add their own user interface on top of Google’s stock Android. As a result, there’s quite a big difference between using Google’s Pixel 5, the Samsung Galaxy S21, and the OnePlus 8T, for example.
If you do decide to go with an Android device, make sure you do a little research and look at the version of Android it runs, the manufacturer skin on top, and the manufacturer’s record for software updates.
Ultimately, different categories will be important to different people, so you should pay attention to the ones that count for you and make your decision based on that. If security and privacy are important factors, then the iPhone is the obvious choice. If battery life tops your list and you want to be able to customize your phone, then choose Android. Both Android and iOS are mature, feature-packed platforms with far more similarities than differences, and we can heartily recommend either.
Android vs. iOS
iOS and Android both use touch interfaces that have a lot in common - swiping, tapping and pinch-and-zoom. Both operating systems boot to a homescreen, which is similar to a computer desktop. While an iOS home screen only contains rows of app icons, Android allows the use of widgets, which display auto-updating information such as weather and email. The iOS user interface features a dock where users can pin their most frequently used applications.
A status bar runs across the top on both iOS and Android, offering information such the time, WiFi or cell signal, and battery life; on Android the status bar also shows the number of newly received emails, messages and reminders.
A comparison of some of the features of the Android 11 and iOS 14 is here. Android 11 highlights include:
- Priority conversations
- Unified Device controls and payments
- One-time permissions
- Native screen recording
- Improved media controls
- Enhanced support for foldable devices
iOS 14 highlights include:
- Custom Widget Stacks
- Picture in Picture
- Compact Phone Calls
- Third-Party default apps
- Search in apps
- Emoji Search
- Exposure Lock
- QuickTake Video
- Pinned chats in Messages
To see how the current versions — Android Marshmallow and iOS 143 — compare, watch the video below:
Many different manufacturers make Android phones and they often include some customization over the vanilla Android experience. e.g. HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz. Depending upon your device and carrier, there may be pre-installed apps that are bundled with your Android device.
This article explains how app design patterns differ in Android and iOS. Android typically has a persistent back button for navigation. While the look and feel are different, many apps -- like TikTok, YouTube and WhatsApp -- will look familiar when you switch from Android to iOS or vice versa.
Features exclusive to iOS include:
- iMessage: Perhaps the most popular iOS app, iMessage handles both SMS messages (when the other party is on a non-Apple platform) as well as Apple-supported chat (when all participants use iMessage). Its integration with Apple Pay makes sending and receiving money via iMessage extremely easy.
- AirDrop: AirDrop uses Bluetooth to share files, pictures, videos and links from the iPhone to any Apple device. It is very easy to use.
- Share WiFi passwords: Sharing WiFi passwords between two iOS devices is a breeze. Simply hold them close together and a pop-up will appear asking if you'd like to share your password.
- App offloading: iOS automatically identifies apps that you do not use and removes them from the device. Data from the apps is retained and they get reinstalled when you want to use them.
- Breezy setup of new devices: Apple makes it very easy to switch from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. When setting up a new iPhone, importing apps, data, passwords and settings is a breeze.
Features exclusive to Android include:
- Customizing the Home screen: Android offers a lot of flexibility for adding widgets and customizing the layout of the home screen. It also supports other apps taking over the management of the home screen.
- File management: Android allows users to choose a file manager, and also provides access to the file system. Plugging an Android device into a PC exposes the phone's file system as just another drive, allowing drag and drop access for moving files between the phone and the PC.
- Expandable Storage: Most Android phones come with expandable storage. While the phone may only have 32 or 64GB of storage, you can add a microSD card to expand it by up to 1TB more.
- Multiple Users and Guest accounts: While iOS is a single-user operating system, Android has added support for multiple users, and even a guest account. This is especially useful for sharing your phone with kids or with a friend who may need it temporarily.
- Split screen: iOS only supports split screen for iPads. Android supports this feature for phones as well.
This is one area where iOS users have a massive advantage. iOS upgrades are generally available to all iOS devices. When Apple release iOS 14 in the fall of 2020, it was made available for iPhone models as old as the iPhone 6S, which was released in Sep 2015. Apple cites hardware capability as the reason some older devices may not receive all new features in an upgrade.
Although Google does update Android frequently, some users may find that they do not receive the updates on their phone, or even purchase phones with out-of-date software. Phone manufacturers decide whether and when to offer software upgrades. They may not offer an upgrade to the latest version of Android for all the phones and tablets in their product line. Even when an upgrade is offered, it is usually several months after the new version of Android has been released.
With the A-series chips that Apple designs in-house, the company has a roughly two-year lead over the best Android phones, which typically run Qualcomm's Snapdragon series chips. The iPhone 12 easily beats both Samsung Galaxy 20 and Google's Pixel 5 in Geekbench 5 and 3DMark's Wild Life stress tests.
Apps Available on iOS vs. Android
Android gets apps from Google Play, which currently has 600,000 apps available, most of which will run on tablets. However, some Android devices, such as the Kindle Fire, use separate app stores that have a smaller selection of apps available. Many originally iOS-only apps are now available for Android, including Instagram and Pinterest, and Google’s more open app-store means other exclusive apps are also available, including Adobe Flash Player and BitTorrent. Android also offers access to Google-based apps, such as Youtube and Google Docs.
The Apple app store currently offers over 1 million apps, about 30% of which are available for the iPad. Most developers prefer to develop games for iOS before they develop for Android. A list of iOS-only games is maintained here on Wikipedia.
The bottomline when comparing Google and Apple's app stores is that most popular apps are available for both platforms. But for tablets, there are more apps designed specifically for the iPad while Android tablet apps are often scaled up versions of Android smartphone apps. Developers at startups often focus on one platform (usually iOS) when they first launch their smartphone app because they do not have resources to serve multiple platforms from the get go. For example, Instagram started with iOS and their Android app came much later.
Stability of Apps and the Operating System
The Crittercism Mobile Experience Report published in March 2014 ranked Android KitKat as more stable than iOS 7.1. Other findings from the report include:
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread has the highest total crash rate, at 1.7%. Other versions of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKat — have a crash rate of 0.7%.
- iOs 7.1 has a crash rate of 1.6%., and the rates for iOS 7.0 and iOS 5 are 2.1% and 2.5% respectively.
- Phone versions of both Android and iOS are more stable than their tablet versions.
- Crash rates for apps vary by category — games are most likely to crash (4.4% crash rate) and e-commerce apps have the lowest crash rate of 0.4%.
A wide variety of Android devices are available at many different price points, sizes and hardware capabilities.
iOS is only available on Apple devices: the iPhone as a phone, the iPad as a tablet, and the iPod Touch as an MP3 player. These tend to be more expensive than equivalent hardware using Android.
Android allows the user to send one of a number of self-composed texts as autoreplies when declining a call.
iOS’s phone app has many abilities, including the ability to reply to a phonecall with a canned text message instead of answering, or to set a callback reminder. It also has a Do Not Disturb mode.
Android allows users to log onto GTalk for instant messages. iOS does not offer a native way to chat to non-Apple users. Users can message over Apple users using iMessage or use apps from Google for GTalk and Microsoft for Skype.
Google Hangouts on Android can also be used for video chat, allowing users to chat over either 3G or Wi-Fi. iOS uses Facetime, which can place video calls over both 3G and WiFi. However, it only allows users to communicate with other Apple devices.
Voice Commands on Android vs. iOS
iOS uses Siri, a voice-based virtual assistant, to understand and respond to both dictation as well as spoken commands. Siri includes many features, such as reading sports scores and standings, making reservations at restaurants and finding movie times at the local theater. You can also dictate texts and emails, schedule calendar events, and interface with car audio and navigation.
Android offers a similar assistant, Google Now, which features the above abilities, plus can keep track of your calendar and give verbal reminders when it is time to leave. It allows for voice search and dictation.
The video below gives a quick demo of Google Now vs Siri:
Apps like Google Maps, Waze and Bing are available for both iOS and Android. When Google released its maps app for iOS in December 2012, the iOS version surpassed the version available for Android in terms of features, design and ease of use. The Android version is not expected to stay behind. Apple's own mapping app, which is bundled with every iOS device, was widely panned when it was launched with iOS 6.
Android uses Google Chrome as its web-browser, while iOS uses Safari. Both Internet browsers are similar in quality and abilities and Google Chrome is also available for iOS. Safari is not available for Android.
Android is integrated with Facebook, allowing users to update their statuses or upload pictures from many apps, and to pull contact data from their Facebook friends.
iOS is also fully integrated with Facebook, allowing users to update their status and upload images from various apps, sync their contacts with Facebook, and have their Facebook events automatically added to their iOS Calendar. iOS now offers much deeper integration with Facebook and Twitter because of how tightly it is weaved into core apps on iOS.
Android uses Google Wallet, an app that allows for mobile payments. Some Android phones are equipped with an NFC chip (near-field communication) that is used for making wireless payments simply by tapping the phone at the checkout counter. This service integrates with Google Wallet but is not available on all Android phones or wireless carriers. Mobile payments are supported on devices that have an NFC chip (such as Samsung's Galaxy S4 and S5) as long as they are running a version of Android newer that 4.4 KitKat.
The iOS mobile payment system is called Apple Pay. While Apple Pay was launched over a year after tap-to-pay features on some Android phones, its integration with fingerprint identification arguably makes Apple Pay easier to use. Usage of Apple Pay has certainly been significantly higher. In fact, Apple Pay has kindled interest in mobile payments and prompted Android users to discover the feature on their phones, leading to an increase in use of Google Wallet over NFC. iOS offers Passbook, an app that collects in one place tickets, reward cards, and credit/debit cards.
Android’s applications are isolated from the rest of the system’s resources, unless a user specifically grants an application access to other features. This makes the system less vulnerable to bugs, but developer confusion means that many apps ask for unnecessary permissions. The most widespread malware on Android is one where text messages are sent to premium rate numbers without the knowledge of the user, and the sending of personal information to unauthorized third parties. As it is the more popular smartphone operating system, it is more likely to be the focus of attacks.
Malware writers are less likely to write apps for iOS, due to Apple's review of all the apps and verification of the identity of app publishers. However, if an iOS device is jailbroken and apps installed from outside Apple's store, it can be vulnerable to attacks and malware. Both iOS and Android are also vulnerable to bugs e.g. phones crashing when playing a specific video, which is a type of software bug that has affected both iOS and Android devices.
In the real world, the security of an Android or iOS device is only as good as the software updates that have been applied to it. This is where iOS shines because of the fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem. Apple releases software updates and makes them available to all iOS devices at the same time. On Android, Google releases software updates and security patches to Nexus devices. Devices from other manufacturers lag behind because the manufacturer must take these security updates from Google and apply them to their own devices "in the wild". Virtually all manufacturers do a poor job at this. Most don't release patches to devices older than 12-18 months. Even when they do, these security updates are rolled out months after Nexus devices receive them.
That Android devices are less secure is also evidenced by this bounty program; a company that obtains security exploits from hackers and sells them to governments has a bounty on 0-day (i.e., previously unknown) exploits for iOS ($1.5 million), Android ($200,000) and Flash ($80,000). The amounts of the bounties are a rough proxy for how easy it is to exploit these platforms in practice.
So a security-conscious individual or company should use either iOS or Nexus devices.
Both iOS and Android are "vulnerable" to a certain kind of privacy leak: an app installed on either platform can get a list of all other apps installed on the same device. This means your calculator app can find out that you use Tinder and relay that information back to its publisher, who is then free to use this info in whatever way they choose. In November 2014, Twitter announced that it is now tracking the list of apps its users have installed on their phones. Twitter is far from being the only company doing this.
Beyond the list of apps, when it comes to protecting users' private information, iOS wins. Until Android Marshmallow was released in 2015, when installing apps on Android, the user was presented with all the permissions that the app is requesting. This was an all-or-nothing proposition. The user could choose to accept the app's request for permissions or not install the app at all. App developers take advantage of this "feature" and request a lot of user information. For example, Pandora's mobile app on Android requests permissions for your Google identity, contacts, calendar, photos, media, files and even call information.
Pandora's app on iOS gets no such permissions. After it is installed and opened by the user, an iOS app may request additional permissions like location and access to Contacts. But the user can reject these permission requests. Even after approving the permission requests, iOS users can quickly glance at which apps have access to their Contacts and location data, and turn off access for apps with which they no longer want to share this data.
Android M (or Marshmallow) allowed a new permissions regime where apps could request permissions as needed. However, a majority of Android apps still take the approach of requesting permissions upfront. While it is possible to manage app permissions on Android at a more granular level, this option is buried deep in the settings.
Building and Publishing Apps for iOS vs. Android
Android apps are programmed using C, C++ and Java. It is an "open" platform; anyone can download the Android source code and Android SDK for free. Anyone can create and distribute Android apps for free; users are free to download apps from outside the official Google Play store. There is, however, a one-time $25 registration fee for developers who want to publish their apps (whether free or paid apps) on the official Google Play store. Apps published on Google Play undergo a review by Google. The Android SDK is available for all platforms - Mac, PC and Linux.
iOS apps are programmed using Objective-C. Developers must pay $99 every year for access to the iOS SDK and the right to publish in Apple's app store. The iOS SDK is only available for the Mac platform.
UI Design for Android vs. iOS 7
In Beyond Flat, SeatGeek founder Jack Groetzinger outlines a lot of the differences in how Android and iOS approach their design aesthetic and what it means for app developers. For example,
- Buttons:Android buttons are usually monochromatic, with a tendency towards using iconography when possible. The standard iOS 7 button is plain monochromatic text with no background or border. When iOS 7 does use button borders, they tend to be quite simple.
- The Action Bar of Navigation Bar: The nav bar in iOS is usually just a Back button linking to the previous screen. In Android, the navigation bar usually has several action buttons.
- Intents: Intents on Android allows applications to flexibly interoperate with each other. For example, apps can "register" themselves as capable of sharing which allows the user to share using this app from any other app.
The article outlines several other differences and is a great read.
The Bottomline: Choosing between iOS and Android
To summarize the key pros and cons of Android and iOS:
iOS pros and cons
- Massive app ecosystem: distinct advantage for tablet apps while on smartphones popular apps are usually available for both platforms
- Deeper integration with Facebook and Twitter: it is easier to post updates and share on social networks using iOS than Android because of how deeply integrated these platforms are with iOS.
- iOS-only apps like Passbook, FaceTime, and mobile payments app Square (available on iOS 3GS,4,4S,5 and up, nut only for a limited Android phones)
- Interface is locked down: Limited customization options for the home screens; only rows of app icons are allowed. No third-party apps are pre-installed by the wireless carrier. Users can only install apps from the App Store
- Software upgrades: Apple offers software upgrades to all devices that have the hardware capable of handling the new software. This means devices stay current with software features for at least two to three years.
- Better privacy controls: iOS offers better control over the access apps have to users' private information such as contacts and location.
Android pros and cons
- Massive hardware selection: A large number of Android devices are available at various price points, with varying hardware capabilities, screen sizes and features.
- Highly customizable user experience: The home screen can be customized with not just app icons but widgets that allow the user to stay connected or informed. Other examples include SwiftKey, which modifies your Android smartphone’s keyboard, and apps that emulate older gaming consoles. Google has fewer restrictions than Apple on what kinds of apps it allows in its Play store. Moreover, you can choose to install Android apps from places other than the Google Play store.
Several prominent people have shifted from iPhone to Android. Android's connection to the Google ecosystem of services is strong and arguably more useful compared with Apple's cloud services suite.
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Iphone specs vs android
iPhone vs Android for Smartphone Photography
When buying a phone, there’s one question that a lot of us often ask: Is the iPhone better than Android for photography? It’s a tricky question.
We’ll discuss the differences between iPhone vs Android and help you decide which is the best camera phone in 2019.
Price is one of the crucial factors that any phone buyer needs to consider. All the cool features of the newest phone wouldn’t matter if you couldn’t afford it. Let’s look at the difference in price between iPhones and Androids.
There’s no denying that iPhones are generally more expensive than many Android versions. The cost of Apple’s latest release, the iPhone XS, exceeds $1000.
Meanwhile, some Android phones can be as cheap as $30 (Alcatel Raven and other models).
But Android also has high-end options that are even more expensive than some iPhone models. Devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 have as many, if not more, features as the iPhone XS or XR.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll have better chances of owning an Android phone. Or you could buy a used iPhone instead. This would still cost more than $100 in most cases.
If you’re willing to shell out top dollar for a phone, then you have to do some research on what you want.
At this price range, it can be hard to tell apart the difference between Android and iPhone. Many of them share similar features.
Apart from the price, you’re going to want to look at the physical features that iPhone and Android phones offer.
Hardware varies a lot from one phone to another. Even iPhone models differ in the features they offer. But in general, the iPhone has a uniform look and parts.
Since only Apple manufactures the iPhone, they get to have full control over the design.
On the other hand, Android phones look a lot more different from each other than iPhones. And the reason is that there are dozens of manufacturers from Samsung to LG that create these devices.
That means some Android devices may have plastic lenses while others have glass. The sensors also vary from one manufacturer to another. So despite being Android, the quality of the photos may differ from each other.
But the fact that Android phones are different is also the reason why they’re popular.
People get to enjoy more variety of features instead of getting stuck with the uniform features of the iPhone.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s the price that determines your device’s features. And this category is where you’ll see tangible differences between the Android and the iPhone.
iPhones feature some of the best cameras for mobile devices. Their latest model, the XR, has a 12-megapixel camera that can even record in 4K.
Meanwhile, camera features vary a lot when it comes to Android. A cheap Android phone such as the Alcatel Raven only has a 5-megapixel camera that produces grainy pictures.
But Android also has a few phones with cameras that rival that of the iPhone’s. Let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus’s specs for instance.
Apart from a 12-megapixel dual camera, it also features a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera. And just like the iPhone, it can also record 4K.
When it comes to cameras, you get what you pay for. So invest in a good phone that does the job for you. If you want a hassle-free experience that lets you take pictures with ease, then go with the iPhone.
If you like customization and features that the iPhone doesn’t offer, then consider buying an Android, instead.
Dual-cameras used to be exclusive to expensive flagship phones a few years ago. But these days, even the cheaper options also have them. And that steps ups the game when it comes to the iPhone vs Android debate.
These days, you can get a great Android dual-camera phone such as the Honor 10 Lite for less than $200. It features a whopping 24-megapixel main front camera and a 13-megapixel rear dual-camera.
That means you can now take beautiful bokeh shots on your device without breaking the bank.
But of course, the cream of the crop for Android phones are still the expensive flagship options. In general, they offer better resolution and performance in low-light conditions. Not to mention that they also have way more features than their budget counterparts.
For instance, Smartphone such as the $900 Huawei P30 Pro offers both telephoto and wide-angle cameras that cheaper dual-camera phones lack.
Its aperture can also go as low as f/1.4 to let you shoot in low light without bumping the ISO.
Meanwhile, the iPhone XR’s camera features seem to pale in comparison to phones such as the Huawei P30. For instance, it only has a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens as opposed to Huawei’s 20-megapixel ultra-wide lens.
But the iPhone also has a larger sensor which allows it to perform better in low light than its competitors despite the lower resolution. It also has an optical image stabilization which lets it shoot crisp photos even at low shutter speeds.
Many Android phones boast more features than the iPhone. But at the same time, the iPhone often excels in what it does offer. For instance, it may not have the highest megapixel camera for example.
Its impressive dynamic range lets it shoot great photos in a variety of challenging lighting conditions.
The dual cameras have a variety of functions when it comes to smartphone photography. Of course, you can choose the telephoto or wide-angle lens individually for zooming in or taking close-up shots.
You can also use the two simultaneously to create photos with background blur.
If you want to learn how to make photos look professional, simply turn on Portrait Mode on the iPhone or Live Focus on Samsung devices.
Then the dual camera set-up does its magic to create bokeh shots that look like they have been taken with an SLR.
For the most part, both the iPhone and high-end Android phones do a really good job creating professional-looking background blur.
Unlike real DSLRs that achieve such effect through the use of lenses, these mobile devices use software in conjunction with the dual-lens instead.
The dual-lens works together to create a “depth map” that helps the phone calculate the distance of the subject from the background. Then, it uses software to blur the background.
In other words, these phones replicate the bokeh effect. Especially since even the dual-camera lenses aren’t enough to create it naturally.
The caveat of using this technology is that it tends to be a hit-or-miss when you use it. iPhones and Android devices equally suffer from miscalculating the background blur. So much so that it even appears too fake at times.
Fortunately, technology keeps improving and the newer phones that are coming out do a better job at creating realistic bokeh.
Native Camera Apps
For the most part, the native camera app of the iPhone and Android have so many similarities. The locations of the buttons and selections may be different, but they all work the same.
Both the iPhone and Android share the same features. In most cases, the only difference is what they call certain functions. For instance, the Portrait Mode on an iPhone is called Live Focus on an Android device.
So in many ways, the iPhone and Android are a tie when it comes to this category. Their native apps are both easy to use.
It’s just a matter of getting used to it especially if you’re more familiar with one platform than the other. But it doesn’t take a long time to figure out that they’re very much alike.
Apps are as important as the camera features on your phone. That’s why you need to choose a device that is compatible with the apps you want to use.
For years, Apple has had tight control over the apps it accepts to its app store. That means it has fewer choices than Android.
But at the same time, the apps you see on Apple’s app store have better user satisfaction. The reason is that the company has strict guidelines that ensure the quality and safety of the apps they offer.
On the other hand, Android suffers from plenty of apps that are hit or miss. Many of the apps tend to suffer from more bugs and glitches due to the differences between software and/or hardware of various Android phones.
Android also doesn’t offer updates as often as Apple. As a consequence, it becomes even more susceptible to faulty apps. And this is also one of the reasons why some apps end up becoming incompatible with some Android devices.
The good news is that many camera/editing apps such as Lightroom and VSCO work with the iPhone and Android. That means both platforms get to enjoy the benefits of the best digital photography tools.
There are plenty of variables to consider when buying a smartphone. But for the most part, choosing between iPhone and Android is all a matter of preference. Android devices are just as good if not better as the iPhone.
If you love having dozens of features, then Android is the best for you. But if you want a phone that offers a seamless experience and still take great photos, then the iPhone is a great choice.
Don’t get stuck on the brand. Instead, do your research and look at all the specs of the device you want to buy. If it has everything you need for taking photos, then that’s the best smartphone camera for you.
Check out our post on optical vs. digital zoom next!
How the iPhone 11 compares to the best Android devices
Apple’s new iPhones are here, with the new iPhone 11 set to replace last year’s XR model, and the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models that succeed the XS and XS Max as more premium options. But how do they compare to the best Android phones on the market, like the Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and OnePlus 7 Pro?
As expected, the new iPhones are largely upgraded versions of last year’s hardware, with a particular focus on the camera systems: the 11 now has a dual-camera setup, adding an ultra-wide camera to the XR’s single lens. The 11 Pro phones now feature three cameras: a telephoto, a wide angle, and an ultra-wide. Both phones are also getting Night mode for improved low-light photography, too.
Other updates are less dramatic: there’s an upgraded A13 chip, which Apple claims is both the “fastest CPU in a smartphone” and the “fastest GPU in a smartphone.” There’s also improvements to Face ID, which should allow it to work at more angles.
Of course, there’s plenty more to the picture than just raw specs, especially where iPhones are concerned. Apple’s end-to-end control over the software and hardware means that iPhones tend to be able to do more with less, so things like low numbers for RAM or battery size may not tell the whole story for what these devices are actually like to use on a day-to-day basis.
But the numbers still do make a bit of a difference when you’re deciding what deserves a spot in your bag or pocket. Here’s how the new iPhones stack up:
The table is best viewed in landscape mode on mobile devices
iPhone 11 spec comparison
|Specification||iPhone 11 Pro||iPhone 11 Pro Max||iPhone 11||Pixel 3||Pixel 3 XL||Galaxy Note 10||Galaxy Note 10 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S10||Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||OnePlus 7 Pro|
|Display||5.8 inches||6.5 inches||6.1 inches||5.5 inches||6.3 inches||6.4 inches||6.8 inches||6.1 inches||6.4 inches||6.7 inches||6.7 inches|
|Resolution||2436 x 1125||2688 x 1242||1792 x 828||2160 x 1080||2960 x 1440||2280 x 1080||3040 x 1440||3040 x 1440||3040 x 1440||3040 x 1440||3120 x 1440|
|Processor||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic||Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, octa-core)||Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, octa-core)||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855|
|RAM||TBA||TBA||TBA||4GB||4GB||8GB||12GB||8GB||8GB, 12GB||8GB||6GB, 8GB, 12GB|
|Storage||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB||256GB||256GB, 512GB||128, 512GB||128GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB|
|Rear camera||12MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide), 12MP (telephoto)||12MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide), 12MP (telephoto)||12MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide)||12MP||12MP||12MP (telephoto), 16MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide angle)||12MP, 16MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (telephoto), ToF (time-of-flight) sensor||12MP (telephoto), 16MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide angle)||12MP, 16MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide)||12MP, 16MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (wide), ToF (time-of-flight) sensor||48MP, 8MP (telephoto), 16MP (ultra-wide)|
|Front camera||12MP||12MP||12MP||8MP, 8MP (wide)||8MP, 8MP (wide)||10MP (f/2.2, autofocus, 80 degree)||10MP||10MP||10MP, 8MP||10MP, ToF (time-of-flight) sensor||16MP|
|Ports||Lightning port||Lightning port||Lightning port||USB-C||USB-C||USB-C||USB-C||USB-C, headphone jack||USB-C, headphone jack||USB-C, headphone jack||USB-C|
|Dimensions (in.)||5.67 x 2.81 x 0.32||6.22 x 3.06 x 0.32||5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33||5.70 x 2.70 x 0.30||6.20 x 3.00 x 0.30||5.94 x 2.83 x 0.31||6.39 x 3.04 x 0.31||5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31||6.20 x 2.92 x 0.31||6.40 x 3.04 x 0.31||6.40 x 2.99 x 0.35|
In This Stream
iPhone 11 and more: all the announcements from Apple’s September 10th eventView all 78 stories Sours: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/9/10/20857552/apple-iphone-11-vs-samsung-galaxy-note-pixel-android-comparison-specs
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